Barcelona is a metropolitan city with 1.6 million people living in it, the city offers a wide variety of transport options, public and private. Barcelona is a big city but not as big as London or Rome for example, so the more you can do walking the more you will experience the true city and the vibe in it.
Barcelona is the perfect city to discover on foot but of course if you have a tight schedule it might be inconvenient but the public transport is the best option and the most used ones for locals and tourists.
I wouldn't recommend you to move around Barcelona by car, there is so much traffic and trying to find a place to park your car can become a nightmare. However, moppets are very popular in Barcelona because they are easy to park and they can take you anywhere in minutes, if you are thinking about getting your own transport to visit the city, a moppet is your choice. As a local in Barcelona, I have used all available public and private transports available and I can give you my tips and pros and cons of using one another.
Public transport in Barcelona
It is important to know that the underground and bus company is called TMB, in their web page you can check the frequency of buses if there has been any issue in the metro lines or check your bus route for example. I would recommend you to keep it handy just in case you need to verify a route.
Before buying a transportation pass, there are differents things you should take into account to buy the best that fits your needs.
How much are you going to use it? If you are doing 4 journeys or more a day, the best pass for you in the T-Dia, which allows unlimited journeys during the course of a day for 1 person, if you happen to be in the city more than a day and the plan is to use it more than four times a day, then get a pass for as many days as you stay called Hola Bcn!
If you plan to get 10 journeys or less but spent in different days, the best choice is the T10, and this pass can be shared with other people so if you don't use it all you can share with your friends or family to buy less tickets.
It is important that you take into account that if you plan to visit monuments and museums, if you buy the Barcelona card, which includes different entrances to those also covers your public transportation. Think first what you want to visit in the city and if the card fits your needs, you don't need to worry about the transport since it is also included.
Where is your accommodation located? Depending on your route and if your accommodation is centric, you might not need much transportation since all you will need is around 20 minutes walking. Once you know your plan for the holiday or the day you will be able to see if with single tickets you will do or you will need a specific transportation pass.
Check out the details on how to use and the specifics of all Barcelona public transportation:
Private transport in Barcelona
Taxis are probably the main private transport used in Barcelona for tourists, there are places in the city that are difficult to access them in public transport or at night when you are tired you just want to get to your hotel. Taxis in the city are not as expensive as in other cities, for journeys of 2 to 4km you are looking at prices from 8 to 15 euros depending on the traffic. One of the main journeys is from the city center to the airport, and since the airport is very near the city, only 16km far, the price should not be more than 40 euros one way.
You can also rent a motorbike or a car, my recommendation is that to go around the city by motorbike in case you want your own vehicle, since the car is almost impossible to park for free in the city and your way around the city will be much slower than taking the public transport.
Barcelona is the perfect city to have a motorbike, there are plenty of spaces to park and you can move fast from one place to another one. If the motorbike is not for you, a bike can be your solution. You can also rent a bike in Barcelona or even join a bike tour to go through the most important monuments or neighbourhoods.