Barcelona–El Prat Airport. Airport in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona–El Prat Airport

Airport in Barcelona, Spain

Terminal 1 Photo © Iberia Airlines

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Barcelona–El Prat Airport

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Barcelona airport is located on the eastern coast of Spain, very close to the Mediterranean Sea. The airport is only 15 kilometers from the center of the city of Barcelona, and 3 kilometers from the port of Barcelona. El Prat is a modern airport that services over 90 airlines to 175 destinations in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Aside from these impressive qualities, any traveler will immediately notice the modernity that El Prat Barcelona Airport has striven to achieve in recent years.


El Prat Barcelona Airport officially began operations in 1916. While there is not much to note about the early history of the airport, over the years it has definitely grown and transformed. Especially in the more recent history of El Prat Barcelona, there have been noticeable on-going efforts to modernize the airport. Barcelona stands out as a very modern airport that, in recent history, has boasted one of the highest growth rates among airports in Europe.

The efforts to modernize have shown a steady rise in the number of passengers over the past 20 years. Also with the addition of a third runway in 2004, Barcelona Airport is now capable of servicing 90 operations per hour.

Airport Layout

El Prat Barcelona Airport has two main terminals, T1 and T2. T1 is larger and accounts for 70% of airport traffic. T1 is organized into three main levels: Floor 0 (arrivals), Floor 1 (restaurants and shops), and Floor 3 (departures). T2 is divided into three sub-sections: A, B, and C. However, T1 is much larger and newer, so T2 now mainly services regional flights.

The two main terminals are 4 kilometers apart from each other. To accommodate travelers, a free shuttle frequently goes back and forth between T1 and T2. Overall, the bulk of options to pass the time for travelers will be found in Terminal 1. For this reason, if a traveler is trying to pass the time between flights, Terminal 1 is probably the place he or she will want to be. The airport has three take-off and landing areas, which allows for frequent and efficient operations in the airport.


Much like other airports, one can expect restaurants and bars. There are also a number of shops, including duty-free. T1 is a much newer, more modern facility, and therefore offers a lot more options while passing the time during layovers. El Prat Barcelona boasts some internationally known features such as Victoria’s Secret (Wikipedia Article) and Burger King (Wikipedia Article). Barcelona Airport also has a number of VIP lounges.

In addition, one can find many amenities that are to be expected in an airport; such as ATMs, Chapels, a Police station, Wi-Fi, and Currency Exchange. Barcelona also offers free assistance to any travelers who may need accommodations due to mobility issues. For any travelers feeling lost or needing assistance, there are information points throughout the terminals.

Accommodations nearby

El Prat Barcelona Airport offers an interesting on-site accommodation called “Air Rooms.” These rooms are available for reservation for 3-hour, 6-hour, or even over-night lodging for travelers who want to rest without having to leave the airport. Air Rooms can be found in the larger, newer, more modern Terminal 1.

There are also five hotels that are very nearby. While most of these will offer an airport shuttle, reliable public transport, taxi, or car rental is also an option.


Barcelona Airport has a large number of options with regards to transport. There are five different car rental companies located in the airport. There are also ways to get around via taxi, bus, and even train. Taxis and buses can be found on Floors 0 and 3 in Terminal 1, and Floor 0 in Terminal 2. While the train station is not technically in the airport, there is a walkway from Terminal 2 to the train station.

The train station is named Passeig de Gràcia, and can connect you to the main stations in Barcelona, metro lines that run throughout the city, and destinations all over Europe if Barcelona is not your last stop. Barcelona Sants is the main train station in Barcelona. The airport train station services RENFE (Wikipedia Article) train trips, the main line in Spain.

Nice to know

A general piece of information that is good to know about Barcelona in general is that Spanish is not the only language spoken. In fact, the Catalán language (Wikipedia Article), the other official language of the region, is used just as frequently on signs, in train stations, and for advertisements. El Prat Barcelona Airport recommends arriving 2-3 hours before a flight departure.

It is also important to note that the airport does not make PA announcements of flight changes and gates. Therefore, it is very important to check the arrival/departure screens! With regards to safety, there aren’t many issues in particular inside the airport. However, Barcelona and the airport are big international destinations so travelers should always be aware of their surroundings and should not leave opportunities for pick-pockets to take advantage.

Nearby and similar landmarks

Barcelona offers a number of landmarks that are known around the world and definitely worth a visit. Among these landmarks are the Sagrada Familia Cathedral and Park Güell. With regards to other airports, Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport is the other very significant airport in Spain.

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Author: brendalyn.r. Last updated: Apr 22, 2015

Pictures of Barcelona–El Prat Airport

Flughafen, Barcelona 2013 - Barcelona–El Prat Airport
Flughafen, Barcelona 2013 - Barcelona–El Prat Airport. Photo by Spiegelneuronen

Airbus A320-214 Niki OE-LEA - Barcelona–El Prat Airport
Airbus A320-214 Niki OE-LEA - Barcelona–El Prat Airport. Photo by Curimedia | P H O T O G R A...

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Typographic SpringTour - Barcelona–El Prat Airport. Photo by Elena Veguillas

Barcelona Airport - Barcelona–El Prat Airport
Barcelona Airport - Barcelona–El Prat Airport. Photo by Trey Ratcliff

BCN/LEBL Airport - Barcelona–El Prat Airport
BCN/LEBL Airport - Barcelona–El Prat Airport. Photo by Victor

Amanecer en El Prat - Barcelona–El Prat Airport
Amanecer en El Prat - Barcelona–El Prat Airport. Photo by Juanedc


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