The Barcelona Card Revisited: Is it still worth it?

3 comments

The CosmoCaixa science museum. Photo by Alan Bell.
The CosmoCaixa science museum. Photo by Alan Bell.

Visitors to Barcelona (especially those who stop by the tourist office) will no doubt learn about the Barcelona Card for museum and transportation discounts.

A couple years ago, we were not sure if the Barcelona Card really packed enough bang for the buck. In fact, our conclusion was simple: the Barcelona Card? Not for us. This year, we’ve changed out minds a bit, and offer you another look at this discount card.

Barcelona Card. Photo courtesy of the Barcelona Card site.

Barcelona Card. Photo courtesy of the Barcelona Card site.

What to consider before buying

The Barcelona Card is about €28 for a two-day pass, and this includes a paper guidebook that comes with the card.  You really need to ask yourself: How much of an effort am I going to make to use this card?

If you make a point to go to the museums, restaurants, bars, and shows discounted through the card, then yes, you are going to save yourself some dinero. If you simply use it a few times and then lose it or forget about it, then you would be better off just sticking with the Articket (or nothing at all).

Museum discounts

Many of Barcelona’s museums are free with the card—however, some of them that the card lists, are free anyway!

You’ll find some good museums on the Barcelona Card’s free-entry list (Museu de Ceramica, Museu Chocolate, Cosmo Caixa), but none of them are must-see museums. Rather, they are more specialty museums that will appeal to travelers with more time on their hands in Barcelona, or with a certain enthusiasm for say, Spanish and ceramics.

The big dogs of Barcelona museums (El Palau de la Musica and Casa Batllo) are only 20% off with the Barcelona Card, and many other must-see monuments, such as the Sagrada Familia, aren’t covered by the card at all.

Transportation and other perks

One perk that the card does offer is free public transportation around the city and to and from the airport. This part of the card I appreciate.

For ten trips on the Metro in Barcelona, you will pay €8 (if you buy the T-10). A ride to the airport on the airport bus? That’s another €5, one way. So you are looking at €15-20 in transport (depending how long you are in the city and how much you want to walk, of course), which you could deduct from the Barcelona Card price.

The card also offers some nice discounts on the zoo, IMAX theater, and aquarium, so if you have kids it might pay off. I am not impressed by the discounts the card offers at local restaurants or shops, but I do like the 10% off at bars Dry Martini and Gimlet.

Again, it comes down to whether or not you will remember to use the card after two dirty vodka martinis…

The bottom line

To conclude, as a local here in Barcelona, I am neither for nor against the Barcelona Card. It is not something I will insist that my friends buy when they come to the city for a visit, as I do with the Articket. However, if you are going to spend a week in the city, then this card could save you some cash.  And, with the dollar taking a serious beating from the euro, that might be a really good thing.

About the author

Regina W Bryan

About the author: Regina W.Bryan is a Barcelona-based freelance writer and photographer. When not eating tapas and exploring Europe, she is tending her balcony veggie garden and practicing Catalan. For more of her thoughts on Spain, check: www.regwb.com and www.thespainscoop.com.

Leave a comment

3 thoughts on “The Barcelona Card Revisited: Is it still worth it?”

  1. Hi all,

    I’ll be traveling to Barcelona on a budget, in May, and I am trying to figure if using the Barcelona card is better than using the Touristic Bus. Both offer certain discounts but I’ve heard that Bus Touristic gives even greater discounts for certain attactions e.g the Aquarium. Of course there’s always the free airport and city transport the Barcelona card offers, but is it better to tour around in a bus or use the metro to reach places?Any opinion counts.

    Thanks a lot.

    Reply

Follow Us