A BARCELONA CITY PASSES COMPARISON
My clients often ask me if it’s worth it to get a Barcelona 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).
These are our Barcelona city pass reviews:
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 la 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. There’s also an Express Card for less than half the cost that might be easier to compensate – but it’ll still require some planning to be worth it, and a Barcelona Card Family perfect if you are planning a very kid-friendly vacation (attention: it’s not a group card: you still need a card per person).
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.
Barcelona Tourist Buses
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.
Are you an archaeology geek? The Arqueo Ticket 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.
Modernism Barcelona Card
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: it’s high cost. You need to plan visiting at least 7 sites to cover the cost of the pass, so unless all your vacation has been planned revolving architecture, this card won’t work for you.
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 4 single tickets, but you can only use it one day.
Depending on how many people are in your party and how central is your hotel, I suggest you consider either one T-Casual per person (10 rides, not shareable) or one single T-Familiar for the entire group (8 rides, shareable) and keep buying more as you use them up. Same goes for Multiple Day Passes (called “Hola BCN“).
What Barcelona city pass did you decide to buy?
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