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What's the easiest way to get from Barcelona Airport (BCN) to Tarragona?

There is a shuttle bus but it's rather infrequent. RENFE shows very few trains too, making that connection even slower.

Are there shared cabs in the area with a more flexible schedule?

Are there any local trains not being shown on RENFE that might stop close to BCN?

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You can take a regional / commuter train, called Rodalies in Catalunya. Train line R2 goes from the Terminal 2 at the airport to Barcelona Sants (the main station in Barcelona) where you can change to the train to Tarragona (line R14, R15 or R16). The complete trip costs €7 and takes around 1 hour 30 minutes, and trains run at approximately 30 minute intervals from early morning to mid-evening.

Timetable and price: http://rodalies.gencat.cat/en/horaris/

  • Ahh yes, Rodalies is the local train system I hadn't seen. There is information on the intermediate stops of the R14, R15, and R16 here : rodalies.gencat.cat/en/linies_estacions_i_trens/… – Jeff Burdges Feb 10 '15 at 13:37
  • In my case, only one R16 beast the shuttle bus and it only stops at Sants, Vilanova i la Geltrú, and St. Vicenç de Calders. I could catch a taxi to Vilanova and take the R16, but very high risk of missing that train. All the R2 I could catch from closer run behind that R16. No dice in my case, but at least the schedule is clear. :) – Jeff Burdges Feb 10 '15 at 13:43
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The easiest way would be to take a taxi right at the airport. But it will be also the most expensive.

BCN airport is quite bad connected with train, and the trains arriving at the airport link with Barcelona, not with other cities. On the other hand Barcelona is well connected with Tarragona by rail; maybe you looked for "Camp de Tarragona" station? This is the High Speed station and is in the middle of nowhere, and few trains stop there. A quick search for today shows many options (but discard any train stopping at Camp de Tarragona, "camp" means "field" in catalan, farmers land)

I think a easy connection yet affordable would be to take a taxi at the airport to Barcelona Sants station and then take a train to Tarragona. An even cheaper solution would be to board the local 46 bus at the airport terminal, drop off at Plaça Espanya, then take the Metro green line (L3) and get off at Sants-Estació to take the train. As Gagravarr notes in his comment, the Aerobus express service is also a well balanced option between price and convenience. This express bus has room for luggage, for instance, while the local bus doesn't. It all depends on your particular needs.

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We rented a car when we did that exact same trip. The car rental was inexpensive and the journey itself very easy now that Google maps works everywhere. The only problem was that parking in Tarragona itself was a pain and the hotel downtown in the tourist area charged us through the nose for their parking. If we were to do it again, we'd still drive (such a nice trip) but stay in a hotel outside of town with free parking.

  • I'd need to return the car in Tarragona or ideally Valencia the next day, but I'll looks into it. – Jeff Burdges Feb 9 '15 at 18:25

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