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How to use the T-Casual travel ticket in Barcelona

1st January 2020
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IMPORTANT: As of January 1, 2020 the T-10 travel ticket was replaced with the T-Casual ticket.

Although a few terms and conditions of use have changed, the basics of purchasing and using a T-Casual ticket are unchanged.

New Price, Terms & Conditions

The T-Casual costs 11,35€.

The T-Casual is unipersonal — and can only be used by one person

The T-Casual is good for 10 rides using a combination of up to 3 modes of transport.

The T-Familiar

The T-Familiar, costs 10€, is multi-personal and valid for 8 rides within a 30 day period.

So, for couples, families and small groups of friends, the T-Familiar is probably the way to go.

One of the many wonderful aspects of life in 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 quantity and quality of passenger information, in Spanish, Catalan and English (and some French) is very good.

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-Casual integrated transport ticket — it will save you a ton of money and a lot of hassle.

IMPORTANT: You will need to buy a T-Casual for every member of your group — you cannot share a T-Casual.

I use a T-Casual at least twice, sometimes five or six times every day during the working week. It really is quite simple, however, I can understand how visitors from an area without an integrated transport system could feel a little daunted by the process.
So, here's your guide to buying and using the T-Casual.

TMB T-casual ticket purchase machine process series 4

How to use the T-Casual on the Metro (subway), local trains (RENFE Rodalies/Cercanias and FGC) and Funiculars:

First, buy your ticket.

There are not many staffed ticket offices where you can buy a ticket, and if you haven't already purchased your T-Casual at a tobacconists, newsagent or street news kiosk (some bakeries and other shops also sell T-Casuals) you will have to use a machine in a Metro station or at a Tram stop these machines will be marked with the TMB logo (as in the photos below).

You can also buy a T-Casual at ticket machines at RENFE (Spanish national rail service) rail stations (these machines are coloured grey) and at FGC (Catalan national rail service) rail stations these machines are coloured orange.

You can also buy your T-Casual ticket online. To do so you'll first have to register with JoTMBé, a loyalty scheme which offers points and prizes for purchasing tickets online and via the TMB app. If interested you can read more detail HERE and HERE.

There are also a few ticket machines near bus stops on Avinguda Diagonal, however, these machines only accept credit/debit cards, and are so few and far between, and so often out of service, that they are not worth your time looking for.

How to use a ticket machine

  • Search the touchscreen for the T-Casual ticket icon.
  • In the bottom right corner of the screen you’ll see four flag icons indicating which languages are available: Catalan, Spanish, English and French. Tap the union flag for English.
  • Tap the T-Casual ticket icon.
  • The screen will change and show you the current price (11,35€) and give you the option of buying multiple tickets by tapping the + symbol on the left of the screen.
  • You are also able to change the Zone by using the + and  symbols on the right of the screen.
  • Make sure you have the correct quantity and Zone and tap Confirm in the bottom left of the screen, (or Cancel in the bottom right of the screen if you have made a mistake).
  • The screen will change and show you the total cost of the the ticket(s) and how much you have to pay in red.

These three images illustrate the above:

TMB T-Casual ticket purchase
TMB t-casual ticket machine 2
TMB T-casual ticket purchase process series

Apologies for the quality of the images — will try and replace them at some point in the near future.

BUY WITH CASH

Insert coins in the vertical slot above the screen, or insert a note (bill) up to the value of 20€ in the horizontal slot to the right of the screen, or if buying more than two T-Casual tickets, multiple notes/bills. (Please note: As at writing many machines do not accept 50€ notes/bills).

The most frequent cause of first-time users' frustration is incorrectly inserting notes/bills.

When inserting notes/bills be careful to place the note the correct way up as shown in the graphic above the slot. PLEASE NOTE: The 50€ note shown above and below is NOT crossed through with a red X — so it will accept 50€ bills.

The machine will issue change and deposit your ticket in the tray below the screen. You’re good to go.

BUY WITH CREDIT/DEBIT CARD

  • Find the T-Casual icon on the touchscreen.
  • Tap the T-Casual icon.
  • Select how many tickets you require and which Zone you require using the + symbol.
  • Place your card in the horizontal slot to the right of the touchscreen.
  • The machine will read your card and accept or deny it.
  • Then, on the card reader screen you will see the instruction to enter your PIN number using the keypad and the OK button, marked with a green tag in the bottom right of the keypad.
  • Then, all being well, you will see a message on the card reader screen, Mastercard (or whatever your card name is) XXXX with the amount that has been paid.
  • Then, you will see the instruction 'Extregui' telling you to extract your card. Remove your card.
  • The machine will deposit your ticket in the tray below the touchscreen.

IMPORTANT: Remember to remove your card. The machine does not emit any audible warning, as do ATMs, if you leave the card in the slot. If you do inadvertently leave your card in the machine then after 30 seconds or so the machine will swallow your card. If this happens the only way to retrieve your card is to go to the TMB customer services office in Diagonal metro station the following day. Station staff do not have any way of opening the machines  they can only be opened by cash collection staff.

Ok, so you've got your ticket — now, how to use it.

There are 3 types of ticket barriers:

  • Turnstiles: These are the most common.
  • Plexiglass doors: These are usually found in recently built or refurbished stations.
  • Extra-wide plexiglass access points: For people in wheelchairs or electric buggies and people with child buggies or bicycles, electric scooters and/or lots of luggage.

Turnstiles

  • Place your T-Casual the correct way up (i.e. printed with T-Casual and green icons) with the white arrow in the bottom left corner pointing toward the slot.
  • Retrieve your T-Casual from the slot at the back of the machine.
  • Pass through the turnstile to your RIGHT as indicated by the black arrow in the photo below.

Plexiglass doors

  • Place yourT-Casual ticket face up (i.e. printed withT-Casual and green icons) and with the white arrow in the bottom left corner pointing toward the yellow plastic horizontal slot.
  • Retrieve your T-Casual from the pop-up slot.
  • Pass through the plexiglass doors to your LEFT as indicated by the two illuminated green arrows in the photo below.

You’re on your way — now go find your platform/track.

How to use the T-Casual on the bus network:

  • Buy yourT-Casual as above. Bus drivers cannot sell you a T-Casual,  they can only sell a senzill (single/one-way) ticket (2,40€).
  • Get on the bus at the front of the bus, NOT the middle nor the back .
  • Say ‘Hola’ to the driver and give a smile.
  • As you file along the gangway you’ll immediately see two ticket machines  one on your left and one on your right.
  • Insert your T-Casual with the white arrow pointing downwards into the red slot at the top of the machine.
  • The machine will make a sound and tell you how many rides you have left and your ticket will pop up.
  • Remove your ticket, put it somewhere safe and find a seat, or shuffle along the bus.
  • IF your ticket is used-up or defective the machine will make a loud intermittent beep. This is when you panic, frisk yourself for another T-Casual, realise you don’t have one, and before you can decide to backtrack and get off the bus the doors are already closed and the bus is on its way to the next stop. Oh no!
  • IF this is the case choose an appropriate moment, dip into your pocket and find 2,40€ in change and pay the driver for a senzill/single/one-way ticket.
  • Say thank you/gracias to the driver and take deep breath of relief — you have just avoided a potential fine of 100€.

[Remember the T-Casual is a unipersonal ticket. So, if you have no rides left on your T-Casual you will NOT be able to borrow a ride from someone else's ticket — (as you could with the T-10 ticket ) — you will be obliged to buy a single/senzill/one-way ticket for 2,40€.

Here’s a photo of a ticket machine on a bus:

How to use the T-Casual on a tram:

  • Buy your T-Casual from a machine, tobacconist or news kiosk as described above, or from a machine at the stop.
  • Board the tram.
  • You will find a ticket validation machine (very similar to the machines on a bus) attached to poles near every door.
  • Insert your ticket in the slot with the white arrow pointing downwards.
  • The machine will make a sound (described as a ‘bip’ in the helpful information).
  • That’s it — you’re on your way.

Transfers and duration of travel:

You can use your T-Casual to switch between three modes of transport on your route for up to 1 hour and 15 minutes in Zone 1 and it counts as a single journey/ride.

For example, you could take a barrio bus (local public mini-bus) to connect with a regular bus to connect with the metro, or take a 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 ride 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 an office in a metro station  if you’re patient and polite the staff can, although they are not obliged to, issue you with a new ticket credited with the correct number of journeys.

LINKS

Enjoy getting around Barcelona with your T-Casual.

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Celebrations

FESTES DE GRÀCIA, 2019 IN BARCELONA

16th August 2019
Correfoc, agost 15, Gràcia,2019

Festes de Gràcia, 2019 — and we're off! 

Agost 15, Day One:

8.15am: We set off to Plaça de la Revolució de Septembre 1868 where we met up with Miquel and Silvia. 

En route we caught a passing look of Carrer de Puigmarti, where a team of locals were still hard at it. 

Carrer de Puigmarti, 2019

8:46am: and the Trabucaires fire the traca and prepare to fire their very loud guns to launch the parade…. and, a few seconds later I lost the sense of hearing in my right ear.

And then…we were joined by…the Lord of the Flies himself…Beelzebub.

The cardboard bin next to me caught fire. No biggie.

Beelzebub, Gràcia, 2019
Drac, Gràcia, 2019

And on to Plaça del Sol…and a decorated balcony…

Plaça del Sol, Gràcia, 2019

Then off to explore the streets…

Poppy field, Gràcia, 2019

… before the hordes arrive…

Library Monk on Mozart, Gràcia, 2019
Palette and brushes, Mozart, Gràcia, 2019

…before resting a while for breakfast in Plaça de la Vila

Plaça de la Vila, Gràcia, 2019

And then we wended a roundabout route home, via Carrer de Llibertat…

Dolphins on Llibertat, Gràcia, 2019
Eye-catching exotic crab on Carrer de Llibertat

Eye-catching exotic crab on Carrer de Llibertat

10.30pm: We wandered out again, via Passeig de Sant Joan, Plaça Joanic and over to Carrer Verdi…I have never seen an entry line so long… so we headed up to the exit…

Carrer Verdi, Gràcia, 2019

Carrer Verdi, Gràcia, 2019

Then we headed over to Plaça de Rovira i Trias via a packed, and lively Carrer de Providencia… 

Carrer de Providencia, Festes de Gràcia, 2019

Carrer de Providencia

Providencia Mine and miner2, Gràcia, 2019

We hung out a short while in Plaça Rovira i Trias, surrounded by eerie birds, before heading over to Plaça del Nord…and the most pleasant surprise of the evening.

Every year during the festes there's always a stand out band, a band which pumps out party pleasing music and gets the crowd singing along. 

The rumba band, Alma de Boquerón (Soul of Anchovy), a tight and polished 7-piece ensemble, knocked out a string of irresistible tunes before segueing into a rip-roaring version of Dick Dale's classic, Miserlou, and, then, without dropping a beat, segueing unexpectedly into a thunderous version of Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall. A rumba band playing Pink Floyd? You bet. Brilliant. And then they teased us all with the opening bars of Led Zeppelin's, Stairway to Heaven, before reverting to lively, witty, tongue in cheek contemporary rumba.

Ama de Boqueron, Plaça del Nord, Gràcia, 2019

Alma de Boquerón, Plaça del Nord, Gràcia, 2019

HERE's a LINK to their official website, where you'll find a sample compilation of tunes:HERE.

Enjoy! They are playing four more gigs during the festes. 

TONIGHT (agost 16)  Carrer Verdi at 11pm.

Sunday, agost 18, Passeig de Sant Joan at Midnight.

Monday, agost 20, Carrer Tordera at 11pm.

Tuesday, agost 21, Carrer Joan Blanques de Baix de Tot at 11pm.

If you get chance do try and catch them in action.

After the gig we trekked back down and along Carrer Verdi, where it was still rammed, before heading to Raïm for a mojito, and then down along Carrer Progrés, Carrer Perill and home for around 3am. Another great day in the barri.

got, 2019, gràcia

Bones Festes!

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Getting Around

How long from Barcelona Airport T1 to City Centre?

28th May 2018
Airport Terminal 1 transit options

Visitors often ask, ‘How long does it take to get to the city centre from the Airport?’

The short answer is usually, ‘About 30 minutes’.

However, this doesn’t account for time spent in immigration, baggage claim, orientation, and wandering around trying to make sense of it all after a long flight.

What you need to know is how long does it really take to get to the city centre after landing.

I have travelled in and out of Barcelona airport more than sixty times and know how to move in, around and about the departure and arrival areas at all four passenger areas.

Realistically, the total time from touch-down at Terminal 1 to city centre is between 1 hour 45 minutes and 2 hours 15 minutes

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Graffiti

Amy Winehouse in Barcelona IV

13th September 2017
Graffiti portrait of Amy Winehouse on Carrer Mozart during festes de Gràcia, 2017

One of the many wonderful things about exploring Barcelona is happening across curious portraits of well-known, and not so well-known, people in unexpected places.

Here's another portrait of the singer, Amy Winehouse which appeared on Carrer Mozart in Vila de Gràcia during the Festes de Gràcia, 2017.

Context

The graffiti is on a door in Carrer de Mozart, Vila de Gràcia.

For more graffiti featuring Amy Winehouse go HERE, HERE and HERE

Enjoy discovering graffiti in Barcelona.

Celebrations

Festes de Gràcia, 2017, Day 2, in Barcelona

17th August 2017

Day 2, 10:30pm: After yesterday's exertions we planned to spend most of our time on one street, Joan Blanques, split into two decorated sections and with two stages featuring two very different crowd pleasing bands: A Contrablues and Dani Nel·lo's Jazz Savages.

Carrer Joan Blanques de Baix

11pm: We found two chairs and a table and installed ourselves on Joan Blanques de Baix.

Carrer Joan Blanques de Baix de Tot

1am: Having decided we all needed a halfway decent mojito the four of us wended a way through the streets to Raïm. I ordered a mojito made with an oscuro (dark rum) the Nicaraguan, 7 year-old Flor de Caña.

Visca Cuba! Visca Catalunya! Visca Nicaragua!

Advertising poster for cigars in Raïm

2:30am ish: Having joshed and chatted with the Italian chef from a well-known and popular (or, should that be 'polpolar'?) Gallego restaurant, we left Raïm and headed down Carrer Progrés…

Collage of posters from USSR on Carrer Progrés

…and a huge statue of Lenin….

Mr. Vladimir Ilyich Ulaynov on Carrer Progrés

…where we encountered a handsome looking bloke wearing an Augusto Sandino t-shirt chatting with his poet girlfriend.

Visca Nicaragua! Visca Catalunya!

Carrer Progrés

And then to Carrer de Llibertat…

Skellies on Carrer Llibertat

5am: We finally called it a night and headed for bed.

Celebrations

Festes de Gràcia, 2017 in Barcelona

17th August 2017
Diablos Plaça Revolució, Gràcia 2017

Festes de Gràcia, 2017 — and we're off! 

Day One:

8am: A group of eight of us assemble for coffee and pastries at La Corrala before setting off to Plaça de la Revolució de Septembre 1868 to catch the start of the parade which announces the start of the festes.

En route we caught a passing look of Carrer de Puigmarti. 

Carrer de Puigmarti  2017

Carrer de Puigmarti

8:38am: and the Trabucaires prepare to fire their very loud guns to launch the parade….

Trabucaires

And then…we were joined by…the Lord of the Flies himself…

Beelzeebub

Beelzebub

And, so to Plaça de la Vila — now transforned as The Little Prince square…

Plaça de la Vila during festes de Gràcia, 2017

Plaça de la Vila during festes de Gràcia, 2017

While the morning correfoc reached a climax…

Then off to explore the streets…

Plaça Rovira i Trias Gràcia 2017

Plaça Rovira i Trias

… picking up a few stragglers along the way. Now we were 10.

VW camper van in Carrer Providencia

VW camper van in Carrer Providencia

But, before Carrer Verdi we lost two fainthearts. We were again 8.

Carrer de Puigmarti

Carrer de Puigmarti

After visiting every decorated street we wended a way home via Carrer Perill…

Carrer de Perill

…and a bar on Bailén before getting home for a shower, lunch and a nap.

6pm: And, four of us strolled out again to watch the cercavila.

Mean looking hombres from outta town looking to party

And here comes the T-shirt man…

…and the Castellers…

Castellers on Travessera de Gràcia and Torrent de l'Olla

Castellers on Travessera de Gràcia and Torrent de l'Olla

11pm: And, so, after mazing and grazing around, and after choripans and empanadas at Plaça Joanic, the four of us ended up on Passeig Sant Joan to see A Contrablues and meet a few friends.

From the very first vibrato chords the band had all assembled in the palms of their sticky hands. A brilliant band who never fail to deliver. 

A Contrablues on Passeig de Sant Joan

A Contrablues on Passeig de Sant Joan

All in all a great day out in the 'hood.

Bones Festes!

Graffiti

Breaking Bad’s Heisenberg in Barcelona

12th January 2017
 Bryan-Cranston-graffiti-Gràcia-Barcelona-by-Bill-Sinclair.jpg

One of the many wonderful things about exploring Barcelona is happening across curious portraits of well-known, and not so well-known, people in unexpected places.

Here's a portrait of the actor, Bryan Cranston as Walter White — AKA Heisenberg — from the TV series, Breaking Bad, on Carrer de Rabassa in ​Vila de Gràcia.

Context

The graffiti is on a private garage door.​

Walter White AKA Bryan Cranston, Gràcia, Barcelona by Bill sinclair

Enjoy discovering graffiti portraits in Barcelona

Graffiti

Love is Everywhere in Barcelona

2nd August 2016
Love Everywhere graffiti, Barcelona, Bill Sinclair

One of the many wonderful things about exploring Barcelona is happening across curious images in unexpected places.

Here's a graffiti I came across in Vila de Gràcia on Carrer del Perill, a few metres from Nou Can Codina and directly opposite Restaurant Gut.

I really like it. Makes me smile.

Enjoy discovering graffiti in Barcelona.