Trains, Buses, Metro, Taxis and More!
The Barcelona Transport System is operated by a number of companies, most of which form part of the Autoritat del Transport Metropolità de Barcelona – the Metropolitan Transport Authority.
ATM is the transport authority that manages services in El Barcelonès comarca and the rest of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona.
However, most of the major services in the City of Barcelona are overseen by TMB – Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona.
Just like every major city, Barcelona has Trains, Buses, a Metro and Taxis but also an increasingly important Tram system as well as the Funicular railway and Cable Cars, both of which provide access to the local mountains of Montjuïc and Tibidabo.
If you scan down the page, you’ll see that I have also included information about Barcelona Airport and the Port of Barcelona as these are both particularly relevant to foreign visitors to the city.
All the services in Zone 1 of the Barcelona Transport map above are integrated into the TMB network and use the same ticket system.
You can by a single ticket for every journey you take at the ATM machines in the Barcelona Metro entrance or from the driver on the bus.
However, a more practical option is to purchase a T-10, which allows you ten journeys within the metropolitan area from the same ATMs or at tobacconists (Tabacs) around the city.
For tourists, Buying a Barcelona Card before you arrive is a great idea as it covers the train journey from the airport to the Barcelona City Centre.
- Click Here To Book Your Barcelona Card
RENFE Train Services
Barcelona Railway Services are run by the National Company RENFE and include local trains – Rodalies in Catalan, formerly Cercanías in Spanish, signalled by the letter ‘R’.
The regional or middle distance lines – Mitjana Distància, are signalled by ‘MD’ and long distance or Larga Distància services signalled by the letter ‘LG’.
Renfe also runs the High Speed AVE Service from Sants Estació to Madrid and other destinations.
There are currently 28 Train Stations in Barcelona and 228 in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area.
You need to use the Rodalies or Local Train Service is if you are travelling within Catalonia.
- Read More About Barcelona Local Trains (Rodalies)
Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya
The Ferrocarrils de la Generaltat de Catalunya (FGC) are like across between a local train service and the metro.
The trains are similar to the metro but slightly more comfortable and there are two main stations at Plaça de Catalunya and Plaça d’Espanya.
There are 7 suburban lines that go to towns such as Terrassa, Sabadell, Martorell and Olesa de Montserrat prefixed by the letter ‘S’ and 4 lines that are prefixed by ‘R’ (for Rodalies) offering local train services to Manresa and Igualada.
Finally, lines L6, L7 and L8 that go to destinations in the city and, although run by the Generalitat, form part of the metro system.
- Read More about the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat
The Barcelona Metro is the electrified underground railway network that is run by Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB).
There are currently 11 colour-coded lines numbered from 1 to 11 in the Barcelona Transport System.
Most lines are being extended, L2 and L9/L10, in particular. have large sections under construction
The L9 line will eventually reach Barcelona Airport and be the the longest underground line in continental Europe
Similarly, the L10 metro line is planned to connect the industrial-logistics area of Zona Franca with Barcelona City Centre.
- Read More About The Barcelona Metro
There are three tram lines in Barcelona: Trambaix (taking its name from the Baix Llobregat comarca, the western part of the metropolitan area), and the Trambesòs, (from the river Besòs which runs through the eastern part).
Both systems have three routes each (as of 2009), but new introductions are expected and pending of approval.
Tramvia Blau links Plaça Kennedy with the Tibidabo Funicular.
There is also an ambitious project to link the whole of Barcelona through Avinguda Diagonal and linking the first two systems is pending revision.
- Read More About Barcelona Trams
Given its such a hilly city, the funicular is an important Barcelona transport service.
The Funicular de Montjuïc, climbing up Montjuïc hill, is fare-integrated with the Barcelona Metro network.
Funicular de Vallvidrera, in Vallvidrera, is part of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya.
A third funicular, on Tibidabo hill, Funicular del Tibidabo, is operated by TMB and allows access to the Tibidabo theme park.
Barcelona has an extensive and efficient bus network that will get you around the city very comfortably.
The system is being revamped as of October 2012 so I will be creating a number of information pages.
The main bus and coach station is at Estació del Nord, which is where you need to go if you are flying out of Girona Airport. There’s also another important bus station as Sant Andreu Arenal/Fabra i Puig.
The official Barcelona Taxis are black and yellow and although there are many taxi ranks, you normally hail them when the green light is on and ‘Lliure/Libre’ is showing in the windscreen over the passenger’s seat.
Barcelona Taxi drivers are generally an honest bunch, but not known for their linguistic abilities so it’s always a good idea to have your destination written on a piece of paper.
There are information lines where people with special needs can book in advance and also a number of mini cab firms.
Barcelona is served by Barcelona Airport in the town of El Prat de Llobregat, about 17 km (11 mi) from the centre of Barcelona.
It is the second-largest airport in Spain, and the largest on the Mediterranean coast. It is a main hub for Vueling Airlines and Clickair, and also a focus for Spanair, Air Europa and Iberia.
The airport mainly serves domestic and European destinations, but some airlines offer destinations in Asia and the United States.
- Read More About Barcelona Airport
The Port Of Barcelona
The Port Of Barcelona is Europe’s ninth largest container port, with a trade volume of 2.3 million TEU’s in 2006. The port is managed by the Port Authority of Barcelona. Its 3 square miles are divided into three zones.
The most important for the visitor to Barcelona is Port Vell (the Old Port), where you take the ferry to the Balearic Islands and other Mediterranean destinations.
Although not relevant for Barcelona transport, there is also a commercial port and the logistics port (Barcelona Free Port).