Barcelona’s main airport is located a convenient fourteen kilometers south-west of the city centre at El Prat de Llobregat. It is one of the busiest airports in Spain, not surprising when you consider the variety of low cost flights now available to the area all year round. As holidaymakers begin to avoid the traditional summer holiday months, opting instead for slightly cooler weather for their Barcelona sightseeing, package holiday companies are coming up with great deals on city breaks and weekends away in this fabulous city.
So are the facilities at Barcelona Airport keeping pace with the growing tourist traffic passing through each week? Is it really so simple to get from the airport to your city centre hotel, and back again? Booking cheap flights often means sacrificing that lie in or early night to get the best deal, but will you have to pay extortionate cab fare when you get there? The following advice will help you to plan this crucial part of your journey, whatever time your flights, and whatever your budget. All modes of transport are available directly from Barcelona airport, but you may need to book some in advance to make sure you don’t miss out.
Hiring a car can often be your best option. If you are only staying for a short period you will want to make the most of your time and not spend precious minutes waiting for a bus that will take the long route to your destination. When arriving late at night, or leaving early in the morning, a hire car is invaluable and can ensure you get a little extra rest. It means you don’t need to worry about lugging your cases around, and gives you the flexibility to visit some out of town places during your stay that you would otherwise have missed. Most airlines have special deals with car hire companies, so be sure to check when you book your flight. You also need to be sure that your hotel has adequate parking and find out the cost so you don’t get a shock at check out.
If you are not planning to travel around during your stay, a taxi can have all the same advantages as a car but with less cost. You will also avoid driving in a new country, where the rules and road signs may be unfamiliar, and you may even be on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Taxis can be taken from outside all terminals at Barcelona airport and official taxis are white with a red stripe. Your taxi will take you to downtown Barcelona for around twenty Euros, and you will be there in fifteen minutes, depending on the time of day and traffic. You will be charged an extra euro for each piece of luggage.
Between the hours of 6am and 11pm, a half hourly train service will take you from the airport to the Placa de Catalunya for a fraction of the taxi fare. Inside the terminal, follow signs showing a train, which will be signposted to the Placa de Catalunya or the Arc de Triomf. The train ride is fifteen to twenty minutes. Although the train is cheaper than a taxi, if there is a group of you, you may still want to get a cab. It will work out the same price and will drop you right at your hotel. The airport bus operates similar hours to the train, and also drops you in the Plaza Catalunya, as well as making several stops along the way.
Peter J. Wilson's news can be discovered on countless web publications with reference to flights and Spain. His publications on Spain and Barcelona Airport can be found on his web publications.