Here’s a comfortable and cheap way to see all Barcelona has to offer.
The Barcelona sightseeing bus (known locally as the Bus Turistic) provides hop on hop off service to 44 stops and at least 87 attractions on three lines for the price of a paella.
Getting yourself a ticket is easy but here’s everything you need to know first.
What Do I get with My Barcelona Bus Tour?
The ability to hop on and hop off the sightseeing bus any time you like.
These double decker buses with panoramic view run every 5-25 minutes and tourists take it to:
- Learn everything possible with the free audio guide (headphones included)
- See Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Camp Nou, Casa Mila, Parc Guell and more.
- Take advantage of the official tour guides aboard.
- Discover Barcelona more easily if of limited mobility.
- Get a mobile application with informative guide free of charge.
- See a large portion of the city in just two hours (green line 45 minutes).
There’s also free Wi-Fi 😉
Where to Buy Sightseeing Bus Tickets
You can get your bus tour tickets from industry giant Ticketbar using the button below.
Buying online from their site gives you a 10% discount off the original price.
Upon purchase you’re sent your ticket immediately via email.
All you do from then on is print off the voucher they send and show it to the driver.
Tickets can also be bought on the bus but you won’t get the discount and you’ll have to wait behind countless others, especially in summer.
You can also get your 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.
Bus Turistic Prices
Bus Turistic tickets come in 1 and 2 day forms – the 2 day ticket is for consecutive days. Tickets are valid for calendar days and not 24 hour periods.
Strike through prices are ticket window prices – online prices are in bold.
Children are defined as 4-12 years old.
- Kids under 4: €0.00
2 Day (consecutive):
- Kids under 4: €0.00
Again, it’s strongly recommended to buy your bus tour tickets online using the button above because you save 10% and avoid ticket lines and possibly missing out on the best seats up top.
These Barcelona bus tours run year-round save Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
- 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 (depending on the season)
*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.
Tourist Bus Barcelona Routes
- RED LINE: 2 hours. Ideal for those arriving by cruise ship at the port and don’t have much time to visit the city. The line passes Casa Batllo, La Pedrera, the Olympic Stadium, the Montjuic Museum, Plaça Espanya, Plaça Catalunya, the Olympic Harbour and the Old Harbour.
- BLUE LINE: 2 hours. The most interesting attractions found on this line are Plaça Catalunya, the MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art, Camp Nou Stadium, the Mount Tibidabo Basilica, Parc Guell, the Sagrada Familia and Gaudi’s houses.
- GREEN LINE: 40 minutes. This service is only available from the 30th of March to the 4th of November. It runs along all the beaches from the Olympic Harbor to the Forum.
- Here’s the OFFICIAL BUS TOUR MAP.
Who Should Take a Barcelona Bus Tour?
Ah yes, that’s the €26.10 question! I would say anyone looking to do a proper Barcelona itinerary with more emphasis on culture than the standard mojitos on the beach 😉
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 sightseeing bus 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 a lot of your fellow cruise ship passengers will be doing the same thing and as such it’s always best to buy your hop on hop off tickets online to avoid lengthy lines. All you have to do then is board the bus!
On nice days, of which there are plenty, 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 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 and in about 10-15 minutes 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 through Sarria until 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.
Bus Turistic Hacks
As a veteran of the Barcelona tourist bus 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 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 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 tour?
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.
Do you have advice for 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 tour bus 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.
Board My Bus and Ring the Bell
Yes, prospective Barcelona travelers, I am here for you!
If you’ve got any questions about the Barcelona sightseeing bus or anything else please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions in the comments below.