Getting around Barcelona is key to a stress-free experience for yourself and your attendees. Travelling from A to B, especially in a new city, can be a frustrating experience.
To begin, you’ll likely fly into Barcelona El Prat Airport – the second biggest airport in Spain, 12km southwest of the city – but as soon as you land, you’ll need to find your feet from then on.
Whether giving your guests clear and concise instructions on navigating the Barcelona Metro or hiring a minibus to shuttle people to where they need to be, this is your hand guide to getting around Barcelona.
Public Transport in Barcelona
Barcelona has its charms. From the architecture to the cuisine, there’s a reason it’s so well-loved. But in our eyes, one of its unsung pleasures is the public transport in Barcelona.
The bus network is a core part of public transport in Barcelona. The network covers so much ground. It will take you anywhere you need to be. Moreover, you’ll never have to wait for more than 15 minutes for one to show up.
And even better than that, their new fleet of buses is brilliant; they’re electric, silent, and have excellent free WiFi service.
When you and your guests get around Barcelona, the primary method for you and your guests will likely be the glorious Barcelona metro system.
For starters, you’ll never be more than 10 minutes away from a station by foot. Secondly, the 11 lines not only traverse the whole city, but the rolling stock is clean, efficient, and perhaps most importantly, considering how hot the summers can be – well air-conditioned.
You can buy single-use tickets for the metro at the stations. They will cost you €2.40, and they’re valid for 75 minutes (however, it’s probably better to buy a travel pass but more on that shortly).
An important detail is that using the L9 metro line, which travels to the airport, requires you to buy an extra ticket costing € 4,60.
The tram is also a useful way of getting around Barcelona. There are two networks with 6 lines. You’re not likely to see a tram in the centre, though. The tram is the preferred option when you want to get into the more peaceful areas of the city. Tram tickets cost € 2.20, and you can purchase one from the ticket machines at every stop.
T-Casual and Other Ticket Options
Thankfully, most places you’ll be going will be in Zone 1. The sole exception will likely be getting to and from the airport, so generally speaking, public transport in Barcelona is very affordable. Our recommendation is to get a travel pass if you’re spending more than an afternoon in the city.
The easiest way to do this is to buy what’s called a T-Casual, which is 10 individual journeys for €11.35 (Zone 1) and covers bus, tram, and metro in Barcelona. If you want to buy for more than one person, you should get a T-Familiar pass.
Another option is a Barcelona Card (starting at €48). It gives you unlimited travel during your stay and gives you free entry to the city’s museums and discounts in shops and nightlife around the city.
Cycling in Barcelona
We love to recommend cycling in Barcelona to our clients and collaborators. It’s good for your health, of course, but it’s also a great way to see the city. You can rent some wheels at Green Bikes Barcelona for just € 1.50 per hour or €10.00 for the day.
And of course, cycling is excellent for the environment. If this is important to you, then you’re in the right place because there are some really cool sustainable event initiatives in Barcelona, so an eco-friendly corporate event is now more achievable than ever!
Like we said with cycling in Barcelona, there are great health benefits to getting around by walking. And like cycling, it’s an intimate and leisurely way to explore the city. Walking is a very convenient way of getting around Barcelona too, with lots of the major attractions in the centre.
Plus, the city is divided along major streets of boulevards. For example, in the Gothic Quarter, you have Las Ramblas, Via Laietana and Plaza Catalunya. And then just remember that Avinguda Diagonal – one of the longest and most iconic avenues in the city – is the main avenue that separates the Gracia and L’Eixample.
You can also use the metro stations to orient yourself – you can’t miss them, with their distinctive red and white signs – with each station having a map of the city where you can find your feet.
And as we said earlier, you’re never more than 10 minutes away from a metro station if you’ve had enough walking for one day!
You can always get a taxi when getting around Barcelona. There are lots of them, and they’re very distinctive, you can’t miss them. They’re black, with bright yellow doors and boots (N.B. available ones will have fluorescent green lights in their windows).
There are app platforms to get taxi rides in Barcelona. However, this has been a point of contention, with companies like Uber having been banned for over two years. This ban has since been revoked, and you can now yous platforms like Uber and Cabify when getting around Barcelona.
If you want to travel by car but save money, you should check out BlaBla. A platform where you can share car journeys with people you match with going in the same general direction at the same time. It’s less convenient, but you can save money.
Car Hire in Barcelona
Car hire in Barcelona can be a peace of mind for many people. No waiting for trains or busses. No energy or time wasted walking around. You’re the master of your own destiny. You can leave as, and when you want, you can take detours wherever you’d like.
Most importantly, it allows you to explore further afield parts of Catalonia, from the vineyards of the interior and the stunning Costa Brava coastline.
We recommend using a price comparison site like Kayak to find the right car and deal for you, with 25% of users finding a car hire in Barcelona for £29 or less. And our top tips are to book at least one day in advance to get a reduced price and rent your car from the airport if you can, with car hire locations outside the airport being 126% more expensive on average.
Coach or Bus Rental
Hiring a bus or a coach could be a brilliant idea if you have a big team with you and you want to take them on team-building excursions. Or perhaps you want to offer a drop-off service for your conference. Either way, you can absolutely rent a mini-bus or a coach to get around Barcelona, and we recommend checking out Osabus or Rent-Autobus.
However, at this point, you might be wondering how you can make event planning easier for yourself. Well, we can help with that. Hire some pros to do all the hard work for you. Arranging a shuttle service is something we can arrange as part of our event production services.
Book your Event Venues
To learn more, read this piece on why you should hire a production company for your events.
We hope you enjoyed our ultimate guide to getting around Barcelona. All this new knowledge will serve you well when your event comes around.
And we’d be fools not to remind you that we’re corporate event space experts. So when it comes to looking for Venues in Barcelona, we’ll find you your perfect location.