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Question about Rodalies in Barcelona area

We will be traveling from Barcelona airport to Tarragona. I am looking at the pros/cons of bus vs. train. I know the Plana bus would require no transfers but the train actually gets us closer to where we want to be on the other end (yes, I know Tarragona station is the slow regional train vs. the fast train station being farther out of the city). There is also the benefit that the train leaves from Terminal 2 vs. having to take the shuttle to Terminal 1 to catch the bus.

My question is around buying tickets for Rodalies. If I buy a single ride ticket at the Airport for the R2 train to Sants, then transfer to one of the trains going to Tarragona (R14, R15, R16), do i have to buy another ticket or can i transfer with the same ticket? Also do you have to pick/reserve a specific train or does it work more like a long range subway?

Thanks!

Posted by
358 posts

Hi, you will NOT have to buy another ticket — just one ticket for a through one-way ride from the Airport to Tarragona.
When at Terminal 2 rail station go to the desk and buy a one-way ticket though to Tarragona, OR use a machine and tap through to Tarragona and purchase with cash, debit card or credt card. A through one-way ticket should cost you around 8€.
Put the ticket through the barrier at the Airport, board the train, change at Sants, find your platform/track (sorry, can't remember track number at Sants for — you'll need to check) and you're good to go.

"Also do you have to pick/reserve a specific train…" No.
Using the Regional express the fare will be 8,05€. No seat reservation available.
You could buy a ticket for the Talgo from Sants, in which case you will have to arrange a seat. It will cost about 19€. However, you'll only shave around 10 minutes off the journey time — although the ride might be more comfortable in some ways.
Horses, courses, price, time, comfort and convenience — only you can decide.
Enjoy your visit.

Posted by
53 posts

Thank you for the info! This was exactly what I needed. I was guessing I could transfer trains without a new ticket but am very glad to have that confirmation from someone in the know. I agree that the faster train really doesn't seem worth it.