As Spain’s second-largest city and a bustling European metropolis, Barcelona features an extensive public transportation network for getting from point A to point B.
For visitors to the city, trying to read a metro map or bus schedule in a foreign language can understandably be quite confusing. Luckily, Barcelona’s public transit system is easier to use than ever, and gets better every single year. With this guide to public transportation in Barcelona, getting around the Catalan capital can be a breeze!
The safe, clean, and easy-to-use metro system is one of your best bets when it comes to public transportation in Barcelona. For one thing, it’s quick—you’ll rarely need to wait more than five minutes for a train. Second of all, it can get you to all of the top sights of the city and beyond. In fact, with eight lines and more than 150 stations, there’s hardly a spot in the city where the metro can’t take you! A single-journey ticket costs just €2.20 and can be purchased at the ticket machines in every metro station.
With dozens of bus lines connecting all reaches of the city, traveling by bus in Barcelona is cheap, fast and easy. Bus stops are easy to find and buses arrive with regular frequency, so you’ll never be waiting for long. Like the metro, a single-journey ticket costs €2.20. You can usually purchase your ticket from the driver, but some buses feature ticketing machines where you can use contactless cards. When your stop is approaching, simply press the red button to let the driver know you need to get off.
Insider Tip: Plan on using public transportation in Barcelona quite a bit? Rather than buying single-journey tickets every time, consider purchasing a T10 pass. This money-saving transport pass entitles you to 10 journeys on the bus, metro or tram. Another great option is the Barcelona Card, which gives you free public transport, entry to all major sights and monuments, and exclusive deals.
With 6 lines and nearly 30 kilometers of track, Barcelona’s two tram networks are an especially great option for day trips. While they don’t run right in the heart of the city center, you can easily take the tram from the outskirts of the center to some of the nearby towns and less-explored areas of Barcelona. Trams tend to arrive about four times per hour during the day. You can buy your ticket for €2.20 at the ticketing machines found at every stop. When you board, remember to validate your ticket by sticking it into one of the machines found throughout the tram.
Looking to escape the city for a day or two? The Rodalies network of commuter and regional trains could be just what you need. Operated by Renfe, Spain’s national rail service, these trains can take you beyond Barcelona regularly and quickly. Ticket costs vary based on starting point and destination, but can be purchased at the machines inside all Rodalies stations.
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Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.