Getting around Barcelona couldn’t be easier. You have a choice of the Metro (like the London Underground), buses, trams and on foot, all of which are quick, easy and cheap. Depending on where you are going and how long you are there for, you can obtain travel-cards that help you get about in this magnificent City.
We opted for the five day Hola BCN! Card which, for €32, gave us unlimited travel for the five days we were there on the buses, Metro, tram, local train FGC (Zone 1) and the regional train called Rodalies (Zone 1) which also means you can use it on the train to and from the airport. The Rodalies train takes you from the airport to the City Centre and the stop Passeig de Gracia, perfect for onward travel to your hostel/hotel via the Metro. Please don’t do what I did on the way back to the airport… I exited out of the train station at Passeig de Gracia to get a bottle of water while I was waiting for the train to the airport, and found that my Hola BCN! Card wouldn’t let me back in again! I managed to convince the guy at the ticket desk that I made a huge mistake and he let me through. Apparently that train station is outside the allowed zone the card could be used in.
The confusion however, is with the Montjuïc funicular as online it says you can use it there, but on the back of the card it says you can’t, so if you are wanting to use aerial cable-way then please check before you travel.
All details, and to purchase your Hola BCN! Card before you travel (you get 10% off online too), can be found here: http://www.tmb.cat/en/barcelona-travel-card
Once you have obtained your card you then just slot it into the ticket machine and you’re through. Ticket machines operate in the same way on the Metro, in the train station or on the bus. It’s like the London underground, you put your ticket in one end and it pops out the other. The buses are a little different. There is a white machine behind where the driver sits that you have to put your ticket in to, it makes a noise and pops it back out again. If you hear a noise like an alarm, it means there’s a problem with your ticket. It could be that the ticket was put in the wrong way round or there might be a problem with the ticket. As we never used the trams while we were there I can’t comment on how to use them there but you can find more information on where the machines are located here: http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/transport/tram-guide-barcelona.html
To get to and from the airport, you can either use the train or the official shuttle bus called Aerobus. This bus goes between terminal one and two of the airport and takes you to the centre of Barcelona in around 35 minutes. There are various stops along the way and prices start from €5.90 one way. More details can be found here: http://www.aerobusbcn.com/
So, there you are. A brief blog on the transport of Barcelona. There are different types of tickets available for your stay, it all depends on how long you are staying and where you want to go. Below is a list of websites that might come in handy for your time here, so at least you will be prepared with your travel plans before you leave for your trip.
A multi-person travel card valid for 10 intermodal journeys from 1 to 6 zones.
The Barcelona Card for travel and free admission to some tourist attractions.
Lists of all the Leisure Transport Tickets available, for example, Tourist Bus etc…
Guide for the underground metro and further links to maps and timetables.