Even the tourist office will tell you, driving in Barcelona is a nightmare for non-locals. Take my advice and, after a nice relaxing Barcelona airport transfer drive, stick to the city’s great public transport system of taxis, buses, metros and trams. |
Reasons Not to Drive
Even if you’re used to driving on the right and navigating big bustling cities, Barcelona will throw up a new lot of driving challenges you might not have encountered before.
• Traffic chaos – Barcelona is a busy, bustling city with a chaotic traffic system which is hard for non-locals to decipher when they first arrive. • Parking difficulties – If, by some miracle, you find a parking space in the city you will be expected to pay for it, and parking in Barcelona is not cheap. Don’t ever be tempted to park illegally as there is a very hot tow-away patrol in the city which will remove your car quickly if it is illegally parked. Once towed, all that will be left is a sticker on the road to let you know where you can collect your vehicle. • Fines – Fines for breaking rules such as speeding or alcohol limits are extremely steep and foreigners will be expected to pay the police on the spot (the police have been known to accompany drivers to an ATM if they don’t have the funds to hand). • Car crime – There have been reports of thieves targeting foreign cars in Barcelona. The most common method is that one of a gang punctures the tyre of a tourist’s car stopped in traffic, when the tourist pulls over to change the tyre, the thieves target the driver and passengers.
Great Public Transport System
The good news is that not driving in Barcelona is really not a problem, as there is a great Barcelona airport transfer service to get you to your accommodation and once you’re in the city, you’ll find a fantastic public transport system will take you anywhere you want to go.
Public transport in Barcelona includes everything from an extensive metro, bus, tram and local train system to sightseeing buses, taxis and even a funicular. Most of the transport runs late into the night with a night bus service running through until morning.
A ticket for Zone 1 of the ‘Integrated Transport System’ covers most transport for the entire centre of Barcelona and much of its suburbs (you are unlikely to need anything else unless you want to go further afield). Tickets can be bought at metro and FGC stations as well as various vending machines and pay booths around the city. Bus tickets, however, are separate and must be bought from the driver.
The best bet for tourists is to get a Barcelona Card which not only covers all forms of transport in the city, but will also get you a discount on entry to many of the sights.
Barcelona Airport Transfer
The best way to get from the airport to your hotel is by Barcelona Airport transfer, arranged in advance. Rather than driving yourself in an unfamiliar hire car, a friendly driver will meet you at the airport, negotiate the Barcelona traffic for you, and deliver you safely to your hotel door without the stress of needing to find a parking space.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Barcelona Airport transfer, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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