The Best Tourist Cards for 2020!


Welcome to our guide to selecting the right tourist card or city pass for your Barcelona city break! We look at which cards include entry to La Sagrada Familia, and which offer the best deals and value for money in general, depending on your itinerary.

The original idea of tourist cards, here in Barcelona and other popular travel destinations around the world, was to give their users one handy entry card they can use at all the major attractions around town, saving them a lot of time, money and hassle. Often with free public transport thrown into the bargain.

While the idea is simple, the execution is not always so easy. For example many museums and sights in Barcelona are privately owned (including several of Gaudi’s greatest hits!), and a couple of mega-attractions like Sagrada Familia require pre-booking. Meanwhile the attractions that are publicly owned (most of the museums) have to abide by certain rules and regulations.

The result is that there is not one “catch all” solution to entering all of Barcelona’s attractions for free, but rather several different options that will suit the needs of different travellers to different degrees.

We compare the different tourist cards and city passes on offer… so you can make an informed decision about which option works best for you.

In this article, we compare the different tourist cards and city passes on offer, along with a transparent look at who runs them (as well as the official tourist board, several large travel giants offer their own products!) and how much value you get from each, so you can make an informed decision about which option works best for you.

Keep reading for full details on The Barcelona Card (the official one, with free museums and public transport!), Best of Barcelona Combo (official card + La Sagrada Familia and more), the Barcelona City Pass (La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, tourist bus + discounts) and The Barcelona Pass (free tourist bus, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo and Camp Nou Tour).

At the end of the article there is a handy reference table, where you can quickly compare which cards get you into which attractions!

And if you’re still confused, you can also leave a comment… I will do my best to help!

The Barcelona Card

By Barcelona Turisme
The city’s official pass, run by the tourist board, The Barcelona Card offers free entry – with skip the line privileges – to many of the best museums in the Catalan capital, most notably the superb Picasso Museum, but also the MNAC (National Museum of Catalan Art), MACBA, Joan Miro Foundation and most branches of the Barcelona History Museum.

There’s also free entry to many of the city’s less visited, but worthwhile treasures, such as the Frederic Mares Museum, Caixa Forum, CosmoCaixa (good for kids!), Design Museum, Egyptian Museum and the serene Botanical Gardens.

The card doubles as a free travel card around the city, which is handy and saves you faffing around at ticket machines for the duration of your stay.

After purchase, you will need to collect the card from the airport or one of the tourist offices / collection points in the centre. Usually it’s better to collect it at the airport, so you can take advantage of the metro transport direct from arrival. However the card is valid from the moment you first use it, so if you’re not planning to visit any museums on your first day you might want to wait to activate it later.

Sadly the Barcelona Card doesn’t include tickets to La Sagrada Familia nor Park Guell, unless you buy it as part of the Best of Barcelona Combo (keep reading this article for more info on that option), nor any of Gaudi’s other UNESCO-listed works. Although it does at least provide you with discounts for Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Casa Vicens and Palau Guell, and many many more attractions, shops and entertainment venues.

Free Major Attractions

  • Picasso Museum. Skip the line entry to this Barcelona highlight (worth €12).
  • MNAC. The excellent National Museum of Catalan Art (worth €12).
  • MACBA. The city’s best modern art museum, in a stunning building (worth €10).
  • Joan Miro Foundation. A look at Catalonia’s most famous artist (worth €12).

Plus many more free museums. For a full list check here.

Other Freebies

Barcelona Card holders receive a free guide and metro map with their purchase.

Free Transport

Includes free public transport (metro, buses, trains and trams) in Barcelona city centre, plus free metro ticket to the airport.

Worthwhile Discounts

Barcelona Card offers billions of discounts, of which you’re most likely to use:

Barcelona Card Pricing

ADULTSPRICECHILD (4-12 yrs)PRICE
72 hours€4672 hours€22
96 hours€5696 hours€28
120 hours€61120 hours€33

Is It Worth It?

Is it worth buying the Barcelona Card? The conclusion is yes, provided you plan on visiting at least one museum a day. If you do so, you’d be saving the 7-12 euros museum entry fee, plus travelling for free around the city using the excellent metro system, which will also now take you all the way to the airport. You’d have to buy your Park Guell and Sagrada Familia tickets separately, however, which is why for first-time visitors to the city I’d recommend checking the Best of Barcelona Combo or Barcelona City Pass, before making your decision.

Best of Barcelona Combo

By BCN.travel
The Best of Barcelona Combo is a package put together by local tourism gurus BCN.travel that expertly meets most travellers needs. The Combo includes the city’s official Barcelona Card (above), ie. free entry to all the best museums and free public transport, but it also includes four classic sights and experiences that virtually every first time visitor will be interested in:

Those are tickets to 1) La Sagrada Familia, 2) Park Guell, 3) a sultry Flamenco Show at a top tablao, and 4) a Boat Trip of the city harbour.

Overall, this Best of Combo is the perfect option for those who want to sign up for everything Barcelona has to offer in one convenient, value-for-money package.

Free Major Attractions

  • La Sagrada Familia. Gaudi’s unmissable masterpiece (worth €17-32).
  • Park Guell. Gaudi’s iconic park with city views (worth €10-13.50).
  • Picasso Museum. Skip the line entry to this Barcelona highlight (worth €12).
  • MNAC. The excellent National Museum of Catalan Art (worth €12).
  • MACBA. The city’s best modern art museum, in a stunning building (worth €10).
  • Joan Miro Foundation. A look at Catalonia’s most famous artist (worth €12).

For a full list of free museums you can enter with the Barcelona Card (part of the combo) click here.

Other Freebies

As well as your free guide and metro map, granted by The Barcelona Card, the Best of Barcelona Combo includes two more essential travel experiences. A flamenco show at the Palacio de Flamenco, and a boat trip of the harbour.

Free Transport

Includes free public transport (metro, buses, trains and trams) in Barcelona city centre, plus free metro ticket to the airport.

Worthwhile Discounts

The Best of Barcelona Combo includes all of the discounts granted by The Barcelona Card, which include:

Best of Barcelona Combo Pricing

ADULTPRICECHILDPRICEFAMILY (2 adults + 2 kids)PRICE
72 hours€10972 hours€6972 hours€329
96 hours€11996 hours€7496 hours€359
120 hours€129120 hours€79120 hours€389

Is It Worth It?

Is the Best of Barcelona Combo worth it? The adult, 72 hours pass is €63 more expensive than the Barcelona Card, but the extra dinero gets you La Sagrada Familia entry (worth around €22 by the time you’ve paid the booking fee), Park Guell (€13 with booking fee), a ticket for the excellent Palacio de Flamenco show (€35) and a fun harbour cruise (€8). That’s nearly €80 of extra attractions. If you plan on doing these activities, plus take advantage of the free public transport, entry for the Picasso Museum etc., granted by the Barcelona Card, then you’re going to make a significant saving.

Barcelona City Pass

By Ticketbar
The European travel specialists at Ticket Bar have put together their own City Pass which answers the core needs of many travellers.

Included in the package are skip-the-line tickets to La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, free transport on the Hop-on, Hop-off Tourist Bus and also free airport transfer in the form of the fast and convenient Aerobus.

It also includes 20% off discount code at virtually every major attraction and activity in the city, from the Camp Nou Museum and the Aquarium, to other Gaudi greats, such as Casa Mila and Casa Batllo.

All the tickets are electronic, so need to collect them, or even print them, you can use them on your mobile. The discount code you can use to book more activities via their website.

Free Major Attractions

Other Freebies

The City Pass comes with tickets to Barcelona’s Hop On, Hop Off Tourist Bus (usually €30 for 1 day), enabling you to get around while sightseeing at the same time. The final cost of the pass is based on how many days use of the bus you want…

Free Transport

Apart from use of Hop On, Hop Off Tourist Bus, the City Pass includes free Aerobus transfers from the airport (worth €10.20). If you are not planning on using this, you can swap it for tickets on the Montjuic Cable Car.

Worthwhile Discounts

The Barcelona City Pass comes with a discount code to 60 other Barcelona attractions and tours available to buy on Ticketbar.

Barcelona City Pass Pricing

ADULTPRICECHILD (4-10yrs)PRICE
1 day hop on/off bus€76.501 day hop on/off bus€37.50
2 days hop on/off bus€862 days hop on/off bus€42

Is It Worth It?

Is the Barcelona City Pass worth the money? Yes, but only if you take advantage of the discounts. The value of the included products comes to just over €75 euros (including booking fees), which is basically the same cost as the pass itself. Therefore, to start making savings, you need to use your 20% discount code to buy at least one more product. With the likes of Camp Nou Stadium, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo,  The Aquarium, a flamenco show or a wine tour to tempt you, this should be very easy indeed, and the more you do, the better value the pass becomes. At first glance the Barcelona City Pass is not as good value as the Best of Barcelona Combo, but it gives you much more customisation and flexibility to build your own dream itinerary.

The Barcelona Pass

By The Leisure Pass Group Ltd.
Putting a curved ball into the mix of city cards is The Barcelona Pass, which has free entry to more major attractions than any of the previous offerings… but is sadly missing some of the key attractions that many first time visitors will want to see. Particularly La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and the Picasso Museum.

That said, it’s well worth considering for those wishing to use the Tourist Bus during their stay (included in the price) and would like to visit several of Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Poble Espanyol (The Spanish Village), Barcelona Zoo and the crowd-pleasing Aquarium, which are all free to enter with the pass.

It’s also the only card which offers you free entry to the Camp Nou Museum and Tour, so sports fans should strongly consider this option.

Free Major Attractions

  • Camp Nou Museum & Tour. Visit the stadium and museum of the legendary Barça FC (worth €26).
  • Casa Mila. Gaudi’s most famous mansion, aka La Pedrera (worth €22).
  • Casa Batllo. A truly magical house with a fairytale façade (worth €25).
  • Poble Espanyol. Visit the whole of Spain, in one village (worth €12).
  • The Aquarium. Admire 450 aquatic animals including bull sharks (worth €21).
  • Barcelona Zoo. See lions, giraffes, gorillas and dolphins (worth €21.40).
  • MACBA. The city’s best modern art museum (worth €10).
  • Casa Vicens. An early example of Gaudi’s genius (worth €16).

For a full list of the 25+ free attractions and experiences head to Get Your Guide, where you can also buy the pass.

Other Freebies

The Barcelona Pass has plenty of cool free extras, including free use of the Hop On, Hop Off Tourist Bus (usually €40 for 2 days), a free Golondrinas harbour boat tour (worth €15), a free walking tour (worth €18) and free escape room (worth €25).

Free Transport

The Pass includes free use of the Barcelona Tourist Bus for the duration of the card.

The Barcelona Pass Pricing

ADULTSPRICECHILD (4-12 yrs)PRICE
2 days€99.992 days€67.99
3 days€119.993 days€79.99
4 days€139.994 days€91.99

Is It Worth It?

Is The Barcelona Pass worth it? Well let’s run the maths… taking the two day card for example, you get two days use of the Tourist Bus (worth €40), and then you’d expect to visit a minimum of five more attractions. Casa Mila (€22) and Casa Batllo (€25) are right next to each other, so you could do the same morning, with maybe a visit to the epic Camp Nou in the afternoon (€26). The next day you can pick off your choice of two more, getting perhaps another €30 worth. That’s €140 right there. Depending on your itinerary, this is an excellent choice.

QUICK COMPARISON TABLE

Confused as hell? Yes, it’s a lot of info to take in… so we’ve tried to make it simpler by providing this quick reference comparison between all the various cards. Hopefully that makes your decision making process easier!

Included in price?Barcelona CardBarcelona ComboCity PassBarcelona Pass
La Sagrada FamiliaNoYESYESNo
Park GuellNoYESYESNo
Picasso MuseumYESYES20% off (tour)No
Flamenco Show20% offYES20% offNo
Boat Trip20% offYES20% offYES
Public TransportYESYESNoNo
Tourist Bus20% off20% offYESYES
Airport TransferMetroMetroAerobusNo
Camp Nou MuseumNoNo20% offYES
MNACYESYES20% offNo
Joan Miro MuseumYESYES20% offNo
Casa Mila€3 off€3 off20% offYES
Casa Batllo€3 off€3 off20% offYES
Poble Espanyol20% off20% off20% offYES
Aquarium20% off20% off20% offYES
Barcelona Zoo20% off20% off20% offYES
PRICEFrom €46From €109From €76.5From €99

Individual Tickets to Top Attractions

If you’ve done the maths, and none of the cards are saving you any cash-money, then here are some handy links where you can grab your tickets to each attraction individually…. COMING SOON!

Challenge Duncan!

Still not sure what card or pass you should buy? Then challenge me to make the best decision for you… let me know in the comments section what you want to do in Barcelona, and I’ll let you know which card – if any – is right for you!


About the Author

Duncan established Barcelona Life in 2009, whilst freelancing for the likes of Conde Nast, The Guardian, Easyjet Magazine, CNN Traveller and many more. From interviews with Ferran Adria to revealing the secrets of the city’s poetry brothels, he knows the city inside out… and shares all his best tips right here.

2 Comments

  • Avatar

    Alayne

    Hi
    Do you know if the night tour of La Pedrera is included in any of these tickets, please?

    Many thanks

    23.11.2019

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