When you travel to a city by plane the first thing that you should look for is for information about the fastest and cheapest way to travel from the airport to your destination in the city, in this case Barcelona. If you Google it on the Internet, you may find many options and details, but may be confusing or outdated. From ShBarcelona we want to offer definitive information on this compulsory travel so you can choose the transport that suits your needs the most.
This is the recommended method of transport in my experience if you want to travel into the center of the city quickly (about 30 minutes if there’s no traffic) and cheap (the price of a single ticket is 5’90euros, and return is 10’20euros) without having to wait too long or travel long distances within the terminal. There are two lines available with the same route but that target different terminals, so you will have to check out which terminal are you leaving from or coming. This buses run from 5am to 01.05am. You can see the bus stops on the following map:
Renfe Train: ONLY recommended if your plane lands at Terminal 2 or fly out of that terminal. You can take the bus to the airport in the Sants train station, in El Clot-Arago or Paseo de Gracia, once there is better that you ask which platform does the train to the airport leaves. It is one of the most economical transportation (a simple train ticket price), but if you have much luggage you will find it difficult to move from one place to another, once at the airport you have to walk a long corridor before reaching the billing tables. In this case you will also be subject to Renfe trains schedule (from 5am to 11pm, approximately).
Metro: Since 2016, you can get to the airport using the new metro line 9S. It is the most economical transportation: a simple ticket for the airport costs 4,50 euros, but it is important to know that most of metro cards (T-dia, T-mes ,T-Joven) can get you to the airport, which is not the case for T-sencillo or T-10. Operating hours on this line are the same as all metro lines. You can read our article about Barcelona metro to learn more about it. The line 9S leaves from Zona Universitaria and reaches quickly terminal 1 and terminal 2 (about 32 minutes). Apart from its price, the main advantage of the metro is that it is a quick way to get to the airport: there is only 7 minutes between two metros, and 4 minutes in rush hours. To see all the line’s stops, check the TMB website.
Taxi: Taxi service from the airport of El Prat to Barcelona is fast and useful if you arrive at a time when you have no other transportation option, but definitely the most expensive of all. An average trip can cost about 25 euros, if there is no traffic, because it has a most expensive price per kilometer, and also depending on the time of day.