It is difficult for visitors to remain unimpressed with Barcelona. As one of the strongest influences in Pablo Picasso's early development, and home to much of Antoni Gaudi's extraordinary architecture, Barcelona is a fascinating city filled with artistic charm, breathtaking beauty, and zest for life. From the ancient Roman town it once was, Catalonia's capital is now a thriving mix of old and new. With medieval churches giving way to Gaudi's captivating Park Güell; the mammoth Camp Nou stadium where FC Barca fans lucky enough to get tickets cheer wildly for t heir team; and as one of Spain's major business and trade hubs, Barcelona is an unmissable stop on your travels in Spain.
Must-see attractions include La Sagrada Familia and La Seu Cathedral, but to experience the true spirit of Barcelona, lose yourself in its pedestrian avenues, eat on the cheap at neighbourhood restaurants, and shop in local markets. But don't just take our word for it. Book cheap flights to Barcelona today and find out for yourself why it continues to be considered one of Spain's finest cities.
As the main airport for one of Europe's top tourist destinations, Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN) is served by a plethora of regional and international airlines so cheap Barcelona flights are plentiful. You can get inexpensive tickets on low-cost carriers like Aer Lingus and Wizz Air, or book with a full-service airline like British Airways, Delta, Continental, and US. Visitors from Canada can save on travel time and transfers by flying with Air Canada or Air Transat, both of which have direct flights to Barcelona from Toronto and Montreal.
Budget carriers like Ryanair fly to Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRN) and Reus Airport (REU), which are located about 100 km away from Barcelona and can also be used as gateways to the city from European locations like London, Frankfurt, and Brussels.
Barcelona is popular with tourists from around the world so be prepared to share the city with thousands (if not millions) of other tourists no matter when you visit. July to August is the peak tourist season while booking cheap flights to Barcelona in January or February is a good idea for visitors who are not so keen on the beach. The shoulder seasons from May to June or mid-September to October are when the weather is still fairly sunny but there are fewer crowds and airline fares are much cheaper. Remember to pack your rain gear if you're visiting in Fall or Winter as the weather can be a tad unpredictable around this time.
If you're hoping to attend one of Barcelona's many festivals, book your tickets as early as you can as flights fill up quickly with tourists heading to the Carnaval, Greg Festival, Festes de la Merce, Sonar Electro, Festa Major de Gracia, and others.
Arriving at Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN)
BCN is located about 14 kilometres from the city centre and has two terminals. A free Bustransit shuttle takes passengers between T1 and T2 every 6-7 minutes and this is the most convenient travel option for passengers with connecting flights. For detailed information on any of the transport options listed below, consult the airport's website.
Public Transit: If you plan on using public transport extensively during your stay, consider buying a combined transport card which gets you discounts and cheap tickets on buses and trains.
Bus: Several bus routes run by Entitat Metropolitana del Transport connect both airport terminals and Barcelona city. Lines 46, L77, PR1, and N17 stop by both terminals while L99 and Line 105 only stop by T1 and T2 respectively. Ticket prices are determined by travel zones and you can expect to pay approximately €7 for trips to the last Zone, 6.
For transportation to cities around Barcelona like Tarragona, Reus, Segur, and Girona, use the inter-city buses which have stops at both terminals.
Train: Renfe trains on the Airport-Sant Celoni/Macanet Massanes Line depart from the airport's station located near T2. Access to the station from T2 is via a walkway and a free Bustransit service takes passengers from Terminal 1 to the station every 30 minutes. Trips to downtown Barcelona take approximately 20-25 minutes and a one-way ticket costs about €5 (up to Zone 6), making this the cheapest way to travel to the city centre.
Airport Shuttle: Aerobus shuttle services are the most popular mode of transport from the airport to the city centre. Bus A1 serves T1 and bus A2 serves T2. Both of these depart every five minutes. You can buy your tickets on-board for less than €6 for a one-way trip and about €10 for a return fare that is valid for nine days. Children under four years of age travel for free.
Hotel Shuttle: Several hotels in the airport area as well as some city hotels offer their guests a courtesy pick-up service from the airport. So to save yourself some time and money, check with your hotel if this service is included in your booking and confirm the shuttle's pick-up location before boarding your flights to Barcelona.
Taxi: Taxi rates will differ depending on whether you are travelling on a weekday or weekend, and also based on the time of day. Cab rides to the city centre cost about €25-€30 (per vehicle for up to four passengers) depending on your destination and the amount of luggage you're carrying. Although cabs are more expensive than taking public transport or a shuttle bus, they are easily available outside each terminal and are more convenient if you're in a rush and don't want to wait for the next available bus.
Car Rental: Cars can be rented from Avis, Europcar, Hertz, National Atesa, or Sixt, all of which have kiosks at both terminals. Book ahead to ensure you get the vehicle of your choice when your flight to Barcelona arrives.
Arriving at Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRN)
If your flight arrives at GRN, the easiest way to get to Barcelona is by taxi, which will cost between €125-€135. Trips from the airport to Barcelona city-centre take about an hour and ten minutes. If you'd like to travel with a private shuttle company, booking in advance is necessary as there are no booking kiosks at the airport. Ryanair also runs a bus service between the airport and Barcelona. One-way tickets cost about €12 and can be bought on board.
Alternatively, you can take a cab (€25-€30), bus (about €5), or hire a private shuttle to Girona City, from where you can take a Renfe train to Barcelona. One-way fares are less than €10 and the trip takes between one and two hours, depending on the type of service you use.
Arriving at Reus Airport (REU)
Several car rental companies are located at the airport and Ryanair also runs a bus service between this airport and Barcelona. One-way tickets are about €11. Taxis are also available, although more expensive, and it will cost €120 or more for a one-way trip to Barcelona. Although you can travel to Reus and take a Renfe train to Barcelona from there, the services are not frequent and you could end up wasting a lot of valuable vacation time waiting for the next train.