Welcome to Barcelona cruise port! (Post updated: 2024)
Cosmopolitan. Artistic. Captivating. Whether you are a first-time visitor or have already been to Barcelona, you never get enough of it. The city has incredible energy and so many places to explore that one day in Barcelona is certainly not enough. However, if Barcelona cruise port is in your cruise itinerary, you’ll be able to see the majority of city highlights as the cruise terminal is situated close to the city center! In this informative article, you’ll read about:
- Barcelona cruise port (Barcelona cruise terminal, getting around, helpful info & links)
- Top 10 things to do in Barcelona port & Barcelona shore excursions
Barcelona Cruise Port
Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia and one of the major Mediterranean cruise ports, located in the northeast of Spain. It is one of the busiest and most visited European cruise ports, particularly due to its proximity to the city center and its main attractions.
Barcelona cruise ship port consists of 9 terminals grouped around Port Vell marina, out of which 7 are cruise terminals. Depending on the size, cruise ships dock at Quai Adossat (Moll Adossat), which consists of 4 terminals (A, B, C, D), or at the World Trade Center (WTC), which has 3 terminals (South Terminal, North Terminal, East Terminal).
Two other terminals are Sant Bertran Wharf, used for ferry transportation between Barcelona and the Balearic Islands, and Maremagnum Port Vell which can accommodate large ships, but not cruise liners.
Quai Adossat Cruise Terminals
A, B, C, and D terminals (D is also called Palacruceros) are located around 3 km/1.8 miles (a 10-minute drive) from La Rambla, the tourist hub and one of the most famous boulevards in Barcelona. Quai Adossat is connected to the city by the bridge Porta d’Europa (Puente de la Puerta de Europa).
The cruise lines may organize shuttle buses (for an additional fee) to transfer the passengers to the area of the World Trade Center, located a 5-minute walk from Christopher Columbus Monument, where La Rambla starts. These buses are wheelchair-users friendly, and you can purchase the tickets onboard or in the terminal buildings (depending on the cruise line). For guests who don’t want to take buses, taxis or a 20-40-minute walk to the city center are an alternative option.
The terminal buildings are equipped with modern facilities, such as duty-free shops, elevators, souvenir shops, a bar restaurant, an exchange office, public phones, restrooms, and ATMs. There is a taxi rank in front of each terminal, as well as a shuttle bus station and parking for tour buses. Given that Barcelona is not only a port of call but also a homeport, the terminals also feature embarkation/disembarkation facilities.
World Trade Center Terminals (WTC terminals)
South, North, and East Terminals are located at Moll de Barcelona, within a 10-minute walk from Columbus Monument and the start of La Rambla street. The three docks surround the modern, state-of-the-art building of the World Trade Center, and can accommodate cruise liners of moderate size. You can find public transport stations nearby as well.
The terminal buildings consist of duty-free and souvenir shops, an exchange office, and a small tourist information center. There are no restaurants or bars, as you can find those next door inside WTC. The terminals also feature embarkation/disembarkation facilities and suit the needs of guests with disabilities.
The cruise bus station is located near the terminals, so in case you can’t walk, you can take a round-trip ticket (prices starting at 3€), and the bus will drop you off at the Columbus Monument. Cruise buses don’t have fixed timetables – they depend on the arrival and departure times of the ships in port.
Helpful info & links:
- The port area is flat and wheelchair-accessible.
- Barcelona city center is partially flat, however, some parts are hilly so make sure you wear comfortable shoes (ex: the area surrounding Sagrada Familia is flat, but to get there, you need to walk slightly uphill).
- The currency in Barcelona (Spain) is EURO (€). ATMs and currency exchange are available at the cruise terminals and in the town. Local currency and credit cards are widely accepted.
- If you are embarking on a cruise ship in Barcelona, especially if you’re coming from the US, make sure you come to Barcelona at least two days before the embarkation to avoid the inconveniences of jet lag. If you want to fully enjoy the city, you’ll need to come at least 4-5 days before your cruise starts. Check out my article on the 15 Best Hotels near Barcelona Cruise Port
- Barcelona has an excellent public transport network which is primarily operated by TMB (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona). Drassanes is the closest metro station, located at the foot of La Rambla. It serves the L3 line, which will take you to the majority of Barcelona’s attractions. To get to Sagrada Familia, you will need to change to L2 or L5 lines and get off at Sagrada Familia station. If you’re planning to get around Barcelona by public transport, it’s recommended to get Hola Barcelona Travel Card for 17.50€ (valid for 2 days, unlimited rides). You can check the timetables, fares and get extensive information on public transport’s official webpage https://www.tmb.cat/
- Josep Tarradellas Barcelona Airport – El Prat Airport is the main Barcelona airport and is located around 15 km/9 miles (a 20-minute drive) southwest of Barcelona cruise port. The best way to get from Barcelona airport to the port of Barcelona is by taxi or a private transfer. Alternatively, you can take the Aerobus shuttle transfer which departs from the airport every 10 minutes and stops at Barcelona city center (three stops: Plaça Espanya, Gran Via-Urgell, and Plaça de l’ Universitat – Plaça Catalunya (terminus). The ticket costs 8.90€ one way and the travel time is 35 minutes. You can purchase the bus tickets online, from the driver (make sure you have coins or small bills), or at the ticket machine at the airport. Check out the private transfers from/to Barcelona cruise port
- Barcelona Hop on hop off sightseeing bus tours are also available and the bus stop is located close to the cruise terminal. Three routes are offered and all include stops at the most iconic landmarks and attractions including the Sagrada Família, Park Güell, the Pedrera, Camp Nou, La Rambla, Montjuïc and many others. You can check out the Hop on Hop off Barcelona tours on Viator and Get Your Guide
- Barcelona boasts a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and cool winters. For useful cruise packing tips, check out my article What to Pack for a Cruise – Top 55 Cruise Essentials
- Explore the best Barcelona tours and activities
10 Best Things to Do in Barcelona Cruise Port
Before I share the best things to do in Barcelona, I invite you to grab your copy of the “Mediterranean Cruise Port Guide”, the most comprehensive guide to 45 Mediterranean cruise ports (including Barcelona), packed with practical information, expert tips & unforgettable experiences! (PDF format/200 pages)
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1. Sagrada Familia
Antoni Gaudi, the Catalan architect and one of the major exponents of Catalan Modernism, dedicated 43 years of his life to La Sagrada Familia (The Church of the Sacred Family). The construction of this stunning architectural masterpiece began in 1883, and when Gaudi died in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was finished.
Obstructed during wars, the creation of the fascinating cathedral resumed after 1950 and is anticipated to be completed in 2026, commemorating the centenary of Gaudi’s death. Sagrada Familia architecture reflects his religious views and the whole temple is an ode to nature.
For the best photo ops of Sagrada Familia, go to Plaça de Gaudí Park in front of the cathedral. The surrounding area is large and beautiful, it is packed with cafes, street sellers, parks, and restaurants.
The distance between Barcelona cruise port (Moll Adossat cruise terminals) and Sagrada Familia is around 9 km/5.5 miles (a 20-25-minute drive). The taxis shouldn’t charge you more than 15-20€ per vehicle one-way. From Drassanes metro station, you can take metro line L3 and change to L2 or L5 to go to Sagrada Familia. You need to get off at Sagrada Família metro station and the entire journey takes about 15-20 minutes.
You can also book a shore excursion through your cruise line or with an independent tour operator. If you decide to come on your own, you must book the skip-the-line tickets in advance. Allow yourself at least 1 hour inside the Cathedral, and 1 hour to wander around as the surrounding area is beautiful and offers extraordinary views of Sagrada Familia.
2. Casa Batlló
Located on one of main Barcelona’s shopping and business avenues – Passeig de Gràcia, in the heart of the Eixample district, Casa Batlló is another of Gaudi’s masterpieces and one of the finest architectural examples of Gaudi’s approach to Catalan Modernism. The house belonged to a rich textile industrialist Josep Batlló who hired Antoni Gaudi in 1904 to redesign the house in an audacious and innovative architectural style that would make his house stand out among other houses on the avenue.
Casa Batlló is locally known as Casa dels Ossos (House of Bones) and Casa del Drac (House of the Dragon), due to its curving, skeletal shapes and design, and astonishing façade resembling the bony jaws of a surreal, fantastic beast. Casa Batlló’s roof resembles the back of a dragon and features a turret with a cross, which symbolically represents St. George, the patron saint of Catalonia, killing the dragon.
Casa Batlló has been declared a World Heritage Site and today belongs to different owners. A part of it is a museum open for visitors, while the majority of the rooms in the building have been rented out for multiple purposes, such as company offices and event places.
Casa Batlló is situated around 5.5 km/3.5 miles from Barcelona cruise port (Quai Adossat cruise terminals). To get to Casa Battlo, take the L3 metro line at Drassanes and get off at Passeig de Gràcia Station. A taxi ride takes about 20-25 minutes.
If you are planning to visit Casa Batlló, I recommend you book a combo tour with La Sagrada Familia, as the distance between these two Gaudi’s masterpieces is around 2 km (a 20-minute walk). Cruise ship shore excursions normally don’t include the Casa Batlló interior visit, but some tours include a stop in front of the building and a visit from the exterior. Also, if you go on your own, make sure you have a skip-the-line ticket as you don’t want to waste your time queuing in front of the museum.
3. Casa Milà (La Pedrera)
Casa Milà is another of Gaudi’s controversial artworks located only a stone’s throw from Casa Batlló – on the famous Passeig de Gràcia avenue. It was built between 1906 and 1912 for Pere Milà and his wife but changed several owners throughout the 20th century.
La Pedrera means “The stone quarry”, referring to the undulating quarry-like stone façade that consists of massive blocks of limestone and twisting wrought-iron balconies. In 1984, La Pedrera was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and two years later was bought by Caixa Catalunya, a Spanish Bank that restored the building and brought back some of the original decorations. Nowadays, a total of 4.500 square meters spread over the five floors can be visited, including an apartment and a splendid rooftop offering spectacular views of the city.
The driving distance between La Pedrera and Barcelona cruise port (Moll Adossat cruise terminals) is 6.5 km/4 miles or a 15-20 minute drive. To get to La Pedrera, follow the same instructions as for Casa Battlo, as the two buildings are located close to each other. If you want to visit both buildings inside, it’s recommended to do it one after another. Cruise ship shore excursions normally don’t include La Pedrera’s interior visit, only the exterior. To avoid waiting in line, you can book skip-the-line La Pedrera tickets online.
4. Park Güell
Sitting proudly on Carmel Hill and overlooking the city of Barcelona, Park Güell is one of Gaudi’s major works and a true gem among his masterpieces. The large park where architecture and nature come together was originally constructed between 1900 and 1914 for the Spanish entrepreneur Eusebi Güell as private property, but soon after that opened its doors to all visitors as a public park.
The park features mosaic-covered buildings, sculptures, lush vegetation, and breathtaking views over Barcelona, as well as the Gaudi House Museum (Casa Museu Gaudi), a former residence of Gaudi, where you can get an amazing insight into the architect’s life and works. Park Güell was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.
The distance between Park Güell and Barcelona cruise port (Moll Adossat cruise ship terminals) is 13 km/8 miles (a 35-minute drive). To get to Park Güell, take the metro line L3 and get off at Lesseps stop, from where you will need to walk for an additional 20 minutes. Instead of walking, you can walk 150 m to the bus stop and take bus H6 to the park. Cruise lines normally don’t offer shore excursions to Park Güell, so the best way to visit it is either on your own (make sure you book a skip-the-line ticket) or with an independent tour operator.
5. La Rambla
The famous La Rambla Street is a must-see place in Barcelona. For cruise passengers, it is easy to get around as La Rambla is located within walking distance of the ship. La Rambla is a tree-lined, 1.2 km/0.75 miles long pedestrian promenade (although there are narrow parallel streets used for traffic) that connects Plaça de Catalunya square and the Columbus Monument, located at Port Vell – a waterfront harbor that is part of the port of Barcelona. It is a tourist-packed street full of shops, street restaurants, souvenir kiosks, street performers, and a great number of attractions.
You can find some important buildings on La Rambla Avenue, such as Palau Güell, Palace of the Virreina, Liceu Theater, Teatre Principal, Plaça Reial, and La Boqueria, one of the most visited and popular markets in Barcelona where you can find a large selection of goods, such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, cheese, and much more. To the east of La Rambla is the Gothic Quarter, the old town, another must-see landmark in Barcelona.
The distance between the Barcelona cruise terminal (Moll Adossat cruise terminals) and La Rambla is less than 3 km/1.8 miles. To get there, you need to take a shuttle bus or a cruise bus (“blue bus”) that will get you to the Christopher Columbus Monument, where La Rambla starts. From the World Trade Center terminals, you can get to La Rambla on foot in less than 10 minutes (the distance is around 650 m). When in La Rambla, keep your eyes open because there are many pickpockets.
6. Mercado de la Boqueria
La Boqueria market is located at La Rambla.It is a large, indoor public market offering an amazing selection of foods, including fish, seafood, meat, vegetables, fruit, cheese, beverages, and a great number of shops and street stalls selling freshly squeezed juices, candy, nuts, quick bites and so much more. This place is absolutely awesome and a must-see Barcelona attraction!
7. Plaça de Catalunya
Plaça Catalunya or Catalonia Square (Plaza de Cataluña) is a large square and a central hub often considered as Barcelona city center. It is located at the northern end of La Rambla, and a 10-minute walk from the Gothic Quarter.
The square covers a spacious area of 50.000 square meters and consists of a wide range of statues, fountains, sculptures, and decorative art. This is where important city streets and avenues meet, such as Passeig de Gràcia, a famous avenue where La Pedrera and Casa Batlló are situated. The square is surrounded by hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and designer boutiques, and its most popular and photographed attraction is the flocks of pigeons that you can spot swimming in the fountain.
The distance between Barcelona cruise port (Moll Adossat cruise terminals) is around 5.5 km/3.4 miles or a 15-minute drive. The best and shortest way to get there is by walking because Plaça de Catalunya is located at the end of La Rambla.
8. The Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic in the Catalan language, is the historic heart of the old city of Barcelona, located near La Rambla and Plaça de Catalunya. Although the name of the quarter refers to the Middle Ages, the whole quarter was completely restored in the late 19th and early 20th centuries which gave the old buildings a brand new, neo-Gothic look. A large portion of the quarter is closed to regular traffic (open only to taxis and service vehicles) and consists of pedestrian streets, squares, and several remarkable historic landmarks.
The iconic landmark is Barcelona Cathedral (the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia), an imposing Gothic cathedral that was originally constructed from the 13th to 15th centuries. It features an extraordinary, late 19th-century neo-Gothic facade, a sumptuously decorated interior, and a beautiful, verdant, geese-filled cloister that you can see on your tour.
Barcelona Cathedral dominates a large square – Placita de la Seu, surrounded by hotels, restaurants, shops, and souvenir stores. The square is connected with Plaça de Catalunya by a pedestrian promenade Avinguda del Portal de l’Angel. You can reach the square in a 10-15 minute easy walk. At a stone’s throw from the Cathedral, you can find several other attractions and historical landmarks:
- The ruins of the Roman and Medieval city walls.
- Barcelona’s History Museum at Plaza del Rey.
- Gaudi’s Exhibition Center
- The 14th-century Gothic Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi
- Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya
- Ajuntament de Barcelona, a 14th-century Barcelona City Hall
- Picasso Museum
- Jewish quarter and Sinagoga Major, one of the European oldest synagogues.
The distance between the Gothic Quarter and Barcelona cruise terminal (Moll Adossat cruise terminals) is 4.4 km/2.7 miles or a 10-minute drive. To get there, the best way is to take a shuttle bus/cruise bus from your terminal to the Christopher Columbus monument and walk 10 minutes to the Barcelona Cathedral and the Gothic Quarter (800 m). If your cruise ship is docked at World Trade Center terminals, you can simply walk 15 minutes to the Gothic Quarter.
9. Montjuïc Hill
Montjuïc Hill is another must-see area of Barcelona offering the best and most spectacular views of the entire Barcelona. The hill overlooks a harbor and covers a large area that consists of monuments, museums, a palace, a castle, a multitude of botanical gardens and much more!
The best way to get there is by taxi, with a shore excursion, Hop on Hop off bus, or by cable car. There are two cable cars in Barcelona: the Port Cable Car and the Montjuïc Cable Car. Both cable car base stations are located within a 10-minute drive from the cruise port. They cover different routes and you can check all the details on the official web pages:
The distance between Barcelona cruise port (Moll Adossat cruise terminals) and both Telefèric de Montjuïc and Telefèric del Port is around 5.5 km/3.4 miles or a 10-minute drive. If your cruise ship is docked at World Trade Center terminals, both Telefèric del Port and Telefèric de Montjuïc are around 3 km/1.8 miles away or less than a 10-minute drive.
If you decide to skip the cable car, you can simply catch a taxi at the cruise port and reach the major Montjuïc Hill attractions in less than 15 minutes, and then explore the area on foot. If you want to properly visit Montjuïc Hill, you need at least a half-day, but if you want to take a glimpse of it, you might consider booking one of the tours. If you stay several days in Barcelona, save one full or at least a half-day for Montjuïc Hill, as there are so many beautiful places and attractions to see.
10. Barceloneta Beach
Playa de la Barceloneta, or Barceloneta Beach, is a long, busy public beach equipped with facilities such as chair and umbrella rentals, showers, water sports, wi-fi spots, cafes restaurants, bars, and much more. It is a bustling, urban area packed with both locals and tourists, offering beautiful views of the harbor and the lively surrounding area. It is a perfect way to spend a couple of hours if you want to soak up some Mediterranean sun.
How to Get to Barceloneta Beach from the Barcelona Cruise Port?
The distance between Barceloneta Beach and World Trade Center terminals is around 2.5 km/1.5 miles. If you go by taxi, the ride lasts less than 10 minutes, and if you decide to walk, you’ll need around 30 minutes to get from your cruise terminal to the beach. The distance between the Barcelona cruise port (Moll Adossat cruise terminals) is around 5 km/3.1 miles. It takes 10-15 minutes to reach the beach by car, and if you walk, it takes 1 hour.
You can either take a taxi or bus 59 at La Rambla – Santa Mònica (1325) stop and get off at Pg Marítim – Pepe Rubianes (1606) stop. The journey takes less than 15 minutes by bus. It might be challenging to find taxis at Barceloneta Beach on the way back to the ship. You need to book a taxi via the app or pre-book the transfer to the port.
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