Tourist Information Guide

Time required to clear customs at Barcelona airport?

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Q: I am flying into Barcelona International Airport (BCN) in May on Iberia Airlines. I arrive at 11am. I need to get a connecting flight to get to Madrid, however, the flights were booked separately so my luggage will not be connected. How long will it take me to go through customs in Barcelona, get my luggage and re-check in for my flight to Madrid so I know when to book my connecting flight.

A: T1 is not walking distance to T2 and you would need to take a shuttle bus if the flights are operating from different terminals. We advise leaving at least 30 minutes for the transfer between T1 and T2 (even though on average it will be much quicker than this if a shuttle bus is ready to go).

Regarding your bags and making your way through customs this would under normal circumstances take around 30 minutes. Assuming that there are no stops or difficulties on the way out. Customs periodically stop passengers to check their bags - and if this happens you could easily add another 15 -20 minutes to the customs clearance time.

Barcelona Airport Terminal
One of Barcelona Airport terminals

Therefore to be on the safe side, under normal conditions you should allow a minimum of 1 to 1.5 hours total clearance and transfer time which would be plenty of time to clear customs with your bags and make your way to the ongoing terminal.

The other constraint to consider is with the airlines themselves. Some of them insist that you arrive at checking at least 2 hours before the flight, others only 1 hour before the flight, therefore, you should contact the airlines directly and confirm with them what is the last check-in time.

I hope that this will give you some idea of the issues involved. For more detailed information see the links below:

Barcelona Airport Customs
Barcelona airport shuttle bus

Secure Luggage Drop Off and Transfer Service

There is a secure luggage storage and transfers service that operates to and from Barcelona. This is a handy service were you can drop off your luggage and have it securely transferred to your final destination e.g. your hotel or other destination e.g. the cruise port. We have put together an article that explains in more detail this service.

Secure luggage drop off, storage and transfer service

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