I previously raved about how fun (and ever so convenient) it was touring Barcelona with Barcelona Bus Turistic’s hop on hop off bus tour on the Red Route. One day wasn’t enough? Nope. I recommend two days.
Just a refresher: Barcelona Bus Turistic Tour features three colourful sightseeing routes: Red, Blue, and Green. You can hop on and off the bus at your own pace, and you can even switch between routes. With this bus ticket, you have access to loads of discounts for landmarks and sites included in the tour.
Day 6: Across the City with Barcelona Bus Turistic Tour
We’ll be touring the Blue Line Route this time; with a red stop that we skipped the first time.
Stop #1 – La Sagrada Familia, the Most Unique Church in the World
We walked from our new apartment to La Sagrada Familia and grabbed croissants from MaxciPa for breakfast and stopped for coffee before we started our tour.
Out of all the main attractions we visited in Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia was my favourite.
We got online tickets to both the church and tower, which included an audio guide. Guys, the audio guide is a MUST. Do NOT skip the audio guide. It explains everything about the church as it walks you through the different sections. The audio made the experience even more memorable – we learned so much about what we were visiting, instead of just gaping at the, admittedly beautiful, architectural design. You can skip the tower maybe, but I would still say fork over the extra 4-5 euros because the view is lovely (also because you might as well since you’ve made it this far!).
A small history lesson
La Sagrada Familia was designed by Antonio Gaudi, one of the most renowned modern architects in Europe. Construction began in 1882 and it’s still to this day not completed. Sources say that it should be finished in 2026.
History lesson over.. That wasn’t so bad, was it?
From the intricate details and architecture of the façade to the high-ceilinged colourful interior, the church is breathtaking.
As soon as we stepped inside the church, we were in awe – exceedingly high ceilings, colossal pillars, and colourful light from tall stained glass windows filling the interior of the church with different shades of red, blue, green…
After roaming around the church interior with the help of our awesome audio guide, our tour finished and it was time to go up the elevator inside one of the towers.
Afterwards, we had to walk down a seemingly endless spiraling staircase to reluctantly exit the beautiful church.
Stop #2 – Snack Time: Churros
Still in awe from our visit, we headed to Xurreria Sagrada Familia for a snack for the road before hopping back on Barcelona Bus Turistic tour following the blue route to our next stop.
Stop #3 – Parc Guell
Barcelona Bus Turistic’s stop at Parc Guell is a bit confusing; the tour bus doesn’t exactly drop you in front of the park. It drops you a 10 to 15-minute walk away from the park and it wasn’t too clear regarding which direction to take to get there. We ended up following the group that got off the bus with us – good move.
We didn’t buy our tickets online and as a result, the next admission time was around 5pm. Yikes! There is however another section of the park that’s free to enter without a ticket so we thought we might as well do that since we were there.
We roamed around the common park grounds, saw lovely views of the city, took pictures, and then decided we had seen enough forest and it was time to continue our daytrip.
Before we left, we passed by Gaudi’s two-story house which was turned into a museum.
Back on the bus.
Stop #4 – Tibidabo
Barcelona Bus Turistic dropped us off right at the Tramvia Blau, a survivor of the old Barcelona which takes you to Tibidabo Mountain.
You can opt for taking the bus to Tibidabo or taking this traditional Tramvia Blau; both will take you to the funicular station and from there, you take a funicular to the top of the mountain.
We took the blue tram although it was jam-packed. It’s rather expensive (about 7 euros per person one-way), so if it’s too crowded I would suggest just taking the bus because you won’t really enjoy the “authenticity” of the experience.
The first thing you see once you reach the top of the mountain is the beautiful white Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor.
We then stood in long line to buy a ticket to go on the Ferris wheel at the Tibidabo Amusement Park facing the church. I’m scared of heights, terrified actually, but it’s on my bucket list and I promised T I’ll pull myself together.
Once I saw the kids in the queue, I relaxed a little bit. Once I saw the view from the top, I forgot my fears and soaked in the spectacular views of Barcelona city.
Back to the funicular, a short bus ride and we were back to the Barcelona Bus Turistic stop to continue the rest of the Blue Line Route.
Stop #5 – Switching Colours: Blue to Red
Once we reached the Francesc Macia stop, we switched to the Red Line Route of the Barcelona Bus Turistic tour. Instead of continuing towards Placa de Catalunya, we were off to Montjuic!
Stop #6 – Montjuic Castle
Walk through the gardens of Montjuic Hill to get to the majestic historic Castell de Montjuic at the top (or take the teleferique / cable car). Entrance to the castle was free (Sundays after 3pm).
We roamed around the fortress grounds taking in the breathtaking 360 panoramic views of the sea, mountain, and city from all sides! What’s funny is that we saw our day’s trip before our very eyes – we could see Sagrada Familia towering over Barcelona city, the Ferris wheel and church at the top of Tibidabo Mountain, and even our upcoming stop at Port Vell.
Constructed around 400 years ago, Montjuic Castle was used as a prison until 1960 when the city took it over. There’s also a small museum inside the fortress which we passed through.
We left the castle grounds hungry and set off in search of food.
Stop #7 – Dinner at Jai Ca
We went back on the Barcelona Bus Turistic tour and stopped at Port Vell. Jai Ca Restaurant was recommended to us by a friend and it was a close walking distance. We sampled a selection of seafood dishes, including a delectable Pulpo a la Gallega, a traditional Spanish Galician dish.
Stop #9 – The Barcelona Aquarium
After a satisfying dinner, we headed to the Aquarium which was only a 10 minute walk.
A tunnel-like aquarium awaited us; we could see the fish swim right over our heads! Some interesting looking fish and sea creatures swam above us; oh, and sharks.
Our Last Stop (#10) – Walking along the Marina…
… and ice cream. After meeting Vioko in Barcelona, I’ve discovered a newfound love for coconut ice cream and it’s resulted in revisiting this delightful ice cream shop more times than I care to admit. Late night cravings will be my downfall. I’ve been on a coconut ice cream hunt in Lebanon for a month now and counting! Why doesn’t anyone make coconut ice cream? I don’t want Bounty!
A stop at Eyescream and Friends was also on my to-do list (sorry, Vioko), but it wasn’t so great – serves me right for cheating!
Here ends our journey. We took the night bus (yes, there’s a night bus!) back to our apartment, since Barcelona Bus Turistic tour stops at 8pm during the summer season.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE BARCELONA ADVENTURES!
DAY 6 IN BARCELONA – ADVENTURE MAP
Check the official Barcelona Bus Turistic website for more information on tours and tickets!
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Many thanks to Visit Barcelona for providing me with complimentary Barcelona Bus Turistic passes to facilitate this article. As always, all opinions are my own.