The Barcelona Metro
So you have just arrived in Barcelona and you are ready to do some exploring? The single best way of doing this is via the Barcelona Metro system. Its array of inter-connected lines offer you the opportunity to get within comfortable walking distance to, well, pretty much everywhere in the city! The Barcelona Metro is fully wheelchair accessible as well as prompt, reliable and easy to use!
The Barcelona Metro consists of 8 separate lines which are inter-connected at various stops (or stations) around the city. Each ‘Línea’ (Catalan for Line) has its own distinguishing number and colour. You will notice that each particular station is colour coded to make this nice and clear!
Metro stops are indicated on street level by lampposts with big red M’s on them. You might also notice a similar lamppost with an orange logo above. These are indeed ‘underground trains’ yet they are different to the Metro system. The orange signs indicate Barcelona’s FGC system which also operates below Barcelona’s bustling streets. The two systems do inter-connect at various stations, they just serve different parts of town! It is commonly the case that with whichever transport ticket you purchase, you will be able to use both systems with the same ticket. You can find out more about Barcelona’s Transport Tickets here.
Monday through Thursday and public holidays: 05:00 - 00:00
Fridays and days which precede a public holiday: 05:00 – 02:00
Saturdays and the day preceding 01/01, 24/06, 15/08 and 24/09: 24h Service.
Sundays: 05:00 - 00:00
N.B on December 24th, the Barcelona Metro Closes at 23:00.
Arriving at a Metro Station:
When you reach one of the numerous Metro Stations in the city, you will of course require a ticket. There are numerous options for this which should be explored depending on your length of stay and intended amount of usage. To buy a ticket you will need to approach one of the large, red, touch-screen machines armed with a credit/debit card or cash. Just a small point, beware of using large bills when paying for a ticket! The machines will only dispense coinage as change. Many a ‘newbie’ are left with a ton of €1 coins upon paying with a €50 note!
Using the Barcelona Metro System:
Ensure you have worked out a route on the wall-maps provided (or take a free leaflet map which are available at most stations) and head towards the electric barriers. Insert your respective ticket into the slot and ‘open-sesame!’ You are now ready to explore. Each line has trains which run in opposite directions and you need to ensure you head to the correct platform. The stops corresponding to your train’s direction are displayed on the wall en-route to the platform. When the train approaches it will come to a stop and it is important to remember that it is your job to open the doors via either a button or handle. The doors do not automatically open and likewise, this is the same when the train comes to a stop at your destination station.
Which ticket should I buy?
As mentioned, there are a few options for you here and all of them are available from the Metro’s automatic vending machines… Take a look at our Barcelona Transport System Tickets page.
- KEEP YOUR TICKET EVEN IF HAS RUN OUT OF JOURNEYS! Some Stations require ticket validation when you are EXITING a station. If you cannot provide a valid ticket to an inspector or machine you may be subject to a whopping €50 fine!
- Keep away from the edges when you are on the platforms.
- Keep an eye on the ‘light-up’ route maps which are above the train doors. They indicate when you should be getting ready to leave the train.
- Move your wallets and purses to an inside pocket and keep your bag/camera in front of you when travelling on busy trains. The Metro is safe, clean and reliable, yet it does come with a pickpocket every now and then. Do not give them an opportunity.
- Swerve the vending machines located on the platforms! They do offer some good comfort food and sugar rushes, yet at very high prices. Save your money for a shop elsewhere!
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