|Barcelona metro underground system|
You can buy tickets for individual journeys for the metro at €2.00 per ticket. But if you are here for more than one day or intend taking more than 5 journeys on the metro or buses it's best to buy the T10 ticket (see below).
The Barcelona Transport Card will give you unlimited travel on the Barcelona Metro, FGC, TMB buses, the main tram and the RENFE train to and from Barcelona Airport (El Prat de Llobregat). Nearly all of Barcelona attractions are accessible via the metro system therefore you have your transport covered when you purchase this card. You can also use it on the TMB bus from Barcelona centre to Barcelona Airport however it cannot be used on the Aerobus (the express bus service to the airport). It also cannot be used on the Montjuic Cable Car or the Tram Blau (the tram that goes up to Tibidabo mountain). The Transport Card can be purchased to cover anything between 2 to 5 days of transport. You can purchase this card online before you arrive in Barcelona and can pick it up when you arrive in Barcelona International Airport at the Barcelona Turisme information office during normal operating hours. The tourist offices are situated in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2B. The main advantage of the Barcelona Transport Card is that is that it is economical, convenient and your transport costs are mostly covered on your trip to Barcelona.
T10 Metro ticket
Buying individual tickets for each journey is not economical or time effective unless you will be making only 3 journeys on public transport. Much better is to buy a T10 , a Transport Card or the travel and discount card called the Barcelona Card.
The Barcelona card not only gives you free unlimited transport as the Barcelona Travel Card above but it also entitles you to discounts on the entrance fees to attractions, shows, restaurants and souvenir shopping etc as well.
If you want Free unlimited number of journeys on public transport for the duration of your holiday with discounts on activities consider the Barcelona Card. It can save you a lot of bother in buying tickets and save you money.
The T10 ticket (Zone 1 ticket) is another type of transport card which you can purchase at the entrance to any metro station. Unlike the Barcelona Transport Card a T10 ticket will only entitle you to 10 journeys on the metro, FGC (FGC run train lines similar to the metro around the city centre) buses, tram and RENFE all Zone 1 areas. The main city centre areas are all in Zone 1.
It is possible to buy a T10 for each of the other 6 zones however to see most of the Barcelona attractions and the city centre you only need a T10 (Zone 1) and this article it referring to this ticket.
A T10 costs only €9.80 and will save you the trouble of buying individual tickets for each journey as well as saving you money. A normal single journey ticket costs you €2.00 so with a T10 you save €10.20 for 10 journeys!
T10 is valid indefinitely within a calendar year (however the card will expire one month after the new tariffs are released in January each year) and can be shared with other members of your group. Note to use the T10 for each person you have to put the card in the machine and then pull it out completely from the ticket validation machine - this will release the turnstile to allow you through. Leave the card on the machine for the next member of your group to use the T10. Each time someone in your group uses the T10 it counts as a separate journey.
You can buy a T10 from any metro stop and from the Airport at the entrance to the RENFE train. Please note that the T10 (Zone 1) is valid for journeys in Barcelona City Centre Zone 1 on the metro, FGC and TMB buses, Tram and RENFE. If you need to travel outside of Zone 1 you can buy a different T10 zone ticket that will cover you for other zones.
The T10 is valid on the RENFE train to the airport but not valid on the Aerobus (the express bus service to the airport).
A little known point about the T10 ticket. The T10 ticket can be used on more than one means of transport and all be counted as a single journey provided that your journey is less than 1 hour and 15 minutes. This means for example, you can make changes at metro stops (provided you don't leave the metro), then leave the metro and jump on a bus to finish your journey or vice versa as long as the total length of the journey is less than 1 hour and 15 minutes. NOTE you cannot re-enter the metro once you have left it - this would count as another journey.
If you want to see the extent of the travel Zones we have provided a link to the FGC Zone map. Please note that you will need Adobe Acrobat to read this. Barcelona Train Zones
Once you've purchased your T10 ticket and want to use the metro you have to put the ticket into a ticket validation machine at the metro entrance. The machine checks the ticket and then marks it on the back with a printed day and time stamp. You then have to pull the ticket out of the machine slot and in that instant the turnstile lock is released and you can pass through.
Will You Get Caught Out? Many times tourists put their ticket in the right hand side slot of the ticket validation machine and then try to enter on the left hand side turnstile only to find they can't pass through the turnstile. Why not? Because you have to enter your ticket on the left hand side and enter on the right turnstile!! Watch out for this. There is a good chance you could get caught out! The rule for turnstile metro entrances is Ticket on the left, pass through on the right.
But just to make things a little more complicated... If you find that the ticket validation machine has glass sliding doors instead of a turnstile you have to enter your ticket on the right hand side and pass through on the left! - You will find sliding door -type entrances to the metro at Catalunya and Barcelona Sants station for the RENFE train entrance.
Each time you use the T10 ticket you will see how many journeys you have left on the LCD display of the ticket validation machine.
For using a T10 on a TMB bus there is a small ticket validation box inside the bus that you have to put your ticket in to validate it.
The T10 card can be damaged if you keep it in your pocket and crease it. If the card becomes unreadable by the ticket validation machine due to damage, take the card to the metro attendants box and say " Esta tarjeta no funciona" Which means this card does not work. They will then issue you with a new T10 card free of charge with the respective number of journeys that was left on the old card.
Thanks due to Sudir, USA for asking the above question.
It's a good idea to have change as well as notes because some entrances are unmanned and have automated ticket machines. Some of these automated ticket machines will only accept change.
All main entrances have a wall map to help you plan your journey. However you can also ask the ticket booth attendant for a free metro map or "mapa" to take with you.
See our page on the Barcelona metro map
How To Estimate Your Metro Journey Time
Here is a good guideline to estimate your journey time on the metro. As a general rule of thumb allow 2 minutes per stop. Some stops are quicker and some slightly longer but over all this rule of thumb works well to give you an estimate of travel times with a little time built in for possible small delays etc.
If you need to change metro lines then add an extra 10 minutes for the change. You will only need to wait 5 minutes between trains at the very most. On Sundays the metro runs a little less frequently in which case add an additional 10 minutes waiting time to your overall calculation Thanks due to Sophie, UK for asking this question.
The operating hours for the metro system are shown in the table below. Normally you won't have to wait more than 5 minutes for a train to arrive.
|Day of the week||Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 11|
|Monday-Thursday||05:00 - 00:00 midnight|
|Sunday & holiday||05:00 - 00:00 midnight|
|Friday||05:00 - 02:00|
|Saturday and day prior to 01 January, 24 June, 15 August and 24 September||Continuous Service|
|24 December||05:00 - 23:00|
Important note: The operation times shown in the table above will change if there is a public holiday or "fiesta" normally the metro will operate throughout the night on the eve of the public holiday but it is recommended to check the operational hours during these times with an attendant at a ticket booth to confirm.