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    Car rental in Barcelona - discover Catalonias capital

    Picture yourself strolling along a colourful street and encountering a splendid building with a mesmerizingly beautiful façade inspired by world renowned architect Gaudi. Not much further down the street you’ll also come across the Picasso Museum. No matter where you look, something magical is taking place and the atmosphere is electrifying. A flurry of activity surrounds you whilst the bright Mediterranean sun shines down on you.

    You stumble upon a tiny traditional restaurant and are drawn in by the smell of fresh seafood. After lunch, you take a leisurely walk along Barcelona’s shoreline, admiring the vast Mediterranean Sea and beautiful coast. Wildlife and nature surround you, whilst families are entertained by street performers and little kiosks. As dusk approaches, the mood changes whilst a plethora of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and pubs open up. If you’re looking for a great holiday, then consider Barcelona for your next trip.

    As a leading car rental broker, Auto Europe with its 60 plus years of experience is well placed to provide you great car rental deals. Having partnered with local, national and internationally renowned car rental suppliers such as, Hertz, Europcar and Avis, we provide a large fleet of vehicles in which to choose from. From our Mini categories, to larger SUV vehicles and motorhomes, we are able to cater to all needs. A car rental in Barcelona is ideal especially if you’d rather not rely on public transport. Contact one of our reservation agents today or for ease, our secure online booking engine is also available.

    How is the traffic in Barcelona?

    Like all major cities, Barcelona is extremely busy especially during rush hour. The streets are however simple to navigate and in general are well sign posted. The Barrio Gótico area is slightly more difficult and we wouldn’t recommend taking a large vehicle along its old traditional narrow streets. Parking is also scarce in this area.

    Driving is on the right-hand side and overtaking on the left. Also be aware of the numerous scooters and motorbikes that whizz in and out of traffic. Motorways out of Barcelona do not get very congested, and you can be in Madrid in around 6 hours. Simply take the AP-2 and then the A-2 south. Likewise, the French border isn’t too far and can be reached with minimum congestion. Simply take the C-16 towards Toulouse and in 4 hours you’ll arrive.

    Where can I park my car rental in Barcelona?

    An abundance of parking options exist in Barcelona, from parking garages to on-street metered parking. Although the city has plenty of parking, it still gets full very quickly, especially in the touristy areas. When you are planning to rent a car in Barcelona make sure you consult Barcelona’s online parking map. This will allow you to obtain real-time parking availability throughout the city.

    The aforementioned Barrio Gótico and Les Corts have around 140 car parks. But don’t forget to also look at the supermarket across from Sants railway station for 24-hour parking. Secure parking garages are best, but pricing varies considerably and especially the closer to the city centre you get. Free parking garages exist at Zona Universitaria and Vall d´Hebron.

    On-street parking is marked by a blue or green line, with the maximum stay of two hours. In the city’s centre, metered on-street parking is available and in operation from 8 am till 8 pm daily, including public holidays. Costs vary substantially so make sure you check before you park. It is also good to note that parking is enforced throughout the city, so make sure you do not overrun and park illegally.

    Barcelona Airport

    Only 7.5 miles from Barcelona City Centre is Barcelona-El Prat International Airport. Located in El Prat de Llobregat, Viladecans and Sant Boi, it is the second largest Spanish airport. With two modern terminals, the airport handles an estimated 44 million passengers per year. Terminal 1 consists of 258 check-in desks and 12,000 parking spaces. It is also famous for being the 5th largest terminal in the world. Terminal 2 is used by low cost airlines. Each terminal has a dedicated tourist information office.

    Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN)
    Address: Carretera del Prat de Llobregat, 08820 El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona
    Official website:
    Phone number: +34 902 40 47 04

    What to do in Barcelona

    Being the capital city of Catalonia, Barcelona is full of extraordinary architecture and amass with cultural richness. From the MUHBA – city museum – to the Basilica and vibrant neighbourhoods, Barcelona has it all. Take a leisurely walk in the Parc la Ciutadella, Parc de Joan Miró or visit any of the other wonderful museums scattered around the city. This cosmopolitan oasis is full of so much to do and see that we have composed the following list for you:

    • St. Josep La Boqueria: This vibrant European food market makes for a great place to catch a bite to eat or drink. Fresh vegetables, fruit, seafood and meats can be found here, along with mouth-watering tapas and pastries. Sample chocolate, local delicacies, hams, spices and even nuts. Just make sure you are hungry when you arrive! This is the perfect place for an informal lunch, with many foods to choose from.

    • All-things-Gaudí: Few have had such an impact on the Barcelonan skyline than Antoni Gaudí. His architectural gems attract millions of tourists per year to Barcelona. His striking artwork can be found all over the city – such as the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Güell park and La Pedrera. Although in our opinion, the Casa Batlló located in downtown Barcelona is the best example of Gaudí style.

    • Barceloneta: If you’re looking for vibrant nightlife full of bars, clubs, coffee houses and restaurants, then head to the Ciutat Vella district in Barcelona. Initially the fisherman’s district, this neighbourhood is nestled between the old town, port and beaches. This is the perfect location in Barcelona to grab some food or drink under the esplanade. The area also benefits from being easy reached by bus and underground.

    • Montjuïc: Overlooking the 1992 Olympic stadium, take a hike up this hill for a peaceful look over the city. From high above you’ll also catch a glimpse of Barcelona’s Botanical Garden and Plaça Espanya. On your journey you can also visit the 8th century fortress – Castell de Montjuïc – or take a stroll through the Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier designed gardens. If you don’t fancy walking up the hill, then a cable car is also available.

    • Pintxos, seafood and crema Catalana: You cannot visit Barcelona without trying some of its classic foods. With so much fresh seafood on offer, try the trifásico – shrimps, whitebait and squid rings – these are not to be missed. At night head over to a tapas bar and ask for a Pintxos. These are bite-sized ingredients served on white bread. Alternatively, try tallarines, which are succulent wedge clams! For desert you have to try the Creama Catalana, similar to Crème Brûlée.

    Best day trips with my car hire in Barcelona

    Few places can match the uniqueness and impressive landscapes of Catalonia. With so many places to visit and things to do it can be a challenge to fit it all in. An abundance of wildlife, fishing villages, vineyards and medieval towns, make for an interesting holiday. Take full advantage of your car rental from Barcelona to head further out and explore what else is on offer:


    One of the most popular daytrips to go on and the ideal way to discover the local Spanish countryside with a car hire from Barcelona, is a visit to Montserrat. Surround yourself with some amazing landscapes full of rough rocky formations and local wildlife. A cable car will effortlessly take you up the mountain side for an uninterrupted view over the area. The 10th century Santa Maria del Montserrat monastery houses over 150 monks and makes for an interesting experience.


    In only one and a half hours north of Barcelona, along the AP7, you’ll reach Girona. A town full of history, colourful streets, narrow alleyways and plenty of cafes – it has resisted a total of 25 sieges throughout its long history. The city walls, which were originally built by the Romans and have subsequently been enlarged, are ideal for overlooking much of the town. A town full of little quaint shops and plenty of character and charm. Consider taking a leisurely walk along the Onyar River or pay a visit to Girona’s Gothic Cathedral.


    This small nation is high up in the mountains between Spain and France. Only 3 hours by car from Barcelona, Andorra is a great setting for a day trip in the Pyrenees Mountain. Not only will you be able to enjoy fresh mountain air and beautiful landscapes, you’ll also have plenty of trekking opportunities. INUU/Caldea is Europe’s largest spa and is a great place to stay the day. During winter we would advise winter tyres.


    Located on the Costa Dorada, Sitges is a fishing town around 21 miles from Barcelona. With its 26 gorgeous beaches and coastline to explore, a daytrip here is a must. You can either spend the day on the beach or take a leisurely stroll around the town. Spend a lazy afternoon at one of its many restaurants or coffee houses. Being such a multicultural area means that you’ll find plenty of food variety to choose from. Also, consult the town’s website for an up-to-date agenda of local festivals, such as the Carneval and Festa Major.

    Geographic Information & History

    Barcelona is located on the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula next to the Mediterranean Sea. Built on a plain, the city is surrounded by the Collserola mountain range, Llobregat River and Besòs River. Barcelona has a mild climate, with summer around 24ºC and winter 10ºC. All of which makes the city a great place to visit all year round. It is also good to note that July sees the most daily sunshine, whilst October the greatest rainfall.

    Carthaginians and Phoenicians founded the city with the original name being Barcino – after the Carthaginian ruler Hamilcar Barca. Throughout history, the city was occupied by the Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Frankish Carolingian. The Spanish Reconquest in 795AD saw the area be divided into numerous counties. The county of Barcelona emerged and was the most important one. This gave way to Catalan identity through the establishing of the hereditary system of succession.

    Catalonia came under the Crown of Aragon and as such Barcelona started to lose its importance. Regular conflicts with Madrid saw Catalonia go to war with Spain in the 17th century, and successfully declare its independence with French support. In the 19th century, Barcelona started to gain its importance again along with a stronger sense of national identity, culture, traditions and started to push for greater political freedom. Subsequent years were followed by unsuccessful independence movements which were quashed by the Spanish government in Madrid.

    Barcelona remains one of Spain’s powerhouses and important cities. It has its own unique language, culture and traditions. In 1992 Barcelona successfully hosted the Olympic Games and in 1999 it received the Royal Gold Medal for architecture. Political tensions with central government in Madrid still exist, but Barcelona is still a safe city to visit with plenty of art, history and culture to explore.

    How to get around Barcelona

    The city has a modern integrated transport network consisting of tram, train, bus and metro. Following is a little more information in regards to these:


    Barcelona’s main train station is called Sants. Regional trains operate out of this station with routes all over Spain. Operators are Renfe and AVE, with AVE being Spain’s high-speed train operator. AVE trains will take you in around two hours to Madrid. A second main train station exists in Barcelona called Passeig de Gràcia. This station is more centrally located and has an integrated metro station.


    There are six tram lines and 56 stops in Barcelona. All of which are operated by TRAM. Trams operate from 5am until midnight Monday to Thursday, including Sunday. On Friday and Saturday trams terminate at 2am instead. Single tickets are available for the trams only or for use with other integrated public transport. Cost varies up to 9 euros and is also dependent on zones purchased. Tickets can be bought at TRAM ticket machines, kiosks, La Caixa and newsagents.


    With around 200 underground stations and 8 underground lines, Barcelona has an extensive metro system. Lines are identified by a number and colour. The L9 orange line operates from the airport to the Zona Universitaria via Barcelona City. Lines are operated by TBM with tickets being available at TBM ticket machines and online. Please consult the official website for up to date costs. Single, Multi-journey and day travelcards are available. A Barcelona travelcard is known as a Hola BCN and can last up 72 hours. The underground is open from 5am until midnight, closing at 2am Fridays and running all night on Saturday.


    Available all week, the bus network is operated by TBM. Buses run throughout the city and into urban areas. The network is extensive and modern. The routes are running during the day with only a handful operating at night to areas not covered by the underground system. It is good to note that bus fares are the same as the underground fares. Please consult the TBM Barcelona website for up-to-date information on coverage and costs.


    City taxis come in black and yellow, and are metered. Costs vary depending on the time and date, with extra fees being implemented if necessary for such things as baggage, etc. Fares from main travel hubs such as the airport and cruise terminal cost more, likewise for a direct journey into downtown Barcelona. Make sure you consult with the driver the estimated fare before setting off on your journey.

    Useful links

    Tourism Information