Discount Cards and Sightseeing Passes: Which is Best?

Barcelona offers visitors good value for money when compared to other popular European cities such as London, Paris, Berlin or Rome. Having said that, the city is packed with attractions and with entry fees generally between €5 and €20, the cost can quickly add up.

Luckily there are several discount cards and sightseeing passes which can help you save money without missing out on anything.

In addition to saving money on entry fees, the discount cards offer savings on a wide range of tours, activities, entertainment, transport, night-life, shopping and even meals in selected restaurants. They also make life easier by allowing you to group all your tickets plus transport together in one convenient pass.

Each of the passes is slightly different and which one is best depends on what you plan to see and do and how long you will be staying for.

In this post we take a look at 7 of the most popular passes and weight up the pros and cons of each one. At the end of the post there’s an interactive price comparison calculator to help you work out how much you will save.


Barcelona Card - 2, 3, 4 and 5 day discount card

Barcelona Card

The Barcelona Card is the official sightseeing pass sold by the city’s tourist office. The card offers free entry to 17 museums and discount entry to 24 other museums. It also includes free unlimited travel by public transport including the metro and train from the airport.

The 3, 4 or 5 day Barcelona Card offers a total of more than 70 discounts at attractions, museums, tours, shows, activities and night-life as well as some shops.

Which attractions are covered by the Barcelona Card?

Free entry to 25 of Barcelona’s best museums including:

The National art museum of Catalonia (MNAC), Picasso Museum, Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA), Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), the Chocolate Museum, Barcelona Botanic Gardens, Pedralbes Monastery, Cosmo Caixa Science Museum, Barcelona Botanic Gardens, El Born Cultural Centre, Museu de Modernisme Catala.

Up to 50% discount at more than 40 of Barcelona’s top tours and attractions including:

La Pedrera (Casa Milà), Casa Batlló, Santa Maria del Mar, Colonia Güell, Barcelona Aquarium, Montjuic Cable Car, Columbus Monument and Viewpoint, Barcelona Maritime Museum, Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village), Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours, Barcelona Walking Tours, Las Golondrinas boat tours, Tibidabo theme park, Barcelona Zoo, Barcelona Ciclo Tour (bike tours), Patio Andaluz Flamenco Show, Palau de la Musica, La Roca Village Shopping Express, Barcelona Casino, Tablao del Carmen…

Unlimited travel on public transport

The Barcelona Card includes an unlimited travel on the metro, bus, trams and commuter trains within travel zone one for the duration of the card. This includes free airport transfer on the L9 metro, R2 airport train and bus number 46.

What else is included with the Barcelona Card?

The Barcelona Card also includes a free guide and map.

What isn’t covered by the Barcelona Card?

The list of attraction and tours which are covered by the Barcelona Card are so extensive that I think it’s worth mentioning the attractions which aren’t included.

Most importantly, the Barcelona Card doesn’t include entry to La Sagrada Familia or Park Güell. Tickets for both attractions can be purchased separately or together as the Gaudi Bundle (more information below).

The Aerobus fast shuttle bus from the airport to the city centre is also not covered by the Barcelona Card.

How does the Barcelona Card Work?

The Barcelona Card is a smart card which can be purchased at official Barcelona Turisme tourist offices in the city centre or at the airport.

You can save an extra 10% by purchasing your ticket online. You then pick up the card, guidebook and map from one of the tourist offices upon arrival (more information below).

There are 3 cards available, all of which are valid at the same attractions and for the same discounts, valid for 72, 96 and 120 hours from the first time you use them.

To use the card you simply show it at the ticket counter when visiting each of the attractions. In the case of the Picasso Museum, in order to skip the line, you should contact the museum in advance to book a time slot. Likewise, you should reserve Barcelona walking tours at least 24 hours in advance.

The duration of the Barcelona Card is timed from the first time you use it. For example, if you purchase a 72 hour Barcelona Card and the first time you use it is to catch the train from the airport to the city centre at 7pm on a Friday evening, the card can be used right up until 7pm on Monday evening.

Barcelona Card collection points

On arrival in Barcelona you can pick up your Barcelona Card from official Barcelona tourist offices at the following locations (see map below):

Barcelona Airport Terminal 1(on the right just after you go through customs), Barcelona Airport Terminal 2 (near Botero´s horse statue), Plaça de Catalunya 17, Carrer de Pelai 39, Plaça Nova 5, Plaça de Sant Jaume 2 (Barcelona Town Hall), Passatge d’Amadeu Bagués 2 (Las Ramblas) Plaça del Portal del Pau s/n (Columbus monument), Plaça dels Paisos Catalans (Barcelona Sants Train Station).

Barcelona Card prices

DurationAdultChild
72 hours€45.00 (Online Price €40.50)€21.00 (Online Price €18.90)
96 hours€55.00 (Online Price €49.50)€27.00 (Online Price €24.30)
120 hours€60.00 (Online Price €54.00)€32.00 (Online Price €28.80)
Advantages:

Valid at a wide range of attractions and activities.
Includes free guide, free map and free unlimited travel on public transport.
8 pickup points including Barcelona airport.

Disadvantages:

Doesn’t include La Sagrada Família or Park Güell.

Find out more and purchase your Barcelona Card>>


Barcelona Card, 2 day travel pass and discount card

Barcelona Card Express

Barcelona Card Express is a stripped-down version of the Barcelona card which is valid for 2 days. Unlike the Barcelona card which includes free entry to 17 museums, the Barcelona Card Express doesn’t include free entry to any sites, just discounts and unlimited travel on public transport.

If you are only visiting Barcelona for 2 days and were already thinking about purchasing the Hola Barcelona! travel pass then it might be worth paying a few extra Euros and getting the Barcelona Card Express.

Which attractions are covered by the Barcelona Card Express?

Up to 50% discount at more than 60 of Barcelona’s top tours and attractions including:

La Pedrera (Casa Milà), Casa Batlló, Santa Maria del Mar, Colonia Güell, Barcelona Aquarium, The National art museum of Catalonia (MNAC), Picasso Museum, Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA), Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), the Chocolate Museum, Barcelona Botanic Gardens, Pedralbes Monastery, Cosmo Caixa Science Museum, Barcelona Botanic Gardens, El Born Cultural Centre, Museu de Modernisme Catala. Montjuic Cable Car, Columbus Monument and Viewpoint, Barcelona Maritime Museum, Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village), Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours, Barcelona Walking Tours, Las Golondrinas boat tours, Tibidabo Theme Park, Barcelona Zoo, Barcelona Ciclo Tour, Patio Andaluz Flamenco Show, Palau de la Musica, La Roca Village Shopping Express, Barcelona Casino, Tablao del Carmen…

Unlimited travel on public transport

The Barcelona Card Express includes unlimited travel on the metro, bus, trams and commuter trains within travel zone one for 48 hours after the first time you use it. This includes free airport transfer on the L9 metro, R2 airport train and bus number 46.

What else is included with the Barcelona Card Express?

The Barcelona Card also includes a free guide and map.

How does the Barcelona Card Express Work?

The Barcelona Card Express is valid for 48 hours from the first time you use it and can be purchased at official Barcelona Turisme tourist offices in the city centre or at the airport.

You can save an extra 10% by purchasing your ticket online.

To use the card, you present it at the ticket office when visiting the attractions. In the case of the Picasso Museum, in order to skip the line, you should contact the museum in advance to book a time slot. Likewise, you should reserve Barcelona walking tours at least 24 hours in advance.

Barcelona Card Express collection points

On arrival in Barcelona you can pick up your Barcelona Card from official Barcelona tourist offices at the following locations (see map below):

Barcelona Airport Terminal 1(on the right just after you go through customs), Barcelona Airport Terminal 2 (near Botero´s horse statue), Plaça de Catalunya 17, Carrer de Pelai 39, Plaça Nova 5, Plaça de Sant Jaume 2 (Barcelona Town Hall), Passatge d’Amadeu Bagués 2 (Las Ramblas) Plaça del Portal del Pau s/n (Columbus monument), Plaça dels Paisos Catalans (Barcelona Sants Train Station).

Barcelona Card Express Prices

DurationPrice
48 hours€20.00 (Online Price €18.00)
Advantages:

Not much more expensive than a travel pass.
Valid in a wide range of attractions and activities.
Free map and free unlimited travel on public transport.
8 pickup points including Barcelona airport.

Disadvantages:

Doesn’t include the Sagrada Família or Park Güell

Find out more and purchase your Barcelona Card Express>>


Barcelona city pass, fast track entry sagrada familia, 20% discount casa batllo and more

Barcelona City Pass

Barcelona City Pass includes fast-track (skip the line) entry to the Sagrada Famillia and Park Güell as well as the Hop-on Hop-off buses, airport transfer and 20% discount on the majority of the city’s top attractions.

For short visits, the Barcelona City Pass includes all the essentials in one ticket which you can purchase online before you arrive. For longer stays, it is valid for 7 days allowing you to take your time and spread things out over the entire week.

Which attractions are covered by the Barcelona City Pass?

The Barcelona City Pass includes:

Skip the line entry to the Sagrada Familia plus audio guide.
Skip the line entry to Park Güell plus audio guide.
A 1 or 2 day pass for the Hop on Hop Off open top bus tours.
Return transport between Barcelona airport and the city centre on the Aerobus express shuttle bus (or one way from/to Girona Costa Brava Airport).

The Barcelona City pass also includes a coupon code giving 20% discount on more than 50 popular attractions and tours including:

Camp Nou Stadium tour, Picasso Museum, La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, Barcelona Aquarium, Salvador Dalí theatre museum, Articket Barcelona (see below), MNAC, Joan Miró Foundation, Casa de les Puntxes, Barcelona Waxworks museum, Barcelona Aquarium, Barcelona museum of contemporary art (MACBA), Barcelona Zoo, Montjuic Cable Car, Isla Fantasia, Catalan wine tasting, Hola Barcelona transport card, Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, Port Aventura & Ferrari Land, Isla Fantasia, Museu del Modernisme, Columbus Monument, Montserrat and Gaudi’s Crypt, Torres wine cellars, Barcelona Gothic Quarter walking tour, Las Golondrinas boat tour, Flamenco shows, Helicopter tours…

How does the Barcelona City Pass work?

The Barcelona City Pass is 100% digital. During the booking process you indicate which airport you will be arriving at and select entry times for the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.

You then receive your tickets via email, there’s no need to print them out, just show them on your phone. This has the advantage that, on arrival in Barcelona you hit the ground running and can head straight to the Aerobus, no need to pick anything up.

The pass is valid for up to 5 days from your arrival date.

You also get an audio guide app to listen to on your smartphone (don’t forget to bring earphones) plus a coupon code which gives you 20% discount on Barcelona attractions, tickets and tours purchased from the Ticketbar website.

Barcelona City Pass prices

City PassAdultChild (4-10 years)Child (0-3 years)
Barcelona City Pass + 1 day HOHO bus€69.50€35.00FREE
Barcelona City Pass + 2 day HOHO bus€79.50€39.00FREE
Advantages:

Includes fast-track entry to the popular Sagrada Familia Basilica and Park Güell (reserve time slot when booking).
Includes airport transfer from Barcelona or Girona airport.
Discount on a wide range of attractions, tours and activities and shows.
100% digital.

Disadvantages:

Travel pass for public transport available at extra cost.

Find out more and purchase your Barcelona City Pass>>


The Barcelona art pass or articket discount card surrounded by used tickest fro Barcelonas best art museums

Articket Barcelona

Articket Barcelona gives access to 6 of Barcelona’s top museums including the Picasso Museum, Miró Foundation and the MNAC. If you visit all 6 museums, represents a 50% saving compared with purchasing individual tickets.

Before you purchase the Articket you should check whether any of the museums offer free entry during any of the days which you’ll be visiting Barcelona. Read this post for more information.

Which attractions are covered by Articket Barcelona?

Skip the line entry to the permanent and temporary exhibitions at 6 top art museums:

Centre of Contemporary Culture Barcelona (CCCB), Antoni Tàpies Foundation, Joan Miró Foundation, Catalan National Art Museum (MNAC), Picasso Museum, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA)

How does Articket Work?

Articket Barcelona (aka the Art Passport) can be purchased at any of the featured museums or online, you then pick up the pass at the first museum you visit.
Each time you visit a museum the Articket (which looks like a passport) is stamped.
The Art Passport is valid for 12 months and allows you to visit each museum once.

Articket Barcelona collection points

You can pick up your Barcelona Art Passport from the ticket offices at participating museums or from official Barcelona tourist offices at the following locations (see map below):

Barcelona Airport Terminal 1(on the right just after you go through customs), Barcelona Airport Terminal 2 (near Botero´s horse statue), Plaça de Catalunya 17, Carrer de Pelai 39, Plaça Nova 5, Plaça de Sant Jaume 2 (Barcelona Town Hall), Passatge d’Amadeu Bagués 2 (Las Ramblas) Plaça del Portal del Pau s/n (Columbus monument), Plaça dels Paisos Catalans (Barcelona Sants Train Station).

Articket Barcelona prices:

PassPrice
Articket Barcelona€30.00
Advantages:

Save up to 50% at 6 of Barcelona’s best art museums.
Includes fast-track entry to the Picasso museum.
Valid for 12 months.

Disadvantages:

Only covers 6 museums.
Doesn’t include public transport.

Find out more and purchase your Articket>>


Photo of the Sagrada familia in Barcelona with the words the gaudi bundle in white letters

The Gaudi Bundle

The Gaudi Bundle was conceived as an add-on to the Barcelona Card and Barcelona Card Express but can also be purchased separately or combined with other sightseeing passes.

The pack includes fast-track access to the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell plus an audio guide for both sites.

Which attractions are covered by the Gaudi Bundle?

The Gaudi Bundle includes fast-track (skip the line) access to the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell plus an audio guide for both sites.

How does the Gaudi Bundle Work?

The Gaudi Bundle is 100% digital and works the same way as the Barcelona City Pass. After booking you reserve entry times for the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell and download the audio guide app to your smartphone. You then show your tickets directly on your phone, no need to print them out or pick anything up.
Tip: Don’t forget to bring earphones with you to listen to the audio guide!

Gaudi Bundle Prices

BundlePrice
Adult€29.50
Child (12 – 18)€25.50
Child (7 – 11)€7.50
Child (0 – 6)FREE
Advantages:

Fast-track entry to 2 of Barcelona’s most popular attractions.
100% digital.

Disadvantages:

If you don’t want the audio guide then it’s cheaper to purchase the tickets separately.

Find out more and purchase The Gaudi Bundle>>


iventure card Barcelona, tickets tours activities discount skip the line pass

iVenture Card Barcelona

The iVenture card allows you to choose 3, 5 or 36 attractions, tours and activities from a total of 36. The activities offered include tours of popular sights such as the Sagrada Familia and Montserrat as well as boat trips, scooter hire, Portaventura and the FC Barcelona Experience.

Unlike the Barcelona Card, the iVenture card allows you to create your pass based on the number of attractions and activities, rather than the number of days

If you plan take the more expensive tours and activities which are available then the iVenture card is very good value. You should compare prices carefully before purchasing because some of the activities work out cheaper when booked separately on the Barcelona Tourism website.

Which attractions are covered by the Barcelona iVenture Card?

The iVenture card allows you to choose 3, 5 or 36 attractions, tours and activities from:

The Sagrada Familia (tour), Montserrat Mountain (tour), Gaudi Experiència, Park Güell (tour), Hop On Hop Off bus tour, Barcelona Highlights (tour),Barcelona Aquarium, Picasso Museum and Gothic Quarter (tour), Columbus Monument, La Pedrera, Port Aventura, Barcelona City Tour, Gaudi Exhibition Centre, Hard Rock Café (meal), Casa Vicens (tour), Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site (tour), Artistic Barcelona (tour), Santa Maria del Mar rooftop tour, Las Golondrinas (boat tour), Casa Batllo (tour), Casa de les Puntxes, Colonia Güell, scooter rental, FC Barcelona experience, Torre Bellesguard, Girona Game of Thrones Tour, La Roca village shopping express, MNAC, the Egyptian museum, Palacio del Flamenco (show), Palau Requesens (tour and show), Poble Espanyol, La Burguesa restaurant (meal), Txapela restaurant (meal), Barcelona Casino.

What else is included with the Barcelona iVenture Card?

The Barcelona iVenture Card also includes a free guide and map.

How does the Barcelona iVenture Card work?

The Barcelona iVenture card is a smart card which gives you payment-free access to 3, 5 or 36 attractions, tours and experiences. To use the card you simply present it at the entrance of your chosen attractions. Some of the tours have to be booked at least 24 hours in advance (more information in the free guide and on the iVenture website)

The card is valid for 7 consecutive calendar days (not 24 hour periods) from the day that the card is issued. This means that if you collect the card on a Friday mid-day, you can use it until the following Thursday evening.

Barcelona iVenture card collection points

You can pick up your iVenture Card from Julia Travel agents ate the following locations (see map below):
Carrer Balmes 5, Carrer Canuda 9, Carrer Hospital 4 and Plaça de la Sagrada Família 3.

Barcelona iVenture Card prices

No. of AttractionsAdultChild
3 attractions€85.00€65.00
5 attractions€135.00€90.00
Unlimited (35 attractions)€255.00€180.00

Advantages:

Flexible 7 day pass which could save you up to 40% on popular tours and attractions.
4 pickup points in Barcelona city centre.

Disadvantages:
Doesn’t include public transport.
Check the price of each of the activities before making your selection.

Find out more and purchase your iVenture card>>


The bright yellow barcelona pass travel card displayed in front of a photo of the Barcelona skyline with Mt. Tibidabo

Barcelona Pass

The Barcelona Pass is a 2 or 3 day sightseeing pass which gives you free entry to 25 of Barcelona’s most popular attractions, a free ticket for the Hop On Hop Off bus tours plus discounts for a selection of other tours.

In many ways it’s similar to the Barcelona Card except that it’s less museum oriented and includes more of Barcelona’s most popular attractions for free.

Unlike the Barcelona Card, the validity of the Barcelona Pass is based on calendar days instead of hours so, to get best value for money, it’s important that you start using it early in the morning on the first day.

Which attractions are covered by the Barcelona Pass?

The Barcelona Pass gives you payment-free entry to 25 of Barcelona’s attractions and tours including:

La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, Casa de les Punxes, Poble Espanyol, Catalunya in Miniature, FC Barcelona Camp Nou Tour, Barcelona Zoo, Museu de la Música, Casa Vicens, Gaudi Exhibition Centre, Barcelona Waxworks Museum, Museum of Ancient Egyptian Culture, The Museum of Modernism, Liceu Opera House (guided tour), Caixa Forum, Best of Barcelona Bike Tour, Cosmo Caixa (science museum), Las Golondrinas (boat tour), Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona (MACBA), Bus Turistic (Hop on Hop off bus tour), Gaudi Experiència 4D, Barcelona Walking Tours, La Roca Village (shopping express), Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, Colonia Güell and Gaudi’s Crypt.

Discounts on selected tours, shops, night clubs, shows and restaurants including:

In Out Barcelona Tours, Castle Experience Wine Tours, Barcelona Night Card, Boo Restaurant, Pic a Pic Tours (photographic tour), Barcelona Segway Tour, Trip Troop Vintage Car Tour, Desigual, Black Lab Brewery and Kitchen, Citrus Restaurant, Hard Rock Café, Jamboree Jazz Club, Maritim Restaurant, Tablao de Carmen (flamenco show), Tapa Tapa Restaurant, Tarrantos (flamenco show) etc…

What else is included with the Barcelona Pass?

The Barcelona Pass also includes a free guide and map.

What isn’t covered by the Barcelona Pass?

Despite the fact that it covers most of Barcelona’s top attractions, the Barcelona Pass doesn’t include the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell or the Picasso museum which must be purchased separately.

The Aerobus, fast shuttle bus from the airport to the city centre is also not covered by the Barcelona Pass.

How does the Barcelona Pass work?

Barcelona Passes are valid for 2 or 3 consecutive days and are activated the first time to use them.

To use the pass you show it at the ticket office of each of the attractions.

The Barcelona Pass has a maximum purse value (€200 for the 2 day pass and €275 for the 3 day pass) once this limit is reached the pass automatically expires.

If you’ll be using public transport the Hola Barcelona! travel pass, which gives unlimited travel on public transport within Barcelona, can be added to your pass.

Barcelona Pass collection points

When you book your Barcelona Pass online you can choose whether to get it delivered to you before you travel (extra cost) or pick it up from the redemption centre near La Rambla.

Collection point: Palau Moja, Carrer de la Portaferrissa 1 (see map)

Barcelona Pass prices

DurationAdultChild
2 days€124.99 (with travel pass €113.99)€63.99 (with travel pass €79.99)
3 days€149.99 (with travel pass €170.99)€99.99 (with travel pass €120.99)
Advantages:

Free entry to 20 of Barcelona’s Top attractions
Free guidebook (e-book)
Collect your pass in the city centre or have it delivered to you before you travel.
Travel pass can be added (extra cost)

Disadvantages:

Doesn’t include entry to the Sagrada Familia or Park Güell

Find out more and purchase your Barcelona Pass>>


Which Barcelona discount card is best?

Which discount card or sightseeing pass you choose depends on how long you will be staying in Barcelona and what you plan to see and do.

I recommend that you start by deciding which attractions you want to visit and then use the calculator below to compare the sightseeing passes with the cost of buying tickets on the day or online at the official Barcelona Tourism website.

Depending on your interests, you might even find that you’re better off purchasing individual tickets instead of a discount card.


Sightseeing Pass Collection Points in Barcelona

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As always, if you have any questions please leave a comment below…

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2 thoughts on “Discount Cards and Sightseeing Passes: Which is Best?

  1. Neil Lim

    Thank you for the wonderful tips above. We’ll be staying in Barcelona for 3 full days. Arriving at BCN airport and leaving via train to Madrid. There’s 3 in our family. We have a free Hop on Hop off for a day from our hotel. We plan to visit the La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, La Pedrera, Picasso Museum and maybe a few others if time permits. Which of the Barcelona discount cards would you recommend? Or maybe we’re better off getting the 10 tickets pack for the metro and purchasing individual tickets (maybe get the Gaudi Bundle) instead.

    Hope to hear your recommendation soon.

    Thank you,

    Neil

    Reply
    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Neil,

      Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you found the post helpful.

      I agree, if you will only be visiting the sights listed then a T-10 will probably be the cheapest option for you. Don’t forget that the T-10 is valid for the airport train but not for the airport metro (more info in this post)

      Also, since you already have the Hop On-Hop Off bus covered (I’d be interested to know which hotel gives it away free) then (assuming that you want the audio guide) the Gaudi bundle plus individual tickets for the other sites will be your best bet.

      As mentioned in the post above, the Gaudi bundle is convenient because it allows you to buy both tickets together but if you don’t want the included audio guide it would actually work out cheaper to buy the tickets individually. Personally speaking, especially if it’s your first visit, I think that the audio guide is worth the small additional cost.

      By the way, if you’ve already bought your train tickets to Madrid they should have a code on them which entitles you to a free commuter train ticket to Barcelona Sants train station (more info in this post) so if you are staying near to Plaça de Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia, Arc de Triomf or El Clot you could use this to get to the train station for free on the last day.

      Have a great time in Barcelona and if you have any more questions feel free to ask.

      Reply

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