Option 1: Take train S2 from Barcelona Plaça Catalunya to Sabadell-Rambla, and get off at station St. Joan (2 zones). It is another 10–15 minute walk to a good rest-area at the AP7, the main highway to the North (Girona and France in direction of Perpignan) or South.
Get out of the station on the left side, and take the road that follows the rail-track. After a left-turn, take the third street to the right and follow this until you get on C/ de Bellaterra. You should be able to spot the rest-area after less then a 5 minute walk from here. To hitch South, stay on that side, to hitch North, take the footbridge.
Alternatively, it might be easier to stay in the train one more stop, get off at Bellaterra. When out of the station, walk towards the left following the main street. You will then reach a bridge over the motorway. After the bridge, turn left at the next street that goes parallel to the motorway. After 200 meter and a small tunnel you are at the same rest-area.
Option 2: Take the Renfe train to Castellbisbal station from Barcelona Sants (Line C4 to St. Vicente de Calders, platform 1, buy a 2 zone ticket), Plaça Catalunya or Arc de Triomf. Walk back up the railtracks in the direction that you came from, for about ten minutes until you see a service station on your left. To hitch North, cross the road via the footbridge. To hitch South, stay on that side of the road.
Alternatively, you can walk out of the main exit of the train station, and take the first turn right. Walk straight on from there, keeping the highway on your right hand-side.
The newly build AVE high speed train line now runs between the Castellbisbal station and the service station, but it's still easy to get there: leave the train station, cross the AVE tracks on the big bridge right in front of you. on the other side take the first small road on the left. it soon changes into an unpaved road, that leads you around the hill. after about 10 minutes you reach the service station. (right after the point where the highway bridges over the ave.) For orientation: you can see the service station from the train on your right hand just before you reach Castellbisbal.
Option 3: Take the metro and get off at Monumental. From there pass by the Plaça de Toros (Bullfight Arena) and stand in the last traffic light of the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes corner Carrer Padilla before the ramp entrance to the highway C-31. When the light turns red ask people if they're heading towards the highway. If so, ask them if they can take you to the first gas station (gasolinera)... Off you go to France!
Copied from the talk page:
- "I hitched from Castellbisbal in August 2006. Instead of walking back along the tracks, I crossed the road and walked down the hill, by some allotments. The guy who worked at the station pointed to the two mountains and told me to go between them. I did, and it worked. I passed under a bridge via a dirt track (the road was being built as I passed) and just past that, on my right, was the service station. I hoped the fence, crossed the footbridge, and hitched south in the shadow of a big 'X' monument. After about an hour and a half, I got picked up by an off-duty police who'd been in Barcelona for a health check up. He gave me a ride all the way to Amposta, and sang Kylie Minogue songs. Good times."
On the main highway from France to Barcelona, some cars are being stopped at the border for checks. While riding into Spain (Catalunya), there are several big rest areas along that road. You can either ask your driver to stop you somewhere along that road at towns that have train stations, such as Girona, or better Rubí or San Cugat, or get out off the car at a restarea for a ride into Barcelona. A ticket generally cost you between €1,20 (San Cugat/ Rubí) and €10 (Girona).
You can also try to get a ride to the Costa Brava, where there are many train stations with trains to Barcelona. There is a cheap train service (in 2004 the ticket for the longest distance was 4 euro) along the coast all the way into Barcelona.
When staying on the beach in Barcelona, you may notice the thieves. They walk around, and watch people who are staying on the beach for hours before taking anything. Though they aren't hostile or confrontational, they can steal the clothes off your back if you let them. The only way to keep your pack for sure, is to bury it in the sand, and sleep on top of it. Sleeping with your head on your bag is just not enough.
Another option is sleeping in the roundabout of the Colom monument near the port at the end of Las Ramblas, if you dont worry about all the traffic nearby. You can sleep near the lion statues and as long as you are low-key about it the police and anyone else should leave you alone. Zac did this is October of 2006 and had no problems with thieves, but discretion is still wise.
Another great option is to take a late train to the natural park in the nortwest of barcelona. For example, you can take the S2 to Sabadell (til 11.30, ticket zone 1), leaving from Placa de Catalunya, and go to Beixador de Vallvidrera : Here is a big park which is nearly like a forest, you will find a very good, lonesome place to stay within 500 metres.
- Hitchbase has some more options on alternative ways to hitchhike out of Barcelona.