Barcelona Card: Is it worth it?
First, this is NOT a paid post – I bought the Barcelona card without a sponsorship – and frankly, Barcelona Turisme, the office of tourism, has no idea who I am.
So, your trip is planned, hotel and flight reservations are confirmed, and as you are choosing oh so many sites to visit, you wonder: Is there a discount card that will help out with the budget and provide value to the trip? The answer is yes: The Barcelona Card.
What is the Barcelona Card? It is a discount card for museums, attractions, tours, restaurants, and transportation. Many of the museums are free and others are discounted.
What does it cost?
3 days 45 euro (15/day) 21 euro (7/day)
4 days 55 euro (13.75/day) 27 euro (6.75/day)
5 days 60 euro (12/day) 32 euro (6.40/day)
The Barcelona card includes a HolaBCN card, which provides unlimited access to the subway, buses, trams, zone 1 train (zone 1 is central Barcelona and covers the major tourist areas), and the funicular de Montjuic. For example, if you were to buy the HolaBCN card by itself, the cost would be 33.70 euros for 5 days, essentially half the cost of the Barcelona Card. The cost also includes the booklet listing all the items covered by the card, along with a pocket sized map.
Did you say free? Yes, the card does provide free access to many museums. When we used the card, we first visited the free ones, which include some of the most popular sites in town such as the Picasso Museum (this museum gets very crowded so go early), Fundacio Joan Miro, Museu Nacional d’art de Catalunya, MACBA, and the Chocolate museum. In total, 25 museums allow free entrance with the card. In the five days that we used the card, we went to 9 museums.
What else do you get? In addition to the 25 free museums, there are about 30 other museums with discounted entry (anywhere from 1 euro discount to 50% off entry fee). The card also provides discounts to walking tours, harbor tours, amusement parks, wine tasting, flamenco shows and restaurants. The offerings are more than a person can do in five days!
Where do you get it? You can purchase the card on-line (prices above are the discounted on-line price) or in person at various tourist booths throughout the city. We bought ours at the train station (Estacio de Sants), but it also is available at the airport, Placa de Catalunya, La Rambla, and other places.
In all honesty, I loved the convenience of the card and it quickly paid for itself. During our visit, we probably went to more museums than we would have if we had to pay entry at each. Now, if museums aren’t your thing, the Barcelona card provides almost one hundred discounted activities that range anywhere from a 2 Euro discount on a bike rental up to 60% off a visit to a city landmark (the Torre de Collserola, for example). All in all, I give the Barcelona Card a big thumbs up!