Barcelona is a beautiful city, but as beautiful as it is, it’s also expensive. Fortunately, there are several tips and ways to save in Barcelona. On entrance fees to sights, transport and food. And today we’ll take a look at a few of them.
How to save on sightseeing in Barcelona: the BARCELONA PASS
The GO City Barcelona Pass is a tourist card that allows you to save money on admission to the most famous sights and attractions in Barcelona . If you’ve done the math, you may have noticed that admission to some places makes a nice wind in your wallet. The card includes free admission to more than 35 sights, museums and attractions, so it can save you tens of euros. In addition, it offers a number of other benefits, which we will now introduce.
Variants of the Go City Barcelona Pass
There are two variations of the Go City Barcelona Pass so you can choose the right one for you:
- All-Inclusive option is based on the fact that you buy the period for which you will use the discounted card – 2, 3, 4 or 5 consecutive days. The card is valid for calendar days, so it is better to think in advance whether it is worth activating it in the evening or leave it until the morning.
- With the Explorer option , you choose how many attractions you want to visit – 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 attractions in total 35 attractions. You have 60 days from activation to visit the selected sites, so you are not limited by time. To activate your card, enter 1. Attractions.
- Free entry to over 35 sights, museums and experiences + special discounts to restaurants, shops and other activities in Barcelona
- Priority access to selected Barcelona monuments
- Free one-day sightseeing bus ride. Many important sights are spread out all over Barcelona and are difficult to take in on foot. The bus runs every 5 – 25 minutes.
- You can choose the number of days or the number of attractions you need depending on the length of your stay.
- 90 day money back guarantee.
- You have two years to activate your card
- A free comprehensive guide to help you plan your trip around Barcelona. Here you will find detailed information about the attractions including contact details, opening times and how to get there + a tourist map of Barcelona, a metro map and a bus map.
How does the GO City Barcelona Pass work?
- On the official website you can choose a card in one of two variants – All-Inclusive for a certain number of days or Explorer for a certain number of attractions.
- You can download the card via the Go City app on your mobile phone or print a paper copy. For us, we can recommend a combination of both if, for example, your phone runs out of power.
- Activate your card by presenting it at the gate of the first attraction.
- At every other attraction you just scan your card and in you go!
What attractions and sights are included in the GO City Barcelona Pass?
The Barcelona Pass includes entry to over 35 venues in Barcelona including:
- Casa Batlló (35 €)
- Sagrada Familia guided tour (49 €)
- Park Güell with a guide (26 €)
- Casa Milá-La Pedrera (27 €)
- Casa Vicens (22 €)
- Picasso Museum with guide (33 €)
- Barcelona Bus Touristic sightseeing bus ride (30 €)
- Barcelona Zoo (21,40 €)
- FC Barcelona Camp Nou stadium + museum (31,50 €)
- Hospital Sant Pau (26 €)
- Aquarium Barcelona (21 €)
- Boat trip (9,50 €)
- Pablo Espanyol (14 €)
- …and many more ( A complete list of attractions can be found here )
Moving on to the most important thing…
Prices for the Barcelona Pass vary depending on how many days you buy the card for or how many attractions you choose.
ALL-INCLUSIVE OPTION BY NUMBER OF DAYS
EXPLORER VARIANT ACCORDING TO THE NUMBER OF ATTRACTIONS
We’ll show you if a tourist card is worth it with a real-life example. At least 3 days are ideal to better explore Barcelona. The itinerary could look something like this:
- La Pedrera (27 €)
- Casa Battló (35 €)
- Pablo Espanyol (14 €)
- Sightseeing bus ride (30€) – a very popular activity in Barcelona
- Hospital Sant Pau (26 €)
- Boat trip (9,50 €)
For 3 days, the Barcelona Pass costs €135. Without the card you pay for attractions of 140,50 €, i.e. in this case, you would save €5.50. Save an extra full day on public transport in Barcelona with a sightseeing bus that stops at the main tourist spots and picks you up again. But it’s a case by case basis, so do the math beforehand and see if the card pays off for you.
You will also save money with the Explorer variant. The more attractions, the more you save, but you can save very well with just 2 attractions. Among the highlights that you must definitely visit in Barcelona are Casa Battló and La Pedrera. However, entry to both places is ungodly expensive – €66 in total. A Barcelona Pass for 2 attractions costs €59, so you’ll already save a few euros on two attractions.
Where, on the other hand, the card does not pay so much is children. Children are often taken to a number of places in Barcelona free admission , respectively. reduced admission, but it always depends on the specific places you plan to visit.
How to save in Barcelona: the BARCELONA CARD
The Barcelona Card is the official Barcelona Card, which offers different benefits to the Barcelona Pass. The Barcelona Card includes free entry to most museums, unlimited free use of public transport and discounts to popular Barcelona attractions.
What are the benefits of the Barcelona Card?
- Unlimited use of public transport for the duration of the card’s validity. This includes metro transport to/from the airport.
- Free entry to museums in Barcelona including Fundació Joan Miró, MACBA, MNAC, Museu Picasso (advance booking required), CaixaForum, Museu Egipci de Barcelona, MUHBA Plaça del Rei and more.
- Discounted admission to selected sights and attractions in the city. The discount is most often in the range of 20-25%.
- The Barcelona Card is valid for 3, 4 or 5 days, so you can choose the card for the period that suits you best.
- Along with the card you will receive a guidebook with a map of the city.
How does the Barcelona Card work?
- You choose the card according to the number of days.
- After payment, you will receive a confirmation in your email.
- You can pick up your card at the Barcelona Tourist Information Office – you can pick it up right at the airport in both terminals, or at the popular Plaça de Catalunya, for example. You will receive the information in an email.
- At each attraction, present your card and hurry in!
What attractions and sights are included in the Barcelona Card and what are the discounts?
The Barcelona Card includes free or reduced admission to over 25 venues in Barcelona including:
- Free admission to the Fundació Joan Miró, MACBA, MNAC, Museu Picasso (advance booking required), CaixaForum, Museu Egipci de Barcelona, MUHBA Plaça del Rei and others
- Casa Milá-La Pedrera (€3 discount)
- Casa Vicens (25% discount)
- Barcelona Bus Touristic sightseeing bus ride (10% discount)
- Barcelona Zoo (20% discount)
- Casa Batlló (discount 3 €)
- Sant Pau (20% discount)
- Aquarium Barcelona (20% discount)
- Pablo Espanyol (20% discount)
Prices for the Barcelona Card vary depending on how many days you buy the card for – you can choose between 3, 4 or 5 days (not hours, although this is often misleadingly stated).
The prices are as follows:
The Barcelona Tourist Card can also be purchased at 2 calendar days for 22 € . The price includes unlimited transport around Barcelona, including metro from/to the airport, and discounts to museums, sights, restaurants and shops. You can pick up your card at the Tourist Information desk in Terminal 1 at the airport – just show your voucher receipt.
How to Save in Barcelona: TICKETS ONLINE
It is better to book tickets in advance for the most famous places in Barcelona. You will save time and sometimes even money. Where is it cheaper to buy tickets online in advance?
- La Pedrera – Tickets cost €27 at the door, €25 online
- Poble Espanyol – on site 14 €, online at 11,20 €
- Camp Nou stadium – on site 31,5 €, online 28 €
Where better to book tickets in advance to skip the lines or not sell out in advance?
How to Save in Barcelona: the BCN HOLA Card
Hola BCN is a card that allows you unlimited use of public transport in Barcelona. This includes the metro, buses, trams, but also suburban railways and cable cars to the hills of Monjuïc and Tibidabo. Unlike regular tickets (or T-Casual for 10 rides), it includes travel to/from the airport. Night connections are excluded.
Hola BCN is valid in hours. After the initial marking in the metro/bus etc. you will have the activation time marked on the back of the card. So if you have a card for 2 days and you mark it at 9:00 am on Friday, it will be valid until 8:59 am on Sunday.
Prices for Hola Barcelona are as follows:
The card is ideal for those who don’t plan to visit the sights or museums in Barcelona. Otherwise, it is better to Barcelona Card which also includes unlimited transport or a combination of the Hola BCN (unlimited travel) card and Barcelona Pass (unlimited sightseeing).
As far as public transport for children is concerned, children up to 4 years of age can travel for free and older children need to buy standard tickets. There is no children’s version of Hola BCN. Read more about Barcelona with children in a separate article.
You buy your card online and then simply pick it up at the airport tourist information desk (in both terminals). Tourist information can also be found in Plaça de Catalunya.
How to Save in Barcelona: ARTICKET BARCELONA
Planning to visit Barcelona’s museums? Then check the card ArticketBCN which gives you the chance to skip the queues and get free entry to 6 museums in Barcelona:
- Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art – Museum of Contemporary Art
- Picasso Museum
- Fundació Antoni Tàpies
- Joan Miro Foundation
- Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya – National Art Museum of Catalonia
- Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona
Articket is valid for 12 months, so you definitely don’t have to rush anywhere. The price is 35 €.
How to Save in Barcelona: FREE MUSEUM
Most of the museums in Barcelona are paid, but there are exceptions where you can get in for free. Many museums have free admission on the first Sunday of the month or every Sunday after 3pm. an hour. It’s not a rule, though, so check the website of the museum you’re going to beforehand. Below is information on the most popular museums in Barcelona:
- Barcelona History Museum – MUHBA (Museu d’Historia de Barcelona) – free entry on the first Sunday of the month and every Sunday after 3pm. hour
- National Art Museum of Catalonia – MNAC (Museu Nacional d´art de Catalunya) – free entry on the first Sunday of the month from 10:00-15:00 and on Saturdays after 15:00. hour
- Natural History Museum – Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona – free entry on the first Sunday of the month and every Sunday after 3pm. hour
- Maritime Museum – MMB (Museu Marítim de Barcelona) – free entry every Sunday after 3pm. hour
- Picasso Museum – free admission on the first Sunday of the month and on Thursdays after 5pm. an hour. You must book a ticket in advance . Tickets are available from 4 days before the date and just get dusty.
- Gaudí’s Palau Güell – get in for free on the first Sunday of the month. Tickets are available from the Monday before this Sunday – reservation required .
- Monastery of Santa Maria de Pedralbes – free admission on the first Sunday of the month
- Museum of Contemporary Art – MACBA – free admission every Saturday from 16:00-20:00
More tips on how to save in Barcelona:
- Lunch at a restaurant – look for restaurants that offer a daily three-course menu (menu del dia), which will get you lunch for usually between €10-15. For a cheaper price, you can also try seafood near the beaches, which costs about three times as much during dinner. Be sure to accommodate the locals, who usually have lunch around 2pm. hours and choose restaurants without English menus.
- Visit the town’s markets – markets are a great way to try cheap local food, buy fresh produce and support the local people. Plus, it’s the perfect place to soak up that famous neighbourhood atmosphere. One of the largest markets, La Boquería, is right next to La Rambla.
- Don’t shop on La Rambla – walk this way, but avoid shopping unless you want low-quality, expensive goods. Just off this street you will find hidden alleyways with complete gems.
- Visit Barcelona in the low season – winters are mild in Barcelona, prices are up to 10 times cheaper and there are noticeably fewer tourists.
- Stay in El Born and Gràcia – accommodation in Barcelona is expensive. Especially downtown. Stay a little further away. The neighbourhoods of El Born and Gràcia are already far enough away to make accommodation a lot cheaper, while still being close to several popular places in Barcelona.
- Buy a set of T-Casual tickets on public transport (unless you buy a BarcelonaCard or Hola BCN) – you get a set of 10 tickets for a cheaper price than if you bought each ticket separately. It applies to the metro, buses and the funicular. Please note, this does not apply to the L9S metro from the airport.