Is the Barcelona Pass 2018 worth it? We review prices and value here

BarcelonaPortSculptureBarcelona is one of Europe's most popular sightseeing cities, with a climate that makes it accessible pretty much all year round. The main attraction here is the huge collection of whimsical and unusual architecture, much of it designed by Antoni Gaudi. First-time visitors are going to want to see as many of these buildings as possible, and the Barcelona Pass can be an excellent value for those who plan.

Just introduced in 2016, the Barcelona Pass now includes 24 major attractions including the hugely popular hop-on, hop-off bus with 3 different routes. The list of included attractions has grown from 16 at launch to 24, and it's very possible that it will include more things by the time you reach the city. Below we will examine the Barcelona Pass offer and see who could get good value out of it.

The short version on who should buy a Barcelona Pass

BarcelonaHOHObusIf you enjoy the efficiency and convenience of the hop-on, hop-off (HOHO) bus tours as a way to see a city quickly, you'll love the one in Barcelona and you'll probably want to buy a Barcelona Pass. Even with the 2-day Pass it's easy to get good value out of it, especially if a discount is running. You'll probably also have a chance to do a couple things that you might have otherwise skipped, for free.

The Barcelona Pass does NOT cover the inside of the Sagrada Familia cathedral, although the HOHO bus does stop outside for enough time to get excellent photos. If you prefer to see sights slowly and thoroughly, it might be hard to get value out of the Barcelona Pass. Those who plan in advance can easily do 3 or 4 things each day, so it will save them money. But if you are usually disorganized and don't like to plan your sightseeing days, the pass should probably be skipped.

What’s included in the Barcelona Pass

  • Barcelona Attraction Pass good for 24 (and counting) major attractions
  • One-day pass for the hop-on, hop-off bus tour (3 routes)
  • A guidebook with maps explaining each attraction
  • An optional travel-card good for unlimited public transport

Prices of the 2018 Barcelona Pass

  • 2-Day Adult Barcelona Pass €109
  • 2-Day Child Barcelona Pass €69
  • 3-Day Adult Barcelona Pass €129
  • 3-Day Child Barcelona Pass €79

Prices of 2018 Barcelona Pass with unlimited transport card

  • 2-Day Adult Barcelona Pass €123
  • 2-Day Child Barcelona Pass €83
  • 3-Day Adult Barcelona Pass €149
  • 3-Day Child Barcelona Pass €99

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for Price of Travel readers

You can get the Barcelona Card at 10% off at this link using promo code POT10. Look for “Promo code? Click here” under Step 5 Payment Details on the main order screen. Expires December 31, 2018.

If a larger discount is available on the site you will get the lowest price by using the above link.

Is the transport card worthwhile?

GaudiBuildingThe unlimited Barcelona Travel Card option will cost you exactly the same as if you bought the card once you arrived in Barcelona. So if you are going to get one anyway you might as well buy one with the Barcelona Pass. Barcelona is a huge city and if your hotel is not near the central tourist district you will almost certainly be riding the Metro and/or buses many times each day.

If your hotel is within a close walk of one of the top attractions, it is probably also close to the HOHO bus route. If that's the case, and especially if you are only buying a 2-day Pass, you might want to skip the Transport Card. But for a 3-day Pass and especially if your hotel is a bit away from the center, the Transport Card will save you a lot of hassle and probably some money as well.

Top sights and attractions included in the Barcelona Pass

One-day hop-on, hop-off Barcelona bus tour (3 routes): €28

These bus tours are by far the best way to discover Barcelona's amazing architecture, along with all the other main sights, in a short time. Highly recommended whether you get the Barcelona Pass or not.

Camp Nou – Barcelona FC stadium tour: €25

CampNouThere's a HOHO stop just outside this extremely famous football stadium, and the tour is incredibly popular among anyone who follows European club football/soccer.

Even if you aren't a big football fan, you should find this stadium tour to be interesting because it's a legendary venue.

Casa Milá (La Pedrera): €22

This most-famous Gaudi building is the best and easiest to tour to learn about and appreciate his whimsical architectural style. It's located in the heart of Barcelona so you'll be passing by it whether you intend to or not.

Casa Batlló: €23.50

CasaBattloTake a tour of this stunning Gaudi building, which is Barcelona's second most popular attraction.

It's another one located in the heart of the tourist district so it's easy to reach and to get to another attraction shortly thereafter as well.

Jamón (Iberian ham) Experience: €19

Once you arrive in Spain you'll realize that Iberian ham is amazingly popular and amazingly good. This place is in the heart of the La Rambla area and offers a one-hour self-guided experience that includes 6 samples of ham and 2 drinks (including beer or wine or soft drinks).

Poble Espanyol (architectural museum): €14

This delightful open-air architectural museum features 117 buildings, streets, and squares that show off the famous building styles in Spain. It is helpfully right off a HOHO bus stop, so easy to reach.

L’Aquàrium de Barcelona: €20

One of the biggest and best aquariums in Europe, this one is conveniently located in the port and at a HOHO bus stop. It's most popular for younger visitors, as you'd guess.

Las Golondrinas Boat Cruise: €15

As a port city, Barcelona is obviously built along the sea and the best way to appreciate the famous sights is from this 40-minute boat cruise through the harbour and beyond.

Gaudí Exhibition Centre: €15

Centrally located next to the Cathedral (not the Sagrada Familia), the Gaudí Exhibition Centre is a modern museum dedicated to Barcelona's most famous son, Antonio Gaudí. There are virtual reality displays and other features that you might not expect at an architecture museum.

Major attractions that AREN'T included in the Barcelona Pass

  • Basilica of the Sagrada Familia: €15 and up
  • Park Guell Monumental Zone(the rest of the park is free): €7

Is the Barcelona Pass a good deal?

LaRamblaMost visitors who want to see the city and most famous sights in a few days are going to want to do the hop-on, hop-off bus tour for sure. If 3 or more of the remaining expensive attractions appeal to you, and they almost certainly will, then the Barcelona Pass will be a good deal.

Even on a 2-day Barcelona Pass you'll be able to do at least 6 different sights or attractions (including the HOHO bus) if you plan ahead. Since the 3-day Barcelona Pass is only a bit more expensive, it's a better choice and better value for anyone in town for 3 full days.

SagradaBaseThe most important detail is whether you are truly interested in the included attractions. If you aren't really an architecture fan (Barcelona has extremely unusual architecture) then the Pass might not be a wise choice. Even if you buy a pass you'll want to at least see the Sagrada Familia cathedral from the outside, which is easy because the HOHO bus stops in front of it for several minutes. You can also hop off and go inside if you can bear the crowds or make reservations in advance.

Who the Barcelona Pass is perfect for

  • First-time visitors with at least 2 days in Barcelona
  • Visitors who plan on doing the HOHO bus and several more attractions
  • Fans of unusual architecture and FC Barcelona and/or fans of tasty ham

Who the Barcelona Pass is not good for

  • Visitors with only 1 day in Barcelona, or who have visited these attractions before
  • Backpackers on very low budgets
  • Visitors who scoff at HOHO bus tours

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for Price of Travel readers

You can get the Barcelona Card at 10% off at this link using promo code POT10. Look for “Promo code? Click here” under Step 5 Payment Details on the main order screen. Expires December 31, 2018.

If a larger discount is available on the site you will get the lowest price by using the above link.



14 Responses to “Is the Barcelona Pass 2018 worth it? We review prices and value here”

Marietjie says:

Does the 2 day ticket also includes entrance fees and also some art galleries like Miro gallery?

 

    Marietjie,

    Unfortunately the Barcelona Pass does not yet include entrance to any art galleries. It’s a new pass (as of 2017) and I expect that by next year it will include a few more things, hopefully including the Miro or some other notable art galleries. As of now the Barcelona Pass mostly focuses on architecture-related sights, as that is what the city is most famous for. -Roger

     
Gordon says:

Does the 3 day pass only allow for a one day pass on the HOHO Bus? Also are the entrance fees for the aquarium and boat cruise included? Are all prices are per adult each?

 

    Gordon,

    Yes, all Barcelona Passes only include a one-day pass on the HOHO bus. In reality those buses move pretty slowly to use as transportation between attractions, so one day should be enough for almost anyone. There are a couple somewhat remote attractions such as Camp Nou Stadium that are good places to hop off and then hop back on after visiting, but for most of the route it’s best to get a good seat on the top deck and just enjoy the amazing scenery and architecture on a full tour. Then when you are done with the tour you can walk to many included attractions, or take the metro to others far more quickly and efficiently.

    The Barcelona Pass includes one free entry into the aquarium and also one ride on the boat cruise, so you just show your pass and walk in or aboard. And yes, the price of the Barcelona Pass is per adult, and each adult will need his or her own Barcelona Pass. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
jane says:

if i use my pass to get transport into the city at 3pm does that allow me to use the pass for the next 48 hours ?

 

    Jane,

    Yes, the Barcelona travel card will start upon first activation or use and then be good for 48 or 72 hours starting then. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
mike wong says:

we have only one day in Barcelona (arriving by cruise ship).
we decided to see a lot of Gaudi: Familia Sagrada, Casa Batllo, La Pedrera. probably skip the Park. see Picasso Museum. may see market Boqueria (lunch). walk La Rambla. maybe walk the waterfront in early evening if convenient to ship’s dock as we leave @ 9:00

I think it can be done, especially if we skip park, and waterfront.

I am trying to plot a walking map…. but may take taxis to save time.

So it appears that no pass can help save euros (we are seniors).
we have used HOHO & passes in other cities. unfortunately our extra time is in the evening, when even the HOHO is not running.

thank you for your thoughts?

 

    Mike,

    Your plan sounds quite ambitious, but I think you can get to most of those things as long as you are among the first off the ship. I really like the HOHO bus there since the route highlights many different architectural styles that are harder to see on foot and impossible from the Metro, of course. But the HOHO bus isn’t efficient for transportation between the attractions if your time is limited. On the other hand, the buses leave from the top of La Rambla and they go to most of the things on your list, so it could work. And you could perhaps skip the last hour or so of it, which is spent going out to Camp Nou and back. The lines at Sagrada Familia are usually long, and probably worse on a cruise-ship day, so if you can book a time there in advance it would be helpful. Have a wonderful trip. -Roger

     
Tom says:

If we have a Barcelona Pass, do we have to reserve specific times for all of the specific attractions that are covered by the Barcelona pass? Or do we just show up and they let us in? Thanks

 

    Tom,

    For most attractions you just show up and present your Barcelona Card instead of paying the admission price, and you are in. Most tours work that way as well, and you can just show up and go on the next one. But for something like the Best of Barcelona Bike Tour they ask you to make a reservation 24 hours in advance. So in a few cases you might have to reserve, but not for most of them. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Kim Cook says:

So there is a 1 day HoHo tour for about $30 per person? You say it has 3 routes, do you have to choose a route? And is it something you just ride thru town and can get on and off as you like?

 

    Kim,

    Yes, the one-day HOHO bus costs €29 on its own, so about US$34. You can ride any and all routes and you can get off at any stop and get back on a later bus. Just show your valid ticket to the driver when you get back on. However, the top deck of the buses is usually full when they leave the first stop in the main square, and if you get off one of the less popular stops you might find all those seats are still taken so you’ll have to ride downstairs. The stop for the Sagrada Familia stops for like 10 minutes and many people get off, so it’s usually easy to get a seat on top there, and also at some of the other more popular stops.

    The shorter route of the three mainly goes to the Olympic Village and back and it only runs April through September. If you do the other two-hour routes you may not find that one worthwhile on the same day. -Roger

     
Arlene says:

I am trying to decide if the 2 or 3 day pass is worth it because we already booked a side trip in the middle of our 4 days in Barcelona. We have wed & thurs in Barcelona and then Saturday. We plan to see Sagrada familia, Park Guell,Casa Mila and Batllo, Picasso museum,. One of us is a senior(65). if we have a visit like this does it make sense to buy city pass?

 

    Arlene,

    It doesn’t look like you are planning nearly enough of the included attractions to justify buying a Barcelona Pass. They are really great for those who want to do the (highly recommended) hop on hop off bus tour and many of the included sights that you can see along that route, but the pass doesn’t include most of the things you listed so you are better off just paying as you go. Have a fantastic trip. -Roger

     

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