Fares on Barcelona’s public transport network are based on zones, much as they are in London and Paris. Unlike London, the entire city of Barcelona is within TMB Zone 1. Zones 2 to 6 cover surrounding towns and cities which are also included in the integrated fare system.
Another important fact that I hadn’t noticed until this morning is that the zones on the TMB map (Barcelona’s metropolitan transport system) aren’t exactly the same as those on the RENFE map (Spanish train network).
The differences are minor and only affect a few stations so it’s hard to spot if you check the individual maps online. However, if you compare the maps side-by-side you will see that there are some discrepancies, 2 of which are quite important for tourists visiting Barcelona.
Barcelona airport is in zone one on the TMB map and zone 4 on the RENFE map!
This means that if you purchase a single RENFE ticket from the airport to Sants train station it will cost you €4.10 whereas if you purchase a T10 card (10 journeys by bus, metro and train) the same journey on the same train will cost just €1.00!
Likewise, for a group of 5 people going to Sitges or Mataró and purchasing RENFE train tickets, a return ticket costs €8.20 per person. The total cost for the group is €41 there and back. Alternatively a 3 zone T10 ticket shared between the five of you will cost €26.75 that’s just €5.35 per person.
So far I’ve only spotted 3 differences between the public transport zones on theTMB and RENFE maps. Have you found any that I’ve missed?