Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN)

Airport in Barcelona, Spain

Introduction

Barcelona Airport, also known as Barcelona–El Prat Airport, is an international airport located 12 km (7.5 mi) southwest of the centre of Barcelona.It is the main airport of Catalonia, the second largest and second busiest in Spain behind Madrid-Barajas Airport, and the seventh busiest in Europe. In 2016 Barcelona Airport handled a record 44.1 million passengers, up 11.2% from 2015.

Understand

Due to its popularity as a tourist destination, Barcelona Airport sees many direct intercontinental flights. All three major US carriers (American Airlines, Delta and United) fly directly to Barcelona, as do Canadian airlines Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat. Local flag carriers fly to Buenos Aires and Bogota. On the Asian front, Singapore Airlines has a direct connection from Singapore, obviously, while Emirates sends a whole Boeing 777 or Airbus A380 from their hub in Dubai and Qatar Airways competes with a direct connection to theirs in Doha. You can continue from either of those to destinations across Asia, as well as to Australia.

Barcelona rivals Madrid for the number of intra-European connections, with many flag carriers serving both. Barcelona is also one of the European airports best served from the countries of the former Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan etc.), with direct flights to even less frequented airports, operated mostly by local carriers from those countries. There are also many connections to countries of North Africa.

Low-fare carriers operating connections to Barcelona include VuelingNorwegian and Ryanair, who all have bases there and offer a wide network of connections across Europe. EasyJet does not have aircraft based in Barcelona, but flies there from most of their other bases in Western Europe, while WizzAir provides connections to Eastern European countries.

Germanwings flies from every major German city (with connections to Lufthansa and other Star Alliance flights) and Transavia to Paris and airports in the Netherlands (where you can connect to AirFrance-KLM flights). Monarch and Jet2 complement that with flights from airports in the UK. There are also many charter flights to Barcelona, especially in high season, for which you can increasingly buy tickets independently of a package holiday you may not wish to take.

Airlines & Destinations

AirlinesDestinations
Aegean AirlinesAthens
Aer LingusDublin
Seasonal: Cork
AeroflotMoscow–Sheremetyevo
Aeroflot
operated by Rossiya AirlinesSaint Petersburg
Seasonal: Moscow–Vnukovo
Aerolíneas ArgentinasBuenos Aires–Ezeiza
Air AlgérieAlgiers, Oran
Air Arabia MarocFes, Casablanca, Nador, Tangier
airBalticRiga
Air BerlinDüsseldorf
Air Canada RougeToronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau
Air ChinaBeijing–Capital, Shanghai–Pudong, Vienna
Air EuropaAlmeria, Madrid, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife–North
Seasonal: Lanzarote
Air FranceParis–Charles de Gaulle
Air MoldovaChișinău
Air TransatSeasonal: Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson
AlitaliaMilan–Linate, Rome–Fiumicino
Alitalia
operated by Alitalia CityLinerMilan–Linate
American AirlinesMiami, New York–JFK
Seasonal: Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Philadelphia
ArkiaSeasonal: Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Armenia AircompanyYerevan
Atlantic AirwaysSeasonal: Vágar
AviancaBogotá
Azerbaijan AirlinesSeasonal: Baku
Azores AirlinesBoston, Ponta Delgada
BelaviaMinsk
Blue AirBucharest, Iași
British AirwaysLondon–Gatwick, London–Heathrow
British Airways
operated by BA CityFlyerSeasonal charter: Edinburgh, Glasgow
Brussels AirlinesBrussels
Bulgaria AirSofia
Cathay PacificSeasonal: Hong Kong
CityJetSeasonal charter: Belfast-International
Chalair AviationSeasonal: Limoges
Croatia AirlinesZagreb
Croatia Airlines
operated by Trade AirZagreb
Czech AirlinesPrague
Delta Air LinesNew York–JFK
Seasonal: Atlanta
EasyJetBasel/Mulhouse, Berlin–Schönefeld, Bordeaux, Bristol, Geneva, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, London–Southend, Lyon, Milan–Malpensa, Naples, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nice, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Seasonal: Belfast–International
EasyJet SwitzerlandBasel/Mulhouse, Geneva
EgyptAirCairo
El AlTel Aviv–Ben Gurion
EmiratesDubai–International
EurowingsDüsseldorf, Vienna
Eurowings
operated by Air BerlinMunich (begins 31 October 2017)
Eurowings
operated by GermanwingsBerlin–Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, Stuttgart
FinnairHelsinki
Georgian AirwaysTbilisi
IberiaMadrid
Iberia Regional
operated by Air NostrumBadajoz, León, Valencia
Seasonal: Melilla, Pamplona
IcelandairSeasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík
Ikar AirlinesSeasonal: Moscow–Sheremetyevo
Israir AirlinesSeasonal: Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Jet2.comManchester
Seasonal: Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford
KLMAmsterdam
Korean AirSeoul–Incheon
LATAM BrasilSão Paulo–Guarulhos
LATAM PerúLima
LevelBuenos Aires–Ezeiza, Oakland, Punta Cana
Seasonal: Los Angeles
LOT Polish AirlinesWarsaw–Chopin
LufthansaFrankfurt, Munich
Lufthansa Regional
operated by Lufthansa CityLineSeasonal: Munich
LuxairLuxembourg
Mahan AirTehran-Imam Khomeini
Monarch AirlinesBirmingham, London–Gatwick, Manchester
Seasonal: Leeds/Bradford
Nordwind AirlinesSeasonal: Arkhangelsk, Belgorod, Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Monastir, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Moscow–Vnukovo, Murmansk, Nizhnekamsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Orenburg, Perm, Samara, Syktyvkar, Tyumen, Ufa, Volgograd, Voronezh, Yekaterinburg
Norwegian Air Shuttle
operated by Norwegian Air InternationalBilbao, Billund, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Gothenburg, Gran Canaria, Helsinki, London–Gatwick, Oslo, Reykjavík–Keflavík, Stockholm–Arlanda, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tenerife–North
Seasonal: Bergen, Birmingham, Dubrovnik, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Manchester, Palma de Mallorca, Stavanger, Trondheim, Warsaw–Chopin
Norwegian Air Shuttle
operated by Norwegian Long HaulFort Lauderdale (begins 23 August 2017), Los Angeles, Newark, Oakland
Pakistan International AirlinesIslamabad, Lahore
Pegasus AirlinesIstanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
PeopleflySeasonal: Alghero, Trapani
Plus Ultra Líneas AéreasHavana, Madrid
Primera AirSeasonal: Billund, Copenhagen, Reykjavík–Keflavík, Stockholm–Arlanda
Charter: Pori
Qatar AirwaysDoha
Royal Air MarocCasablanca
Seasonal: Tangier
Royal FlightSeasonal charter: St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg
Royal JordanianAmman–Queen Alia
RyanairBeauvais, Bergamo, Berlin–Schönefeld, Birmingham, Bologna, Brussels, Budapest, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Fes, Frankfurt (begins 29 October 2017), Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Hamburg, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Krakow (begins 29 October 2017), Lanzarote, Liverpool, London–Stansted, Luxembourg (begins 30 October 2017), Málaga, Manchester, Marrakesh, Menorca, Nador, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Porto, Prague (begins 29 October 2017), Prestwick, Rome–Fiumicino, Sandefjord, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Sofia, Stockholm–Skavsta, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South, Treviso, Turin, Valladolid, Venice (begins 29 October 2017), Vigo, Vilnius, Warsaw–Modlin
S7 AirlinesMoscow–Domodedovo
Scandinavian AirlinesCopenhagen, Oslo
Seasonal: Bergen, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda, Trondheim
Singapore AirlinesSingaporea
SkyWork AirlinesSeasonal: Bern
Small Planet AirlinesSeasonal charter: Vilnius
Small Planet PolandSeasonal: Lublin Warsaw-Chopin
Sun D'Or
operated by El AlTel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Swiss International Air LinesGeneva, Zürich
Swiss International Air Lines
operated by Swiss Global Air LinesGeneva
TAP PortugalLisbon
TAP Portugal
operated by TAP ExpressLisbon
TAROMBucharest
Thomas Cook Airlines BelgiumSeasonal: Brussels
TransaviaAmsterdam, Eindhoven, Munich, Rotterdam/The Hague
Transavia FranceParis–Orly
Travel Service
operated by SmartWingsSeasonal: Prague
TUI fly BelgiumAntwerp, Ostend/Bruges
TunisairTunis
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul–Atatürk, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Ukraine International AirlinesKiev–Boryspil
United AirlinesNewark
Seasonal: Washington–Dulles
Ural AirlinesMoscow–Domodedovo
Seasonal: St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg
VIM AirlinesCharter: Moscow–Domodedovo, St Petersburg
VoloteaSeasonal charter: Jersey
VuelingA Coruña, Algiers, Alicante, Almería, Amsterdam, Asturias, Athens, Banjul, Basel/Mulhouse, Beirut, Bergen, Berlin–Tegel, Bilbao, Birmingham, Bologna, Bordeaux, Brindisi, Brussels, Catania, Copenhagen, Dakar, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Fes, Florence, Fuerteventura, Geneva, Gran Canaria, Granada, Hamburg, Hannover, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, La Palma, Lanzarote, Lille, Lisbon, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Lyon, Madrid, Málaga, Manchester, Marrakesh, Marseilles, Menorca, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow–Domodedovo, Munich, Nador, Nantes, Naples, Nice, Oran, Oslo, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Paris–Orly, Pisa, Porto, Prague, Rennes, Reykjavík–Keflavík, Rome–Fiumicino, Rotterdam/The Hague, St Petersburg, San Sebastián, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Stockholm–Arlanda, Stuttgart, Tangier, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South, Toulouse, Turin, Valencia, Valladolid, Venice, Vienna, Vigo, Warsaw–Chopin, Zürich
Seasonal: Aalborg, Bari, Bastia, Belgrade, Brest, Bucharest, Budapest, Cagliari, Cardiff, Casablanca, Cluj-Napoca, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Faro, Funchal, Genoa, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Heraklion, Kaliningrad, Kiev–Zhulyany, Kraków, Larnaca, Luxembourg, Malta, Minsk, Mykonos, Nuremberg, Olbia, Santorini, Split, Tallinn, Thessaloniki, Tunis, Zadar, Zagreb
Windrose AirlinesSeasonal: Kiev–Boryspil
Wizz AirBucharest, Budapest, Chișinău, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Gdańsk, Katowice, Poznań, Riga, Skopje, Sofia, Timişoara, Vilnius, Warsaw–Chopin
WOW airSeasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík

Transportation

By metro

Since February 2016, L9S runs from both terminals to the very south edge of Barcelona. Trains run every 7 minutes but there is no direct connection to the city centre nor any Barcelona highlight, so you should sum up the 25-30 minute trip to an interchange, 5 more minutes for changing lines as L9S runs very deep underground, and at least 15-20 more minutes to get to the city centre. You should expect an hour ride from most of the city.

For further aggravating things, metro have a special fare for both airport stations: 4,50€ single fare, no 10 ticket travelcards (T-10) allowed at all. Beware, if you reach the airport coming from Barcelona with the wrong ticket, you'll be forced to pay the full fare regardless of whatever you've already paid. Travelling by metro between terminals also costs 4,50€ while there is a free bus connection between T1 and T2.

So, unless you're going to the Fira, the metro is your worst option as it'll be more expensive and slower. And even if you're going to Fira, you might consider taking the train for just one stop and then change to L9S, as doing that way you can use T-10 travelcards and you'll end up paying just 0,99€ for the trip.

By train

R2 Nord suburban train service (departures 05:42-23:38 every 30 minutes) connects terminal T2B with the Barcelona centre: Barcelona Sants station (travel time is 22 minutes to the airport), Passeig de Gràcia station (27 min), El Clot-Aragó station (30 min). It is generally a cheaper and, sometimes, a faster option to reach the airport.

NB: Do not confuse it with R2 and R2 Sud trains, which do not have a stop at the airport. Also this service does not terminate at Estació de França as R2 Sud does, instead it goes through the center of Barcelona and into the suburbs, so it is important to know at which station you should get off.

  • Aeropuerto (train station). The airport train station has facilities for disabled people: escalators, lifts, etc. 

It is quite counterintuitive, but the newer and busier T1 does not have a direct railway connection to the city. To get a train from T1 you first need to reach T2B by an airport shuttle bus (runs every 5-10 minutes), so plan for an extra 15 minutes of travel.

The airport is inside zone 1 of Integrated Fare System . You can buy a single-ride on the R2 Nord to and from the airport, however, if you buy a multi-ride pass to use during your stay , then this pass allows you to ride the R2 Nord to and from the airport.

By bus

  • Line #46 (Plaza España - Airport). This bus line runs every 20 minutes from either of terminals (downstairs at T1) via El Prat de Llobregat to Plaça Espanya. The journey takes 35–45 minutes.
  • AerobusA shuttle bus service between Barcelona Airport (terminals 1 & 2) and Barcelona's city center: all along Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes to Plaça Catalunya, city center (beside El Corte Inglés). Buses depart every 5–10 minutes dependings of the terminal. A journey takes aprox. 35 minutes. The buses are adapted for persons with reduced mobility (PRM) and dispose over a wide space especially designed for luggage, also offer free wifi on board and they give you a Free Barcelona map with the purchase of your ticket. Buses are heavily air-conditioned in the summer: have something extra to wear during the journey. Single €5.90, return €10.20; cash, credit card, or online
    • Line A1 (Terminal 1). to: 05:00-00:30; from: 05:35-01:05
    • Line A2 (Terminal 2). to: 05:00-00:30; from: 06:00-01:00.
  • Nitbús lines N16, N17 (Plaza Catalunya (Ronda Universidad) - Airport) (N17 is for T1, N16 is for T2; the later one terminates at Castelldefels!). 22.00-05.00 every 20 minAerobuses stop running at midnight, but you can catch a Nitbús night bus service instead. The ride from Plaça Catalunya to Airport El Prat takes about 40–50 minutes). The buses stop at several important points of the city on its route: Plaça Espanya, Gran Via-Urgell, Plaça Universitat and Plaça Catalunya. 
  • Line PR1 (El Prat de Llobregat - Airport) (to the railway station at El Prat de Llobregat). 
  • Line L77 (Airport - Sant Boi - Cornellà). Rapid bus connecting the airport with the Sant Boi station (L8, FGC lines to Martorell, Igualada and Manresa, including Montserrat) and Cornellà Centre (Metro L5, tramway and Renfe R4) 2,15€ single fare, 0,99€ if paid with T-10 travelcard

By taxi

Travelling by taxi is a convenient, but expensive, way to get from the airport to the city centre, especially if you have a family or a lot of luggage.

You will find a taxi rank outside any of the main terminal exits Terminal 1 (T1) or Terminal 2 (and of the 3 buildings of Terminal 2 - T2A, T2B or T2C). Look for the sign pointing to the nearest taxi rank. The taxis operate all night and there are several hundred of them so you don't have to worry about not being able to catch a cab.

The journey to the city centre will take you between 25 to 40 minutes depending on road conditions. If you are travelling from Terminal 1 rather than Terminal 2, this will add an extra 4 km to your journey and take approximately 5 minutes more. Children under the age of 12 must be seated in the back seat of the car and supervised so that they do not distract the driver. Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted during the ride, even if the driver and passenger agree otherwise. The taxi is required to admit blind passengers accompanied by seeing eye dogs (Law of the Parliament of Catalonia 10/1993).

If you have special needs (i.e. wheelchair, special luggage, travelling 5 or 6 people) is better to book in advance your taxi from Barcelona Airport to your destination. There are a lot of local companies that provide pre-payed booking services. You can see the list at Institut Metropolità del Taxi website, Barcelona Tourism BureaumyDriver Barcelona Private Airport TaxiBook Taxi Barcelona website.

Expect to pay (by normal traffic conditions in a workday) around €30.00 for the journey into the centre from T2 and €40.00 for your journey from T1. There will also be an additional surcharge charge for each bag you're carrying and additional surcharge for Barcelona Cruise Port destination. You'll find the rates displayed inside the cab. Final price will depend on time and road conditions.

All official Barcelona taxis are black and yellow. The taxi service in Barcelona is generally very good, clean and reliable.

By car

  • ParkingThere a number of options with different tariff plans. The airport's web site advises to save time and money and book online. 

Get around

T1 and T2 are linked by a free shuttle bus (every 5 to 10 minutes). So, if, for example, you arrive at T1 and wish to take the train to the city centre, you need to transfer on one of those buses (travel time 12-15 minutes).

The bus has 4 stops: T1 Departures (at the 3rd floor), T1 Arrivals (at the ground floor), T2Band T2C.

There is a separate shuttle bus which connects the both terminals with a long stay parking area.

Terminals

Terminal 1

A new Terminal 1 designed by Ricardo Bofill was inaugurated on 16 June 2009. It is the fifth largest in the world, and has an area of 548,000 m2 (5,900,000 sq ft), an aircraft ramp of 600,000 m2 (6,500,000 sq ft), 13,000 new parking lots and 45 new fingers expandable to 60. This terminal is also capable to embrace large aircraft like the Airbus A380-800 or Boeing 747-8I.

The terminal handles both Schengen and non-Schengen flights. It is split into 5 Modules with Module A handling flights to Madrid, Module B handling Schengen flights, Module C handling Air Nostrum flights, Module D handling non-Schengen European flights and Module E handling non-Schengen non-European flights.

Its facilities include:

  • 258 check-in counters
  • 60 jetways (some are prepared for the A380, with double jetway)
  • 15 baggage carousels (one of the new carousel is equivalent to 4 carousels in the old terminal) and
  • 12,000 parking spaces, in addition to the 12,000 already in the terminal 2.

The forecast is that the airport will be able to handle 55 million passengers annually —as opposed to the 30 million people before its construction— and will reach 90 operations an hour.

The extension of the airport with a total investment of €5.1 billion in the future will include a new satellite terminal and refurbishment of existing terminals. The civil engineering phase of the South Terminal has been made possible by a budget of €1 billion.

It is also planned the construction of a satellite terminal —T1S or Terminal 1 Satèl·lit, in Catalan— considering that the airport is on the verge of collapse because terminals cannot handle all passengers because of space shortage. This terminal will be at 1,5 kilometres from the current T1 terminal, behind the 02-20, transversal, runway. With this action, the airport will be able to increase its passenger capacity to 70 million people annually.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 is divided into three linked sections, known as Terminal 2A, 2B and 2C. Terminal 2B is the oldest part of the complex still in use, dating back to 1968. Terminals 2A and 2C were added in order to expand the airport capacity before the arrival of the 1992 Summer Olympics held in city. This expansion was also designed by Ricardo Bofill Levi.

This terminal is most occupied by low-cost airlines, although there are some airlines which are not low-cost in this terminal.

Following the opening of Terminal 1 in 2009, Terminal 2 became almost empty until the airport authorities lowered landing fees to attract low-cost and regional carriers to fill the terminal. Whilst this has helped, the complex is nowhere near full capacity and Terminal 2A is currently unused for departures. Terminal 2C is used only by EasyJet and EasyJet Switzerland flights, with flights to the UK using module M0, whilst flights to the rest of Europe use module M1. Terminal 2B is mostly used by Ryanair and others, like Transavia. And T2A is adapted for large airplanes, such as B777. The terminal is also split into Modules, where flights to schengen destinations use Module U and flights to non Schengen destinations use Modules W and Y.

Coffee & Restaurants

  • Cafes, pre-security check. Limited options, sub-standard fare. Food at Ars is awful and not cheap. Pans & Company have almost no hot meals. For more options in Terminal 1 go to 3rd floor: better food and restaurants, but more expensive.
  • Cafes, post-security check. Numerous options, all close at around some time between 10PM and 11PM.

Accommodation & Hotels

  • Air Rooms Barcelona (Terminal 1, land area at the Business Centre, next to the Barcelona-Madrid corridor),  +34 933 758 600, e-mail: 9 rooms and 1 suite are available either for overnight stay or for day use (3-6h, 10:00-18:00)

 

The nearest hotels are located at the town of El Prat de Llobregat and Zona Franca of Barcelona near the port.

Airport services

Shopping

  • Duty-free shops. Open from 6/6:30AM to 9:30PM (few to 10PM). Shops are numerous and some are hard to find elsewhere in the city. After security check, most shops are before the passport control; there are only one or two afterwards.
  • Tax-free shopping refundOffice closes at 10PM without compromises. After that time checks can be processed only by mail: complete your tax-free forms with your passport data and addresses, have them stamped by the customs office (a window next to arrivals gate door; they don't ask to see your purchases); put them into the envelope you were given in the shop—and wait for several months.

Connect

Things to know

  • Airport infomation T1 (in the centre of the arrivals (floor 1) at the tip of the triangular pavilion opposite to the arrivals zone exit). 
  • Tourist infomation T1 (at the arrivals (floor 1), on the left of the arrivals zone exit).
  • Left luggageThe deposits are located at the both terminals. €6/item of normal luggageup to 2h, then €10/item for each extra 24h; discounts for leaving 4 bags and more
    • Left luggage T1 (from the arrivals at floor 1 via a passage in the centre towards the parkings, then follow "Left luggage" (Consigna) signs towards a lobby at the ground floor),  932 971 21324/7
    • Left luggage T2 (Section B, floor 0, Check-in hall),  932 971 2726:00-22:00
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