Barcelona Pre-Departure

Getting Around

Barcelona and the surrounding areas have an extensive public transportation system making it convenient for students to navigate the city. You will be able to get around the city easily even if you are not accustomed to public transportation.

The Metro
Cycling and Walking
The Airport
Travel Further Afield


The metropolitan area of Barcelona boasts a fleet of over 1,000 buses servicing over 80 routes all over the city. Part of this bus service includes a night-bus service (Nit Bus) with all routes stopping or starting at Barcelona’s Plaça de Catalunya. Students find the Nit Bus convenient as it runs from 10:40pm and ends between 5am and 6am. Note that buses must be entered through the door at the front, and exited via the doors in the rear. Passengers must request a stop in advance by pressing the designated button to do so.

Recommendations: Try to pay for single tickets with exact change.



Taxis in Barcelona are recognized by their yellow and black exterior. Note that the green light atop the vehicle indicates that cab’s availability. You can hail a cab on the street, catch one at a taxi rank, or order one by phone/app.

Recommendation: You do not need to tip the driver. If you do wish to give a tip, 5 to 10% is plenty



A long-distance bus is called a coach. It is a good option to explore Spain. Time and fares vary depending on where you are traveling to. We recommend comparing train and bus fares to get the most cost effective option. These can be used to go to and from the airport, night rides, and day tours.


The Barcelona Metro

The Barcelona Metro has 8 lines, 156 stations and more than 140 trains operating at peak times on weekdays. Each line is designated by a color and number. This is the quickest, simplest and most convenient way of getting around Barcelona. The Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC) supplements the Barcelona metro network with three urban lines. Additionally, the Tram, an accessible, ecological and fast mode of transportation provides quick access to Barcelona’s major industrial, shopping and residential areas.


Cycling and Walking

What fun ways to see the city! As a cyclist, you’ll enjoy fully integrated cycle lanes and the option to bike through the city’s open spaces and parks. If you do not enjoy cycling, take a stroll around Barcelona, a pedestrian friendly city!  Explore your neighborhood and pop in to the local shops.  Be aware driving varies country to country so be safe and look both ways!


The Airport

CAPA Barcelona is less than 15KM from Barcelona Airport (BCN) with various routes to get to and from.


  • An inexpensive way to get to the CAPA Barcelona Center is via the Aerobus bus from terminals T1 & T2 which leaves every 15 minutes.
  • Buses travelling to T! are called the A1 and the buses travelling to T2 are called the A2
  • Aerobus services are run by private bus companies, offering express service to Barcelona’s city centre
  • You will get off at Placa Catalunya and walk to the CAPA Center (approx. 4 minutes)
  • Visit the BCN website devoted to transportation here to find out more regarding bus schedules and fares.


  • There are taxi ranks opposite the arrivals areas of terminal T1, the Barcelona-Madrid shuttle, and terminals T2 A, T2 B, and T2 C.
  • You can expect your taxi ride to be about 20-25 minutes. It should cost anywhere from 20 euro to 45 euro.
  • There may be an extra fee for your luggage and the number of passengers.


  • Take the Orange L9 line

Travel Further Afield

Barcelona is a fantastic city packed with things to do and see, but most students will want to explore Europe to broaden their experience. This is easy and enjoyable to do successfully!

Click on the photo above to read blogger Katerina Russo’s advice on balancing work and play abroad.

Fly: Flying is easy and the best part is there are numerous low cost airlines. Our only recommendation is be wary of the fees!

Train: Another option is to travel by train to your destination. Check out this Spain by Train resource to plan your next weekend trip!


Being abroad is an exciting time, and once you’ve caught the travel bug, it’s often difficult to ignore. Being in a new place often conjures up a sense of curiosity that entices you to keep exploring. Traveling beyond your host city is a great way to continue to develop intercultural awareness and challenge yourself to take on new experiences. We encourage you to travel internationally, but also suggest that you set aside some time to travel within your host country as well. This will add depth to your experience abroad and enable you to see a different perspective of your host country. While you may be eager to travel as much as you can during your semester abroad, keep in mind that you will have to carefully plan your trips to align with your schedule and budget.

“Winter is dead.”
Click on the image above to read about the way we travel, why we want to travel in that way, and how to make it happen.

The Experience

Explore and thrive in this eclectic city. Barcelona offers something for everyone – enjoy a Flamenco performance, tour Gaudi architectural masterpieces, or delight in a gastronomic adventure at La Boqueria, and much more! 

Latest Posts from Barcelona

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Multicultural Barcelona

A Brief History:

Barcelona was founded around 15 B.C., as the Roman colony Barcino. The city was then passed between the Visigoths, the Moors and the Franks where the region was divided into counties. Eventually the counties unified and became Catalonia. During the 17th century, with the help of France, Catalonia declared its independence and went to war with Spain. Some regions of Catalonia were successful in their quest for independence. Alliances changed during the era of Napoleon when French troops invaded. These territories were then given back to Spain after the fall of the French Empire. Barcelona emerged once again in the 19th century due to the Industrial Revolution. After establishing itself as an influential city once again, Barcelona and Catalonia pushed for more independence and proudly displayed the Catalonian culture.

Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympic Games, once again putting the city and region on the map. Barcelona has become one of the most popular cities to visit. The city is still extremely proud of its Catalonian heritage, still pushing for independence from Spain.

Interesting Statistics:

  • Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain with 1.7 million people
  • It is the capital of Catalonia
  • 95 percent of people in Barcelona understand the Catalan language, whether they can speak it, write it, or read it.
  • In offices and schools, Catalan is the dominant language. Similarly, many lectures at the University are hold in Catalan.
  • Barcelona is also a leading cultural, sports, economic, tourism, arts, science, fashion and commerce center.
  • It is the fourth most economically powerful city in the European Union and one of the most successful city brands.


  • Majority of Barcelona considered themselves Roman Catholic, followed by Islam as the second most popular religion.
  • Barcelona is home to the largest population of Jewish people in Spain, at 3500 people.

People from Around the World

  • 62 percent of people living in Barcelona were born in Catalonia, while 24 percent were born in other areas of Spain
  • The remaining 14 percent primarily hail from Ecuador, Peru, Morocco, Colombia, Argentina, Pakistan, and China

The Food!

Spanish and American customs surrounding food are very different. Lunch is the largest meal of the day, including multiple courses and wine. Food in Spain is savored and lunch can last for over an hour. The siesta is not a myth! After enjoying a large midday meal, a short nap is taken before getting back to work. Dinner in Spain is much smaller and eaten much later than in the U.S. It is very common for dinner to be eaten between 9 p.m. and midnight!

Besides traditional Catalonian dishes such as Tapas, Paela, Allioli, and Escalivada; Japanese, Peruvian and Middle Eastern food is everywhere in Barcelona. Traditional Japanese cuisine such as ramen and shoyu are popping up across the city. Peruvian and Arabian spices are blending with traditional Catalonian dishes, creating a whole new flavor palate!

Festivals & Celebrations

With a rich history is Catholicism and religion, it’s no surprise Barcelona celebrates many Saints. Some of these festivals include Festival de Sant Medir de Gràcia, Easter week for Semana Santa, Sant Jordi and La Mercè. Barcelonans celebrate their Catalonian pride each year on September 11, Catalan National Day.

The Arts

Barcelona is home to many famous artists and architects and their works. The works of Gaudi, Picasso, Dalí and Miró can be found across the city. Gaudi’s mosaic-filled Park Güell and forever unfinished La Sagrada Familia are visited by millions each year. The Museu Picasso in Barcelona is home to the most extensive collection of his works in the world. Barcelona is also home to a Picasso fresco – his only open air work, found outside the restaurant he frequented   Two of the most defining surrealist painters, Dalí and Miró also once called Catalan home.


Go Beyond

At CAPA we appreciate the diverse backgrounds and interests of our students! We have compiled a list of resources to help you feel more at home in your new city. Included you’ll find information regarding major news sources and things to do in Barcelona. You’ll also find resources for students going abroad as an LGBTQ student, students with a disability, students who have dietary restrictions, and students who are wondering how their racial and ethnic identity may be impacted in their new city.

This is only a brief introduction to your city and all it has to offer so please reach out to your program manager with any specific questions or concerns. At CAPA we pride ourselves on our ability to meet individual student needs and go above and beyond to ensure we offer the best student experience abroad possible!

News Sources


Barcelona specific ” things to do”


Religious Resources in Barcelona


LGTBQ Community Resources


Race and Ethnicity in Barcelona


Disabilities in Barcelona


Food Restrictions Abroad

Have Questions?

CAPA Pre-Departure Services Team

+1 (800) 793 0334


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