Barcelona airport is located only 16km far from the south of the city and it is also known as el Prat which refers to the name of the town where it is located. The airport has two terminals, T1 and T2 (that is divided in A, B and C).
Barcelona airport is the second largest international airport in Spain after Madrid airport called Barajas. El Prat is the first airport in Catalonia and in the Mediterranean coast and is the 9th in regards to passenger traffic of Europe.
Terminals at the airport of Barcelona
The terminals at Barcelona Airport are organised by carriers and not according to the place of origin or the destination. It is important to verify before going to the airport from which terminal the flight departs. There is not much distance between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and there is a shuttle train but it is best to go straight to the right place to avoid losing time. Check the barcelona airport web.
T1: Terminal 1
The T1 is what locals call the new terminal since it opened its doors to the public in 2009. The terminal is divided in four different levels, and you can get to the terminal on your own car, by taxi, by bus or by train. There is a shuttle bus that links the two terminals, T1 and T2, and the duration is around 10 minutes, the train comes at peak hours every 4 minutes and the longest frequency is 20 minutes from midnight until 5am in the morning.
T2: Terminal 2
Terminal 2 is the old terminal and is divided in A, B and C. The train from the city center arrives in the T2 building and passengers have to walk across the walkway that connects the station to the terminal Renfe Rodalies train station to terminal T.2
How to get to Barcelona airport
There are different ways to get to Barcelona airport using public transportation or private, I will explain all the options below. Since the airport of Barcelona it is very near the city, only 16km far it is fairly quick to get there. This is an advantage for all picking up a flight, saving time in commuting is always a plus.
Aerobús, a direct bus to Barcelona airport
For me the easiest way is to get to the airport by bus, there is a direct bus called Aerobus (A1 and A2 lines that take you to Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 in the airport)
Aerobús has a daily service between Plaça Catalunya and the airport and back, the frequency is every 10 minutes and the duration of the journey is approximately 40 minutes, but it depends very much on the traffic.
Bus to Barcelona airport
Apart from the direct bus, there are regular lines that also stop in the airport. The bus 46 runs every 25 minutes from Plaça Espanya to the airport, to both terminals. Regular bus lines only run until midnight, some even a bit before so if you plan to go at night to the airport, you will have to take a night bus (NITbus you will see it written). The number N17 and N16 go from Ronda Universitat/Plaça Catalunya to Barcelona airport and run every 20 minutes, the N16 goes to T2 and the N17 to T1. For more information visit TMB, the company who runs the regular buses and for night buses Emt-amb.
Train to Barcelona airport
There is a train station by Renfe (Spanish railway service) in Terminal 2 in the airport, daily trains take you from Sants station to the Airport and back. The frequency is around 30 minutes and the duration of the journey is 20 minutes from Sants.
Metro to Barcelona airport
On 19th February 2016 the first metro will leave the city and connect Barcelona airport, there will be 15 stops between the airport and Zona Universitaria L3. The interesting thing is that now the Fira (venue for fairs in Barcelona) is connected directly to the airport making it easier for business men attending a fair to go straight to the airport. It will be a very important infrastructure for the city and it will allow faster commuting of travellers and encourage the use of public transport.
Get to Barcelona airport by car
If you have rented a car on arrival or you go with your own car to the airport, the C-31 Barcelona-Castelldefels road leads to Barcelona Airport, and connects with the C-32 Barcelona-Sitges road. If you take Avinguda Diagonal, the Ronda de Dalt and Ronda Litoral connects with the C-31. By car from the city centre to the airport, it should not take longer than 20 minutes if there is not much traffic. The full address: Barcelona Airport - 08820 El Prat de Llobregat, El Prat de Llobregat
If you go with your own car to the airport, you have the possibility to park and have your car there when you come back, ready to go home. You can book in advance the car park and you can save some pennies and assure your space. If you park in the long term car park you can get daily rates of 5 euros, if you stay for a few days or a week it might be worth it to look at it. You can check their rates in aena.
Disclaimer: airport image by Luis Jou Garcia