Is the Barcelona Card a good deal?

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Tourist discount cards can provide great value and a major convenience. But, they can also create a major headache when trying to evaluate their value. Today, we turn to Barcelona…

The Barcelona Card

The city-run Barcelona Turisme office issues the Barcelona Card as a two-day pass (€25), three-day pass (€30), four-day pass (€34), and five-day pass (€40). Prices are 20% cheaper for children, and all passes booked in advance on the official website receive a 10% discount.

Benefits of the card are varied. Pass holders enjoy, among other things:

  • Free public transportation throughout most of Barcelona (including the airport train).
  • Free admission to 12 museums, and reduced admission (50%-10% off) to another 20 museums.
  • Various other discounts, ranging from 10% to 35% off at cultural, entertainment, leisure, and nightlife spots.

Is the card a good deal?

Well, it’s complicated. We fired up our old Commodore 64, tapped out some quick algebra equations and came to this conclusion: The card isn’t for us.

Quite simply, most of the museums offering free admission with the card are not on our list of “must visits,” or, if they are, they’re already pretty cheap. (For example, the Botanical Garden only costs €3.50 full-price.) Most of the museums that we’re certain to visit offer only discounts. (For example, the Picasso Museum is 50% off €9, the chocolate museum is 30% off €3.90, and three major art museums are only 20% off their admission charges of €6-8.50). Other non-museum discounts would just get lost in the shuffle (although we appreciated the 20% discount offered by the Michael Collins Irish Bar).

The transportation savings, however, could make the card a deal. If you were already going to purchase a three-day city transit pass for €13.70, you could upgrade to the Barcelona Card three-day pass for €30, which would include the transit pass. Is it worth the addition €16.30? Perhaps, if you take advantage of the 12 free museums. You decide.

After all the calculations, we had stressed ourselves out trying to make it work. That’s no way to spend a vacation.

A better option: The articketBCN

We prefer the cheaper (and less-stressful) articketBCN, which offers free admission to six major art museums in Barcelona for €20 and is valid for six months.

Museums include the Museu Picasso, Fundacio Caixa Catalunya, Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), CCCB, MNAC, and Fundacio Joan Miro. Tickets may be purchased at any of the museums or at the tourist information center. We’d combine our articket with a T-10 pass transit book of 10 rides on the Metro or bus for €6.90.

And then we’d chill out and enjoy some art!

About the author

Tom Meyers

About the author: Tom Meyers created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys. Email Tom. [Find Tom on Google Plus]

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2 thoughts on “Is the Barcelona Card a good deal?”

  1. Pingback: The Barcelona Card Revisited: Is it still worth it? | Budget Travel Tips - EuroCheapo

  2. In my personla esperience I tthink that the Connect Club card its a much better deal than the Barcelona Card. The Connect Club card offers more then 100 discount places and its much cheaper. Just 12€. Cehck it ou at http://www.ConnectClub.com

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