Barcelona Airports

A Vueling Aeroplane taking off from Barcelona Airport

When planning a trip to Barcelona Spain, it’s not always clear which is the best airport in Barcelona to fly into.  In fact, there is only one airport actually in Barcelona, that is Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport to give it its full name!  However, some airlines claim to fly into other Barcelona airports, so let’s break down exactly which airports are in Barcelona and which aren’t.

This site contains affiliate links. If you click through the links on this page and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for supporting Why Visit Barcelona. [Learn more]

Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN)

Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport is usually just referred to as Barcelona or Barcelona El Prat Airport as it is close to a town called El Prat de Llobregat on the outskirts of Barcelona.  This is the main international airport of Barcelona and is the only airport actually in Barcelona.

If in any doubt, the best way to confirm which is the correct Barcelona airport is with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 3 letter code assigned to each airport – in this case, BCN is the code for Barcelona El Prat airport.

Barcelona Airport has 2 terminals and is the second-largest airport in Spain, after Madrid-Barajas.  Barcelona El Prat Airport is about 25 minutes drive from the centre of Barcelona by car or taxi and is well connected to the city centre by public transport in the form of buses, trains and metro.

In the majority of cases, this is the best airport to use to fly into Barcelona.  I use flight comparison site Skyscanner to find the best options for flights to Barcelona from my chosen airport, you can search here or using the search box below:

While most people just call the airport Barcelona or Barcelona-El Prat, or even just El Prat, The full name of the airport is “Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport”.  Josep Tarradellas was a Spanish politician and the first president of Catalonia in the democracy which followed the death of General Franco in the 1970s.

In 2018 the Spanish Government announced that Barcelona–El Prat Airport would be renamed after Tarradellas, a move which caused some controversy but I won’t get into the politics of Catalonia here!  As long as you remember that it is Barcelona El Prat Airport you should be fine.

You may also see the airport written in Catalan as Aeroport Barcelona–El Prat, or in Spanish as Aeropuerto Barcelona–El Prat.

Other Airports Near Barcelona

Some low-cost airlines like Ryanair class other airports as Barcelona, even though they are a lot further away.  Girona and Reus are the two other airports in Catalonia which are sometimes referred to as Barcelona.  When flying to Barcelona which airport you actually want depends on the airline you are using, and where you will be staying.

Girona–Costa Brava Airport (GRO)

Girona Airport is close to the city of Girona, just over an hour’s drive northeast of Barcelona.  The IATA code for Girona is GRO, and this airport is probably the best one to use if you will be staying on the Costa Brava or in the northern regions of Catalonia.

During the winter season, there are a reduced number of flights operating so you may struggle to find suitable flights to Girona.  In the summer, flights are more frequent, with direct services to various cities around Europe and the UK.  Airlines such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Jet2 have flights to and from Girona Airport.

It is known in Catalan as Aeroport de Girona-Costa Brava, and in Spanish as Aeropuerto de Gerona-Costa Brava

Reus International Airport (REU)

Reus International Airport is south of Barcelona, close to the cities of Reus and Tarragona, about an hour and a half’s drive away from Barcelona city centre by car.  The IATA code for Reus is REU.

I wouldn’t recommend flying to Reus Airport if you are staying in Barcelona as it can take around 3 hours by public transport to reach the centre of Barcelona, but if you are staying in the Costa Daurada region of Catalonia, near Tarragona, PortAventura World or the resorts of Salou or Cambrils then this is probably the best airport for you.

Similar to Girona, there are fewer flights available to Reus during the winter, but in the summer you can find flights with airlines like Jet2 and Ryanair to several airports in the UK and in Europe.

Tips for Booking Flights to Barcelona

To find the best flight deals for getting to Barcelona by air, I recommend using a flight comparison tool like Skyscanner.

Choose the Right Barcelona Airport!

After reading this article you should have enough knowledge about the airports in Barcelona to be able to choose the best option for you, but it bears repeating just in case!  Usually, Barcelona El Prat is the best option as it is the closest airport to Barcelona city centre, but you might want to check out the other options just in case.

Be Flexible

You can save a lot of money on Barcelona flights if you can be flexible on the dates you want to fly.  Peak times include holidays such as Christmas or school holidays, and flights on Friday evenings to Sunday are always more expensive than weekdays as lots of people want to spend a weekend in Barcelona.

Try to visit Barcelona in the off or shoulder season instead of during the summer holidays, and fly mid-week if you can.

Check the Flight Times Carefully

Sometimes to cheapest flight prices can actually cost you more once you factor in how to get to and from the airport.  Very early or late flights might mean you have to take a taxi to the airport instead of the bus or public transport, so that can end up costing more than a later flight would.

Fly with Hand Luggage Only

Most of the low-cost airlines that fly to Barcelona will reward you for travelling light, so try to pack just with hand luggage if you can.  Paying to check in a bag at the airport can make your flight a lot more expensive, and you have to spend time waiting to collect it when you arrive.  It’s much easier if you can walk straight out with your bag!

Be Aware of COVID Regulations

Unfortunately, travel rules can change very quickly so make sure you keep up to date with rules and regulations regarding travel, testing and any potential quarantine or self-isolation rules when travelling to Spain and Barcelona.  The official Spain Travel Health website is the best resource, as well as your own government’s travel advice.