Capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain, Barcelona is one of Europe’s most important cities in terms of tourism and commerce. Barcelona is the 7th most populated city in the European Union and is home to Spain’s second busiest airport.
Serving 40 million passengers annually, Barcelona Airport is one of the major factors to the city’s tourism economy. The airport is easily accessible from the city, which has undergone significant transformations since the 1900’s.
There is a rail system that connects the airport to Barcelona and other locations in the country. The R2 line provides transportation to various central locations in the city like Ciutat Vella, Barceloneta beach, Barrio Gotico and El Raval. To get to the Old City and surrounding areas you have to go to the Barcelona Sants Station, located 40 min from the airport.
From here, once you transfer to the L3 metro line you will reach the Catalunya station in 7 stops. This station intersects with other metro lines that spread across the city. It is also the closest station to Ciutat Vella.
Another way to get to the city center from the airport, which is located 10 km away, is by bus. These buses are operated by the Barcelona Metropolitan Administration. Using the Aerobus express line you can get directly to Espanya Square and Catalunya Square located in the city center. Line A1 departs from Terminal 1 and line A2 departs from Terminal 2. In addition, bus line 46 provides transportation to the city center. However, this bus makes frequent stops and has a limited amount of space for luggage. Therefore it is not among the most popular choices. Bus lines N16 and N17 provide transportation from the airport to the city center after midnight. The bus ride takes anywhere between 40 minutes and 1 hour.
There are taxi stands at each terminal exit that provide comfortable albeit expensive transportation to every part of the city. Getting to the city center from the airport by taxi takes approximately 30 minutes and costs around 60 euros. Taxis can accommodate a maximum of 3 people. Using a 4-8 person vehicle to get to the city center can cost around 79 euros.
Offices of world-renowned car rental agencies are located in the airport. You can rent a car for as low as 15 euros a day. Booking in advance online can ensure even lower prices.
To get from the airport to the city center continue north in the direction of Castelldefels to De la granvia L'Hospitalet Avenue. This avenue will continue to Gran Via De Les Corts Catalanes Avenue, which takes you to the city center. From here you can take Passeig De Gracia, which is one of the major avenues in the city, to Catalunya Square and the Old City.
Barcelona is a popular tourist destination, particularly for those coming from Northern Europe. Barcelona Airport, also known as Barcelona-El Prat Airport, offers a total of 42 restaurants, cafes, and pubs to ensure passengers have a pleasant time while at the airport.
Barcelona Airport also offers tax-free shopping services at the Duty Free shops. The airport also features free wireless internet connection and contains an area for exhibitions and performances.