One of Europes major cruise ports Barcelona is worth a couple of days spent exploring, sampling the food and visiting the shops. Easy to get around in and very walkable.
Port of Call Barcelona Spain
Barcelona is one of the two largest cruise ports in the Mediterranean and is used as an embarkation port as well as a popular port of call. The city is a modern and historic place with a number of iconic neighborhoods and attractions. If you are cruising out of Barcelona do not miss the opportunity to spend a couple of extra days visiting this vibrant city.
Where Your Ship Docks – The entrance to the Barcelona ports and the port shuttle bus stop is at Plaça de les Drassanes just south of the Columbus Monument. The location is very near the foot of La Rambla, a major street which runs through the city centre. For cruise ships there are generally three major port terminal areas. Most cruise ships are docked at Adossat Quay Terminal which is the farthest out and is serviced by a shuttle to the La Rambla area. This includes terminals A, B, C and D.
There are also 3 terminals at the World Trade Centre pier called North, South and East terminals and are much closer to the Columbus Monument on the waterfront at La Rambla.
The third terminal is Sant Bertrand, and it to is near the World Trade Center (refer to our cruise terminal map). Sant Bertrand is usually used for ferries to the Balearic Islands.
The Shuttle – The T3 PORTBUS (the “Blue Bus”) runs a circuit from all cruise port terminals to near the monument of Christopher Columbus. The tickets for the T3 need to be purchased with cash on the bus itself.
At this writing the tickets cost:
Single ticket: €3.00
With Return ticket: €4.00
Many of the cruise ships also provide a shuttle bus to their passengers for free or a small charge.
Walking – The nearest cruise terminal to La Rambla is about a 15 minute walk away. However the major cruise terminals, which are furthest from La Rambla are about a mile and a quarter (2 Km) from the Columbus Monument. From Christopher Columbus monument to La Rambla is about a 1 minute walk, and the nearest Metro is Drassanes (Green Line, L3), which is another 5 minutes walk.
Barcelona Metro – Barcelona has a good transit system that is excellent for getting around the city. The Barcelona Tourist Travel Pass (also known as the HolaBCN card) is a transport pass specifically designed for tourists. Once purchased it enables you to have unlimited journeys on the Barcelona public transport system which includes the TMB buses from Barcelona Airport to the city centre, the Airport metro from both T1 and T2, the Airport train to the city centre, the entire metro underground system in the whole of the city, the TMB buses that run in the city centre and the suburban tram system. Barcelona Card gives you unlimited transport on the Barcelona transport system (metro, bus, tram). It can be purchased in advance of your trip (save 10%). The Transport Card can be purchased for 2 to 5 days with a 2 day card at €16.40.
There are also a number of tour buses like Hop Off Hop On and you can find more information HERE.
Taxi – A taxi from the port to the city centre is normally less than 10 minutes with a fare of about €20.00. A Taxi to Barcelona airport from the cruise port should take about 25 minutes with a fare: of €30.00 – €35.00.
What To See – Barcelona is a city steeped in culture and history and many think it is the city itself that is the main attraction. From great food to an exciting night life, from the old Gothic quarter to the modern shopping districts this is a truly remarkable city.
Barcelona is famous for the fantastic architecture of Antonio Gaudí, whose buildings can be found scattered around the city. The most famous can be found along Passeig de Gràcia where you will find La Pedrera and Casa Batlló. There is also the Parc Güell which is a incredible park designed by Gaudí himself. The most notable of Gaudí’s works is the Sagrada Familia, the huge, still unfinished Basilica.
The Gothic Cathedral in the heart of the Gothic quarter is a must-see as is a walk up Las Ramblas. Make sure to save time to explore the winding side streets with their shops and restaurants.
There are also a number of great museums in the city. The MACBA (museum of modern art) and the CCCB next door are worth an hour or two. The Picasso and the permanent Dalí exhibition in the Gothic Quarter are always worth a visit. The Caixa Forum is a museum which has different art exhibitions every month. It is just off Plaça Espanya, on Avenida Marques.
If you have more than a few hours be sure and visit the Poble Espanyol, an open-air architectural museum in Barcelona. Located approximately a quarter mile away from the Fountains of Montjuïc. It was built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition (Worlds Fair), the museum consists of 117 full-scale buildings replicated from different places in Spain, together making up a small town recreating urban atmospheres. It is full of cafes, restaurants, small shops and exhibits.