Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bus Turistic, Barcelona

As we are less than two months away from traveling, it's time to focus on our days in Barcelona.  We have a loose plan of arriving in the morning, checking in the hotel, grabbing some food, and then doing some sightseeing in the afternoon.  Then the next day, we have tickets for La Sagrada Familia at 11:00, but other than that, we are open for adventure.

But "open for adventure" in my book doesn't mean standing on a street corner wondering what to do.  For one thing, that's a sure way to be pickpocketed or otherwise targeted to become a victim of tourist crime.  For another thing, if you don't have any ideas at all, then why bother to arrive early?

In 2007, we used Bus Turistic as a HOHO (hop on, hop off) bus service to have a look around Barcelona.  A friend had recommended this company over the other one, so we took her advice and found it to be affordable and suitable to our needs.  So we are going with this plan again, only this time we will actually get off the bus to see the sites rather than just passing by.  Bus Turistic offers earbuds to listen to information and descriptions about the places of interest along their three routes. 

We have pre-purchased a two-consecutive-day ticket for each of us so that we can use the bus for sightseeing on both days we will be in Barcelona before boarding the cruiseship.  By purchasing online, we were able to save 10% off the cost of buying it onboard, plus it's one less time to pull out our money or credit card on the street.  You can buy your tickets onboard which is what we did last time.

The tour is split into three routes: Blue, Red, and Green.  The Blue and Red are each about two hours long if you go the whole way around without getting off.  This includes time at each stop to board other passengers.  There is part of the Blue and Red route that overlap which make it easy to change routes depending on where you want to go, and is also why we want to have a short list of places we might want to disembark along the way.  The Green route is a 40 minute side route that mostly pickes up at hotels that are off the main routes; in fact, last time we were there, we had to board the Green Route to get to the Blue and Red.

The PDF'ed map is really small to read when printed, but the interactive map on their site lets you select the places you want to see and they will build an itinerary complete with which stop to get off at.  They also have discounts for some of the entrance fees.

And as an added bonus, they have free wifi for passengers, so don't be surprised if we post a blog entry from the upper deck of the Bus Turistic!

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