When on the main motorway from France to Barcelona, some cars are being stopped at the border for identity and luggage check. When going to Spain (Catalunya), there are several big rest areas on that road. You can either ask your driver to let you out in towns (with train stations) and cities along that road, such as Girona or Rubí and Sant Cugat (latter two are better options), or get out of the car at a rest area and wait for another ride to Barcelona. A train ticket generally cost you between €1,30 (Sant Cugat/Rubí) and €10 (Girona).
You can also ask the driver to leave you at the junction by the university (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona). There is a roundabout right by the motorway ramp. The only challenge is that your driver has to be going from the junction of Barbera de valles on the right site of the motorway as it gets split - otherwise you leave the car at Castellbisbal service station.
You can also try to get a ride to the Costa Brava - there you will find many train stations with trains to Barcelona. There is a cheap train service along the coast all the way to Barcelona (as of 2004, the ticket for the longest distance was 4 euro).
North towards Girona, Figueres, La Jonquera, (France)
In general your chances of being picked up are much better with cars with French number plates. For the options below it's good to have an idea about how many French cars you can expect.
Option 1: C33 Motorway service station Montcada
Take a Renfe train from Barcelona-Passeig de Gracia (there are even more trains from Barcelona-Sants) on the R2 or R2 Nord line, direction: Granollers Centre (R2) or Macanet-Massanes (R2 Nord). Get off at station Montcada i Reixac. (This train will take you about 20 minutes and costs €2,15 (2014)). Exit the train station to the left, through the second exit in the direction of the train. Walk under the railways and pass through the station building. At the other side you will find yourself at a small shopping district with a one way street. Follow it to the right. Pass the church, traffic lights, and cross the pedestrian bridge. Once over the bridge, turn left and follow the fenced in school playground around to the right. You should now see the motorway above you and parking below the motorway. Continue following the motorway until you see the road dip down and to the right under the railroad. Go under the bridge. Up ahead and to your left you will see a very broken vertical turnstile and a sign saying "forbidden" (see a picture here: http://imgur.com/MLxJc29). Ignore the sign and follow the foot path to the right, to the service road along the motorway. This service road goes right into the back of a Gasolinera Galp Montcada Norte petrol station.
Hitch there by asking around, or with a sign where the exits converge. Keep in mind that the toll is only two kilometers ahead, so try for shorter distances to get past the toll and onto a different rest stop. Sovereign, after waiting for 15 minutes (standing, with sign) at the Galp station was told by an employee to fly a sign with "Girona" instead of "FR". Girona works far better and there is another station before and after Girona.
This good petrol-station is on the C33 motorway (which leads to the Autopista del Mediterraneo, AP7/ E15) and is just 10 minutes away from Barcelona city centre by train. You can find cars going to Girona, Figueres, and sometimes even much further: straight into France.
- This option worked very well for us (Steffi and Manu), the spot is easy to find, the description above is very good! takes about half an hour form Passeig de Gracia, people were helpful at the petrol station, we got a ride all the way to Switzerland.
- This option also worked well for me (Tarik) in Jan-14. I just waited for 15 minutes until a gracious Spanish couple gave me a ride to Girona.
- This option worked for me (Joel) too in June-15. Waited 20 minutes before I was picked up by some really friendly spaniards. The trouble for me was to get out of Spain (gave up after 4 hours) and I was stuck just close to the border to France in La Jonquera before I finally had to get a cab to Perpignan. Apparently -nobody- picks up hitch hikers just next to the border because this is a huge drug smuggling zone. Both rides I took before they clearly asked me if I had any drugs on me. I had no idea why but now I understand. My recommendation is that you find someone that goes all the way to France in Montcada / Girona, because believe me, there is absolutely nothing to see in La Jonquera. (In hindsight I should've just walked the remaining 5 kms to France where it's very easy to catch a ride.)
Option 2: AP-7 Motorway Service Station Bellaterra
Take train S2 from Barcelona Plaça Catalunya, direction Sabadell-Rambla, and get off at Bellaterra. (2 zones). Turn left out of the station and walk 1.6km along C/ de Bellaterra. After you have crossed over the motorway bridge, you will see a small road to the left. Walk ≈400 along this road (you will pass through a small tunnel) to the service station.
When asking locals, ask how to walk to Hotel Bellaterra, as Spanish people are clueless about hitchhiking and any other question will be answered with useless answers about how to reach the motorway. (EDIT: the hotel is closed and you have to climb two gates to get to the rest area).
There are not too many drivers going north though, and the (Spanish) ones who are don't seem to be eager to pick up hitchhikers. Almost no traffic from Barcelona going north passes through here, so you miss out on all the French drivers - option 1 is probably much better.
Option 3: Barcelona Gran Via
Take the metro L2 and get off at Monumental. From there, pass by the Plaça de Toros (Bullfight Arena) and start hitchhiking at the last traffic light by the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes/Carrer Padilla before street corner where the road leads to the motorway C-31. When the light turns red, ask people if they're heading towards the motorway. If yes, ask them if they can take you to the first petrol station ("gasolinera"). Location Option3
This is a good option to start hitching from the city itself. It works pretty well if you know how to hitch from petrol lights, have a big sign or know some Spanish.
- I tried today this central and easy to reach option 3 and waited only 5 minutes with two people and a huge Montgat sign to get a ride from Gran Via /Padilla street outside of Barcelona along the coast. The willing driver can stop on a marked area. See a photo-link. In theory only cars on the right hand side lane of the 3 lanes going out of Barcelona can use this "stop possibility" marked on the street, but our driver crossed the still red traffic light to make it to the right even from the middle lane.
- I've also tried "Option 3," but I believe it's much too busy a street to get a ride. Also, the drivers will have to do some interesting manoeuvers in order to pick you up. If you can blackride the metro, I would go elsewhere.
- There is construction work going on (April 2016) so the cars really can't stop or pull over anywhere anymore. A little bit further, shortly behind the train station, the cars can pull over to the taxi/bus lane. One time it worked, we were three people going to Palamós, the other time it was only me going to Figueres and nobody stopped even after waiting for 40 minutes. Walking even further is possible but there are many cars going in another direction, I recommend trying another option.
Option 4: Petrol station Barcelona Beach
Take bus H16 from Plaça Catalunya direction Fòrum and get off at Cementiri de l'Est. Head towards the beach, cross over the highway bridge, and you will see McD and the Repsol petrol station on the left. photo-link This is a good option to start hitching from near the beach itself in Barcelona. It works pretty well if you know some Spanish or even Catalan as you have to ask the drivers at the petrol station.
Option 1: AP-7 Motorway Service Station Porta de Barcelona (Castellbispal)
Take Renfe train R4 direction St.Vicente de Calders from either Barcelona Sants, Plaça Catalunya or Arc de Triomf, to Castellbisbal.
Note: If you have a map, and try to find the directions below on it, you will find that they make no sense. It is very likely that your map does NOT display the brand new high-speed train tracks that pass 10m north of the train station. DO NOT follow your map, follow the instructions. Or follow the map link that is provided below.
From the train station, go left and take the dirt road that leads out and cross under the railway tracks on your right. Walking on this road, you'll come across a surfaced road on your right, that will lead to a bigger road. When you reach this bigger road, you'll see a bridge on your right. Turn left here, and then immediately to the right, to a small street, at the end of which you can see a "stop" sign from the distance. Go straight until it turns into a dirt road, keep going on the dirt road until you reach the petrol station. There will be other roads left and right, ignore them. This whole walk from the station to the service station shouldn't take you much more than 30 minutes (besides, you can find signs on the last road that directly takes you to the service station, showing you that you're on the right way to the "área de servicio").
Option 2: AP-7 Motorway Service Station Bellaterra
Follow the instructions as per "heading north to Girona option 2" above. Cross over the footbridge to the services on the north side of the motorway for hitching south.
- This place is not recommended for going south or west. A worker at the petrol station says that people arrive there and end up sleeping 1 or 2 days. Also the entrance from the highway to this petrol station is 10km before the petrol station. Most of that cars that passed in this place were going to barcelona center... Use option 1, much better.
(Petrol station on Granvia de l'Hospitalet leading to motorway C-32).
Take metro L1 (red) to Bellvitge. Turn right out of the station and walk south ≈300m along Rambla Marina to the Avenida de la. Turn right and walk west ≈200m to the Galp petrol station.
- We took a metro to the second last stop of the red line (Bellvitge) and walked three minutes on Rambla Marina towards We then hitched a couple of minutes in the traffic lights and got our first ride (if you go up to the Granvia there is a petrol station right there petrol station but we did not know it). After four more fairly easy rides we were in Valencia. --Astikain (talk) 15:29, 24 April 2013 (CEST)
Take Renfe train S2 train from Placa de Catalunya to Volpelleres. Get out on the left side(taking the direction of the train as reference) of the station. Walk straight out along Carrer Mare de Déu del Roser, going a bit uphill. Bear left at the end of the road and you will see a roundabout with a petrol station. At the roundabout, take the exit Carrer de Vallespir and walk ≈150m till you get to the roundabout junction with the C-16 motorway. Stand at the entrance slip-road direction Manresa.
Probably you will not find a ride to Andorra but from Manresa you can take the road in direction Berga. For us it worked out quite well.
- Please add information if you have experience hitchhiking a ferry there.
Barcelona Public Transport
The Barcelona public transport system consists of an underground metro, trams, area trains, and buses. Day passes are a little more than 5 euro, and cover the whole transport system, buses, trams, metro, and area trains (Rodalies and FGC). Single passes are for the metro only, and cost eur 2.00 The best deal is the T-10, which is 10 rides for eur 9 - 0.90 per ride. These tickets will also let you into the RENFE system, but you risk getting controlled if you go very far (more than 2 hours or so).
The entrances sometimes have turnstiles and sometimes have sliding electronic gates. It is possible to jump or slide underneath, or climb over the electronic gates. If you get caught your risk is 40-100 euro - if you're not able to talk your way out of it. Control happens sometimes at the exits of stations, very rarely on the trains.
On the stations with electronic gates, the best options is to wait for somebody to pass through a gate with a ticket, and walk directly behind them. This way you can across the gate. Sometimes, if you don do it quickly enough, a short buzzing alarm might activate, but this is largely ignored.
Staying in Barcelona
Free food and shower
Food Parròquia de Sant Agusti (Carrer de l'Arc de Sant Agustí, metro Liceu) healty food each day except thursday at 10:15. Come half hour earlier to pick up number. Except poor and sketchy people here.
Shower Carrer de Marie Curie 22 (metro Lluckmajor ) pick up number 8:00-10:00 each workday and shower from 10:00-12:00 and Av. Meridiana 197 (metro Navas) pick up number at 16:00 each workday to shower next morning.
Hospitality exchange networks have many members in Barcelona, however, you have to plan your stay well ahead since it is quite a popular destination.
Sleeping in public areas
Options include sleeping on the beach, in parks, nearby hills, roofs of buildings and elsewhere. Note that parks in Barcelona close at night, and may not be that easy to get into one.
Parks and hills
- Ciutadella park is closed at night, but may be accessed by the entrance facing the Arc de Triomf. The bars of the fence near the gate are wide enough to slip through if you're not very big. You're unlikely to be disturbed during the night but the Police might wake you up after 8am and ask you to move on. Another user got inside and pitched a tent. It is safer if you are not alone. Lot of criminals and junkies also sleep there dont talk and dont trust anyone. Attach your bag to tree with rope when you sleep.
- Sleep in a small park just in front of the Cosmo Caixa Museum where you can easy use a tent. By public transport, you can get the L7 to the end Av. Tibidabo, than walk 5 minutes direction top of the hill, turn on the Carrer d'Isaac Newton just before the bridge on the left and continue. You will find this huge building, with a big submarine in front of it. When you have museum on your back, submarine on your right, there is some stairs in front of you, between entrance of museum and submarine, you will see the main door of this park after few stairs, it might be close if its late, so you can go to the top of this stairs, than jump on the left side, go under the stairs to the other side, and there is the spot. 2 options: (1) near the bench, better for the ground, but you might be visible at the morning, and woke up by a guardian; (2) right after geting out from under the stairs, the ground is shitty, you might need good stake to setup your tent, mostly in windy time, from there, the guy who open the door at the morning, can't see you, and he don't go into the park at all, so you can sleep till late!
- Take the metro from "Placa de Catalunya" to Canyelles station, walk about 200 yards uphill from the station and find some nice hills to camp/sleep out/hang a hammock in. Can be hard to climb and find clean/flat surface in night!!!
- Take a late train to the park in the North-West of Barcelona. For example, you can take the S2 to Sabadell (ticket zone 1) leaving from Plaça de Catalunya and getting off at Baixador de Vallvidrera: there is a big park which is nearly like a forest, and you will find a very good and lonesome place to stay within 500 meters from the station.
- Parc de la Pau - small and clean park next to the beatch (15 min from metro to station Besos Mar, next to Dechatlon shop, street Career de la Pau)... expect beautifull sunrise and enjoy morning swim!
- With tent you can try to camp next to Camp De Futbol Canyelles (metro Valldaura and next to Institut Escola artístic Oriol Martorel, street Camí Antic de Sant Llàtzer)
- Sleep by the roundabout of the Colom monument near the port at the end of Las Ramblas, although the traffic nearby can be quite noisy. You can sleep near statues of lions and as long as you are low-key about it, both police and locals probably won't disturb your stay. Hitchhiker Zac did this is October 2006 and had no problems with thieves, but discretion is wise nonetheless.
- Port Vell area: There is a fantastic spot to sleep near Port Vell, at a place called La Rambla del Mar. To get there, follow Las Ramblas all the way to the bottom end, go past the columbus column in the direction of the water. You will come to a wooded 'deck' kind of area where a lot of tourists pass. There is a large, old square building here, the port police station, and next to it there is a big carpark. About 20 metres passed the end of the carpark there is a small wooden looking building that the hot dog vendors in the area use for supplies. and there are 3 more further on down the port vell area, just keep walking and you'll see them. It has a garage style door on the front. On the top of this there is a large white canvas tent, that looks kind of like a teepee, you cant miss it. It might be hard with just one person, but its easy to get on the roof of the building with 2 people, under the tent thing. Its warm, dry, out of sight and the tourists or police wont notice you if youre careful. Jugglehitch and 3 friends slept here for 1 week (in 2001, the structure may not be there anymore), with no hassle from anyone. A bit dusty, but perfect in every other way.
- Banks which have ATM lobbies are great for sleeping rough in the centre of Barcelona. You will usually find other homeless people/ travellers/ junkies sleeping there too. You need to swipe the bank card to open the door but you can wait for someone going in to take money out, or tap on the window if there is someone already there, to let you in.
Sleeping in empty or occupied buildings and rooftops
Roofs and similar structures are quite fine sleeping places. Sleeping in abandoned houses is recommendable although it is considered a crime, "trespassing" unless you have a banner with the squatting "N" hanging from a balcony, window etc. The cops are going to put this down and inform the landlord. If they do not want you to stay and if you have been there for less than a week they can evict you right away. So in case you want to stay somewhere for less than a week having a banner is most likely not worth the hassle... You can just stay in a squat that has already gone through the registration process. Most of those houses are in Barcelona.
If you are in trouble call police immediately!!!
When staying on the beach in Barcelona, you may notice thieves. They walk around and observe people on the beach for hours before stealing anything. Even though they aren't usually hostile or confrontational, they can steal clothes off your back while you're asleep. The only sure way to keep your things safe is to bury it in the sand and sleep on top of it. Sleeping with your head on your bag is just not enough.
These thieves are very professional, and they look for people sleeping rough not just on the beach but in the central districts too. Drumroots slept rough many nights in the centre and although he got lucky most times, one night a thief almost managed to walk off with all his stuff. He woke up just in time to scare the thief into dropping his stuff and running off.
Wild boars are abundant in Barcelona, there are hundreds of them. A user was using the canyelles option for 3 nights but I don't have any reason to believe that it's different in Sadabell. i don't know if i would recommend anyone to sleep there... if you want to do this i wrote some general tips that will help you to stay alive but i think you should read more about wild boars because if anything will happen you would wish you knew more.. like i did in the first night ;-) however it's your responsibility.
- Stay away from the canes. this is where they live and sometimes they spend the night there.
- Don't take food to your place.
- Don't provoke wild boars! They unafraid of humans. If something happens, back off slowly.
- Wild boar usually don't attack unless they feel threatened. They will probably stay away from you but they will come to sniff your tent once you're inside... I did nothing and they went away...
- It's best if you stay next to a tree that you can climb on if anything happens.
- If you see a mother and her cubs stay the fuck away.
- Hitchbase has some more options on alternative ways to hitchhike out of Barcelona.
- TMB.net Barcelona public transport website.