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 such as Rubí and Sant Cugat where you can go to Bracelona by train, or get out of the car at a rest area and wait for another ride to Barcelona. A train ticket generally cost you around €2,20 (Sant Cugat/Rubí)
On the AP-7 highway you can jump out next to Hospital General train station (thats next to Rubi town)
If you get dropped on the coast road leading to Barcelona (11) it should be really easy to keep hitching through the towns and villages until the city. I did the last 60km on this road in 4 or 5 short lifts but never waited more than 2/3 mins, just hopped out of each car and thumbed the next one almost instantly wherever I was dropped.
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.
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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.
If you want to go further into France but only find a car going close to the border be careful about where you get dropped. See below experience at La Jonquera, last service station in Spaun. The first service station in France, Village Catalan just after le Boulou is totally dead, it looks like nobody stops there. If you can get a little further to Perpignan Sud Paeage, exit 42 and use a sign for Narbonne you should get a lift at least as for as La Palme Service station after exit 40, quite a good spot for a longer lift into France.
Option 1: C33 Motorway service station Gasolinera Galp Montcada Norte
Take a Renfe train 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 €2,20 (2018)). 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.
Also you can get to same petrol station by metro L11till stop Torre Baró | Vallbona + 3 km walk to to Montcada district and find a train stop Montcada i Reixac. Than follow directions as above.
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 so 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.
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 5: Port
Barcelona has a huge Port where ferries from Morocco, the Balearic Islands and Italy arrive. There are many cars going further north or to France. If you stand with a sign next to the passenger terminal where the cars leave the port, you can hitch a long-distance lift. It may be useful to check the timetables first, but keep in mind that ferries can be easily delayed by some hours.
Option 1: AP-7 Motorway Service Station Porta de Barcelona (Castellbisbal)
Take Renfe train R4 direction St.Vicenç de Calders from either Barcelona Sants, Plaça Catalunya or Arc de Triomf, to Castellbisbal.
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.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 line to Bellvitge station. 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.
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 11 eur (1.10 per ride). There is also a pink ticket for older Spanish people 10 rides for 4 eur, but dont show this ticket to gate guards/ticket inspectors. 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. Walk out by stairs slowly and look foreard for them
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
Free showers at beach with cold water :)
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.
Free hot shower and clothes Carrer de Marie Curie 22 (metro Lluckmajor ) or Av. Meridiana 197 (metro Navas)
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.
- 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.
- 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. You can meet wild boars
- 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)...
- 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)
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.
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.
Wild boars are abundant in Barcelona, there are hundreds of them.
- 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.
Free wireless and Apple demo computers with limited internet access at Apple Store (Plaza Catalunya)