It’s been a hectic 2 weeks for us. Few days after we came back from Paris, with our bags barely unpacked, we left for Barcelona. We have both been to Barcelona before but not together and we were excited to get away from the cold English weather for a weekend.
We had a great experience travelling with our Turbopass Paris City Pass last time we decided to do the same for Barcelona. Our Barcelona City Pass included a metro travel card, the Barcelona Card and a one-day hop-on-hop-off bus pass.
First stop, breakfast! We found a little bakery near our AirBnB that had the most adorable miniature pastries! Of course, we had more than just 2… !
Our AirBnB was a short walk from Casa Batlló. Casa Batlló is one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces, redesigned in 1904. Admission was €22 and I would recommend pre-booking a ticket to avoid queues. The Barcelona City Pass also offers a discount for tickets at the door.
Once inside, you are given a sent a headphones and a hand held audio/visual guide. You can use this device to see what things would have looked like when the place is emptied or what it would be back in the days.
The highlight is probably the rooftop for us. Not only do you get a breath of fresh air, you also get to see the colourful mosaic up close. You can also see a cross plunged into a dragon’s back (imagination required).
Do go to Casa Batlló early! There were so many people when we went it was a little suffocating…
We had lunch at La Boqueria Market where you will find fresh seafood, fresh juice, tapas and all sorts of meat. Take the opportunity to walk around the most famous street in Barcelona, La Rambla after you have stuffed yourself silly like we did.
Our evening was spent near Montjuic Castle and its surrounding area. We used our free metro card that came with our Turbopass to make the connection to the cable car that takes you up to the castle. We were glad to have our metro card because a single journey in Barcelona can set you back €2.15.
The Montjuïc Cable Car journey was one of our favourite parts of the trip. The view from the cable car was phenomenal! It cost €12 for a return ticket and it was definitely worth it! Again, you can get a discount with the Barcelona City Pass.
We chose not to go into the castle itself but we did take a long walk around it. The view wasn’t very spectacular because it was blocked by trees; perhaps going into the castle would have been a better idea…
We headed back down the mountain and enjoyed a lovely walk to the Font Màgica. This is the all singing, all dancing fountain and one not to miss. The shows are completely free but please check show times before you go.
Our second day started with Gaudi Experiencia 4D! I have loved Gaudi’s work since I was young and that’s why Barcelona had always been one of my favorite cities. I jumped at the chance of seeing his work in 4D! Hubby wasn’t very keen but he agreed that it was 20 minute well spent.
We then headed straight to the infamous Park Güell. Please pre-book your tickets before you go! When we got there (12pm), the queue was for 3pm entry slot only and you couldn’t get in before 3pm if you did not have a pre-booked ticket. General admission for Park Güell is €7 which is relatively cheap compared to other attractions in Barcelona
With our Barcelona City Pass, we had free admission to Gaudí House Museum. This is where Gaudi lived for 20 years between 1906 to 1925. It is not the most impressive museum or the largest, but you do get to see Gaudi’s bedroom! We had no complaints with admission being free!
If you are under 30 years old, Sagrada Familia is half priced every Sunday. Otherwise, general admission is €15.
Sagrada Familia is probably Gaudi’s most famous piece of work. Building work started in 1882 and till this day, it is still under construction. The proposed completion date is 2026-2028 and I intend to come back to see it!
It is breath-taking, inside and outside. From the stain glass windows to the impressive ceiling, you really won’t know where to look upon entry. We recommend looking up! Every stone work tells a different story and we felt very small and humbled being in such a beautiful place made for worship. We jokingly compared it to Gaudi’s own house. His house is pretty plain and simple but he sure put a lot of effort in designing God’s house!
Beware that the Barcelona City Pass will only grant you basic entry to the cathedral and to the museum. You CAN NOT purchase tickets to the towers individually. This was very sad for us as it meant that we couldn’t go up to the towers… But it wasn’t all bad as you can literally spend all day in wonder of the cathedral itself and there are plenty of other places to go to for a panoramic view of Barcelona.
We finally made use of our free Hop-on-hop-off bus pass on our last day. We took the bus to Mirador de Colom which was also free with our Barcelona City Pass. Up there you get a 360 panoramic view of the city. A tiny, almost claustrophobic lift takes you all the way up the column. (Hurray for no stairs!)
You get a great view of the harbour as well as La Rambla up there.
We went to Tapas 24 as recommended by friends for our last meal in Barcelona. The ham was out of this world… expensive but I can see why!
Was the Barcelona City Pass worth it?
It really depends. The Metro Pass was fantastic and saved us a lot of money and time. We loved the hop-on-hop-off bus because it was hassle free and the audio commentaries were great. However, we were disappointed about the entry to the Sargada Familia not including the towers and that there was no other way to get a ticket for the tower without purchasing the combined ticket. The Barcelona City Pass dose grant entries to a lot of the museums but we did not have the time in 3 days to see many. The voucher book that you get with the pass dose give good discounts to places which we found useful.
All in all, I think the Barcelona City Pass has a lot of potential and it’s great for people who love museums and love getting around fast. I wish the pass includes more free entries to the mains attractions rather than just discount offers.
For more information about Barcelona or for help to plan your trip, please visit http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/ We found this website really informative and a great help in planning our trip.