Airport Girona – Costa – Brava (Aeroport de Girona – Costa Brava) GRO
Located 12 km from Girona and 95 km from Barcelona. This is the main airport for those who arrive to relax on the Costa Brava or Costa del Maresme. It is also popular with tourists heading to the Pyrenees and the ski resorts of Andorra. The Catalan capital has excellent transport links.
Barcelona Bus Direct
In 1 hour 10 minutes, the bus will take you to Estacio d’Autobusos Barcelona Nord station, Barcelona’s main bus station. A 5-10 minute walk from it is the Arc De Triomf metro station on the red line, from where you can get wherever you want. Opening hours – from morning to late evening, the schedule is timed to the arrival of flights, and it is best to check it on the company’s website. Cost – 16 euros.
It is worth considering: buses do not run on December 25. And on December 24, 26, 31 and January 1, the number of flights was reduced. There are railway and car transfers for these cases.
High-speed or regular train from Girona railway station
Travel time – 70 and 90 minutes, respectively.
Rent a car
The road is not difficult at all and quite comfortable, especially if you choose a good car rental.
To Barcelona from the small airport Reus go 100 km. But – just 10 km from the main resorts of the Costa Dorada, as well as the Port Aventura park.
There is a bus from Reus Airport to Barcelona, to the main train station Sants Estació, with a timetable linked to inbound flights. The cost is 15 euros. Travel time – 1.5 hours
Another option is to rent a car. Toll roads are waiting for you on the way. The approximate cost of a toll road trip is 8 euros. But there are also free, less fast detour options.
In Barcelona, you can find almost all types of transport possible for large cities, due to which there are several ways to move around the city at once. In order to navigate well in trips, it is worth knowing that the city has a system of zones, in accordance with which the price of a ticket changes. There are six of them, but tourists usually have nothing to worry about – all their favorite attractions are usually located in zone 1, that is, in the center.
Tickets for public transport can be bought from the driver, at the metro ticket offices, at ticket terminals (vending machines), at tobacco kiosks. When entering the transport, do not forget to validate the ticket and keep it until the end of the trip, otherwise you will face a fine – about € 100.
If you plan to travel a lot by public transport, it makes sense to purchase a travel card. Most public transport in Barcelona (metro, buses, trams, Montjuïc and Valvidrera funiculars, Nitbus night buses) accept the T10, Barcelona Card and Hola BCN.
Valid for 10 trips in one zone, no restrictions until the end of the year. It can be used on the metro, buses, trams, on the Montjuic and Valvidrera funiculars, and on the Nitbus night buses. Not valid for Aeroport T1 and Aeroport T2 metro stations.
Within 75 minutes, you can combine trips on different types of transport, for example, change from metro to bus and vice versa – the trip will be considered one.
The cost is different for each of the six zones. The first zone is € 10.20, and, for example, the third one already costs € 27.40 (the prices quoted here and below may change, information must be specified, for example, on the official website).
Hola BCN Card
Allows unlimited travel by metro, bus, tram, metro from Barcelona airport to the city center and vice versa. When buying online – 10% discount. There are options from two to five days. Cost – from € 15 for 2 days. More about the map.
This card includes a travel pass, a discount pass to museums, and a discount. Read more about it later in the article.
Barcelona has an extremely extensive bus network – about 110 routes, the length of which is about 920 km, more than a thousand stops.
Bus stops in Barcelona are a separate topic of conversation. In addition to the usual timetable, some of them have interactive screens where you can not only see useful information for passengers, but even charge your phone, connect to Wi-Fi and download applications that will help you calculate the route to attractions and find out the travel time.
It is customary to enter a bus in Barcelona at the front door, and exit at the back. In order for the bus to stop when you are at a stop, vote with your hand, and when approaching your stop, do not forget to press STOP on the handrails. The board “Sol licitut de parada” (stop on demand) came on – everything is in order. In order to help you find your way, buses often have an information board “Proxima Parada” (next stop)
Barcelona bus fares are € 2.20 within one zone. The buses run from 6.30 am to 11 pm
NitiBus buses from the MOHN company have 17 routes at once, including two from El Prat airport to Plaza Catalunya – numbers 16 and 17. It is easy to recognize them – by the yellow stripe and the route number with the letter N.
Tickets are sold in terminals at stops. You can check the timetable in advance and plan your trip around Barcelona by tram on the official website.
The fastest and most popular transport in the city. Served by two companies – TMB (eight lines) and FGC (three lines). Because of this, the station designations may also differ with the company logos, but there will certainly be a metro map next to the station entrance.
Tickets are purchased at ticket terminals (machines) or ticket kiosks. You need to look for them at train stations, stations, at the entrance to the platform. At the same time, the appearance of the TMB and FGC terminals is different.
Keep in mind – boarding and disembarking from the carriage is carried out from two sides, so there are not two, but three platforms at the stations.
One of the popular ways to start exploring the city. Buses pass through the most iconic places of the Catalan capital (several routes for one ticket), equipped with audio guides. Among the most popular are Barcelona Bus Turistic or Hop On Hop Off Barcelona. Convenient for moving between distant points (for example, from the center to Montjuïc). But it is better to walk in the central districts on foot – all the most interesting is within walking distance!
Also called the “blue tram” (Tranvía azul). One of the sights of the city, as it is also called “the last romantic of Barcelona”. The first such tram was launched in 1901. Previously, it was green, but after a truck crashed into it in the middle of the 20th century, they decided to repaint it blue to better distinguish the tram from the greenery of Barcelona.
Goes from the metro station on Tibidabo Avenue to the station of the funicular of the same name, from where you can climb Mount Tibidabo. Travel passes do not work here. The length of the route is 1276 meters.
It should be noted that romantics like the tram, but the rest – not very much. They complain about the crush, call the trip a waste of money, and think the route can be easily traversed on foot.
Funiculars and cable cars
One of the most romantic and beautiful ways to explore Barcelona. The capital of Catalonia has three funiculars and two cableways.
Rises to the famous Montjuïc mountain to its no less famous sights. Boarding – at the Parallel metro station. Refers to the TMB metro (and is indicated on the maps). You can check the schedule and prices on the website.
Teleférico de Montjuïc cable car at the Montjuïc fortress
Rises from the previous funicular to the Military Museum, passes do not work here. Open only during the warm season from June to the end of September from 11.15 to 21.00
Cable Car Barceloneta – Montjuïc (Teleferico del Puerto)
The cable car from the port lifts you from the San Sebastian Tower (Barceloneta metro station) and gives you the opportunity to fully enjoy the stunning views of the city by the sea. Minus – city passes do not work here. The schedule and prices can be found on the website.
The oldest funicular in Barcelona, opened in 1901. Moreover, it is also the longest – 1130 meters.
City fares do not work here either, you need to buy a separate ticket. The funicular’s opening hours are tied to the opening hours of the Tibidabo amusement park. Open from March to December, as well as February holidays.
Rises from the area of the same name to Mount Tibidabo. Boarding – at the Peu de Funicular train station on the Metro del Vallès line. Regular tickets and passes are valid here.
Note that a much easier way to get to Tibidabo is a special bus T2A (Tibibus), which departs from Plaza Catalunya every day from 10.15 until the park closes. The fare on it is 2.95 euros. If the park has a day off, the bus does not run.
The official colors are black and yellow. Payment by meter, depending on the tariff (there are three of them) and distance.
A convenient modern way to explore the city without bothering your feet is a segway, a two-wheeled vehicle powered by electric traction. You can book your favorite tour on the official website of the company.
One of the most democratic and fun ways to explore Barcelona. There are a lot of rental options, prices depend on the bike model and its purpose (for racing, mountain, walking, etc.) You can sign up for a joint sightseeing bike tour with a group.
How to save on tickets
One of the ways to save money when visiting attractions on your own is to use tourist maps. It makes sense to take them if you plan to actively visit sights and museums. If you plan to just wander the streets on foot and visit just a couple of places, there won’t be much sense in the tourist map. Consider a list of attractions you are interested in and compare the estimated ticket costs with the cost of the card.
There are several types of tourist cards in Barcelona:
This is a three-in-one card – a transport pass, a pass (with a discount) to museums, as well as a discount. It gives you the opportunity to enter many Barcelona museums (about 20) for free and without queuing, as well as receive big discounts in restaurants, shops, nightclubs.
Valid for 3-4-5 days. It is activated upon first use (note that if you activated it, for example, at 20.00, then the first day you will end in 4 hours, at 00.00).
It is better to buy a Barcelona tourist card in advance, online – this way you will receive a 15% discount. And you can pick it up immediately upon arrival at the airport, as well as in Plaza Catalunya, in tourist centers. Just do not forget to take the voucher with you, which will come to your mail. Buy a card on the official website.
Like the Barcelona Card, this card allows you to save on visits to a number of famous Barcelona attractions (over 20 free, others discounted). In particular, with its help, you will get to the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell for free and without queues, as well as without queues (though not free of charge) to get on an excursion to the Camp Nou stadium (home arena of the legendary FC Barcelona), to the Aquarium and Spanish village.
But there is no free ride on Barcelona public transport like the Barcelona Card.
Issued for a period of 1-3 days. Better to buy online – the site periodically offers 10% discounts.
Barcelona Art Ticket
Ideal for art lovers: Provides easy access to places of interest such as the Picasso Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Miro Foundation Museum and a number of other museums in Barcelona. Website: http://articketbcn.org/
This map will help archeology lovers travel back centuries. With the Arqueo ticket, you will have access to four museums: Egyptian Art, Historical, Archaeological and Cultural Center El Born. The card can be bought online from the official Barcelona tourism website.
How to avoid queues
The impression of visiting the most important sights of Barcelona can be spoiled by waiting in lines at the box office. To avoid this dubious “pleasure”, we recommend buying tickets in advance, online. This will not only save you time, but you will also be able to know the cost in advance and plan your expenses.
Moreover, it is more profitable to buy tickets to some of Barcelona’s attractions online. This not only allows you to avoid the queue at the checkout, but also to save money! When buying online, tickets to many locations cost an average of 15% less.
The official sites for booking tickets online can be found in our Barcelona Mobile Guide and on the excursion pages: Parc Guell to Passeig de Gracia ; Ramblas, Raval and the Gothic Quarter ; from Sant Pere to Barceloneta .
Barcelona Attractions Free
Many museums in Barcelona have open days when the exhibition can be visited for free. These include the traditional Museum Night and some holidays. Many museums offer free admission on the first Sunday of every month .
In addition, on some days of the week there are certain intervals when admission is free. For example, every Thursday from 18.00 to 21.30 you can get to the Picasso Museum for free.
Check the opening times of Barcelona’s top attractions in our Travelry mobile travel guide.
Explore Barcelona with a free offline travel guide on the Travelry mobile app
Finding information about the main attractions of Barcelona and planning your own trip is convenient in the Travelry mobile application. Barcelona will be closer and more understandable if you use a free travel guide, a catalog of interesting places with useful information and an offline map with GPS navigation. All this is available in the application for free. And if you want a deeper and more fun exploring the city, download our Barcelona Audio Guide and walk around the city with a personal guide who tells interesting stories about the city and still fits in your pocket!
Three Barcelona Audio Tours are currently available in the app:
Ancient and forever young Barcelona (free!)
Masterpieces of Catalan Art Nouveau
Treasures of the Old City
By exploring Barcelona on your own with an audio guide, you can save a lot on excursions. Instead of fussy running after a noisy group of tourists or paying extra for an individual guide, you can walk at your own pace, along routes that are interesting to you and at the same time listen to fascinating stories about the sights you pass by. Download Travelry and turn your smartphone into your personal mobile guide!
Above in the article, you have already mentioned the days of free visits to museums, as well as discounts when booking tickets online and when using a tourist card. Save money on Barcelona excursions with our audio guide with thoughtful itineraries, captivating stories and offline maps with GPS navigation. And here are some more tips for budget travelers.
Enjoy free WiFi
Barcelona has a large and completely free WiFi network. It has nearly 600 hotspots that are located in many public places, including the Aerobus, cultural centers and museums, municipal markets, city parks, some plazas and even residential areas. Access points are identified by signs or special stickers with a white W on a blue background. If you see such a sign nearby, search the list of available WiFi connections on your mobile device for Barcelona WiFi, then fill out the registration form in your browser and use your health.
Don’t eat in tourist spots
Everyone knows that the more tourists visit this or that institution, the more expensive it is to eat in it, and the worse the quality. Therefore, try to find cafes and restaurants slightly off the main tourist routes.
Also take note of the Spanish tradition of visiting tapas bars. It is customary to serve a small portion of national snacks (for example, sandwiches with ham and cheese) – tapas, in addition to the ordered drink free of charge. By the way, we talk about the history of tapas in a free audio tour of some quarters of the Old Town.
But drinking alcohol on the street is definitely not worth it! This is strictly prohibited in Barcelona and can result in a fine of up to € 600.
Discover the masterpieces of Catalan Art Nouveau
The appearance of Barcelona cannot be imagined without the unique architectural creations of Gaudi and other modernists. The Sagrada Familia , the fantastic Park Guell, the quaint Casa Batlló and Casa Milà are just a few of Gaudí’s works that leave tourists in awe. And if you want to learn more about these masterpieces, get to know Gaudi’s personality and try to guess some of his architectural mysteries, download our audio tour .
Travel in time in the Old City
If the new district of Eixample opens up the world of Catalan Art Nouveau for you, then the Old Town will transfer you to bygone times and introduce you to the rich history of Barcelona. Here you can admire ancient Gothic buildings and even ancient ruins. And just wander through the narrow streets, imbued with the unique atmosphere of this area.
Our audio tour “ Treasures of the Old City ” includes the highlights of the Ramblas, El Raval and the Gothic Quarter.
See the city from the height of observation decks
Being in Barcelona and not seeing it from above is an unforgivable mistake. The best views, of course, come from natural heights. In particular, from Mount Tibidabo , where there is the Temple of the Sacred Heart (with an observation deck). There you can also look at the city from the free tier of the amusement park. And even have a picnic (bring a basket of wine, bread, cheese and ham). In another part of Barcelona, the Montjuïc mountain rises. Also, observation decks are located on the towers of the Sagrada Familia and Barcelona Cathedral (in the Gothic Quarter).
Visit the local market
The most famous Barcelona market is located in the Old Town, on the Ramblas – the legendary Boqueria , which has already become a kind of tourist attraction. For something less touristy, check out the Santa Catarina market in the Sant Pere quarter (which, by the way, is part of our free guided tour of Barcelona ). It is much quieter, more atmospheric, more locally oriented. Also interesting is the market of Sant Antoni in the eponymous quarter. It has everything from groceries to clothing, shoes, and even old books. And in the New Town, in the Vila de Gracia area, there is an interesting market “for the locals” – Libertat .
And for lovers of antiques, the fairs, which are traditionally held on Thursdays at New Square (Plaza Nova) in the Gothic Quarter, will be of interest.
Enjoy hot chocolate on Petrichol street
This small pedestrian street Petrichol is one of the coziest in old Barcelona. Ceramic tablets with inscriptions and drawings that illustrate the history of Barcelona give it a special flavor. The lane is filled with the sweet aroma of chocolate, while local restaurants offer hot chocolate and traditional Barcelona churros, a choux pastry sprinkle sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Football fans – visit the Camp Nou stadium
Camp Nou Stadium is the home arena of the famous FC Barcelona. There is a Museum of the history of the club and its trophies, an interactive tour and even the opportunity to hold and take pictures with the Champions League Cup.
Visit Europe’s largest oceanarium
The Old Port of Barcelona is home to the largest aquarium in Europe, worth a look for travelers of all ages. This is a center for the study and conservation of marine life, which actually houses more than 3 dozen aquariums with underwater flora and fauna of different climatic zones. There is also one of the largest oceanariums on the continent: an 80-meter tunnel for spectators who want to “plunge” into the life of the sea kingdom is laid right along its bottom.
Immerse yourself in the days of Gaudí at Gaudí Experience
The center is located a stone’s throw from Park Güell and offers tourists a 4D show dedicated to Antoni Gaudí.
Relax on the beach or take a walk along the promenade
Barcelona, of course, is not a resort city, but nevertheless it is located on the beautiful coast, and therefore here, if you wish, you can taste a little beach rest here. The easiest way to get from the center to the beaches in the Barceloneta area. True, Barceloneta itself is not ideal for swimming due to the proximity of the seaport. But there are alternatives nearby, such as the neighboring beaches of Sant Sebastià and Sant Miquel. Also popular in Barcelona are the beaches of Nova Icària and Bogatell. But the Mar Bella beach is popular with nudists and gay people, keep this in mind when planning your vacation.
Take part in the festivities
Catalans work well and at the same time know how to have a bright and beautiful rest. National Catalan and city holidays are always celebrated here on a grand scale. Several times a year life in Barcelona follows special rules – the city is immersed in festivities that last from two days to a week. These include, first of all, the La Merce Festival at the end of September, the main festival in Barcelona. Also, almost every area of Barcelona has its own local holidays and street festivals. For example, in mid-August, the Fiesta Mayor de Gracia is celebrated for almost a week. On this occasion, a vibrant street festival is held here, filling every street in the Gràcia district with a real extravaganza. Indispensable attributes of all these festivities are, of course, local wine, cuisine, traditional round dances in squares ( sardanes) and an unusual sporting event castells. Castells is a Catalan national fun. These are multi-level castles, towers that are built from living people, casteliers.
By the way, on such holidays the metro is often open around the clock.
Twice a year in Barcelona there are sales, or Rebajas (discounts). In winter, this is the period from January 7 to March 6), in summer from July 1 to August 31. At the beginning of the season, discounts are about 20%, by the end they reach 70%, but at the same time the assortment decreases.
The main shopping streets of Barcelona:
- La Diagonal is the realm of luxury shopping. But there are shops for a less demanding audience.
- Carrer de Pela – especially popular with young people due to the large number of young fashion brands.
- Passeig de Gracia in the Eixample district. There are many expensive and high-profile boutiques and shops.
- Rambla de Catalunya is a parallel street where you can find all famous and popular Spanish brands.
- Shopping Village – La Roca Village Outlet : a shopaholic’s paradise half an hour from the city.
We hope that your independent trip to Barcelona will be full of vivid impressions and pleasant surprises, despite good planning! Wish you a happy trip!