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Barcelona and the surrounding regions have a great network of roads and hiring a car to explore the beautiful destinations here is a good idea. Good daytrips from Barcelona include Figueres, with its impressive Salvador Dali Museum, and the quiet town of Girona, north of Barcelona. Barcelona-El Prat Airport is the main gateway to the region and from here, car rental companies can provide arriving passengers a wide range of vehicles to rent. From the airport, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the city via the airport access road and the Barcelona-Castelldefels motorway (C-31).
Who to Book With
Five car rental companies have offices in both terminals of Barcelona-El Prat. The two main providers are Avis and Hertz, both with offices on the first floor of Terminal 1 and another on the ground floor of Terminal 2. The other car rental providers are Europcar, National Atesa and Sixt.
Need to Know Essentials
When you pick up your vehicle this documentation must be presented:
- Driver's licence
- International insurance policy
As with many cities in Europe, Barcelona has good roads which get heavy traffic during rush hour. Parking can be done in the city centre as long as the area has blue markings, which means paid parking is possible. Parking is not allowed in areas with yellow markings. Compulsory equipment in Spain includes a spare tyre, a warning triangle and a reflective jacket. Dipped headlights are required for times when weather is bad or when driving in tunnels.
With the good network of roads, the eight-mile drive from Barcelona-El Prat to Barcelona city centre can be a breeze. The airport access road connects to the Barcelona-Castelldefels motorway (C-31) which then connects to the city's ring road. Trains and buses are the cheapest airport transfer options. Taxis are available but quite expensive.
RENFE RT suburban trains stop at the airport's train station in the B section of Terminal 2. Those coming from Terminal 1 need to take the green coloured buses to Terminal 2. Services from the airport run from 05:42 to 23:38 and trains leave every 30 minutes. From the airport, it takes 27 minutes to the centre of Barcelona, at Passeig de Gràcia. A one-way journey on the train costs around £2.50.
Taxis are available at the Arrivals area of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 A and B. Visitors must note that there is a surcharge of about £2.50 for trips to the airport and of around £1 for a large suitcase or piece of luggage. The journey from the airport to the city takes about 25 to 35 minutes.
Barcelona-El Prat Airport to the city centre is around £25 to £35
There are a number of Barcelona city buses which make a stop at the airport. The main buses are those that run from the airport to Plaza Catalunya beside El Corte Inglés in central Barcelona. From Terminal 1, Aerobus A1 makes this journey while from Terminal 2, it is Aerobus A2. Buses leave every 5 to 10 minutes and take 35 minutes or longer during rush hour. A one-way ride costs around £4. Long-distance buses to destinations within the region are also available at the airport with Empresa Plana, Mon-Bus and Safra as the main providers.
Barcelona-El Prat Airport has two terminals: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The two terminals are connected by a shuttle bus which runs every five minutes, taking 12 to 15 minutes one-way. The airport is second only to the capital Madrid's Barajas Airport in size. There were over 34 million passengers who used the airport in 2011, the highest figure recorded in its history. The facility is connected to many airports in Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East.
There are over 19,600 parking spots in the entire Barcelona-El Prat Airport complex. In Terminal 1's car park, 10,900 parking spots are available, with around 8,700 in Terminal 2's car parks. A long-term parking area also exists and is connected to the rest of the airport via a shuttle bus. Short-term parking can be expensive, with a base rate at £15.
The Wi-Fi provider at the airport is KubiWirelss. Hotspots can be found all over the airport. The first 15 minutes are free. One hour of use costs around £7.
Information desks can be found throughout the airport. Eight are located in Terminal 1 and five in Terminal 2. Tourist information counters are also found in both terminals.
Airport Information: +34 90 240 4704
Tourist Information: +34 93 378 8175, +34 93 378 8149
Assistance for people with reduced mobility has been taken into consideration by airport authorities. Escalators and lifts, toilets and pay phones, have been made accessible for the use of persons with mobility issues.
Restaurants and Bars
Bars, cafeterias, fast food eateries and restaurants can be found in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of Barcelona-El Prat. Pans & Company is a bakery with a branch here, while Medas serves Mediterranean cuisine. The cafés include Caffe de Fiore, Jamaica, Caffe di Roma and many others.
Colomer VIP Lounge
Joan Miró VIP Lounge
Pau Casals VIP Lounge
Canudas VIP Lounge
Salvador Dalí VIP Lounge
Money and ATMs
La Caixa Bank has two branches at Barcelona-El Prat, one in each terminal. They are open from 07:30 to 20:30/22:00 every day including weekends. ATMs and exchange kiosks are widely available at the airport.
Various gift shops, boutique stores and newsagents are available at the airport. Perfumes, cosmetics, jewellery, clothes, tobacco, home items and many types of goods can be purchased at the airport. Duty-free shops include The Express Shop, The Shop and Aldeasa.