In many ways, Barcelona can sometimes get it ‘backwards’. From customer service to anything related to government protocol and efficiency, as expats, we’ve all had our fair share of ‘Spain days’ where we want to go back to wherever it is we came from. However, one thing that the city has mastered, is its incredible public transportation system, in particular, the metro! With more than eight lines running throughout the city, the metro is by far the easiest way to travel in Barcelona. Although it can sometimes get stuffy and annoying walking through the long underground tunnels, it can get you virtually anywhere you want to go within the city. It’s fast, efficient and so easy to use.
How to Pay?
All metro passes can be bought from one of the many machines inside each station. You can also go through the teller, but there’s no need since the machines take coins and paper bills and there’s usually plenty of them, meaning no long lines. If you’re only in Barcelona for a few days then get the pass that gives you 10 trips for about 8 Euros. The card has no expiry date, so you can use the trips as you like, either all in one day, or spread them out over a month if you want. If you use the metro from time to time but not enough to buy a monthly pass this is a great option. If you’re a regular metro user then the pass for 30 Euros (approx) is your best bet. It gives you 50 trips within 30 days of purchasing the ticket, so it’s almost two trips a day for one month. Otherwise, if you just want a one off ticket, use the machine and pay 1.40 Euro and you’re good to get from one place to another.
Paying is really simple.
- It’s a touch screen so press on the ticket you’d like to buy
- Put in the money
- Your ticket and change come out from the same place
- Put your ticket into the machine and go through the turn
How to ride?
- There’s a countdown in the metro station that tells you how long until the next train arrives, so take a look and then wait on the platform
- The doors open from both inside and out, but you have to press a button, they don’t open automatically
- If no one from the inside of the metro opens the door in front of you, press the button and then wait a second. There is a small delay, so people often think it’s not working. Press it once and wait a few seconds, it’ll open.
Do: Give your seat to elderly people if the metro is full
Don’t: Worry if there’s 1000 people crammed into one car. It’s completely normal and so far, pretty safe. (the concept of, this car is full, doesn’t’ really exist in Barcelona)
Do: Try to stand near the back of some of the seats that are shaped with small indents, allowing for a more comfortable ride if there’s no seats left
Do: WATCH YOUR BELONGINGS! Metro’s are a pickpockets heaven. Keep your purses closed and on you and make sure all pockets are buttoned or zipped or take out any valuables that are in them if they can’t zip up and hold them in your hands.