Updated April 2016
Barcelona city transportation
Metro and Buses
The Metro is nice, very fast, air conditioned, and recommended for those travelling to places in the vicinity of the existing stations.
The 8 lines of the Barcelona Metro and the additional 3 run by the tram services cover most of the metropolitan area, and extend out to the suburbs in all directions. The network is divided in circular zones. Zone 1 covers the centre of Barcelona and includes all the major attractions and shopping areas.
Single journeys on the Metro cost €2.15 irrespective of eventual destination. A better alternative for visitors is the day-ticket (T-Dia: €7.60 for Zone 1), or a card with 10 single journeys: the T-10 tickets (€9.95 for Zone 1). They can be bought from the ticket machines at Metro stations, and at some tobacconists. The big advantage of the day-tickets and the T-10, is that they not only give access to travel on the other forms of city transportation (buses, trams, and local trains) but allow also interchange between one type of public transport and another, for example between bus and train, within a certain time limit.
The Metro runs from 5am to 12 pm, Monday to Thursday; 5am to 2 am on Fridays; and non-stop from 5am on Saturday to 12 pm on Sunday.
To check the timetables and routes of each of the bus services, please see the official site. The site gives details, also, of the night buses, all starting or passing through Plaza Cataluña.
Beware: Barcelona, like most major tourist destinations, suffers from widespread petty crime in the form of pickpockets and bag-snatchers. The first operate also in the Metro, especially in the rush hours, and target mainly tourists. Keep handbags and rucksacks close to your chest; do not put wallets in your trousers' back pocket; do not go around flaunting expensive jewelry (leave it at home!); and keep your wits about. Barcelona is safe, but you have to be smart and alert.
Taxis are plentiful in Barcelona; you can find them at taxi ranks or flag them down in the street. Their distinctive colours of yellow and black (see picture above) make them easily identifiable. When they are free they display a green light on the roof. They are metered with 3 different tariffs depending on time of day, workdays or weekends, and special festive dates. Besides, there are a number of extra charges for baggage over certain limits, pickup or set down at the port, railway stations, and airport. Waiting time is also subject to the tariff and works out at just over €20 per hour. You can see the 2016 official rates here. As the rate per km is around 1 Euro, a taxi across town should cost around €5 to €10.
Please bear in mind, that drivers are not required to have change for notes larger than €20; so, to avoid arguments, make sure that you don't try to pay with larger denomination notes.
If you have a portable GPS use it and make sure the driver sees it; that might discourage him from taking the usual tourist detours...