Q: Can you advise me whether I should buy the Barcelona Card or the T10 ticket on my visit. What are the factors I need to consider to make the right choice?
A: The first thing to be aware of is that the Barcelona card and the T10 are totally different products. Therefore making a direct comparison between the two is not really possible.
Barcelona Card vs T10 for discounts
There are no discounts with the T10. It is a transport only ticket.
The Barcelona Card not only gives you free transport in Zone 1 (the main tourist area) on the metro, buses tram and RENFE train to the airport but it also gives you discounts entry to selected Barcelona attractions. The Barcelona card will give you other discounts e.g. into some performance venues and also discounts on Barcelona Turisme official souvenir shop. The T10 is a transport only ticket. You do not get any discounts. See our summary of benefits with the Barcelona Card
In summary for discounts: Barcelona Card gives you discounts on entrance fees for attractions, official Barcelona Turisme souvenirs shop, some restaurants and selected performances. T10 is a transport only card.
T10 transport ticket vs the Barcelona card in relation to the transport
Sharing of the tickets
The first difference to be highlighted is that the T10 transport ticket is a multi-person ticket. What that means is that you can share the ticket with other members of your group. The T10 ticket entitles you to 10 journeys on the Barcelona transport system in the zone one area. Each time the ticket is used by a person this will count as one journey. Therefore if you have 10 people in your group and they all use the ticket on the same journey then the ticket will be used up in one journey for each person. Alternatively 1 person can make 10 separate journeys. The T10 must be validated for each person for each journey.
The Barcelona card is specifically assigned to one person and it cannot be shared with other members of your group.
Operating hours of the tickets
The T10 transport ticket can be used at any time 24 hours a day. There are no hours of operation limits with the T10 ticket. You can travel at both on-peak or off-peak times.
For a one day card the Barcelona card is valid until 00:00 Midnight of the day on which you activate the card. It is important to note that if you activate the Barcelona card late in the day then you may only have a few hours of use. If you purchased a three day card then the card will be valid until 00:00 Midnight on the third day after the day of activation. It is therefore important when you activate your Barcelona card. This limitation does not apply to the T10 ticket.
Expiry of the cards
The T10 transport ticket expires at the end of January of the following year of purchase. You can use any unused journeys allowances on the card within that time period.
The Barcelona card is only valid for the number of days for which you have purchased it starting from the activation date and ending midnight on the final day of validity. You cannot split or choose the dates on which you will use the Barcelona card. Once activated the card will only allow you to have consecutive days of transport until it expires.
Barcelona Card vs T10 on the Journey duration time.
The T10 transport ticket has a maximum journey time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. If your journey time goes beyond the 1 hour and 15 minutes you would be required to use another journey allowance on your ticket. Provided that you are in zone 1 and that your journey takes no longer than one hour and 15 minutes you can use a combination of transport systems for example the metro, the bus, or the RENFE train to the airport. Whenever you change the transport system you would need to validate your T10 ticket using the validation machines on the transport. The validation machines for the Metro are situated near to the sliding doors entrance to the Metro system. The validation machines for the bus are situated inside the bus.
The Barcelona card gives you unlimited time of travel on the transport system therefore you could have a journey which lasts longer than one hour and 15 minutes and still not be required to pay any extra money.
Fundamentally these are the primary differences between the Barcelona card and the T10 ticket in terms of transport.
However it must be borne in mind that the Barcelona Card offers many other advantages in the form of discount entries to museums and major attractions in Barcelona. The T10 ticket is a transport only ticket and does not give you any discounts to any attractions in the city.
We have many other pages on the Barcelona card and on the T10 ticket which you can find by referring to the related links below. I hope this answers your question on the Barcelona card vs the T10 ticket.
You can use the Barcelona Card to cover your cost on the metro L9 Sud from both T1 and T2 of Barcelona Airport. However the T10 ticket is not valid for use on the Metro L9 stops at Barcelona Airport.
Prices for T10 vs Barcelona Card:
Zone 1 T10: €10.20
Mainly purchased by tourists this transport ticket gives you a total of 10 journeys on the metro, tram and buses in the city centre.
Barcelona Card: The card price varies depending on the number of days of validity. Card can be purchased for 2 to 5 days consecutive use. Unlimited travel (as many journeys as you want) during the time of validity for metro, tram buses and RENFE train to airport.
Barcelona Card for 2 Days
See our page on the Barcelona Card for more information.