Barcelona Airport TerminalsThe Two Terminal Buildings that Handle the Notable BCN Passenger Traffic
How Many Terminals Serve El Prat Barcelona Airport?
Barcelona Airport consists of two terminal buildings located at a 4 km distance from each other. In-between terminal transfers are handled via free shuttles. The shuttle buses frequently run, departing every 5-10 minutes and reaching their destination in approximately 10 minutes.
In general terms, international and Schengen flights fly from and to T1, whereas T2 mainly serves flights that are either regional/domestic or non-Schengen. What’s more, T2 is divided into 3 interlinked sections. Thus, checking out which terminal you are arriving at or departing from is important to avoid any potential hassle and is crucial in case of transit flights with a limited in-between waiting time.
The “New” BCN Terminal Building 1
Barcelona airport T1 was launched in 2009 and was the inspiring creation of the architect Ricardo Bofill. Progressively, the new air terminal gathered the main airport passenger traffic, hence leading to the renaming of the old terminal into “terminal 2”. Nowadays, T1 handles the vast majority of El Prat airport traffic, serving mostly international, European, and Schengen flights, as well as some non-Schengen and low-cost flights.
The newer El Prat terminal building 1 covers almost 550.000㎡ and is listed among the 10 largest European terminals. It is spread into 3 levels. The ground level hosts the arrivals area, while level 1 is the location of the departures. In fact, boarding areas A, B, and C are located on the T1 first floor. Thus, most BCN passengers begin their flying journey there. At level 2, passengers may find the airport lounges and the passport controls, whereas the boarding areas D and E, dedicated mainly to non-European flights, are located at level 3. Hence, the Departure area is divided between the first and the third floor.
The first level also houses a large 20.000㎡ shopping zone, home to a wide variety of shops and dining options. Among them, a special selection of unique products and luxury brands is worth mentioning. A second, significantly smaller area with shopping facilities is to be found on the third level before boarding gates D and E.
Our Tip: Good news for smokers! T1 has an especially designated outdoor smoking area. It is actually an outdoor terrace right after the security controls. Keep in mind that the relative signage instructions for the smoking area aren’t very clear.
The “Old”, Yet Reorganised El Prat Terminal Building 2
Before 2009, Barcelona Airport had only one terminal building. This old air terminal is still in use under the name T2. Moreover, it spreads into 3 interconnected sections. Those sections are commonly known as T2A, T2B, and T2C. The 2B area is, in fact, the old terminal building, while the other 2 zones were added later on as the airport was becoming popular and important. The 1992 Summer Olympics -held in Barcelona- became an important boost for the El Prat airport’s development. Thus, at that point, the infrastructure of T2 completely changed, and it was expanded with the addition of T2A and T2C. The new sections were also designed by Ricardo Bofill.
At present, T2 primarily hosts regional and low-cost flights. T2A mainly serves non-Schengen flights, while T2B is reserved for Schengen flights. Finally, EasyJet and EasyJet Switzerland fly from and to T2C. Note that the distance between the 3 sections is easily walkable.
T2 offers an interesting enough shopping experience, although its shopping area is significantly smaller than the T1’s respective zone. It may not have the variety of the T1 shopping Plaza, but passengers can find almost whatever they are looking for, from gift shops to fashion brands, duty-free stores, spas, and beauty and wellness centers.
Our Tip: You won’t find a designated smoking area at terminal building 2 of El Prat Airport. Smoking is allowed only outside the airport facilities.
Transportation between Barcelona Airport Terminals
The two airport terminals are connected via the free airport shuttle bus. The airport shuttles run around the clock, every 7 minutes from 05:00 am to 08:00 am and 08:00 pm to 00:00 am, 5 minutes from 08:00 am to 08:00 pm, and every 10 minutes from 00:00 am to 05:00 am. The bus stops are to be found at the Departures level 3 of T1, the T1 Arrivals area (level 0), the Departures of T2B, and the external road of T2C. Buses need 10 minutes to head from T1 to T2B and T2C and 14 minutes from T2 to T1. On the other hand, T2B and T2C are only a 1-minute ride away.
Which terminal does Ryanair fly into Barcelona?
Ryanair is served by El Prat terminal 2, as T2 is the terminal that mainly serves low-cost flights.
Which terminal is international at Barcelona Airport?
The new T1 handles the vast majority of the flights that fly from or to BCN Airport. Hence, international flights are primarily served by T1. Nevertheless, some international flights also operate from T2. Thus, you should always check which is your arrival or departure terminal.