Reviews of Articket Barcelona, Barcelona Card and the other top city passes
My clients often ask me if it’s worth it to get a Barcelona city pass to get discounts for their sightseeing. I always answer that while some of them have quite tempting offers, they aren’t cheap and you totally need to carefully plan which of their discounted sites are you going to visit, otherwise you end up wasting your money on discounts that don’t really cover the cost of the day pass.
This is why decided to analyze for you the best Barcelona city passes, to help you deciding which one is the right choice for you (or if instead, they are not such a good deal for your plans).
Here are our tips to choose the best Barcelona city pass for your stay:
Barcelona Card. Probably the most complete Barcelona city pass, yet again you need to carefully plan your sightseeing and activities to make sure it’s worth it. The best way to go is to attend one of the Flamenco shows offering 20% discount. If you buy the Dinner+Show option, you’ll be already using half the cost of a 2-day Barcelona Card. Then you’ll be using for sure the discounts for Sagrada Familia and Pedrera. With one more of their free entrance museums (I’d recommend either the Miró Foundation or the MNAC) and dinner at one of their restaurants with 20% discount, you’ll have covered the cost of the 2-day card. That’s without counting that you get free unlimited use of the city’s public transportation. The downside? It doesn’t include the Picasso Museum, and if you are a foodie, the restaurant options aren’t specially memorable. For each extra day you need to plan using it at least 2 o 3 times / extra day.
Articket Barcelona. The Barcelona city pass for museum lovers: Articket Barcelona includes the Picasso Museum, the Miró Foundation, the MNAC, the CCCB and the Tapies Foundation. If you visit 3 of them, you cover the cost of the past. The downside is that unless you are spending 2 or more days in town, you are not likely to want to spend all day closed inside a museum… Anyway, this Barcelona museum card is valid for 12 months, so if you are living in town or coming often, you won’t be so in a hurry to use it up.
Bus Turístic. There are several companies in town offering hop-on hop-off tours, but only the one operated by the city council (Barcelona Bus Turistic) gives you a booklet with interesting discounts, and even if your bus ticket is only valid for 1 or 2 consecutive days, you don’t need to use your discounts within the same time frame. The downside is that it’s difficult to pay off the cost of the tickets just out of discounts: they are smaller than for other passes and you need to use at least 10 of them to cover the cost of a 1-day ticket. However, if you are fond of hop-off hop-on buses, the discount booklet is definitely a plus.
Arqueo Ticket. Are you an archeology geek? This Barcelona city pass can be great if you are passionate about history and old stones. For much less than the price of two museums, you get 4: the Museum of History of the City (Roman ruins in the Gothic Quarter), Egyptian Museum, Maritime Museum and Museum of Archaeology. You have a whole year to visit, but the downside is that its offer is not really main-stream and if it’s your first time in Barcelona you are probably wanting to visit other sites instead.
Ruta del Modernisme. The Barcelona city pass for architecture lovers: it’s not just a discount pass but it goes with a guidebook that lists and explains the most remarkable modernist sites in Barcelona. Not all of them are open for visitors, but it makes for lovely walks that often take you off the beaten path. The downside: there are only 2 places where you can get it (the most central, by the Columbus sculpture), and you need to plan visiting at least 7 sites to cover the cost of the pass. We’d suggest: Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, Pedrera, Palau de la Música Catalana, Palau Guell, Hospital de Sant Pau and MNAC museum and Museu del Modernisme.
AND BONUS! Are you considering buying a subway day pass?
What about Subway Day Passes? Definitely not. Barcelona is a very walkable city and the number of rides you are likely to need from site to site are relatively limited if you plan your day sightseeing with a minimum of common sense. A one-day Barcelona transportation card (T-Dia) costs around the price of 3.5 single tickets, but you can only use it one day. If you go for a T-10 instead, you get 10 rides that you can use any time during your stay, plus T-10 cards can be shared with your other travel mates (while you need to buy a T-Dia per person as they are personal tickets). Same goes for Multiple Day Passes (called “Hola BCN“).
So what about you? Share your thoughts below: is the Barcelona Card worth it? What about Articket Barcelona or the others? What is your favorite Barcelona city pass?