This summer, my husband and I took off to Barcelona, Spain to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. We had no agenda before we left but we figured we’d catch all the main sights during our 5-day trip.
On day 2, we found ourselves looking for an affordable way to conquer the city from one end to the other. Luckily, we stumbled upon the “Hop On, Hop Off” bus tour. I’ve never been interested in bus tours because they seemed a bit cheesy but after doing this one, I’m a big fan. Some travel sites will tell you to skip the bus tours and see the city by foot and in most cases, I agree. However, we had 4 more days to walk around and really see the city, so I was game.
One of the main reasons it’s a good idea to book this tour is because you can take the bus all around the city from 9 am to 7 pm (roughly). So, technically, this can be used as your transportation for the entire day. You can hop on in one part of the city and hop off in another and see whatever sights you like. Granted the bus doesn’t always stop close to the desired sights but they’re all within walking distance (except Tibidabo… it takes a lot of effort to get there). But, if you add up the amount of money you would spend on train tickets and taxis getting from one end of the city to the other, you’re definitely coming out ahead.
There are two options for the tour, one line covers the west side of the city and the other covers the east. So, you can choose which is more interesting and hop on (you can do both for one price but we only did one). Check out our sweet view from the bus!
The first place we hopped off was Barceloneta Beach. This stunning beach is the closest beach to the city and just about a 15-20 minute walk from our apartment in El Born. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk and we even stopped at the W Hotel for a drink!
Another must see stop on our tour was La Sagrada Familia. This magnificent church has been under construction since the 1800’s and will not be completed until sometime in the 21st century. The tour bus lets you off right across the street from the ticket office. Once inside, you’ll be instantly struck by the ornate beauty of this church. We spent ample time admiring every inch of Gaudi’s design.
Our third favorite spot was Park Guell located in Passeig de Gracia. The bus stop is at the bottom of the hill and it’s a bit of a hike to get up to the park but it’s well worth the trip! As we walked around the park, we took pleasure in the unique architecture and thoughtful design concepts. Don’t forget to take photos (from one spot you can see all the way to the ocean)!
One of the last stops on the tour was Casa Batllo, another Gaudi masterpiece within the city. This facade is one of the most iconic images of Barcelona. On any given day, you’ll see photographers (amateur and professional) across the street taking photos of Casa Batllo. Don’t be afraid to whip out your camera. Also, you can go inside to have a look around or grab a drink during certain hours.
Plaça Catalunya, Catedral-Barri Gòtic, Barceloneta, La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Tibidabo, and Casa Batlló are just a few of the sights you can visit on this bus tour. There were so many things to see and do that we couldn’t possibly fit it all into one day (we should have gotten the 2-day pass). Next time you’re in Barcelona (or any city) check it out because you might get more than your money’s worth!