Barcelona is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations for tourists and travelers in Europe, and who can blame them?
It is a city made up of many neighborhoods, which is evident as you will find different atmospheres and diverse barrios around every corner.
You will come across the relaxing beaches of Barceloneta, the labyrinth of romantic streets in the Gothic Quarter, the bustling energy of the city center, and the rolling hills near Tibidabo.
With so much to explore and see, it’s important you make the most out of your experience by looking into the many discounts and offers the city provides.
Here are what awaits you in this article:
The Barcelona Card can be the perfect hack to saving money and gaining exclusive free entry deals. However, as this is an honest review.
Therefore, I will also give you alternative options to make sure you get the most out of your visit!
The top 10 sights in Barcelona are:
The major sights in Barcelona are dotted all around the city. It is almost impossible to visit all these sights just by walking.
Would you need a Barcelona card? You don’t need it, but it might be interesting.
That will depend on how many days and how many attractions do you plan to visit.
1. Barcelona Card Overview
The Barcelona Card was introduced as a great way to save money on transport, various attractions, and tourist sites. The card is perfect for those savvy travelers and tourists who want to fit as much into their holiday as possible!
Although, if you’re the type of person who likes to spend their time relaxing on the beach, this card may not be for you. Here is a quick overview of what to expect from the Barcelona card.
What is the Barcelona Card?
In summary, the Barcelona card aims to help you save money on both transport and tourist attractions. You will get unlimited transport around the city with many discounts and free entry to various museums, restaurants, and tours of Barcelona.
The card is a dream for those who like to completely immerse themselves in everything the city has to offer.
Prices of Barcelona Card
This card is ideal for families as you are able to purchase both an adult and a child card (4-12 years). You can also save 10% by booking online.
Where to purchase it?
The card can be conveniently purchased online at different websites:
Wanna buy it in person? You are also able to buy your cards at the Tourist Information Offices which are located right in Barcelona city center.
It should be easy to find – you just might have to wait a bit though.
Is it worth it?
This question entirely depends on what type of traveler you are and what type of things you want to see and do in Barcelona.
To make your decision easier, we have put together a detailed review of all the fantastic benefits but also some honest alternatives so you are fully informed!
2. Barcelona Card Transport
Barcelona has a fantastic public transport system with the most preferred method of travel being the metro (underground). If you want to explore all corners of the city, this is the perfect way to do it as the metro lines cover most areas of Barcelona.
Luckily, the Barcelona card ensures that you get completely unlimited and free travel across the whole metro system in Zone 1. No worries, that this is limited to one zone as this area easily covers all the main tourist attractions, museums, beaches and nightlife that the city provides!
Insider tip: Download the Barcelona Metro app on your phone to make exploring the city super simple.
If the metro isn’t your thing, the Barcelona Card also allows you free access to:
Having all these options are all really convenient and easy ways to roam around the city.
Another benefit of the card is that it makes your airport experience quick and stress-free as the airport train and metro are both included within the price, as well as some buses departing from the airport.
So, if you’re keen to see all corners of the city without getting sore feet, you should definitely take advantage of the unlimited free trips!
It will also save you from having to constantly buy new tickets, something that can be a hassle and also make you a possible victim to common pick-pocketing!
3. Alternative Transport
If you’re the type of traveler who enjoys taking things at a more leisurely pace, you may not have the desire to travel around as much.
There are many alternatives to the Barcelona Card which can give you access to the city on a more limited scale.
A favorite for tourists was the T-10 card which was giving 10 journeys across all metro lines, buses, trains, and trams. This was a fantastic deal as it only costed 10.20€ within Zone 1, a perfect fit for those who to spend less time and money traveling about.
Update: since January 2020, T-10 Card is no longer available. Nowadays T-10 has been replaced with T-Casual (we explain the T-Casual below).
Of course, much of the city can easily be explored on foot! Barcelona pales in comparison to big cities such as London and New York, so if you don’t mind walking then you probably don’t need to take advantage of the transport offers included in the Barcelona Card.
To give you an idea, you can walk from the popular Barcelona Cathedral to Arc de Triomf to Parc Cuitadella in about an hour, so consider this before splashing out on transport costs!
It’s also worth noting that the Barcelona card does not include taxi fares. This shouldn’t be a problem during the day, however, during the week the metro closes at 12 am and 2 am on Friday.
So if you’re a fan of taxis of if you’re keen on partying into the night, you might want
to skip on the Barcelona Card.
Remember that the Barcelona Card only covers Zone 1, so if you’re looking to take day trips outside of the city, such as to Sitges or Girona, the card will not cover this.
Local transport: how do locals move around?
Until December 2019 most locals were using the T-10 card. It was also perfect for tourist, as you could share that card, which contained 10 rides. The valid time for this card is unlimited (not really unlimited, but one year long).
From January 2020, T-10 has been replaced with T-Casual. It is also a card with 10 rides. The main difference is that this a one-person card, it cannot be shared.
The T-Casual costs11,35€
A single ride with the metro/ bus costs 2,40€
Therefore, it is only useful to buy the local T-Casual if you plan to take the bus/metro/tram… more than 5 times.
Note: T-Casual does not include transport to the airport.
The airport metro ticket costs 4,6€.
4. Barcelona Card Free Entry
Barcelona is a city with an abundance of history, art, and culture, so if you’re eager to soak up this knowledge, the Barcelona Card gives you plenty of opportunities to do so whilst on a budget.
The card includes free entry to around 25 popular museums across the city.
For all those art lovers out there, you will be able to access free entry to museums such as:
Other popular free entry museums include:
You will be spoilt for choice with the free entry museums included in the Barcelona Card, there truly is something for everyone.
Without the card, most museums range from 5€ to 12€, so if you want to save money with the Barcelona Card it would be recommended to visit at least 3 museums depending on how long you are staying.
It is also worth remembering that most museums will be closed on a Monday, and the card does not include access to temporary exhibitions.
To get a full list of free entrance and discounts, you can visit this map.
5. Alternative Free Entry
Honestly, there are not many alternatives when it comes to gaining free entry to museums and attractions in Barcelona; although as many museums range from 5€ to 12€ it means you probably won’t need to splash out on the big bucks.
The best way to gain free entry without the Barcelona Card is to visit the city during the first Sunday of every month where many museums are free to enter all day.
This even includes museums that are included with the card such as:
Other museums also allow free entry every Sunday but only after 3 pm:
Note: The first Sunday of each month these 6 museums are free all day long.
These may seem like great free alternatives, but remember they are very time/date specific so you may have less flexibility when planning your trip.
If Sunday works for you though, you should certainly take advantage of the free museum days! And if you are traveling the first Sunday of the month, well, you just hit the jackpot of the free museums.
Be aware, that the queues for visiting these museums are quite long. People start queuing at 12pm for many of them to get the free entry at 3pm.
What might seem an advantage can turn a disadvantage if you are not aware of the popularity of the museum and the long lines.
Barcelona Card Discounted Museums
One of the best features of the Barcelona Card is that it provides discounted entrance fees to around 40 different museums and tourist attractions all over the city.
The discounts can range from knocking off a few euros to a welcome 20% off!
Barcelona is renowned for the well-known and talented architect Antoni Gaudí, and when visiting Barcelona many tourists make it their priority to learn about or view some of his spectacular designs.
If this is at the top of your to-do list, the Barcelona Card conveniently includes discounts to:
You will surely be a Gaudí expert by the time you have finished!
Unfortunately, the Card does not include discounted or free entry to:
Those tickets which will cost you a minimum of 17€ and 10€ respectively when booked in advance.
To soak up some more Catalan culture, there are also around 25 discounted museums to visit with the Barcelona Card, such as:
6. Barcelona Card Discounted Attractions
It’s not just museums that the Barcelona Card has discounts on!
Tours are a great way to get that extra insight into the city and help you to truly appreciate your experience.
The Card allows you to get discounts on the:
The card also includes a fantastic range of discounts which are guaranteed to suit the interests of every type of tourist. If you’re into music, you can enjoy 20% off at:
The Barcelona Card is also ideal for families with many discounts that will suit all ages! This includes 20% off:
Eager to hit the shops?
The Barcelona Card even gives you discounts at certain shopping establishments such as:
Thinking about going to La Roca Village? An Express bus which will take you to the designer outlet directly from Plaza Catalunya.
7. Alternative Museums and Attractions
It’s true that the Barcelona Card offers discounts which will help you make the most out of your visit and pack in as much as possible.
However, there are also plenty of fantastic attractions and places to visit in Barcelona which will not cost you a penny.
Popular free attractions include:
If you’re happy to focus on the free attractions Barcelona has to offer, then you should avoid purchasing the Barcelona Card.
It’s also important to think about what attractions you are hoping to visit and if the discount is worth the price of the Barcelona Card.
For example, Tibidabo and the Montjuic Cable Car, both very popular with visitors, only offer a small 2€ discount with the Card.
Furthermore, there are also several discounts already in place for seniors, children, and students, so it’s worth checking out those offers before purchasing anything.
When it comes to buying the Barcelona Card to take advantage of the discounts, you should consider which attractions or museums you are most keen to visit and whether they are already free or require a fee!
8. Barcelona Card Extra Features
Barcelona can be tough to navigate if you are visiting for the first time, there are so many different neighborhoods that it could potentially feel a little overwhelming, to begin with!
To help you find your way around the city, the Barcelona card provides a useful map of the city to make exploring much easier.
The Card also comes with a guide which can help you decide what to do from the countless number of attractions and activities available in Barcelona!
Luckily, the guide comes in 6 different languages ❲English, Catalan, Spanish, French, German, Italian) so no need to worry about not understanding the lingo.
Other cool features of the Barcelona Card include discounts on rental bikes, scooters, and lockers, which is super handy if you need to store luggage whilst you’re waiting to check in to your accommodation.
9. Alternative Extra Features
Whilst having a physical copy of a map can be useful, don’t forget that you can also access this through your phones. Google Maps is great when searching for directions, but you can also download the Barcelona Offline City Map for free.
In addition, you can download the free app ‘Barcelona City Guide, Offline Maps and Tours’ which will give you a detailed insight into fun things to see and do, as well as handy directions.You might think an alternative to using discounted rental bikes with the Barcelona Card is the fantastic Bicing system in Barcelona, but that’s not true, as Bicing is only available for people living and having an address in Barcelona city.
If you have a friend, you could ask them to borrow their card, as Bicing allows you to pick up bikes that are found in public stations throughout the city using their app. To rent a bike with Bicing for 2 hours will only cost you 5€ whilst the app also allows you to plan your trips!
10. Barcelona Card Vs Alternative Cards
This review of the Barcelona Card shows you the amount it has to offer and how you are able to take advantage of all the Card provides depending on what type of traveler you are.
Although, in order to keep you fully informed and make the right decision, it’s also useful to look at the other cards and passes which are designed to make your experience in Barcelona is worthwhile.
Here is a helpful summary to help you make those comparisons:
10.1 Barcelona Card Express
The Barcelona Card Express is almost identical to the Barcelona Card in terms of discounts and offers. The main difference is that the express card does not offer free entry to any establishment.
Despite this, discounts range from 10% to 50% off at around 90 different museums and attractions. This list is very similar to the Barcelona Card.
Much like the Barcelona Card, the Express card offers you free unlimited travel throughout the city on the metro, trains, trams, and buses within Zone 1 in the 48-hour period.
It also includes the journey to and from the airport.
How does it compare?
There are two key differences between the Barcelona Card and the Barcelona express: the 48 hour time limit and the lack of free entry offers.
With that being said, if you are only in Barcelona for a short period of time, you may not have enough time to take advantage of the free entries regardless.
If you are only in Barcelona for 2 or 3 days, the express ticket is a great option and will give you plenty of discounts for a bargain price. Anyone who is planning on a longer trip through may find the Barcelona Card a more worthwhile purchase.
48 hours = €18
10.2 Barcelona Pass
Another great pass for saving money on attractions. The Barcelona Pass offers free entry to +20 attractions and tours. It includes also a one day hop on/hop off bus.
The Barcelona Pass includes free entry to several popular attractions which include:
You also get many useful discounts at many establishments with the Barcelona pass such as at:
In the evening you can enjoy discounts at many restaurants including:
After dinner, you can take advantage of the 20% discount on the Barcelona Night Card giving you free entry to some of the best nightclubs in the city before 2 am.
All included with the Barcelona Pass!
The Barcelona Pass will give you unlimited transport on various networks throughout Zone 1 of the city, this includes:
The Pass will also cover your journey to and from the airport.
How does it compare?
The Barcelona Pass certainly offers a lot of free entry to popular attractions, and there are many useful discounts for restaurants and shopping establishments.
Although the transport offers are very similar which is a shame as the price is so much higher.
If your focus is to see many attractions in Barcelona, then the Barcelona Pass could be very useful, although it’s worth mentioning that it does not give free entry to Sagrada Familia or Parc Guell.
And if transport is a top priority, you may be better off purchasing the much cheaper Barcelona Card.
Adult Prices: 2 days = €124.99 ❲€140.19 with travel)
3 days = €149.99 ❲€172.19 with travel)
Child Prices: 2 days = €84.99 ❲€100.19 with travel)
3 days = €99.99 ❲€122.19 with travel)
10.3 Articket Barcelona
As the name suggests, the Articket is designed for those with a keen interest in art.
This pass gains you entry to the permantent and temporary exhibitions of the 6 best art museums in Barcelona.
The ticket includes free entrance to six of the most popular art museums in Barcelona:
The ticket also enables you to skip the queues and gives you entry to both permanent and temporary art exhibitions.
The Articket does not provide any offers or discounts related to transport.
How does it compare?
If you’re a true art-lover and your priority in visiting Barcelona is to immerse yourself in the art world, then this ticket is perfect.
The website claims that you can save a useful 45% on admission prices, that’s almost half the fee! The ticket also lasts for a whopping 12 months, so if you are planning on more than one trip to Barcelona or planning a long-term stay, this is ideal.
However, the downsides to this ticket are that you are only able to visit each museum once, which may be quite limiting.
Also, unlike the Barcelona Card, this ticket does not include any transport offers or discounts to other attractions.
If you are exclusively interested in art, this ticket is great, but if you are looking for a more varied experience, the Barcelona Card is the best option.
Adult Price: 12 months = €35
Child Price: 12 months = Free ❲Under 16)
Summary of Barcelona Card
So there you have it!
Everything you need to know about all the benefits of the Barcelona Card – all in one article.
Remember before purchasing to consider all the alternative options to be certain you are making the most out of money.
A clever idea would be to plan everything you want to see/do in Barcelona and then see which card, pass or other option is the best fit for you!
Not sure about your Barcelona trip yet?
Worry not, At one-week-in you will find all the information you need.
I recommend you to read:
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