People who travel Barcelona do not need a car. Everything here can be reached on foot or via public transport. Barcelona’s public transportation system is varied and one should take the time to take a different route every now and again.
Drivers in their cars in Barcelona need patience. One way streets as far as the eye can see and hardly any parking spaces. On many roads, it is illegal to park a car and one has to look for one of the countless, small multi-storey car parks to leave the car. It’s getting easier with motorbikes. Many junctions are laid out in a way that allows for parking spaces for motorbikes.
Another option to travel around Barcelona is the bicycle. Many renting spots throughout the city hold bikes that can be picked up and then dropped off elsewhere at another station after use. The downside for people like me who aren’t really that enthusiastic about biking is that Barcelona is very hilly and riding a bike here often times means going uphill.
Visitors should really switch to public transport. The metro network is extensive and even spoilt Berliners like us were content with the frequency of train departures. We rarely ever had to wait for more than five minutes for a train. The downside was that trains were often very crowded and you had to be a fan of some physical contact with your fellow passengers.
The ticket prices surprised us, too. There are special tourist tickets for those who use the metro a lot. We needed about only one return ticket per day so the T10 ticket was very convenient for us. This ticket allows 10 journeys in the inner city area and, if so desired, to share the ticket with another person. Price in 2016: 9.90€
For our trips to Monserrat and to the Formula One race track in Montmeló, we used regional trains. The ticket machines are easy to use as long as you know the name of the station at your destination. For these trains, too, the prices were reasonable. We paid 2.60€ for our ticket to Montmeló, which is cheaper than a single ticket for the Berlin underground.
The most unique means of transportation in Barcelona are probably the many different cable cars. I had originally planned to use all of them but I then changed my mind. The Teleférico de Barcelona track spans across Barcelona’s port. Two massive and very imposing pillars raise high above the city skyline and two red gondolas go back and forth continuously. The demand for this track amongst tourists is high so many people are placed in each gondola at a time. Not everybody gets a spot by a window to enjoy the view. Reluctantly, I skipped this attraction and saved some money that I invested in new clothing on the last day.
We rather wanted to use a different cable car. The Telefèric de Montjuïc operates between Parc Montjuïc via Castell to Mirador. Single tickets or returns for a round trip are available.
We got on at Parc Montjuïc with the plan to get off half way at Mirador. Since the cable car does not stop at the half way point on the uphill trip, we were allowed to go up to the terminus and then back down again to the middle station. That’s how we got a full round trip with the cable car. The Telefèric de Montjuïc uses many smaller gondolas that each carry up to 6 people. Everyone on here is able to get a space by the window to see Barcelona from above. A truly remarkable view that allowed us to spot many places that we had already visited on the days before.
Besides that, we discovered many routes through Barcelona on foot. Many points of interest are close to each other so that with a bit of planning and a cleverly picked route, walking becomes the most convenient form of transportation. And on top of that, it allows visitors to discover bits of Barcelona in passing that otherwise would have been missed.
Teleférico de Barcelona
Av. Miramar S/N
November to February: 11.00 – 17.30
March to May: 10.30 – 19.00
June to mid-September: 10.30 – 20.00
Mid-September to October: 10.30 – 19.00
Ticket prices (2016):
Single ticket: 11€ Return: 16.50€
Telefèric de Montjuïc
Avenida Miramar 30
November to February: 10.00 – 18.00
March to May: 10.00 – 19.00
June to September: 10.00 – 21.00
October: 10.00 – 19.00
Ticket prices (2016):
Adult return ticket: 12.00€
Adult single ticket: 8.00€
Discounts are available, online tickets are cheaper!