Taxis in Barcelona – The best guide step by step

Taxis in Barcelona are available 24-hours a day thanks to the city’s ample cab network. Getting a taxi can be one of the quickest and simplest ways to get around the city. Prices can be cheaper than other cities throughout Europe and waiting times dramatically lower.

Whether you need to take a taxi from the Barcelona El Prat airport, if you miss the night bus mid-week after an evening of dinner and drinks, or when returning to your apartment after a day sight-seeing, getting a taxi in Barcelona is often an essential part of your stay in Barcelona.

We understand that jumping in a taxi abroad can be a daunting experience if you’re not prepared. That’s why we’ve put together this brief guide to taxis in Barcelona.

taxis in barcelona

Official taxis in Barcelona

You can’t miss the taxis in Barcelona thanks to their black and yellow colours. Keep an eye out for the lights on top of the car: green means available and orange means that the taxi is occupied.

If you’re staying in one of our well-located apartments, you’ll probably only have to wait a few minutes before spotting a taxi to hail down. Remember that some of the central streets in Barcelona are pedestrianised, so you may have a to walk to a main street to get a cab.

Taxi ranks in Barcelona

As in many cities, it is very common to hail a cab down by raising your hand from the side of the road when you see a taxi with a green light. However, there are of course many taxi ranks scattered throughout the city to make finding a taxi that little bit easier.

Bear in mind that the taxi driver can only stop if their car is free and it has not been reserved, and you are currently more than 200 metres away from a taxi rank. What’s more, taxi drivers can refuse to drive passengers under the influence of alcohol and drugs. They are also not obliged to accept animals (with the exception of guide dogs).

There are more than 300 taxi ranks around the city, all which can be consulted here. The city’s biggest ranks can be found at the three airport terminals, the four stations of the Barcelona Port (Moll Adossat) and Estació de Sants.

How much are taxis in Barcelona?

Taxis in Barcelona are more expensive than other forms of public transport in the city such and the bus and metro, however they are affordable and not as expensive as other European cities, as we have mentioned.

All taxis in Barcelona use a meter, so you don’t have to worry about being ripped off. Fares in Barcelona depend on the time of day and if you are travelling on a national holiday. The minimum price for taxis in Barcelona is €2.25 except on Saturdays and holidays between 8 pm and 8 am, when the minimum charge goes up to €3.20.

Remember that the following supplements are added to the final price shown on the meter at the end of the journey:

  • Airport (origin/destination): €4.30 (see below for more information about getting a taxi to/from the airport)
  • Port station (Moll Adossat) (origin): €4.30
  • Main city stations (Sants Station and Fira Exhibition Centre): €2.50
  • Vehicles for 4–8 passengers: €4.30
  • Special nights*: €3.10

*23/06 – 24/06, 24/12 – 25/12 and 31/12 – 01/1

Here you can find a breakdown table of the fares and tariffs for taxis in Barcelona. You can also calculate the estimated cost of your route in advance of your journey here or download the official app for your phone to use it on the go.

If you are unsure whether you should leave a tip or not, check our article here about tipping in Barcelona.

Taxi in Barcelona

Taxis in Barcelona to/from the airport

When you land at Barcelona El Prat airport, we understand that you want to get to your apartment as soon as possible and start enjoying the city straight away. Getting a taxi from the airport is simple – you’ll find several taxi ranks at both terminals. Simply follow the signs after passport control

The minimum cost of a taxi to and from Barcelona airport is always €20 and generally journeys tend to cost between €30–€35 to and from the city centre.

Getting a taxi in Barcelona during the COVID-19 pandemic – May 2020

It is still possible to take a taxi in Barcelona during the COVID-19 pandemic, however it is mandatory to observe the following rules:

  • As of 3 May 2020, it is mandatory to wear a mask when using public transport
  • A maximum of one passenger is allowed per journey, unless you are accompanying a disabled individual or a minor
  • Open the taxi door using your non-dominant hand
  • Sit in the back of the taxi and follow social distancing rules
  • Taxi drivers will issue receipts only on request

Getting a taxis in Barcelona can be a daunting task – but not any more! Remember you can consult the Barcelona official public transport page here to find further information on taxis in Barcelona in English.

Dolphins in Barcelona during quarantine

Dolphins take advantage of lockdown in Barcelona to swim in one of the city’s ports

The quarantine is generating a whole parade of animals that can be seen in places where until a few days ago it was unimaginable.

 

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8 essential Catalan phrases you can’t visit Barcelona without knowing

On your next trip to Barcelona you may be thinking that you can just get by with Spanish or English, but if you really want to impress and get to know the locals, these essential Catalan words and phrases will go a long way.

Why not use your time at home over the next few weeks to brush up your language skills in one of Spain’s official languages and add some of these useful phrases to your repertoire.

Whether you’re greeting a friend, ordering food or buying souvenirs, we’ve definitely got you covered. Preparats (ready)? 

1. Bon dia (bon dee-ah) / Bona tarda (bon-ah tard-ah)

Good morning / Good afternoon 

When strolling along the streets of Barcelona, you’ll definitely hear this phrase used again and again. Put a smile on any local’s face with this common greeting (used more than “hola”). Remember, the afternoon starts around lunchtime and lasts all the way until just before dinnertime – which is around 10 pm – so don’t be surprised if someone greets you with “bona tarda” at 8 pm!

2. Si us plau (see oos plow)  & Merci (mehr-see) 

Please & thank you

If you’ve visited Barcelona several times and are familiar with the Catalan language, you’ll know has some similarities with the French language. These two phrases will go a long way during your stay, so please use them abundantly. 

With “merci”, remember to put emphasis on the first syllable “meras opposed to on the final syllable, like in French.

Note: “merci” is used a lot more than “gràcies” but please take into account is is colloquial.

3. De res (deh res) 

You’re welcome

If it makes it a little easier to remember, you can literally translate this phrase as “of nothing”. What’s more it’s just like the French (de rien) and Spanish (de nada).

4. Adéu (ah-deh-ou)

Goodbye

Whether your waving farewell to your new Catalan friends or simply saying goodbye to the owners of your new favourite restaurant, be sure to do so with a friendly and heartfelt “adéu.

5. Bon profit! (bon pro-feet) 

Bon appetit!

The Catalans are a very courteous bunch, so don’t be surprised if you get total strangers declaring “bon profit” as you tuck into your meal at a local restaurant. 

6. Quant costa – ? (kwant coh-sta)

How much is –?

The chances are during your stay at some point you’ll be buying souvenirs, tickets for the museum or a little treat for yourself. Use this phrase and simply add whatever it is you’re asking for or point and say “això” (ay-shoh), which means “this”.

7.El compte, si us plau (el com-teh see oos plow)

The bill, please.

Show off your language skills and impress your friends by asking for the bill in Catalan at the end of your meal. If you really want to blend in with the locals, try switching this phrase for “Em cobres” (um cub-ras), which literally means “charge me” and is used much more frequently by Catalans.

8. Parles anglès? (par-las ang-less)?

Do you speak English?

Whilst the majority of locals speak very good English, this polite question is sure to make you many a new friend in the city. Not only will they be impressed with your Catalan skills, they’ll be grateful you are trying to learn their language.

While we’ve got you covered for the basics, we encourage you to download a learning app or grab a dusty phrase book from your shelf and get studying for your next trip to Barcelona! 

See you soon! Ens veiem aviat!

P.S. Below is a small list of other some additional vocabulary we’re sure will come in useful!

CATALAN ENGLISH 
Bona nit Good night 
Perdó Sorry 
Esmorzar Breakfast 
Dinar Lunch
Sopar Dinner
Esquerra Left 
Dreta Right 
Obert Open 
Carrer Street 
Plaça Square 

Latest coronavirus measures in place in Barcelona

Two days ago, the Barcelona Local Government in coordination with the Government of Spain, announced a lockdown that applies to the whole of Catalonia.

This article will explain exactly what this means and how it will affect you if you are in Barcelona. These measures have been put into place to stop the spreading of the virus and to protect, above all, the most at-risk populations.

The following measure have been implemented immediately as of 14 March for two weeks:

  • Public transport will be operating only one third of services.
  • The following establishments will be closed immediately:
    • large shopping centres, gyms, leisure centres, ski slopes and other establishments that do not offer basic services or serve food
    • bars, coffee shops, restaurants and other catering facilities
    • libraries and museums in Catalonia
  • All hunting expeditions are suspended.
  • Wakes for individuals who have died from COVID-19 are suspended.
  • With regard to social services:
    • all public social services and centres are closed
    • all activities at occupational centres are closed
    • all visits to Meeting Point Technical Services are suspended
  • All individuals located in Barcelona are advised to stay indoors unless necessary (see information below regarding confinement).

The Barcelona Zoo, Park Güell and the Gaudí House Museum, the Tibidabo Theme Park, Casa Battló and La Pedrera, Barcelona’s 184 parks and gardens, the Sagrada Familia , all museums, art centres and libraries have been closed. Schools and universities are also closed.

You will find the following establishments, among others, currently open in Barcelona. However, the local government advises only to leave the house if necessary:

  • Public health services, such as hospitals, health centres and pharmacies
  • Basic social services
  • Waste collection and cleaning services
  • The Barcelona Urban Guard
  • Public transport (adapted metro and bus service)
  • Cemeteries and funeral services
  • Civil, Properly and Commercial Registries
  • Water, electricity and gas supplies are guaranteed

Also open are shops/supermarkets that sell food and drinks, pharmacies, doctor’s surgeries, opticians and shops that sell orthopaedic products and hygiene products, hairdressers, newsagents, petrol stations, tobacconists, IT and telecommunications equipment stores, pet food stores, internet, telephone and postal service, and laundry services.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions with answers from the Local Government of Catalonia. (The document in Spanish can be found here.)

What does “lockdown” mean?

  • You can only leave the house to buy essentials.
  • Maintain the safety distance of 1.5–2 metres with other people when you do leave the house.
  • Avoid visiting friends and family unless they are dependent on your care.
  • Postpone medical visits and other appointments unless urgent.

Who should I call if I need help?

For information call 012, if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 call 061. Please remember, call 112 only in the case of emergency.

We imagine that more information will become available in the upcoming days. We recommend you check travel advice from your country’s foreign office regarding travel to high-risk areas and with airlines before travelling.

The following websites provide information in English and are updated regularly with official information: https://www.barcelona.cat/en/  and http://canalsalut.gencat.cat/ca/inici/

Our Guide to Gifts Made in Barcelona

If you’re planning on doing some last-minute Christmas shopping in Barcelona this holiday season and are looking for unique gift ideas, you’ve come to the right place. 

Finding the right gift year after year can often be a daunting task, so to help you out here’s our guide to special gifts that are designed and made in Barcelona. 

From handmade jewellery, locally designed clothing and children’s toys, Barcelona really has something for those who have everything. And what’s more, by buying locally produced and designed gifts, you’ll be supporting local businesses and helping the environment.

OMG BCN, Plaça de la Llana 6 and Carrer Corders, 7

Discover the home of Barcelona-based designers. OMG BCN stocks only products that are inspired by and made by local artists and artisans. From fashion, prints, accessories and home décor, we’re sure that you won’t leave this store empty handed.

Frida’s Tierchen, Bateau Lune, Plaça de la Virreina, 7 and Konfetti Kids, Baixada de Viladecols 2

Looking for a unique gift for the youngest members of the family? These hand-crafted dolls, animal costumes and accessories by local designer María Salamanca are perfect for gifts that inspire creativity and imagination. Shoponlineor find her products in a range of local children’s stores.

Meublé, Carrer de Martínez de la Rosa, 34

Meublé opened in 2012 in Gràcia with the aim of restoring antique furniture and items. This now multidisciplinary space is brimming with a range of locally made and designed home items. What’s more, it also offers workshops and exhibition spaces for local artists.

Casa Mariol, Carrer Rosselló, 442

Although these gifts are not technically made in Barcelona, Casa Mariol is a wine producer from a small medieval village called Batea in Tarragona. Their store in the Barcelona Eixample district stocks the best organic wine of the Terra AltaDenomination of Origin. Why not drop in to try a glass before you buy!

B de Barcelona, Avinguda de Gaudí, 28

Hand crafted in workshops in Manresa and Parets del Valles using locally sourced materials, the souvenirs you’ll find at B de Barcelona are exquisitely designed and made. Choose from colourful prints of the Sagrada Familia, funky mugs, Barcelona-inspired jewellery and much more.

Colmillo de Morsa, Carrer de Vic, 15 


We’d recommend dropping by Colmillo de Morsa in Gràcia to discover this local “slow” fashion brand that oozes personality. Their showroom, studio and store stocks a varied range of the brand’s collections and boasts exclusive designs and top quality.

Koetània, Carrer de Goya, 8

If you’re looking for something extra special this Christmas, at Koetània artisan jewellers you’ll find locally designed and crafted pieces of jewellery at reasonable prices. Our favourite is their exclusive collection inspired by Barcino– the Roman name for Barcelona. 

Tiny Cottons, Passeig del Born, 7 and Via Augusta, 25

This beautiful and brightly coloured clothing for babies and children comes in fun and exciting prints. Renowned internationally for its fresh designs, at Tiny Cottons their motto is to be the go-to brand for grandparents due to the great quality of their collections.

Barcelona really has something for everyone; so whoever you are buying for, we hope this guide comes in handy.  So put a smile on your loved one’s faces this year with a unique present from Barcelona.

Happy shopping!

The 8 Best Japanese Restaurants in Barcelona

In the last few years, the scene of Japanese restaurants in Barcelona has been rejuvenated by the izakayas (small Japanese taverns serving food and alcohol) which have been popping up left, right and centre in Barcelona. These charming and welcoming eateries serve a lot more than just sushi and often specialise in one particular dish. 

It might not be the first thing you think of when planning a trip to Barcelona, but we’re sure by the time you finish this article you’ll be craving Japanese food.

What’s more, in cosmopolitan Barcelona you’ll find not only the best of Japan, but also a range of exotic and exciting fusions. Read on to discover Japanese tapas, steaming-hot ramen, fresh sushi, okonomiyaki and much more!

Izakaya style meal in one of the best Japanese restaurants in Barcelona
Izakaya style meal in one of the bast Japanese restaurants in Barcelona

Mosquito

Located close to Carrer Princesa and the Picasso museum, in the lovely El Born area you’ll find Mosquito tucked away on a side street. Choose from a range of freshly baked dumplings and small Japanese tapas washed down with a pint of local craft ale. We recommend getting there early to put your name down for a table, as this quaint tavern can get particularly crowded.
Carrer dels Carders, 46

Ramen-ya Hiro

If you’re looking to try the best ramen in Barcelona, you’ve come to the right place. Rumour has it that their speciality stock is slow-cooked over 48 hours. With seating for less than 20 customers, get there early and join the queue before opening time. Trust us, it’s worth the wait!
Carrer de Girona, 164

Sato I Tanaka

For the true sushi experience that you’re not afraid of paying for, we’d recommend this discreet and modest restaurant. The mere 15 seats are arranged around the bar and kitchen so you can watch in awe as chef Sato delicately prepares each piece of sushi. Discover the art of sushi preparation in this tranquil atmosphere and impeccable service. 
Carrer del Bruc, 79

Yatai

Step into Tokyo with this beautifully decorated restaurant located in the Eixample area of Barcelona. Capturing the essence of day-to-day life in Japan with a varied range of typical dishes, we’d recommend trying the curry, takoyaki (bite-size fried octopus) and donburi dishes (grilled meat in breadcrumbs or fish served on a bed of steaming rice).
Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 112

Can Kenji

If you’re feeling adventurous, try something at one of the most unique Japanese restaurants in Barcelona, Can Kenji. Serving simple yet exquisite dishes that combine the best of fresh, local Catalan ingredients with traditional Japanese cuisine, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. 
Carrer del Rosselló, 325

Fan Shoronpo Ramen

Specialising in steaming-hot bowls of every type of ramen, including ramen for vegetarians, Fan Shoronpo is a perfect choice for these chilly autumn nights. Be sure to try their speciality dumplings filled with hot stock.
Carrer de Sèneca, 28

Bouzu

A cosy Mediterranean-style izakaya close to the San Antoni market, Bouzu specialises in Japanese-inspired tapas. Offering a lot more than just sushi, we’d recommend the okonomiyaki – an omelette-style dish from the region of Hiroshima made with grilled egg, noodles and vegetables topped with sweet Japanese barbeque sauce. Dig in!
Ronda de Sant Antoni, 26

Yoi Yoi Gion

A great central location, this restaurant that specialises in udon dishes can be found on the corner of Passeig de Gràcia/Diagonal. These thick wheat noodles are served in hot stock and can be combined with a range of delicious toppings. Don’t miss the selection of second hand Japanese books and vinyls and Japanese Asahi beer served on tap!
Avinguda Diagonal, 383

Recharge your batteries after a long day of sightseeing with these tasty options! Let us know, what are your favourite Japanese restaurants in Barcelona?

8 Books Set in Barcelona that you will love

Many writers have chosen Barcelona as the backdrop to their novel over the years and many have written guides to its streets, its secrets and its past. And it is true that Spain’s cultural capital lends well to the page: from historical dramas, post-war sagas and tales of the Barcelona bourgeoisie to anecdotes, ghost stories and legends.

We’ve compiled this list of 8 books for you to discover another side of Barcelona:  these novels will take you back in time to the Barcelona of the past, uncover its secrets and help you get to know its people and its culture.

Perfect for enjoying a beer or coffee on a sun-drenched terrace, when topping up your tan at the beach or on your journey to Barcelona. Just sit back and enjoy this literary tour of Spain’s cultural capital with these 8 books set in Barcelona.

The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza

Set during the years between Barcelona’s Universal Expositions (1886–1926), we follow the footsteps of the protagonist Onofre Bouvil – an immigrant, deliverer of anarchist propaganda and hair-tonic seller. In a Barcelona on the cusp of cultural evolution, discover how this ordinary man’s ambition takes him to powerful heights.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

This bestselling novel and first of the Cemetery of Forgotten books trilogy is set in a 1945 Barcelona. It is in this cemetery that the novel’s protagonist finds an unusual book that is to change life as he knows it.

What’s more, fans of the saga can visit the parts of Barcelona that inspired Zafón’s stories on one of the many “Shadow of the Wind” literary tours that take place around the city. 

The Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones

This historical drama set in 14th-century Barcelona takes readers on a journey through the construction of the city’s magnificent Santa María del Mar cathedral. A gripping tale of love, family and revenge, we’re sure you won’t be able to put it down.

The Time of the Doves by Mercè Rodoreda 

Written during her time of exile from Catalonia, Mercé Rodoreda’s bestseller is written in an unusual stream of consciousness style. This powerful and incredibly moving book tells the tale of normal girl named Natalia – known as La Colometa– during the civil war and post-war in Barcelona. In Catalan the book is named after Gràcia’s “Plaça del Diamant” which can be visited today.

We Had Won the War by Esther Tusquets

This bestselling novel set in post-Civil War Barcelona uncovers a perspective that is often excluded from Spanish war narrative: that of the winners. Through the author’s own memoir, she relates her experience of growing up among the Francoist bourgeoisie and her struggle to find her own place.

I’ll Give You the Earth by Chufo Llorens

This story of a young peasant boy set within the city walls paints a picture of medieval Barcelona. Discover this story of impossible love, passion, ambition and betrayal in the 11thcentury.

Un senyor de Barcelona (A Gentleman of Barcelona) by Josep Pla 

Available only in Catalan and Spanish, this biography by Josep Pla relates the life of Rafael Puget, a member of the Barcelona bourgeoisie through family portraits, anecdotes and memories.

Mysteries of Barcelona by Ernesto Milá 

This non-fiction guide uncovers long-lost facts and secrets of Barcelona. Divided into three sections that cover places, people and unusual traditions, this book is perfect for those who are looking to discover the other side of Barcelona.

We love reading about this wonderful city and we hope you also enjoy discovering its long-lost stories and uncovering its many secrets. Tell us, what’s your favourite book about Barcelona?

The 8 most traditional bars in Barcelona

If you’re looking to really get to know Barcelona during your stay, where better place to do so than in its oldest and most typical bars. Before becoming the cosmopolitan melting pot it is today, Barcelona was littered with simple bars serving home-cooked food and local spirits.

Many of these spots still stand to this day, and despite their often dark-looking interior, you’ll soon discover they are warm and welcoming.  From classic bodegas to traditional watering holes, we’ve hand picked selection of the best traditional bars in Barcelona that have withstood the test of time. 

Bodega Pàdua 

To the north of the city, this bar has been standing since 1949 and is well known among locals. If you don’t mind taking a detour, this typical bodega promises the best Catalan dishes at a very affordable price.  Pull up a wooden chair, take in the strange and wonderful decoration and order a glass of homemade vermouth.

Quimet & Quimet

Just a short walk from Plaça Espanya, this family-run bar exudes tradition. With space for less than 30 patrons, make sure you get there early to grab a spot at the bar. With a huge selection of wine, conservas (conserved tinned food) and montaditos (small sandwiches), you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Els 4 Gats

Perhaps the most famous of Barcelona’s traditional bars, Els 4 Gats (The Four Cats) was frequented by Hemingway, Dalí and Picasso (who even designed the menu). The first building by architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch (who also designed Casa Amatller and Casa de les Punxes), it is said to take inspiration from Paris’ le Chat Noir. Enjoy the daily set menu or drop in for a coffee or a beer. You won’t be disappointed. 

Bodega La Puntual 

Located in the heart of El Born, this spacious bodega finds the perfect balance between traditional Catalan tapas and that contemporary touch. Despite being a little on the expensive side, the quality of its dishes makes up for it. You’re sure to love the patatas bravas and the octopus!

El Xampanyet

Right next door to La Puntual is most possibly Born’s most famous bar: El Xampanyet. Known for its sparkling wine and tapas and given its proximity to the Picasso museum, it’s often packed with tourists and locals alike. Grab a stool at the bar to order a drink and few tapas, or join the queue for a table to order from the menu. 

La Bodega d’en Rafel

Tucked away in the charming neighbourhood of San Antoní, not far from the San Antoní market, you’ll find this simple, life-long bodega. Here you’re sure to get great service and great food, including fried anchovies, padrónpeppers and snails. If you’re looking for a buzzing, local atmosphere, drop by during the weekend at lunchtime – just don’t expect to get a seat!

Bodega Electricitat 

Right by La Barceloneta Market, this no-frills bar stands out thanks to its curious name and huge red sign. Called the “electricity” bar as it is located in the building that used to supply electricity to the neighbourhood, its marble tables and barrels of wine really make this a unique place to refuel.

Bodega Lo Pinyol

Found in Gràcia, not too far from Passeig de Gràcia, Lo Pinyol is a curious bodega with three different spaces. With a selection of local wines and pinchos, and even shelves stacked with books to exchange, this bodega’s tranquil atmosphere and low lighting make it perfect for romantic evenings or catching up with friends.

If the walls of these bars could talk, they would be sure to tell many a story from over the hundreds of years their doors have been open.  Take in their history as you enjoy local atmosphere, fantastic tapas and a selection of traditional drinks.