Getting single tickets on your Barcelona holiday?
Good luck fumbling for change, worrying about the right tickets, and translating using your 9th grade Spanish.
It also ends up costing you more money.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a cheap Barcelona travel pass that gave you unlimited transport?
Luckily there’s the Hola BCN Card.
1 – The advantages
2 – What’s included
3 – Prices
4 – Where to buy
5 – How to pick it up + validity and restrictions
6 – Why not another Barcelona travel pass?
7 – Using the Hola BCN in Barcelona outskirts
8 – FAQ
Why Get a Barcelona Travel Pass
Having an all-inclusive transport card with unlimited rides makes your holiday run like a clock.
Tourists have been buying Hola Bcn cards for years because:
- You get unlimited public transport on the metro, bus, tram, and funicular.
- There’s return airport transport via airport train, metro, or bus 46.
- There’s easy pickup at the Airport (Terminal 1 or 2) or Plaça Catalunya.
- It eliminates stress of constantly buying tickets.
- It’s cheap.
What’s Included in the Hola Bcn
Your super-handy Barcelona travel card will include unlimited transport in zone one on:
- Overland trains (including the R2 from the airport to central Barcelona).
- The metro (all lines including the L9 from the airport, a €9.00 value).
- All TMB buses.
- The Montjuic Funicular (careful! This is not the Montjuic Telerific).
Some of you might be asking what exactly is zone one? The simple answer is it’s pretty much everywhere. Unlike bigger cities like New York and London the area of zone one is the entire reach of the metro system.
Hola Bcn Card Prices
Buying the Hola Bcn online includes a 5% online discount included in the prices below.
- Hola Bcn 48 hours:
- Hola Bcn 72 hours:
- Hola Bcn 96 hours:
- Hola Bcn 120 hours:
These prices apply to everybody (including students, 65+ etc.) – only children under 4 ride free.
As you can see, buying this Barcelona transport pass online means you’ll spend just over €7.00 a day on transport including your connection from the airport to Barcelona city centre.
Keep in mind that return metro service from the airport alone costs €9.00!
Where to Buy
For the lowest price and best customer service it’s the official Tourism Office of Barcelona.
Buying tourist travel cards from this public entity facilitates the development of tourist services online, including this blog.
You can reach their online shop using the blue button below.
WHERE TO PICK UP YOUR HOLA BCN
Airport Pickup Points
At El Prat Airport right outside arrivals you’ll find the Barcelona Turisme information booth.
These pick up points outside both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are open every day from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm (except Christmas and January 1st).
For late arriving flights the best options are the Barcelona Turisme information points at either airport metro station (T1 and T2). The booths here are open from 8:30 am to 9:00 pm.
City Pickup Points
- Plaça Catalunya. Number 17-S (to the right of the Hard Rock Cafe there’s a gigantic ‘I’). Hours: every day from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm.
- Sants Estació. Plaça Paisos Catalans. Hours: every day from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm.
- Plaça Sant Jaume. On Carrer Ciutat 2. Hours: Mon-Fri from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. Sat: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Sun and holidays: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
- The Columbus Statue. Plaça Portal de la Pau. Hours: every day from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm.
- Plaça Espanya. Hours: every day from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. Jun-Sept: every day from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm.
- Sagrada Família. Hours: every day from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Jun-Sept: every day from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm.
Just show them the printed voucher you’ve been emailed and some ID and they’ll issue your travel card, a map of city sights, and a list of can’t miss attractions.
Voilà! You’ve got your very own Barcelona travel pass – let the exploration begin.
VALIDITY AND RESTRICTIONS
Your Hola BCN becomes live the first time you use it.
This means if you have a 72 hour tourist travel card and take your first transport trip at noon on January 1st, you’ll have until noon on January 4th to ride free.
Night Buses and the Hola Bcn
Unfortunately the Hola Bcn is not valid for night buses since they are operated by a private company.
To use the night bus system you can pay the bus driver €2.20 for a single ticket using cash.
Keep in mind that from Sunday to Thursday the metro closes between 00:00 and 05:00 and between 02:00 and 05:00 on Friday.
On Saturday night (to be clear, the night between Saturday and Sunday) the metro is open all night!
WHY NOT ANOTHER DISCOUNT TRANSPORT CARD?
The Barcelona Card
The good thing about this discount Barcelona travel pass is that it costs much less than its sister the Barcelona Card, which is more aimed at people looking to see a ton of attractions in addition to getting unlimited transport.
If I’ve confused you a little make sure to check out my page comparing the two tourist travel cards.
The Barcelona City Pass
The popular Barcelona City Pass is a great option because it gets you into mega-attractions Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, gives you airport transport on the super convenient Aerobus, and a one or two day pass on the Bus Turistic.
Deciding Which Pass to Get
If you’re sure you want to see a lot of attractions you may be better off going for the Barcelona Card or the City Pass – but as far as a straight up travel card goes the Hola BCN is the cheapest and most efficient.
Still a bit confused about which discount pass to get? Make sure you write me in the comments below with a list of things you’d like to see and a budget and I’ll do my best to help out 🙂
The Hola Bcn and Barcelona Outskirts
If you’re staying a bit outside the city here’s a list of nearby municipalities included in zone one:
Sant Adriá del Besos, Badalona, Montgat, Montcada i Reixac, Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Sant Joan Despì, l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Cornellá de Llobregat, Sant Boi de Llobregat, El Prat de Llobregat e Castelldefels.
All of these communities can be reached by train using the Hola Bcn.
Is the validity of the card for days or hours?
Again, the validity is for hours. If you activate a 72 hour card at 6 pm on Friday you’ll have until 6 pm on Monday to take advantage of your unlimited tourist travel card.
Why do some websites say that it’s days and not hours?
Because the change from days to hours was very recent and they probably haven’t updated the information 😉
I made a mistake in booking my Hola Bcn… can I get a refund?
Yes. To cancel your travel card get in touch with [email protected]
I lost my Hola Bcn card, can I get a replacement?
Unfortunately this is not possible so be careful!
Is the Hola Bcn interpersonal?
No, trips are only permitted to the holder of the card.
Can I use my Hola Bcn card to get to Girona/Montserrat/Sitges?
No, this Barcelona travel pass is only valid for zone one of the Barcelona transport network.
Is it really worth it?
If you’re planning on visiting a bunch of attractions and don’t have the money to get around by taxi, then yes!
I’m a student/retiree, can I get any transport discounts in Barcelona?
No, only children under 4 travel free on public transport in Barcelona.
Does the validity kick in from the time I pick it up or the time I first use it on transport?
The clock starts ticking from the time you first use it.
I’ll be in Barcelona for six days, are there Hola Bcn cards for more than 120 hours?
No, in these cases you’ll need to combine cards (e.g. 48h + 96h)
My flight arrives after the Barcelona Turisme office closes, how can I pick up my Hola Bcn?
In this case you’ll need to pick it up the next day in Plaça Catalunya.
Do I have to book my Hola Bcn way in advance?
In general there are no rules for booking your Barcelona travel card but obviously the sooner the better in case you incur any unexpected issues along the way.
BOTHER ME MERCILESSLY IN THE COMMENTS
If the Hola BCN card isn’t the best Barcelona travel pass then what is?
Remember, you can drop me a line below about anything regarding your Barcelona holiday and I’ll respond ASAP with something so good you won’t even know what to do 😉
Also don’t be afraid to join the Hola BCN discussion in my new Facebook group called I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, chat with fellow travelers, and more – anything goes!
Enjoy your holiday.