Barcelona Airport, also called El Prat Airport, is a convenient gateway to this exciting city. Located only 20 to 30 minutes’ journey outside the city, this international airport in Barcelona will be the first stop on a cultural trip full of museums, architecture, and great food. As the home of the second-largest airport in Spain, behind Madrid. Barcelona is the city where many visitors begin their exploration of the country. It is then possible to hop aboard a train to see other highlights of Spain. Affordable airfare into Barcelona can be secured relatively easily, especially from other European cities. Direct flights to Barcelona from the US might be difficult to come by, but if you’re willing to have a layover, Barcelona could be the perfect destination for a budget trip.
The Barcelona Airport is largely focused on domestic and inter-European flights. If you’re looking for a flight into Barcelona, there are a few airlines you should research including Iberia, Air Europa, Vueling, and Spanair. Until recently, a very popular route from El Prat Airport was the multiple times daily flight to Madrid. As of 2008, a high-speed train connects the two Spanish cities and this flight decreased in popularity. The train ride only takes 2 hours and 40 minutes, but last minute deals on flights may be found if you’re looking to reach Madrid quickly.
The International Airport in Barcelona first opened in 1918. Since this time, the airport has grown significantly, with a recent trend being the presence of low-cost carriers. The competition between Vueling, Easyjet, and WizzAir is good news for travelers. Depending on where in Europe you are trying to reach Barcelona from, you can almost always do so affordably. If you are prepared to fly at off-peak times, such as early in the morning or late in the evening) your chances of securing a cheap flight are even better.
A new terminal at Barcelona Airport opened in 2009. The extra space in Terminal 1 has allowed the airport to be able to serve a substantially increased number of people, from 37 million to 55 million annually. Terminal 2 is home to two different sections. 2C is used only by EasyJet, while Terminal 2 is home to a variety of European airlines including Aer Lingus, Air Baltic, Air Berlin, Air France, British Airways, Delta, Continental, and more. If you’re looking for direct service from the US to Barcelona, Delta offers non-stop service from Atlanta and NYC while Continental offers non-stop service from Newark.
Ground transportation at El Prat airport is simple. Choices include rail (which connects passengers to the Barcelona Metro system), buses, taxis, and shuttles. Rental cars are also available at the airport, though many visitors find that Barcelona has a great public transportation system and there is no need for a car. If you plan on using the train, Terminal 2 has its own RENFE commuter train station which passengers can use to connect to the Metro. An expansion is planned in the future that will make it easier for visitors to reach the Barcelona Metro system. Buses are also popular, and depending on the time of day, the ride is less than half an hour. Both the public bus and a private bus company called Aerobus offer service to the international airport in Barcelona.