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Flights to Barcelona: useful information

Are you looking for flights to Barcelona? This a very good idea, because this city is one of the most popular holiday destinations at any time of year.  Hundreds of tourists book their flights to the Catalan capital all year round.  Flying to Barcelona nowadays is really easy and relatively cheap: all you need is to be a little bit savvy and make sure you have all the useful information you'll need before leaving home.

Flying to Barcelona
Flying to Barcelona

Barcelona's Airports 

Up until a few years ago, in order to get to Barcelona, you had to fly to Girona and then get a shuttle bus which took around an hour and a half to reach the Catalan capital, specifically to the Estació del Norte station which is close to the Arco del Triunfo. Nowadays, the majority of tourists choose to fly directly to Barcelona's convenient El Prat Airport which is not far from the city and is well connected to the center. 

Pay Attention to the Terminals!

If you are flying to Barcelona from somewhere else in Spain, you are unlikely to pay much attention to which Terminal you are arriving at but, when you're returning home, you do need to pay attention to which Terminal your flight is departing from.  This information should be shown on your airline ticket. Further on, we will talk about the Aerobús, a convenient means of transport that connects the center of Barcelona with El Prat Airport.  It is worth being aware of the fact that the sign at the front of the bus with show either A1 or A2  so that you don't make a mistake with regards to where you should be going! Nevertheless, you don't need to worry too much about making a mistake, it is just a matter of the time it takes to get from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2.  In fact, you can walk it either inside or outside the airport or you can take the free green shuttle-bus between the terminals. 


The Airlines that fly to Barcelona domestically 

There are various airlines that fly to Barcelona from within Spain: among these are Vueling, which is the low-cost Spanish airline and Ryanair and Easyjet, which are also well known low-cost airlines. Iberia also flies to Barcelona and often has interesting offers on flights to Barcelona. The prices of the three low-cost airlines compete with each other and it is often worth combining the different offers in order to save on flights to and from Barcelona.  For example, the incoming flight with one airline and the outward bound flight with one of the other companies.
Differences between the Low Cost airlines that fly to Barcelona

Travelers who have already had the opportunity try out the different options for flights to Barcelona will be aware of the fact that there are certain differences between the low-cost airlines and the services they offer. Above all, it is worth knowing that you can only take one piece of hand luggage measuring 55x40x20 cm, but most of the main airline companies will also permit a small handbag for adults.   This option, however, is not available with Easyjet which does allow passengers to travel with hand luggage that is slightly larger, i.e., measuring 56x45x25 cm. It is also worth bearing in mind that on flights to and from Barcelona with Ryanair, you may be distracted by offers of products for sale on the plane.  Although this may help to pass the time, on the other hand, it can be quite irritating on an early morning or late night flight when you want to sleep and the lights in the cabin are continuously being illuminated with advertising. 

Connections form the Airport - the City

When you arrive at Barcelona's El Prat Airport, there are various different options available for reaching the city center quickly.


You can take the train whose route terminates at the Airport's Terminal 2, just follow the clear signs to the platform and the ticket office.  Among the various connections from the airport to the city, the train is probably the cheapest but also takes the longest, (around 35 minutes).  You will also need to pay attention to where the train stops: Sants Estació, Passeig de Gracia and Clot-Aragó. In addition to this, the train isn't ideal for those who are arriving early in the morning or late at night.  The first train leaves the center of Barcelona at 05:00 in the morning and the last train departs from the airport at 23:38.

City Transport 

Since 2016, it has also been possible to use the metro (the Orange Line L9) which departs from the Zona Universitaria and arrives first at Terminal 2 and then at Terminal 1: it is important to check that your ticket covers the journey to the airport.  

The Aerobús

The fastest option is undoubtedly the Aerobús, a modern bus service with white and blue buses that have Wi-Fi available on board and whose fare costs €5.90 per journey.  (It is worth buying a return ticket as this will cost you €10.20).  You can get the bus easily as you come out of the airport - they run every 5 to 10 minutes and then you can just sit back and let yourself be driven to the city center.  For those who are unfamiliar with Barcelona, it is easier to get off at the end of the route at the Plaza Catalunya, where you can then either walk, get the Metro or use the "Ferrocarril."  The great advantage of taking the Aerobús is also the fact that it runs up until 12:30 at night towards the airport and until 01:00 towards the city.

Areobus A1
Aerobús A1

Note: In order to get from the airport to the center of Barcelona and vice versa, it is also possible to take a comfortable TAXI.

Flying to Barcelona: tips worth knowing

In order to fly to Barcelona as cheaply as possible, it is recommended that you book your flight well in advance.  If possible, choose a flight mid-week instead of flights at the weekend.  It is also worth remembering that you can check-in online before leaving home, on the dedicated web page of the airline company with whom you are flying. And to finish, we would suggest a simple tip that will save you lots of time: if you are flying just with hand luggage, i.e., what you are able to take with you into the cabin, it is worth trying to find a seat close to where the queue will start once boarding commences.  If you are too far towards the end of the queue, you will run the risk of having to put your suitcase into the hold.  Sometimes the crew are obliged to do this for technical reasons and are unable to store the luggage at the rear of the plane which means that you won't have access to your personal belongings when you're landing and it is a well known fact that delicacy is not the first criteria for the baggage handlers who unload the luggage from the plane! 


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