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Barcelona Taxis: Ultimate Guide to Getting Around (2024)

line of taxis in Barcelona, Spain
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Ah, Barcelona! Sun-soaked streets, Gaudí’s whimsical masterpieces, the scent of paella wafting through the air… and then there’s you, trying to figure out how to zip from one must-see spot to another. 

Maybe you’re hunting down the best tapas joint, or perhaps you just need to get to the airport ASAP. Either way, you’re gonna need a ride – and, sometimes, going the old fashioned route of taking a taxi in Barcelona is the easiest way to get from A to B.

Having spent heaps of time in Barcelona (I live in Spain, after all!), I’ve mastered the ins and outs of taxis in this vibrant city. Stick around and I’ll spill the secrets on snagging the best cab ride, avoiding those pesky pitfalls, and ensuring your wallet doesn’t weep too much. 

By the end of this, you’ll be cruising through the city like a local!

Key takeaways:

  • Taxis can be hailed from the street or through an app, like the official Barcelona AMB Taxi App.
  • For getting to and from the airport, a taxi will cost you between €35 to €40. For this reason, the Aerobús is much cheaper (only €7.50) and very convenient, with trips between the airport and Plaza Catalunya every 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Instead of taking taxis, the app Cabify is often more popular (and I personally prefer it over taxis). It’s cheaper and the price is always fixed in advance, meaning no “surprises” at your destination.
  • Alternatively, if you want the cheapest way to travel in Barcelona, don’t forget that the public transport system here is excellent – so you might not even need to take taxis at all!

What do Barcelona taxis look like?

Barcelona taxis have a distinctive appearance, making them easy to recognize. They are black and yellow with an illuminated TAXI sign on the roof. When the taxi is available for hire, you’ll notice a green light illuminated on the driver’s side.

To spot a taxi in Barcelona, just look for the iconic black and yellow color scheme. This makes it simple for you to identify a taxi even from a distance. The taxis are usually clean and well-maintained, ensuring a comfortable ride for passengers.

line of taxis in Barcelona, Spain

When you need a taxi, you can flag one down on the street by simply raising your hand when you see an available taxi. The green light on the driver’s side will help you determine whether the taxi is available or occupied. 

Additionally, you can book a taxi through various taxi companies using mobile apps.

How much do taxis in Barcelona cost?

Taxis in Barcelona have different rates depending on the time of day, with a rate of €1.23 per kilometer between 08:00 and 20:00, and €1.51 per kilometer between 20:00 and 08:00. There’s also a minimum fare of €7.00 for all taxi rides. 

Various factors may cause supplements to be added to the final meter price, such as the pickup and drop-off location or additional passengers. Here are some of them to be aware of:

  • For groups of more than four passengers, there’s a per person supplement of €4.50.
  • Having your taxi to pick you up or drop you off at specific locations, such as the Barcelona Airport, Cruise terminal, Fira exhibition center, or a transport station like Estació Sants, Franca station, or Nord bus station can add various supplements ranging from €2.50 to €4.50. 
  • Taxi reservations and pickups during certain times of day and on specific dates may also result in extra charges, with supplements varying between €3.40 and €4.50.
  • When it comes to luggage, there is a €1.00 supplement for each piece placed in the cab’s boot. 
  • On special celebration nights, like Christmas, a supplement of €3.50 may apply between the hours of 20:00 and 08:00. 

It’s important to note that all supplement prices will be displayed inside the taxi for your convenience. Once the ride is complete, the final fare will include both the meter price and any additional supplements.

For this reason, make sure the driver puts on the meter when you get in. There are, unfortunately, some dodgy taxi drivers out there – as in any major city – so be sure that the meter is on so that you’re charged the correct amount.

Also, don’t let any driver try to force you to pay more than the amount shown on the meter due to some random reason. I haven’t seen this myself, but I’ve heard of some people (especially those who don’t speak any Spanish) who’ve been told on arrival that there’s some extra charge that isn’t included in the meter price as a scam to pay more than they should.

For these reasons, and others, I recommend that you ask for a receipt before leaving the taxi to ensure you have a record of the journey’s details. To request a receipt, you can simply say “Quiero un recibo” or “Quiero un ticket.” 

Additionally, having a receipt can be helpful if you accidentally leave something behind or if you need to make a complaint. Keep in mind that all official taxi drivers in Spain are required by law to provide a receipt when requested.

Barceona taxis on taxi stop

How to get a taxi from Barcelona Airport

To get a taxi at Barcelona Airport, you just need to follow the taxi signs located in the arrival hall of both Terminal 1 (T1) and Terminal 2 (T2). These signs will lead you directly to the taxi ranks outside each terminal. 

Don’t worry about waiting too long, as there’s usually a line of taxis ready to transport passengers at these ranks.

Once you do catch a taxi, you can expect the journey from Barcelona Airport to the city to take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. The exact duration will depend on where you are going in the city and the current traffic conditions.

In terms of the Barcelona airport taxi cost, expect to pay between €35 to €40 for a taxi between Barcelona airport and the city. That includes the various supplements mentioned above, although you may have to pay more if, for example, you have more luggage.

Keep in mind that if you’re traveling in a group of four or less, it’s going to be much cheaper to take the Aerobús, which is the bus that takes people to and from the airport and Barcelona city center. This makes it just as convenient as a taxi (especially if you’re staying somewhere near Plaza Catalunya.

It operates from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, so regardless of where you land or take off, you’ve got a ride waiting. The frequency is also impressive, with buses running every 5 to 10 minutes most of the day. 

The journey takes around 35 minutes, depending on traffic, so you’ll be in the heart of Barcelona (or at the airport) in no time.

You can book your Aerobús tickets here.

How to get a taxi from Barcelona Cruise Port

Getting a taxi from the Barcelona Cruise Port is simple. Taxi ranks are conveniently situated just outside the cruise terminal exit. Once you disembark from your cruise ship, you’ll notice staff coordinating with local taxis to ensure enough of them are available to accommodate all the passengers.

The great thing about the Barcelona Cruise Port is its location right in the heart of the city center. This means that the travel time to various accommodations will be relatively short, ranging from 5 to 20 minutes depending on your destination and possible traffic conditions. 

Barceona taxis on the street

This makes it perfect for ensuring that you can quickly head to your lodging and begin exploring the beautiful city of Barcelona.

If you need to head directly to Barcelona Airport from the cruise port, you’re in luck as it’s only about a 25-minute taxi ride away, again depending on traffic. This allows for smooth and timely departures or transfers between the airport and the cruise ship.

How to get a taxi from Barcelona Sants Train Station

Finding a taxi at Barcelona Sants Train Station is easy and convenient. Once you arrive at the station, take the Plaça dels Països Catalans exit and you will find the taxi rank just to your right as you leave the exit. 

Also, Barcelona Sants is situated in the city’s Sants neighborhood, which is a pleasant and safe area to travel in.

The taxi rank outside the station typically has taxis available, so you should have no problem hailing one. You can expect a smooth and quick transfer to your destination, as the taxi drivers are familiar with the city and its various locations.

If you prefer to book a taxi in advance, there are several services available online, such as Taxi Barcelona Sants Station and Taximés, which offer 24-hour service and guarantee punctuality for your reservation. It’s usually not necessary though.

Another option to consider is getting a VIP taxi, large taxi, or eco taxi, depending on your specific needs and preferences. Whichever you choose, most taxi services in Barcelona accept various payment methods, and some even have English-speaking drivers to make your journey more comfortable.

How to flag down a taxi in Barcelona

In Barcelona, you can either hail a taxi in the street or take one at any of the over 200 taxi stops throughout the city. When you see a black and yellow taxi with a green light on the front of its roof, simply raise your hand to flag it down. 

When hailing a taxi, make sure you’re standing on the sidewalk or pavement, and not too close to parked cars or other obstacles. This will make it easier for the taxi driver to see you and stop safely. 

Remember, the green light indicates that the taxi is available, while a yellow light means it’s already occupied.

a woman hailing Barcelona taxis

If you prefer to take a taxi at one of the many taxi stops, head to areas near hotels or tourist sites, as these tend to have designated stops. When you arrive at the taxi stop, ask the other people waiting who is first in line and wait for your turn. 

Taxi drivers also respect the queue at these stops, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a ride once it’s your turn.

How to book a taxi in Barcelona

Booking a taxi in Barcelona is simple and convenient. You can book online at a flat rate, or use the official Barcelona AMB Taxi app. Both options allow you to arrange a taxi up to 30 minutes before your desired pick-up time.

For both of these, you’ll be able to see the taxi price before confirming the booking. This means that there won’t be any surprises with the price or additional supplements during your ride – so no getting stung if a driver decides to take you the “scenic route”…

The AMB Taxi app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. AMB is the official taxi association of Barcelona, and once you’ve downloaded the app, you can set your pick-up and drop-off points and choose your pick-up time. 

Payment options include cash in the taxi itself or bank card through the app.

How do I call a taxi in Barcelona?

Calling a taxi in Barcelona is straightforward. Just dial one of the many taxi companies’ phone numbers and wait for your ride. However, keep in mind that the operator might not speak your language, so be prepared with the address or location you want to go to.

If you’re staying at a hotel, your hotel concierge can book a taxi for you, making the process even more hassle-free. Here are some phone numbers for multiple taxi companies in Barcelona:

  • Cooperativa Radio Taxi: +34 93 225 0000
  • Taxi Miramar: +34 93 433 1020
  • Barna Taxi: +34 93 322 2222
  • Fono Taxi: +34 93 300 1100
  • Radio Taxi 033: +34 93 303 3033
  • Servi Taxi: +34 93 330 0300

Remember to save a few of these numbers in your phone for easy access when you need a taxi while exploring Barcelona. Don’t hesitate to ask a local for assistance if you have difficulty communicating with the taxi operators – most people in Barcelona are friendly and happy to help.

a woman with shopping bags hailing Barcelona taxis

Are taxis in Barcelona cash only?

No, taxis in Barcelona are not cash only. They accept different payment methods, including Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards and mobile payment apps. However, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, just in case.

If you’re booking a taxi through a mobile app like the Barcelona AMB Taxi app, FreeNow or Cabify, you can also add your card details to the app and make your payment in advance. This way, you’ll know the exact fare before even stepping into the taxi, and you won’t have to worry about carrying cash or having your card ready.

While card and mobile payments are widely accepted, it’s still a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially if you’re taking a taxi late at night or in an area with limited connectivity. In such situations, having some cash as a backup can be helpful in case the card payment terminal or mobile payment system doesn’t work. 

Do taxi drivers in Barcelona speak English?

Taxi drivers in Barcelona often speak basic English, at least enough for you to communicate your destination. In particular, in most tourist areas, you’ll find many drivers with some English skills. Just speak slowly and perhaps have your destination saved in Google Maps in your phone to show the screen.

While Spanish and Catalan are the official languages in Barcelona, most taxi drivers working in areas that cater to tourists are prepared to communicate with international travelers. The chances of encountering an English-speaking driver are therefore higher in popular spots like hotels, central restaurants, and key attractions.

Keep in mind that not every taxi driver’s English proficiency will be perfect. To make your journey smoother, it’s a good idea to have your destination and any other necessary information written down or saved on your phone. 

Can I order a taxi in Barcelona with a child seat?

Yes, you can order a taxi in Barcelona with a child seat. It’s not mandatory to have a baby seat, child seat, or booster seat in taxis within the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, but it’s recommended for safer travel. 

To ensure you get a taxi with a child seat, book one in advance and make a request for the appropriate seat type.

You can choose from three seat types: an infant seat for babies aged 0-6 months or up to 13 kg, a child seat for toddlers aged 1-5 years or up to 25 kg, and a booster seat for kids aged 5-8 or up to 30 kg. 

a child inside a Barcelona taxis

They allow a maximum of two child seats or booster seats per vehicle. The extra charge for a child seat is €3.00.

Be aware that if you’re requesting a baby or child seat, you should aim to reserve your taxi at least 12 hours before your desired pick-up time. Alternatively, you can bring your own baby seat, child seat, or booster seat, and the taxi must accept it without extra charges.

Is it hard to get a taxi in Barcelona?

No, it’s not hard to get a taxi in Barcelona. They are quite easy to find and affordable compared to other major European cities. You’ll likely find a taxi within a few minutes, especially if you use the app, although hailing one in the street in the city center is also easy.

There are several ways to get a taxi in Barcelona. You can find them at designated taxi stops, which are often located near hotels and tourist sites. Additionally, you can hail a taxi directly from the street if it has a green light on its roof, indicating its availability. 

Keep in mind, taxis aren’t allowed to stop too close to a taxi stop, so if there’s one nearby, it’s better to head there and wait in line.

Are taxis in Barcelona expensive?

Taxis in Barcelona aren’t really expensive but they aren’t cheap either. The rates depend on factors like time of day, destination, and any potential supplements applied to the fare. In general, it will always be cheaper to take public transport or other options like Cabify.

In Barcelona, the fares are calculated based on four different tariffs:

  • T1: Weekdays from 8:00 to 20:00
  • T2: Weekdays from 20:00 to 08:00, weekends, and public holidays
  • T3: Tariff used when booking a fixed-price taxi through an app

During weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 08:00 to 20:00, the rate per kilometer is €1.23. Outside of those hours and on weekends, holidays, and using a fixed-price taxi app, the rates may vary.

A typical example of taxi fare would be traveling from Barcelona city center (Plaza Cataluña) to Barcelona airport, which should cost you around €35 to €40, including two suitcases. There’s also a fixed flat rate when traveling to or from the airport to the cruise ships at the Moll Adossat pier in the Port of Barcelona.

Also, while tipping isn’t expected in Spain, you may choose to tip an extra euro or two if you’ve had an exceptional experience. 

a man getting a taxi using an app

How much is a taxi from the airport to Barcelona?

A taxi ride from Barcelona Airport to the city center costs around €35 to €40, including two suitcases. The fare depends on the time of day and the specific destination within Barcelona. From 8 pm to 8 am, the night fare applies, which might slightly increase the cost.

Barcelona taxi fares are determined by the current taxi tariffs, which vary between day and night times. Day tariff applies from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, while night tariff applies from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am. During stop-and-go traffic or if the driver is instructed to wait, the price per minute is also charged.

For transfers from Barcelona El Prat Airport to the Port of Barcelona, there’s a fixed price of €39. This flat rate is known as Tariff T4 and applies regardless of the time of day. 

Remember that additional charges may apply for extra luggage or special requirements.

To avoid surprises, you can use taxi apps or online fare calculators to estimate taxi costs. But, keep in mind that estimated prices might not be 100% accurate, as factors like traffic and route changes can affect the final price.

And as mentioned earlier, the Aerobús is always going to be much cheaper than a taxi for getting to and from the airport. It’s also just as convenient, especially if you’re staying right in the center, as the bus goes directly from the airport to Plaza Catalunya every five to 10 minutes.

Young traveler hailing a Barcelona taxi at airport

Is taxi or Uber cheaper in Barcelona?

In Barcelona, both taxis and Uber are available for transportation, with prices being very similar between the two. For the cheapest option, I always choose Cabify which works in a similar way to Uber, including that you order and pay through an app.

That is, while taxis seem to be the cheaper option in most cases, it’s important to note that ride-sharing companies like Cabify and Bolt also operate in Barcelona. 

I will note that these services have faced some backlash from local taxi drivers. That said, I use Cabify in particular pretty often and it’s always worked perfectly for me – and, as mentioned, is known for being cheaper than taxis.

Do cabs in Barcelona take credit cards?

Yes, cabs in Barcelona do accept credit cards as well as debit cards. They accept most major card providers, like Visa and MasterCard, as well as American Express, and there’s no extra fee for this. You can also pay with cash if you prefer.

In addition, consider using a taxi app as they often include a payment option in the app itself. Several reputable taxi companies in Barcelona offer convenient app-based booking services. Some popular apps include:

  • MyAppTaxi
  • FreeNow
  • TaxiClick

Are taxis easy to get at Barcelona Airport?

Yes, taxis are easy to get at Barcelona Airport. You’ll find taxi stands in both terminals, and they’re well-signposted for your convenience. The typical cost of a taxi from the airport to the city center ranges between €35 and €40.

When you arrive at either Terminal 1 (T1) or Terminal 2 (T2), just follow the signs to the taxi stands located outside the departures area. During peak hours, there might be a short queue, but taxis are generally available in good numbers to ensure a smooth flow of passengers. 

Keep in mind that there is a minimum charge of €20 for taxis from the airport and a €1 fee for each item of luggage.

If you’d prefer to pre-book a taxi or shuttle service, there are also private Barcelona Airport taxi transfers available online. Pre-booking can give you peace of mind, knowing that a driver will be waiting for you upon arrival.

a man waiting for Barcelona taxis at the airport

Remember that prices might vary depending on the time of the day and your destination, so it’s a good idea to have an estimate of the fare before you hop in. Nevertheless, taxis in Barcelona are generally reliable, and getting one at the airport shouldn’t be a problem. 

Is it safe to take a taxi from Barcelona Airport?

Yes, it’s safe to take a taxi from Barcelona Airport. Official taxis are reliable and regulated by the local government, including that they must use a meter to ensure the price follows the set regulations. They can be found at designated taxi ranks at the airport.

Make sure to use an official taxi rather than accepting rides from unmarked vehicles or individuals who may approach you offering a taxi service, as they may not be regulated or licensed.

How much should a taxi cost in Barcelona to the airport?

A taxi from Barcelona city center to the airport should cost around €35 to €40, including 2 suitcases. The price can vary depending on the time of day, traffic, and other factors. Keep in mind that there are different taxi tariffs in Barcelona that apply at various times.

During the day (from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm), the Day tariff is applied, while the Night tariff applies from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am. 

There’s also a fixed-price taxi fare called Tariff T4, which you can only book using an app. With this option, the fare is locked in from the moment of booking, so no meter operates during the ride.

If you decide to take a taxi from Barcelona Airport to the Port of Barcelona for a cruise, there is a fixed price of €39. Additionally, one hour of waiting time is charged at a rate of €23.40. The total cost of each taxi ride is calculated by the taximeter, which adjusts the fare based on the distance and time.

You can also opt for taxi apps that provide real-time fare estimates and allow you to book a fixed-price taxi if you prefer knowing the cost upfront (and this is definitely the option I prefer, to avoid any last minute “surprises” with the price when you arrive somewhere).

Why are taxis in Barcelona black and yellow?

Taxis in Barcelona are black and yellow because of a city regulation dating back to 1920. At that time, the city council decided to regulate the cab industry and establish a licensing system for drivers. As part of this, a color code for chauffeur-driven vehicles for hire was implemented, and the black and yellow color scheme was chosen.

This particular color combination enabled drivers and passengers to easily distinguish official taxis from other vehicles on the road. The recognizable black and yellow design provides a simple and memorable identification for locals and tourists alike, making it easier to spot available taxis from a distance.

Barcelona taxis at the Gothic Quarter Barcelona

When you’re in Barcelona and need a taxi, simply look for the black and yellow car with the taxi sign on the roof. If the taxi is available for hire, you’ll notice a green light at the front of the taxi roof, signaling that you can flag it down. Raise your hand, and the taxi will stop for you.

What is the most used taxi app in Barcelona?

The most used taxi app in Barcelona is Free Now (formerly known as MyTaxi). It is a popular and convenient option for locals and tourists alike. Free Now provides a user-friendly interface, making it easy to book a taxi in the city.

Thousands of people in Barcelona rely on Free Now for their transportation needs. The app allows you to order a taxi, track its location in real-time, and pay for the ride directly through your smartphone. 

Additionally, you can rate the driver and leave feedback about your experience, ensuring the quality of the service.

Besides Free Now, other taxi apps are also available in Barcelona, such as Cabify and Radio Taxi. While not as widely used as Free Now, they provide alternative options for booking a taxi in the city. 

It’s a good idea to set up these apps on your phone before you arrive in case you need a ride and want to compare prices or availability.

Can I order a taxi in Barcelona?

Yes, you can order a taxi in Barcelona! It’s simple to hail a taxi on the street, find one at over 200 taxi stops, or even book in advance. For advance ordering, you can either use the app or phone one of the city’s taxi companies.

In Barcelona, taxis are easily recognizable by their distinctive black and yellow colors. To hail a taxi on the street, just raise your hand when you spot one. If you prefer to take a taxi from a designated stop, there are plenty of taxi stands throughout the city.

For those who like to plan ahead, you can book a taxi in advance by calling +34 93 225 0000. This is especially useful if you have a larger group of more than four passengers. 

Additionally, there are various taxi apps that can help you book a taxi in Barcelona. Using an app can provide you with a fixed price, which takes the guesswork out of estimating the total fare.

a woman hailing a Barcelona taxi

How do tourists get around in Barcelona?

In Barcelona, many tourists choose to use taxis to get around, as they’re quite accessible and reasonably priced. However, more tourists choose to take public transport in Barcelona, especially given that there are metro stops near all the major sights.

With over 10,000 taxis in the city, you shouldn’t have trouble locating one. Yellow and black liveries help you identify these taxis, and a green light on their roof shows their availability.

While exploring the beautiful city, you can conveniently hail a taxi from popular locations such as Barcelona Airport, Barcelona Cruise Port, Barcelona Sants railway station, or Barcelona Nord Bus station. With hundreds of taxi stands around, you won’t miss the convenience of alternative services like Uber.

How safe is Cabify?

Cabify is a very safe option for getting around Barcelona. For example, Cabify performs background checks on drivers and uses well-maintained cars for their service. When booking a Cabify ride, be sure to check the driver’s profile and verify car details with the app.

In addition, make sure the license plate matches before getting into the vehicle and, if possible, share your trip details with a friend or family member, so they can track your whereabouts and ensure you reach your destination safely.

None of these are specific to Cabify, to be fair – they’re more just good practice no matter how you choose to get around.

Barcelona taxis on the street

One of the key advantages of Cabify is their app-based fare estimation and payment process, which minimizes the need for cash transactions. This cashless system may provide an added sense of security in Barcelona, as it eliminates the risk of overcharging or disputes over fares.

Furthermore, Cabify’s customer support is accessible via the app, should any issues arise during your journey. So with these safety features in place, you can confidently use Cabify for your transportation needs while exploring Barcelona.

Is Cabify reliable in Barcelona?

Yes, Cabify is very reliable in Barcelona. Many people find it convenient and easy to use, especially given that the price is set in advance – and that it tends to be cheaper than taxis. It has positive reviews from travelers and locals alike.

I use Cabify pretty frequently and would actually recommend it more than taxis, for these reasons.

It’s a popular ride-hailing app that operates in Barcelona, offering an alternative to traditional taxi services. You can easily book a ride through the Cabify app on your smartphone, making it a handy option for getting around the city. 

So, when you’re in Barcelona, feel free to give Cabify a try as a reliable and convenient way to explore the city. Just ensure you have a stable internet connection, and you’re good to go!

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