A Guide to Airports Near Barcelona

Silhouette of traveller at Barcelona Airport; Barcelona, Spain
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Barcelona's airport situation should be straightforward. Technically, there is only one airport in the metropolitan area: Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport in El Prat de Llobregat, located about eight miles outside of the city proper. But there are two other major airports in the region—Reus (REU) and Girona-Costa Brava (GRO)—that are often marketed by budget airlines like Ryanair as being in Barcelona, while they're actually about 60 miles outside Barcelona. There is, however, decent ground transportation that connects the airports to the city. Though Barcelona El Prat is by far a more convenient choice for travelers, the affordable flights to Reus and Girona are appealing to many.

Barcelona–El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN)

Barcelona Airport
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  • Location: El Prat de Llobregat
  • Best If: You want convenient access to the city center; you're flying a long-haul international route.
  • Avoid If: You're traveling to destinations outside Barcelona, like Tarragona.
  • Distance from Las Ramblas: A 15-minute taxi will cost about €25. You can also take the Aerobús, which costs just €6 each way and takes between 15 and 30 minutes. While the Barcelona metro does have a stop at the airport, the RENFE train is more convenient to the city center, taking just 25 minutes and costing €4.60.

Barcelona's main airport, sometimes referred to as El Prat, is Catalonia's largest, serving 50 million passengers in 2018. Dozens of airlines fly into BCN from destinations across five continents (Australia and Antarctica excluded), including a number of budget operators like EasyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair, and Wizz Air. It's by far the most convenient airport to Barcelona's city center, located just eight miles away and connected by multiple public transportation options.

While the terminals can be crowded at times, BCN's vast range of international and domestic flights plus its convenient location make this the airport of choice for many travelers to Barcelona.

Girona–Costa Brava Airport (GIR)

  • Location: Vilobí d’Onyar, near Girona
  • Best If: You're flying a budget airline, or you're headed to the Costa Brava.
  • Avoid If: You want easy access to Barcelona.
  • Distance from Barcelona: The 75-minute journey to Barcelona will cost about €130 if you take a taxi. You can also take a bus directly from the airport to Barcelona's city center for just €16, and it takes about the same amount of time.

Located in the village of Vilobí d’Onyar, about eight miles outside Girona, Girona-Costa Brava Airport is about a 75-minute drive northeast of Barcelona. It's a relatively small airport, with just 11 gates serving two million passengers annually, most of whom fly Ryanair. The terminal itself is nothing to write home about, but given that mainly budget airlines fly here, you're likely to find great deals to this airport.

The cheapest way to get to Barcelona is the direct bus, or you can take a train from Girona's city center. Taxis are pretty expensive—you'd easily spend the money you saved on airfare by taking a cab, in which case you should just fly into Barcelona proper. The airport is, however, very convenient to the beaches of the Costa Brava, as well as the French border.

Reus Airport (REU)

  • Location: Between Reus and Tarragona
  • Best If: You're visiting Reus, Tarragona, or the Costa Daurada; you want to fly a budget airline.
  • Avoid If: You want easy access to Barcelona.
  • Distance from Barcelona: A 75-minute taxi will cost at least €150. There's a bus that connects the airport to Barcelona's city center—it costs €15.50 and takes about two hours.

Reus Airport is the smallest of the big three in Catalonia, serving about one million passengers annually. The majority of its routes—which are limited to European destinations—are seasonal, though there's a year-round flight on Ryanair to London's Stansted Airport. Like Girona, this airport is pretty minimalist when it comes to amenities. You're likely only flying here because the airfare is incredibly affordable, or you're heading to the nearby city of Tarragon or the beaches of Costa Daurada. To get to Barcelona, your best bet is the bus, since taxis are quite expensive.

Article Sources
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  1. Barcelona Airport. "Barcelona Airport Facts & Figures." Retrieved December 2020.

  2. Girona Airport. "Girona Airport Passenger Numbers (2001 to 2018)." Retrieved on December 2020.

  3. Aena. "Introduction - Reus Airport - Aena." Retrieved December 2020.