Barcelona Layover Guide (BCN)

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Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Barcelona–El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN) is the main airport found in Barcelona and is one of Europe’s busiest airports. It is located 12 km (7.5 mi) from the center of Barcelona. The airport has had commercial flights since 1927. Barcelona is a global financial center and tourist destination which is also the second most populous municipality of Spain and the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

Can you leave Barcelona Airport (BCN) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible to visit Barcelona during a layover. However, certain travelers may need a visa depending on their nationality. (more info).

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Barcelona Organized Tours

Park Güell

Park Güell is a modern marvel. The park was designed by Gaudí who was assigned by Eusebi Güell, the Catalan entrepreneur who the park was named after. It was opened as a municipal park in 1926 and a few years later become recognized as an artistic monument and then it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The scenic park is full of Antoni Gaudí’s colorful mosaic art such as the Dragon Stairway with its world-famous salamander. The park offers a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona while offering a gorgeous view of the vast city and the ocean in the distance. » book this tour

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is a testament to the fact that, unfinished projects can still be masterpieces. This is one of the most iconic works of Antoni Gaudi and it draws millions of tourists to Barcelona each year, making it one of the most visited monuments in Spain. Sagrada Familia was supposed to be an edifice which symbolises Barcelona and was started in 1882, but it remains a work in progress even today representing how Barcelona as a city is still growing. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has Gothic and Art Nouveau forms of architecture that commands the Barcelona skyline. » book this tour

Casa Milà-La Pedrera

Gaudi is a man who shaped much of Barcelona. This was one of the buildings which were constructed at the peak of his career and it is still considered as one of the most outstanding and innovative buildings of the 20th century. The building contains the “Espai Gaudi” exhibition, which is the only exhibition dedicated to Gaudi’s life and work. The architure of the building consists of Gaudi’s trademark eye-catching staircases and whimsical chimneys. » book this tour

Barcelona Things to do / Sightseeing

Las Ramblas

This has to be the most famous street in Barcelona and it stretches from the Plaça de Catalunya to the statue of Christopher Columbus down by the port. The facade is lined with numerous shops, restaurants, bars, ice cream shops, and cafes. It is the perfect place for people watching because of the massive crowds. There are also living statues, street performers, bird-sellers and flower stands.

Time required: 2 hours or more.

Airport to here: Taxi takes an average of 25 minutes while public transport takes 40 minutes.

La Boqueria

La Boqueria is Barcelona’s oldest market established in 1217 as a mere huddle of meat stalls just on La Rambla. Now, there are more than 200 stands and shops. It is a bustling shopping center with a teeming atmosphere, it is the best place to bargain for souvenirs and try local produce and cuisine.

Time required: At least an hour would be the minimum.

Airport to here: Typically takes a Taxi 30 minutes and public transport takes about 40 minutes.

Catedral de Barcelona

Found in the ancient part of Barcelona known as Barcino. This giant Gothic temple imposes the surrounding buildings and adds to the complex variety of architecture found in Barcelona. It used to be a Roman temple but after a number of renovations, it serves as a cathedral, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. Make sure to go inside to discover much more of the ancient building and take the short elevator ride to the top to catch another great view of Barcelona.

Time required: You will need at least an hour to explore the cathedral.

Airport to here: Taxi takes an average of 20 minutes while public transport typically takes an hour.

Picasso Museum

Picasso moved to Barcelona when he was a 14-year-old and revisited the city many times over his lifetime. The museum houses a lot of his work. Downstairs, there is a courtyard drawing you in white studios with his works while upstairs, lavish rooms have amazing painted ceilings with glimmering crystal chandeliers. Visitors flock here to see Picasso’s work, but the special setting is why they come back again and again. Though this museum does not have his famous paintings such as Reina Sofia and the Weeping Woman, the museum shows up to 4,251 works’ worth of how he developed his art career.

Time required: 2-3 hours.

Airport to here: Typically takes a Taxi 25 minutes while public transport can take 45 minutes.

Parc de la Ciutadella

The Parc de la Ciutadella is very beautiful greenest oasis Barcelona. It is a nice place for rest and relaxation and even as a lake nearby. Close by is also a zoo, the regional parliament, and plenty of sites and spots for lounging and dining. There are also landmarks such as the beautiful Cascada Monumental, the Arc de Triomf, and Castell dels Tres Dragons within walking distance.

Time required: Set aside an hour or 2 to enjoy the park.

Airport to here: Taxi takes an average of 20 minutes while public transport typically takes an hour.

Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta is Barcelona’s most famous beach. It usually has boisterous and vibrant crowds during the weekends of summer days. Much of the shore is lined with white sandy beaches with a few partly covered in stones. The sea is so vivid with decent waves. At one end of the strip, there is the iconic silhouette of the W Hotel and on the opposite end, there is a sculpture by Frank Gehry. When you’ve arrived at Barceloneta, you know it. Barceloneta is also a convenient distance from the city center.

Time required: Set aside 2 or 3 hours to explore the Barceloneta.

Airport to here: Typically takes a Taxi 20 minutes and public transport takes an hour.

Palau de la Música Catalana

The Palau de la Música Catalana is the prime concert hall in Barcelona. It was designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech I Montaner and built between 1905 and 1908. It is a beautiful complex and it is decorated with a kaleidoscope of roses, chandeliers, and stained glass. The concert hall hosts musical acts from choral to pianists, jazz, flamenco, to operas such as La Traviata and Carmen. It is a remarkable place to visit either during the day or at night.

Time required: Set aside 2 hours to enjoy the concert hall.

Airport to here: Typically takes a Taxi 20 minutes and public transport takes 40 minutes.

Camp Nou

Most soccer fans will relish a chance to visit the home of FC Barcelona. The Camp Nou has a capacity of 99,354 and it’s the biggest stadium in Europe. It has hosted international matches, various tournaments and sporting events but the most popular would be the matches between FC Barcelona and their fiery rivals, Real Madrid.

Time required: Set aside 2 or 3 hours to tour the stadium.

Airport to here: Typically takes a Taxi 20 minutes and public transport takes an hour.

Things to Do in Barcelona Airport (BCN)

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are several lounges in each terminal of the airport. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There are a lot of hotels close to the airport. » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There are no demarcated rest zones in the airport.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free WiFi is available at the airport. Connect to the “AIRPORT FREE WIFI AENA” network.

SIM Card: There are several shops within the airport that sell SIM cards. » buy a global sim card for Barcelona, Spain that you can use for other countries as well!

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: There are taxi ranks opposite the arrivals areas of each Terminal.

Train: The local train service connects the airport to Barcelona and its surrounding towns. (more info).

Bus: There are several buses that serve the airport such as the metropolitan, Intercity, and International buses. (more info).

Shuttle: There is a shuttle bus that connects Terminal 2 to Terminal 1.

Car rentals: Car rentals are available and can be booked online. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: There are a variety of car parks at the Airport and each comes with a slightly different price.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

There are secure luggage storage in at the Left Luggage Office. » book a luggage storage or locker at Barcelona Airport (BCN) online (subject to availability).

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Barcelona Airport (BCN) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks