Getting around Barcelona: How to use public transport

Read about the best way to get around Barcelona. Learn the different public transport options, how to use them and the alternatives that are available.


6 minute read
Updated on 14 Feb 2024

Barcelona has a vast transport network of buses, metro’s and taxis. Don’t be intimidated though, getting around in Barcelona's easier than you think. Besides the traditional public transport network, you can also choose to rent a bike or an electric scooter.

After you're done with searching homes for rent in Barcelona, it’s time to find out what your daily commute will look like! In this article, we’ll guide you through the public transportation of the Catalan capital.

Best way to get around in Barcelona

The best way to get around in Barcelona is by using its convenient public transport system, including buses, metro lines, and trams available all day. The metro system, with its 12 well-connected lines, stands out as the cheapest option get around in Barcelona. There's also a fantastic bike-sharing network for those who love cycling, and electric scooters for a bit of fun.

There's a variety of public transport cards in Barcelona to choose from. For an quick and budget-friendly choice, check out the T-Casual card. You can use it on buses, trams, and the metro across different zones, giving you flexibility for your daily travels. With 10 trips to use, this card is super handy, especially if you live in the city center.

How to use the metro in Barcelona

You’ll find a metro station at the corner of every attraction. Barcelona has a wide network of metro lines running across the whole city throughout most of the day. The metro trains are clean and air-conditioned.

Consisting of 12 lines, Barcelona’s subway system's quite easy to understand.

The direction of the metro's indicated by the last stop. For example: if you’re at ‘La Pau’ and you want to visit ‘Tetuan’, you'll follow the purple L2 line to ‘Paral-lel’.

Hot tip: Download a map of Barcelona’s metro system and you'll know exactly which metro to take.

How frequent is the Barcelona metro?

Barcelona’s metro lines run every 2-4 minutes during the day and every 10 minutes during the night, so no need for a time table!

Barcelona metro working hours:

  • Monday to Thursday: 05:00 - 00:00
  • Friday-Saturday: 05:00 - 02:00
  • Sunday: 05:00 - 23:00

How to use the bus in Barcelona

Traveling by bus in Barcelona's fast and cheap. The city has over 230 bus lines, connecting all parts of the city.

The bus system in Barcelona's more complex than the metro, but practice makes perfect!

Make sure you know the exact name of the station you want to get to.

Buses in Barcelona run on a regular schedule and operate from 05:00 till 22:00. The exact times differ per bus. You can buy a single-use ticket from the bus driver at a cost of €2,40

Getting around by tram

Barcelona’s tram network is an excellent option for getting around in the city. The city has 2 tram networks with 6 lines. You may not see a tram in the heart of the city, but you can catch one when you want to visit one of the more peaceful areas outside of the city centre.

Tram tickets cost €2,20 and you can purchase one from the ticket machines at every stop.

How do you pay for public transport in Barcelona?

Paying for public transport tickets in Barcelona is super easy, with a variety of options at your fingertips. You can buy public transport tickets at ticket machines or booths at any stop, or simply buy single tickets from the bus driver. Want to buy your ticket earlier? Choose the the convenient online option through the TMB website or app.

When it comes to metro travel, you have choices. For one-off trips, buy a single-use metro ticket priced at €2.40, valid for 75 minutes. If you’re planning to travel by metro on a daily basis, consider the T-Casual or Barcelona Card for the best value.

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.

T-Casual card

The T-Casual's a personal transport card that can be used in Barcelona. The travel card is valid for 10 trips and can be activated for 1 to 6 zones.

You can buy the T-Casual card at the TMB booth, or at one of the ticket machines at the metro stations. If you prefer to have a card before your arrival, you can purchase the T-Casual card online.

The prices of the card differ based on the number of zones you’d like to have included. The prices are fixed, but it's always a good idea to check the official website to be sure.

The 2023 pricing of the T-Casual cards as follows:

1 zone2 zones3 zones4 zones5 zones6 zones

Good to know: the main city centre areas are all in Zone 1. So if you’re planning to live in the city centre, purchasing a T-Casual for 1 zone would be sufficient for your daily commute needs.

Barcelona card

Another option is to purchase a Barcelona card, which offers unlimited public transport. Moreover, the Barcelona card gives you free admission to over 25 museums and discounts to more than 90 sights.

Do note that the Barcelona card is only valid from 2 to 5 days. If you’re planning to use public transport often, purchasing a T-casual would be a better option.

Renting and riding a bike in Barcelona

Barcelona's Biking (CityBike) system is easy and comprehensive. There are almost 6,000 bikes and 420 stations around the city. Thanks to that, there’s always a bike available! An annual pass costs €47.16 and entitles you to 30 minutes of free hire per year. You can dock the bike after 29 minutes and take out another (or the same one) and get an additional 30 free minutes.

If you go over the limit, it'll cost you around €1.50 per hour, and €4.50 after two hours. When compared to other cities this is quite pricey, and_many people will opt to ride their own bikes, which is more cost-effective in the long run.

Urban mobility services in Barcelona

Electric scooters are rather common in the city. So if you have a license and want to be the coolest on campus, take advantage of it! Drive around on a scooter to explore Barcelona’s best neighborhoods.

Barcelona has a very vivid urban mobility ecosystem. There're several companies that offer bike and scooter sharing, making your new life in Barcelona a sustainable one!

Electric kick scooter sharing in Barcelona

GOMEEP If you're planning to use a scooter on a regular basis, look into renting a scooter at GOMEEP.

At GOMEEP you can rent your own scooter - yes, without sharing - at €39 per month. Order your scooter 48h before you need it, and it’s delivered for free at your doorstep. You don’t have to worry when the vehicle has technical issues, as GOMEEP offers a free maintenance service!

Reby The Spanish REBY is an urban mobility service that provides shared electric scooters. You unlock a scooter easily with an app. Unlocking the scooter costs €1 and using the scooter costs €0,15 per minute.

Electric scooter sharing in Barcelona

YEGO Wherever you are in Barcelona, you'll spot some of the Vespa-look alike scooters from YEGO. The electric scooters can be unlocked by using the YEGO app. When you use a YEGO scooter, insurance, a helmet and a charged battery are included. You can use a YEGO from €0,28 per minute.

Cityscoot Another option to access electric scooters in Barcelona is to use Cityscoot. Download the Cityscoot app to find and unlock one of the electric scooters. You pay as you go! The scooters are available from €0,20 per minute.

How to travel in Barcelona during the night

Living in Barcelona goes hand in hand with enjoying the vibrant nightlife that the city has to offer. The good news is that you have plenty of transportation options even during the night!.

Taking a night bus (NitBus) is the only option if you don’t feel like paying extra for a taxi. The night busses have operating hours between 22:00 till 05:00.

If you feel like enjoying a quiet private commute, taxis are the perfect alternative for you! You'll pay a bit more, but taxi rates in Barcelona are affordable compared to other big cities in Europe. Make sure to know which areas in Barcelona to avoid, especially during the night.

Now that you have a better idea of the public transport options, there's only one thing left: Going out to explore the city. Enjoy!

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