Barcelona Airport Mini Guide
Where is it and why fly There?
Barcelona's main international airport - El Prat de Llobregat, to give it it's full title is situated on the coast around 13km south west of the city. It attracts over 35 million visitors per year and serves many of the world's largest airlines from the transatlantic “jumbo” jets to the low cost budget airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair who fly regularly from a vast selection of UK airports. Barcelona is also served by Reus
and Girona airports, however, these are both over an hour's tranfer time from the city centre whereas El Prat is just around 30 minutes by the regular airport bus service or taxi and 25 minutes by train to one of the main stations in the city – Sants, where it is an easy change onto the local metro system.
Arrivals at El Prat
On arriving at the airport, you will find the car hire desks in both Terminals 1 and 2, in Terminal 1 they are situated in the first floor arrivals hall and behind the Aena information desk. In Terminal 2 they can be found in the arrivals hall of Terminal 2B and the baggage reclaim area of Terminal 2C. To collect your car from Terminal 1, just go to one of the two adjacent car parks directly behind the car hire desks. For Terminal 2, the cars are located in the car park across from Terminal 2B.
ATM machines can be found in the baggage reclaim areas should you have forgotten your euros!!! Should you be unfortunate to have arrived without your luggage, there are seven lost luggage offices throughout the airport – you will see the signs for these in the baggage reclaim areas.
El Prat's Facilities
The airport has two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 which are subdivided into three separate buildings - A, B, and C. As there is a distance of 4km between the two terminals they are connected by a free airport shuttle bus, it is recommended that you allow at least 30 minutes should you have to change terminals, whilst the journey doesn't take that long, you may need to wait for the next shuttle. The separate buildings within Terminal 2 are around a five minute walk apart. A new satellite terminal has come online this year to ease congestion and you may find yourself arriving at it unexpectedly, not a problem unless you're taking a connecting flight. It is a good idea to check which terminal your airline is flying from before reaching the airport, just in case, as particularly in the case of the budget airlines if you arrive a few minutes late after the check-in or gate has closed you will not be allowed to fly.
There are plenty of places to eat, drink and shop in both terminals, plus a Bureau de Change and several ATM machines if you should be running out of money and can't bear to miss a duty free bargain!
If you need to let people at home know what time you will be arriving back there are several wireless internet points in the airport.
Passengers Needing Extra Help
There are disabled facilities throughout the airport with 125 lifts just in Terminal 1 alone, should you need assistance you can find it at any of the meeting points/information desks scattered around both terminals.
- Barcelona Airport broke two records last year; the highest ever number of passengers passing through the terminal at 34.6m and the largest ever increase in passenger numbers, nearly 18%. It's just as well that the airport has capacity for double that number!
- Numerous new routes to Barcelona have been announced from the UK with Flybe offering flights from Exeter and Southampton Airports from the end of March, Monarch introducing a flight from Leeds Bradford from the beginning of May and Norwegian Air Shuttle and Vueling starting flights from London Gatwick at the end of March.