The best way to explore a new city is to walk around. But after a few hours of walking your feet might start to protest and you want to take a break. On my recent visit with my mom to Barcelona, we had little time and wanted to see as much as possible. We decided to try the tourist bus Barcelona and see what the hop on hop off bus in Barcelona would be like. Read my review and stick around for some Barcelona bus tour discount codes!
Barcelona Bus Turistic
There are two hop on hop off tourist buses in Barcelona. As I was invited by the Barcelona Turisme office, I used the official Barcelona tour bus: the Barcelona Bus Turístic. They are blue/turquoise buses with open rooftops that follow 3 routes around the city of Barcelona and will stop at all the major tourist sights.
On board of the Barcelona tourist bus, you’ll find a knowledgeable guide from the tourist office who can help you with everything around Barcelona. They all speak flawless English. On board, you can listen to commentary and information in 16 different languages. We sat on the top deck and enjoyed the sunshine and the views of Barcelona, or sat down stairs when we only had to ride for 1 stop.
Hop On Hop Off Bus Barcelona
The hop on hop off concept of the Barcelona tourist bus is perfect for people with little time who want to see a lot of the city. You can purchase a 1-day pass or a 2-day pass and you can use the bus as much as you like. For example; you can hop on at the central stop and ride the whole route in one go or get off at the next stop, walk around and hop back on the tourist bus again.
You can spend as much time as you like between hopping on an off, as busses ride between 5 and 20 minutes (depending on season’s times). So you never have to wait long and nearly all major tourist attractions in Barcelona have a tourist bus stop nearby.
Read more: Barcelona Nightlife Tips from a local
Tourist Bus Barcelona Routes and Map
The Barcelona tourist bus has 3 routes that run along the city and have you can follow one route of mix the 3 routes together:
Red Route: Stops at the main tourist sites in the hearth of Barcelona and turns west ward to Mont Juïc to return to the harbour front.
Green Route: Follows the beach front of Barcelona all the way to the Forum and returns to the Port Olympic.
Blue Route: Stops at the main tourist sites in the hearth of Barcelona and turns east wards to the Sagrada Familia and then goes north to Park Güell and North West to Mount Tibidabo and Camp Nou.
You can see the map below or download a map here.
Barcelona Tourist Bus Review
After walking over 22,000 steps on our first day in Barcelona, we needed to give our feet a break. We decided to use the Barcelona tour bus for the next two days of our stay in Barcelona. On the first day, we hopped on the Barcelona Bus Turístic at Plaça de Cataluyna and took the blue route to the Sagrada Familia.
Barcelona Bus Tour: Blue Route
We passed the Casa Batlló and the Casa Milà to turn towards the Sagrada Familia. On previous visits I had walked (40 min) and used the metro (2 changes) so I was happy to get to the famous Gaudí Cathedral so quickly and easily. After spending some time at the Sagrada Familia and the Hospital de Pau, we hopped back on the tourist bus and went north to Park Güell.
We enjoyed the sun set at the park and after a refreshing drink, we returned to the bus stop and hopped back on the bus. We continued our blue route on the tourist bus and enjoyed some of the great avenues in Barcelona. As it was already dark, we didn’t hop off again but I now know some more great places I want to visit on my next visit to Barcelona.
Barcelona Bus Tour: Red Route
The next day, the sun was shining brightly and we hopped on the red line of the Barcelona Bus Turístic at Plaça de Cataluyna. We passed the Casa Batlló and Casa Milà again and took some great pictures from the upper deck of the bus. We really enjoyed our visit to the Plaça d’Espanya and snapped some pictures at the viewpoints of Mont Juïc. I really liked the commentary of the audio guide that told me some random facts about Barcelona that I didn’t know or realised before.
We went back down to the city again and enjoyed the beach front stops and returned to the city centre where we hopped off again to explore the Gothic Quarter on foot.
Although we didn’t hop off at every stop, we did get a great view of the city. From the posh avenues and great shopping streets, to the green hills of Mont Juïc. We could see the harbour front and the new and modern architecture of the Port Olympic. Sitting on the top deck of the tourist bus gave us great uninterrupted views of the city that we would have missed sitting on a normal bus or riding the metro.
Barcelona Bus Tour: Green Route
As I visited in November, the green route of the tourist bus Barcelona was not serviced. However I can imagine this is a great route in summer times as it runs along the beach front with great views of the green parks and the sea side.
Overall review of the Barcelona tourist bus
Obviously, I really enjoyed the tour bus of Barcelona. It was easy to use, it saved us a ton of walking and money in public transport tickets and it was great to get off at all the major tourist sites in Barcelona.
We were really close to the Plaça de Cataluyna were the two biggest routes started and finished. We enjoyed just driving around Barcelona and seeing a lot of different sights of the city in a short period of time.
So was it all glitter and glory? Almost. You do have to be aware the bus drives in a loop and doesn’t run the route in two directions. This means, if you want to take the bus to, for example the Park Güell all the way in the north of the city, you either have to take public transport back or continue the route of the Barcelona tourist bus. Not a big problem for us as we wanted to see the rest of the route but this might be a problem if you want to go to a sight quickly and then return.
Read more: Green and Colourful Park Güell
I did really like that the tourist bus also services a bit lesser known areas of the city or parts where it is a bit more difficult to get to by public transport. For example, you can get to Mont Juïc by bus or cable cart but the buses don’t run that often. And you have to wait for the next bus if you want to get off at more stops.
During our two days on the Tourist Bus Barcelona, we never had to wait more than a few minutes before the next bus arrived. So either we were extremely lucky, or it shows how easy the tour bus is when you have little time.
The Barcelona tourist bus doesn’t service the airport, but you can read my budget guide on how to get from El Prat Barcelona Airport to the city for less than 1 Euro.
The tourist routes do service all the major train stations in Barcelona, for example the Passeig de Gracía where you can take the train to the airport, the train station at Plaça d’Espanya where you can take the train to Montserrat Monastery and the Sants train station for national and international trains.
Practical information about the Tour Bus Barcelona
The tourist bus runs from 9am till 8pm (summer) and 7pm (winter). It doesn’t drive later in the evening, but you can check the first and last times on the sign post.
You can listen to the audio guide in 16 different languages. My mom really liked that she could listen to it in Dutch. But the audio guide also comes in: English, Catalan, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Arabic, Hebrew and Turkish. Wow! That is a lot!
There is free Wi-Fi on the bus that you can use and you can scan the QR codes at the stops for more information about Barcelona.
What does the Hop On Hop Off Tourist Bus Barcelona Cost?
So what does all this quick hoppin’ on and off at tourist sites in Barcelona costs? The tourist bus Barcelona is not free; otherwise it would be true gold.
1-day Barcelona Tour Bus Ticket (Adult): €29
2-day Barcelona Tour Bus Ticket (Adult): €39
1-day and 2-day Tourist Bus Barcelona Tickets for Children (4-12 years): €16 and €20
1-day and 2-day Bus Tour Tickets (reduced -65+ and disabled): €25 and €35
Included in the price is a Barcelona bus tour ticket that you can use as much as you like during your chosen time frame. But you’ll also get a booklet with discount voucher to use in Barcelona up towards €200 (think of discounts to museums and attractions, luggage storage and restaurants.) For more information check here.
Barcelona Bus Tour Discount
The above mentioned prices are valid when you buy your Barcelona tourist bus tickets in Barcelona. If you want to save time and money, you can buy your bus tour tickets online in advance. You can save 10% on your purchase if you buy your tickets via the Barcelona Turisme website (the official tourist office of Barcelona). And no worries, you don’t need to remember a difficult discount code or remember to add some code during check-out. Just buy your tickets via this link and the discount applies:
When you buy your tourist bus tour online you’ll get a 10% discount on your purchase that you can use for a nice ice cream or a bag of churros. Who doesn’t like that?
I was invited by Barcelona Turisme Office to try out their tourist bus Barcelona with my mom. All the opinions are my own and those of my mother as mentioned. This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase your tourist bus tickets for Barcelona via one of my links, I’ll earn a small commision. This is at no extra cost for you.
For who is the Barcelona Hop On Hop Off Bus?
If you have little time and wish to explore and see a lot of Barcelona, the tourist bus is a perfect fit for you. You can follow the route and get off to explore an area of the city in depth.
The tourist bus of Barcelona is perfect fitted for families with children as it has enough room for strollers and is easily accessible for people in wheelchairs. There is always enough room to get on and off the bus and you do not need to rush to take a seat.
I have to admit, if you’re a true budget style backpacker, the price of the Barcelona tourist bus tickets can be a bit steep even with the discount offered. However, you do have to keep in mind that when you use public transport you pay €2,15 every time you use the bus or metro. In case you wish to get off at certain stops you need to buy a new ticket every time. Bus stops are everywhere but it does take time to find the most efficient route and multiple changes to get to your desired destination.
Have you tried the Barcelona tour bus to explore the city? What did you think? Let me know in the comment section below, I’d love to read your stories.