Transportation in Barcelona is well organized. You can find a network consisting of regional trains, metro trains, trams and buses. Learn more about the transportation system in our guide!
Barcelona is very well connected with other cities in Spain by high-speed trains. You can easily reach Madrid or Valencia in less than three hours. There are also train connections to France. However, not only the long-distance train network is very well developed, the regional network is not bad either.
The so-called Rodalies Barcelona is a network of regional trains connecting Barcelona with its suburbs and other cities in the region. There are three different systems with a total of 17 different lines. Most important for tourist might be line R2 Nord, which connects Barcelona Airport with the city center.
The metro in Barcelona consists of twelve different lines, which are operated by two different companies. The network is very well developed and offers good connections between several points in the city center of Barcelona.
Even though the metro in Barcelona is quite old, the system was re-developed several times, making it quite accessible and easy to use nowadays. There are dozens of interconnecting stations, making it easy to switch between the lines. Plus, there’s also a combined fare system with the buses and trams, making it comfortable to get around in the city center of Barcelona.
Due to the many different operators, the transportation system in Barcelona is not exactly easy to explain. That’s especially true for trams in Barcelona as there are three different systems. The systems are named Trambaix (connecting Barcelona with its Western suburbs), Trambesos (connecting Barcelona with its Eastern suburbs) and Tramvia Blau (historic tram for touristic purposes connecting the metro network with the Tibidabo cable car).
It’s worth noting that the Tramvia Blau is not integrated nto the fare system of public transportation in Barcelona. The other two tram networks, which are not interconnected at all (you’ll need buses or the metro to get from one tram network to another) are integrated into the fare network.
In addition to the Rodalies Barcelona, the metro and the tram network, there is also an extensive bus network in Barcelona. As a tourist, you might not need to use buses too often, but there are still some regions of the city, which are not reachable by one of the other means of public transportation in Barcelona.
The bus fleet of the city is relatively modern and accessible, making it easy to use the buses to get from A to B. Most bus routes got several stops offering connections to the different train networks. As you’d expect, the buses in Barcelona are fully integrated into the fare system. Single Tickets come with a charge of 2.10 Euro (~ 2.30 US-Dollar), but there are also several different travel cards available for tourists. Tickets to the airport are slightly more expensive with 4.50 Euro (~ 5 US-Dollar) per journey.
Another option to get around in Barcelona are taxis. As it is the norm for Western European cities, taxis are way more expensive than other means of transportation. The base fare in Barcelona usally is 2.30 Euro (~ 2.50 US-Dollar), while every kilometer is charged 1.10 Euro (~ 1.20 US-Dollar). The named fare is valid for daytime rides.
If you take a taxi at night, at the weekend or to a destination outside the city center of Barcelona, the fares are a little higher. Rides to the airport come with a charge of approximately 25 Euro (~ 27.50 US-Dollar) to 30 Euro (~ 33 US-Dollar). Large baggage comes with a supplementary charge. Generally, taxis in Barcelona are comfortable with reasonable drivers. However, you should be aware that many taxi drivers do not always follow the speed limits.
Barcelona has a couple of special means of transportation you might not find in other city.
Besides the typical touristic means of transportation like sightseeing buses or harbour cruises, there are also five means of public transportation. There are two different cable cars: The Barcelona Harbour Cable Car and the Barcelona Cable Car on Montjuic Hill.
Plus, there are also three different funiculars: The Montjuic Funicular, the Tibidabo Funicular and the Vallvidrera Village Funicular. Most of these special means of transportation come with an extra charge and are not fully integrated in the Barcelona public transportation fare system.