Updated Jun 06 2023
Parking the car in Barcelona is one of the main problems that is experienced, both by Barcelona’s residents when they try to travel around their own city, as well as by tourists who arrive by car. Just as in any large city, there are a vast number of cars in Barcelona’s city centre. It can therefore be very difficult to find a parking space in the street, even though it’s metered, near to where you want to go, and without wasting a lot of time finding one.
Because of this, and also due to the lack of free parking and the large amount of traffic in Barcelona, especially at the busiest times of the day, you’ll find that most people choose to travel around the city by public transport, or if they have the means, by moped. This considerably cuts down the traffic, and means that those who need to park can do so with slightly more ease.
The zones and specific areas of the city where you can park free are very few and far between, and are becoming more so. (Below we do give you information about the few remaining places where you can park free of charge). We therefore recommend that if you do have to drive, or have arrived in Barcelona in your own car and need to park for a few hours or days, the best option is to look for a private car park, which in more than 90% of cases is covered and protected by security, whether it’s manned by security personnel or whether it has a CCTV system.
Private car parks in Barcelona
The network of private car parks, in which you’ll need to pay to park, is very big and there are many companies that manage the car parks throughout various areas of the city. Parking tariffs, whether they are per hour, per day or per month, can vary depending on the company that owns the car park and the area in which it is situated, but the difference in price is usually fairly minimal.
Park in Barcelona’s car parks with Parkimeter
If you’re worried that the nearest car park to where you want to get to could be full, because of it being a busy time or day (which is something that often occurs in Barcelona on Saturdays or throughout the Christmas period), the safest and quickest option could be to reserve your parking in advance through an online site.
If you are thinking about leaving your car in a car park during your stay in Barcelona it is important to do so with one of the tickets that the car parks offer, because if not, they will charge you by the hour and the total price can be outrageous.
That is why an excellent option is to use Parkimeter, which allows you to find the nearest car park to your hotel or accommodation and book your parking space for the days you need. Once you’re in the car park and show your Parkimeter receipt you will be given a valid ticket to be able to leave and enter the car park as you wish.
This allows you to get the car whenever you want and enjoy a getaway outside of the city and when you return you will have a parking space waiting for you in the car park.
Map of all the available car parks in Barcelona with Parkimeter
PRICE FOR 3 HOURS: €6 – €7
PRICE FOR HALF A DAY (6 hours): €10 – €13
PRICE PER DAY: €10 – €23
PRICE PER WEEK: 60€ – 105€
PRICE PER MONTH: €130 – €184
* The prices vary according to the car park and the zone it’s in, and the price we have given you is for guidance only, and can vary.
Find the nearest car park
Reserve your parking space
Receive your reservation code by email
Access the car parkTake a ticket from the car park machine when you enter
Take a ticket from the car park machine when you enterGo to the manned car park office, present your ticket and your reservation code, and you’ll be given the pass that will allow you to leave the car park
Your space is guaranteed
* Minium 3-hour stay
Car parks are open 24 hours per day
The car parks are covered and protected by security
** Complete flexibility
* It varies depending on the car park, and in some cases it’s 6 hours.
** You’ll be able to leave the car park as many times as you want during the time that your space is reserved. In many cases it’s even possible to park in different car parks in Barcelona with the same reservation, as long as the car parks are managed by the same company and that your reservation is for one day or more.
Metered parking on the street in Barcelona
Barcelona is full of parking spaces on the streets, that you pay for at the nearby meters. Unlike in the private car parks, street parking has a time limit, which varies between 2 and 3 hours depending on the area.
When this time runs out you will need to leave the parking space or put more money in, so you’ll need to keep your eye on the clock, especially as parking attendants do monitor the streets constantly, and your car could be towed away. At night and at lunchtime you will be able to park for free in many of these areas.
The parking spaces marked on the ground in blue show that you will need to pay to park (throughout certain hours of the day and following the process we’ve given you above). There’s a maximum time limit for leaving your car there, which varies from 1 to 4 hours. (if you want to leave your car for longer, you’ll need to return to the car and insert more money into the meter).
Zone D -> €1.08/h (max. 4 hours)
Zone C -> €1.96/h (max. 3 hours)
Zone B -> €2.25/h (max. 2 hours)
Zone A -> €2,5/h (max. 1-2 hours)
Charging hours: Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 13:59 and 16:00 to 19:59.
Free of charge: Monday to Saturday from 14:00 to 15:59 and from 20:00 to 08:59, and all day on Sundays.
* There may be some exceptions to the information above, as is the case with the area near the seafront (where you will also need to pay on Sundays during summer months, to park in a blue zone). We recommend carefully checking the conditions on the information panels in the blue zone when you park your car.
You’ll also find the so-called Green Zone on the streets. Here the borders of the parking spaces are painted green and the idea is to give priority parking to people who live in the area (and the cost to residents is much lower). Anyone can park in many of these spaces (although paying a higher price to that in the blue zone), and in these cases the signs within the zone will include the text “Área preferente” (“priority area”).
By contrast, there are some areas for the green zone where parking is restricted to residents only, and nobody else can park, not even if they pay. This type of zone is indicated by the text “Área Residente” (“residential area”).
€ Tariff €2.75/h – €3/h (for non-residents).
Charging hours: Monday to Saturday from 08:00 to 19:59.
Free of charge: Daily from 20:00 to 07:59 and all day on Sundays. (in some areas it’s free on Saturdays too).
* It’s essential to check the information panels in each area, in order to be informed of the detailed and exact rules for parking there.
The parking process is simple; you park your car in one of the parking zones (there are blue and green zones), and you look for the nearest parking meter in which to make your payment. You then insert your coins into the machine, and it will indicate how much time you can park for, or alternatively you select how much time you want and it will give you the price.
After making the payment, the ticket is printed which tells you until what time you can leave your car in the space. Then you will need to leave this ticket clearly visible inside the car, so that the parking attendants can see that you’ve paid and that you’re within the allotted time. Another option, which is more technologically advanced and usually easier, is to use the mobile app ApparkB.
If you have to go by car to some of the tourist sights it is recommended, and even we would say essential, to look beforehand at the nearest car park where you can leave your car. This way you will save going round and round in the car trying to find a place to park. Also, if you want to, you can book your parking space online beforehand for the time you need.
And where can we park free of charge in Barcelona?
There are few places and zones of Barcelona in which you can park free of charge, whether it’s at any time of day or at certain times of the day. It’s therefore important to know all the information about where and when you can park for free. Below you’ll find a few options for free parking, and information about their features.
Shopping centres have their own parking, whether it’s covered or outdoors, and they have a large number of available parking spaces. Sometimes there’s a time limit for parking for free, without buying anything within the shopping centres, and this ranges from 2 to 3 hours. However, in some shopping centres you’ll be able to park for free without any time limit or minimum spend in the shops.
Areas that are further away from the city centre
In some areas close to Montjuïc, such as in the Poble Sec neighborhood and other areas that are somewhat further away from the centre of Barcelona (Zona Universitaria, Nou Barris, Vall d’Hebrón, Sant Andreu etc) you will find some sections of the street which aren’t marked as a green zone or a blue zone, and you’ll therefore be able to park free of charge without any restrictions (providing you read and respect any rules and regulations that are pertinent to the area).
Loading and unloading zones
In some zones that are reserved for loading and unloading (which are marked with a yellow “V”) it’s possible to park during the night and on Saturdays and Sundays. You’ll need to check the rules on the information panel which can be found close by.
On some lanes that are reserved for buses it’s possible to park your car during the night and on Sundays. It’s usually easy to spot these sections, because they are usually full of parked cars at night and on Sundays.
Monday to Saturday from 14:00 to 15:59 and from 20:00 until 08:59. Also all day on Sundays.
Daily from 20:00 to 07:59 and all day on Sundays. (in some areas it’s free on Saturdays too).