Driving to Barcelona is a relatively good idea. Driving in Barcelona however, is another matter altogether. To think drivers in Barcelona are more disciplined than those in the rest of the country seems amusing when one experiences how jam-packed traffic can get. Despite this, car rental can be sometimes necessary to cover the specific needs of a business trip or when your hotel is outside the city or far from the metro stations.
Although car rental offers you a great deal of freedom and advantages such as visiting the main attractions of the city how and when you like it, and enjoying experiences such as heading to the Mediterranean beaches at Badalona or heading towards the inland mountains; Barcelona traffic tends to be too congested most of the time to really enjoy all of these wonders. There are few parking spaces in the center of the city, and garage or lot parking tend to be too expensive, (when and if you happen to find one), so indeed driving in Barcelona can be easier than attempting to park.
In Plaça de les Glories though, the Metropark allows you to leave your car and have unlimited access to metro services all day for ten Euros, and to protect yourself from car theft, make sure you always lock the car and never leave your valuables and documents inside. For a better orientation throughout your journey it’s better to stick to Ronda de Dalt and Litoral, these two roads will grant you easy access to most of the attractions of the city.
In theory, rush hours are on Monday through Saturday from 8:00 to 10:00 and 16:00 to 19:30. Reality though seems to be completely different since it’s always busy, especially in the center. Still a car is very useful when you’re touring the Catalonia province (although bus and train transportation to the main attractions outside the city are extremely efficient and cheap).
Now, renting a car in Barcelona is relatively easy and economic, there are many big American companies like Avis, Hertz, and Budget, that keep offices in Barcelona. Besides there are also companies from Spain like Auto Europe or Europe Car, but keep in mind that they sometimes have different billing and insurance regulations, so make sure you ask explicitly what’s included and what’s not, like taxes, which are usually collected at the rental stand.
Speed limits in Barcelona, Spain run as follows:
Regulations are similar, don't drink & drive, don't use your mobile while driving and children under 12 years old should always seat at the back.
- In town: 50 km/h
- Outside built-up areas or Highways: 90 km/h
- Expressways or Motorways: 120 km/h
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