We only write about destinations we have personally visited with our family. This post contains affiliate links. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to UNICEF.
Wondering what the best options are to get from Barcelona-El Prat airport to city center or your hotel? You’ve come to the right place! Whether you are a solo traveler or travelling with a baby, you’ll find a list of the best ways to transfer from the Barcelona airport to your hotel. Where possible we have included the cost of each method of transportation as well.
If you are travelling with a baby or toddler then you know that how to get from the Barcelona airport to your hotel is a little more complicated. It’s no longer just about cost and convenience, now you need to think about car seats too.
We like to avoid bringing a car seat on our trips, especially if we won’t have any use for the car seat once we are at our hotel. If the city we are visiting has good public transportation that can get us from the airport to our hotel in a reasonable amount of time, that is usually the option we will choose.
So what are your options for transportation in Barcelona to get from the El Prat airport to your hotel? Here are your choices starting with the most convenient:
Private Transfer from Barcelona Airport to Hotel
Private transfers are the most convenient method of getting straight from the Barcelona-El Prat airport to your hotel. Instead of getting into a taxi line, your personal driver will greet you with your family name on a sign at the arrival gate. Private transfers need to be booked in advance and will generally cost you a flat fee. The personal service and convenience of a private transfer isn’t the cheapest way from Barcelona airport to city center but it is the most convenient. The added benefit for those travelling to Barcelona with a baby or toddler is you can often find a private transfer that will provide a car seat.
Welcome is an airport transfer service in Barcelona which provides airport transfers to city center starting at €35 per trip. Welcome is baby-friendly and offers complimentary infant car seats if requested at time of your reservation. In addition to your airport transfer, Welcome simplifies your trip planning by offering essential products (such as local SIM-cards or mobile hot spots) and experiences (such as tours, day trips, restaurant suggestions, etc).
Barcelona Transfer from Airport to Hotel by Shared Van
Booking this type of transport from Barcelona airport to your hotel is slightly less convenient than a private transfer. It entails a passenger van waiting at the airport until it has collected enough passengers to fill the seats. The driver will then drop everyone at their hotels in the most efficient way possible. This is the only non-taxi option where you get dropped off at the door of your hotel. The cost of this option typically falls between a dedicated bus route and public transportation. How long it takes is a bit of an unknown, as you don’t know how long you have to wait at the airport before the van is full and you also do not know if you will be dropped off first, last or in the middle. One caution with this option, given you will be travelling in a passenger vehicle (albeit a large passenger van) you should inquire ahead of time about child car seat regulations in Spain.
Shuttle Direct offers shared van services from the Barcelona-El Prat Airport. Prices start at approximately €11 per person. Babies must pay for their own seat. If you wish to use a baby seat, you must bring your own.
Aerobus from Barcelona Airport
Taking the Aerobus is a convenient and affordable alternative to travel from the Barcelona-El Prat airport to the city center in 35 minutes. This specially designed airport bus has a section for your luggage and offers free WiFi onboard. This can be the best way to get from the Barcelona airport to your hotel or the city center, especially if budget is a concern.
The Aerobus costs €5.90 per person one way and a return ticket costs €10.20. Children under 4 are free on the Aerobus in Barcelona. The return ticket is only valid up to 15 days and you must keep the ticket. Public transport tickets do not work as the Aerobus is privately operated and not part of the public transportation system. For those travelling with a baby or toddler, you don’t need a car seat to take your baby on public transportation or on the Aerobus. They will sit on your lap.
Barcelona Airport Train
The RENFE Airport Train from the Barcelona airport to city center is a good option if you don’t have much luggage.
To catch the train to the city center you have to go to the train station at Terminal 2. Trains run every 30 minutes from 06:00 to 23:30 and will take 25 minutes. The stops for this train are Sants Station, Passeig de Gràcia and El Clot. Passeig de Gràcia will be the most central stop to the city center.
The RENFE Airport Train costs €2.15 per person one way, with children under 4 for free. If you purchased a Barcelona Card ahead of time, you can ride the train for free – click here for more information.
If you have a stroller or a lot of luggage be aware that there are stairs at the station, so you may need help getting up and down them. Also, as with everything you do at the airport, keep an eye on your belongings as pickpockets may be around. If you’d like some tips on being less of a target, see our post here.
Bus from Barcelona Airport to City Center
Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), Barcelona’s public transportation service, offers cheaper bus options from the Barcelona airport to downtown. The TMB buses cost €2.15 for a single ride, with children under 4 are free. The trade-off is that it will take longer than the Aerobus and will have limited room for luggage. Buses run every 25 minutes and can take 40-60 minutes depending on the time of day.
If you plan on taking public transport while in Barcelona, consider buying a Barcelona Card as it comes with unlimited free public transport and free or discounted admission to 20 top Barcelona attractions. Click here for more information.
Your TMB options are:
• From 05:00 to 00:15: the No. 46 bus runs from the airport to Plaça Espanya.
• From 21:55 to 04:45: the N17 (from Terminal 1) and N16 (from Terminal 2) run from the airport to Plaça de Catalunya.
Taxi from Barcelona Airport to Hotel
If you aren’t travelling with a baby or toddler, then taking a taxi from Barcelona airport to city centre is pretty simple, though it will likely be your highest cost option. The cost of a taxi from Barcelona airport to you hotel could be as high as €30-60 when you include surcharges for airport pickup and for each piece of luggage.
If you are travelling with a baby or toddler, then you have more to think about. The other downside, besides the taxi fare from Barcelona airport to city centre, is that a licensed taxi cannot be pre-booked. The likelihood of getting an airport taxi with a baby seat is very slim. If having an airport taxi with a car seat is important to you, we recommend considering one of the other options above.
Additional Barcelona with a Baby Resources
If you are still in the planning stages of your trip to Barcelona, our Ultimate Barcelona Trip Planning Resource has links to everything you will need, see and do in Barcelona.