The Ultimate Barcelona Budget Tip! Travel from Barcelona Airport to city center for 1 Euro. I explain how this Barcelona budget tip works, where to get the tickets to Barcelona center and how to use it and only pay 1 euro for 1 single ride.
Traveling on a budget can be difficult sometimes. When you fly into a city, you need to get from the airport to downtown. Often your options are a pricey taxi ride or an airport express bus for a hefty fee. Luckily, I found a super cheap, easy and fast budget tip to travel from Barcelona Airport to city center for 1 Euro.
That’s right, for 1 Euro per person; you can travel directly into the city center of Barcelona from El Prat Airport. No transfers, no haggling with cab drivers or any other nuisances. Traveling to Barcelona soon? Want to know how to get from Barcelona Airport to the city and spend only 1 Euro on transport downtown? Continue reading and I’ll explain how the Barcelona Budget transport tip works and how you can do it too!
This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase a product via one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra costs for you. Post updated February 2019 to reflect new prices.
Read more: Costs for a weekend in Barcelona.
El Prat Barcelona Airport
The Airport of Barcelona, El Prat, is situated in the South West of the city of Barcelona. It is only 12 kilometers (7 miles) from the city and El Prat is the main airport for Barcelona. Its IATA code is BCN and El Prat has 2 terminals. T1 and T2 which have a bus connecting the two of them and from each terminal to the city center. There are other airports around Barcelona, Girona, and Reus. Each of these is situated 120 km (75 miles) away from Barcelona and are mainly serviced by European Low-Cost Airlines. This post is solely about El Prat Barcelona Airport and how to travel from the airport to city center of Barcelona.
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Taxi from Barcelona Airport
The most expensive option to travel from Barcelona Airport to downtown is to take a taxi. A cab ride to the center of Barcelona will cost you around €29. If you’re traveling with more people or can find a few others to share the ride, you might spend less per person.
If you plan on visiting a lot of sites in Barcelona, you might want to consider buying the Barcelona Card. This card grants you a discount to various sites in the site, but also unlimited public transport. You can already have a 3-day pass from €40,00 and if you buy it before you leave home, you can use it to travel from Barcelona Airport to city center.
Need unlimited travel? Consider the Hola Barcelona Transport card.
Aerobus- Airport Express Bus
The Aerobus is the Barcelona Airport Express Bus which connects the terminals T1 and T2 with the city center of Barcelona. You can travel to either Plaça d’Espanya or Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona. A single ticket costs €5,90. You can buy a return ticket for €10,20. The journey will take you around 25 to 35 minutes, depending on your destination and the traffic on the way. There is free Wi-Fi on board and enough room to store your luggage.
Metro to Barcelona
Since February 2016 the direct metro to El Prat Barcelona Airport is up and running. The L9 Metro will take you from the airport to Barcelona center. Depending on your final destination, you might need to transfer to another metro line. Tickets are €4,50 and you need to buy a special “Airport ticket” as other tickets or discount cards are not valid for the journey to and from the Airport.
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Renfe Train from Barcelona Airport
You can also take the train to travel from Barcelona Airport to city center. The Spanish railroads are called Renfe, and the train R2 will take you every 30 minutes to the center of Barcelona. Stops are station Clot, Passeig de Gràcia, or Barcelona Sants Estacio. A ticket to Passeig de Gràcia will cost you €4,10 for a single journey. If you wish to travel further per metro after this, you need to buy another ticket.
TMB Airport bus 46 to city center
Besides the Aerobus Airport bus, there is also a regular city bus running from Barcelona Airport to the city center. The bus number is 46 and you can catch it outside the terminal. The bus is frequent and depending on the traffic, it will bring you within 30 to 40 minutes to Plaça d’Espanya. TMB bus 46 tickets can be purchased on the bus for €2,15 one way. Space for your luggage is limited but this is a good option to travel from Barcelona Airport to the city center of Barcelona. The TMB busses are also included in the Hola Barcelona Transport Card.
Travel from Barcelona Airport to the City Center for 1 Euro
As you can see, the prices decrease as we get further into this post. But even the cheapest option is more than €1 for TMB bus 46. So how to get from Barcelona airport to the city and not pay more than 1 Euro?
T-10 Barcelona Transport Card
That is the magic word. The T10 pass is your cheapest option. This card allows you to travel on bus, metro (not the airport one) and railway. You get 10 journeys on this card for the price of €10,20
For the people who are bad at math: that is €1,02 per journey. Roughly 1 Euro for a journey on the bus, metro or train inside the Barcelona city area. With this card, you can take the TMB bus 46 and travel from Barcelona Airport to city center for 1 Euro. You can also use it on the train R2 from the airport to Barcelona city. Unfortunately, you cannot use it on the metro running from the airport to town.
But, this T10 card gives you the opportunity to travel via bus or train from the Barcelona El Prat airport to the city! For 1 Euro. I was amazed at this option and had already calculated 21 euros for a return journey for 2 people into our travel budget.
Read more budget tips for Barcelona: Barcelona Nightlife by a local.
Use the T-10 Public Transport Card in Barcelona on Bus or Train
Recently I went back to Barcelona and used the train R2 to get to Barcelona center from El Prat airport. So, should you take the train or the bus?
If you need to go anywhere around Plaça d’Espanya, you can take the TMB bus 46 as the final stop is this transport hub. If you need to be anywhere else in the city, for example, the area around Sants Railway station or Passeig de Gracia (Ramblas and the Gothic area included) I suggest taking the train. In less than 23 minutes we hopped off the train and found ourselves in the middle of Barcelona.
Use the T10 card for multiple persons
On top of it, I found the T10 to be super convenient. Even if you do not use all the 10 journeys on this card, it’s still cheaper than the Aerobus. You can use it for multiple persons; you just have to validate it more times. So if you’re traveling with a family of 4, you buy the T10 card once and validate the ticket 4 times. That’s €4,08 for a whole family traveling from the El Prat Airport to Barcelona.
Where to buy the T10 card?
You can buy the T10 card at tobacco shops on the airport or at the entrance of the Renfe Railway station at the Airport. If you wish to take the TMB bus 46, this is a bit inconvenient. If you want to take the train, there are machines at the entrance of the train station. You can also purchase the T10 card ahead of time via the TMB app (for Apple here, for Android here).
You can use the card until the prices change again (once per year usual). I found this really the best budget option. Not only was it cheap, but also hassle-free. It was fast as we arrived into the city under 30 minutes and we didn’t have to wait long for the bus to arrive. The journey back to the Airport was even smoother with no people on the bus and we were dropped off at the departures within 20 minutes!
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Advantages of travel with the T10 to Barcelona Airport
- Cheap! At €10,20 for 10 tickets, this is a steal. That is €1,02 for a single journey
- Fast! You can choose the local bus or the train to travel from Barcelona to the airport
- Available! Buy it at any tobacco shop or at the train stations and you can validate it on the bus or station. You can now also purchase it in advance via the app.
- Multi-person purpose! It is not personal, so you can validate the T10 multiple times for multiple people. Also to be used on the bus or train, or once you get into Barcelona, on the subway in the center.
Cheapest way to travel from Barcelona Airport to City Center
As you can see, the cheapest way to travel from El Prat Airport to Barcelona City is to buy the T10 transport card and travel by regular bus or train into the city center. This helped me save a huge amount on my travel budget which I got to spend on other things like tapas and entrance fees to Park Guell.
Did you go to Barcelona? How did you travel from the airport to the city? What did you find the best or cheapest way? Please share in the comment section below.