Complete Guide to Barcelona’s Bus and Metro System

Getting around Barcelona can’t get easier! The public transportation system is very reliable, fast, safe and almost always on time. The metros and buses are very clean and usually with enough places to sit.

Barcelona’s public transportation system company is called TMB (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona). According to TMB’s official website, the collective name of the companies Ferrocarril Metropolità de Barcelona, SA, and Transports de Barcelona, SA, which manage the metro and bus networks of the Barcelona metropolitan area.

 

There are three major transportation networks in Barcelona:

Metro

This is the integrated metro system running underground. The metro system connects the majority of the neighborhoods in Barcelona and overall, it works very well.

FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya)

FGC operates some of the Barcelona commuter rail network. It operates various routes from Barcelona to the cities and towns nearby and four funiculars.

Rodalies de Barcelona

Rodalies de Catalunya is the main and central railway system in Catalunya operated by the national rail operator Renfe. It connects over 200 towns all over Catalunya.

Renfe

Renfe is Spain’s central railway system and connects all the major cities throughout the country. Renfe’s bullet train is AVE which travels about 280km/h. It’s very comfortable and convenient but slightly expensive.

Metro zones

Under the Integrated Fare System you can use different modes of transport (metro, urban, metropolitan and interurban bus, tram, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya trains and Rodalies de Catalunya trains) on a single travel card.

This means you can use four different modes of transport and make three changes, with no need to pay again, within a period of time and an area established for the number of zones for which the travel card is valid. This enables you to switch transport and zones with no risk of incurring a penalty.

The Integrated Fare System covers a total of 253 towns, divided into 6 fare zones and various sectors.

The travel card used must be for the same number of zones as the number of zones travelled through, up to a maximum of 6 zones.

What tickets do you need to buy?

There are many different tickets available. Below we have some of the most commonly purchased tickets (the images have been taken from the official TMB website. They may look different when you purchase them)

Single-trip tickets

▶️ Single metro ticket

If you rarely use the metro, this might be the right ticket for you.

  • Rides: 1
  • Price €: 2.20
  • Valid for: only one ride
  • Zones: 1

▶️ Single bus ticket

If you rarely use the bus, this might be the right ticket for you.

  • Rides: 1
  • Price €: 2.20
  • Valid for: only one ride
  • Zones: 1

▶️ Single airport ticket

This ticket is only if you are going from or to the airport. In general, we don’t recommend this ticket if you dont live anywhere the metro line L9. Read below to find out how to go from and to the airport more easily.

  • Rides: 1
  • Price €: 4.60
  • Valid for: only one ride
  • Zones: 1

Multi-journey tickets

Types of travel card and multi-journey tickets for use on all public transport in Barcelona. Cards providing options for a number of journeys or unlimited journeys over a given period of time and using different operators.

All these cards can be used on the bus, metro, FGC, tram and Rodalies.

▶️ T-10

This card is if you occasionally use the metro and the bus. This in our opinion is the most economical deal taking into consideration its price, validity and number of rides.

  • Rides: 10
  • Price €: 10.20
  • Valid for: one year
  • Zones: 1

▶️ T-dia

This ticket allows you unlimited journeys to be made for one day. This makes sense if you need to take the metro/bus more than 8 times in one single day.

  • Rides: unlimited
  • Price €: 8.60
  • Valid for: one day
  • Zones: 1

▶️ T-mes

This ticket allows you unlimited journeys to be made for one month. If you need to take the metro just to and from work/school on work/school days, T10 would be cheaper.

  • Rides: unlimited
  • Price €: 54
  • Valid for: one month
  • Zones: 1

▶️ T-trimestre

This ticket allows you unlimited journeys to be made for three months. This makes sense if you take the metro very often (almost 3 times a day)

  • Rides: unlimited
  • Price €: 145.30
  • Valid for: three months
  • Zones: 1

▶️ T-50/30

This ticket allows you 50 journeys over 30 days. If you take the metro/bus twice a day to go to school/work and back home, this might be the right card for you.

  • Rides: 50
  • Price €: 43.50
  • Valid for: 30 days
  • Zones: 1

▶️ T-70-30

This ticket allows you 70 journeys over 30 days. If you take the metro/bus tree or more times a day to go to school/work, back home and other places, this might be the right card for you.

  • Rides: 70
  • Price €: 60.90
  • Valid for: 70 days
  • Zones: 1

▶️ T-jove

This card is available only to those who are less than 25 years old. Under 25s can use this travel card to make unlimited journeys over 90 days.

  • Rides: unlimited
  • Price €: 105.00
  • Valid for: 90 days
  • Zones: 1

Hola Barcelona Travel Cards

This Barcelona transport pass offers unlimited journeys on metro, bus (TMB) and the other Barcelona public transport network over 2 (48 h), 3 (72 h), 4 (96 h) or 5 (120 h) consecutive days, with one ticket.

You can use your Hola Barcelona Travel Card at any time of day and get unlimited journeys over 48, 72, 96 or 120 hours from the first validation. The card is also valid for metro journeys from Barcelona Airport to the city centre and vice versa

▶️ 2 day Hola Barcelona Travel Card (48h)

The 2 day travel card includes unlimited journeys on Barcelona’s public transport over 2 consecutive days.

  • Rides: unlimited
  • Price €: 15 (10% online discount)
  • Valid for: 2 days
  • Zones: 1

▶️ 3 day Hola Barcelona Travel Card (72h)

The 3 day travel card includes unlimited journeys on Barcelona’s public transport over 3 consecutive days.

  • Rides: unlimited
  • Price €: 22 (10% online discount)
  • Valid for: 3 days
  • Zones: 1

▶️ 4 day Hola Barcelona Travel Card (96h)

The 4 day travel card includes unlimited journeys on Barcelona’s public transport over 4 consecutive days.

  • Rides: unlimited
  • Price €: 28.50 (10% online discount)
  • Valid for: 4 days
  • Zones: 1

▶️ 5 day Hola Barcelona Travel Card (120h)

The 5 day travel card includes unlimited journeys on Barcelona’s public transport over 5 consecutive days.

  • Rides: unlimited
  • Price €: 35 (10% online discount)
  • Valid for: 5 days
  • Zones: 1

Barcelona Metro schedule:

The Barcelona Metro opens every day at five in the morning except the days when it operates all night (continuous services).

The times that services stop running vary according to the type of day as follows:

  • Working days (from Monday to Thursday): until midnight.
  • Fridays and the nights before public holidays: until 02:00.
  • Saturdays: continuous service all night.
  • Sundays and midweek public holidays: until midnight.
  • 24 December: until 23:00.
  • The final time refers to when the last train leaves the terminal station at each end of every metro line.

The schedule for the Parc Logístic, Mercabarna and Mas Blau (L9 South) stations is: Monday to Sunday from 05:00 to midnight.

Other nights in 2018 with continuous services:

  • Eve of the Sant Joan public holiday (night of 23 to 24 June)
  • Gràcia district local festivals (night of 17 to 18 August)
  • La Mercè Festival (the nights of 21 to 22 and then 23 to 24 September)
  • New Year’s Eve (the night of 31 December to 1 January)

Traveling with animals

On both the metro and the bus networks guide and other assistance dogs (wearing a tag and a blue jacket), patrol dogs that accompany security guards and domestic animals transported in specially designed carriers to ensure that they do not make a mess or inconvenience other passengers.

Furthermore, dogs wearing ID chips and entered on the municipal pet register are allowed in the metro in compliance with the following:

Time of day:

  • On weekdays from 11 September to 24 June, dogs are not allowed on the metro between 7.00 and 9.30 am, and between 5.00 and 7.00 pm.
  • At weekends and on public holidays, dogs are allowed at any time and during the summer (from 24 June to 11 September).
  • At times when the metro is likely to be very crowded and the safety of passengers and animals so requires, the operator may restrict access with dogs.

Other requirements:

  • Only one dog per person.
  • Under 18s are not allowed to be in charge of potentially dangerous breeds, in accordance with current legislation. Anyone travelling with such breeds of dog must have with them the corresponding dog licence and proof of registration on the municipal pet register.
  • From the time they enter the metro premises until they leave and are once again in the street, all dogs must wear a muzzle and be kept on a non-extending lead and remain within 50 cm of the handler.
  • Dogs may use the lifts and the stairs. For safety reasons, they are not allowed on escalators.
  • Dogs are not allowed on seats on the Barcelona metro.

Liability:

  • The person liable for a dog’s behaviour is the person in charge of the dog at the time. Therefore, handlers must ensure that the dog poses no risk or nuisance to the other passengers. Nor must they block the doors or passing areas in parts of the metro (lifts, etc.) or on trains.
  • The dog’s handler will be liable for any damage or harm caused to passengers or the company. The dog’s owner will be vicariously liable.
  • If the terms and condition established for travelling with dogs on the metro are not met, the handler at the time will be committing, according to the circumstances, a minor or serious offence (pursuant to articles 64.s) or 65.p) of Law 4/2006 of 31 March on rail transport.

Traveling with bicycles

Bicycles are not permitted on buses, except folding bikes, which must be completely folded.

Passengers are permitted to bring bicycles on the metro on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, and every day during July and August. On weekdays throughout the rest of the year, bicycles are permitted from 5.00 am until 7.00 am, from 9.30 am until 5.00 pm and from 8.30 pm until close of the service. Fully folded folding bicycles can be taken on the metro at any time, provided that they do not prove a nuisance to other passengers.

    Pickpockets on the metro

    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 he/she so no one can’t 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. If you have a backpack or a handbag and you are getting on or off the metro, keep it tightly so that it can’t be snatched.

      Barcelona Metro Map

      Barcelona's Metro Map

      Barcelona Bus Map

      Barcelona's Bus Map

      Find the best metro route using your phone

      The app Barcelona Metro – TMB map and route planner allows your to find the best metro route from any location to any other location. You need to go to Urquinaona from Poble Sec and need to find the best route? We recommend using this app to find out how to get from point A to point B in the least amount of time possible.

      It’s available both for Android and iOS. See below for direct links to the app.

      App Store

      Play Store

      Going to and from the airport with AEROBUS

      Barcelona’s airport El Prat is about 13kilometers or 8 miles away from Plaza Catalunya and is easily accessible by the metro and bus.

      The easiest and fastest way to go to and from the airport is to take the dedicated airport buses called AEROBUS. These buses operate exclusively from the airport (both T1 and T2) to Plaza Catalunya and back. 

      The advantages of AEROBUS:

      • air conditioning / heating system
      • free WiFi on board
      • the bus leaves the moment all the seats have been taken (no standing)
      • a dedicated space for the suitcases and backpacks
      • takes less than 30 minutes to get from the airport to Plaza Catalunya
      • reliable and safe
      • USB charging points
      • can purchase tickets online, at the ticket machines and on the bus
      • a wide ramp onto the bus and an area for wheelchair users

      Disadvantages:

      • Price: €5.99 (one-way) and €10.20 (roundtrip)
      • Can’t pay with bills bigger than €20.00

      The metro ticket to the airport is €4.60 and the regular bus number 46 ticket is €2.20 (1€ if you have a T10). Aerobus is more expensive than the metro and the regular bus but it is much faster and more convenient. This is of course much cheaper than taking a taxi. We definitely recommend taking the Aerobus.

      AEROBUS's route

      Watch these official videos made by Aerobus to learn how to take the bus from the airport and the routes:

      Overall, Barcelona’s public transportation system is reliable, fast, efficient, convenient and affordable. Use it in combination with Bicing and you will save a lot of money instead of taking cabs everywhere.

      Read our Complete Guide to Barcelona’s Bicing blog to find out the benefits of Bicing and how to get your card.

      Share this blog with your friends and family and make sure you check out our other blogs.

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