Traveling to and Around Barcelona


The cosmopolitan city of Barcelona is the capital of Catalunya which is situated in the North Eastern corner of Spain. It is a coastal city situated on the Mediterranean sea and it enjoys a pleasant warm climate all year round which helps to keep the 4 kilometers of beach busy, the largest city beach in Europe. Being the capital of Catalunya, Catalan is widely spoken as it is the official language of Barcelona, but speakers of Spanish have no need to worry as both are spoken and understood by practically everyone.

For the traveler who wishes to fly to Barcelona it has never been easier, as the city is served by two major airports, Barcelona Girona Airport (also called Girona Costa Brava Airport) in the North, which is approximately 103 kilometers from the city and Barcelona International airport, 13 kilometers from the city centre. Both airports are served by an excellent bus shuttle service and travel times are 40 minutes from the international airport and around 1 hour and 10 minutes from Girona Airport, there is a train service from the International airport that takes you to the very heart of the city and that runs every 30 minutes and it takes only 15 minutes, unfortunately if you wish to travel by train from Girona you will first have to go to the city station in Girona which will actually lengthen your journey time. Of course, the other option is taxi, which is much more convenient, especially if traveling with a lot of luggage, but it can also be on the pricey side, especially if traveling from Girona, where you can expect to pay in the region of 120 euros for a one way trip. My advice would be to travel by bus from Girona and train or taxi from the International airport.

Once in Barcelona the easiest, quickest and safest way to get around the city is the excellent metro system, revamped and improved before the olympics, that were held in the city in 1992. You can purchase tickets that allow you unlimited travel throughout the city very cheaply. If you prefer to stay above ground there are many open top bus services that follow regular site seeing routes. These are excellent as all the operators run circular routes meaning that the next bus is never more than forty minutes away, they are a bit more expensive than using the metro but you will be able to top up your tan whilst traveling around the city. You can purchase a one, two or three day tickets that offer a  jump on jump off service allowing you to be as spontaneous or as organized as you want with regards to visiting the cites many attractions.

If you are considering driving, the uninitiated should expect to have nothing short of minor heart or panic attacks on a regular basis as the city streets are extremely busy with traffic that seems to travel at frighteningly quick speeds when the flow allows (city traffic jams are a regular occurrence) and the average barca driver has no, or at least, very little patience with dithering tourists as a constant barrage of horns gives the city the characteristic backdrop of sound, often associated with major Spanish cities.

Whichever way you decide to travel to and around Barcelona, this beautiful and bustling city will always leave you wanting to come back to visit again and again.