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Barcelona Airport

The Barcelona airport is located in El Prat del Llobregat, about 18 kilometers south of Barcelona city, and is officially known as Aeroport Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat. It is, after Madrid, one of the largest and busiest airports in Spain. On this page, I have gathered all the information about the Barcelona airport and what you need to know when flying here.

Where is Barcelona Airport?

Barcelona’s airport is located 18 km south of the city, in the neighboring city of El Prat del Llobregat. It is easily accessible by car or public transport. The airport’s code in Barcelona is BCN.

How to get to Barcelona Airport?

There are several ways to travel to and from Barcelona Airport. The airport is well connected to the city of Barcelona by metro, train, and buses. There are also continuous taxis, or you can rent a car or order a transfer if desired.

Read more about traveling from Barcelona Airport to the city center here.

Flying from or to Barcelona Airport?

Since Barcelona is an international city, people from all over the world come to this airport, which connects Barcelona with all other major European cities and elsewhere in the world.

Fun fact: according to Aena, Barcelona Airport transported a whopping 41,639,622 passengers in a total of 283,394 flights in 2022. This makes Barcelona Airport the second largest airport in Spain and a real hub for travel around the Mediterranean Sea.


Many well-known airlines fly from Barcelona Airport, such as Iberia, Vueling, Transavia, KLM, and Ryanair. The connections between Barcelona and, among others, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK and France are excellent.

It is useful to know in advance at which terminal your flight arrives and departs. This way, you can better plan your trip to or from Barcelona Airport. Below, I give you a few examples.

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The Terminals

Barcelona Airport has two terminals: Terminal 1 (T1) and Terminal 2 (T2). These are 4 km apart from each other, and to go from one to the other, you need to use the free “BusTransit T1-T2” shuttle buses.

My tip: if you’re going to use the free shuttle bus between the terminals, then account for at least 30 minutes of extra travel time (although it can be much faster if, for example, a bus is immediately ready).

Terminal 1

The newest terminal at Barcelona Airport is Terminal 1 (T1). This is where the largest airlines such as Iberia, Vueling, KLM, and Lufthansa come and depart.

Terminal 1 is divided into two floors. Arrivals are on the ground floor while flight check-in is on the first floor.

Terminal 1 also offers good parking facilities, a fast lane for families with children, air rooms for rent for sleeping or freshening up, and even a chapel.

You can, of course, shop for last-minute souvenirs and eat at one of the many restaurants.

Terminal 1 is well connected to the city by metro and buses. You can also easily travel there with the Aerobús.

Barcelona Airport Terminal 1
Barcelona Airport Terminal 1

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 used to be the airport of Barcelona, but now seems more like fading glory compared to the new Terminal 1. Here, usually, flights from low-cost airlines such as Transavia, Ryanair, and Eurowings land.

Terminal 2, like Terminal 1, is divided into two floors: the arrival hall, check-in, and baggage drop-off are on the ground floor. The security lanes and gates are on the first floor.

Compared to Terminal 1, Terminal 2 offers fewer choices in terms of shops and restaurants.

Terminal 2 is well connected to public transport and has a train station, a metro station, and a bus stop for regular buses and the Aerobús.


When flying from or to Barcelona, you can take carry-on luggage or a suitcase. The latter often needs to be checked in. You do this at the baggage drop-off of your airline. Once you arrive at the airport, your suitcase will be waiting for you in the baggage hall.

My tip: consult in advance what the allowed dimensions for carry-on luggage or suitcases are for your airline. Also, check the list of allowed items to avoid surprises.

The following items are NOT allowed in your carry-on luggage:

  • Weapons (such as guns, tear gas, and animal repellent sprays);
  • Cutting or hard objects (such as axes, cleavers, baseball bats);
  • Work tools (such as hammers, saws, drills);
  • Chemical and toxic substances (such as poisons, gases, or radioactive materials);
  • Explosive and flammable substances (such as gas cylinders, matches, and fireworks).
  • No water or liquid. You must refill or buy these after the control. The only exception is for small children and in the case of medication.

The following items ARE allowed as carry-on luggage:

  • Electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, external batteries, and hard drives. They must be separately displayed out of their cover in the security trays during the security check.
  • Liquids such as perfumes, creams, gels, shampoo, and toothpaste. They must be in a container of a maximum of 100 ml and packed in a transparent plastic bag with an open/close system and a maximum capacity of 1 liter (bag of about 20 x 20 cm.). The bag is placed on the trays at the security check, outside the luggage.
  • Medications and medical equipment that you need during the outward/return flight and stay. It is advisable to bring a prescription or corresponding medical prescription, especially if you need to transport items such as syringes or other objects that are on the prohibited list.
  • Small amounts of food for personal consumption.
  • Crutches or walking sticks, strollers, travel cots, and baby chairs. Note that strollers and buggies must be delivered at the gate and will be delivered at the baggage belt with strange objects after the flight.

Flight Information

If you want to know the status of a flight, what time it departs or arrives, and at which terminal, consult the information on the Aena website.

Any changes in flight schedules are announced by the airline itself.

At the airport itself, there are digital screens with information about departing and arriving flights, the times when they land and depart, and the gate where they operate.

Facilities at Barcelona Airport

Barcelona Airport is a large and modern airport that is fully equipped for travelers, even if you are traveling with specific needs.


There are several restaurants available in both terminals at Barcelona Airport. From fast-food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King to tapas bars and cafes for a cup of coffee before your flight departs.

Some tips from me:

  • Enrique Tomás (T1 en T2): a ham shop where sandwiches and burgers are made. You can eat them on the spot or take them with you.
  • Boldú (T1): at this café, you can have a cup of coffee and some treats, such as their famous cronut, the Bolduman.
  • Dots Bakery (T2): this café is located in a food truck and offers some tables and lounge chairs to relax.
  • Pans & Company (T1): a well-known fast-food chain for sandwiches.


You can also enjoy shopping at both terminals of Barcelona Airport. You will find all kinds of stores, from clothing stores to souvenir shops, kiosks, and perfumeries. There are also duty-free shops.

Some tips from me:

  • Sibarium (T1 en T2): a delicatessen store where you can buy gourmet items from Spain such as Spanish ham, olive oil, and cookies.
  • Torrons Vicens (T1): a store specialized in turrón, a kind of nougat that is especially eaten at Christmas.
  • Natura (T1 en T2): a nice store full of gadgets and gift ideas.
  • La Mallorquina (T1): a home store specialized in textiles. Also, a wide range of souvenirs and nice toys.


You can use the free wifi network at Barcelona Airport, named “Airport Free Wifi Aena.” To use it, you need to register first with your email, Facebook, or LinkedIn account.

Luggage Lockers

Currently, there are no luggage lockers at Barcelona Airport. However, you can book a secured luggage transfer service if desired. With this service, your luggage is picked up upon arrival (or departure) and taken to the place you want.


Both terminals have plenty of seating areas to wait for your flight. If you prefer a bit more peace, exclusivity, and service, you can upgrade and buy tickets for one of the four VIP lounges, where you can get delicious food, read the newspaper quietly, work, or watch TV.


There are several public toilets at Barcelona Airport, including for the disabled. There are special changing places for babies.

Children’s Play Areas

Barcelona Airport is a very child-friendly airport. Not only can families use the fast lane for families with children, but the airport also offers a variety of facilities, such as free strollers for loan, baby changing rooms, and even several children’s play areas.


At both terminals of Barcelona Airport, there is ample parking space where you can leave your car. There are several types of parking available:

  • General (T1 and T2): This parking is located next to the terminals and is the ideal option for a short stay (less than 4 days) or for picking up or dropping off passengers. You pay by the minute.
  • Express (T1 and T2): This parking is in front of the departure hall (salidas) and is intended for quick pick-up and drop-off of passengers. If you stay less than 10 minutes, you don’t have to pay.
  • Preferente (T1): This parking is located just a few meters from the terminal and is, therefore, slightly more expensive than the General parking.
  • VIP (T1 and T2): The VIP parking is closest to the terminal and also offers a free pick-up and drop-off service for your car.
  • Long Stay (T1): This parking is intended for long-term parking. It is a few minutes away from terminal T1 and is connected to it 24 hours a day via a free shuttle bus.

Good to know: The parkings at Barcelona Airport are open 24 hours a day and are under camera surveillance. You can reserve and pay for a parking spot in advance or look for one and pay on the spot. In the parking garage, red or green lights above the cars indicate where spaces are available. There are charging points for electric cars and parking spaces for disabled people.

Long Parking

In addition to the long-term parking at Terminal 1, you can find many other companies around Barcelona Airport that offer long-term parking. There, you can safely park your car, often at a favorable rate. You will then be taken to the airport (Terminal 1 or Terminal 2) by a shuttle.

Another option is to pay a bit more so that your car is picked up and returned at the airport when you arrive back in Barcelona.

Car Rental

At Barcelona Airport, you can easily rent a car. In Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, you can find various car rental companies, including Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, and Avis.

It is advisable to book your car online in advance so that you can compare prices and be sure of a car upon arrival. If you are traveling with a baby or child, don’t forget to book a car seat.

Airport Transfers

If you’re traveling to Barcelona with a large group and need transportation to and from the airport, it’s best to book an airport transfer online in advance. This way, you’ll be picked up at the airport and taken directly to your hotel or accommodation.

VIP services

If you’re traveling as a VIP, you can use the fast lanes and VIP lounges at the airport in Barcelona. You can also opt for the Meet & Assist service, where you are escorted and assisted during check-in and controls, luggage collection, or a transfer.

Other facilities

  • Information desks;
  • ATMs and currency exchange offices;
  • Pharmacies and defibrillators;
  • Loan services for luggage trolleys and strollers;
  • Workspace and meeting areas;
  • Chapel for prayer;
  • Post office;
  • Car rental services;
  • Free shuttle bus between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

Hotels near Barcelona Airport

If you need a hotel near Barcelona Airport due to a layover or because your flight departs very early or late, here are some options for an overnight stay near Barcelona Airport:

Other Airports near Barcelona

In addition to flying to Barcelona Airport, it is possible to book flight tickets to the nearby airports of Reus and Girona.

Most low-cost airlines fly to these airports, connecting cities like Eindhoven, Rotterdam, or Düsseldorf with the smaller airports in Reus and Girona.

Keep in mind that there is extra travel time when you land at the airports of Reus and Girona. In both cases, there are special buses that transport passengers from the airports to Barcelona (and vice versa).

Girona Airport (GRO)

Girona Airport is a busy airport located on the Costa Brava, near the city of Girona and 94 km north of Barcelona. Low-cost airlines such as Transavia and Ryanair operate daily flights to Girona Airport. The journey to Barcelona takes about an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes and can be done by car or bus. The bus stop in Barcelona is located at Estació del Nord, near the Arc de Triomf metro station (L1).

Reus Airport (REU)

The smaller Reus Airport is located on the Costa Dorada, 105 km south of Barcelona. This is especially a busy airport during the summer. Budget airlines such as Ryanair offer cheap flights to Reus. The journey to Barcelona also takes about an hour and fifteen minutes and can be done by car or bus. The bus stop in Barcelona is at Estació Sants, near the Sants Estació metro station (L3, L5).

FAQ’s Barcelona Airport

What airports are there in Barcelona?

Barcelona has a major airport, Aeroport Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat (formerly Aeroport del Prat), where the large international airlines fly to, and two other small airports in the neighboring cities of Reus and Girona, where the low-cost airlines fly to.

Which airport for central Barcelona?

If your destination is Barcelona, it is generally advisable to fly directly to Barcelona Airport, as this usually saves a lot of money and time. Barcelona Airport is indeed closest to Barcelona and is well connected by public transport.

How busy is Barcelona Airport?

Like any other airport, the holiday periods, such as during the summer and Christmas, are the busiest times. Generally, it is advisable to be at the airport two hours in advance: this way, you have enough time to check in and pass through security controls.

Also, waiting for luggage at Barcelona Airport can sometimes take quite a while; especially if you have a late flight at night. In that case, the waiting time can be up to 1 hour.

How to get from Barcelona Airport to the city?

Transportation from Barcelona Airport to the city can be done by public transport (metro, train, bus, Aerobús), taxi, private transfer, and of course, by car. Depending on your destination, budget, and time available, you will choose one option or another.

How to get from Barcelona Airport to the Costa Brava?

If your final destination is the Costa Brava, you can take the train or bus depending on your destination. For the bus to the villages in the Costa Brava, buy your tickets from Sarfa or Sagalés. These buses take you to the most popular summer destinations of the Costa Brava such as Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar, Platja d’Aro, Palamós, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, L’Estartit, Roses, and Cadaqués.

For the train to the Costa Brava (with final destination Maçanet-Massanes), do the following: take the R2 train at Terminal 2 (T2) that takes you to Barcelona. At Sants Estació you need to transfer to R1. This train with the final destination Maçanet-Massanes stops at villages such as Vilassar de Mar, Arenys de Mar, Canet de Mar, Calella, Santa Susana, Pineda de Mar, and Blanes.

If your destination is further north than Blanes, then you need to take the bus from Blanes. But in that case, it’s best to take the Sarbus buses from the airport.

How to get from Barcelona Airport to the Costa Daurada?

The Costa Daurada (or Costa Dorada) is unlike the Costa Brava, easily accessible by train from Barcelona. When you arrive at Barcelona Airport, take the R2 train at Terminal 2 (T2) to Sants Estació train station in Barcelona.

At Sants Estació, transfer to the train towards the Costa Daurada. You have multiple options depending on your destination. The R2 runs along coastal villages such as Castelldefels, Sitges, Vilanova i la Geltrú, and Calafell and has its final destination at Sant Vicenç de Calders station.
If your final destination is further than Sant Vicenç de Calders (think of Tarragona, Salou, Cambrils, or l’Hospitalet de l’Infant), then you need to take the R16 train, with the final destination of Tortosa – Ulldecona.

If you prefer to avoid the train and travel directly from Barcelona Airport to your destination on the Costa Daurada, you can also opt to use the shuttle buses from Bus Plana, which connect Barcelona Airport daily with La Pineda, Salou, Hoteles Port Aventura, Cambrils, and Tarragona. The buses depart from T1 and you can reserve tickets online in advance.

How early should you be at Barcelona Airport?

How early you need to be at Barcelona Airport depends on whether you have already checked in online and whether you need to check in a suitcase. Generally, it is recommended to be at the airport at least two hours in advance. If you are traveling during holiday periods, it is advisable to allow more time because waiting times can be longer.

My tip: I always find it pleasant to be present between two to three hours in advance. This way, there is some leeway in case of crowds or other unexpected situations.

What to do during a layover in Barcelona?

If you have a layover planned in Barcelona, it’s handy to know in advance which documentation you need for the transfer, at which terminal you land, and to which terminal you need to go. This way, you can see if you have enough time between flights and to complete all control procedures.

Keep in mind that if you need to change terminals during the layover, you then leave the international transit zone and must gain access to Spanish territory. Also, account for about 30 minutes of extra travel time, as you then need to use the free shuttle bus to travel from one terminal to the other.

If you have a long layover, you can also use one of the VIP lounges or the Sleep & Fly hotel at the airport.

How accessible is Barcelona Airport?

Barcelona Airport is a very accessible airport. It has, among other things, elevators and adapted toilets.

Passengers whose mobility is limited due to a physical or mental disability, old age, or other causes can use special assistance. This should be requested at least 48 hours before departure. This can be done via the Aena website, the official Aena app, or by calling (+34) 91 321 10 00.

Map of Barcelona Airport