Taxis in Spain are easy to recognise. Each one has a ´taxi´ sign on the roof that will be illuminated with a green light or a “libre” (Spanish) or “lliure” (Catalan) sign when it is vacant. When it is either occupied or off-duty, the taxi will have no light and quite often a “cerrado” (Spanish) or “tancat” (Catalan) sign. You can flag one down in the street or head to one of the taxi ranks located near places like major foot-traffic areas as well as train & bus stations.
Prices vary according to the tariff rate. There are three named, naturally enough, T1 T2 and T3. The first two are the ones you will be dealing with most often as they are related to Barcelona. The third, T3, is an inter-city tariff and it means the meter starts at a whopping €5.50. T2 is used only on weekdays between 8am and 8pm. The starting meter price is €2 for both T1 and T2, although T1 is a more expensive per-kilometre price. There are a variety of extra charges: pickup from the airport is an extra €3, there is a charge of €1 for each piece of luggage and if your taxi needs to wait for you anywhere, it will cost you around €18.50 per hour (or part thereof).
There is an official government guide to taxi charges available at this link (in English) for the comprehensive list. As a general rule of thumb, you should not pay more than €6 for a ten-minute trip in Barcelona and if you have a wheel-chair, pram or guide-dog, these items are legally allowed to ride with you at no extra charge.
If you want to call a taxi, you will need to learn at least a little Catalan or Spanish. A hotel can book a cab for you, and there are English-speaking private shuttle services to and from the airport, but no taxi companies who offer English-speaking booking services. When you call a cab, you will probably be speaking directly to one of the cab drivers, especially in the outer suburbs. Some will speak English and you should get their card if you come across one you like. They can end up being a little like your own personal driver and tour guide – and part of your extended family.
If you get really stuck (or can´t find a taxi in the street – an unlikely occurrence), you can book a cab online at RadioTaxi. The form is only in Spanish, but you will be able to work out the basics and an operator will call you back.
Other major taxi companies:
FONO TAXI (Barcelona).
Taxi Fleet: 300 taxis
SERVI TAXI (Barcelona).
Taxi Fleet: 400 taxis
TAXI CLASS RENT, SL.
Taxi Fleet: 175 vehicles
Area covered: Metropolitan area of Barcelona
Services: All taxis are Mercedes Benz, with air conditioning,
BARNA TAXI (Barcelona).
Taxi Fleet: 210 taxis
Telephones: 933577755 – 933002314
MERCEDES TAXI (Barcelona).
RADIO TAXI (Barcelona).
Telephones: 902222111 – 932933111