Barcelona Sagrada Familia with cranes

Barcelona Cruise Port Transfers from Airport/City: Public Transport DIY Guide

Barcelona Cruise Port isn’t just a point on the map – it’s Europe’s bustling cruise capital and a gateway to your Mediterranean adventure! Navigating this massive port, figuring out transport options, and safeguarding your belongings can feel overwhelming. That’s why I’ve created this DIY Embarkation guide – packed with insider tips on public transport, so you can spend less time stressing and more time enjoying your cruise vacation!

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Barcelona (Spain) Cruise Port Guide: All You Need to Know

Barcelona cruise port is the largest in Europe! This bustling hub handles close to 3 million cruise passengers each year. With six sprawling terminals to navigate, having the inside scoop is key to a smooth start to your cruise adventure:

Barcelona Cruise Port Locations: Map & Directions

Barcelona cruise port’s WTC South Terminal enjoys a prime location, nestled right at the heart of the city’s vibrant waterfront and just a stone’s throw from the iconic Las Ramblas. The other terminals are less central and a 5 minutes’ drive away. The port is conveniently close to Barcelona Airport (El Prat), approximately 12 km (7.5 miles) away.

Depending on your chosen mode of transport, the journey from the airport to the port takes about 20-30 minutes on a private transfer to about an hour on public transport, depending on whether you get lucky with the train times! Jump straight to the section on transport options & approx. cost.

Barcelona Passenger Cruise Terminals Map, Spain
Source: Port de Barcelona – download PDF here

Port Addresses:

  • Port of Barcelona D’Adossat Terminal, Moll Adossat, 1, 08039 Barcelona, Spain – for Terminal A, B, C, D and E
  • World Trade Centre Barcelona, South Terminal, Moll de Barcelona, s/n, 08039 Barcelona – Spain – Note the North Terminal has been closed since Oct 2023. The South Terminal is scheduled to be closed in 2026.

Always check your final cruise documentation for the most accurate and up-to-date terminal assignment. You can double-check your cruise terminal on your embarkation day on the official Port de Barcelona website here.

Currency: Euros

💶 Cash or 💳 Card in Spain?

  • 💳 Card: I had no issues paying with card 95% of the time, from train tickets, local metro/bus tickets to restaurants, convenience stores and museums. Taxis also take cards by law in Barcelona.
  • 💶 Cash: Smaller businesses, such as bakeries and market stalls will be cash only, so I would advise to carry some euros in cash. The Barcelona port shuttle bus is also cash only but the driver will have some change.

Language: Spanish

Luggage Storage: Want to ditch your bags before cruise check-in? Use Bounce, as there’s lots of locations around Barcelona. I used one opposite the Sagrada Familia and visited the cathedral with just my purse. Get US$5 discount on your first luggage storage with Bounce with my referral link (min $10 purchase).

Recommended Transport App: Citymapper is my go-to resource for navigating public transportation in Barcelona and I recommend it! Google Maps also works well too!

eSIM for roaming in Spain: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when you’re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you use ROXANN1666 when you sign up or apply it at checkout

Beware Barcelona’s Pickpockets! 📢

Barcelona is a vibrant city, but it also has a reputation for petty theft. It’s even been nicknamed as the “Pickpocket Capital of Europe”! Here’s a heads up to stay vigilant, especially on public transport and around crowded areas like the cruise port:

  • Groups Targeting Tourists: Be wary of groups approaching you, especially on the metro. They might try distraction tactics while an accomplice attempts to steal your belongings.
  • My Personal Experience: On my way to the airport on the metro, a group of 3 women targeted me. They circled me, with one attempting to distract me while another tried to unzip my purse. The third woman tried to corner me on the crowded metro. Thankfully, I was aware of these tactics and nothing was stolen.
  • Protect Your Valuables: Keep your purse or backpack close to your body, preferably in front. Avoid leaving belongings unattended, especially near the cruise port.

By staying alert and taking some simple precautions, you can ensure your Barcelona adventure is filled with happy memories, not pickpocket woes!

Getting from Barcelona Cruise Port: Your Transport Options

1. Official Taxis & Ride-Sharing (Uber)

  • Fixed Fare Airport Transfer: A convenient option with a flat rate of €39 for journeys to/from the Barcelona Moll Adossat cruise port (includes surcharges).
  • City Centre Pricing: Keep in mind that there’s no fixed fare for taxi rides from the city centre to the port.
  • Surcharge Alert: A €4.30 surcharge applies to taxi journeys starting at the cruise port (to destinations other than the airport).
  • Uber in Barcelona: While Uber exists in Barcelona, it’s less widely available than in the US. For simplicity, especially when coming from the airport, a regular taxi might be your easiest bet.

2. Private Transfer Shuttle

  • Group Travel & Luggage Convenience: If you’re traveling with a group or have lots of luggage, a door-to-door private transfer offers maximum convenience. You can pre-book these independently or through your cruise line.
  • Focusing on DIY: Since this guide is about DIY options, I’ll jump straight to the budget-friendly public transport section below!

3. Public Transport (Metro and Port Shuttle Bus)

  • Barcelona’s Public Transport Advantage: Barcelona boasts an excellent metro and bus network, making it easy to reach the port. You’ll take the metro to the closest stop Drassanes and then connect with the €3 port shuttle bus, which takes you directly to your terminal.
  • Traveling from the City Centre: Many cruisers arrive a day early for added security. If you’re departing from the city centre, public transport is a breeze. Check out my public transport hacks below for a seamless journey!

Public Transport from Barcelona Airport (BCN) to Cruise Terminals

Ready to set sail from Barcelona? Here’s how to navigate public transport from BCN Airport (El Prat) to the cruise terminals:

1. By Suburban Train & Metro: A Direct Route

The metro offers a straightforward option, especially if you’re traveling light. Take RENFE R2 Nord Line from the Airport Train Station (located outside Terminal 2 via covered footbridge) towards Passeig de Gràcia station. This journey on the suburban trip takes 27 minutes and leave the airport every 30 minutes. Once at Passeig de Gràcia, switch to the metro green L3 line towards Drassanes station. This leg is just 5 minutes. Buy an integrated ticket for €5.50 from ticket machines.

Both Passeig de Gràcia station (for the interchange) and Drassanes station boast lift access, so bringing your luggage is not an issue. From here, follow the tips below to reach the cruise port shuttle bus stop or your desired terminal.

Flying into Terminal 1? You can’t walk between Terminal 1 & 2 but there is a free airport shuttle bus between Terminal 1 & Terminal 2B to allow you to connect easily to the Airport Train station for the RENFE R2 Nord line.

Important Note: The L9 metro line stops at both the Airport Terminal 1& 2 but I do not recommend taking the metro, if you intend to go straight to the cruise port. To get to Drassanes station via the L9 metro requires two interchanges, rather than one. If you must, change to L5 at Europe Fira, then change again to L3 at Espanya. Both are major stations with escalators and elevators.

2. By Bus: A Speedy Option (with a Transfer)

Plaça d'Espanya, Barcelona, where the Aerobus from the Airport ends
Plaça d’Espanya, Photo by Yelena Odintsova

The Aerobus service is an express bus from the airport to Plaça d’Espanya. This is my less preferred option because the interchange between metro and bus is slightly harder and it is also more expensive.

Board the Aerobus A1 (from Terminal 1) or A2 (from Terminal 2) outside the arrivals or departures level. These bright red buses run frequently (every 10-15 minutes) and take approximately 25 minutes to reach Plaça d’Espanya, costing €6.75 (single ticket) or €11.65 return. From Plaça d’Espanya, enter Espanya metro station, buy a single metro ticket (€2.55) and catch the L3 line to Drassanes (3 stops).

Ticket Tips:

  • Single Aerobus tickets can be purchased from vending machines or directly on the bus. If you’re not sure you’ll have change, you can also purchase your Aerobus tickets online (valid for 90 days). The Aerobus website does sell a combined Aerobus + one way Metro ticket for €8 but you still need to stop by a ticket machine to redeem the metro ticket, so it won’t save you any time!
  • Consider buying a T-Casual 10-trip ticket (€12.15) if you plan on using public transport after your cruise on a post-cruise stay in Barcelona (valid on metro and some buses, with up to 3 free transfers within 75 minutes). However, note that the T-Casual cannot be shared and isn’t valid for airport journeys.

Public Transport Hacks: City to Barcelona Cruise Terminals

Columbus Monument highlighted during sunset, Barcelona, Spain
Columbus Monument is your landmark – see where he’s point at? Photo by Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric

Navigating Barcelona’s public transport from the city centre to reach the cruise port is straightforward! With the extensive metro and bus network, you can easily get to the cruise port (even with luggage!) from the city centre. Here are some insider tips to make your journey smoother:

  • Metro Magic: Drassanes station (on the green L3 line) boasts a lift – perfect for wrangling luggage – and drops you right at the end of the famous La Ramblas. Your landmark is the Christopher Columbus column. Once past the column, turn right towards the cruise ship likely docked outside the World Trade Centre South Terminal (Check the map above!).
  • Bustling Buses: Don’t limit yourself to the metro! Barcelona has a fantastic bus network. If you’re staying near one of the beaches, you might find a direct bus route to the port, saving you metro changes. Check Citymapper or Google Maps for the best options from your location.
  • Ticket Talk: A single metro or bus ticket costs €2.55. You can buy tickets from machines in metro stations or use a contactless card on the bus (just listen for the beep!). However, if you’ve been exploring Barcelona before your cruise, the T-casual 10-trip ticket (valid on metro and buses, including up to 3 free transfers within 75 minutes) for €12.15 might be a more economical choice. Note that the T-casual cannot be shared with other passengers on the same journey and isn’t valid for airport transportation.

Once at Drassanes metro station or at a bus stop nearby, walk to the port shuttle bus stop, 5 minutes on flat ground away.

Barcelona Cruise Port Shuttle Bus

Ready to roll? The Barcelona Cruise Port Shuttle Bus awaits outside the World Trade Centre, with the stop facing the South Terminal (check it out on Google Maps). This trusty blue bus runs on a continuous loop, ready to whisk you away to terminals A, B, C, D, and E. Don’t get too comfy though – the ride is about 5 mins, so make sure you hop off at the right stop!

The port bus is cash only and tickets are €3 one-way or €4.50 for a day pass (not a return, so don’t get your hopes up on saving money for a roundtrip cruise!) If you lack change or small bills, ditch the old-school approach and snag your ticket on your phone via the official website before boarding.

No worries if you’re lugging suitcases – I rode the shuttle with my check-in bag and hand luggage and it’s not an issue. There’s some luggage racks on the bus.

FAQ: Can you walk to Cruise Terminals A/B/C/D/E?

I’ve witnessed brave souls attempt this feat, suitcases valiantly wobbling in their wake. But no, I do not recommend it. The bridge to the terminals embraces a car-centric philosophy with no pavement for pedestrians. You’ll be dodging traffic while tackling a sneaky uphill climb.

That wraps up my Barcelona Cruise Port DIY Embarkation guide! I hope these tips have equipped you for a smooth embarkation. Bon voyage! If you found this helpful, please feel free to share it with fellow cruisers.

Featured Image by Manuel Torres Garcia

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