Riding the Tour Bus in Barcelona
Planning on visiting Barcelona? The best way to see the city, ports and art is to hop onto the tour bus which takes you round the whole of the city, pointing out all the famous monuments, statues and gardens. Tickets cost only €24 per person, this entitles you to a day pass for any of the buses in the city.
There are 3 main routes, the red, blue and green tour buses. You can get on and off of them as you please, giving you the chance to go explore sights before moving onto the next stop. Choose to sit inside or up top which is open topped for some great views and the chance to catch the sun.
When you buy your tickets from the booth, you will be handed a leaflet with a map of the routes, a discount booklet for many of the attractions and museums and a pair of earphones which you can plug into the back of the seats to listen to commentary about each attraction visited.
Creu Coberta and the placa d'Espanya
Starting from the main train station in Barcelona, Estacio de Sants. You head down towards Creu Coberta, which connects with the placa d'Espanya, a formal rural area of Barcelona which became an industrial suburb during the 19th century. The area offers the Vapor Vell (a major public library), one of the most popular shopping areas and the large market is all here in this area.
The Placa d'Espanya monumental fountain marks the gateway to the Montjuic park, which was also the setting to the 1992 Olympic Games. Montjuic hill known also as the green lung and the vantage point over the harbor which is popular for leisure and sports.
Heading down towards the Poble Espanyol (Spanish village), showcases the wealth of Architecture in Spain. Now home to over 40 workshops, you can see artisans at work and buy their work afterwards. A sculpture garden is also part of the Montjuic hill which has some of the best panoramic views of the city. The perfect place to sit and have a coffee and some breakfast in one of the restaurant here.
Anelia Olimpica and the Olympic stadium
Next is the famous Anelia Olimpica which held the Olympic flame in 1992. The Olympic stadium where you can take a look at the museum and also see the Palau Sant Jordi, the spots university, the Picornell swimming pools and the telecommunications tower.
Teleferic de Montjuic
The Teleferic de Montjuic is next, heading down towards the Port Vell. Discover Barcelona's most amazing views by going up on the Montjuic cable car which takes you to the castle sat on top of the hill. They stop half way for you to take some pictures, also know as the "Mirador del Alcalde", a pretty landscaped terrace with views over the harbor.
Colom-Museu Maritim and the Columbus Monument
To the heart of all the action and the most famous street in the whole of Barcelona is of course Las Ramblas. Stopping near to the Colom-Museu Maritim you can take a ride up in the lift to the Columbus Monument, offering great views it's globe shaped gallery. Or take a look round the Museum Maritim which is located in the Gothic building of the Royal Shipyards. Then head down Las Ramblas for some unique Barcelona culture.
Port Vell and L'Aquarium
Next on the route is Port Vell, the oldest part of Barcelona harbor and stretches out to the Ribera. Here is a good place to get off and take a look round the shopping complex, the Maremagnum and enjoy some lunch by the sea in one of the many restaurants. The L'Aquarium where you can explore a journey to the bottom of the sea, walking through the shark tunnels which is a magical experience.
Port Olimpic and the Marina
This was one of the most transformed part of the city before the Olympic games in 1992, it was where the sailing competitions were held. Now a modern area which has over 700 berths, a leisure complex and plenty of dinning areas or take to some of the water sports on offer.
Placa de Catalunya
This is the spot which links the old town to the newer developments of the 19th century after the demolition of the medieval city walls and the beginning of the well known Rambla. Endless attractions, market stalls, the opera house and Erotica museum. If you have time take a look around the Tourist information office or go see the original gifts shops of Barcelona.
This part of the city links with the Placa de Catalunya where Antoni Gaudi's famous Casa Batllo was built in 1904. Visit the Mezzanine floor, the former home to the Batllo family and the rooftop with it's unique chimneys. This area of the city holds some unusual buildings, also designed by other artists such as Puig i Cadafalch and Domenech i Montaner.
Passeig de Gracia
The Passeig de Gracia was built by Gaudi between 1906 and 1910. A building you cannot miss with its stone facade suggesting the movements of waves. You can visit the building and take a look at the exhibition about Gaudi's work in the attic space and the rooftop. This whole street speak Gaudi and even the paving stones and street lamps were all Gaudi related.
The biggest landmark in Barcelona. Still under construction, and will be until at least 2026. It relies on donations and from the entrance fees it collects from visitors which is why it has taken so long. Not only that it is quite a building to construct with specific detail left by Gaudi in his architectural drawings. Walk all the way round the building to get different views and make sure you take a close look at each detail. The more you look at it the more you see. Another place to enjoy the full view of the building is the park across from Sagrada Familia.
Barcelona's most famous city park which was named after Gaudi's patron, Count Eusebi Guell, it was first planned to be like a English garden but the first initiative was unsuccessful. It was then handed to the Municipal Council and since has been a public park. Gaudi originally lived in the little house in the center of the park where he made furniture and statues which are dotted around the park. You can see some of his furniture which was left in the house. It is a park like no other and I recommend this to be on of the sites not to miss if you are touring the city.
Futbol Club Barcelona
Barcelona football club's stadium is also on the route of the tour buses. A must for any football lover, and the place where players such as Maradona and Ronaldinho have made history in the sport. Take a look around the Barcelona football museum which houses trophy cases from the impressive list of achievements. You can also sign up for a tour of the stadium which allows you in to see the dressing rooms, the directors box and the pitch.
Sure that you will love Barcelona, a vibrant city that you could spend heaps of time exploring round. The tour buses in Barcelona are just fabulous, you have great fun on them especially if travelling as a group and with friends. It has to be the best way to see Barcelona city, and for those which are here on a short weekend trip with not much time to explore you can see a bit of everything.