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Updated: May 6, 2022
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The Main airport serving Barcelona, the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, is commonly known as El Prat and has the airport code BCN. El Prat is located 12 km southwest of Barcelona’s city center, and is easy to access via car, express bus, and train. Rentalcars.com is the best site for reserving rental cars at the Barcelona airport.
Barcelona Airport Transportation
Barcelona Airport to City Center by Car
The easiest and fastest way to get from Barcelona El Prat Airport to the city center is via private car service. We use and recommend Welcome Pickups.
- Travel Time: 20 minutes, traffic depending.
- Fare: Around €50.
- Welcome Pickups rides are pre-booked and pre-paid, eliminating the need to negotiate fare before or after your trip.
- Welcome Pickups operates out of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, and your English-speaking driver will wait for you at arrivals to escort you to the car.
- Child and infant car seats are available by request.
Barcelona Airport to City Center by Taxi
- Travel time: 25 minutes, traffic depending
- Fare: around €35.
- Taxis in Barcelona are metered, and fare is determined by both distance and time traveled; expect to pay more for a taxi during weekday rush hour. There are also extra fees for taxi rides after 8pm or on weekends.
- Taxi ranks at the Barcelona Airport are located outside of both terminals, T1 and T2.
Barcelona Airport to City Center by Bus
Aerobus airport express shuttle buses travel all day long between El Prat airport and Plaça de Catalunya, and departs from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
- Travel Time: 35 minutes, traffic depending
- Fare: €5.90 one-way, €10.20 round-trip; cash only, purchase tickets from the bus driver or online in advance.
- The Aerobus departs El Prat daily, every 15 minutes or so, between 5:45am and 11pm.
- There is free wi-fi onboard the Aerobus.
Barcelona Airport to City Center by Train
The Barcelona Airport Train departs daily from Terminal 2, connecting El Prat on the R2 Nord line with the central Barcelona train stations of Bellvitge, Barcelona Sants (Plaça Espanya and Montjuic), Passeig de Gracia (Plaça de Catalunya and the Gothic Quarter), and El Clot – Aragó (Poblenou and northern Eixample).
- Travel Time: Around 20-25 minutes, depending on what station you’re traveling to.
- Fare: €4.60 one way
- At El Prat airport, the train station is located outside of Terminal 2. From Terminal 1, Terminal 2 can be accessed via a free airport shuttle bus, taking about 20 minutes in total.
- Train tickets can be purchased with credit cards or cash (€) from self-serve machines at the airport station.
Barcelona Airport to City Center by Metro
El Prat Airport is connected to southern Barcelona via metro on the L9 sud line, with stops at the following stations: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Mas Blau, Parc Nou, Cèntric, El Prat Estació, Les Moreres, Mercabarna, Parc Logístic, Fira, Europa-Fira, Can Tries-Gornal, Torrassa, Collblanc, Zona Universitaria. Travelers wanting to reach central Barcelona via metro will need to transfer trains, usually at the Torrassa or Collblanc station. For this reason, we don’t recommend traveling from El Prat to central Barcelona via metro.
- Travel Time: 30+ minutes, with transfers.
- Fare: €5.15
- Trains depart El Prat every 7 minutes or so from 5am to midnight Monday through Thursday, 5am to 2am on Fridays, and non-stop from 5am Saturday to midnight on Sunday.
- There are El Prat metro stops located outside of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
- Metro tickets can be purchased with credit cards or cash (€) from self-serve machines at the airport station.
The Best Hotels near Barcelona El Prat Airport
Though it is not difficult or very expensive to get from Barcelona Airport to hotels in the city center, travelers with very early flights, or those who are only in Barcelona between flights, might find it more convenient to stay nearer the airport than the city.
- Sleep&Fly – The only hotel located within the airport, found in the business center area of Terminal 1. Double and triple rooms are basic, but are modern, comfortable, and clean.
- Barcelona Aeropuerto – The best hotel near the Barcelona Airport. Good looking, modern hotel with a range of rooms that sleep 2-4, including bunk rooms for families. Daily buffet breakfast, and lobby and snack bars. 5-minute drive from Terminal 1, with free airport shuttle.
- Barcelona Airport Hotel – Clean and quiet, with rooms that sleep up to 5 people. On-site Mediterranean restaurant, lounge, and seasonal outdoor pool. Located less than two miles from the airport, with free shuttle service.
- Ciutat del Prat – Comfortable hotel with on-site restaurant, indoor pool, fitness center, and daily breakfast buffet. Located 2 miles from the airport, with free transfer.
For visitors wanting to stay near the airport without relying on a hotel shuttle for transportation, it can be worth the small amount of time and effort to take the direct RENFE train from the airport to Estació de Sants station. This will cost 2€ and take about 20 minutes, and there are many good quality hotels near the station, such as Barceló Sants Hotel (4-star) and AC Hotel Sants (3-star) – both are a short walk from the station and have 24-hour reception.
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