Barcelona’s Airport El Prat

Once you arrive at Barcelona’s airport (Aeroport El Prat), you naturally want to head towards the city as quickly as possible. Fortunately, that’s not a problem. I have listed all the options for you and in this article you’ll also find out all there is to know about the international airport of Barcelona.


The Terminals: T1 and T2

The Barcelona Airport El Prat has two terminals: the new terminal T1 and the old T2. It is important to know which terminal you are departing from. This is usually indicated on your plane ticket, but you can also look it up in the current flight information.

T1 was inaugurated in 2009 and it is a beautiful terminal. Here you can do some great tax-free shopping or eat a sandwich. You will also find plenty of stores after security: Mango, Natura, a Barça Store, Adidas, Accessorize, and many more.

T2 is the oldest terminal and less beautiful than T1, but it also has everything you need. You can shop extensively duty free, grab a bite in one of the many cafeterias (or at the Burger King) and you can stop at Mango, Natura and the official FC Barcelona store. Art lovers should look around upon arrival and try to spot the fat horse made by the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero. If you like this horse be sure to also take a look on the Rambla de Raval: here stands the fat cat, El Gato, also by Botero. Outside the terminal you will find a mural made by the Catalan artist Joan Miró.

You can travel from one terminal to another using a free shuttle bus, but keep in mind that you’re at least 15 minutes away.

Free wifi is available in both terminals.

Transportation to and from Barcelona Airport

The airport Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas (BCN) is located 18 kilometers outside the city. By Aerobus, taxi and train you will take about 20-30 minutes to get to the center, with the normal city bus takes a little longer.

Bus, train and cabs connect the airport to the city center 24 hours a day.

To be exact, there are six ways to travel to the city from Barcelona Airport. They are also described in detail one by one below this overview.

  1. The Aerobus is the second fastest way to get from Barcelona Airport to the city center quickly (taxi is still a bit faster). The bus stops in Barcelona at the following locations: Plaça d’Espanya, Urgell, Plaça Universitat and Plaça Catalunya. The buses run incredibly frequently and costs are low.
  2. Since the beginning of 2016, there has also been a metro going from and to both terminals of El Prat. The L9 takes you into the city, but does not stop in the center. Because you will need a transfer, the metro for a trip to the center is often not the best option compared to the Aerobus. Please note that regular public transport tickets are valid, but you need to pay a supplement. This is also clearly indicated in the ticket vending machines at the stations.
  3. The train can be convenient depending on the terminal of arrival and the district you are staying. For example, if you arrive in T2 and need to go to Passeig de Gràcia or Sants Estació, the train is the best option: fast and cheap. The frequency is just a lot lower than the Aerobus: the train leaves every 30 minutes.
  4. If you want to get to your hotel or apartment fast and without worries, you can take a taxi.
  5. There is also a regular city bus, number 46. It takes a lot longer than the Aerobus, but is slightly cheaper. At night you can take the night bus. Nightbuses 16, 17 and 18 run all night between the airport and Plaça Catalunya. These buses also take a bit longer: between 45 and 60 minutes.
  6. Of course, you can also take a car from the Barcelona airport to the city. At the airport you can rent a car, but I would like to point out that it is not practical to visit Barcelona by car, mainly because of the expensive parking garages. But maybe after your city break you will travel on to another vacation destination and need a car.

Aerobus: the shuttlebus to/ from Barcelona airport

aerobus at Plaça Catalunya

The Aerobus is a comfortable bus service connecting Barcelona’s airport with the city center.

In most cases, this is the best way to travel to and from the airport: the bus is fast, prices are very reasonable and it’s comfortable. The Aerobus runs seven days a week, day and night, for about every 10 minutes. The ride from the airport to downtown takes about 35 minutes, depending on how busy it is.

Tickets are easily purchased with for €7.50 (one way) and €15 (return). Tickets can be purchased from the vending machine at the bus stop or from the staff standing at the stops.

City trip deal: Aerobus + Barcelona Pass

Are you planning to visit the Sagrada Família + Park Güell and take the Hop-on Hop-off bus? Then buy the Barcelona Pass + Aerobus, which includes a return trip with the Aerobus to and from the airport. More info about the Barcelona Pass can be found here.

Aerobus + Hola BCN! Travel Card

Unlimited use of public transportation including your transfer from the airport with the fast and frequent Aerobus? Then buy this combination where the Hola BCN! Travel Card gives you unlimited access to all public transportation in Barcelona.

Where does the Aerobus leave?

Because Barcelona Airport has two different terminals, there are also two different lines:

  • Aerobus A1 runs between Barcelona and Terminal 1
  • Aerobus A2 runs between Barcelona and Terminal 2

Both Aerobus A1 and A2 enter Barcelona via the Plaça d’Espanya – Gran Vía/Urgell -Plaça Universitat route and have the central Plaça Catalunya as their final destination.

If you want to go from Barcelona to the airport, you can get off at Plaça Catalunya, Sepúlveda-Urgell or Plaça d’Espanya.

Aerobus timeschedule

Bus departure times between the airport and downtown Barcelona are as follows:

The A1 bus between Plaça Catalunya and Terminal 1 runs every 10 minutes between 5:00 a.m. and 6:40 a.m. and every 10 minutes between 9:55 p.m. and 00:35 a.m. The bus to T1 runs every 10 minutes. Between 6:40 and 21:55, the bus to T1 even runs every 5 minutes, so you never have to wait long. At night, between 0.35 and 5.00, the bus also runs, but less frequently: every 20 minutes.

Bus A2 between Plaça Catalunya and Terminal 2 runs every 10 minutes between 5 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. and less frequently between 10:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.: every 20 minutes.


cab in Barcelona

The black and yellow taxi’s are available at the airport exit. Taxi’s have a taximeter, in Barcelona this is always the case so you don’t have to worry about being scammed.

What does a cab from Barcelona Airport to the city center cost? A taxi ride from the airport to the center of Barcelona usually costs around €35. Per suitcase you pay a surcharge of one euro. The €3.10 surcharge for the airport is included in this total price.

In general, Barcelona cab drivers are helpful and reliable. Of course, asking for a receipt never hurts.


The relatively new metro line L9 Sud connects both terminals every 7 minutes – every 4 minutes at rush hours – to subway station Zona Universitària, where you can change to the green line (L3).

Along the way, you can also change at Torrasa to the red line (L1), or at Collblanc to the blue line (L5). From Zona Universitària, the line will continue in the future as L9 Nord. With nearly 50 kilometers, this will be the longest metro line in Europe.

The metro is especially convenient if your hotel or apartment is a little further out of the center towards the airport, or for example near Camp Nou.

It is not possible to use the service with a normal metro ticket. If you want to travel to or from the airport, buy a ticket at €5.15 from one of the vending machines at the metro stations. You can also buy this ticket if you have already taken the L9 and are arriving at the airport. So you don’t have to look for a ticket vending machine while while changing lines.

The entrance to the metro is in Terminal 1 on the first floor near the buses, in Terminal 2 next to the Renfe train station. They are clearly marked with signs.

Metro ticket machine barcelona

Train + bus

From Terminal 2, a train (Rodalies) leaves every half hour in the direction of Barcelona. The airport station is easy to find. As you exit the airport from T2, you will see a walkway on the left. If you cross it, you are practically already on the platform. You have to go to the second floor for this (where the departure hall is also located).

If you arrive at Terminal 1, the train is not advisable because you will have to travel to Terminal 2 by shuttle bus between T1 and T2 first, which will cost you extra time. If you still want to take the train, you can use this shuttle bus for free.

Tickets for the train can be bought at the ticket machine on the platform. A single ticket costs €2.40.

A ten-ride T-Casual ticket, the Hola BCN Transport Card and the Barcelona Card are also valid on this train.

This train – Line R2 Norte Aeropuerto – stops in Barcelona at the following stations:

  • Barcelona Airport
  • El Prat de Llobregat
  • Bellvitge
  • Barcelona Sants – (Transfers possible to metro L3 and L5)
  • Passeig de Gràcia – (Transfers possible to metro L2, L3 and L4)
  • Barcelona Estació de França (no metrostation)
  • Barcelona -El Clot Aragó – (Transfer possible to metro L1/L2)
  • Barcelona – St. Andreu Comtal

If your apartment or hotel is in the center, the Passeig de Gràcia station will often be the best option.

To complete the list, there is also a normal city bus – although in most cases it’s better to take the Aerobus or metro (much faster). City bus number 46 leaves from both terminals. The bus goes to Plaça d’Espanya, where you can also get on if you are on your way to the airport. You pay a little less than with the Aerobus but the ride will definitely take a lot longer. Price: €2.40.


During the night you can take the night bus N16, N17 and N18 to and from the airport. This service runs every twenty minutes between Barcelona and the airport (both Terminal 1 and 2).

Because the bus also passes through the suburbs of Hospitalet and El Prat de Llobregat, the ride does take longer. Count on more than three quarters of an hour.

The Nightbus stops right in front of the airport. Departing from the city, get on at Plaça Catalunya – the stop is on Ronda Universitat – or at Plaça Universitat, along Gran Vía or Plaça Espanya. Tickets at €2.40 can be purchased from the driver.

Rent a car

If you need a car for your visit to Barcelona or because you also need to be in the area and not just in the city itself, you can rent a car at the airport. Several car rental companies are located there including Avis, Sixt, Hertz, Budget, Europcar.

The companies have offices in Terminal 1 as well as Terminal 2, in the latter case two in fact, both in the large hall T2B and in the smaller T2C where Easyjet is currently located.

Keep in mind that car rental agencies may be busy, especially during the peak season. Always make sure to book in advance, otherwise the cost will run up considerably. On the way back, it is advisable to allow extra time if you also have to return the car, as you may have to wait.

Do you also bring your car back to the airport and still need to fill up because you have to return your rental car with a full tank? You can. At the entrance you will find a Galp gas station and close by another Cespa gas station. This gas station is always open. You can also drive the car through the car wash, but this service is closed at night.

Other airports near Barcelona

In addition to Barcelona Airport El Prat, it is also possible to use the airports near the Catalan cities of Girona and Reus. It is often more economical to travel to one of these airports. However, keep in mind that you will spend more money on transportation to get to the city.