Barcelona ranks among one of the larger cities around the world. However, with an extensive and modern public transport system in place it does not take you too long to get to one point of the city from another. There are frequent tram, bus and metro services that are in operation till late at night. Apart from that, numerous night buses, local trains, sightseeing buses, funiculars and cable cars also constitute the public transportation in Barcelona.
Despite the extensive size of the city, moving around the place comfortably and quickly is pretty easy. Trains, buses and metro services on the FGC, which is the official operator of public transport in Barcelona, are integrated into one single system. Thus you can buy one single ticket and travel around on all of the transport systems in the city.
Barcelona Metro and tram network
There is a dense tram and metro network in place in Barcelona that operates at a high frequency so as tourists, you need not bother yourself with the schedules. Most of the major tourist attractions around the city are located close to these tram or metro stops. Where there is a gap left by the metro service, the tram network drops in to serve commuters. Finding our way around the metro network is a very easy task. If there is a certain destination you need to head out to, proceed to your nearest metro station, check the line you need to take and the name of the destination terminus. The terminus at each of the metro stations is signposted. Even if you are required to switch over to other lines, you need to follow the same procedure.
As the day wears along and evening falls, you may find that just one out of the many entrances to the various metro stations will be open. When the metro service downs its shutters for the day, you can opt to travel on the night bus services.
FGC Railway network in Barcelona
The FGC Rail Network is a company based in Catalonia that operates trains to the suburban regions of Barcelona. They travel along the Costa Brava up towards the Blanes that is located at around fifty kilometers north of Barcelona. There are also services running towards the airport and to Tarragona in the south, passing along Sitges and Castelldefels along the way. If you take a train to the northwest, they will pass along the Monastery of Montserrat along the way.
Each of the suburban lines meet up in Barcelona and run as an underground system like the Barcelona metro network and is integrated into the public transport system. Finding your way along the FGC railway network is as easy as on the Metro service; you may also come across subterranean connections that link the FGC and Metro stops. Tickets of one of the services is valid on the other.
Bus service in Barcelona
Public transportation in Barcelona comprises of a bus network that runs along more than two hundred different routes. There is a separate map for each of these different bus routes. Thus to say that there is one particular bus taking you from one point of the city to another is not possible. If you are staying in a hotel that is located far away from a metro station, inquire at the reception on the bus route that you can take to your preferred destination.
At some point during the night, all metro and regular bus services come to a halt. This is when the many night buses on the Barcelona streets take over the duty of serving commuters. Placa Catalunya is a common stop for almost all of these services and most of the popular hotels are located close to this place.
Taxi services in Barcelona
For travelling during the night hours, taxis are the preferred mode of travel for most people in Barcelona as the service offers significant amount of comfort and speed. At any time of the day or night, you can get hold of a taxi on the streets. Colored in black and yellow, these vehicles have their license numbers displayed along the sides. Only when they have the green light on can you hail them from the streets. There are also taxi ranks along the squares and central streets of Barcelona from where you can avail the services. There is also the facility of radio taxi services that come and pick you up from a location that you choose. If you are hailing a taxi from the ranks, you won’t be allowed to choose your vehicle unless you have specific requirements such as air-conditioning facilities, etc.
Getting around in Barcelona
There are numerous other means of public transportation in Barcelona to help tourists get around the city. Some of them may be mentioned as under:
- Tramvia Blau: A historic tram, it travels along the sides of the Tibidabo Mountain in Barcelona.
- Montjuic funicular: It serves as a connection between Montjuic Park and Parallel Metro Stations in the city.
- Tibidabo funicular: This service connects the Tibidabo Amusement Park and Tramvia Blau Tram stop in the city.
- Boat rides: There are numerous boat trips for you to choose, from casual boat rides to cruise trips that take you around Barcelona.
One of the best ways for you to get around Barcelona is by purchasing the travel cards since they grant you access on to one of the various means of public transportation (namely bus, trams and metro) at a daily rate of five euros per person. There are special discounts available for seniors and children as well. When you know that you have the freedom of travel for a day in the city, you can easily travel back and forth from your hotel numerous times and also seek to go on a random adventurous sightseeing tour without being unduly bothered about the associated travel costs.