Tourists should know: Barcelona Public Transport

Barcelona Card vs. Hola BCN Card: Which to Choose?

One of the most important things to do when moving to a new country is to look into how to get around. If you move to Barcelona, you won’t have to worry about that because there are many public transportation options. Barcelona’s public transportation is indeed one of the best in Spain and the whole world.

The T-Casual card stands out as a strong candidate because it is both useful and reasonable. This card can be used on buses, trams, and metro lines in different zones so that it can meet a variety of transportation needs. The T-Casual card lets you make 10 trips in zones 1 through 6.

This card makes daily trips affordable and easy, especially for people who live in the city center. On the other hand, the Barcelona Card is a good choice if you want to use public transportation as much as you want and save money on museums and sightseeing.

People who like to ride bikes can use the extensive bike-sharing network, and people who want to go faster can use the electric scooter services. There are many ways for expats to get around Barcelona, such as the metro, the T-Casual card, and the Barcelona Card.

Metro in Barcelona

Taking the metro, which runs underground, is the fastest and easiest way to get around big towns like Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Malaga, Seville, and Valencia. They are busy during rush hours, which is a problem, but it helps people get where they need to go quickly.

You can feel safe when you take the subway because crime doesn’t happen very often there. Tourists can get free maps at all stops to help them figure out how to get to different train lines. Line colors and a few signs at each stop help travelers figure out when the trains are running.

Metro in Barcelona
Metro in Barcelona

Barcelona metro zone system

Transport tickets in Barcelona are priced based on how far away the location is from the city center. This is done through a system called “transport zones.” The farther away you are from your goal, the higher the zone number and the more expensive the ticket.

There are buses, trams, and the subway system in the transportation system. There are six zones in the city, with Zone 1 being the most central and Zone 6 being the most remote. Traveling in Zone 1 is what most tourists would want to do because it has all of Barcelona’s best tourist spots, like the Gothic Quarter, the Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, Casa Battlo, FC Barcelona, and more.

Barcelona Metro Tickets

The T-Casual ticket, good for 10 journeys on the metro system, is the average for locals in Barcelona. However, a traveler might want to look into other metro ticket options besides the T-Casual. The T-Casual only allows for 10 monthly trips, while most tourists require many daily trips.

Visitors to the city for a few days may wish to make multiple metro trips without worrying about their tickets running out or having unused trips on them when they leave.

The basic T-Casual pass also does not include metro rides to Barcelona Airport, which many visitors may want to take. The HolaBCN card is a discounted metro pass designed with tourists in mind.

Barcelona Metro Tickets
Barcelona Metro Tickets

HolaBCN Card (Tourist Travel Pass)

You can buy this card with 3, 4, or 5 days of validity. It’s different from the Barcelona Card in that it only lets you travel and doesn’t give you discounts on tickets to see sites in Barcelona.

One benefit of the HolaBCN card over the T-Casual ticket is that it lets you make as many trips as possible from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. That’s impossible with the T-Casual ticket, but you can take the metro to Barcelona Airport with the HolaBCN card.

The HolaBCN card is better than the T-Casual ticket because you can buy it online before your trip. This can help you plan and give you peace of mind that your transportation costs are paid before you even get to the city.

You can also get your HolaBCN from the vending machines if you buy it online. If you bought your Hola Barcelona Travel Card online, you can get it at any of the vending machines in Barcelona’s metro and train stations.

You will immediately get a bar code proof when you buy the Hola Barcelona Travel Card online. Once you get to Barcelona, you’ll need to swipe your card at a vending machine at a metro or train stop, select “Hola Barcelona,” and enter your bar code; after that, you’ll get your Hola Barcelona Travel Card. It’s easy and quick. It will no longer be usable after you use the card for the first time.

Barcelona Card – Transport and Discount Ticket

The Barcelona card not only lets you use public transportation for free, but it also gives you discounts on over 25 museums and more than 90 other places, as well as on shows, restaurants, souvenir shops, and more.

The Barcelona Card lets you use public transportation as much as you want during your vacation and gives you deals on activities. Plus, it can save you money and time by not having to buy seats.

Remember that the Barcelona card is only good for two to five days. It would be better to buy a T-casual if you plan to use public transportation a lot.

Barcelona Card - Transport and Discount Ticket
Barcelona Card – Transport and Discount Ticket

T-Casual Transport Ticket

For the metro, you can buy passes for single trips, but the T-Casual ticket is best if -you plan to stay longer than one day or take more than five metro or bus trips.

You can buy the T-Casual ticket (Zone 1 ticket) at the entrance to any metro stop. It is another type of transportation card. Unlike the Barcelona Transport Card, a T-Casual ticket only lets you ride the metro, FGC (FGC runs train lines similar to the metro around the city center), tram, and RENFE 10 times in Zone 1 areas.

Zone 1 is where all the important parts of the city center are. Remember, though, that the T-Casual does not work at Barcelona Airport. You can buy a T-Casual for each of the other 6 zones, though, so you can see most of the sights in the center of Barcelona.

A T-Casual will save you money and time by not requiring you to buy multiple tickets for each trip. If you look at how much a regular ticket for one trip costs, you can see that a T-Casual will save you money for 10 trips.

In a calendar year, T-Casual is good for unlimited time. The card will end one month after the new rates are made public in January of each year. A T-Casual can be bought at any metro stop or airport next to the RENFE train.

Please remember that the T-Casual (Zone 1) can be used on the metro, FGC, and TMB buses, the tram, and RENFE in Barcelona City Center Zone 1. But the T-Casual can’t be used on the metro to get to Barcelona Airport. A different T-Casual zone ticket can cover you for other zones if you need to go somewhere outside of Zone 1.

A point about the T-Casual ticket

As long as your trip takes less than an hour and fifteen minutes, the T-Casual ticket can be used on more than one type of transportation. This means that you can change trains at metro stops as long as you don’t get off the train.

You can then get off the train and get on a bus to finish your trip, or the other way around, as long as the whole trip takes less than 1 hour and 15 minutes. Keep in mind that you can’t get back on the metro after leaving it; that would be like taking a different route.

How to use the T-Casual

You must insert your T-Casual ticket into a ticket validation machine at the metro door in order to use the subway after purchasing it. The machine looks at the ticket and then prints the date and time on the back of it. Then, you have to take the ticket out of the machine’s slot. The gate lock will then turn off, letting you go.

The ticket machine’s LCD screen will show how many trips you have left each time you use your T-Casual ticket. To use a T-Casual on a TMB bus, you need to put your ticket in a small box inside the bus to make sure it is valid.

Take Care of your T-Casual

Keep the T-Casual card out of your pocket if you fold it up. If the card gets damaged to the point where the ticket machine can’t read it, take it to the box for metro workers and say, “Esta tarjeta no funciona.” This means that the card doesn’t work. Following this, they will give you a new T-Casual card for free, which will have the same number of trips left on the old card.

Metro Tickets: €2.40 for a single ticket, €11.35 for a T-Casual pass

€12.65 can be saved on 10 trips with T-Casual.

How to buy your metro tickets

At the entrance to every metro stop, there are automatic ticket vending machines where you can buy your tickets. At the metro ticket machines, you can use change, bills, or a credit card to pay.

You should have more than one way to pay because sometimes one method doesn’t work. If you need help with your tickets or one of the ways you can pay doesn’t work, you can go to the small metro office, usually at the metro stop entrance, and ask for help.

Metro ticket vending machines
Metro ticket vending machines

Metro ticket vending machines

At the entrance to each metro stop, the ticket vending machines are prominently displayed. From the menus on the screen, you can pick the language you want to use. After that, you choose the type of ticket you want and enter the amount you need to pay for it. The ticket and any change you may be due are then given to you.

Navigating the Barcelona metro system

There is a wall map at each main entry to help you plan your trip. You can also ask the person working at the ticket booth for a free “mapa” (subway map) to take with you.

Access to the metro for those with a disability

Barcelona subway system is easy for disabled people to use. Many of the metro stops have lifts, which you can find out about in the tables below. The front and rear carriages of the metro also have a special area for wheelchair users. There are ramps to get on and off the metro, as well as a place inside the metro just for wheelchair users.

Access to the metro for those with a disability
Access to the metro for those with a disability

Trains of the FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya) and Renfe

The Catalan railway company that runs the suburban trains is called FGC. Renfe is the name of Spain’s train company. Along the Costa Brava, trains go to Blanes, which is 50 km away. From there, they go to the airport by going along the coast to Tarragona via Castelldefels and Sitges.

In the northwest, the trains go by places like the monastery Montserrat. When the lines meet in Barcelona, they go underground, like the metro, and are part of the public transportation system. You can get there the same way you get around the subways. Some underground links are also between Metro, Renfe, and FGC stops.

You can take the Renfe from the airport, between Plaça Catalunya and Tibidabo, as well as Gràcia and Sant Gervasi. Also, You can find the FGC path map anywhere, along with the metro and Renfe network maps.

Getting around by tram

Taking the trams in Barcelona is a great way to get around the city. Three sets of six tram lines run through the city. You won’t find a tram in the city’s center, but you can take one to get to a quieter part of the city. A tram ticket costs €2.20, and you can get one at any stop with a ticket machine.

Operating hours of the metro and tram

  • Mondays-Thursdays from 5:00 a.m. to 24:00 p.m.
  • Fridays, 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays and Sundays are nonstop working days.
  • Sunday and holidays: 5:00 a.m. to 24:00 p.m.
  • December 24: 5:00 AM to 11:00 p.m.
  • The metros were still open on January 1, June 24, August 15, and September 24. The business hours end at 23:00 on December 24.
  • In the evening, metro stations usually only have one door open. When the metro isn’t running, there are night cars.
  • The L9s line to the airport is open daily from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Operating hours of the metro and tram
Operating hours of the metro and tram

About bus transportation in Barcelona

It’s hard to understand and use a network like the one that exists for the train. So, it’s hard to say which bus will get you from A to B. If your hotel is a little farther from a metro stop, the front desk staff will definitely tell you which bus to take. You can get the bus plans if you ask at the tourist information desk.

It’s quick and cheap to get around Barcelona by bus. There are more than 230 bus lines in the city that connect all of its parts.

There are more stops on the bus system in Barcelona than on the train, Make sure you know the station’s name very well. There is a set plan for buses in Barcelona, and they run from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The exact times vary from bus to bus. A one-time ticket costs €2.40 and can be bought from the bus driver.

Each line of buses has its own set of hours that it runs. At each stop, there will be a board with the schedule. They leave around 5 a.m. and get back around 2 a.m.

Night bus (NitBus)

You can’t take the train or the bus at night. You can get back to your hotel in Barcelona at any time of the night on one of the city’s many night buses. All lines, except for line N0, stop at Plaça Catalunya, where you can also change lines. It’s possible to go around the city center on the N0 line and switch to the other NitBus.

A private company called AMB runs the night buses. Therefore, the Barcelona Card and the Hola BCN Ticket don’t work. It is possible to get to the airport by the N17 line.

Night bus (NitBus)
Night bus (NitBus)

Alternatives to public transport in Barcelona

You can ride a bike around one of the best areas of Barcelona to see more. Taking a cab is another choice. There are a lot of electric bikes in the city. Barcelona has a very active environment for getting around the city. A number of businesses let people share bikes and scooters.

Renting a bike in Barcelona

The CityBike system in Barcelona is easy to use and covers a lot of ground. Around the city, there are 420 sites with almost 6,000 bikes. Because of that, there’s always a bike around! Each year’s pass costs €47.16 and lets you use the bike for free for 30 minutes. After 29 minutes, you can return the bike and get another (or the same one) for free for another 30 minutes.

You’ll have to pay about €1.50 an hour after the first two hours and €4.50 after that. This is pretty pricey compared to other places, so many people will choose to ride their bikes instead, which saves them money in the long run.

Electric scooter sharing in Barcelona

There are places like GOMEEP where you can rent scooters if you want to use them often.

For €39 a month, GOMEEP lets you rent your own scooter, so you don’t have to share. If you order your scooter 48 hours ahead of time, it will be brought right to your door for free. GOMEEP gives a free maintenance service, so you don’t have to worry when your car breaks down.

Reby The Spanish REBY is a service that lets people get around cities by sharing electric bikes. An app makes it easy to unlock a scooter. It costs €1 to unlock the scooter, and it costs €0.15 per minute to use.

YEGO In Barcelona, you can see YEGO bikes that look like Vespas everywhere. Using the YEGO app, you can get into the electric bikes. You get protection, a helmet, and a fully charged battery when renting a YEGO scooter. Starting at €0.28 per minute, you can use a YEGO.

Urban Scoot Cityscoot is another way to get electric scooters in Barcelona. To find and unlock an electric bike, get the Cityscoot app. You pay for things as you go! You can rent bikes for €0.20 per minute.

Electric scooter sharing in Barcelona
Electric scooter sharing in Barcelona

Barcelona’s taxis

The taxi is faster than the bus or train, especially when the subways aren’t running at night. There are a lot of cabs, and the prices are reasonable for central Europe.

There are phone lines for the taxi offices.

A number of car companies will take reservations over the phone:

In Barcelona, cabs are black and yellow, and the green light on the roof of a free taxi lets you know it’s there. In Barcelona, there are over 4,000 cabs and 260 taxi stands. Of course, you can just wave a cab to yourself; they’ll know what you mean.

But if you’re less than 50 meters from a cab stand, the driver can’t stop to take you. At cab stands, you should be able to pick any car you want, but the drivers will point to the first car in line, and you have to take that one. But there are times when you can take a different taxi, like when you need a taxi to pay with a credit card, etc.

Taxi Fares

This rate is valid from midnight to eight in the morning during the week and all day on weekends, holidays, and non-working days.

Extra money will be needed for the return trip, which the cab is not allowed to take guests on. Motorway fees are another possibility.

The current price is shown on the taxis’ roofs by numbers 1 through 4.

The lowest price is €20.00 from the airport to the city center. Additionally, some places charge extra fees for things like bags.

If you want to go somewhere in the city center from the airport, a taxi ride will cost you between 30 and 40 euros, based on traffic. Surcharges apply for the airport, bags, and maybe even the night drive. Ensure the meter is on before driving off and demand on a receipt. Taxis that take credit cards do exist. Indicators and current rates can be found on the internet.

Taxi Fares
Taxi Fares

How to travel in Barcelona during the night

In Barcelona, a lively nightlife goes hand in hand with living there. The good news is that there are many ways to get around when it’s dark.

NitBus is the only way to get there at night if you want to avoid paying extra for a car. The night buses run from 22:00 to 05:00.

If you want a private, quiet way to get to work, cabs are the best option for you. While taxi prices are higher in Barcelona than in some other European towns, they are still low. Know which parts of Barcelona you should stay away from, especially at night.


Even though the city is very busy, it is very easy and quick to get around in Barcelona. Taking one of Barcelona’s many public transit options, like buses, metro lines, or trams that run all day, is the easiest and best way to get around the city. Twelve lines form the metro system, one of the best ways to get around Barcelona. It’s quick, cheap, and great for seeing all the city’s sights.

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