If you’re planning to visit Barcelona you need to decide how to get there! Most people will take a flight to Barcelona, but depending on where you are then there are various different options for how to travel to Barcelona, including by train, bus, ferry and by car.
Flights to Barcelona
While you could say there are three different airports in Barcelona, Barcelona El Prat Airport is the only airport actually in Barcelona. It is the main international airport in Barcelona and is well connected to the city via public transport. You can learn more about Barcelona’s airports here.
When booking flights to Barcelona I recommend using a flight comparison site like Skyscanner to find the best options for flights to Barcelona from your chosen airport. It compares all the different options for flights, including budget airlines so you can get the best deal for you. Search for flights here or using the search box below:
Trains to Barcelona
Barcelona is well connected to the rest of Spain and Europe by train. The main train station in Barcelona is called Barcelona Sants, and you can easily take a train to Barcelona from Madrid, Paris and lots of other locations in Europe.
The main train company in Spain is Renfe, and you can book high-speed AVE trains directly on their website. Prices are lower the further out you book, so plan ahead to save money. You can select different classes of tickets and add on extras such as a seat reservation.
The website is in English and tickets are emailed to you to either print off or to show a pdf ticket on your phone, without needing to print off the tickets. Renfe trains tend to be reliable and the service is generally better than you would get in the UK, with clean trains running mostly on time.
Ouigo which is part of SNCF in France supposedly has lower priced fares to Barcelona available, but when I’ve checked for tickets they always come out as more expensive than on the Renfe website. That said, it’s best to check them both to be sure.
Buses to Barcelona
If you’re backpacking Europe or want to visit Barcelona on a budget then taking a bus to Barcelona could be a great option for you. Barcelona Estació Nord Bus Station is the main inter-city bus stop in Barcelona, and has routes running all over Spain and into France and beyond.
Ferries to Barcelona
While it isn’t possible to get a ferry from the UK to Barcelona, you could get a ferry from the UK ports of Portsmouth or Plymouth to Santander or Bilbao in northern Spain, then travel overland to Barcelona from there. The journey by ferry from the UK to Spain take between 20 to 36 hours depending on the route you take.
There are direct ferries from The Balearic Islands to Barcelona, from Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza to Barcelona.
Barcelona is also a major cruise port and there are various cruise lines that include Barcelona on their Mediterranean cruise itineraries.
Driving to Barcelona
Driving to Barcelona is quite straightforward until you actually get into the city itself and have to contend with lots of one-way streets and plenty of traffic – including scooters and motorbikes which can be unpredictable! You then need to find somewhere to park your car, so I would advise against driving to Barcelona if you can avoid it.