How to travel by metro
How to locate stations
If you wish to travel by metro, you will recognise the entrance to stations by means of various elements of signage. The banner sign bearing the TMB logo serves to identify the entrance.
At the entrance itself you will also find information panels showing:
- The name of the station.
- The line or lines it gives access to.
- A map of the network.
- The timings for access to metro premises and services.
- Maps of the immediate area showing alternative access points.
How to access the metro
If you are carrying luggage, a bicycle or a child stroller you should use the elevators. If the station has no elevators you can use the escalators. To do this safely, you should fold up the stroller and carry the child in your arms.
Also, for safety reasons, avoid using escalators if you are wearing flip-flops. At stations without escalators, use the elevators.
In all cases, avoid placing your feet close to the metal teeth protruding from the step behind or standing close to the side edges.
Unless travelling with small children, position yourself to the right hand side of the escalators. That way, passengers in a hurry can pass you on the left hand side.
Once in the ticket hall, you will find useful information about your journey, as well as the transport tickets you need.
If you do not have a ticket, you should buy one from the ticket machines available because, in order to pass through the turnstiles, you must have your ticket stamped by the validating machine.
Some validating machines are located with the turnstile immediately to their right (you validate your ticket on the left hand side and go through the turnstile to the right) and others have doors on the left (you validate on the right hand side and the door opens on the left). In both cases there are arrows that indicate which turnstile or door will be activated.
It is unwise to run anywhere within metro premises; any risk of mishap or injury to yourself or other passengers should be avoided.
How to buy a travel ticket from a ticket machine
The Barcelona metro network automatic ticket machines allow you to select the language in which you would like messages to appear. The languages available are: Catalan, Spanish, English and French. The default language is Catalan.
Next, you need to choose the type of travel ticket you wish to buy. The initial screen shows the most common ticket types; if you need another type of travel pass you need to click on the “Others” option.
Once you have selected your ticket, you must choose the quantity (using the plus and minus signs to the left of the screen) and, if appropriate, the number of zones (using the plus and minus signs to the right of the screen).
The ticket machine will display the total cost of your order and the value of the banknotes accepted for that particular order. The charging systems are also activated (coins, notes or charge cards).
Payment using coins or banknotes must always be made in euros. However, if you use a bank card to pay for your tickets that uses a currency other than the euro, you can choose between being charged in euros or in your own currency. The ticket machine will issue a purchase receipt.
For any other operations not using a payment card with a different currency to the euro, the purchase receipt is issued if requested by clicking on the button “Payment Receipt”.
How to start your journey
Once your ticket is validated, remember that it is valid for a maximum of 120 minutes and that throughout the metro's premises you will find signage, diagrams of the lines, network and zone maps, monitors with information about waiting times and other information of interest as well as a public address system. Before accessing the platform, find out which direction you should be travelling in by studying the diagrams of the line.
TMB staff can provide you with assistance and information about your journey.
How to board a metro carriage
On the platform, you are recommended to find an area where there are fewer people; if all passengers were to space themselves out along the full length of the platform, getting on and off trains would be quicker and more comfortable for everybody. If you are a wheelchair user, we recommend that you board and disembark using the second door of the first carriage as this is one of the areas with the best visibility.
Stay behind the safety line until the train has come to a complete halt.
To board the train, you should first allow those who have finished their journey to get off. Boarding and disembarking in an orderly and fluid manner helps to reduce stoppage time and improves the regularity of the network and train frequency.
Mind the gap between the carriage step and the platform, especially at stations with curved platforms.
Also, while on the train, you should avoid standing by the carriage doors to make it easier for other passengers to get on and off the train, as indicated in the recommendations given inside the carriages.
Remember that you must not attempt to get on or off the train once the door closing alert signal has sounded.
Inside the metro carriage
Each carriage has a number of seats reserved for the elderly, pregnant women and people with reduced mobility. All of these people should always be given seating priority.
Apart from the information shown on the diagrams of the lines and all the network maps, the upcoming stations and connections to other lines are announced over the PA system.
How to get off the metro
To open the carriage door, you need to press a button or turn a small lever, according to the model of the train.
Once again, pay attention to the door closing alert and mind the gap between the carriage step and the platform, especially in stations with curved platforms.
Directional information is provided on every platform. When you get to your destination station you can use it to locate the various exits. You will also find a map of the local area that shows places of urban and cultural interest as well as the nearest bus stops and routes for continuing your journey. This information is also available in the ticket halls.
How to request assistance
If you feel unwell or unsafe or witness a wrongful act, the most important thing to do is advise the Metro Control Centre immediately so that they can provide assistance as quickly as possible.
You can request assistance using one of the 2,300 intercoms distributed across the network or by contacting TMB station staff.
If you are in a position to request assistance, press the SOS button on the intercom and answer the questions put to you by the Metro Control Centre to help them take control of the situation. If you are unable to do this, another passenger can do it on your behalf.
If you start feeling unwell it is advisable to get off the train at the nearest station and ask the metro staff for help or get somebody to ask for you. This way you will be attended to more swiftly and efficiently. As far as possible, stay on the platform or in the lobby to facilitate access and attention from medical staff. If initial symptoms appear before getting on the train, stay on the platform, don’ t get on.
If you suspect that another passenger is having a heart attack and the station is equipped with a defibrillator next to the SOS intercom, you should take the device out of its container and follow the instructions.
The Metro's Civil Security and Protection Centre compiles and organises the information about each indisposition in order to request the appropriate resources to deal with it in a coordinated way: SEM (medical emergency service) , Bombers (firefighters), Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan regional police), Guàrdia Urbana (local police), private security firms, etc. In the case of healthcare services, the operators make direct contact with the employee who is assisting the indisposed person to obtain further medical information, give guidance and assess if and what kind of medical assistance team should be sent. At the same time, Metro employees will take care of emptying a train or clearing a space on the platform if necessary, so that the medical team are able to work under the best possible conditions.
Watch the video on YouTube What to do if a passenger falls ill on the metro.
When travelling on the metro, you can check which stations are adapted for people with reduced mobility on the network maps available at all stations; you can also locate them on the online metro map.
Barcelona's entire metro network of Barcelona is accessible apart from a few stations. Check which stations are pending adaptation.
Available at the Punts TMB information and customer service offices is a relief map of the metro network and a guide to the metro in Braille.