On our second day in Barcelona we decided on two sightseeing bus tours: the Bus Turistic Blue Route tour in the morning and their Red Route tour in the afternoon. In between the tours we had lunch at a nice little cafe a block from Placa de Catalunya and then walked down La Rambla, one of the city’s most popular streets.
The first half of the Blue Route is almost exclusively devoted to some of the most famous buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi. Then the bus swings west across the northern part of the city passing through the Tibidabo and Sarria districts before turning south to reach Camp Nous where FC Barcelona plays. From there our bus stayed mostly on Avinguda Diagonal, one of the city’s main streets that run from west to east, on its way back to the western Eixample neighborhood and the Placa de Catalunya.
The Barcelona Bus Turistic is affiliated with both Barcelona’s official tourist office (Barcelona Turisme) and the City’s transportation office (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona). We bought a one-day ticket that allowed us to ride on any or all of the three routes. A two-day ticket is also available but we decided that we only wanted to devote one day to bus rides around town. The blue and red routes are each about two hours and the green route is about 40 minutes. We skipped the green route which starts at the foot of La Rambla and goes along the waterfront past the major city beaches. On Wednesday morning we rode on the blue route which is mostly north and east of Placa Catalunya. We had lunch at a restaurant a block from the Placa and then walked down La Rambla past the Columbus Monument where we caught the red route bus and rode for another two and a half hours (we rode an extra 30 minutes in order to get off at the Placa de Catalunya). This route is mostly south and west of Placa Catalunya.
See here for the blue route map; here for the red route and here for the green route. Also, check their website for more information. You can buy your ticket online (10% discount), at any of the Barcelona Tourist Offices (we bought ours at the tourist office in Placa Catalunya) or on the bus. There is a discount for children under 12 and kids under 4 are free. With your ticket you receive a map and a discount coupon book along with an audio headset. We were able to use discount coupons for our bus tour to Montserrat two days later.
In our next five days in Barcelona we revisited three of the places we first saw from the Blue Route bus: the Eixample neighborhood around Passeig de Gracia, La Sagrada Familia and the Tramvia Blau for our trip to the top of Tibidabo.
My next two postings will feature photos from our walk down La Rambla and from our ride on the Bus Turistic Red Route.