Complete Barcelona to cruise port transportation guide
HOW TO GET TO BARCELONA CRUISE PORT & MORE
The first thing you'll need to figure out is your pier. Large ships usually moor at Moll Adossat, which has 5 terminals. Smaller ships stop at Moll de Barcelona / World Trade Center. There's also 2 more terminals for ferries and one for large yatchs, but we won't be covering them in this post. You can ask your cruiseline what pier they use in Barcelona, or you can check the Barcelona Cruise Port Calendar. For everything else, this post will give you all the information you need.
Transportation to Barcelona cruise port and from it
Walking, not a good idea
The port of Barcelona is basically divided in two cruise piers. While passengers from small ships such as Windstar and Aida stop at the WTC Barcelona Cruise Terminal that is only 5min. walk from the Statue of Columbus, where la Rambla begins, most large cruises stop in the Moll Adossat terminals and from there you need to cross the Porta d’Europa, the longest port bridge in Europe.
I don’t recommend trying to walk across the bridge, as it’ll take you some good 30 min. to get to la Rambla (under the hot Barcelona sun and with no shade to stop under… Trust me, I’ve done it and won’t repeat it again!). Anyway, after crossing the bridge you can walk up la Rambla and see the Gothic Quarter. You might even reach Passeig de Gràcia where the Gaudi apartments are, but you’ll need strong legs to do that!
BEST FOR: Small ships docking in Moll de Barcelona.
The ride from Moll Adossat to Columbus statue is 10 minutes long. The Cruise Buses don’t accept Barcelona transportation cards: you’ll have to pay for the bus one-way ticket, which is affordable enough. Once in the city, we don’t recommend trying to navigate the city buses, as the subway will take you pretty much everywhere you want to see.
BEST FOR: Ships docking in Moll Adossat, if your budget is limited.
Hop on Hop off Buses
There’s a stop near Columbus Statue. You can purchase them on board, or buy them online and then exchange them at the Tourist Information Point underneath Columbus Statue. Keep in mind that Hop-on Hop-off buses follow a unidirectional itinerary that takes 2 to 3 hours to get back to where you started if you stay on the bus all the time. If your time in Barcelona is limited, don’t plan to hop-off and on or you’ll be wasting to much time and you’ll risk having to hop on a taxi and rush back to the cruise port if you didn’t plan enough buffer time.
BEST FOR: People with low energy levels or walking issues on a budget.
There is no subway station in the Barcelona cruise port: you’ll have to get in town to use it. The closest subway station is called Drassanes, in the L3 line (green). It’ll ride you all along la Rambla and Passeig de Gràcia, and if you are ready for a walk uphill, the Vallcarca station it’s a 20min. walk to the Park Güell.
The same line takes you to Espanya and Parallel, from where you can access the hill of Montjuic (although if you only have a few hours and are on foot, I’d rather skip that part of the city). You’ll need to change lines to get to the famous Sagrada Familia church (go to Paral·lel, and from there switch to the Pink Line (L2).
BEST FOR: Travelers on a budget that are used to navigating public transportation.
BEST FOR: Any situation, from sightseeing to getting to your hotel or train station with luggage.
Is there Uber in Barcelona?
Technically yes, but all the Uber drivers in Spain must have a taxi license, and since the taxi lobby considers Uber (and Cabify and Bolt) unfair competition, they tend to boycott it by not joining their platform. As a result, there’s very few drivers available on the app, and the wait times are long. We recommend to stick to regular black and yellow taxis, and if you need to use an app to call one, use alternatives such as Free Now or Picmi.
A private driver is the premium way to get to the Barcelona Cruise Port, or to exit it. Private drivers in Spain must have a special professional license and insurance, their cars must have a blue plate, and must comply with high quality standards. The ones we use, for instance, are all recent models of Mercedes vehicles, either cars or vans. A driver will be waiting for you at the exit of the cruise terminal, holding a sign with your name. With them, it’ll be a breeze to get to the airport, train station or your hotel.
BEST FOR: Premium transfers to hotel, airport or train station.
Can they give you a tour of the city before dropping you off?
They certainly can, but bear in mind that in Spain you need different licensed to drive cars and to work as a tour guide. A licensed tour guide is trained to give you detailed explanations of the sites and can skip lines when taking you inside. Instead, drivers most of the time only have basic knowledge about the city (or parrot what they’ve heard licensed tour guides explain, without having really studied it), and must stay by their vehicles when you are out and about exploring a site or area on your own.
Private shore excursions
While usually a shore excursion organized by the ship is shared with dozens of other cruisers, and start and end in the cruise, private shore excursions are just for you and your party only, and they can start or end anywhere you want. During a private shore excursion you get not just a private driver but also a licensed tour guide to show you around. You can decide on the exact itinerary, and if necessary, they can start or finish at the airport, your hotel or the train station.
A private shore excursion is the easiest way to exit the Barcelona Cruise Port, and you will also take the most out of your short time in the city. Certainly it is more expensive if you are only two people, but if you are traveling with some more friends or family, the price becomes quite reasonable compared to joining one of the group tours offered by the ship. Small groups move faster than large tours, so you’ll get see more things in the same amount of time!
BEST FOR: Premium travelers that want to maximize their time in Barcelona and don’t want to have to deal with organizing details.
Transportation from Barcelona cruise port to airport (or viceversa)
Is taking public transportation a good idea?
Taxis, private drivers and private tours
There’s a set fee of €39 for taxi rides from the Barcelona cruise port to airport (you can check here to make sure this is updated). A private transfer can cost 2 to 3 times more, but you pay for the premium level of comfort (eliminate waiting times, high end vehicles, English speaking driver… sometimes even complimentary water bottles on board).
And if you have enough time and budget, you can spend those few hours between docking and flight departure exploring Barcelona, booking a city tour ending at the airport or starting there, depending on your needs.
How are you planning to get from Barcelona to cruise port?
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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