The Barcelona Metro is one of the most under-used resources available to tourists. It is safe to use at any time of day, it comprehensively covers most of the city and is cheap. Metro plans appear on most Barcelona maps and guide books usually say which stop is the nearest to a particular sight (it is an 'M' in a diamond shape in most guide books) so you will always know where you are going.
Top Tip for Taking the Train from the Airport to the City
The ten-journey metro card (see below) can be shared between several people and can be used from the airport. One ten-journey card is cheaper than two single tickets from the airport. And you'll still have eight journeys left to explore Barcelona.
See more Barcelona Travel Tips.
First Day in Barcelona - Take A Bus Tour First!
Though the Barcelona Metro should be your primary transport choice in the city, for your first day I recommend a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour bus to help you get your bearings: Barcelona Sightseeing Tour Bus (book direct)
See also: Barcelona Bus Tour with On-Board Gourmet Meal (book direct)
Use the T-10 Ticket Instead of the Tourist Ticket
The T-10 ticket gives you ten journeys for 9.95€, valid for as long as you are in Barcelona and can be transferred between you and your travel partners.
The tourist ticket costs 7.60€ for a day of unlimited travel for one person. So you would need to make at least eight journeys in a single day to make the Tourist Ticket worth it, which I have never done. Get the T-10 instead.
When is the Barcelona Metro Open?
The metro in Barcelona is open until midnight from Sunday to Thursday, until 2am on Friday and through the night on Saturday.
Barcelona Metro Tickets
One of the most important things to get your head around is the various tickets available. Choosing the right ticket is essential to taking full advantage of the low prices of the Barcelona Metro.
Note that the Barcelona Metro (and the train from the airport) are both free with the Barcelona Card (book direct).
The options available to you are:
- Single ticket (Price: 2€) The most expensive ticket and not worth buying unless you really only plan on making one journey. Not valid to the airport.
- T-10 Ten Journeys (Price around 9.95€) Much cheaper than buying individual tickets, each journey works out at 99c, which is half price! More than one person can use the ticket at the same time too - you can pass the ticket back and your companion can pass it through the machine too. A 'journey' lasts 1h15m, so you can change metros as many times as you want in that time and can even go onto a bus. Remember to validate your ticket each time in the machine provided.
- One-, Two-, Three-, Four- and Five-Day Tickets (Price 7.60€ - 32€) Unless you plan on using the card a lot in one day, the ten-ticket card is usually a lot better value. Even the five-day ticket costs 6 euros per day, which requires six journeys to get your money's worth.