Barcelona is a popular tourist destination with millions of visitors arriving each year. As a result, the city has two major airports that cater to both domestic and international travelers.

The first airport, Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN), also known as Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, is located 12 kilometers southwest of the city center. It is the second-largest airport in Spain after Madrid-Barajas Airport and serves as a hub for several airlines including Vueling Airlines and Ryanair.

The second airport, Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRO), is located approximately 100 kilometers northeast of Barcelona. This smaller airport primarily serves low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and

Both airports offer various amenities such as restaurants, shops, and duty-free stores for passengers to enjoy while waiting for their flights. Additionally, they have efficient transportation links that connect them to the city center via public transport services like buses or trains.

Overall, these two airports provide convenient access to one of Europe’s most vibrant cities and serve as crucial gateways for travelers visiting Catalonia region or other parts of Spain.

Overview of Barcelona’s airport system

Barcelona is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors every year. The city has an efficient and well-connected airport system that comprises two international airports: Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) and Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRO).

Barcelona-El Prat Airport is the main international airport serving the city. It operates flights to over 200 destinations worldwide, with more than 40 airlines operating from its terminals. The airport has two terminals: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. These are connected by a free shuttle bus service that runs every five minutes.

Terminal 1 is the largest terminal in Spain, covering an area of more than half a million square meters. It handles most of the international flights arriving at and departing from Barcelona. Terminal 2 serves low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet.

Girona-Costa Brava Airport is located approximately 100 km northeast of Barcelona city center, near the town of Girona. It mainly serves low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, Wizz Air, and

Both airports offer various facilities for passengers including duty-free shops, restaurants, cafes, lounges for business travelers or VIPs with private jets or charter flights in barcelona , ATMs/currency exchange services , car rental services , parking areas among others .

The transport options available to travel between these airports are mainly by road through private transfer companies like Welcome Pickups or public transportation using trains buses . Additionally there are also other transport connections within this region like taxi companies offering shared rides like Cabify Hop!, Blacklane among others which can be booked online before arrival

In conclusion we can say that while both airports serve different markets they complement each other making it easier for tourists visiting Catalonia region with convenient access points across several locations depending on their needs/preferences .

History of Barcelona’s airports

Barcelona has a long history of aviation, dating back to the early 20th century. The first airport in Barcelona was located in El Prat de Llobregat and opened in 1916. This airport played an important role during the Spanish Civil War, with both Republican and Nationalist forces using it for military purposes.

In the post-war years, the airport began to focus more on commercial flights, serving as a hub for Iberia Airlines. However, by the 1960s it became clear that El Prat was no longer capable of handling the growing number of passengers and planes.

As a result, plans were made for a new airport to be built outside of Barcelona. In 1974 construction began on what is now known as Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN). The new airport officially opened in 1991 and quickly became one of Spain’s busiest airports.

Over time, BCN has undergone several expansions and improvements to accommodate increasing air traffic. Today it boasts two runways and three terminals handling over 50 million passengers annually.

Despite its success, there have been calls for another airport to be built in or around Barcelona due to concerns about overcrowding at BCN. However, these plans remain controversial and have yet to come to fruition.

Overall, the history of Barcelona’s airports reflects both its importance as a hub for transportation within Spain and Europe as well as ongoing challenges related to modernizing infrastructure while balancing environmental concerns.

Major Airports in Barcelona

Barcelona is a vibrant and bustling city that attracts countless visitors from around the world. As such, it boasts several major airports that offer convenient access to the city.

The primary airport serving Barcelona is the Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN). Located just 12 km southwest of the city center, this airport is easily accessible by car or public transportation. It serves as a hub for numerous airlines, including Vueling Airlines and Ryanair, and handles millions of passengers each year.

Another significant airport in Barcelona is Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRO). While located approximately 100 km north of Barcelona, it provides an alternative option for travelers looking to explore both northern Catalonia and southern France. This airport mainly serves low-cost carriers such as Ryanair.

Reus Airport (REU) also offers another option for travelers visiting Barcelona. Located approximately 100 km south of the city, this regional airport primarily serves charter flights during peak season but also caters to regular commercial flights throughout the year.

Lastly, there’s Lleida-Alguaire Airport (ILD), which lies about 168 km west of central Barcelona. Although not as popular among tourists as other airports in Catalonia region due to its distance from major cities like Madrid or Paris; however it still gives easy access some beautiful towns nearby like La Seu d’Urgell which could be a great alternative if you want to avoid crowds yet still stay close enough where all amenities are at your fingertips.

In conclusion, whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, these four major airports provide excellent options when planning your trip to beautiful Catalonia region in Spain!

Barcelona-El Prat Airport

Barcelona–El Prat Airport, also known as Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, is the second-largest airport in Spain after Madrid-Barajas. Located 12 km southwest of Barcelona city centre, it serves as a major hub for flights to and from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

The airport has two main terminals: Terminal 1 (T1) and Terminal 2 (T2). T1 is the newer terminal of the two and primarily handles international flights. It is divided into three areas: A, B and C. Area A is used by Star Alliance airlines including Lufthansa and United Airlines; area B serves SkyTeam airlines such as Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines; while area C caters to oneworld carriers like American Airlines.

T2 contains three separate buildings: T2A, T2B and T2C. It mainly handles domestic flights within Spain along with some low-cost carriers such as Ryanair. Transfers between terminals are possible via shuttle bus service or moving walkways located in Terminal 1.

In terms of amenities for passengers, Barcelona–El Prat Airport offers a variety of dining options ranging from fast food chains to sit-down restaurants serving local Catalan cuisine. There are also numerous shops selling everything from electronics to fashion accessories that travelers can explore before their flight.

The airport provides many transportation options for passengers looking to get into downtown Barcelona or elsewhere in Catalonia region including buses shuttles trains taxis rental cars etc.There’s even an Aerobús which runs every five minutes during peak hours between Plaça Catalunya in central Barcelona with both Terminals at El-Prat making it one of the easiest ways getting out firsthand enjoying beautiful beaches this marvelous city has to offer without major hassle.

Barcelona–El Prat Airport has won several awards for its services including being named the Best Airport in Southern Europe in 2020 by Skytrax World Airport Awards. It is also committed to sustainability and has implemented numerous measures to reduce its environmental impact, such as using renewable energy sources and reducing water consumption.

Girona–Costa Brava Airport

Girona–Costa Brava Airport is an international airport located near the city of Girona, around 92 kilometers northeast of Barcelona. It was opened in 1965 to serve the Costa Brava and has since become a popular hub for budget airlines such as Ryanair and Jet2.

The airport handled over 3 million passengers in 2019, making it one of the busiest airports in Catalonia after Barcelona El Prat Airport. It has a single terminal building that houses both arrivals and departures areas. The terminal offers various services including restaurants, cafes, duty-free shops, car rental desks, and free Wi-Fi throughout.

There are several transportation options available to reach Girona–Costa Brava Airport from Barcelona. The most convenient way is by taking a direct bus service operated by Sagalés or Sarfa which takes approximately an hour and fifteen minutes to reach the airport. Alternatively, there is also a train service available from Barcelona Sants station with connections at Flaçà station.

Girona–Costa Brava Airport serves numerous destinations across Europe including London Stansted, Manchester, Dublin, Berlin Schönefeld among others. In addition to this Ryanair has announced new routes that will begin operating from summer 2021; these include flights to Naples (Italy), Rzeszów (Poland), Liverpool (UK) among others.

Overall Girona–Costa Brava Airport can be considered as an alternative option for those looking for cheaper flights compared to other airports in Catalonia such as Barcelona El Prat or Reus Airpor,t however travelers should be aware that they may need additional travel time when using this airport due its location outside of Barcelona city center.

Reus Airport

Located approximately 106 kilometers southwest of Barcelona, Reus Airport (REU) is a popular airport for travelers heading to the Costa Dorada region of Spain. The airport is named after its location in the nearby city of Reus, which is part of Catalonia.

Originally built as a military airfield in the early 1900s, Reus Airport has since been refurbished and expanded to cater to commercial flights. Today, it serves several budget airlines such as Ryanair and that offer flights to various destinations across Europe.

Passengers arriving at Reus Airport have several transportation options available to them. There are regular bus services that connect the airport with nearby cities such as Tarragona and Salou. Additionally, taxi services are readily available outside the terminal building.

Facilities at Reus Airport include a variety of dining options ranging from cafes and restaurants to fast food outlets. Passengers can also enjoy duty-free shopping at various retail stores located within the terminal building.

For those who require special assistance or have mobility issues, Reus Airport provides wheelchair assistance upon request. Additionally, there are designated parking spaces reserved for disabled passengers near the entrance of the terminal building.

Overall, while not as large or well-known as Barcelona’s main international airports, Reus Airport offers a convenient option for travelers looking to explore Catalonia’s coastal resorts without having to endure long drives from larger airports like Barcelona El Prat or Girona-Costa Brava.

Comparison of Barcelona’s airports

Barcelona has two main airports: El Prat Airport and Girona-Costa Brava Airport. While both offer convenient access to the city, there are some key differences between the two that may influence your decision on which one to use.


The biggest difference between the two airports is their location. El Prat airport is located just 14 kilometers southwest of Barcelona’s city center, making it a much more convenient option for those traveling to and from the city. On the other hand, Girona-Costa Brava airport is located about 100 kilometers north of Barcelona and requires a longer transfer time to reach the city.

Flight options:

El Prat airport offers a wider range of flights than Girona-Costa Brava as it serves as a hub for many major airlines. You’ll be able to find direct flights from most major cities around Europe and even some international destinations. Additionally, El Prat offers more frequent flights throughout the day compared with Girona-Costa Brava.


If you’re looking for amenities at an airport, then El Prat wins hands down over Girona-Costa Brava. As one of Spain’s largest airports, you can expect all kinds of facilities like duty-free shops, restaurants, cafes, lounges etc., whereas these types of amenities are limited in number at Girona-Costa Brava.


If crowds aren’t your thing when traveling through airports you might want to stick with using Girona Costa-Brave instead given that there will generally be fewer people passing through this smaller-sized facility than what would experience at El Part Airport almost all year round except during peak season which is typically from June through September when it’s much busier.


Transportation to and from the two airports also differs. El Prat airport offers a variety of transportation options including buses, taxis, trains and metro lines that connect directly with various parts of the city. The frequency of these services is high and runs throughout the day making traveling between this airport and other parts of Barcelona easy. However Girona-Costa Brava has less frequent schedules for transport connections so you may need to plan your travel times carefully if choosing this option.

In conclusion, while both airports have their advantages, El Prat Airport tends to be more convenient for most travelers due to its location close to Barcelona’s city center, wider range of flight options offered by major airlines operating there as well as having better amenities than those available at Girona-Costa Brava. But if you’re looking for a quieter experience or are on a tight budget then choose the latter alternatively.

Getting to and from Barcelona’s airports

Barcelona has two airports – El Prat, which is the main airport located southwest of the city center, and Girona-Costa Brava Airport, which is about 100 km north of Barcelona.

El Prat Airport

By Train: The RENFE train connects El Prat airport with various parts of the city, including Sants Station and Passeig de Gracia. Trains run every 30 minutes between 6:00 am to midnight. The journey takes around 25 minutes.

By Bus: Aerobus operates shuttle buses that run between El Prat airport and Plaça de Catalunya in the city centre every five to ten minutes. Tickets can be purchased online or at ticket machines at the airport.

Taxis: Taxis are readily available outside both terminals. A trip into town should take no more than 25-30 minutes (depending on traffic). Fares are metered but expect to pay around €30-€35 for a one-way trip.

Girona-Costa Brava Airport

By Bus:The easiest way to get from Girona-Costa Brava Airport to Barcelona is by bus using either Sagalés or Ryanair coach services.
Sagalés buses depart from outside the terminal building and connect with Estació Nord bus station in central Barcelona.
Ryanair offers a similar service called “Barcelona Transfer”, connecting Girona Costa Brava Airport with Estació d’Autobusos Barcelona Nord – Carrer d’Alí Bei – Pl.Catalunya
Both services run several times a day; check their websites for schedules

Taxi:Taxis are also available outside both terminals offering trips into town. However, these can be expensive and may cost around €150-€200 for a one-way trip.

Car rental: Car rentals are available at both airports. It’s best to book in advance, especially during peak travel times. Driving in Barcelona is not recommended due to traffic congestion, narrow streets, and limited parking options.

No matter which airport you fly into or out of Barcelona from transportation options abound just ensuring you have an idea of what they entail will make your arrival time smoother.

Tips for traveling through Barcelona’s airports

Traveling can be stressful, but with a few tips and tricks, you can make your experience at Barcelona’s airports much smoother.

1. Arrive early

Plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight. This will give you enough time to check in, pass through security, and find your gate without feeling rushed.

2. Know which terminal you’re flying from

Barcelona has two airports: El Prat Airport (BCN) and Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRO). Make sure you know which airport and terminal you’ll be flying from before arriving so that you don’t waste time going to the wrong one.

3. Check-in online

Save yourself some time by checking in online before arriving at the airport. Most airlines allow passengers to do this 24 hours prior to their scheduled departure time.

4. Pack smartly

Before heading out on your trip, check each airline’s baggage restrictions as they may vary depending on the carrier or type of ticket purchased. However, most airlines allow one carry-on bag plus a personal item such as a purse or laptop bag per passenger.

5. Be prepared for security screening

When passing through security checkpoints ensure all liquids are stored in containers holding no more than 100ml/ozs . You will need to take them out of any hand luggage during screening process along with electronics such as laptops and tablets etc,.

6. Use public transportation when possible Conclusion

In conclusion, Barcelona has two major airports that cater to both domestic and international flights. The El Prat airport is the main airport in the city and serves as a hub for airlines such as Vueling, Iberia, and Ryanair. On the other hand, Girona-Costa Brava Airport is located approximately 100 km away from Barcelona and mainly caters to low-cost carriers.

Both airports have modern facilities making them efficient in handling passenger traffic. They also offer convenient modes of transportation to get you into the city center or nearby destinations. Moreover, there are several shops, restaurants, lounges, and duty-free stores available for passengers’ convenience.

When choosing an airport to fly into or out of Barcelona depending on your destination preference or budget will help you make an informed decision. It’s important to note that these two airports serve different purposes; while one serves local flights at affordable prices with fewer amenities than the other which has more expensive tickets but offers more luxuries like lounges.

Overall though whichever airport you choose be sure that your trip will be comfortable given their world-class services offered by staff trained in customer service skills leaving no room for disappointments either way!


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