Navigating your way around a new city can be a difficult task to master at first. You stare at all those lines on the metro map in the station, trying to figure out the best route to take, and once you get to the ticket machine you have no idea what the best or cheapest option is.
Luckily, the Barcelona Metro is one of the easiest metro systems to work around, with clear routes and simple signs in every station. For newbies to the city, here is a short guide to the best ticket options on the Barcelona metro, and a bit of insider experience to make sure you get the best out of your experience. We hope our Guide to the Barcelona Metro helps you while visiting.
There are a few different options available to visitors when it comes to deciding on metro tickets in Barcelona, but the T-10 option is by far the best. These cost around just under 10 euros, and with them you get 10 single journeys on the metro, buses and FGC trains (a separate train system to the metro). This includes combinations such as using the metro and then changing to a bus – this will only cost you one journey from your T-10 if you use it within 1hr and 15mins.
This change system does not apply to getting on and off the metro, however. You can change to different lines within the metro system, but once you leave the metro station on your T-10, the changes available to you for that journey do not apply to getting back on the metro, only buses and FGC trains.
Each time you go through a barrier, it stamps the back of the ticket. This stamp will be a row of numbers and letters, and the final digit of this stamp will tell you how many you’ve used. Alternatively you can look at the electronic display as you go through that barrier, which will tell you this number as well.
You can use this ticket within Zone 1 of the transport systems, which covers anything a tourist could need as this zone includes the entire city centre. They also apply to the trains to and from the airport, for example.
There are single ticket options as well as monthly passes you can buy, but the T-10 is the best option for a vacation to Barcelona. A single ticket costs 2 euros and won’t allow you to change transport, whereas a single journey on a T-10 is less than a euro and gives you the option of changing to a bus or FGC train.
From Sunday to Thursday the metro is open from 5am to midnight. Friday night it extends to closing at 2am, and on Saturday night the metro runs all night long. When they say the metro closes at midnight, they mean that the last train leaves the end station of the line at midnight. If you’re in the centre and it’s just past midnight, it’s always worth checking to see if the train has passed through yet and sometimes they can come as late as 12.15 in the centre depending on the line.
Ease of Use and Safety
The signs in the Barcelona metro are very easy to understand, and should tell you which line and direction you want for your destination. What becomes more confusing is when the FGC and Renfe trains overlap with the metro stations; these are two different systems and can get confusing if you’re not aware of that. All the metro stations start with an ‘L’ and end in a number; the yellow line for example is L4. Anything else on a map starting with a different letter is part of the FGC and Renfe system, which is a train system that goes much further out of the city and to the suburbs.
Never hesitate to ask an attendant which way you should be going, and if they don’t speak English they will at least try to point you in the right direction using the maps which are located in all the stations.
The metro is perfectly safe to use at night, the only thing that could happen is you get something pinched by a pick pocketer, which are rife in Barcelona. Always watch you bag on the metro and make sure you leave no pockets open from where a phone or wallet could be easily swiped.
One final tip – have a look at Google maps before taking your metro route, just in case there is an easy way to walk it. Some of the metro stations are incredibly close together, and that doesn’t translate onto a metro map very easily. If you’re going through a few stops on one line, then have to change to another to go just one extra stop, look on a map to see how far it is to walk as sometimes it can just be a few streets away.
Have you used the Metro system in Barcelona? How did you find it?