By Plane, Barcelona
Both times we have visited Barcelona we flew from London Gatwick airport - the first time with Easyjet and the second time with British Airways. The flight from London takes between 1.5 - 2 hours. British Airways also fly there from London Heathrow, and Easyjet from Luton and Stansted as well. Other airlines that fly there from London include Iberia and Air Berlin.
The airport is located around 13km from the city centre.
If you are already in Spain, you may want to catch a train to Barcelona. It has good rail links to other Spanish cities, such as Madrid (4.5 hours) and Valencia (3 hours). I have also heard that you can get cheap flights between Barcelona and Madrid.
** Tip updated on July 17, 2012 **
Barcelona has ONLY ONE airport: : Barcelona – El Prat (BCN)
However, Ryanair may advertise Girona (GRO) or Reus (REU) as "Barcelona", being these far away (80-100 km). GRO is convenient if going to Costa Brava / Catalan Pyrenees, REU if going to Costa Dorada, Tarragona, Port-Aventura, etc., but usually not the "best" option when your destination is Barcelona itself (unless the airport of departure is more convenient for you)
Ryanair now uses as well BCN, like other low-cost companies (Easyjet, Vueling, Air Berlin...) in addition to the biggies (Iberia, Air France, BA...). When planning your trip, check all possibilities, the regular companies sometimes have even better offers than the "cheap" ones!
BCN has LOTS of shopping and eating possibilities if you're using the new Terminal 1, so it's not a bad place to wait. The fashion shops have the same prices than at the city center, and you can find most Spanish brands there. As well, you can do there the last minute shopping of your souvenirs. There are as well many food options, even a gourmet restaurant.
If you're using the old terminals, now T2, your eating and shopping options will be very limited.
Both terminals are about 4 Km. far apart, with the landing strips in between, so you can't walk from one to the other. There are free buses connecting terminals, but it takes at least 15-20 minutes to go from one to the other.
There are as well free buses connecting the Terminal 1 with the train station (next to Terminal 2)
The Renfe Rodalies Line 2-Nord links the airport with Sants startion and Passeig de Gràcia (in the very center of the city) as well with El Clot and other stations that probably are less useful for a tourist. Please be aware this train does NOT reach Estació de França (the old C10 line from the airport did, but this line does not exist anymore!).
The trip does cost less than 3€ but you can use as well a T-10 card or other transport cards, making it even cheaper! Not the best option with luggage or babies, as there is quite a long walk to the airport station, and some stairs. Trains do leave every 30 min. The airport is a terminus station and only line 2N reach it, so no worries, you can't get lost taking a wrong train in the wrong direction!
The train station is next to the T2 (old terminal B), it should be reaching the new T1 in the future, but so far there is a (free) shuttle bus between terminals, about every 10 minutes.
Also you can get there by bus: Aerobús Traveling with luggage, apart from taxis, IMO this is the best option (no stairs). One way: 5,65 €, round trip: 9,75 €. Buses depart every 10-15 min in front of each terminal.
Regular bus #46 links BCN airport with Pl. Espanya, but it takes a long time. You can buy a single ticket (1.45€) or use the T-10.
If you prefer to take a Taxi, there are ranks of these in from of each terminal exit, and usually you can take one immediately or just after queuing a few minutes. You should pay what the taximeter shows, plus a few euros of airport supplement and 1 € per each piece of luggage. An average total to the city center would be about 30-35 €.
It is fairly easy to get around inside the airport, and it is not terribly crowded when we came here; but it was off season in October, though. Connection to rides into the city which is about 6 miles away is available near baggage claim are. A blue bus takes you to the Plaza Espanya as a first drop off point, and then on to Pl CAtalunya, and two other spots. Price is only 5 Euro, versus a taxi that may cost 20-25 Euro.
El Prat is the international airport of BCN.
Arriving: It is rather close to the city, there are fequent buses (Aerobus) to town (Pl.Catalunya), that take about 40 minutes.
Departing: If you arrive on time, there are a lot of shops and cafes here to spend your time. You could even leave your souvenir shopping for the last minutes, as here you will find some really attractive shops.
Flying into Barcelona is probably the easiest way to get to the city. The airport is quite small as it does not serve as a major international hub. Most of the planes arriving here are smaller. The airport is quite nice designed with marble floors. Numerous shops await the visitor within. Also the Renfe train connects right to the airport and brings you to city with minimal duress.
We flew to Europe with Lufthansa and connected in Munich for our flight to Barcelona.
Barcelona's airport is big, it has 3 terminals: A; B & C.
We flew in with Brussels Airlines as we had the chance to purchase some promotion tickets.
I always try to remember when checking in to ask for a seat at the window and not just above a wing, but with small planes like these it seems to be almost impossible to have a full view.
Also... accordingly the time of the day and your direction, will determine if you will have a nice view or just the sun in your eyes `-)
It is possible that your plane is not going to taxi all the way to the gates. In that case you will be picked up by a bus that gets you to the terminals or, when leaving, that will get you to the plane.
The busses are mostly overcrowded as they want to push as much passengers into it to safe a second trip.
Seats are hardly available.
It is polite and a proof of good manners if you offer your seat to a parent with a baby.
Iberia airlines is the flying national company in Spain. I flew to Barcelona with "air nostrum" a company that is in association with Iberia and that make use of charters flights (but businness class) to go up and down from Pisa (my start airport) to Barcelona, and up and down in Spain.
We spent about 180 euros for a round trip and we had a great time and perfect service inside the airplane and with Iberia's office in Barcelona. Because of this I recommend you to choose Iberia for your trips to Spain, you can be sure to have a nice flight :-)
Barcelona is the most convenient aeroport than I've ever been. It is very easy to getting around and almost impossible to go to the wrong gate or be lost. Easyjet operates some cool prices flights from/to :
- France (Paris Orly)
- Germany (Berlin Schoenefeld, Dortmund***)
- Great Britain (Bristol, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Newcastle)
- Switzerland (Basel, Geneva) My flight from BCN to GVA was on time and inflight was efficient.
*** NEW operating from October 2005
As usual, the sooner you will book, the cheaper fare you will get...
Vueling Airlines is a new low cost airline company with head office in Barcelona that was set up with the objective of linking Barcelona with the main capitals of Europe and the West Mediterranean. The fleet is brand new with Airbus 320.
You could get cool prices from/to:
- Belgium (Bruxelles)
- France (Paris CDG)
- Italia (Milano, Roma)
- Netherlands (Amsterdam)
- Portugal (Lisbonne)
- Spain (Bilbao, Ibiza, Madrid, Malaga, Minorque, Palma, Séville)
Well in my opinion the best part of a flight is the lunch or dinner time!!! We had them both and I can say that the quality of food and service was very good. We ate tortillas de patatas, mixed salad with thun fish, bread, salami, cheese and finally a chocolate cake (very "yummy"!!!). To drink you can choose between water, orange juice and bier. After dinner or lunch coffee of course;-))
We flew from Johannesburg to Barcelona via Madrid.
I did not hear many positive comments about Iberia before, but it was not a bad experience. There is actually no inflight entertainment worth watching in economy class.
The cabin crew we had on both trips were friendly and helpful.
The prices on Iberia were also a bit cheaper than most other European airlines flying from South Africa
In this picture you can see the interior of the airplane I took from Pisa to Barcelona and return. This plane is not that big, it has about 70 seats for passengers, but you don't have to be scared about turbolences...you won't feel them despite of you are flying in a "little" plane!
When looking online Ryan Air will say that it flys to and from Barcelona. This is not true. It flys to an airport about 2 hrs from Barcelona. I made this mistake and I ended up having to buy a last minute ticket. Can we say $$$$. I also have this under tourist traps. It's a tip that is close to my heart. Flying out of Barcelona isn't the easiest place to get a cheap ticket. If you need to you can easily hop on a train to Madrid and get on one of the millions of flights that go in and out of there
I found an incredibly cheap ticket from Ancona to Barcelona with spain air 31,50€.
For the ones who flyght from italy, you can check www.evolavia.com.Sometime you find only a cheap one way ticket, it happens to me, in that case you can consider to come back by bus or train, I came back by bus www.eurolines.com and it costed about 80 €, yes, more than the one way flyght.