By metro. The metro system of Barcelona consists of 8 lines. It is one of the most efficient and safe ways to get from point A to point B. You can't miss a metro station: all of them are marked with a red rhombus with a letter M on it. The metro is open every day: from Monday to Thursday, as well as on Sundays and on public holidays, it starts operating at 5 am and closes around midnight. On Fridays the hours of operation are from 5 am to 2 am, and on Saturdays and days preceding the public holidays the metro operates 24 hours.
Prices are as follows:
Single fare - 2.15в‚¬
10 rides - 10.30в‚¬
50 rides - 42.50в‚¬ (the best option for visitors staying several weeks and keen on intensive sightseeing; valid for 30 days)
One month of travel - 52.75в‚¬
One-day ticket - 7.60в‚¬
There are cards known as Hola BCN! available for two (14в‚¬), three (20в‚¬), four (25.50в‚¬) and five (30.50в‚¬) continuous days of travel.
Metro cards are valid for travel on all public transit buses and trams in Barcelona.
By bus. Buses in Barcelona service many popular routes from 5 am to 10 pm, but the most lively roads and avenues get slightly longer operation hours: from 5 am to midnight. Night buses are in place every night from 10 pm to 4 am, but waiting times may vary from 20 minutes to an hour. Many buses stop directly at or nearby PlaГ§a Catalunya. Fares are identical to those of the metro and the same travel cards can be used.
By taxi. Taxis in Barcelona are inexpensive, plentiful and very popular at night. They are also easily recognizable by yellow-black colour and a green light on the roof when the taxi is for hire. The minimal charge is about 2в‚¬ (usually 1.80в‚¬ or 1.90в‚¬ on weekend evenings), and every kilometer will cost you slightly less than a euro. Taking a taxi from the airport is a lot more expensive, but within the city limits the overall charge rarely exceeds 10-15в‚¬. It is not recommended to call for a cab in advance, because most cab companies charge for the service (about 3-4в‚¬) and rarely speak English. There really is no need to reserve a taxi: they can be found everywhere, including along major streets, near main metro stops and squares, close to hotels and popular restaurants.
By bike. Barcelona has a fair share of bike rental shops willing to rent decent bicycles to tourists and visitors of the city, offering hourly and daily rates (see, for example, Budget Bikes Barcelona). Another option is to use Barcelona's bike sharing program, Bicing, that has bike stations in all the strategic points across the city, including metro stations, major intersections, tourist attractions. Bicing may lack the perfection of other European bike sharing programs, but it provides an often convenient alternative to buses and cars, especially on warm days. In order to use Bicing, you must register in advance, either online or in person, provide a valid credit card number as a security measure and your home address in Barcelona. It takes around 10 days for your Bicing card to arrive. The card can be activated online, and you can use the system right after.
Bicing is great for visitors staying in Barcelona for several weeks or months, since the only subscription available is annual: it costs 46в‚¬ per annum and includes usage of the bike for 30 minutes each time. Every subsequent half an hour for the period of up to 2 hours costs 0.73в‚¬. If you exceed the 2-hour limit, a penalty of 3.05в‚¬ for every hour will be applied. Your credit card will be charged 218в‚¬, if the bike is not returned within 24 hours. The service is suspended, if the holder of the Bicing card exceeds the 2-hour limit 3 times.
The most important thing to understand about Bicing (and other bike sharing programs for that matter) is that it essentially provides a public transit service, not a sightseeing tool, hence the time restrictions and stringent penalties for holding on to the bike - there are other commuters who would like to ride it.
On foot. Walking around Barcelona is a great experience, because the city itself with its cafГ©s, quaint shops, marvellous architecture is an attraction of full value. Furthermore, it is compulsory that you walk the famous Ramblas in all its entirety and see how the mood, the scene, the flair of different parts of this unique street change while you walk. The same goes for the Block of Discord where many famous Modernist buildings can be found, and for the many other neighbourhoods of Barcelona. If you get tired, you can always take the metro or catch a taxi.
Apartment rentals in Barcelona will allow you to stay close to famous sights and the best restaurants in any district of Barcelona.