Just 12 kilometres from the city centre, Barcelona El Prat Airport is the main airport for Catalonia and one of the busiest in Europe. Traffic is primarily domestic and European, with low-cost airlines routinely using Terminal 2 for tourists flocking to the sun and sand of Barceloneta and Nova Icaria beaches.
Travellers with some free time have plenty to keep them occupied at Barcelona Airport, with dozens of retail stores and at least 20 pubs and cafes spread between the two terminals. Travellers will find a salon and fitness centre, day rooms for sleeping and showering, on-site spa offering thermal baths, a prayer room and two children’s play areas. The duty-free section hosts a beauty lounge and a separate cigar lounge.
The airport lies with the city limits of El Prat de Llobregat, from which the airport gets its official name, and is three kilometres from the Port of Barcelona and seven kilometres from Zona Franca Industrial Estate, an important economic centre for Barcelona and Spain. Barcelona Metro lines and commuter trains service the airport, a TMB public bus line runs nearby; and Aerobus offers direct transfers from both terminals to the city centre. By car, travellers can reach the city centre in about 15 minutes, using the C31 and C32B roadways.
Opening in 1918, El Prat first served as headquarters for the Aeroclub of Catalonia and a base for the Spanish Navy, housing its Zeppelin fleet. In the early 1930s, it was home to the Spanish Postal Airlines during the Second Spanish Republic. As a subsequent commercial airport, it greatly expanded capacity to accommodate visitors for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.