Earth > Europe > Southern Europe > Spain > Catalunya > Barcelona
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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 Passeig de Gracia (Line 2) with direction: St Celoni. Get off at Montcada y Reixag station, (this journey will take you about 10 minutes and costs you in 2009 1,30). Walk under the railways and pass through the station building. At the other side you will find yourself at a pedestrian commercial street. Follow it to the right. Pass the church, traffic lights and the bridge. Continue walking straight, turn left around the buildings where you will see the tall highway bridge. Follow that to the right, until the railways, you will find a 'forbidden' passage on your left. Cross it and continue along the road to the right. After 2 minutes you will find yourself at the Agip station "La Pausa". Phlyming has found the petrol station is now Galp and the toll is just 2km ahead. It takes 10 to 15 minutes walking from the train station.
Option 2: Bellaterra
There are two ways of getting at this rest-area on both sides of the highway - 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. After a while you will then reach a bridge over the motorway. After the bridge, turn left at the next 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 highway.
- 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 1: Bellaterra
Follow the instructions as per option 2 above. Stay on the same side of the highway 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 much cars, you can ask them for take you to a highway petrolstation like "El Bruc" for continue.
Option 2: Castellbisbal
Take a Renfe train to Castellbisbal station from either Barcelona Sants (Line C4 to St.Vicente de Calders, platform 1, buy a 2 zone ticket), Plaça Catalunya or Arc de Triomf. Important note: information below on directions needs to be updated by someone who can give a clearer description.
- Leave the station to the left, above the railroad and take the next small street to the right. You will arrive at the petrol station within 10 to 15 minutes. If you are trying to get to Madrid and you use this route, stay on the side going south and try putting Lleida on your sign, because most people are not going through Zaragoza. For orientation: you can see the service station from the train on your right just before you reach Castellbisbal. Way to walk and Location
- Since 2008 there is a new high speed train track ("AVE") running almost parallel to the motorway which has big safety fences on both sides. You now have to take the new bridge which even has a pedestrian walk-way.
- Since the new high speed train was created and the fences are there, it is very difficult to find the track! I was walking all the tracks for an hour with my heavy bag and I could not find the track! I could see it but I just could not find a way to get there... unless you are able to cross the fence. In the end, I just could not find a way and I asked 2 very nice ladies to drive me there. I was fortunate I met them, or else, I would have to take the train back to Barcelona and go to Option 1. Also, there was very little traffic heading West to Zaragoza and not even Lleida. Most were going South or North... no idea why. Very good spot if you want to go South to Valencia. If you would like to hitch to Morocco, the carpark is full of Moroccons stopping for a break there at night. Many cars are very full though but there are some with space.
South to Valencia
Follow option 2 towards Madrid. West side of the road is towards Valencia.
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).
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 1.40. The best deal is the T-10, which is 10 rides for 7.45 - .72 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 easy to jump the turnstiles or slide underneath. It is possible to climb over the electronic gates, but that will only work if the station is deserted. Also, you can open them hanging with all your weight on them (but only on those letting people out). Also, it is easy to pass more than one person through the electronic gates on only one ticket, though they will beep when you do this. Some gates are monitored, others are not. The TMB employees dress in red, or red and white striped shirts. If they spot you, some will turn their head, others will tell you to go back and pay. Controllers sometimes come on the trains, other times they check as you're getting off (easy to escape). The fine is 40 euro, 20 if you pay it the same day. You have 30 days to pay. In most of cases though it is possible to avoid getting fined by playing "stupid tourist" who thrown away his ticket and can't speak the language or saying that you have no money and you will never pay it anyway.
Many stops have multiple entrances and some are easier to jump than others.
Jaume 1: the main entrance is busy and heavily patrolled; the entrance on the north side of Via Laietana is turnstiles with infrequent patrol.
Urquinoana: most entrances are turnstiles, the main ones are often patrolled; the smaller ones only sometimes. It is more than sure that you will find at least one entrance unpatrolled.
Arc de Triomf: at least one entrance unpatrolled.
Hostafrancs: the main entrance with the escalator and the entrances closest to the market are electronic gates; the entrances on either side of Creu Coberta have turnstiles and are almost never patrolled.
Maria Cristina: electronic gates, almost always patrolled
Tarragona: turnstiles with sporadic patrol
Liceu: gates with frequent patrol
Drassanes: gates, infrequent patrol
Canyelles: gates, infrequent patrol
Catalunya: very busy station, electronic gates with distracted patrols
Sants Estacio: The main entrance through the train station is heavily patrolled; smaller entrances may be less so.
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.
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.
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 uphill from the station and find some nice hills to camp/sleep out/hang a hammock in.
- Hitchbase has some more options on alternative ways to hitchhike out of Barcelona.
- TMB.net Barcelona public transport website