How to Get around in Barcelona With Public Transit

After living in Barcelona for quite some time now, I realized how crucial the public transit system is to my day to day. Although the system is easy to understand, I still find it better if there was a quick guide on it. So here, this guide will be your best friend for when you are traveling to Barcelona.

Before you start using the public transit system, I strongly recommend that you get the T-jove card. It is 42.70 euros and gives you unlimited rides within the system. This transit card is valid for 3 months from the time of activation and includes buses, metros, trams, and regional trains. To qualify, you must be under 30 with a valid ID, such as a passport. I recommend you visit one of these locations here so you can pick up your card on the same day. Before knowing about this card, I was actually paying for each ride individually which was super expensive.

My T-jove card. It is personalized with your name.

The Metro

All logos and maps are properties of TMB, FGC, and Rodalies de Catalunya respectively

Barcelona has 12 metro lines which are color-coded and numbered. We commonly refer to them as L1 and L2, instead of red line and purple line. I can hardly remember the route of the lines as they are too “squiggly” for me to memorize, so apps like Google Maps will come in very handy. The good thing is that it will get you to where you need to go. During the weekdays, the last metro is at 12 am and the first will be at 5 am. Make sure to have a backup in mind because the metro is not 24 hours. One option I recommend is taking the night bus. They are normal buses that run during the night as a replacement for metros. These buses are named N1, N2, etc.

The one important metro station you need to remember is the L4 station “Ciutadella | Vila Olimpica”. This is right outside the UPF campus and will most likely be your most visited station.

The Airport: The L9S (Line 9 South) is the only metro line that goes to the airport. It services both terminal 1 and terminal 2. If you plan on taking the L9S to the airport, make sure to buy airport tickets at the ticketing machine as regular tickets will not work. If you have the T-jove card, rest assured as it is already included for free.

Helpful tip: The metro doors do not automatically open. You need to press the button on the door or lift the handle. Otherwise, you will not get on!


IIn the metro system, you might stumble upon the FGC logo noted above. These are part of the metro system but are also its own separate entity. Some of these trains are regional and go outside of Barcelona. Therefore, pricing may be different so you have to pay attention. These lines include L6, L7, L8, L12, and any lines that start with S (S1, S2, etc.).

Note: If you have the T-jove card, FGC is free and already included. Otherwise, make sure to check your transit ticket. If you see this logo, that means you are able to use your ticket on FGC trains.

Rodalies de Catalunya

Rodalies de Catalunya are regional trains in the Catalonian region and are separate from the Barcelona metro system. Therefore, you have to buy separate tickets, unless you already have a transit card. The prices are usually calculated by distance. Rodalies is a hidden gem because it will take you to all the nearby towns and beaches near Barcelona. About one hour away, you can visit the beach town of Sitges or Blanes. These are loved by locals and also have crystal clear water you can swim in. You can also go inwards and visit historical towns such as Girona for amazing architecture. Rodalies trains will have R assigned to them (R1, R2, etc.).

Note: This is also included in your T-jove card and you can travel as far as you want for free. Just remember to tap your card at the ticket validators to start your journey, or else you won’t be able to tap out later.


Personally, I have not taken trams as they tend to branch out of the city, rather than going to the city center. Most transit tickets include trams but you should still double check to see if the ticket has the logo above on it. But of course, with T-jove, it is already included. Only the T4 line stops at the UPF campus, at “Ciutadella | Villa Olimpica.”

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