Barcelona Tourist Card
Take advantage of free transport and a host of money-saving discounts
By Duncan Rhodes
We give you the complete lowdown on Barcelona’s tourist card, with what’s included for free, the best of the discounts and whether it’s worth investing…
The Basic Concept…
Planning to do plenty of exploring during your time in the Catalan capital? Read on. The Barcelona Card is a city pass for tourists which entitles them to unlimited free public transport (including from the airport), free admission to many great museums, and a penny-saving package of discounts to pretty much all of the city’s most popular attractions.
The Barcelona Card offers unlimited free public transport, free admission to many great museums, and a penny-saving package of discounts…
It is available for both adults and children (4-12 years of age) and you can choose between cards which are valid for 72, 96 or 120 hours. All versions of the card come with a free city map, and a small guide book to help you navigate.
In the course of this article you’ll find a comprehensive list of what’s included with the Barcelona Card, but to help you understand the pros and cons, let’s start with a more general overview of the benefits.
At the end of the article we’ll take a look at the prices, and do the maths on whether it’s worth investing. We’ll also preview some alternative tourist cards you might want to consider…
Barcelona Card: Main Benefits:
– Public Transport
One of the main benefits of buying a Card is that they entitle you to free public transport all around Barcelona, including the metro, buses (day and night, FGC city and suburban train network, trams, train to the airport and Renfe trains zone 1.
Of that the free metro is particularly handy, as several great sights, like Gaudi’s Park Guell, are beyond walking distance from the Old Town. Your feet might also appreciate being able to get to La Sagrada Familia basilica via the city’s underground system.
Meanwhile, leafy Montjuic mountain is best accessed from Plaça Espanya metro station for the MNAC (free with Card), Joan Miro Museum (free with Card), Poble Espanyol and the Magic Fountain (free to attend), or else the Paral-lel metro for the funicular and then cable car up to Montjuic Castle (free with Card). The Botanical Gardens are also nearby the castle.
Pro Tip: I’d strongly recommend researching all the attractions on Montjuic mountain, as there are five or six museums and gardens dotted around the hill that you can enter for free with the Card, and you may want to spend half, or even a full day, exploring its treasures.
You may also find the metro handy for getting to the city beaches too.
To calculate the value of free public transport, consider that a “T-casual” metro ticket costs €11.35 for 10 journeys and a busy tourist might expect to get through one such card every 2 or maybe 3 days, depending where their hotel is.
You can also travel from Barcelona airport to the centre via public transport using the card. However you will firstly need to redeem your voucher and collect your Barcelona Card at one of the airport’s tourist offices (open until 9pm).
Pro Tip: Bear in mind your Card is valid from when it is first used, so sometimes it might be cheaper to wait until you enter your first museum to activate it, instead of activating it directly at the airport (for example, if you arrive in the evening you might lose 12 or more hours of the Card’s validity between using your airport transfer and getting up the next morning to visit an attraction).
– Free Attractions
As of January 2020, the Barcelona Card grants you free entry to a total of 26 attractions, including virtually all of the city’s best museums. While the the world-famous Picasso Museum hardly needs introducing, there are several other highlights I’d urge any first-time visitor to see. One would be the National Museum of Catalan Art (often abbreviated as ‘MNAC’), which occupies one of the grandest buildings in Barcelona and enjoys a dramatic perch overlooking the Magic Fountain (so good to put these close together on your itinerary). Inside, three floors of art take you from medieval Romanesque iconography up to the dazzling paintings of the 20th century, by the likes of Picasso, Casas and Camarasa.
Lesser-known attractions, such as the Barcelona History Museum, the Joan Miro Foundation, the Frederic Mares Museum and the Chocolate Museum are also editorial faves, and are all included in the price.
Pro Tip: I’d recommend reading our article on the very best collections in the city to whet your cultural appetite.
– Discounted Attractions
Everybody loves a discount, don’t they? Well here’s where things get exciting, but you may need a calculator to work out how much you’re going to save. Definitely worthwhile are the 20% discount that Barcelona Cardholders get off Gaudi’s La Pedrera, Poble Espanyol, Sant Pau Recinte Modernista and Casa Amatller.
Finally, also included in the Barcelona Card are discounts for several other of cultural and leisure pursuits, such as 50% off walking tours run by Barcelona Turisme, 20% discount for most performances at the Liceu Theatre, reductions on several popular flamenco shows, 20% off tickets to the Aquarium and 25% off when visiting Barcelona Zoo.
You also get a Shopping Card with discounts in 80 stores.
What’s Included in 2020?
- Free full-colour guidebook and city map.
- Free unlimited use of public transport (except nightbus).
- Free entry to 26 of Barcelona’s top visitor attractions
- Discounts to many more, plus to activities, tours, attractions and shops.
26 Free Museums + Attractions
A list of all the museums and attractions you can enter for free with the official Barcelona tourist discount card. I include the usual cost in brackets, so you can see how much you save in each case…
Hip cultural centre with modern exhibitions (€6-8).
2. Antoni Tàpies Foundation:
Tribute to one of Spain’s most famous artists (€7).
3. Joan Miró Foundation:
Shining white temple to Catalonia’s most famous painter (€12).
Stunning building, filled with late 20th century art (€10).
5. National Museum of Catalan Art (MNAC):
Some boring religious stuff… but behold the top floor of pure artistic genius! (€12).
6. Picasso Museum:
The 20th century’s greatest artist revealed (€12).
8. El Born Cultural Centre:
Roman ruins revealed under former market (€7).
9. MUHBA Plaça del Rei:
The main branch of the Barcelona History Museum, with Roman ruins and “Barcelona Flashback” exhibition (€7).
10. MUHBA El Call:
Homage to Barcelona’s Jewish history (€2).
11. MUHBA Refugi 307: Civil War era bomb shelter… Sundays only, reserve in advance (€3.60).
12. MUHBA Via Sepulcral Romana: Galley walk over Roman ruins, limited opening hours (€2).
13. Design Museum: Brutish modern Behemoth that has transformed Plaça Glories (€6).
14. Ethnology Museum – Montcada:
The Born branch of the Ethnology Museum, focusing on non-Western cultures (€5).
15. Ethnology Museum – Parc de Montjuïc:
The Montjuic branch of the Ethnology Museum, focusing on Catalan tradition and culture (€5).
16. Frederic Marès Museum:
Curious collection by the Gothic Cathedral (€4.20).
17. Royal Monastery of St. Mary’s of Pedralbes:
Beautiful medieval monastery on the edge of the city (€5).
Art exhibits in stunning former factory (€4).
Kid-friendly science museum with dinosaurs and ‘Flooded Forest’ (€6).
20. Botanical Gardens:
Exotic plant life under the Castle (€3.5).
21. Museums of Natural Sciences:
Deepen your understanding of planet Earth in “the floating blue cheesecake” building (€6).
22. Music Museum:
Inspiring collection of unique and historic instruments (€6).
23. Chocolate Museum:
A look into the history of the chocolate trade, with edible tickets (€6).
24. Modernisme Museum:
Dive into the wonderful world of Catalan Art Nouveau (€10).
25. Egyptian Museum:
The paraphernalia of Cleopatra’s people on display (€12).
26. Barcelona Olympics & Sports Museum:
Relive the 1992 Summer Olympics on the grounds of the stadium (€5.80).
List of Discounts
Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar -1€
Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi -1€
Casa Amatller -20%
Casa Batlló -3€
Casa de les Punxes -25%
Casa Milà – La Pedrera -20%
Casa Vicens -25%
Centro de Fotografía Fundación MAPFRE -1€
Cripta Gaudí de la Colònia Güell -2€
Fundació Vila Casas: Museu Can Framis i Espais Volart -3€
Gaudí Experiència -20%
Human Bodies Exhibition -25%
Mirador de Colom & Wine Tourism Center -50%
Recinte de l’antic monestir de Sant Pau del Camp -1€
Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya -30%
Museu d’Història de Catalunya -20%
Museu de la Cera de Barcelona -20%
Museu de l’Eròtica -25%
Museu del Perfum -40%
Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM) -25%
Museu Marítim de Barcelona -20%
Palau de la Música Catalana -25%
Palau Güell -25%
Pavelló Mies van der Rohe -20%
Poble Espanyol de Barcelona -20% Admission/-1€ Audioguide
Sant Pau Recinte Modernista -20%
Tours and Excursions
Barcelona Bus Turístic -10%
Barcelona Ciclotour -2€
Barcelona Genuine Shops Tour -50%
Barcelona Night Tour -10%
Barcelona Walking Tours Easy Gòtic -50%
Barcelona Walking Tours Gòtic -50%
Barcelona Walking Tours Modernisme -50%
Barcelona Walking Tours Picasso -50%
Bcnaval Tours -20%
Catalunya Bus Turístic -10€
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 2×1
La Roca Village Shopping Express -20%
Las Golondrinas Barcelona Mar, Adult: -4€ / Kids: -3.50€
Las Golondrinas Barcelona Port, Adult: -3.20€ / Kids: Free
Sailing Experience Bcn -15%:
Big Fun Museum -10%
Casino de Barcelona Free Admission + Welcome Drink
Illa Fantasia -20%
L’Aquàrium de Barcelona -20%
Parc d’Atraccions del Tibidabo -20%
PortAventura World -20%
Telefèric de Montjuïc -2€
Torre de Collserola -60%
Zoo de Barcelona -25%
Opera y Flamenco -20%
Tablao Flamenco Cordobés -25% Drink & Show / -10% Dinner & Show
Tablao Flamenco Patio Andaluz -10€
Locker Barcelona -10%
We try our best to keep this list up to date, but to be sure of the latest details check out the official tourism website. Here is their list of what’s included in 2020.
Barcelona Card Prices
City Card 3 days (72 hours) adult – 46 euros
City Card 3 days (72 hours) child, 4-12 years – 22 euros
City Card 4 days (96 hours) adult – 56 euros
City Card 4 days (96 hours) child, 4-12 years – 28 euros
City Card 5 days (120 hours) adult – 61 euros
City Card 5 days (120 hours) child, 4-12 years – 33 euros
Conclusion: Is It Worth It?
And now what you really wanted to know: is it worth buying the Barcelona Card when visiting the Catalan capital? The answer is: yes, almost certainly, provided you visit at least one attraction a day.
The longer the card’s validity the better value for money – the 3 day card works out as around 15 euros a day, the 4-day card is just 14 euros per day, whilst the 5 day card is incredible value at 12 euros a day.
Given that you’re likely to get around €5 worth of public transport use per day, and that many of the best museums are normally €10 to 12, you don’t even have to be particularly active to get your money back. If you manage to visit two or three attractions per day, you’re winning hands down!
Best Buying Options
You can buy the Card online in a number of places. I’d recommend one of the following two:
Official Tourist Board (10% Discount!)
Head to the official Barcelona Turisme website, who also offer 10% off if you book online.
Get Your Guide (Free Cancellation)
If you find the official website a bit clunky, then you’ll find that Get Your Guide’s user-friendly website make the booking process nice and smooth. Plus they have great customer service and a free cancellation policy, if you cancel 24 hours ahead of time. (They also have tonnes more great Barcelona tours and tickets that might inspire you!).
Other Tourist Cards
Another alternative, if you just fancy focusing on Barcelona’s most prestigious art museums, is the Art Ticket BCN. For that you get six big-hitters Picasso Museum, CCCB, MACBA, MNAC, Joan Miro Foundation and Tapies Foundation for free with the 35 euro card (which is valid for 3 months).
Pro Tip: Check out our feature length comparison of all the best Barcelona city passes right here!