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 San 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 (San 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).
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: Montcada
There is a good petrol-station along the C33 (which leads to the Autopista del Mediterraneo, AP7/ E15) just 10 minutes away from Barcelona city center by train. You can find cars going to Girona, Figueres and sometimes eve much further, straight into France.
- Directions: 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 service station (Galp Gas 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 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.
Option 2: Bellaterra
There are two ways of getting at this rest-area on both sides of the motorway - heading North and South, connected with a bridge. There are not many drivers going North though, and the (Spanish) ones who do don't seem to be eager to pick up hitchhikers. Almost no traffic from Barcelona going North is going through here, so you miss out on all the French drivers - option 1 is probably much better.
First option is through St. Joan station.
- Directions: Take a train S2 from Barcelona Plaça Catalunya to Sabadell-Rambla, and get off at the St. Joan station (2 zones). It is another 10–15 minute walk to a good rest area at the AP7 which is the main motorway to go to the North (towards Girona and France (Perpignan)) or to the South. Walk out of the station through the exit on the left, and take the road that follows the rail track. After a left-turn, take the third street to the right and follow it until you get on C/ de Bellaterra. You should be able to spot a rest area after less then a 5 minute walk from here. To hitch South, stay on that side, to hitch North, take the footbridge. Location
The second option might be easier, stay on the train one more stop and to get off at Bellaterra.
- Directions: Exit the station, take the exit on the left and walk to the left following the main street for about 20 minutes. After a while you will then reach a bridge over the motorway. After the bridge, turn left at the second street that is parallel to the motorway. After 200 meter and a small tunnel you are at the same rest area. When asking locals ask how to walk to Hotel Bellaterra, as Spanish people are clueless about hitchhiking any other question will be answered with useless answers about how to reach the motorway.
- Note: There might still be a construction site just outside the train station, and the road bends away from the tracks. Do not follow the dirt road as it will result in fatal hitchhiking attempts.
Option 3: Barcelona Gran Via
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.
- Directions: Take the metro 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 streets 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
- 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 maneuvers in order to pick you up. If you can blackride the metro, I would go elsewhere.
Option 4: Barcelona Beach, petrol station
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. you can take the bus 41 from Placa Catalunya towards Pg del Taulat-Pl de Llevant and get of at Bisbe Josep Climent-Cementiri de l'Est (there is a very modern church. that you head towards the beach, crossing the motorway. then you see MacDonalds and the petrol station. see a photo-link
From airport El Prat
El Prat airport is on the opposite end of Barcelona. The easiest and cheapest way to get to a hitching spot is taking the train right from the airport. One end of this line is at the airport. The other end is in St Celoni, which is well out of the city towards Girona. Alternatively, you can get off in one of the places mentioned above. St Celoni is on the highway, the peage is a 20 min walk from the train station. It is a small entry peage, depending on the time of the day/week, it might have different traffic.
Option 1: Castellbisbal
Take a Renfe train to Castellbisbal station from either Barcelona Sants (Line R4 to St.Vicente de Calders, platform 1, buy a 2 zone ticket), Plaça Catalunya or Arc de Triomf.
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, 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 gas 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: Bellaterra
Follow the instructions as per option 2 above. Stay on the same side of the motorway as where you are walking. This option is easy to reach but you might find more cars heading towards your direction if you follow the next option as per below.
Normally not too many cars, you can ask them to take you to a motorway petrolstation like "El Bruc" for continue.
- This place is not recommendable for going south or west... A worker of the gas station says that people arrive there and end up sleeping 1 or 2 days. Also the entrance from the highway to this gas station is 10km before the gas station. Most of that cars that passed in this place were going to barcelona center... Use option 1, much better.
South towards Valencia
Option 1: Castelbisbal
Follow option 1 (Castelbisbal) towards Madrid. West side of the road is towards Valencia.
Option 2: The national road C-32
You can take the country road towards Tarragona as well.
We took a metro to the second last stop of the red line (Bellvitge) and walked three minutes on Rambla Marina towards Avenida de la Granvia de l'Hospitalet. 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 gas station right there gas 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)
- 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
Hospitality exchange networks have many members in Barcelona, however, you have to plan your stay well ahead since it is quite a popular destination.
Other options include sleeping on the beach, in parks and elsewhere. The 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.
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.
Another option is sleeping 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.
In the city roofs etc 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... even hasslelesslier you can stay in a squat that has already gone through the registration process. Most of those houses are in Barcelona. In order to find a place to stay there you can simply look up the online version of the local squatter's newspaper "Info Usurpa" and attend the next happening in one of the locations where you can ask for sleeping places among the guests.
Mainly, the parks in Barcelona are close at night, and may not be that easy to get in during the night. I found a small park just in front of the Cosmo Caixa Museum where you can easy sleep in 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 garduan 2, just after get 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, cant see you, and he don't go into the park at all, so you can sleep till late!
Another great option is to 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 Placa 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.
You can also take the metro from "Placa de Catalunya" to "Canyelles" station, walk about 200 yards uphibll from the station and find some nice hills to camp/sleep out/hang a hammock in.
- Before camping around Barcelona you should know that the place is crawling with wild boares
There are hundreds of them... I 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.. 1. Stay away from the canes. this is where they live and sometimes they spend the night there. 2. Don't take food to your place. 3. Don't provoke wild boars! they afraid of nothing. if something happens back off slowly. 4. a wild boar usually won't attack if he doesn't 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... 5. It's best if you stay next to a tree that you can climb on if anything happens. 6. If you see a mother and her cubs stay the fuck away. And may god be with you
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, with no hassle from anyone. A bit dusty, but perfect in every other way.
It is possible to crawl into the Ciutadella park, just get inside and find a place to pitch a tent. It will be safer if you are not alone there. You can always meet some people on way there because other people are also searching place to sleep same as you.
- Hitchbase has some more options on alternative ways to hitchhike out of Barcelona.
- TMB.net Barcelona public transport website