One of the great things about Barcelona is that it’s so easy to get around that we were mostly walking everywhere we needed to go. I can’t count the number of times we walked on the marina starting from Port Vell to the many beaches stretched out along the coast or the times we passed the twisting and turning streets of Gothic Quarter and that ever-stretching Passeig de Gracia. We didn’t complain once about our aching feet!
However, if you want to see Barcelona’s landmarks and touristic sites, you will need to use some mode of transport. You can’t really walk to them all. #challengeaccepted
And what better way to get to the key sites than to use the Barcelona Bus Turistic Hop-On Hop-Off tour bus!
Barcelona Bus Turistic Tour
It was SO much easier to go sightseeing on this hop-on hop-off bus tour. Barcelona Bus Turistic covers 3 different routes (red, blue and green) and stops at 44 sites in Barcelona! On the bus, we got disposable earphones and listened to an audio guide (available in 16 different languages), which gave us some useful information about the sites on our way.
The tour buses pass by the stops pinpointed on the Barcelona Bus Turistic map every 5-25 minutes (depending on the season) – that way we could just hop off the bus any time we liked to explore the area or landmark at that stop, and then hop right on another tour bus once we were done!
It was super convenient for us and we got to cover A LOT of ground in a short time. Plus, we got free Wi-Fi on the bus and a discount book with lots of museums, landmarks, restaurants and more.
Day 3: The Red Line Tour with Barcelona Bus Turistic
We started our day like any other day; breakfast, of course.
Stop #1 – Breakfast at Flax & Kale
Flax and Kale was on my list before Barcelona became on my list.
We stopped by this flexitarian restaurant this morning because it happened to be a 10-minute walk from Gaudi’s Casa Batllo, our first touristic stop of the day. We ordered shakes, a healthy donut, avo toast, and the yummiest acai bowl ever made.
I will write a separate review of this awesome restaurant soon, so be sure to check it out! Voila.
Stop #2 – Gaudi’s Renowned Casa Batllo
Casa Batllo was one of my favourite must-see landmarks in Barcelona – the Sagrada Familia was my ultimate favourite, as in I would visit again (and maybe set up camp).
We arrived to Casa Batllo to be met with a small queue, not the kind that I read about online – we only had to wait about 15 minutes to get inside!
We got our tickets at the front desk and proceeded inside where we were given an audio guide and a cool virtual reality gadget to help us navigate the house. The gadget showed what the house would look like with furniture, since it is an unfurnished house.
Small History Lesson
Casa Batllo is one of Antonio Gaudi’s most famous works in Barcelona. Gaudi was hired by the Batllo family in 1904 to redesign their ordinary house into a more creative and conspicuous house. And conspicuous it was!
Nowadays, it’s also known as the “House of Bones” for its skeleton interior and skull-shaped balconies, or “Dragon House” for its dragon-scale-like roof.
The house is just as eye-catching on the inside as it is on the outside.
We then proceeded upstairs.
Let’s catch the Barcelona Bus Turistic!
T and I got back on the bus and followed the red route towards Placa d’Espanyol (our next destination). We took in some scenery and saw other sites from the top of the bus while we listened to the audio feeding us some key facts about them. A few sites were skipped and saved for another day since we like to take our time.
Stop #3 – Plaça d’Espanya and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
We hopped off the bus at Plaça d’Espanya and walked to the National Arts Museum from there.
If you’re a fan of art, step inside; and if you’re not, then go straight to the roof! I personally don’t like art museums, but I posted these pictures for those of you who do appreciate it! T likes to browse every single site and read every single detail – so you should thank him for these.
I went for the view.
Stop #4 – Poble Espanyol
Poble Espanyol is actually right next to the National Arts Museum, so we didn’t have to walk too far.
We did some window shopping in the many artisan shops around the complex.
Then we toured around the surrounding park.
We watched craftsmen at work.
We saw an angry cat.
We then hopped back on the bus and continued to the port, enjoying the stunning views driving down the mountain. Montjuic was on our right, but we thought it was best to leave it to another day as it was a little later in the afternoon.
Stop #5 – Port Vell
We hopped off Barcelona Bus Turistic at the Port Vell stop and walked along the marina, encountering vendors selling souvenirs, jewelery, handmade crafts, and even knock-offs.
Stop #6 – FOOD, Finally!
Well, we had to walk for about 20 minutes until we finally got to this highly-recommended-by-a-friend paella restaurant on Nova Icaria Beach. We then had to wait an additional 20 minutes to be seated (it was PACKED!), and then an additional 30 minutes to get our paella.
While we waited, we drank some sangria and nibbled on olives and Pan con Tomate (bread rubbed with tomato), which was quite good.
And the pièce de résistance has finally decided to present herself!
After that decadent meal, T and I walked by the beach and then went back to the hotel to freshen up for our upcoming evening adventure: tapas barhopping, and (sudden) hot chocolate midnight cravings – but I’ll leave that for another time 😉
Stay tuned for more Barcelona adventures!
We encountered this creature on our way back!
DAY 3 IN BARCELONA – ADVENTURE MAP
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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.