Il Tourist Bus is a panoramic bus service operated by TMB, the Barcelona public transport network. In operation since 1987, the Bus Turístic is probably the easiest and fastest way to get a general tour of the city, and certainly one of the most popular, with over 1 million users every year. Inside the Bus Turístic you can take advantage of afree audio guide in Italian, with explanations on all the monuments visible along the way.
How the Bus Turístic works
The operation of the Bus Turístic is simple: you buy a ticket, valid for 1 or 2 days, and you can get on any bus along three distinct lines. The lines are designed to include virtually all of Barcelona's major attractions, and you can hop on or off at any stop you want, or switch between lines at certain stops. The ticket price also includes a book of discounts for the major attractions of the city, including Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, the Sagrada Familia or the Palau de la Música Catalana, for a total of about € 200 in discounts from all the various museums , monuments or city attractions.
The itineraries of the Tourist Bus
The Bus Turístic offers three different lines to visit Barcelona, for a total of 45 stops: the Red Route (red line), la Blue Route (blue), and finally the Green Route. All the itineraries follow a circular route, with an anti-clockwise trend: covering the entire Roja and Azul lines takes about a couple of hours for each itinerary, while the green line can be completed in about 40 minutes. A complete map with all the itineraries is available here.
The Ruta Roja runs from Plaça de Catalunya along the Passeig de Gràcia (with the Pedrera and Casa Batlló), and then up to Montjuïc, touching all the attractions and museums in the area (the Poble Espanyol, the MNAC and the Miró Foundation). The itinerary continues descending successively towards the Port Vell area first and then the Port Olimpic, to return again to Plaça de Catalunya after passing through the neighborhoods of La Ribera and del Gótico.
Se arrive in Barcelona by cruise ship, just outside the port you will find one stop of the Ruta Roja, so you can start your city tour from there.
The Ruta Azul also passes through Plaça de Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia, making stops in common with the Ruta Roja, but then continues towards the Sagrada Familia, to make a great arc to the north of the city that touches respectively the Parc Güell, the Tramway for Tibidabo, the Monastery of Pedralbes, and the Camp Nou. Before returning to Plaça de Catalunya the line stops near the MACBA and the CCCB.
The Ruta Verde develops from the Port Olimpic, where it makes the exchange stop with the Ruta Roja, and then goes along the entire promenade through Poblenou to the Forum of Barcelona, reaching the Museu Blau, and then back via a parallel road.
The book of discounts
One of the most interesting things about the Bus Turístic is the discount booklet given with each ticket: with about € 200 total discounts, it allows you to enter all the major attractions of Barcelona at reduced prices. A complete list in pdf is available here.
How much does the Bus Turístic cost and where to buy tickets
There are different fares for the Bus Turístic, with reductions for those under 12 and over 65. The discounted prices through are listed in parentheses online purchase.
Children up to 3 years old are entitled to free access. By purchasing tickets in advance you can use the Bus Turístic with the 10% discount on the final price. Once purchased, you can exchange the printed voucher directly on the first bus you get on, if you have the code on your smartphone, it is advisable to go to one of the tourist offices listed below. Tickets purchased online are valid for 90 days from the time of purchase.
In summer, the Bus Turístic starts running at 9:00 in the morning and ends at 20:00. In winter, the last bus time is brought forward to 19:00. The frequency of the races varies from 5 to 25 minutes, depending on the time and season. The Ruta Verde operates from 18/03 until 01/11. Bus Turístic does not operate on 25 December and XNUMX January.
Those who want to try a sightseeing tour of Barcelona at night can try the Barcelona Night Tour Bus, organized by the same company: more information is available on this page.
If you intend to sit on the rooftop in the summer, you'd better bring a bottle of water. Also, if children are with you, make sure you have caps and sunscreen, as the sun can be quite strong from the early hours of the day.