How to transfer train stations in Barcelona
If you have Barcelona transfer between Barcelona Sants and another station, you'll usually connect with a Metro or Rodalies service. You don't have to leave the Barcelona Sants station complex to do this, but each train type is located in a different part of the station.
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Rodalies vs Barcelona Metro
The Barcelona Metro is a network of urban trains, mostly underground, serving central Barcelona and its suburbs. The Rodalies network (sometimes referred to as Cercanías) is a regional and commuter rail system, mostly overground, serving Cataluña and the Barcelona metropolitan area.
Both Rodalies and Metro trains both depart from the Sants station complex, which includes Barcelona Sants railway station and Sants Estació Metro which is adjacent to (underground) the mainline station. Both are well sign-posted within the station.
You can travel for free on some Rodalies/Cercanías trains if you have domestic AVE or Long Distance train tickets (any fare, route or class). Our Help guide Free transfers from Renfe - Combinado Cercanías has more info.
Connecting from Barcelona Sants
To Sants Estació Metro station
Connecting from Barcelona Sants to Sants Estació is an easy walk. It isn't even necessary to go outside the station, simply look for signs for the Metro and make your way down the escalator. There's an underground walk-way to the Metro station.
You can also enter the Metro station at street level, at Carrer de Numància, which is around 100m outside Barcelona Sants station.
To Barcelona (El Prat) airport
Barcelona airport is on the Rodalies "R2" line. The journey usually costs €4.10, and you can buy tickets on the day from the ticket office or ticketing machines at the station. The R2 service departs every 30 minutes for Terminal 2. If you are going to Terminal 1, there's a free shuttle bus which departs from Terminal 2. If you have an AVE or Long Distance domestic ticket this journey will be free of charge, since it's included in Renfe's free transfer scheme.
Connecting to Barcelona Sants
From Sants Estació Metro station
When you exit Sants Estació Metro station, look for signs to the exit (salida/sortida) for Barcelona Sants. You can take an escalator directly up into the ticket hall of Barcelona Sants station.
If you happen to take the wrong exit and end up at street level, the mainline station will be visible. Simply cross the road and walk to the main entrance. You can view the walking route on this map.
From Barcelona (El Prat) airport
Getting to Barcelona Sants station from the airport is easy. A single ticket on the R2 Rodalies line costs €4.10 and you can buy tickets on the day from the ticket office or ticketing machines at the station. Trains depart every 30 minutes from Terminal 2 and take around 20 minutes. If you arrive into Terminal 1 there is a free shuttle bus which will take you to the station at Terminal 2. If you have an AVE or Long Distance domestic ticket this journey will be free of charge, since it's included in Renfe's free transfer scheme.
Barcelona Metro map and route planner
If you need a route that isn't featured, the following resources may be helpful to plan your trip:
- Barcelona Rodalies map
- Barcelona Metro map
- CityMapper Barcelona
- Video guide to buying tickets from ticket machine
Buying Barcelona Metro tickets
Metro or Rodalies trains can't be booked online, but there are frequent trains seven days a week. It's common to use the ticket machines at the station to buy a ticket on the day and board the next train.
The ticketing machines for the Metro are straightforward to use, with multiple languages supported. You can pay in cash (Euros) or card. The most popular ticket to buy is the T-10 travel ticket which is valid for travel on all buses, Metro services and almost all overground local rail (Rodalies) services. The main notable exceptions are the Aeroport T1 and Aeroport T2 metro stations.