In Barcelona we have a metropolitan public transport network that extends throughout the city and includes towns within the metropolitan area as Hospitalet de Llobregat, Cornella de Llobregat, Esplugues de Llobregat, Santa Coloma de Gramanet, San Adrià del Besòs or Badalona. “Metro” is the short name for metropolitan. This transport has 11 lines, 9 operated by Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) and 3 operated by Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC). Each of these lines has a color and a number to be very easily recognized. The appearance of the trains and stations is different depending on who manage them, which can be a little bit confusing, but the ticket for all lines is the same. ShBarcelona thinks it’s worth to be mentioned, that it is the second largest metro network in Spain, 123.5 km long, after Madrid, and was first opened in 1924. Since 2016, line 9S allows to go to the airport (T1 and T2) from downtown.
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Basis information about the metro in Barcelona
But let’s talk about practical information… In Barcelona you can get almost everywhere by subway (metro), you don’t have to use private transport unless you work or live outside the metropolitan area. Nearly 500,000 users annually take the subway on their journeys and wherever you live in Barcelona you will find a metro station of any of the 11 lines close to you. The waiting time at the station is very small, about 2 minutes a weekday between a metro arrival and the next one, and its service and functioning is rarely altered. The most popular stations are found in the city center and in the beach area: Catalunya (in Plaza Catalunya, L1, L3 and ferrocarills L6 and L7), Paseo de Gracia (L2, L3 and L4) , Universitat (University Square, L2 and L1), Liceu (L3), Urquinaona (L1 and L4), Diagonal (L3 and L5, change to L6 and L7), Espanya (L1, L3 and ferrocarrils L8), Barceloneta (L4) etc., but the number of users is also very high in peripheral and residential areas. It is highly recommended to consult a map before making a move to save excessive line changes or walking a lot to your destination. Inside the stations, everything is well indicated with signs, but as usually happens, public transport in a big city takes some time to get used to. You have to insert your card into the machines’ slot to open its doors and get into the metro. At stations managed by FGC (L6, L7 and L8) you must also insert the ticket into the machine slot to leave the station. The price for a ticket is 2,20€. If you spend over a month in Barcelona and travel by subway daily we recommend you to buy the T-Mes (with unlimited travels), the T-50/30 (50 journeys in 30 days) or the T-10 (10 trips for 10,20€). It is always important to validate the card, because there are regular surprise controls and the fine for traveling without a ticket is 100 € (50€ if you pay at the moment). Here you can consult the prices of all TMB tickets. And here you can check if any work is being done on any of the metro lines.
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Metro operating hours
- Monday to Thursday: 5.00 am until midnight
- Fridays and eves of public holidays: 5.00 a 2.00 am
- Saturdays: from 5.00 am and runs all night
- Sundays: until midnight
- Public holidays during the week: until midnight
IMPORTANT: be very careful of pickpockets inside the trains! Especially in the busiest stations… Keep an eye on your belongings all the time and DON’T TRUST anyone who has a strange behavior. Normally the “thieves” are organized in groups around their victim discreetly covering him/her, so no one can see what they do. Tourists are an easy target because they often get distracted, so keep an eye on your wallet, your camera, your bags or what you are carrying.
What is your favourite means of transport when you are in Barcelona?