A few days before I left for Barcelona, I popped over to see a friend.
Upon hearing about my travel plans she simply said “I’ll leave you to explore it for yourself, but make sure you go on the city bus tour” and I won’t lie, at first I was skeptical.
Bus tours have always seemed cheesy and touristy to me, but when I walked over to the ticket booth on my second day in Barcelona and the lady told me you can hop on and off as many times as you want, I was intrigued.
One ticket to travel across the whole city?
On the day I bought the ticket, I had already explored a large part of the city, partly due to exploring the little nooks and crannies, but mainly due to getting lost on the underground and having to find a shoe shop because my flip-flops decided that comfort was no longer a service they wanted to provide for me. But I carried on exploring nonetheless.
There are two routes that go around the city.
One covers the East side of Barcelona, and the other covers the West. The tour covers over 30 stops and when you buy your ticket you are given your own set of headphones to listen along to the audio guide, which is available in a variety of languages.
The buses are modern, with air con provided on the lower level and glorious views on the second level thanks to the open top. The buses arrive at each stop every ten minutes meaning you never have to wait long between explorations, and it wasn’t long before I was top deck weaving through Barcelona’s streets.
The city is filled with interesting history and the audio guide gives you great insight, not just on the obvious sight-seeing parts of the tour, but as you drove through each part of the city it highlighted Bacrelona’s history, both recent and past. It’s immediately obvious how much they value architecture, but if you had any doubts about how passionate they were, the way they talk about each building’s history on the audio tour cements it.
With (metaphorical) itchy feet and an urge to explore kicking in (something I’ve been “suffering” with since returning to England) it only took a few minutes after stepping onto the bus that I wanted to get off and go for a wander. I roamed through the Gothic Quarter, snooped inside Casa Battló, got lost trying to sniff out Barcelona’s best gelato before hopping on the bus again and exploring various parts of the city before finally heading to Camp Nou.
The bus ride was informative, useful and not at all as overwhelmingly touristy as I had previously imagined. And even though it stopped outside all of the popular places in Barcelona – the queues were never long and seats were always available.
A solid recommendation for anybody travelling to this energetic beach-side city!