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3 Ways To Get From Salou To Barcelona

Lucy & Michael here, we hope our expert tips, advice and experience to make planning your next escape to Barcelona that little bit easier. Enjoy!

Salou is a popular coastal town for holidaymakers located in the province of Tarragona, just over an hour’s drive from Barcelona. 

Whilst there’s plenty to do in Salou, such as enjoy the beautiful beaches, experience the lively nightlife and visit the famous PortAventura theme park, many people take a day trip from Salou to Barcelona to take in all the sights Barcelona has to offer. 

From the famous La Sagrada Família to the breathtaking Mount Tibidabo, Barcelona will make your jaw drop at every turn, which is why we would recommend a visit if you’re in Salou or in the surrounding areas.

Having taken this route multiple times, in this post we will explain some of the best ways to travel from Salou to Barcelona, ensuring you save time and money along the way. 

Whilst you can get a direct train from Salou (Port Aventura train station) to Barcelona, we actually recommend getting the train from Tarragona train station (Camp Tarragona), as they are faster (the quickest trains only take 36 minutes) and more frequent. 

One thing to be aware of, as Barcelona is a popular tourist destination there are pickpockets throughout the city. They also operate on the train lines running into the city and can prey on tourists if they look like an easy target. We have seen this first-hand when passengers have had items stolen whilst standing up on a busy train. As long as you are aware of it and don’t have your items out of sight (e.g. on your back or in your back pockets) you should be fine!

Here’s some quick need-to-know information;

Is there a direct train from Salou to Barcelona? 

There is a direct train from Salou (Port Aventura) to Barcelona, which runs 4-5 times a day in the week, and 6 times a day on the weekend. 

We recommend getting the train from Tarragona, however, as the trains are faster and run more frequently.

If you do want to take the train from Salou, then Port Aventura train station is around a 25-minute walk from Salou’s center. Alternatively, a taxi ride takes around 11 minutes.

How long does it take to travel from Salou to Barcelona? 

The train from Salou (Port Aventura) to Barcelona takes on average one and a half hours.

How much is the train fare from Salou to Barcelona? 

The direct train from Salou (Port Aventura) to Barcelona costs 7,70 €. 

Getting To Tarragona From Salou

As mentioned above, we would recommend getting the train from Tarragona to Barcelona, as the trains are more frequent and the fastest train only takes 36 minutes. 

We’ve travelled by taxi from Salou to Camp Tarragona station before when visiting Barcelona for the day. The journey took just under 20 minutes and cost us 20€. We’d expect the price to be a little higher now, so expect to pay between 25€ – 30€. 

If you don’t want to spend that much on a taxi, you can get a bus from Salou to Tarragona, which takes between 30 – 45 minutes. There are buses roughly every half an hour, and times and frequency change depending on which bus stop in Salou you are close to. 

We’d recommend checking out the up-to-date timelines on the local bus company website before you travel.

Tarragona Train Station (Camp Tarragona)

Tarragona train station (Camp Tarragona) is a relatively new and modern train station, having been built in 2006 as part of the Madrid-Barcelona high-speed railway.

The trains from here to Barcelona take just over half an hour, whereas trains from the other train station in central Tarragona take just over an hour, and also run less frequently.

Train Times & Schedule

Trains from Camp Tarragona to Barcelona are fairly regular (there’s an average of 31 trains that leave from Tarragona to Barcelona each day), but there are a number of things to be aware of. 

Firstly, the majority of trains into Barcelona are after 12pm, with there often only being 3 trains operating in the morning. So if you are travelling into Barcelona for one day and want to make the most of it, make sure you check the timetables and book your ticket on an early train in advance (you can read more about booking tickets below). 

Secondly, is that Sunday services are even slower in the morning. The first train usually starts at 08:30, but then there isn’t another train for another couple of hours.

Whatever day you are travelling, we would fully recommend getting the earliest train you can so you have more time to spend in Barcelona.

Ticket Prices & Booking Tickets Online

Ticket prices vary massively, with the most expensive being 31,38€, and the cheapest being 7,36€.

The morning trains range from 19,44€ to 25,50€ for an adult ticket. These are some of the most expensive tickets, but we believe those extra hours in Barcelona are really worth it.

You can book your tickets online in advance on Trainline Europe, where your tickets will then be delivered via email. We would strongly recommend doing this to ensure you get a ticket for your desired train, as some of the earlier trains do sell out.

You will also avoid the stress of having to purchase your ticket when you get to the station too.

Arriving At Barcelona Sants Train Station

Both the trains from Camp Tarragona station and Tarragona station arrive in Barcelona Sants train station.

Barcelona Sants is situated in centre of the city, and if you don’t mind a stroll through the bustling streets then you can walk to some of the more famous landmarks.

LandmarkWalking Time
Magic Fountain of Montjuïc20 minutes
Camp Nou30 minutes
Casa Milà31 minutes
Las Ramblas35 minutes
Plaça de Catalunya36 minutes
Barcelona Cruise Terminal & port area40 minutes
Cathedral of Barcelona43 minutes
Gothic Quarter45 minutes
La Sagrada Família49 minutes

For those who are visiting for the first time and want to get a good feel for the city, we would strongly recommend getting tickets for the City Sightseeing Hop on Hop off bus tour, which you can use throughout the day to both get around Barcelona and see some sights along the way.

The Hop on Hop off bus stops directly outside Barcelona Sants station, as stop number 5 on the red route, which will take you around Montjuïc and then into Barcelona Port and the coastal area of Barcelona.

Unfortunately this means you have to wait until the last stop if you wish to switch onto the blue route, but both routes are a must see and the benefit of being able to hop on and hop off at your leisure means this is only a minor inconvenience.

Barcelona City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off Map Route
Screenshot taken via City Sightseeing

If you want to make your own way around Barcelona, then the Sants Estació subway station is just a 3 minute walk away, which can then connect you to the rest of Barcelona.

Driving From Salou To Barcelona

Driving To Barcelona From Salou

If you have a rental car whilst on holiday in Salou or other nearby resorts, then you may wish to drive into Barcelona.

The drive from Salou to Barcelona is 107.6km and usually takes around 1 hour & 20 minutes, although it can take a little longer depending on traffic.

Beware of Toll Roads

The quickest route, highlighted above, takes you onto the C-32 road. The C-32 is a Spanish toll road, and the drive from Salou to Barcelona requires you to pay tolls in two different sections of the C-32.

The total cost of tolls from Salou to Barcelona is roughly €12, although this is subject to change from time to time. Both tolls are paid via a toll booth, which offers the option to pay by cash or card.

Some rental companies equip their cars with toll tags which automatically charge the toll to your payment details. We’d advise you to check this with your car rental company before you travel.

Parking Options In Barcelona

You might be surprised by this, but there are actually a number of reasonably priced car parks in central Barcelona. You can also reserve your parking spot if you book ahead, which we would highly recommend as some of the car parks can fill up quickly.

The bus station car park has a total of 435 parking spaces and costs 22€ for 24 hours worth of parking. You can book spaces online via Parclick, ensuring you will have a car parking space waiting for you when you get there.

The bus station is located within walking distance of La Sagrada Familia (19 minute walk) and La Ramblas (18 minute walk).

Other Car Parks In Barcelona

B:SM, the official car parking company in Barcelona, have a wide range of parking across the city. We would recommend checking out the map of their car parks, and decide which one is best for you depending on price and what you want to see in Barcelona.

Salou To Barcelona By Bus

You can travel by bus directly to Barcelona from Salou Bus Station.

Travelling by bus into Barcelona from Salou can be slightly cheaper than travelling by train, but the journey does take longer.

However, this is the only public transport option you can catch from central Salou, so the extra journey time may be worth it for the convenience.

Is there a direct coach from Salou to Barcelona?

Yes, there are regular direct buses from Salou Central Bus Station to Barcelona bus station (Estació de Sants).

How much is the coach from Salou to Barcelona?

The price depends on a number of factors, such as the date & the time of your journey, but prices usually range from 10€ to 18€.

How long does the bus take from Salou to Barcelona?

The direct bus from Salou to Barcelona takes between 2 hours and 2 hours 50 minutes depending on which company you book with.

Arriving In Barcelona

Barcelona has so much to offer, it can seem a little overwhelming at first. But with a bit of prior planning, you can make a note of things to do and ensure to get the most from your time spent in the city.

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