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Your guide to Barcelona

Transportation

Metro of Barcelona

Move around the city – Barcelona transportation

Here’s a complete guide to Barcelona transportation. From now on, you’ll never get lost in Barcelona! We all know that Barcelona is a big city and it can get a bit messy, let’s explain about to move around.

Barcelona transportation metro map
Barcelona metro map – the easiest Barcelona transportation system
There are several options to discover this amazing city, choose one that suits your needs depending on your destination, budget or rush.

Public transportation in Barcelona

 

Metro

Simply the best way to travel from one point of the city to another: no traffic jams, no red lights… go underground as much as you can!

Bus

A good idea, especially since the metro doesn’t cover the whole city and doesn’t run non-stop. A bus will always take you there, no matter your destination or time in the clock (during the night, you have the nit bus).

Tram

A modern aboveground system, only running in some parts of the city. Connects Barcelona with its neighbor cities.

Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC)

An underground railway system, run by the Catalan government. A mix of mid and short distance trains, especially useful to get to upper Barcelona.

Bicing

Only for locals, a really good option once you’ve signed in as a Bicing user!

Private transportation of Barcelona

Taxi

A classic: taxis are (really) easily found in Barcelona and not many expensive. Some taxi drivers may take advantage of your lack of knowledge, so be aware.

Uber

Unfortunately, Uber is not a functioning service in Barcelona. This lack is compensated with many other means of transport.

 

The city streets distribution

barcelona eixample view
An air view of the city expansion (Eixample) with its ortogonal pattern

Barcelona has a really characteristic street distribution, thanks to XIX urbanist Ildefons Cerdà who gave a rational approach to the city expansion. Under his direction, the Plan Cerdà converted most of the city in an ortogonal distribution, giving it’s iconic shape to the Example neighborhood.

This unique plan makes Barcelona’s traffic relatively fluid. Let’s see the reasons behind it:
-Most of the streets are only one-way
The “rondes”: there are some kind of inner highways that cross all the city, making it much easier to travel long distances within Barcelona
Motorbikes. Barcelona is a perfect for motorbikes, there are more than 300,000 in the city. A motorbike is much quicker and takes up much less space than a car
-Bike lanes: with more than 120 km of bike lanes, a lot of Barcelonians choose bicycle over other vehicles, a much efficient and ecologic transport
-A modern and citizen-oriented public transportation system

Barcelona is an international transport hub

Due to its great location, Barcelona is gaining importance each day as an international hub.
Close to Rome, Paris, Madrid or Zurich, Barcelona is a bridge between the south-west corner of Europe and the rest of the continent. With a modern and huge airport, high-velocity trains to Madrid and Paris and one of the most busy ports in the world Barcelona, is always connected by air, land and sea.

A city constantly improving his transportation system

Barcelona is concerned about transportation, seeing it as a key element to improve locals life. Some things achieved in the last years are a proof of this will to increase and improve Barcelona transportation network:
2 Subway lines opened recently: Line 9 and Line 10
-One of these, Line 9, stablished a new connection between the city and the airport
-In 3 years, the bike lane network will be more than doubled, getting from 120 to 300 km of bike lanes
-In 2 years, the more contaminating vehicles will be banned from the city centre, towards a greener city

Coming with your car

Despite the previous things said, it’s not a good idea to take your own car to Barcelona. If you cannot come by plain, train or bus, here is some advice before you come:

  • Most of the parking spots in the street need to pay for them
  • On top of this, paying spots are divided in blue and green ones. Each one with its own price, hour and system: this makes it difficult to be understood
  • It’s really complicated to find a free spot, even in the pay-per-park areas
  • Any problem with the above always ends in the same scenario: the municipal crane taking your car away (which is really expensive and time-consuming)

Luckily, there are some areas in which you can find free parking.

Areas with free parking in the street

This are recognized for being white. This means you can park there for free and for an unlimited period of time. Which are these zones?

  • Zona Universitària and F.C Barcelona stadium surroundings
  • Some small areas around Mar Bella beach and Bogatell beach. Finding a free spot here is more difficult than seeing a unicorn
  • Pedralbes neighborhood
  • Sagrera neighborhood
  • Some malls, such as “La Maquinista”, “Ikea” or “Gran Via II” – Note that if you park here you’re restricted to the mall’s timetable

 

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