We often find that we’re asked by locals and tourists alike if there’s free internet access in Barcelona. Our reply is ‘yes’, so of course the next questions are ‘where and how?’. There isn’t really a specific reply to the question of “where”, because there are so many places that offer free WiFi, whether it’s completely free or indirectly free (as is the case with bars and cafés, in which you’ll need to be a paying customer in order to be given the WiFi code). And when it comes to connecting, the conditions or features of the connectivity will depend on the area and the place that offers the service.
1. “WiFi Barcelona”
It might not be the most original name in the world, but WiFi Barcelona’s message is fairly clear as to what’s on offer, at least generally speaking. WiFi Barcelona is simply the network of free WiFi points that’s offered by Barcelona City Council, both to the city’s residents and to tourists. It’s a very extensive network of WiFi points across the city that covers much of the city centre. It’s also worth noting that this network is continuously growing, with more WiFi points being added each year.
NETWORK NAME (SSID):
HOW TO CONNECT: Look for the “Barcelona WiFi” network, connect to it and go to any website on your device’s internet browser. You’ll then be asked for your email address (as you’ll be sent an email in order to accept the terms and conditions), and you’ll be asked if you are resident in Barcelona or not. After going through these simple steps, you’ll now be able to browse the internet on your phone, tablet or laptop.
Advantages: There are various connection points throughout the city (also on the buses).
Disadvantages: There’s no WiFi coverage in the Metro carriages or inside buses. As far as the Metro’s concerned, it’s only possible to connect in those stations that have WiFi points, and in the buses you’ll only be able to connect if the area you’re in at any particular moment is covered by one of the WiFi points.
Map of the “WiFi Barcelona” connection points
* Access the interactive map via this link or by clicking on the map.
It’s been possible to benefit from the free WiFi connection points along Barcelona’s beaches. It’s therefore a great service for sunbathers. You may find that it can be a little unreliable during the busiest days on the beach, when many people are trying to access the network at the same time, but it’s certainly an excellent option for tourists who are planning on spending a few days on the beach and don’t want to pay hefty roaming charges, or for anyone who doesn’t want to use up their data allowance on their mobile device.
The places and areas we’ve already told you about in detail aren’t the only places where you’ll be able to connect to the internet. It’s also possible to do so in the AeroBus, the service that runs between Barcelona Airport and the city centre, in several museums, and in some other tourist sights amongst other places. We therefore recommend that you look for the usual iconic logo that shows those two magic words: FREE WIFI!!
Personal Wifi Hotspot
If you need to have good, free access to the internet at all times, WiFiVOX is ideal for this. It’s a small device that you can rent and carry in your bag or pocket, and which will give you WiFi for up to ten devices (mobile phones, tablets, laptops etc). This is the ideal option if you’re spending a few days in Barcelona with your friends or family and need to keep connected at all times for whatever reason, without paying roaming fees.
2. Free WiFi in shops and shopping centres
There are several shops and shopping centres in Barcelona which offer free WiFi, whether throughout the store or in certain areas. It’s one of the ways in which these businesses are trying to attract younger clientele, and the tourists for whom free WiFi connection is a necessity at times. Below we have given you a list of some of the shops and shopping centres which offer free WiFi.
APPLE STORE Passeig de Gràcia, 1 / La Maquinista
ALTAÏR Gran Via Corts Catalanes, 616
STARBUCKS multiple addresses
FABCAFE c/ (street) Bailén, 11
LA CENTRAL c/ Mallorca, 237
COSMO CAFÈ & GALLERY c/ Enric Granados, 3
LA MAQUINISTA c/ de Potosí, 2
L’ILLA DIAGONAL av. Diagonal, 557
EL CORTE INGLÉS multiple addresses
HERON CITY av. Río de Janeiro, 42
MAREMAGNUM Moll (Dock) d’España, 5
LAS ARENAS Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 373-385
Advantages: It’s always helpful to have free internet connection when we most need it.
Disadvantages: The WiFi doesn’t always work reliably in every shop or shopping centre.
3. Free WiFi in just about every hotel
Nowadays it’s almost essential to have access to an internet connection in your hotel or accommodation where you’re staying, and it’s certainly expected. Therefore, the vast majority of accommodation options in Barcelona offer WiFi. As the conditions of use of the WiFi vary (whether the WiFi is free or not, the level of cover etc) according to the hotel or accommodation, we recommend that you carefully read the information given to you about the WiFi.
Advantages: Nowadays having a good internet connection in your accommodation has become a necessity rather than a luxury.
Disadvantages: In some hotels the connection isn’t always reliable and the signal isn’t always strong enough. We therefore recommend that you have a look at previous guests’ experiences online before booking.
4. Free WiFi in bars and restaurants
The bars and restaurants that provide free WiFi for their clients often find this a bigger draw than their food and drink itself! Here at irBarcelona we recommend that rather than being too attracted by the offer of free WiFi (that you’ll know about because of the iconic sticker in the window), you take a look online in advance, at the quality of the products and people’s reviews of the place. In Barcelona there are countless restaurants and bars in which, as well as being able to connect to free WiFi, you can also enjoy a good quality coffee, an excellent breakfast or brunch, or sample delicious local specialities.
Good quality bars and restaurants with free WiFi
Advantages: Make the most of your breakfast, lunch or coffee break to connect to the world – writing a quick WhatsApp to friends and family, making a call via the internet, sharing a photo of your holiday on Facebook or Snapchat, as well as checking Twitter and your emails.
Disadvantages: The connection in some bars and restaurants isn’t always good, but it’s usually sufficient to connect and make essential communications.
5. Free internet in public libraries
One of the free services that Barcelona’s network of public libraries offers is free internet access, through their own computers and through free WiFi. In order to use the free internet access, whether on your own device or on one of the library’s computers, you’ll need to have a membership card for the public library network. It’s completely free of charge and is valid in al libraries throughout Barcelona and Catalunya.
HOW TO CONNECT: To use the computers within the library, you will need to reserve a slot in advance, with your membership card. On the other hand, if you’d like to connect on your own device to the library’s WiFi network, you’ll need to type in your use name and PIN number, that you’ll be given when you receive your membership card.
Advantages: The possibility of using a computer would be ideal for you if you need to study, work or get online and you don’t have your own computer, or for whatever reason don’t have it with you.
Disadvantages: You should be able to work without any problems, but if you need to share or send large files, the connection isn’t always strong enough, especially when there are a lot of people connected in the library.
6. Free WiFi in Barcelona El Prat Airport
It’s possible that when you arrive at Barcelona Airport, you’ll know where you’re going and you’ll pass through so quickly that you won’t need to connect to the WiFi that’s offered and managed by the Kubiwireless company. However, if you need to look anything up at the last minute when you arrive, or if you need to connect while you’re waiting for your flight to leave, here’s how to connect to Barcelona Airport’s WiFi. You can either connect for free (with limited speed) or by paying (without any speed restrictions, and there are various options available).
NAME OF THE NETWORK (SSID): Airport_Free_Wifi_AENA
HOW TO CONNECT: On your device you should connect to the “Airport_Free_WiFi_AENA” network. You’ll then need to go to any website via your browser and then choose between free access (supplying an email address and / or phone number) or paying to go online (following the instructions given).
Prices for connecting for the premium option
€ 24 hours (one device only): €4.90.
€ 24 hours (up to 4 devices): €9
€ 30 days (one device only): €15.
Advantages: The chance to get online for free, even though the speed is rather limited, and the option to pay for premium access, with much higher speed.
Disadvantages: The signal of the free access isn’t the best.