Whether you are an experienced airport sleeper or new to the game, this sleep guide will give you the essential information to better prepare you for sleeping in Barcelona El Prat Airport.
Our guide is updated with the help of airport sleepers who tell us about their experiences at Barcelona El Prat Airport. If you have a tip or photos to share, please take a moment to write a review to help us keep this sleep guide up-to-date!
Coronavirus Update: As of this update, we have not received any reviews from post-Covid travellers, so the information may have changed. If you have visited this airport since March 2020, please write a review, send a tip or share photos to help future travellers.
This guide was last updated: 27 August 2019. Read the latest traveller reviews.
Sleeping in Barcelona El Prat Airport
Locations & Seating
The airport accommodates many overnight sleepers, so you won’t be the only one looking for some privacy. There is plenty of seating throughout the airport, but most of it fits in with the airport’s modern vibe, so expect metal chairs with armrests – not particularly conducive to sleep. Instead, anticipate spreading out on the floors – seek out some carpet patches or bring an extra soft layer to warm up the cold tiles.
Here are a few sleep spots that travellers have reported:
- Upstairs in Terminal 1 is quieter and not as bright, but you’ll likely still wind up on the floor.
- In Terminal 2, head to Gates U37-38 for armrest-free benches. (Note that the area may be locked if you haven’t arrived early enough or on a flight that landed in this area.)
- Seek out closed cafes and restaurants – there may be chairs you can move around for a makeshift bed, as long as you’re lucky and security staff don’t prevent you. A recent reviewer suggested the Jamaica bar in Terminal 2B.
- The children’s play areas generally have soft, cushiony floors.
At the time of this update, there are no designated rest zones within the airport.
It gets cold here, and if you’re sleeping on the floor, it can be downright frigid! Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.
The airport does leave most lights on around-the-clock, but enough areas aren’t so bright as to prevent overnight sleeping. Come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.
There is some ambient noise depending on your sleep spot, but nothing that earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones can’t help. Occasional cleaning crews may be loud, but it seems that it’s only for a short period, as they quickly move onto the next area.
Pro-tip: If you chose a spot near any eateries, keep in mind that the staff arrive early and they can get pretty loud in the kitchen.
Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Locations: Sleep Fly, where €20 gets you a 30-minute shower plus a toiletries kit (Terminal 1, Floor 1). The following pay-to-use lounges also offer shower facilities: Joan Miro VIP Lounge (Terminal 1, near D Gates), and Pau Casais (Terminal 1, inside Security).
Food & Drink
When you get the midnight munchies or give up trying to sleep and need a coffee to stay awake, 24-hour food concessions are available. Check out these vendors:
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).
Prefer some privacy and comfort? If you would like a good solid sleep between flights without leaving the airport, you can head to Sleep & Fly Barcelona. The rooms are equipped with a double bed, private bathroom, TV, robe and toiletries, and other amenities. Book overnight or in blocks of 3-6 hours during the day. These are located in the pre-Security area of Terminal 1, so if you are in transit you’ll need to process through Security.
While Barcelona El Prat Airport has several lounges, none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you just want to relax in a comfortable seat, check out this list of lounges in our Barcelona El Prat Airport Guide that you can pay to access.
Security & Safety
Airport security guards are generally tolerant of sleeping travellers, but if you are staying the night, prepare for a midnight wake-up. Guards are simply verifying your passports and tickets.
4:00 AM seems to signal the end of the night here, when guards will begin waking everyone up as airport businesses open and more travellers arrive. It seems after this hour, you won’t be able to lie on floors or on furniture, so grab a coffee and get caffeinated till your flight.
In general, travellers haven’t mentioned feeling unsafe here, but we have had a couple reports of non-travellers and homeless folk wandering or sleeping in the public areas of the airport. As a precaution, here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe airport sleeping experience:
- Know Where Security is Located. Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras in the spot you decide to stay the night. Ask security where it is safe to spend the night. They’ve probably seen many airport sleepers before you and they will direct you to a safe spot.
- Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you are travelling alone we recommend that you sleep near other travellers. If you are sleeping in the public zone, make sure they are actual travellers and not homeless people – it is sometimes hard to tell in certain airports.
- Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with earphones and no ipod and a laptop bag strap and no laptop bag (or laptop). Same goes with important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body, so that no one can get them without waking you up.
- Secure Your Bags. If you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something. If your bags have zippers turn the bag upside down (zippers to the floor) or sleep with your bag up against the wall, so that it would be hard for someone to access.
- Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee and stay awake and be alert. You can always sleep on the plane!
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