The biggest station in Barcelona, Sants is a common port of call for travelers exploring Catalonia and beyond. Getting from Barcelona Airport to Sants isn’t hard, and Virail will make it even easier for you to find the best connections from the station. Use our search tool to continue your journey around the Iberian Peninsula, making the right routes for you quick and easy to find.
Estació de Sants, as it is known in the Catalan language, is the biggest station in Barcelona, but not the oldest. Built in the 1970s, it can’t boast the beautiful architecture that Barcelona is famous for, but it has a practical layout and a handy location. Found in the Sants neighborhood, it is a short walk (or even shorter metro ride) from Plaça Espanya. You’ll find plenty of hotels near Sants Station, and if the weather’s good, there are lots of restaurants and bars with on-street terraces in the nearby Plaça de Sants area.
If you’re coming from Barcelona Airport, there are plenty of connections that will take you to the city. The easiest way to travel from El Prat Airport to Barcelona Sants is by taking the train. The RENFE Rodalies service runs from the airport’s Terminal 2 to Sants (travel between Terminals 1 and 2 is by free shuttle bus). The train leaves every half-hour and stops around midnight. Although the journey only takes 20 minutes, RENFE trains frequently run late. To avoid unwanted stress, give yourself plenty of time if you need to make a connection.
Want to get from Barcelona Nord to Sants? You have a few options, including the metro, but the most direct route is again by using RENFE Rodalies trains. The lines R1, R4, and R3 all connect the two stations in less than 15 minutes; get off at the Arc de Triomf stop to access Barcelona Nord.
Barcelona’s other main station, Estació de França, is also on the Rodalies line. The R1, R2S, and R4 will take you from Barcelona Sants to França, all in just over 15 minutes.
Some of Barcelona’s city buses stop at Sants Station. However, most visitors find that the metro is easier to navigate; look for Sants Estació, found on L3 (yellow) or L5 (blue).
Long-distance buses from cities around Spain and beyond, mostly operated by ALSA, stop at Barcelona Sants. If you are planning to take a long-distance bus service from Sants, be aware that the terminus is not actually within the station itself. Instead, you’ll have to head outside, and you’ll find the buses just over the road.
You can get to Sants Station by taxi, but locals won’t usually recommend it. Taxis in Barcelona are much more expensive than in most Spanish cities. If you’re willing to try, don’t forget the surcharge for being picked up or dropped off at Sants Station: it will add €2.50 to your journey. Be aware that services such as Uber do not operate in Barcelona.
Barcelona Sants makes a great starting point to explore the region. While it’s easy to travel around Barcelona city by using public transport, if you’d like to see more of Catalonia, Virail recommends that you use our partners at carrentals.com to get around. This is the easiest way to explore the Costa Brava, and visit nearby cities like Girona or Tarragona, as well as immersing yourself in the Catalan countryside.
For accommodation, we recommend that travelers use booking.com to find hotels and other lodgings. There are lots of hotels near Sants Station, but for a longer visit, you may want to choose accommodation elsewhere in the region. With booking.com you will find honest reviews from other travelers, as well as great offers.
Sants Station is the main point at which several different types of transport converge. The station is large, but the layout is quite simple to understand, so you shouldn’t have many problems finding where to go to continue your journey.
All the platforms in Barcelona Sants are underground, which might lead you to think that you’re taking the metro when you’re not. If you want to use the metro, following the red diamond signs, marked with a large M. The metro platforms are separate from all the other train services at Sants.
The local trains - RENFE Rodalies - will get you around Barcelona province, and in some cases into other parts of Catalonia. They leave from platforms 7 - 10, as well as 13 - 14. Medium-distance trains also leave from these platforms, so check the screens to make sure you’re getting on the right one. These are the trains that will take you to places like Girona, Salou, Reus, or Tarragona, if you’d like to see other parts of Catalonia.
Long-distance trains leave from platforms 1 - 6. If you’re taking a long-distance train, check the name of the service. AVE is the Spanish name for high-speed trains, which will get you from Barcelona Sants to Madrid in just 2.5 hours. Sadly, the AVE line doesn’t cover the entire country. If you’re traveling from Barcelona Sants to Valencia or Alicante, you’ll likely be taking the slower Euromed line.
One thing to bear in mind if you are taking a long-distance train from Barcelona Sants is security. Your luggage will have to go through a security scanner, just like at the airport, so allow yourself enough time for this process. You should also know that long-distance trains have assigned seating, which Spanish people take seriously, so make sure you’re in the right place.
Everything in Barcelona Sants, except the train platforms, is on a single level. This makes it easy to get around.
If you’ve got a long journey ahead of you, you might be wondering where to eat in Barcelona Sants. There are a few options within the station, including Ars Café, which offers Spanish fare, and Café de l’Estació, with sandwiches and small bites. If you’re really in a hurry, there’s also a McDonalds, with multilingual touchscreen ordering.
Inside the station, you’ll find newsagents, a pharmacy, and a few stores where you can buy snacks or soda for your journey, or gifts and souvenirs. There’s also an official FC Barcelona store, for any soccer fans who want some authentic Messi memorabilia.
There is luggage storage at Barcelona Sants if you want to leave your suitcases while you explore the city. You will have to pay for using a locker, but if you have limited time to see Barcelona, this is a good option.
Access to the station restrooms costs €1, and credit cards are accepted if you don’t have cash. None of the restaurants have their own restrooms. You could always wait for the train, but remember that the facilities might not be as fresh as they are in the station, where cleaners are always present.
Travelers will be able to reach cities all around Spain by rail, including Madrid, Seville, Valencia, and San Sebastian. Trains also connect to France and Belgium, with routes running to major cities like Paris and Brussels.
Buses travel slower than trains, but again, services run all around Spain and beyond. Sants is a major transport hub for travelers visiting Europe.
For many travelers who come to Catalonia, Barcelona Sants is just the first step in their journey. Use Virail to help you find the best route to your next destination. Whether you’re traveling by train or bus, we’ll help you get the most cost-effective solution, and make sure your adventure goes to plan!