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Barcelona Port of Call: Best way into town?


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We stop in Barcelona next year on Royal Caribbean. I have been reading much conflicting information about best way into town (Columbus monument) from port. I understand that RCL ships are docked pretty far from the port entrance, and that walking is not recommended. A bunch of websites (for private drivers!) make it sound like it is impossible to catch a shuttle or taxi into town due to excessive lines. What is the truth? 

 

 

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I will confirm that I also do not recommend walking from your ship to Columbus Monument (which serves as a good starting point for sightseeing).  While it can be done and you will likely see some people doing it, it really is just a bit to far unless you really, really want exercise and/or you really, really don't want to spend any money.  It's a long, arching bridge to cross and it likely will be very hot weather.  Don't do it unless you fit the criteria above.

 

Another option (at least prior to Covid) was a bus system provided by the ports.  It was known as "The Blue Bus" and it operates from every ship docking terminal to the Columbus Monument and back.  They run all day while ships are in the port.  They charge a few euros (maybe 3?? euros) and I can't recall if that was one-way or round-trip pricing.  It seems efficient.  The busses are frequent and seem to fill up and move on quickly.  I saw a line of people waiting, but not for long.

 

The other option, is of course via taxi.  You'll pay more for this.  I paid $15 euro, BUT I was going further into the city and not just to the Columbus Monument.  I would consider where in the city you want to visit first and take the taxi directly there.  Taxis are metered and well regulated in Barcelona.  They are of little risk.  Each time I've been to Barcelona, the taxi line/system was very efficient.  Depending on the time of the day, there was either very little line or a fairly lengthy line.  But even with a lengthy line, the number of taxis arriving to carry the line away was plentiful.  As soon as one taxi left, there was another there to take it's place. 

 

Personally, I would take the taxi unless you're wanting to save a few bucks.

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11 hours ago, Host Jacquelyn said:

I think we will plan to take the bus, unless we decide to go farther into town

The following site contains useful information regarding the bus from port to the Columbus monument:

https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/transport/barcelona-cruise-port.html#:~:text=Cruise Bus shuttle service that runs along the,the traveller with a disability with a wheelchair.

The HOHO bus also offers two stops near the cruise terminals (you can catch the red HOHO at the Columbus monument).

https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/faq/tours/tourist-bus/tourist-bus-stop-near-barcelona-cruise-port-terminal.html

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I also recommend the Blue Bus - we never have had to wait long. The only catch is that its a little tricky to find where the bus stops to take you back to the port. The map on the link will help you find the stop.

 

We also have not had to wait to get a taxi.

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Be warned of taking a taxi up La Rambles.   We got stuck behind a truck watering all the plants. The meter going $$$$$. We finally paid and exited continued on foot which was a good idea. Considering the beauty of the strip. 

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  • 1 month later...

I know many will not consider this, but our favorite way of getting from the cruise port to "town" is to simply walk :).   It takes us about 40 min (we have known folks to wait longer then that for a shuttle bus) and we find the walk fun and enjoy the view as we stroll over the long bridge (which has protected sidewalks on both sides).    And yes, we have also used the Blue Bus and cruise line provided shuttle buses but under the right conditions I really love the long walk

 

Hank

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, as the post has only started doing cruises again recently i wondered if anyone has used the shuttle bus in this covid era?

We sail in 6 weeks, always use the blue bus, but it may have changed, including its pick up point as there were ongoing works last visit, thanks for any info.

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1 hour ago, Seanocelt said:

Hi, as the post has only started doing cruises again recently i wondered if anyone has used the shuttle bus in this covid era?

We sail in 6 weeks, always use the blue bus, but it may have changed, including its pick up point as there were ongoing works last visit, thanks for any info.

You sound like somebody who has some travel experience which is always helpful.  But my advice (as a very independent traveler) is to simply focus on knowing your options (you already seem to have this part down) and being flexible.  This is a weird time for travelers and what exists today may not exist tomorrow or even this afternoon.   We are preparing to head to Europe and the changes in the last few weeks have been maddening and a bit of a challenge.  In fact we still have an unanswered question which will "work out" at the time.

 

So, if the Blue Bus (to use your term) is not running or running an a lousy schedule you should still have a Plan B (use the cruise line's shuttle bus) and even a Plan C (grab a taxi).  And then there is my favorite way which is to simply walk into town (Plan C).

 

I know my comments seem obvious, but you would be amazed at the tales we have heard of folks who leave their brain on the ship :).  About 5 years ago we were in Santorini and tendered ashore with the idea of paying for the boat over to Oia (and then a bus back to Fira).  When we got to shore the usual boat guy had his cardboard sign (Oia) and we noticed there were only a couple of others waiting at the boat.  I asked the man when they planned on leaving (for Oia) and he said "soon."  When I again asked him for a time...he said "when the boat is full."  So we walked past, took the cable car up to Fira and later took a bus to Oia.  That night we met another couple who said they paid for that boat and waited over 2 hours until they cancelled the boat and gave them their money back.  They wasted so much time waiting for the boat that never ran that is really messed up  all their plans (they never did get to Oia).  The moral of that tale is know your options and be flexible!

 

Hank

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thanks for your reply, yes it is a very unusual time for travel. If i get no response on the bus that is definitive i will get a taxi. And not a little Greek boat😄

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