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Barcelona's Metro

Barcelona's Metro is a functional and very popular means of transport for workers, students and tourists alike. In fact, the Catalan capital's Metro network has 11 lines, 3 of which are run by the company FCG and the other 8 of which are run by TMB.

Barcelona's Metro
The railway in Barcelona

The Metro and the Railways

The difference between the two services is that the latter, which are know as "Ferrocarrils" are more similar to the underground trains and reach areas of the city which aren't covered by the TMB metropolitan line, such as, for example, the district of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi. Barcelona's Metro is fast, convenient and well spread out across the city area: it is often possible to reach some of the main tourist destinations on one or other of the Metro lines, such as the Sagrada Familia for example, (on the Violet Line L2 or the Blue Line L5) or Plaza Catalunya (the Red Line L1 or the Ferrocarril L6 and L7). One of the most convenient features of using this service is that inside the coaches, there are illuminated signs which show travelers the direction in which they are going, and this information can also be seen on the interior screens whilst at each stop, passengers are told where they are as the doors are opening.  You can't got wrong!

What's the best kind of ticket to buy?

There are various options for tourists who want to visit Barcelona.  All you need to do is to choose the one that is best suited to your needs. Of course, it isn't recommended to buy individual tickets for the Metro because these are quite expensive, (€2.15 for each single journey),  If, however, you are unsure as to how much you are likely to use the Metro service, the best suggestion would be to buy a pass that is called the T-10.  This will give you 10 journeys for the price of €9.95, with the possibility of using the tickets on some of the transport routes above ground as well. All you have to do is to remember to validate your ticket each time you change from one mode of transport to another, (from the tram to the bus, for example): if less than an hour and a quarter has elapsed between one validation and another, no travel cost will be charged for pensioners. The T-10 tickets can also be used by more than one person simultaneously: again, the important thing to remember is to validate your ticket each time it is used by a different individual.  For tourists, there is also the option of a short pass which is called the Hola BCN! which can last from 2 to 5 days and whose use is unlimited for the metro stops as well as other modes of integrated transport (for each user), costing between €14.00 and €32.00.  This latter option is very convenient if you plan to travel frequently on public transport but wouldn't be suitable for those who love walking around the city or who intend to visit the city on a bicycle.

When does the Metro close?

The operating hours on the Barcelona Metro are as good for the early risers as they are for night-owls: the service starts every weekday at 05:00 and operates through to midnight.  On Fridays, the service is extended until 02:00 and on Saturdays, it is open non-stop until 24:00 on Sunday night.  The only time that the city's public transport service isn't guaranteed is when there is a strike and unfortunately, these have been more frequent in recent years.  If strikes are scheduled, then tourists should look out for signs on the walls of the underground stops for the word "huelga" which means 'a strike' in Spanish or "vaga" in Catalán.  If you're aware of the problem, then you won't be hanging around for a train that is never going to arrive!

Barcelona's Metro
The Barcelona Metro
Advice when travelling underground

Those who live in Barcelona will have definitely learned some tricks for getting around the city with ease, such as how to save time when travelling on public transport.  For example, it isn't advisable to change metro lines at the largest and most popular hubs such as Diagonal or Passeig De Gracia where, in order to reach the train you want, you can spend a lot of time walking among a crowd of people who are hurrying frantically.  The temperature in the Metro's tunnels is quite hot and quite often, people feel unwell because of the heat.  The best advice is to wear comfortable light clothing so that you can take off your jacket when the stations and trains are really crowded and you should always ensure you have some bottled water with you.  Thankfully, the city's underground network has plenty of bars where you can take refuge, if necessary. Our recommendation is go get out onto the street and then walk to the desired metro station which will avoid having "to change stations" in the middle of rush hour.  At less busy times, such as in the afternoon, it is worth knowing that you can get on the metro cars with a bicycle, as long as you make sure to choose one of the carriages at the ends of the train and you will need to remember that if you do this, you will still have to carry your bicycle onto the platforms and up the stairs. The final piece of advice is to pay great attention to the direction in which the trains are travelling. In some instance, you may enter a large station which has 4 platforms with trains going in two different directions. For example, the station at Glories on the L1 Line has a central platform where the trains from opposite sides travel in opposing directions from each other.

2018 Update

From the 1st January 2018, new tariff regulations have been implemented for public transport in Barcelona. This new regulation resulted in an increase in the price of individual tickets of €0.05 for single journeys and €0.20 for the T-10. Throughout 2018, the price of a single ticket cost €2.20 and the T-10 which covers 10 journeys, cost €10.20.  With regard to the latter, the tickets are valid for 75 minutes from the time of departure with the first validation. 

Check out the Barcelona metro map
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