The best way to get around Barcelona is on public transport. This is a large city, and the different tourist areas and monuments are spread around, with considerable distances between them. This makes the underground system and bus services ideal. They will take you to almost any point in the city quickly and comfortably.
How to get around
The underground system links all the central zones of the city and has stations in the main tourist areas, marked with the letter "M". It runs from 5 am to midnight, Monday-Thursday, Sundays and public holidays; and from 5 am to 2 am on Fridays. On Saturdays and the eve of public holidays –1 January, 24 June, 15 August and 24 September– services run all night.
City buses are another good transport option. Depending on the line, they run from about 4:30 am to 11 pm. To get around at night, there are night buses, called Nitbus, which depart from Plaça Catalunya square, between 11:15 pm and 6 am. Trams also provides quick access to major industrial, shopping and residential areas, and run from 5 am to 2 am approximately.
Most people prefer to use taxis at night for speed and comfort. Taxis can be found every day and at any time. They are yellow and black and have their licence number displayed on the side. You can hail them in the street when they have the green light on. They can also be found at ranks on Barcelona's central streets and squares. There is a radio taxi service –the taxi will come and pick you up from wherever you like. Tariffs are displayed inside the taxis and show the minimum fare, flag-down charge, kilometre charge and other extras such as night service, public holidays, and station or airport service.
The most convenient option
The best option will depend on where you are, the number of journeys you wish to make, and the number of people travelling. One of the most practical choices is the T-10 card, popular with local people. Not only does it offer considerable savings on the price of a single ticket, but also allows the use of the underground and bus services, has no time limit for use and, being transferable, can be used by more than one person.
However, the sightseeing bus is one of the most popular means of transport for visitors to Barcelona: this is a double-decker bus which runs specifically to the most interesting places in the city. Tickets are valid for 1 or 2 days and cost €24 and €31.
How much does transport cost?
There are a range of different tickets and fares. These include special tickets for leisure and sightseeing which allow unlimited travel on the public transport network. They are valid for between two and five days, and prices range from €12.80 to €28. Alternatively, one-way tickets cost €2, or you can buy the T-10 card, which costs €9.25 for 10 journeys, and includes changes between different public transport services.
All these tickets and cards are available at information and customer service centres, ticket windows and from vending machines in underground stations. Non-transferable travel cards are also available at tourist offices in Barcelona, and online.
For information on how to get into the city from the airport, check the How to get there section.
There is also a tourist card (Barcelona Card) available, offering a range of benefits including unlimited use of public transport, as well as discounts for museums, shows, shops, leisure attractions and restaurants. There are cards available for 2-5 days, with prices ranging from €29 to €47. These cards can be purchased at tourist offices in Barcelona, and at other outlets around the city.
Other ways of getting around
There are even more ways to travel in Barcelona, such as the Tramvia Blau trams, the funicular railway and the cable car –an aerial shuttle service that links the port with mountain of Montjuïc–, Las Golondrinas boat trips, bicycles, and you can always rent a car.
For more information, visit:
Barcelona Turisme (www.barcelonaturisme.com)
Barcelona Metropolitan Transport (www.tmb.net)