Sleeping in Airports

Barcelona El Prat Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Barcelona El Prat Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

Stepping inside the terminal from steamy heat into the freezer that was El Prat gave me a helluva jolt. -Alex

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us about their time at Barcelona El Prat Airport.

What to Expect

Barcelona El Prat Airport has two terminals, both of which are fairly utilitarian. Terminal 1 is new, modern and easy to navigate. It handles the majority of flights, including those going to European and International destinations. Terminal 2 has three sections, with 2B and 2C catering to low-cost carriers. You can move between the terminals by shuttle bus or taxi.

There are a variety of restaurants located through the airport, a few of which are open 24 hours. Some travellers report particularly high prices, making a case for bringing food in from outside. The airport offers free, unlimited WiFi.  For those looking for a little added comfort, there are first class lounges that economy class passengers can pay to access.  See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and access information.

Where to Sleep

Barcelona El Prat is fairly popular with airport sleepers; however, that is not because it is especially comfortable or convenient. The airport itself doesn’t have much in the way of frills or comforts. Most of the chairs have armrests, and the floors are tiled and cold. Staff are tolerant of overnighters, but some sleepers do report being woken up to have their documents checked.

In terms of where specifically to sleep, Terminal 1 on the upper level is generally quieter with less overhead lights, and Gate U in Terminal 2 has armrest-free chairs and a 24-hour restaurant. However, given given how many people overnight here, it can be difficult to secure one of the better spots. Best to bring a blanket, an eye mask and noise cancelling headphones or earplugs.
If you’re looking for uninterrupted sleep, there are private rooms in Terminal 1, and other hotels nearby are connected by shuttles.  See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

Good to Know

During Barcelona’s high season, the check-in and security lines can be very slow. Plan to spend at least 3 – 4 hours in the airport during this time.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door or through a lounge membership program (ie. Priority Pass). Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Sala VIP Colomer – Location: Terminal 1, Airside, Barcelona – Madrid Shuttle Area. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door •  Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Sala Pau Casals – Location: Terminal 1, Airside. Schengen and Domestic flights only. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Sala Joan Miro – Location: Terminal 1, Airside, towards Gates D. Non-Schengen flights only. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Sala CIP Canudas –  Closed for renovations until January 2019 – Location: Terminal 2, Airside, B Gates, opposite Gates 30-39. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door. [ more lounge info ]

Business Centre – This is a multi-purpose room run by the same company that operates the VIP Lounges listed above. They have 5 boardrooms; 5 offices measuring 25m; a fitness area with a gym, change room and showers; and rest units measuring 25-35m that include a bed, shower or full bathroom. Location: Terminal 1, Floor 1. Rates: unknown.

Airport Hotels & Day Rooms

If sleeping in Barcelona El Prat Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels inside and near the airport:

Inside Airport Sleep & Fly Barcelona – There are 9 rooms and 1 suite available located inside Terminal 1 on the 1st floor. Rooms come equipped with double bed, private bathroom, flat screen TV, telephone, robe and slippers, and additional amenities and services. Rooms can be booked for day use (3-6 hours) between the hours 10:00AM – 6:00PM or overnight. Air Rooms Barcelona is open 24/7 all year round. Location: Terminal 1, landside area at the Business Centre, next to the Barcelona-Madrid corridor. » Check Rates

Near Airport TRYP Barcelona Aeropuerto – (3 minutes from the airport) This is the closest hotel to the airport. Free 24-hour airport shuttle bus runs between hotel, T1, and T2. » Check Rates

Near Airport BAH Barcelona Airport Hotel – (5 minutes from the airport) Free 24-hour airport shuttle bus runs every 20 to 30 minutes between hotel and the airport, all year round. » Check Rates

Near Airport Salles Hotel Ciutat del Prat – (8 minutes) A free shuttle departs every 30 minutes. » Check Rates

Near Airport Best Western Hotel Alfa Aeropuerto – (10 minutes) Free shuttle service operates from 5:00AM to 12:30PM. » Check Rates

To see more options there is a list of hotels near El Prat Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport WiFi/Internet

Unlimited free basic WiFi is available at Barcelona El Prat Airport. Connect to the “AIRPORT FREE WIFI AENA” network.

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

Communications

  • Post Office – Have postcards to send to your friends and family? Post boxes are available in both terminals. Locations: T1, Floor 3 • T2B, Floor 0.
  • WiFi – see “Airport WiFi/Internet” above.

Family Services

  • Children’s Play Area – When you want to ensure your kids burn off all their energy before their flight, take them to a children’s play area. Locations: Terminal 1 (P3 and P1) • Terminal 2 (P1, Gate Y).
  • Security Lanes for Families – If you are travelling with children, you can take advantage of the security lanes that have been designated for families. Locations: Terminal 1, Floor 3, South • Terminal 1, Floor 3, North • Terminal 2, Floor 1.
  • Strollers – Make getting around the airport with your child much easier, thanks to the airport’s luggage trolleys which are equipped with child seats. These trolley must be requested at the Information Desks. Locations: T1, P1, Sky Center • T2, P1, Boarding Area S.

Food & Drinks

  • Drinking Water – Thirsty? Drinking fountains are available throughout the airport landside and airside in both terminals.
  • Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours:
    • Terminal 1, Landside: Caffe di Fiore (Arrivals, 1st Floor) • La Tramoia (Arrivals, 1st Floor) • Lizarran (Arrivals,1st Floor).
    • Terminal 1, Airside: Caffe di Fiore (Boarding Area C, 1st Floor) • Coffee Republic (Shopping Center, 1st Floor) • Santamaria (Shopping Center, 1st Floor).
    • Terminal 2, Landside: Caffe di Fiore (Arrivals, Floor 0) • Pans & Company (Departure Area, 2nd Floor).

Information

  • Information Desks – Have any questions? Located throughout the airport terminals. Terminal 1: two landside and five airside • Terminal 2: two landside and three airside. Hours: open 24 hours.

Luggage

  • Luggage Storage & Lockers – Enjoy a hands-free layover by storing your luggage in the Left Luggage Office. Rates are from €6 – €9 per bag or item, depending on size, for the first two hours, then €10 – €15 per bag or item per 24-hour period after that. Discounts are given for multiple bags/items stored per transaction, and for any item or bag stored for eight days or more. Locations: T1, Ground Floor (24 hour location) • T2B, landside, Check-In Hall, Ground Floor. (Hours: 6:00AM – 10:00PM).
  • Luggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your bags? Regular baggage carts are available free of charge in the parking lots, check-in, arrivals and departures areas. For the luggage trolleys equipped with Maxi-Cosi child seats, visit the Information Desk.
  • Luggage Wrapping – Protect your bags from theft and damage by having your bags wrapped in plastic. SecureBag luggage wrapping services are available in T1, landside, Check-In Hall, 3rd Floor • T2B, landside, Check-In Hall, Ground Floor. Rates and hours unknown.

Medical Services

  • Pharmacy – Farmacia Locations: T1, landside, Departures 3rd Floor. Hours: 6:00AM – 9:30PM • T2, landside, Departures Ground Floor (Floor 0). Hours: 9:00AM – 8:30PM.

Mobile Charging

  • Mobile Phone Charging – There are 12 mobile phone charging units distributed throughout the two terminals. Each unit has 6 lockers that can hold mobile phones and mp3 players. Locations: T1 food court • T1, Sky Center • Terminal 2 between module 1 and 3. Additionally, the airport has 10 work stations available in both terminals which are equipped with plugs for all your devices.

Money

  • ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Landside and Airside areas of Terminals 1 and 2.
  • Banking Services – CaixaBank offers full-service banking and currency exchange in the airport. Locations: T1, 1st Floor in La Plaza (Hours: 7:30AM – 10:00PM daily, year-round) • T2B, Arrivals Hall, Ground Floor (Hours: 7:30AM – 8:30PM daily, year-round).
  • Currency Exchange – Global Exchange Locations: T1, landside, Check-In Hall, 3rd Floor • T1, airside, 3rd Floor, Boarding Area D (non-Schengen) • T1, airside, 1st Floor, Sky Center (Schengen) • T1, landside, 1st Floor, Baggage Claim Hall • T2A, landside, Floor 0, Arrivals Hall • T2B, landside, Ground Floor, Baggage Claim Hall • T2C, landside, Ground Floor, Forecourt • T2, airside, 1st Floor, Boarding Areas U-W.

Prayer

  • Chapel & Prayer Room – A Christian chapel and an interfaith chapel are available at the airport. Location: T1, landside, La Plaza, 1st Floor (both chapels are next to each other). Hours: 6:00AM – 10:30PM.

Rest & Relaxation

Security

  • Police & Security– Available 24 hours per day. Locations: Terminal 1, Floor 3, Ticketing • Terminal 2A, Floor 0, Arrivals Hall.

Shopping

  • Duty Free & Shopping – Duty-free shopping is available in the boarding areas of Terminals 1 and 2. A wide variety of retail shops are available throughout the airport.
  • VAT Refund – All foreigners or Spanish citizens not residing in Spain or in a European Union country who are travelling to a third country are entitled to a Value Added Tax (VAT) refund on their purchases in Spain. To do this, after stamping Tax Free cheques at Customs, passengers must go to one of the banks where they can receive their VAT refund. There are A few Guardia Civil locations: Terminal 1, floor 3, Ticketing Level • Terminal 2B, Floor 0, Arrivals Level. Hours: open 24 hours.

Showers, Salon & Spa

  • Hairdresser – Hairdressing and hair removal are services available in certain Aqua Spa locations. Locations: Locations: T1, airside, Departures 1st Floor • T1, airside, 2nd Floor, west side • T2, airside, 1st Floor.
  • Showers – Showers are available in the Air Rooms [ see Airport Hotels above ]. Location: Terminal 1, landside, 1st Floor. Rate: €20 for a 30-minute shower, including a toiletries kit. Breakfast is available for €6, and WiFi is also available for a fee. Showers are also available in a few of the lounges. [ see Airport Lounges above ]
  • Spa & Salon Services – Express spa services are available at Aqua Salon Spa. Locations: T1, airside, Departures 1st Floor, one location each in Schengen and Non-Schengen areas • T1, airside, Departures 3rd Floor, Boarding Area D • T2, airside, Departures 1st Floor, Boarding Area U.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

Note: a reader (2019) mentioned that Terminal 2C is open from 4:00AM – 12:00AM. We have not been able to independently verify this. We suggest reading a few reviews before attempting to sleep in this terminal.

Airlines

As of November 2019, Barcelona El Prat airport is served by the following airlines:

  • Terminal 1: Aegean Airlines • Aeroflot • Aeromexico • Air Algerie • Air Baltic • Air Canada • Air China • Air Europa • Air France • Air Nostrum • Alitalia • American Airlines • Arkia Israeli Airlines • Asiana Airlines • Avianca • BA Cityflyer • British Airways • Brussels Airlines • Cathay Pacific • Croatia Airlines • Czech Airlines • Delta Air Lines • EgyptAir • El Al Israel Airlines • Emirates • Etihad Airlines • Finnair • Iberia • KLM • Korean Air • LATAM • LEVEL • LOT • Lufthansa • Qatar Airways • Rossiya Airlines • Royal Air Maroc • Royal Flight • Royal Jordanian • SAS • Singapore Airlines • Swiss • S7 Airlines • TAP Portugal • Tarom • Transavia • Tunisair • Turkish Airlines • Ukraine International Airlines • United Airlines • Vueling.
  • Terminal 2: Aer Lingus • Air Arabia Maroc • Air Armenia • Air Serbia • Air Transat • Azur Air • Belavia • Blue Air • Blue Bird • Bulgaria Air • easyJet • Enter Air • Eurowings • Evelop • Georgian Airways • Jet2 • Laudamotion • Luxair • Mahan Air • Nesma Airlines • Nile Air • Norwegian • PIA Airlines • Pegasus Airlines • Qatar Airways • Rossiya Airlines • Ryanair • SkyUp Airlines • SmartWings • Sundair • Transavia • Ural Airlines • Wizz Air.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Car Rentals

The following car rental companies have offices onsite in both Terminals: Avis/Budget • Enterprise • Europcar • Firefly • Goldcar/InterRent • Hertz/Thrifty • Sixt.

Bus

Bus transportation is available from terminals 1 and 2 and connect travelers to the center of Barcelona and nearby towns, such as Catalonia and Andorra. For more details visit the Aerobus web site.

From Terminal 1 or 2, the Aerobus A1 and Aerobus A2 travels 35 minutes to the city center with strategic stops along the way. From Terminal 1 and 2, Line 46 connects to the plaza de España de Barcelona through El Prat de Llobregat and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels provide airport transportation service as a courtesy to their guests. Here are a few hotels offering airport shuttle service: Barcelona Airport Hotel   •   Best Western Alfa Aeropuerto   •   FrontAir Congress   •   Barcelona Tower   •   Hotel Fira Congress   •   Salles Hotel Ciutat del Prat   •   Tryp Barcelona Aeropuerto.

Metro

L9 Sud metro line connects the airport (with stops at both terminals) to Zona Universitària, stopping at Fira, Parc Logístic and Mercabarna.

Train

A commuter train is also available that services areas between the airport, Barcelona and various parts of Catalonia, such as El Prat de Llobregat, Granollers. The estimated travel time is 27 minutes to Passeig de Gràcia, with El Prat de Llobregat only 6 minutes away. The North Line R2 arrives departs every 30 minutes.

Taxi

Taxi service is available opposite terminal T1, Barcelona-Madrid Corridor, and terminals T2 A and T2 B arrivals areas.

Last updated: 2019-11-13

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.