Getting around in Barcelona
Posted by edux127 on November 14, 2006
Modern Barcelona, above the Plaça de Catalunya, is built on a grid system. The old town, from the Plaça de Catalunya to the port, however, is a labyrinth of narrow streets, and you’ll need a good street map to get around it. Most sightseeing can be done on foot – you won’t have any choice in the Barri Gòtic – but you’ll have to use the metro, buses, or taxis to link sightseeing areas.
The T-Dia card costs €3.76 and is valid for one day of unlimited travel on all subway, bus, and FFCC (Ferrocarriles de
la Generalitat de Catalunya) lines.
The 10-trip T-1 card costs €4.96 and is valid for all bus, metro, and FFCC travel. When switching from the Metro line to the FFCC (or vice versa), merely insert the card through the slot and the turnstile will open without charging you for a second ride provided less than an hour has elapsed since you punched in initially. Maps showing bus and metro routes are available free from booths in the Plaça de Catalunya; for general information on public transport, call 93/412-0000.
General information is also available, though not necessarily in English, at 010. Turisme de Barcelona (below) attends calls in English.
Turisme de Barcelona (Barcelona Tourism; Plaça de Catalunya 17 bis, PHONE: 906/301282) sells 24-, 48-, and 72-hour versions of the very worthwhile Barcelona Card. For €16.53, €19.53, or €22.54, you get unlimited travel on all public transport as well as discounts at 27 museums, 10 restaurants, 14 leisure spots, and 20 stores. Other services include walking tours of the Gothic Quarter, an airport shuttle, a bus to Tibidabo, and the Tombbus, which connects key shopping areas.
City buses run daily from 5:30 AM to 11:30 PM. The fare is €0.87 to €0.93 Sunday and holidays; for multiple journeys purchase a Targeta T1, which buys you 10 rides for €5 (like the metro’s T2, plus buses).
Route maps are displayed at bus stops. Note that those with a red band always stop at a central square – Catalunya, Universitat, or Urquinaona – and blue indicates a night bus. From June 12 to October 12 the Bus Turistic (9:30-7:30 every 30 minutes) runs on a circuit that passes all the important sights.
A day’s ticket, which you can buy on the bus, costs €8.41 (€5.56 half day) and also covers the fare for the Tramvía Blau, funicular, and Montjuïc cable car across the port. The ride starts at the Plaça de Catalunya.
By Cable Car and Funicular
The Montjuïc Funicular is a cog railroad that runs from the junction of Avinguda Paral.lel and Nou de
la Rambla to the Miramar station on Montjuïc (metro: Paral.lel). It operates weekends and holidays 11 AM-8 PM in winter, and daily 11 AM-9:30 PM in summer; the fare is €1.20.
A telefèric then takes you from the amusement park up to Montjuïc Castle. In winter the telefèric runs weekends and holidays 11-2:45 and 4-7:30; in summer, daily 11:30-9. The fare is €2.70.
A Transbordador Aeri Harbor Cable Car runs between Miramar and Montjuïc across the harbor to Torre de Jaume I, on
Barcelona’s moll (quay), and on to Torre de Sant Sebastià, at the end of Passeig Joan de Borbó in Barceloneta. You can board at either stage. The fare is €5.11 (€6.01 round-trip), and the car runs October-June, weekdays noon-5:45, weekends noon-6:15, and July-September, daily 11-9.
To reach the summit of Tibidabo, take the metro to Avinguda de Tibidabo, then the Tramvía Blau (€2.10 one-way) to Peu del Funicular, and finally the Tibidabo Funicular (€2.70 one-way) from there to the Tibidabo fairground. It runs every 30 minutes, 7:05 AM-9:35 PM ascending, 7:25 AM-9:55 PM descending.
Most Spanish cities have notoriously long morning and evening rush hours.
Barcelona is no exception: if possible, avoid peak rush hours, which are between 7:30 and 9:30 in the morning, 1:30-2:30 in the afternoon, and 7-9 in the evening.Parking can be very difficult in Spanish cities, especially Barcelona. Parking tickets (for fines) range between €30 and €90.
Barcelona’s street parking system runs from 9 AM to 2 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM Monday to Friday and all day Saturday. Park in the specially marked blue spaces (about €1.80 per hour), with tickets valid for two hours, but renewable. There are also underground garages (called “Parking” and symbolized by a white P on a blue background).
On the streets, do not park where the pavement edge is yellow or where there is a private entry (gual or vado). No-parking signs, “1-15” or “15-30,” signify you can park on those dates in the month on the side of the street where indicated. Towing is common.
If your car is towed in Barcelona call a special number (93/428-4595); you will have to pay €90 to get your car back. On top of that you will be presented with a fine, which you can pay at any police station at your convenience.
The subway is the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to get around Barcelona. You pay a flat fare of €1 no matter how far you travel, but it’s more economical to buy a Targeta T1 (valid for metro and FFCC Generalitat trains, Tramvía Blau [blue tram], and the Montjuïc Funicular), which costs €6 for 10 rides.The system runs 5 AM-11 PM (until 1 AM on weekends and holidays).
If what you look is for accommodation in Barcelona, you can try this site where you will find nice