Public transport in Barcelona (update 2023)

With a large metro network, two different trains, a city bus and a tram, you can get around well in Barcelona by public transport. The ticketing system of the different carriers is very conveniently integrated, so in most cases you can use different means of transport with one ticket.


Public transport Barcelona: the zones

Map, cities, semicircle

In the province of Barcelona, there are 6 different transport zones. Zone 1 basically covers the whole city. Zones 2 to 6 gradually take you further afield to suburbs and surrounding areas. The map above clearly shows which cities are in which zone.

Note! If you travel through several zones, you will pay more than if you stay within one zone. Most tourists will only travel within zone 1, as this is where the main sights are located such as the Sagrada Família, Park Güell and Camp Nou (and many more!). Tickets for zones 2 to 6 will take you all the way to the edges of Barcelona, as well as to villages and towns outside Barcelona such as, Sitges (zone 3) and Montserrat (zone 4). By metro, you can only travel within zone 1.

How does public transport work in Barcelona?

Barcelona has a very extensive and well-maintained public transport network. In addition, it is also cheap. The public transport system in Barcelona consists of metro, train, bus and tram. There is one integrated ticketing system. With the same ov ticket, you can travel on all the above means of transport.

Types of public transport in Barcelona

Metro (TMB)

Barcelona’s metro is fast, well-maintained and safe. Due to the often busy traffic above ground, the underground is in many cases the fastest way to get from A to B. Barcelona has eight metro lines and almost all sights in the city can be easily reached by metro. The cable car from Paral.lel metro station up Montjuïc is also covered by the metro.

City and regional train FGC

The Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) is often mentioned in the same breath as the TMB, Barcelona’s metro. That’s because these two companies run the city’s metro network together. You can travel within Barcelona on FGC’s trains (which often resemble a metro) using the standard ticket you also use for tram, bus and metro.

To get to Montserrat, Tibidabo or Peu del Funicular (for the scenic cycling and walking route Carretera de les Aïgues), you can use FGC. For out-of-town destinations, such as Montserrat, you do need another (more expensive) ticket, which allows you to travel through 2 or more zones. For more information on ov tickets and related prices, scroll down.

FGC’s main train stations for tourists in Barcelona are:

  • Plaça Catalunya – In the heart of Barcelona, train (FGC and Rodalies) and metro connections meet.
  • Plaça Espanya – Metro lines L1 and L3 also converge here
  • Plaça Molina – In the uptown neighbourhood of Sant Gervasi
  • Gràcia – On the Via Augusta
  • Provença – In the centre of the Eixample neighbourhood

Rodalies regional train (Renfe)

Within Barcelona itself, you will hardly need to travel by the Rodalies, as everything can be easily reached by metro or FGC. But if you make a day trip to Sitges, Castelldefels, Girona or Figueres (where the Dalí museum is), for example, you will have to rely on this regional train of Catalonia. You can also use the Rodalies trains for trips to Port Aventura amusement park or La Roca Village shopping centre.

The Rodalies is also a good option if you do a day trip to Barcelona from your holiday address in, for example, Calella, Santa Susanna, Sant Pol de Mar or Salou.

Rodalies’ main train stations for tourists in Barcelona are:

  • Plaça Catalunya – Train connections and metro lines converge in the heart of Barcelona.
  • Sants Estació – Barcelona’s largest train station.
  • Passeig de Gràcia – The boulevard home to all the famous fashion houses, the works of Antoni Gaudí and other modernist architects.
  • Estació de França – Close to the Barceloneta fishing quarter and beach, the trendy El Born district and Ciutadella city park.
  • Arc de Triomf – Centrally located and close to Barcelona Nord bus station.
  • El Clot-Aragó – This is where both lines of the metro (L1 and L2), and Rodalies (R1, R2, R11) converge.


Barcelona has an extensive network of city buses and bus connections: more than a thousand buses are operated daily on more than eighty bus routes.

One drawback is that it can be difficult to make sense of the network. The app of transport company TMB or Google Maps make taking the right bus in Barcelona a lot easier, and with these apps you can of course easily find out which bus is best to take and when it comes.

City buses are subject to exactly the same prices as the local metro network.

Depending on the bus line, timetables start at 4.25am and end at 11pm. Frequency also varies for each service.

For a few years now, there have been bus routes that cross the city horizontally (H), vertically (V) or diagonally (D), identified by these three letters.

Night bus (Nitbus)

Want to return home by ov at night (e.g. after going out)? The night bus is the only form of public transport that runs every night of the week. Most services start between 10.40pm and 11.40pm and the last rides take place between 5am and 6am. All buses leave from Plaça Catalunya and also return there.

You can find fares, timetables and a map of the different night bus lines on the website of transport company AMB.

The metro also runs all night only on Saturday-Sunday nights and until 2am on Friday-Saturday nights.


The tram network in and around Barcelona basically consists of two networks, Trambaix and Trambesòs, and six lines (T1-T6). These all run through Barcelona, but only a small part of the city is connected to the tram network. Most tourists make little use of the network because you can also reach most places on the lines just fine by metro.

For the tram, exactly the same prices apply as for the local metro network.

Tickets and prices for public transport in Barcelona

The price you pay for a ride on public transport depends only on whether you stay within Barcelona (zone 1) and which ticket you use. As indicated at the top of this page, it is advisable to buy a public transport card for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days if you plan to use public transport a lot: the Hola BCN! Transport Card, the Barcelona Card or the BCN Essentials Pass.

If you are only going to make a few trips by ov, then the T-Casual ticket is probably more interesting for you. You can buy this individual 10-ride ticket for EUR 11.35 at any station and you can use it for tram, metro, bus and train. Plan your trip well in advance, as the T-Casual is valid for 1 hour and 15 minutes per trip (for 1 zone). Note! The T-Casual is valid on the train to Terminal 2 of the airport and on bus 46 to both terminals, but not for the blue Aerobus. There is a €5.50 surcharge for the metro to the airport.

Another way to explore Barcelona is with the Hop-on Hop-off bus. This open-top double-decker bus passes almost all the sights in Barcelona. Here you have the option to get off as often as you like.

Change paper tickets in 2024

Paper tickets such as the T-casual, T-usual, T-familiar and T-grup will be replaced by the Catalan version of the public transport card: the T-mobilitat.

The T-mobilitat is basically a public transport card, but specific to Barcelona. You can add the card to your phone. If your card is stolen or lost, you can easily use your phone to block the card, request a new card and recover the product that was on your card. On the app, you can also plan your entire route and receive notifications of any changes, such as bus delays or metro updates. You can save your most frequently used addresses so you don’t have to enter your address over and over again.

How it works.
To purchase this card, you register with your NIE or passport number and a passport photo through this website, then you can pick up the physical card at a ticket counter. Paper tickets will be available through regular vending machines at least through Jan. 15 and can be used through April 30, 2024.

By the way, on the buses you can now pay directly with your debit/credit card, phone or smartwatch

Getting to the airport by public transport

There are several means of transport to the airport. You can go by taxi, bus, train or metro. The easiest option is the Aerobus that goes directly to the airport from Plaça Catalunya or Plaça Espanya. Before leaving, always check which terminal you need to be at at the airport.

If you plan to travel to the airport by metro you will need a separate supplement. If you have a Barcelona Card or Hola BCN! Transport card, then you won’t need this supplement for the airport.

If you want to travel to Barcelona Airport by train, you can take the R2 Nord train. For this train, you won’t need a supplement on top of regular public transport tickets. Please note that this train only goes to Terminal 2. For Terminal 1, you will then have to take the free shuttle bus at the airport, but in terms of time, this is the fastest option.

Disabled accessibility

If you are coming to Barcelona with a wheelchair or if you are less able to walk for any reason, it is smart to find out in advance to what extent public transport in Barcelona is accessible for you. In general, I am happy to say that Barcelona is very wheelchair-friendly. For example, since 2007 all buses have been wheelchair accessible, with a spot reserved in the bus for wheelchairs as standard.

As for the metro, 15 stations are not (yet) wheelchair-friendly. There is no lift to enter or exit the station. They are:

  • L1: Plaça de Sants, Espanya, Urquinaona and Clot
  • L3: Espanya and Vallcarca
  • L4: Maragall, Verdaguer, Urquinaona, Ciutadella-Vila Olímpica and Jaume I (under construction)
  • L5: Virrei Amat, Maragall, Verdaguer and Plaça de Sants

Furthermore, for the time being, it is not possible to make the following transfers with the wheelchair:

  • From L1 to L3 or the FGC on Plaça Catalunya
  • From L2 or L4 to L3 or the Renfe on Passeig de Gràcia

Tip: In the metro, carrier TMB recommends always boarding in the first carriage so that you remain well within sight of the driver.

Metro, FGC and Renfe stations have adapted gates that you can pass through with a wheelchair and ticket machines that are set at wheelchair users’ eye level.

As for Renfe’s trains, there is still much to be gained. About half of its trains and stations are easily accessible for people in wheelchairs. The good news is that Renfe has been investing millions of euros in improving accessibility in recent years. Moreover, the most frequently used lines, the R1 between Molins de Rei and Maçanet-Massanes and R2N between the airport and Maçanet, are well accessible for wheelchair users.

FGC trains, on the other hand, do a lot better. But the big winner is the tram, which is completely accessible to disabled people except for two stations (Sarrià and Putxet).

Public transport with children

Children up to 3 years old can travel free on public transport. For children from 4 years old, you need to buy a normal ticket. Public transport in Barcelona is very accessible for a pram or buggy. In the metro, there is plenty of space to place the pram, and in the bus there is even a special place for this. Travelling with a baby is also possible. Locals in Spain are generally polite and often stand up for you. Preferably do not travel during rush hours (from 7am to 9am and from 6pm to 8pm), as it can be very busy.

Cycling on public transport in Barcelona

In Barcelona, you are allowed to bring your bike on public transport. You are only allowed to bring the bike next to rush hours (from 7am to 9am and from 6pm to 8pm). However, keep in mind that there is more space for a bike in the metro and trains than in buses.

2 Useful apps
Barcelona has useful apps for travelling by public transport. These are the most useful apps:

TMB App: This app provides useful information on all bus and metro services. And can be downloaded on Apple and Android. Through this app, you can easily search routes, nearest public transport, timetables, bus waiting times, maps. In short, everything you need to know about travelling by public transport.

Moovit: This app has all the information about the bus, metro, train and tram. In addition, Moovit has a handy directions function, letting you know exactly how far it is to walk, how long you have to wait and which stops you still have to pass.

Alternatives to travelling by public transport in Barcelona

To get from A to B in Barcelona, there are other transport options. For example, there is a taxi on every street corner. One advantage of taxis in Barcelona is that they are not nearly as expensive as in the Netherlands and Belgium. Barcelona can also be done well by bike, scooter or car. Just make sure you can park these transport options somewhere (in a safe place), especially with cars this can be trickier and expensive.