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Monday, 22 December 2014
 

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Barcelona Airport: transport to the city centre

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Barcelona International Airport (IATA: BCN, ICAO: LEBL), also known as El Prat, is a major transport hub and fields flights from all over Europe and beyond.

Terminals

There are three terminals, A, B and C, all within fairly easy walking distance of each other. Terminal B is used by Spanish carriers (Iberia, Spanair, Air Europa, Vueling) and their partners (eg British Airways). Terminal C is smallest and used for all domestic flights, including the Puente Aereo (Air shuttle) to Madrid. Terminal A for all other flights. A giant new south terminal was open in 2009.

Transport from the Barcelona Airport to the city centre

The airport is only about 10 km away from the city center. Airport transfers can be arranged for groups, taxis are available but expensive (€20-30 to the city center). A cheaper and often faster option is the half-hourly RENFE C-10 suburban train line calling at Sants (20 minutes), Passeig de Gràcia (25 minutes) and Estació de França (30 minutes) in the city center. A single ticket is about €2.20, but an under-advertised fact is that you can use the T-10 ticket (€7.20 for ten trips, including all bus and metro transfers made within 75 minutes) instead. You can buy a T-10 from the ticket vending machine at the airport station.

Alternatively, the Aerobús A1 line stops between Terminal A and Terminal B and travels along Gran Via to Plaça Catalunya. Buses depart every 6-9 minutes, the published journey time is 35 minutes (although can take considerably longer during rush hour) and costs €4.05 one-way. Buses are heavily air-conditioned in summer: have something extra to wear during the journey. Aerobuses stop running at midnight, but you can catch a Nit Bus night bus service instead (Nit Bus N17, between 22.00 and 05.00. The ride from Plaza Cataluña to Airport El Prat takes about 40 minutes).

Duty-free shops

Open from 6/6:30am to 9:30pm (few to 10pm). Shops are numerous and some are hard to find elsewhere in the city. Most shops are before the passport control; only one or two are afterwards.

Tax-free shopping refund. Office closes at 10pm without compromises. After that time checks can be only processed by mail: complete your tax-free forms with your passport data and addresses, stamp them with the custom office (a window next to arrivals gate door; they don't ask to see your purchases); put them into envelope you were given in the shop and wait for several months.

Cafes

Cafes, pre-security check. Limited options, sub-standard fare. Food at Ars is awful and not cheap. Pans & Company have almost no hot meals.

Cafes, post-security check. Numerous options, all close something between 10pm and 11pm.

Parking

Costs €1.35/hour, €9.45/day, €6.75/day from the 6th day.

Luggage lockers

Baggage storage is €4.60 per day for a large locker that easily fits 2-3 serious suitcases. Left-hand end of Terminal B, behind the Ars cafe.

Departure gates

Poorly conditioned at ground level (at least gate #57, sector A, after 11pm).

WiFi

Available throughout the airport, operated by KubiWireless: €7.5 for 45min, €9 for 1 hour, €15 for 24 hours.

Low cost carriers operating to Barcelona

Air Berlin, Monarch Airlines, Jet2.com, ClickAir (a discount subsidiary of Iberia), Vueling, WIZZ Air, easyJet, Ryanair (only on nearby Girona and Reus airports), Blue Air, Sterling Airlines, flyGlobespan, Transavia among many others.

Nearby airports

Some low-cost carriers, notably Ryanair, use the airports in Girona, nearly 100km to the north, or Reus, around the same distance to the south, instead.

For Girona Airport: The Barcelona Bus service runs a shuttle bus from Estació del Nord in Barcelona to Girona Airport and this ties in with various flight times. A one-way ticket costs €12 and a return ticket costs €21. The journey takes approximately one hour and ten minutes.

For Reus airport, the easiest way is to take the train from Barcelona Sants station to Reus and then the local bus to the airport. The train costs €6.45 and then the bus costs €2. This takes roughly about an hour and a half.



 
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