Travel tips & Visa

IONS BCN ’19 will be held at

ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Av. Carl Friedrich Gauss 3, 08860 Castelldefels (Barcelona), Spain

which is a seaside town 20 km south of Barcelona.

The offices and laboratories of ICFO are located in a dedicated building situated in the Parc Mediterrani de la Tecnologia that is located next to the Canal Olímpic, 10 minutes away from the beach.

Getting around

You can reach the conference location by public transportation or by car. Details on how to reach the conference venue can be found in the “Location and Contact” tab here.

Besides Google maps a very convenient application to get around is CITYMAPPER that gives you the best public transport options.

Tip from the locals: for travelling within the city and to come to Castelldefels (included in Zone 1), we recommend using public transport and purchase our beloved T10 ticket, which can be used across all forms of public transport (except the airport metro). The T10 for Zone 1 covers most of Barcelona’s Metropolitan Area including the entire city as well as Castelldefels.

It costs 10.20 EUR for 10 trips, but taking into account that a single trip goes for two hours, during which you may include various modes of transport such as the Metro, buses, railways and trams, change between them and go in and out without using another trip.

Note that it is not possible to buy a T10 ticket on the bus, only at the counter and vending machines of Metro and train (Rodalies) stations.

From the airport

Barcelona-El Prat International Airport is the main airport of Catalonia and the closest to Barcelona, located 14 km southwest from the city centre. It comprises two terminals T1 and T2 and there is a free bus shuttle service between them.

Following this link, you will find a detailed description about the airport itself, the taxi fares, the public transports to come to or to leave from the airport, specific schedules and further practical information. Besides, you can check ICFO’s “Location and Contact” tab in general information page for details in a nutshell.

Tip from the locals: we normally choose the various public transport options to reach ICFO or home from the airport over a taxi or the Metro since these are pretty fast and much cheaper especially when we arrive during the day.

By train, if we go to Castelldefels we take the Rodalies from Terminal 2, change in El Prat station and take any train that passes in the platform with the labels Sant Vicenç de Calders/Vilanova (except to the one to the Airport!). If we go towards Barcelona, it’s even easier, just get off the train any of the two most centric stations in Barcelona: Sants or Passeig de Gràcia. These rides take about 30 minutes in both cases.

By bus, if we are going to Barcelona, the Aerobús is one of the most convenient options, and if we go to Castelldefels we usually take the bus L99 that leaves from Terminal 1. With both you arrive within 30 minutes at the final stop in Castelldefels/Barcelona.

From Castelldefels train station to ICFO

Once you reach Castelldefels’ train station, right after the exit on your left hand, please go through the tunnel underneath the tracks, go across the car park following the indications to the PMT-UPC Campus and walk along the pedestrian wooden floor bridge that goes above the highway. You will then see a colourful building in front of you which is the Pius Font i Quer Resa Residence. ICFO is located in the same street.


In the event that you need a visa to attend IONS BCN’19, we are happy to help with the visa application process and provide the necessary documents. As soon as you are registered for the conference, please kindly contact us so that we may initiate the visa application process at the earliest.

In case you have any doubts, questions, and special requests, please do not hesitate to drop us an email to

To know more about accommodation possibilities, please, visit the corresponding tab or press here.