Barcelona Transport: Complete guide to the metro and public transport in Barcelona

barcelona doprava a metro

In this guide to transport in Barcelona, we look at everything you need to know before your trip – how the metro and public transport in Barcelona works, how much tickets cost and other useful tips.



Barcelona is a big city that is not easy to get around on foot. Plus, there’s really a lot to see and the places are scattered across the city.

With public transport, you can easily reach Park Güell, the beaches, Montjuic, Camp Nou Stadium and Tibidabo.

The conurbation of Barcelona is divided into several zones for transport purposes, but for you as a tourist this does not mean any extra complications. The entire city, including the airport, falls within Zone 1. It also includes the neighbouring municipalities of Montgat to the north and Castelldefels to the south.

Quick Guide to Barcelona

Where booking is required or recommended: Sagrada Familia (booking required), park Güell (often sold out in advance), Casa Batlló

How to save: Barcelona Pass allows free entry to more than 35 venues in Barcelona. An alternative is Barcelona Essentials Pass, which includes unlimited free transport and entry to 2 of Barcelona’s most popular attractions – the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.

Where to stay: Hotel Acta Voraport (hotel with pool at a great price by the sea), Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella (excellent price/quality ratio), Hotel Ronda House (cheap hotel in the centre)

How to get around: When moving around the city, you will most often use the metro and buses. The best way to pay for transport is with a T-Casual or HolaBCN card, which allows unlimited travel around Barcelona, including the metro from the airport.


The metro is made up of 10 colour-coded lines with route markings L1-L12. Metro stations are marked with a red M and you can get down by stairs and in some cases lifts.

The platforms are usually separated, so you need to check which direction you are going beforehand. The metro is clean, easy to use and runs regularly. The stations are well signposted, including English.

The metro stops near all the tourist spots in Barcelona including the Sagrada Familia, Barceloneta Beach, the Arc de Triomphe and other places. This will probably be your most common mode of transport in Barcelona.

How does the metro work in Barcelona?

The Barcelona metro works on the same principle as in other cities – there are plenty of ticket machines and readers where you can mark your ticket. You don’t need to mark your ticket on the way out – the turnstiles open automatically.

What time does the metro run in Barcelona?

The metro runs from 5:00-24:00 Monday to Thursday, until 2:00 on Fridays and the night before public holidays, and continuously throughout the night on Saturdays.

The L9 Sud and L10 Sud lines are always in service without exception between 5:00 and 24:00.


Buses are another popular option – there are more than 100 bus routes in Barcelona, including night buses. The buses are red and clearly marked with the line number.

Buses criss-cross the centre, the coast and areas that are not accessible by metro (such as Montjuic).

Bus stops are equipped with clear maps and electronic boards with waiting times.

Plaça d'Espanya Barcelona
View of Plaça d’Espanya and on the left side red bus No. 46 to the airport

How do the buses work in Barcelona?

Buses in Barcelona only stop on signal. If you’re at a bus stop, you have to wave to the driver or they won’t stop. This also applies to the exit – there are STOP buttons by the door, which you press and the driver will stop you at the nearest stop.

There is a reader at the driver’s desk for single tickets for €2.40, which you can pay for by inserting a contactless card. There are additional turnstiles on the bus that are used to mark HolaBCN and other tickets that you have purchased before boarding the bus.

What time do the buses run until?

Buses run most often between 5:00-24:00. The daytime lines are supplemented by night buses “NitBus”.

With the Hola Barcelona tourist card you can enjoy unlimited public transport throughout Barcelona – the card is valid for the metro, buses, trams, trains, the Montjuic funicular and transport to and from the airport. The card is available for 48 to 120 hours and can be activated simply with the first use.

The alternative is Barcelona Essentials Pass which includes unlimited free transport and entry to 2 of Barcelona’s most popular attractions – the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.


Two tram systems, Trambaix and Trambesòs, operate in different parts of the city.

Trams are a quieter and slower alternative to the metro and are a good choice for routes along Diagonal Avenue. In most of Barcelona, however, you’re more likely to use the metro and buses.

barcelona el born


FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya) commuter trains serve most of the Barcelona metropolitan area. They also operate some lines that function as part of the metro system, such as the L6 and L7 lines.


Cable cars are also part of Barcelona’s transport system. The most popular is the Montjuic cable car, which is followed by a cable car. The normal Barcelona public transport fares apply for the funicular, and the cable car is charged separately.

The lower station of the funicular can be reached from Paral-lel Metro Station near Place de España. The cable car operates at the following times:

  • From 30 October 2023 to 31 3. 2024: Working days, Monday to Friday: from 07:30 to 20:00, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: from 09:00 to 20:00
  • From 01.04.2024 to 27.10.2024: Working days, Monday to Friday: from 07:30 to 22:00, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: from 9:00 to 22:00

You can buy tickets for the cable car buy here.

Barcelona Montjuic

There is also a special price list for the cable car to Mount Tibidabo.

☞ Read: The best hotels in Barcelona


You can choose from several options to pay for public transport in Barcelona. Tickets and travel cards are valid for metro, buses, trams and suburban trains.

Single ticket

A single ticket costs €2.40 and is valid for 75 minutes. It allows transfers, but they must not be in the return direction. If you are on the metro and want to change trains, you must not leave the turnstiles. However, you can leave the turnstiles and then take the bus. You can buy your ticket from the red ticket machine in the metro.

You can also use the single ticket for bus no. 46 from the airport. Not valid for other modes of transport from the airport.


This ticket offers 10 rides for €11.35 on most of Barcelona’s public transport networks (metro, buses, trams, FGC and RENFE commuter trains) in Zone 1. The ticket is not linked to a person, so you can share the T-Casual with others (but not on the same journey).

The ticket is valid for 75 minutes and allows a maximum of 3 transfers (none of which can be return).

Valid for public transport in Barcelona except for the metro to the airport (line L9S). T-Casual can be used from the airport on bus no. 46 and RENFE trains.

You can buy your ticket from the red ticket machine in the metro or at the entrance to the station at the airport.

☞ Check out the description and itinerary map of how to spend 4 days in Barcelona.


T-Familiar is a multi-person/family card valid for 8 rides over 30 consecutive days. It offers the same travel options as the T-Casual, but can be used by different people at the same time.

T-Familiar costs €10. One ticket is valid for 75 minutes and allows a maximum of 3 transfers. You can use your ticket from the airport on bus no. 46 and RENFE trains, not valid for L9S metro.

Hola Barcelona Travel Card

HolaBCN is a great option for those planning to spend at least 2 days in Barcelona and use public transport more often.

The card allows unlimited travel for 48 to 120 hours and covers the entire public transport network, including the metro and trains to the airport. Unlike the T-Casual and T-Familiar, the T-Casual and T-Familiar also apply to the airport metro.

The price of the card varies according to the period of time for which the card is purchased – 48 hours for €16.40, 72 hours for €23.80, 96 hours for €31 and 120 hours for €38.20. The longer you go to Barcelona, the more it pays off.

This does not apply to Nitbus night buses, which run from midnight to 5am.

☞ The alternative is Barcelona Essentials Pass which includes unlimited free transport including airport transfers and access to 2 of Barcelona’s most popular attractions – the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.


The T-Dia card offers unlimited travel for 24 hours after validation. It costs €10.50, so it’s ideal for those who plan to travel frequently. However, if you’ll be in Barcelona for at least 2 days, the Hola BCN (see above) is more worthwhile.

Are there discounts on public transport in Barcelona?

Children up to 4 years of age travel for free, but there are no discounts for older children and they must pay full fare. Unfortunately, the fare discounts do not apply to students or seniors either.


Red ticket machines: Available at all metro stations, FGC stations and some tram and bus stops. The machines support multiple languages and accept cash and credit cards.

Tobacco shops and newsagents: these shops often sell T-Casual and other standard tickets.

Purchase online: You can buy your Hola BCN! card online and pick it up at the airport or at metro and train stations. Just click on “Online Collection” in the bottom left corner and enter the number from your reservation. Then HolaBCN will be printed automatically.

Mobile app: In addition to buying tickets, the app will also help you plan and provide real-time information. More information about the TMB app here.

barcelona barceloneta


Barcelona – El Prat Airport is very easy to get to – you can choose between metro, trains, buses and taxis. We’ve put together a separate guide with tips on how to get from the airport to Barcelona.


Boat cruise is one of the most popular activities due to Barcelona’s location by the sea. You can take a catamaran cruise at sunset or enjoy the views of the Barcelona skyline from the boat Barcelona skyline of the day.


Renting a bike in Barcelona is a great way to explore the city. Head to the Parc della Ciutadella or along the coast, which has a long, well-maintained path. In addition, Barcelona has an extensive network of cycle paths (carrils bici).

You can find bicycle stations in tourist areas in the city or along the coast. There are also several bike rental companies to choose from – for example:

Many companies offer guided bike or e-bike tours, which can be a great way to see the city’s highlights, plus learn lots of interesting facts from a local. Segway tours are another fun option.

Barcelona beaches

This was our guide and tips for transport and the metro in Barcelona. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!


THIGS TO DO IN BARCELONA: Plan your trip with our 3-day itinerary for Barcelona. Check out the description and itinerary map on how to spend 4 days in Barcelona.

Here are the best things to do in Barcelona (photos, map, practical information). In the next article we share tips on things to do in Barcelona with kids.

We have also prepared a article on how to visit the Sagrada Familia (attractions, how to avoid queues, entrance fees, etc.)

BARCELONA GUIDE: Check out our complete guide to Barcelona (transport, public transport and other practical tips). We’ve put together tips on the best places to stay in Barcelona (the best areas and hotels). In the next article we share tips on how to save in Barcelona.

Summary: Transport and Metro in Barcelona

What are the main modes of public transport in Barcelona?

Barcelona’s public transport system includes the metro, buses, trams, the FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya), the RENFE Rodalies suburban trains and the cable cars to Montjuic and Tibidabo.

How do I pay for public transport in Barcelona?

You can pay for public transport with different types of tickets and travel cards, such as T-Casual, Hola BCN!, T-Familiar or T-Dia. You can buy tickets at metro stations, newsagents and online.

What are the benefits of Hola BCN?

The Hola BCN! card allows unlimited travel on the metro, buses, trams, FGC and RENFE trains in Zone 1, including travel to and from the airport. Valid for 48 to 120 hours, depending on which card you choose. The card is not valid for night buses and Aerobús.

What time do the metro and buses run in Barcelona?

The metro usually runs until midnight on weekdays, until 2:00 am on Fridays and all night on Saturdays. Buses have different timetables, night buses (NitBus) run after the metro closes.

Can I use one ticket for different modes of transport?

Yes, integrated tickets like T-Casual or Hola BCN! allow you to use the metro, buses, trams, FGC and RENFE trains with a single ticket.

Are taxis expensive in Barcelona?

Taxi prices in Barcelona are considered reasonable by European standards. Extra charges apply for airport transfers, night services and luggage – please note the information in the taxi. The official taxis are orange and black and you’ll see them on almost every corner, so you don’t need to book in advance.

Is the metro and public transport in Barcelona safe?

Yes, but still keep an eye out for pickpockets, especially in crowded areas.

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