The Barcelona hop on hop off bus tour provides service to 44 stops and at least 87 attractions on three lines on just one ticket.
Sounds pretty good on paper, doesn’t it?
It’s even better if you plan your time properly and get the cheapest tickets on the market. Let me show you how to do this and more in my article on this Barcelona bus tour bonanza: the Bus Turistic!
Hop on Hop Off Barcelona
Here you can see almost all the attractions in Barcelona for the price of a good paella.
The city’s official sightseeing bus runs every 5 minutes serving nearly every corner of the city you could have it all done in a couple of hours. And really know your stuff too.
Over 2,000,000 passengers a year board with a 95% satisfaction rating.
With Barcelona bus tour tickets you get:
- A super modern double-decker bus with panoramic views.
- Sightseeing opportunities at all of Barcelona’s main attractions.
- A free audio guide with headphones to learn.
- Hop on hop off flexibility with unlimited stops.
- Official tour guides on board for custom advice.
- A mobile application with informative guide free of charge.
- The chance to see most of the city in just two hours.
There’s also free Wi-Fi.
Bus Tour Discounts and Prices
Bus Turistic tickets come in 1 and 2 day forms.
Tickets are valid for calendar days and not 24 hour periods. Strike through prices are ticket window prices – online prices are in bold.
- Kids (4-12):
- Kids under 4: €0.00.
2 Day (consecutive):
- Kids (4-12):
- Kids under 4: €0.00.
Tourists visiting Barcelona with disabilities greater than 33% pay €31.50.
Where to Buy Hop on Hop Off Tickets
Most tourists prefer getting their Barcelona bus tour tickets via industry giant Ticketbar. Buying online from their site gives you the cheapest price on the market with your 10% online discount.
Click the button below to claim your 10% discount with Ticketbar.
Tickets are sent by email. Just print off the voucher they send and show it to the driver.
You can also buy tickets aboard but you won’t get the discount and you’ll have to wait in line – these lines can get quite long especially in summer.
You can also get your bus tickets online with the super-handy Barcelona City Pass which includes the Bus Turistic plus entrance to Sagrada Familia and Park Guell and 20% discounts on virtually anything you can do.
Hop on Hop Off Times
- Summer: every day from 9:00* to 20:00
- Winter: every day from 9:00* to 19:00
- Green Line: runs from 28/03 to 02/11
- Frequency: every 5-25 minutes
*The first bus tour departs from Plaça Catalunya at 9:00 so it’ll arrive and any subsequent stop a few minutes later, for example the first bus at Drassanes leaves at 9:06. Count about 5-6 minutes per stop.
Hop on Hop off Route Map
For a greater understanding what what can be seen consult the official route map.
- Red line: Casa Batllo, La Pedrera, the Olympic Stadium, the Montjuic Museum, Plaça Espanya, Plaça Catalunya, the Olympic Harbour and the Old Harbour.
- Blue line: Plaça Catalunya, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, La Pedrera, Park Guell, the MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art, Camp Nou Stadium, and Mount Tibidabo.
- Green line: It runs along all the beaches from the Olympic Harbor to the Forum.
The red and blue lines last 2 hours per trajectory while the green line takes 40 minutes.
Who Should Take a Barcelona Bus Tour?
Anyone looking to do a proper Barcelona itinerary with more emphasis on culture than the standard mojitos on the beach is a good start.
The latter might be better off getting an HolaBCN card, the other titan of Barcelona tourist transport. If you’re not sure don’t worry, I’ve already written an article about which Barcelona discount travel card is right for you.
The Barcelona sightseeing bus is perfect for:
- First time visitors.
- People low on time.
- History and fact buffs (the audio guide is rich).
- Bargain hunters looking to visit the inside of Barcelona’s main attractions.
- The elderly.
- Limited mobility travelers (buses are wheelchair accessible).
ITINERARY FOR CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS
For cruise ship passengers the Barcelona bus tour is a perfect way to see the city.
First things first, the shuttle from the dock will leave you at the Columbus Statue at Drassanes metro station. Here you’ll find a ticket window and a red line Bus Turístic stop.
Keep in mind your fellow cruise ship passengers will be doing the same thing so it’s always best to buy your hop on hop off bus tickets online to avoid lengthy lines. All you have to do then is board the bus!
On nice days make sure you grab a spot on the top deck of the bus – if there’s no room just get on and wait by the stairs for a couple minutes for someone to get off.
The red line bus will take you along the port with the beach and the famous two towers before looping back and taking you by Ciutadella Park and El Born. Get off at the Barri Gotic stop where you’ll be able to take some great shots of the Barcelona Cathedral. Total time to here is about 90 minutes.
Get back on the bus tour until the Casa Batllo stop – here you can get off and wander the world-famous Passeig de Gracia shopping area all the way up to dream house La Pedrera. Allow about an hour for this.
The Pedrera stop connects with the blue line which you’ll take to the Sagrada Familia: if you’ve bought your Sagrada Familia tour tickets online you’ll skip the annoying lines and be in and out in about 90 minutes.
Get back on the blue line for 10-15 minutes more and you’ll be at Park Guell.
Taking in the magnificent views of the city from here should take about an hour or so. Get back on the bus for a trip to Barcelona’s famous football stadium Camp Nou.
From here you’ll take Diagonal down into the Raval neighbourhood and eventually end up back at Plaça Catalunya.
From Plaça Catalunya walk down the famous Rambla to your point of origin: the Columbus Statue. From here you can get your shuttle back to the cruise ship. This last part of the trip can be done in two hours or less.
Again, with the Sagrada Familia tour and a little lunch break you’re looking at about seven hours but if you’re not it can be done comfortably in five.
Barcelona Bus Turistic Hacks
As a veteran of the Barcelona hop on hop off scene I can share the following pearls of wisdom.
- Buy the tickets online to save money avoid and queues.
- If you got them bring your own headphones for better audio guide sound.
- Take your bus tour on the first day there because it helps plan the rest of your trip.
- Bring a light jacket if you’re not fond of wind.
- Make sure you print out the tickets as phone versions aren’t accepted.
- Start early to avoid crowds and get the full value of the tickets.
- Don’t start at major stops like Sagrada Familia and Plaça Catalunya because there are big lines. Always look to board one stop before or after (buses never depart full as per company policy so the following stops can pick up new riders).
- If you can’t get a seat upstairs sit as close as possible to the stairway downstairs to ensure you’re the next one allowed up.
- If you only have a one day ticket try and avoid Friday (it’s cruise ship day).
- Sun cream and water are an absolute necessity in summer.
Bus Turistic FAQ
Is my Bus Turistic ticket valid for all lines?
Yes, and you can change as much as you like.
If I buy a 1 Day Ticket and get the bus at 3 pm is it valid till 3 pm the next day?
No, ticket validity expires at the end of the day’s service.
Does the online ticket need to be printed?
Yes. Digital ticketing has yet to be launched as of 29/11/16.
Is it worth buying bus tour tickets online?
Yes, you’ll avoid lines and save 10%.
If I buy a 2 day ticket can I spread out the days in any way I wish?
No. Your bus tour must be taken on two consecutive days.
Is the audio guide included in the price?
Yes, you’ll get them when you board the bus tour. You can also use your own.
Can I use my discount-voucher booklet on days I am not doing the bus tour?
Yes, all discount-voucher booklets are valid until December 31st.
Can the discounts I get with my Bus Turistic ticket be used online?
No. The only Barcelona discount card that can be used entirely online is the Barcelona City Pass which includes tickets to the Sagrada Famila, Park Guell, and the Bus Turistic plus 20% discounts on a ton of attractions.
Do I have to specify a use date if I buy tickets online?
No, the ticket is valid for 90 days from the purchase date.
Can I do the hop on hop off routes in the opposite way?
No, the Bus Turistic operates in one direction only, as indicated by the arrows on the map.
Can I bring my dog aboard?
Unfortunately no 🙁
Can I bring a stroller aboard the Bus Turistic?
Yes. There is room downstairs for strollers.
Is the Bus Turistic wheelchair accessible?
Yes. Keep in mind though that wheelchair customers will not be able to access the upper deck.
Any advice for Barcelona Bus Turistic users visiting Park Guell?
First, buy your entrance to the Monumental Zone in advance to ensure not being pushed back by hours. Make it for as early as possible in the morning or as late as possible in the evening.
Leave 45 minutes from Plaça Catalunya since there’s a 15 minute walk from the bus tour stop. There’s a 30 minute grace period for your tickets.
The walk is quite steep so not recommended for people with limited mobility – consider a taxi.
How can I use the Bus Turistic to reach Mount Tibidabo?
Take the blue line to the Tramvia Blau-Tibidabo stop and change for the Tramvia Blau or Bus 196 to get to the Funicular de Tibidabo.
I’m arriving in Barcelona by train, what is the closest Bus Turistic stop?
Stop #5 on the Red Route serves Barcelona’s main train station Sants Estacio.
What stop do I get off at to see X?
You can see the entire route map here.
Will bus tour drivers announce all the stops?
Yes, you’ll hear it over your headphones.
What happens if it rains?
Not to fear! There’s a little retractable roof that will protect passengers.
The Tourist Bus Doesn’t Stop Here
Prospective Barcelona travelers, let us continue our journey of knowledge!
If you’ve got any questions about the hop on hop off bus or anything else please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions in the comments below.