Like in other large cities, Barcelona’s suburban railway trains are not only useful to get to nearby towns and the city’s metropolitan area, but are also great to get around the city center, complementing the Barcelona Metro. Visitors can even confuse both transport systems, since they are very similar.
Companies and Lines
Rodalies de Catalunya, which is the official name of the regional rail system, has two operators: Renfe, which operates most of the trains that start with R, and FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya). FGC operates the S lines and some of the R lines. The letter R refers to the word “Rodalies” and S is for “Suburban”.
The trains not only connect the city center with the metropolitan area but also take its passengers to nearby towns like Tarragona, a port city to the northeast of Spain and Lérida, a city to the west of Catalonia.
Rodalies de Catalunya trains have very similar operating hours to the Barcelona Metro. The trains run from 5 am to midnight from Monday to Thursday, Sundays and bank holidays. On Fridays, the last train departs at 2am and on Saturday and on the eves of certain public holidays, the trains run 24hrs a day.
The city’s regional trains that connect the center with other nearby villages and towns have varied running times depending on the lines. For example, the last train to Barcelona from Lérida leaves at 6 pm.
If you only want to get around the city of Barcelona, the tickets and prices are the same as the rest of the city’s various means of transport. You can combine several types of transport with the same ticket or travel card.