Tourist Information Guide

Hop on Hop off Tourist Bus or The Barcelona Card?

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Q: The Barcelona Card sounds good for us while we are in the city, but so does the Hop on Hop Off Tourist Bus. Can you help us to determine which one would be best for us? We understand that the city traffic can be bad. The Barcelona card gets us on the bus, subway, train and trams. Is this the best way to get around the city to see the tourist sights without running into traffic situations? Does the Barcelona Card include the Tourist Bus and the Montjuïc cable car? The places we want to see are: Montjuïc, the Spanish village, the cable cars both the Montjuïc and the port cable car, the Sagrada Família, the Flamenco show with dinner in the Spanish village. Do you have any other suggestions for us to see that are near the items we have listed? Thanks for all your help.

A: I will give a generic answer here. The simple answer to use the Barcelona Card or a hop on hop off Tourist Bus depends on how much planning you are prepared to do. If you don't want to do much planning and reading before you go then you can take a Tourist Bus as the routes are all planned out and you will see the main attractions.

Barcelona hop on hop off sightseeing bus
Barcelona hop on hop off sightseeing bus

However there are many Barcelona tourist attractions you may not be interested in, or you may have only some attractions that you want to see and not others. You have no options with the Tourist Bus but to stay on the bus as it follows its entire route. It can also be a little time consuming waiting for the next bus to arrive. It is advertised that the buses frequently arrive however I can tell you that sometimes you need to wait 20 minutes or more for the bus to arrive and they then all arrive at once! The traffic can also be heavy in Barcelona city centre however it really depends a lot on the day.

If you plan in advance what you want to see then Barcelona Card is a good option because you get free unlimited transport in Barcelona centre plus discount entry to many of the main tourist attractions. It is much faster to arrive at specific attractions using the Metro underground system than the tourist bus. There are no traffic problems with the metro and it is fast, clean and efficient. The other advantage of the Barcelona Card is that you can use it for any travel on the buses or metro system. This means when you go out of a evening time you can also use the Barcelona card for transportation. Something you can't do with the Tourist Bus. If you plan out your schedule and know what you want to see the Barcelona card will enable you to spend less time on the actual transport and more time at the sight of interest. You will generally not needs to spend more than 10 minutes on the metro to get to the main attractions from any part of town. Of course this varies but with the metro you will be surprised how quickly you can get around.

A Low Cost Transport Pass

Another alternative could to get a Barcelona Transport Card instead of the Barcelona Card . The Transport Card gives you unlimited journeys on Barcelona's main transport system including Metro, Tram, Buses and the TMB bus or RENFE train to the Airport. It does not entitle you to transport on the Aerobus (the express bus to the airport). You can purchase this card for the duration of your visit. Unlike the Barcelona Card however the Barcelona Transport Card does not entitle you to any discounts at attractions or venues.

As for travelling to the destinations you mention you can use the Barcelona Card on the metro or normal bus routes however we are unable to give advice on individual itineraries due to the number of enquiries we receive.

Barcelona Transport Card

Barcelona Card

Our Insider Tip

Did you know that you can’t take your luggage onto the Hop on Hop off tourist bus. Therefore before you take the tourist bus you need to store you luggage at a luggage storage point. Follow the link below to find and book a luggage storage in the city centre near to a tourist attraction.

Find a luggage storage point to store your luggage

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