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Barcelona

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Practical Life


Transport


The city of Barcelona is well connected to other cities in Spain as well internationally. Public transport is operated by several companies, most under the Autoritat del Transport Metropolita.

Sencillo - Single (one-way)

Public Transportation

Barcelona is served by a comprehensive local public transport network. This includes a metro, bus network, tram networks, as well as a historic tram line and several funiculars and aerial cable cars.

Metro

The Barcelona Metro network has 11 lines and 164 stations. They are identified by an "L" followed by the line number as well as by individual colors. Nine lines are operated by the Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), with the other lines operated as FGC commuter lines that run through the city. The system is being extended and will feature some of the longest lines in Europe.

Tickets

You can buy tickets for individual journeys for the metro at €1.45 per ticket. However, if you are using the metro for more than one day or intend taking more than 5 journeys on the metro or buses it's best to buy the T10 ticket.
T10 - A public transportation ticket that is valid for 10 rides. You may use the metro, FGC (train lines similar to the metro around the city center), buses, trams and RENFE (Spanish railways) in given Public Transportation Zones (e.g. Zone 1, Zone 1-2 etc.) T-10 tickets can be shared between travelers. Each validation will count as a separate ride, but if you change lines within 1 hour and 15 min, your trip will be counted as one ride. Each time you use the T10 ticket you will see how many journeys you have left on the LCD display of the ticket validation machine. The T10 ticket costs €8.25. You can buy a T10 from any metro stop and from the Airport at the entrance to the RENFE train. If you need to travel outside of Zone 1 you can buy a different T10 zone ticket that will cover you for other zones. Once you've purchased your T10 ticket, put the ticket into a ticket validation machine at the metro entrance. The machine checks the ticket and then marks it on the back with a printed day and time stamp. You then have to pull the ticket out of the machine slot and in that instant the turnstile lock is released and you can pass through.
50-ride monthly ticket - Similar to the T10. Costs for €33.10
Barcelona Card - Issued by Barcelona Tourism Association, this card offers unlimited travel on the Barcelona public transport system. Also offers discounts on major attractions, improved personal security, and a Barcelona map and guide. Valid for 2, 3, 4 or 5 consecutive days, cards are available for 25-40 euros.

Navigating the Metro

Stations are marked M on most maps. Main entrances have a wall map to help plan your journey. Ticket booth attendants can also offer free metro map (mapa). Announcements are made only in Catalan, though signs and ticketing machines are generally trilingual in Catalan, Spanish and English.

As a general rule of thumb, allow 2 minutes per stop. Trains usually come every 5 minutes. On Sundays, the metro runs less frequently at about 10 minutes.

Tram

TRAMMET operates the city's two modern tram networks, known as Trambaix and Trambesòs. Trams run Sunday to Thursday and public holidays from 05:00-24:00, Fridays and Saturdays from 05:00-02:00. On days prior to public holidays trams run until 02:00.

There are six lines: Line T1 Francesc Macia to Cornella and Sant Joan Despi (center). Line T2 Francesc Macia to Cornella and Sant Joan Despi (Hospital Comarcal). Line T3 Francesc Macia to Sant Just and Sant Feliu. Line T4 Estacio de Sant Adrià Ciutadella to Vila Olímpica Line T5 Glories to Gorg Line T6 Estacio de Sant Adria to Gorg

The historic tram line, the Tramvia Blau, connects the metro to the Funicular del Tibidabo.

Public Transport map: Barcelona Metro Map

Train

Barcelona is a major hub for RENFE, the Spanish state railway network. The Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) run Barcelona's widespread commuter train service. The main intercity train station is Barcelona-Sants station.

The AVE high-speed rail system can operate at speeds up to 300 km/h (186 mph). It operates on lines such as Madrid to Barcelona. There are several trains per day from other parts of Europe (via France) and service is regular and reliable.

Tickets

Tickets can be purchased online or at the station. Tickets can be purchased on-line up to sixty-two days before the time of travel. To buy tickets, you will need to have the first eight digits of your passport number or, if you live in Barcelona, your NIE number ready.

First class or business classes can be found under Clase Preferente.
Second-class is called Clase Tourisme.

Tickets can be purchased on the RENFE online booking site. Or you can call Tel: (0034) 90 288 2893. Customer service in English is available Tel: (0034) 90 215 7507.

Timetables

For the complete timetables, consult the RENEFE site.

Navigation

Train: RENFE

Bus

Barcelona has a clean and efficient bus service. Mainly operating within the city center, it is operated by Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB).

There are over 100 lines and stations covering a distance of 920.62 kilometers. The TMB carries about 600 million passengers a year. The TMB site has route planner, information on ticket options, and transportation news.

Tickets

The Integrated Fare System makes it possible to use the different modes of transport in the same journey within the Metropolitan Region, meaning you may use the metro, FGC, buses, trams and RENFE (Spanish railways) in given Public Transportation Zones. An individual ticket costs €1.45 per journey. Other options include:
T10 - A public transportation ticket that is valid for 10 rides. T-10 tickets can be shared between travelers. Each validation will count as a separate ride, but if you change lines within 1 hour and 15 min, your trip will be counted as one ride. The T10 ticket costs €8.25. You can buy a T10 from any metro stop and from the Airport at the entrance to the RENFE train.
50-ride monthly ticket - Similar to the T10. Costs for €33.10
Barcelona Card - Issued by Barcelona Tourism Association, this card offers unlimited travel on the Barcelona public transport system. Also offers discounts on major attractions, improved personal security, and a Barcelona map and guide. Valid for 2, 3, 4 or 5 consecutive days, cards are available for 25-40 euros.

Long-Distance Buses

Many buses arrive there from other European cities. Long distance buses usually arrive at Barcelona Nord station.

Ferry/Boat

The Port of Barcelona has a long and illustrious history. It is Europe's ninth largest container port at 7.86 km2 (3 sq mi). It is divided into three zones: Port Vell (the Old Port), the commercial port and the logistics port (Barcelona Free Port).

Many cruise ships dock in the port with frequent shuttles to the center of the city. From some places, like Rome, it is cheaper to arrive by boat than by bus or train. There are several cruises at different price points and durations.

Plane

Barcelona El Prat Airport

(IATA: BCN, ICAO: LEBL)
Catalan: Aeroport de Barcelona - el Prat, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Barcelona-El Prat
About 17 km (11 mi) from the center of Barcelona, this is the second-largest airport in Spain. It is a main hub for Vueling Airlines. The airport mainly serves domestic and European destinations, but some airlines offer destinations in Latin America, Asia and the United States.

Transportation from the Airport

Trains: One of the best options for price and speed is the half-hourly RENFE R2 (Nord) suburban train line. Travel time is 20 minutes, but can be up to 40 minutes if slow or late. The train terminates next to T2 by section B, with a connecting green colored bus service to T1 (plan for an extra 15 minutes of travel). A single ticket is €1.45, but consider the T-10 ticket (€8.25 for ten trips, including all bus and metro transfers made within 75 minutes) if you will be using transport within the city. Tickets can be purchased at the vending machine at the airport station.

Bus: Bus 46 runs from both terminals (downstairs at T1) to Magic Fountains. The duration is about 1 hour and tickets cost €1.45, but consider the T-10 ticket (€8.25 for ten trips, including all bus and metro transfers made within 75 minutes) if you will be using transport within the city. Tickets can be purchased at the vending machine at the airport station.

Shuttle: The Aerobus A1 line stops at T1 and between T2A and B and travels along Gran Via to Plaça Catalunya. Buses depart every 11 minutes, with a duration of 35 minutes (although it takes much longer during rush hour). Tickets cost €5.35 one-way (cash only). Aerobuses stop running at midnight.

Taxi: Taxis are available at the airport, but are the most expensive option. A trip to the city center costs about 30 euro. Taxis can be pre-booked online.

Girona-Costa Brava Airport

(IATA: GRO, ICAO: LEGE)
Catalan: Aeroport de Girona-Costa Brava, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Girona-Costa Brava
Airport located 12.5 km (7.8 mi) southwest of the city of Girona and 92 km (57 mi) north of Barcelona. Built in 1965, is a Ryanair destination and the third largest in Europe.

Transportation from the Airport

The Barcelona Bus service runs a shuttle bus from Estació del Nord (which is walking distance to the Arc de Triomf metro stop) in Barcelona to Girona Airport and this ties in with various flight times. A one-way ticket costs 12 euro and a return ticket costs 21 euro. The journey takes approximately one hour and ten minutes.

There are also car hire services in the airport.

Taxi

Barcelona has a metered taxi fleet governed by the Institut Metropolità del Taxi(Metropolitan Taxi Institute). It is composed of more than 10,000 cars. Official Barcelona Taxis are yellow and black with a green illuminated light on the top.

Generally, a 15 minutes journey costs about 10 Euros. Extra luggage may involve a small surcharge. Rates will be displayed inside the cab.

To estimate fares, the Taximeter is a helpful tool. Tipping is welcomed but not required. If you wish to give a tip give 5 to 10 percent of the taxi fare.

Taxi Companies

Car Hire

Car rental allows visitors to move freely through Spain and the rest of Europe. Rentals can be easily arranged online or at points of entry such as airports and train stations. Shop around online to find the best prices as all the major car hire companies are present.

The minimum age for car rental is 25. However, most companies will allow you to rent at a lower age for a fee. Cars usually come with a manual transmission (gear shift). If you prefer an automatic transmission, ask the rental company.

Driving Licenses

All valid EU (European Union) Community and EEC (European Economic Area) driving licenses are valid in Spain provided that the licence holder is 18 years or older (18 is the minimum driving age in Spain). There is no obligation for the licence to be exchanged for a Spanish one. However a foreign resident in Spain is entitled to exchange the EEA licence if they choose to.

If you have a license from outside the EU, it is valid in Spain for up to six months. During that period it is essential that an official translation or an International Drivers Permit (IDP) accompany any foreign licence that is not in Spanish.

After six months the foreign licence is no longer valid. Exchange agreements exist between Spain and some countries which allow the licence holder to exchange their licence for an equivalent Spanish one. Spain has a special licence exchange agreement with Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, Andorra, Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, Morocco, Peru, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The Provincial Traffic Headquarters
Tel: 902 300 175

Road Rules

It is compulsory to carry the following documents at all times.

Drivers involved in an accident must stop and help injured people, collaborate in avoiding danger and other possible accidents and call the police if there are injured people or if the road cannot be cleared
Police: 112
Policia Local: 092

Roadways

Many streets are one-way and left turns are rare, making a map essential. Some basic orientation will help you navigate.

The city is cross cut between three international routes
European route E15 (north-south)
European route E90 (west-east)
European route E09

The city is also circled by three half ring roads or bypasses
Ronda de Dalt (on the mountain side)
Ronda del Litoral (along the coast)
Ronda del Mig (separated into two parts: Travessera de Dalt in the north and the Gran Via de Carles III).

There are also main arteries like
Diagonal Avenue - crosses the city diagonally
Meridiana Avenue - leads to Glòries and connects with Diagonal Avenue
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes - crosses the city from east to west, passing through the center of the city.

Parking

Parking is accessible, but the downtown area offers many pedestrian only walkways so it is often easier to park outside the city and use public transportation within.

Parking regulations vary depending on the time of day, day of the week or even the week of the month. Individual meters (parquímetros) are being phased out and replaced with ticket machines (expendedor de tickets de estacionamiento). Some places require a permit to park during work hours (horas laborables). The most expensive options are around major tourist destinations (about €1.5-2.5/hour).
Blue parking spaces (zonas azuls) indicate that parking must be paid at a ticket machine. These spots are paid between 9:00 and 14:00 and between 16:00 and 20:00 Monday to Saturday.
Green parking spaces are for residents only.
White parking spaces are free at all times but there aren't any in the city center.

"No Parking" signs (estacionamiento prohibido), are often blue with a red line across. Yellow or red painted signs on the curb also indicate No Parking.

Bicycle

Barcelona is making an effort to create a more bike-friendly city. There are an increasing number of bike lanes and you can take your bike on the metro (except during rush hour).

There are also a multitude of tours by bike and bike rental.

Bike sharing continues to spread around the globe. Barcelona's City Council started the Bicing service offers bicycle services as a form of public transport. There are 1,500 red and white bicycles and 100 stations.

How to Use
The web site provides information on stations, how many bikes are available at each one, bike renting history, maps and even the weather forecast. Registration must be done before use with a card being sent in the mail in about 10 days. The annual subscription is €24 which includes your swipe card to unlock the bikes. The first 30 minutes are free, and for rentals over that time limit, rates are only €0.30 for each half hour. The maximum time you can keep a bike is 2 hours. Interestingly, the system is primarily for residents as bikes aren't available for immediate use and cards are only sent to Catalan addresses.

Barcelona Map: City of Barcelona
Road Map: Barcelona Street Map



19/06/2012

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