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Getting Around Barcelona

Getting Around Barcelona: How to Get Around and Explore This World-Renowned City

by Christian Petzold - updated January 26, 2022

It’s no secret that Barcelona is one of the top destinations in Europe. If you’re visiting, especially within the busiest time of year, you’ll likely have a hard time navigating through this city without assistance. In this article, we will discuss getting around Barcelona, including metro, bus, taxi, and many more transportation options.

Whether it be public transportation or a car service, visitors often find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of options for getting around and exploring this renowned city. For those feeling a bit daunted, public transportation in Barcelona is relatively easy to understand and navigate. 

Getting Around Barcelona
It’s no secret that Barcelona is one of the top destinations in Europe

Public transportation in Barcelona is very similar to other parts of Europe – so regardless of whether you’re planning on taking a taxi or catching a train up north, we’ve made it easy for you! 

With its surprisingly easy-to-navigate lines, the metro system is the best way to get around for visitors. It’s affordable, convenient, frequent, and offers an excellent alternative to driving or using a bike in this beautiful city. 

Getting Around Barcelona

Public Transportation in Barcelona

Of all the different ways of getting around Barcelona, utilizing the city’s Metro system is the easiest way to do it. The Barcelona Metro is the best way to move from place to place and explore the city. Many locals will highly recommend this method of traveling as it’s fast, affordable, and reliable.  

Additionally, the metro system is straightforward to use by tourists, so if you’re planning on sightseeing or exploring on your own during your stay – using public transportation in Barcelona may be your best option.

Taxis

Taxi In Barcelona

Taxis are available and reasonably priced in Barcelona. Though the city lacks alternative services such as Uber, you won’t miss them much with hundreds of taxi stands strewn around circling to hail. If you’re unsure how to get around in Barcelona, grab one and go! If you require a cab during more challenging times, such as busy holidays or early in the morning, you can use the app MyTaxi.

Local’s tip: Although most cab drivers accept credit cards, it is always a good idea to double-check before you leave. Many taxis may refuse to break a 50 euro bill, so if you’re paying with cash, make sure you have little change on hand!

Metro

Metro In Barcelona

The Barcelona Metro is easy to use. It’s also a very reliable form of transportation for visitors to the city. If you’re looking for an easy way to get around, the metro is definitely for you!

Take a map and traverse it on your own—you’ll quickly discover that it’s a piece of cake! However, keep an eye on the metro timetable. It is open Monday to Friday from 5:00 AM to 12:00 AM, until 2:00 AM on Fridays, and all night on Saturdays and other holidays.

Insider’s tip: Are you planning to ride the metro more than five times? Purchase a T-10 pass for a 1 euro ride.

City Bus 

Buses In Barcelona

The city bus is also an excellent alternative to get around the city. Using it will not only save you a lot of money, but it also gives you unlimited access to the bus network, meaning that you can travel anywhere in Barcelona at any time of day, week, or weekend. You can use this service for longer trips if you plan on moving outside Barcelona and will find it much cheaper than taking a taxi or metro, especially during peak hours. 

The city buses are frequent in Barcelona and cover most areas within the city with varying numbers of stops along the way. Though not as fast as the subway, it has the advantage of allowing you to view the gorgeous streets of Barcelona. At each bus stop, you can readily determine the direction of the bus and the stops along the route. Additionally, if you’re serious about seeing the city, consider purchasing a ticket on Barcelona’s hop-on-hop-off bus.

Get the most out of Barcelona with Hop on Hop off Buses.

Insider’s tip: Don’t pay for anything on the bus. Get a bus ticket or T-10 pass at any metro station or tobacco store, and you’ll save half the cost of a regular ticket.

On Bike

Biking In Barcelona

Barcelona is a fantastic city to explore from the back of a bicycle. Although our bike-sharing system (Bicing) is solely available to city residents, many bike rentals are available to provide you with all you need.

On-bike is a standard mode of transportation in Barcelona. Most people will use it as a way to get around the city. The city is relatively flat and well-connected with connecting bike lanes. If you’re not familiar with cycling, be sure to wear a helmet, especially if you plan on riding during busy hours.

Don’t miss our list of the 7 best bike tours in Barcelona.

Insider’s tip: Many roadways in the historic district and along the coast prioritize bikers and cyclists. You can use a Bike lane map to help you navigate the streets of Barcelona with ease.

Ferrocarrils

Ferrocarrils In Barcelona

An alternative to having the bus is to take the inner-city train system in Barcelona. This beautifully-designed city railway is easy to use and enjoyable like the metro.

You can ride the Ferrocarrils to outlying areas like Sarria, Tibidabo, and other destinations. Many of these trains depart from Plaza Catalunya and go throughout the city.

High-speed train

High Speed Train In Barcelona

Spain is home to some of the world’s most advanced high-speed rail systems. Taking the Ave high-speed train to Madrid or farther south to Seville or Cordoba is the most productive way to get there!

You can purchase your tickets for the Ave online in advance to take advantage of exclusive offers.

Rodalies 

A fantastic intercity rail network, known in Spanish as the Rodalies (or Cercanias), is an excellent way to visit lovely day trip locations such as Sitges and Girona. 

On foot

Walking Around Barcelona

Undoubtedly, traversing Barcelona on foot is one of the best ways to explore the city. In this way, you’ll be able to see the beautiful streets of Barcelona up close. The city’s pedestrian-friendly streets will allow you to follow your curiosity and take detours when necessary.

Insider’s tip: Keep in mind that not all areas in Barcelona are pedestrian-friendly. If in doubt whether a street is safe for pedestrians or not, cross at a crosswalk or a zebra crossing.

Barcelona is a beautiful city to explore on foot, and it doesn’t require much in terms of planning or research. All you need to do is enjoy Barcelona’s beautiful streets.

Author’s Note

It is possible to explore Barcelona in many different ways. You can take a car, but that’s not the best option. Buses are good too, but they don’t go everywhere, and you can get stuck in traffic with everyone else. The metro is one of the best options because it has fast service and goes everywhere. Hence, it’s an excellent way to see different areas of Barcelona and experience what life is like outside the city center. 

Ferrocarrils are great for taking outlying areas such as Sarria, Tibidabo, and other destinations, while a bicycle is another great option for exploring Barcelona from a different perspective – be sure to wear a helmet if you’re not familiar with cycling. It doesn’t take too much planning or research, just get on a bicycle, grab your bike map, and take a ride,

Getting around Barcelona on foot is a great option as well, and it’s one of the best ways to explore the city because you get to see what Barcelona is like on foot instead of sitting in traffic with everyone else. All you need to do is pick a street or location and go where the desire takes you! It’s that easy!

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