Barcelona by Bus. Tourist Bus Alternatives
BARCELONA BUS ROUTES BETTER THAN THE HOP-ON HOP-OFF BUS
I’ve always been wary of hop-off hop-on buses. They are expensive, the discounts that usually come with the ticket aren’t always that interesting or cost-efficient, and the explanations giving by the audio-guide are quite boring… Plus they only run one way, so once you get on the wheel you either go all the way to the end or have to take a taxi back. And don’t forget about the long lines!
Best alternatives to the Tourist Bus to see Barcelona by bus
Buses along Passeig de Gracia and beyond
Passeig de Gràcia is a busy shopping district and where two Gaudi buildings are located: Casa Mila (La Pedrera) and Casa Batllo. It’s a pretty walkable area to explore: it consists of only 10 blocks, around 20 minutes walk. But if walking isn’t your thing, there’s 4 buses driving all the way up Passeig de Gracia.
Bus 7 stops between Gran Via De Les Corts Catalanes and Diputacio on its way up. After Passeig de Gracia, the route takes you to the upskill districts of the Upper Diagonal where you can stop for shopping at the Illa Diagonal Mall or the less crowded Corte Ingles in Maria Cristina, or be dropped off a short walk from the FC Barcelona Stadium.
Bus 24 departs from the corner of Plaça Catalunya with Rambla Catalunya, from where it loops to go up Passeig de Gracia. Then it continues across the Gracia district and all the way to Park Guell. It actually drops you off closer than the Tourist Bus!
Bus 22 departs from Ronda Sant Pere and follows a similar route, but then it branches off and takes you to the (so-called) “bunkers” of El Carmel – a popular vantage point.
And bus V15 stops also in Ronda Sant Pere and after Passeig de Gracia it continues towards the High Zone (Zona Alta), ending close to the Cosmocaixa Science Museum and the famous meat restaurant Asador de Aranda.
From Plaça Espanya, the bus 150 is the best public bus line to explore the hill of Montjuic. After going around the back of the 1929 pavilions, it goes pat the Magic Fountain, the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, the Poble Espanyol, the Olympic facilities, the Miro Foundation, and up it goes all the way to the Montjuic Castle. On the way down it stops by two popular vantage points: Miradors de l’Alcalde and Mirador de Miramar. Except for the detour to drop you off the MNAC museum, the bus 150 beats the Bus Turistic Red Route.
Bus lines along the beach and marinas
Barcelona features over 3 miles of beach and marinas. Unfortunately, there’s no bus line covering the entire waterfront, but there’s several lines covering part of it. The buses V15 and V19 drive along Port Vell and Barceloneta from Palau del Mar, all the way to the W Hotel and the Aeri del Port Cable Car.
The D20 bus stops at Portal de la Pau (Columbus statue) and takes you along the Moll de la Fusta and around Port Vell, then it crosses the Barceloneta fishermen district and following the Passeig Maritim promenade along the Barceloneta and Somorrostro beaches, ending by the Vila Olympica towers.
The bus 59 overlaps, but it continues further into the Olympic Village, all the way to the Poblenou Cemetery. Unfortunately, believe it or not, there’s no bus routes continuing along the beach. H6 does go parallel to the coast, but inland. So no beach views from the bus… I have to admit it, here the Green Route running in the Summer does a better job.
Barcelona by bus with the V19
Old Town Barcelona Bus lines
The Red Route goes across the Old Town of Barcelona through Via Laietana. But believe me, except a click glimpse of the Roman walls and the Cathedral of Saint Eulalia, it’s not that interesting. And the V15, V17 and 47 buses cover the same path.
The hop-on hop-off bus does not cover La Rambla… but the 59 line does! Great way to spare you the half a mile walk! And of course the tourist bus can’t go into the small alleys of the old town but here goes a secret: the 120 bus goes from near Arch of Triumph, through the off-Born, La Mercè quarter and el Raval, before dropping you off safely at the Sant Antoni Market.
Ok, but doesn't the Blue Route cover a few more sites?
The Blue Route demystified
Sure, it connects Passeig de Gracia with Sagrada Familia and the Hospital de Sant Pau.
But truth be told, the views on the way are just plain Eixample district (like you’d see from the V19 line we discussed before). And you are faster done taking the subway anyway, if you don’t care about the views.
Then as I said, it doesn’t’ leave you close to Park Guell. You don’t even get a glimpse of it from the bus. And it’s an uphill walk if you plan to hop off and visit it! After that follows a 15 minutes boring ride to take you to the High Zone, where at least is greener – but not that exciting.
If you took the V15 from Passeig de Gracia, you can actually switch to the H4, that overlaps. Then the lines 63, 78 and V5 go down Avinguda Pedralbes. Actually, the 63 bus continues down Diagonal avenue for a while (but I prefer the tram for that section of the trip).
For a detour to see the FC Barcelona stadium, if you don’t feel like walking from Diagonal Avenue, take the 113 or the M12 buses.
Are you planning to see Barcelona by bus?
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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