Using public transport
You can, of course, always get a taxi from the airport. But if you want to use public transport, you have two main options.
The Aerobus runs from both Terminal 1 and 2, and stops right in the centre of the city, at Place Catalunya. Tickets can be bought ahead online.
Or you can take the train, which is outside the entrance to Terminal 2B – there is a free shuttle bus to the train station from Terminal 1. Follow signs for RENFE, and buy your ticket at one of the machines in the station. The train stops in Barcelona connect with different metro lines, so check which one you need to get off at.
If you’re going to use public transport during your stay, then there are a range of tickets with differing benefits to choose from.
Barcelona has a problem with petty theft like pick pocketing and bag snatching.
Do be aware of your belongings, and don’t hang your bag over the back of chairs or leave it unattended. I find that a cross-body bag with a closed fastening is much more secure than a backpack. Be especially aware in transport hubs and crowded places.
If you need to consult a map, I’d advise using google maps – you’re just another person looking at their phone, rather than an obvious lost tourist struggling with a map. If you need to look at a guidebook or find tickets, then stop off at a cafe rather than do this in the street.
Keep your passport in a safe if you can, and use a photocopy of it or your driving licence if you need photographic ID.
I’ve never felt unsafe in Barcelona, but always try to be aware of my surroundings and any potential problems.
Unless you enjoy queuing for attractions, it’s a good idea to buy tickets online for places you know you want to see.
This is especially true of the Sagrada Familia, which always has a huge line of people waiting – your ticket for this will have a specified time, which you must stick to.
Park Guell has a limit on the number of visitors which are admitted, so it’s a good idea to get tickets for here ahead of time as well.