One of the many wonderful and undersung aspects of Barcelona is the public transport network.
If visiting from the United States or the UK you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how clean, comfortable, convenient and reliable the local transport network is.
The best way to get around the city is to use public transport.
One of the first things to do after arriving in the city is to buy a T-10 integrated transport ticket.
Think of it as your magic key to unlocking the city.
Because you’ll save a ton of money, save yourself a lot of time and hassle, and get to visit many more places and enjoy many more experiences.
- 10,20€ (for Zone 1)
Where to buy:
You can buy a T-10 [tay-dee-eth] from tobacconists, newspaper kiosks and newsagents, as well as all metro (subway) stations and all the main rail stations.
The touch screen ticket machines at metro and rail stations are easily navigated and accept cash (but NOT notes/bills larger than 20€) and most debit and credit cards.
They’re pretty reliable — I’ve only twice (in 14 years) had a problem with them — and I use a T-10 at least twice, sometimes five or six times every day during the working week.
Should you have a problem you can press a panic button and speak with someone who will help you. In larger metro and rail stations there will be staff around to help you.
Here’s what you need to know:
You need to know that the T-10 is a multiperson, multi-use ticket, which means one person can use the ticket 10 times or 10 people can use it once, and every variation in between.
You need to know that a T-10 ticket is valid for travel on:
- Busses, including night busses
- The Metro
- Local trains run by FGC, the Catalan public railway system
- Local trains, known as Rodalies (or Cercanias in Spanish) run by RENFE, the Spanish national rail system
- And two funiculars.
You need to know that the T-10 is NOT valid for:
- The Aerobús (the bus service to the Airport)
- The funicular that runs up to Tibidabo
- The cable car (teleférico) that runs from Barceloneta to Montjuïc
- The cable cars that run up to the top of Montjuïc.
- The Blue Tram (Tramvia Blau) which runs up to Tibidabo from Plaça John F.Kennedy.
- Metro journeys to the Airport using L9 Sud. (You’ll need to buy a separate ticket).
You need to know that T-10 tickets are zoned, but the zones are generously portioned. Unless you are planning a few trips outside the city then a Zone 1 ticket will likely suffice for most of your needs — it will get you to and from the Airport by train and bus and put you in strolling distance of all the usual sights.
If you want to take a trip to Sitges, you’ll need a Zone 3 return/round trip ticket; if planning a visit to Montserrat, and other places such as Sant Pol, you’ll need a Zone 4 return/round trip ticket.
If you’re thinking of a trip to Port Aventura then you will NOT be able to use a T-10 — though you can buy a combined rail and theme park ticket which will save you both money and time. (Current combined train and Port Aventura admission is 39€ for kids and 45€ for adults)
You need to know that there are maps showing the zones in all metro and train stations.
IMPORTANT: If you consult a transport map you will see that the Airport is in Zone 2 — However, a Zone 1 T-10 IS valid for use on the train journey to the RENFE rail station, but NOT a Zone 1 single/one-way ticket.
VERY IMPORTANT: A T-10 (Zone 1) is NOT valid for journeys using Metro L9 Sud (Gold) to and from the Airport Terminals T1 & T2 — you will need a Zone 2 ticket or a special Aeroport ticket.
Transfers and duration of travel:
You need to know that you can use the T-10 to switch between various modes of transport on your route for up to 1 hour and 15 minutes and it counts as a single journey/ride.
For example, you could take a barri bus (local public mini-bus) to connect with a service bus to connect with the metro to then connect with the tram which connects with a local train which connects with a funicular — if you do all that in one hour and fifteen minutes from the start of your journey it only debits your ticket by one journey. However, note that once you leave the metro system you will have to use another journey when re-entering the metro.
IMPORTANT: Keep your ticket flat. If the ticket gets bent or torn then it will likely not work. You can take your damaged ticket to a TMB Customer Services office (in Diagonal, La Sagrera and Universitat metro stations) and they will issue you with another ticket. You could also ask at a ticket office in a metro station — if you’re patient and polite the staff can, though they are not obliged to, issue you with a new ticket with the correct number of journeys.
FOR DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO USE THE T-10 GO HERE
- TMB T-10 information in English
- TMB: Customer Services
- TMB: Metro and Tram map
- TMB: Bus map
- TMB: H & V network Bus map.
- How to use the T-10 travel ticket
Enjoy getting around Barcelona