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The easy and lazy way to see the sights
Barcelona Bus Turistic
Member Name: Gemma_C
Barcelona Bus Turistic
Advantages: A simple way to get around Barcelona
Disadvantages: Possible long queues in high season
First of all I want to be clear this is a review of the Barcelona Bus Turistic ran by Barcelona Turisme. There is another bus service ran by Gray Line and I've noticed a few reviewers getting these two separate services mixed up.
I don't usually use 'hop-on hop-off' bus tours when I travel, but as we only had 2 full days in Barcelona and after reading many positive reviews of these buses being efficiently run, I decided to give it a go. I also thought it would be nice to see more of the city that you don't see when using the metro. As it was December, this meant it wasn't very busy. I've read that in the summer that whilst the service runs more frequently, there are often huge queues and fights for the top deck on the bus.
Firstly, if your planning on using the Bus Turistic then book online before you go. You get 10% off, and you just print off the confirmation then hand it to the rep when you get on the bus to get your tickets, earphones and discount book. Easy!
The map you receive details the three different lines that you can go on. There is a line which only runs in the summer as it covers the beaches in Barcelona, and understandably this area isn't as popular in winter. The first day we did the blue line. The bus was brilliant, and we got on/off at 3 different stops. Each time we never waited long at all for another bus. A few of the headphone sockets didn't work, but when you finally got one to work there was some information provided. It didn't provide indepth information, but it quite often didn't have the time as you whizzed by various places. I had a guide book anyway, so I'd read up on most places of interest. When stuck in traffic though you were made to listen to awful 'lift music.' I can't see why they can't play some local style music?
There is always a rep on the bus and the driver. Both of whom were always very friendly and welcoming you on the bus each time. The rep is quite happy to chat to passengers sat nearby about the city and give recommendations on places to see.
The second day we used the red line and got on/off a few times, though this time we seemed to wait quite a while for the next bus to come along. We decided to go on the blue line again that evening, see the city in the evening and all the christmas lights. We waited in Placa Catalunya for a bus for 25 mins, I appreciate it's not high season but it states buses run every 10-20 mins so this was slightly frustrating.
I would recommend the Turistic Bus, especially if your only in Barcelona for a short stay. To check out which major sights the lines cover, visit the official website: http://www.barcelonabusturistic.cat
Summary: An easy to use hop on hop off bus service