Barcelona Travel Tips
It’s your first visit to Barcelona city, Spain and you’re wondering how to get around this city, how to use public transport, how to get to the attractions, etc.
Well, the good news is, that this city has a really efficient and convenient Bus Turistic, which provides visitors with a pleasant alternative to the stuffy underground metro.
The Bus Turistic is a “Hop-on, Hop-off” tour of the city, so you can jump off at the attractions that interest you and just get a glimpse of those that don’t.
Tours start at 9 am each morning for Barcelona city, Spain and you can ‘hop on’ one of the three routes that leave Placa de Catalunya, right in the heart of the city. They run about every 5 – 25 minutes depending on the time of the year and run until 7 pm in the Winter and 8 pm in the Summer.
The Bus Turistic covers three routes: the North Route, the South Route and the Forum Route. The North and the South Route are the most popular with visitors and each is 2 hours long. The Forum Route is a short route by the coastline, which takes just about 40 minutes.
The Bus has several stops on its route where people can get on, as it is a circular route, but Placa de Catalunya is a good starting point if you are based in the city center.
Tickets can be purchased on the bus, at the Tourist Office in Place de Catalunya, at Sants Station or online. You can buy a one-day ticket for as many tours as you like, but a two-day ticket is a better value.
The best bit is that, included in your ticket price are discounts to many of the attractions on the route, so you might find yourself hopping on and off more than you expect!
Do try to get a seat on the open-top of the double-decker, especially if it is a nice day. Then, all you have to do is sit back and relax.
To help you choose what attractions to get off at, you will be provided with a very handy map of the tour, along with a guide book. The approach to each attraction is marked by a brief commentary in Spanish and then English.
The Northern Route covers the modernist architecture of Gaudí like La Pedrera, Casa Batllo and of course, his all-time greatest achievement La Sagrada Familia. The tour then continues up to the very north of the city to Gaudi’s Parc Guell and Tibidabo, the highest point in the city.
It then passes through an area called Sarria, which was once, in fact, a separate town to Barcelona! The Monestir de Padrables is the next stop, followed by The Royal Palace and then Nou Camp Stadium, where legends like Maradona and Ronaldinho have displayed their talents. This is a must-see for sporting fanatics.
The Southern Route mainly explores the wonders and treasures along the southern coast of the city such as Montjuic Mountain and park, Anella Olímpica (the headquarters of the 1992 Olympic Games) and the contemporary art museum of Fundacio Joan Miro.
As you come down the other side of Montjuic Mountain, you can admire the beauty and serenity of the Mediterranean Sea. The tour continues back towards the city along the coast to the World Trade Centre, Port Vell, Port Olimpic, the City Park, Barcelona Zoo and Barri Gotic.
The Southern Route meets the Forum Route at Port Olimpic. The Forum Route is a short trip that stops at the beach (Platja del Bogagtell), Poblenou, Parc Diagonal Mar and the Forum.
All tours end up back at Placa de Catalunya, and you can get off and on as many times as you like, and, as the three routes are interconnected you can even switch between different tours, a good idea if you are only in the city for a short while.
If you are sticking around for longer, then the tour will give you a general feel for the city, so you can make your way back to some of the sights in your own time and explore them in full.
So to avoid the hassle of metros and taxis, try the Bus Turistic, which will give you a real insight into this fantastic city. Barcelona city is beautiful.
If you’ve been on this tour, tell us what you thought of it, or if you’re heading to Barcelona, come back and let us know how the tour went for you!