Guide To Barcelona Airport – BCN
Barcelona “El Prat” Airport is situated South West of Barcelona city centre in the Catalan autonomous community of Spain. It has expanded steadily over the past few decades as commercial aviation progressed. The airport was completely redeveloped and enlarged ready for the Summer Olympics which were held in Barcelona in 1992. Today it is the largest airport in Catalonia, the second largest airport in Spain (after Madrid Airport) and ranks within the top ten busiest airports in Europe.
As a gateway to one of the most beautiful coastal areas in Spain, the airport is a popular choice for visitors not only to the cosmopolitan city itself but also the whole of Catalonia including popular tourist destinations on the Costa Brava such as Sitges and Tossa del Mar. Ideally positioned close to the Barcelona ring road and C32 Barcelona – Sitges motorway, it is easily accessible by bus, taxi, train or private car.
There are two main terminals at El Prat, named Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Terminal 2 is then subdivided into three areas 2A, 2B and 2C. Each airline works out of one of the terminals, regardless of destination. So, for example, all Easyjet flights arrive and depart from Terminal 2. Passengers can easily travel between the terminal buildings on the shuttle buses which operate for this purpose.
Additionally, the airport also operates a bespoke Corporate Aviation Terminal for private flights.
In common with a large number of airports in Spain, Barcelona is operated by Aena Aeropuertos S.A. and is a popular destination for those travelling to and from other domestic airports in Spain, Europe and North Africa. The routes between Barcelona and Madrid, Mallorca, Amsterdam, Seville, Paris, Ibiza, Malaga, Rome, London, Munich and Lisbon are particularly busy.
Around 34 to 35 million passengers choose to pass through Barcelona’s main airport each year. Spanish low cost airline Vueling has its main base there but Air Europe, Iberia, Easyjet, Ryanair, Lufthansa and Air France also operate a large number of flights from Barcelona. In total around 113 airlines operate flights to and from the airport.
At the airport itself there are a wide range of facilities available for both leisure and business travellers alike. Below is a list of some of the services and facilities you can find at the airport:
Bars & Restaurants
There is a wide-ranging selection of coffee shops, fast food outlets, Italian restaurants, beer and tapas bars, sweet snack stands, sandwich and ice cream kiosks and traditional Catalan and Spanish gourmet eateries within the Departures and Arrivals areas of the airport terminals.
Duty free shops sell wines and spirits, tobacco and jewellery in the airside Departures zone. There are also pharmacies, bookshops, newsagents and shops selling luggage, sports equipment, travel accessories, chocolate, pastries, music, shoes, souvenirs, accessories, sunglasses, watches, toys, sweets, gifts, Spanish and Catalan gourmet delicacies and electronic gadgets at Barcelona Airport. Spanish fashion retailers Adolfo Dominguez, Desigual, Massimo Dutti and Zara also have stores in the Departures areas.
For business travellers, Barcelona has a number of VIP Lounges and conference facilities in each terminal with internet work areas, restaurants, entertainment, fitness rooms, beds, showers and bathrooms, newspapers, hairdressers and meeting rooms with presentation and audio visual equipment.
Within the airport Departures and Arrivals areas, there are international car rental desks, banks (La Caixa), cash machines, post office, tobacconist, lottery kiosk, complaints desk, lost and found desk, hairdressers, tourist information desks, medical centre, tour operator desks and a branch of the El Corte Ingles travel agency.
In addition there are several multimedia areas and wifi points throughout the Terminal buildings. Those requiring assistance will find several General Assistance, Flightcare and Groundforce desks as well as information terminals, a left luggage service, VAT refund office and police station. There is also a petrol station within the airport’s compound.
Barcelona has undertaken a number of modifications to ensure that its facilities are more accessible to disabled passengers. There are lifts and ramps throughout the terminal buildings and car parks, reserved parking spaces, modified air bridge connection between car parks and terminal buildings, adapted buses, sliding and revolving doors, toilets, information desks and telephone boxes. Information terminals and signs have Braille alternatives and a number of assistance staff are trained in sign language.
For The Kids
There are more than ten colourful children’s play areas at the airport and designated baby changing facilities throughout the terminal buildings.
Other Airports in Spain
- Gibraltar Airport – GIB *
- Malaga Airport -AGP
- Madrid Barajas Airport – MAD
- Seville Airport – SVQ
- Almeria Airport – LEI
- Jerez Airport – XRY
* Gibraltar is not in Spain but its airport is used by many people who are travelling to the South of the country.
Photo credit: jeroenbennink