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Have any travellers registered for Gaudir+BCN?

This is something the local city council has created for Gaudi fans and it includes 1 free pass into the Parc Guell monument area. Additional cultural/event information related to Gaudi will be part of being a registered member. (It's free to register.)

Trick is that you need to register in person then you'll receive a website login after 7 days. My upcoming trip to Spain makes it possible for me to do this when I arrive in Barcelona and do the visit when I am back 2 weeks later.

Has anyone registered for this? Is it worth the time to register in person?

Posted by
2870 posts

Sorry to disappoint you Eileen... it has nothing to do with Gaudí (the architect). Gaudir+BCN is Catalan for "Enjoy more Barcelona" (gaudir=to enjoy). The City Council has created this program to promote sites run by the Council -hence, publicly run- among the citizens and visitors -but especially the citizens of Barcelona (albeit it's open to non-residents too).

The program is an embryo at this stage -one could say it's in "beta" as per today's tech jargon!- and includes only three sites for now: Park Güell, Castell de Montjuïc and the tours offered by City Council guides (ie. Civil War bunkers, etc). By registering one can purchase tickets for both the park and the castle at cost zero and can also attend for free (once a year) to one of the tours offered by the City Council. The program is strictly personal, that means a member can only purchase tickets for himself/herself and the ticket has to be collected in person (see below*). If several friends want to attend together, each one has to be a member of the program and purchase the ticket ONLINE using his/her own user:password.

The reason why it takes 7 days (or more!) to provide the user:password to be able to purchase tickets online is precisely to avoid short time visitors taking advantage of this as the aim of the program is to reward citizens (citizen=person living in the city). This might be a controversial issue, but it's the trend in most major cities around Europe: In Barcelona there's been too a public discussion for a long time regarding the overuse of public services (ie. metro/bus or public museums among other) by non-residents of the city. As in most of other European cities, a big chunk of the cost of running public services is subsidized by taxes. Thus, when you're paying say 1.3€ for a ride on the bus (using the T-10 travelcard), you're not paying the full cost of that service which is (I believe) as high as 4 or 5€, in fact, the 'rest' is subsidized by the Barcelona City Council. Same goes with public museums and sites when purchasing a ticket. Needless to point out the City Council gets its funds mostly through taxing the residents. Thus, at the end, citizens of that city are in fact subsidizing a non-resident (which is 'not' paying local taxes). In order to readdress this incongruity, many cities have started to run schemes that reward residents when using public services. In London, the Oyster Card program for the use of the public transportation system is an example of this, in Barcelona the Gaudir+ is another and soon, there'll be too a program similar to Oyster Card for the use of the public transportation in the city and metropolitan area.

Posted by
2870 posts

Gaudir+BCN intends to gradually add other publicly-run sites (ie. Museu Marès, MNAC, etc) but for now there's no (official) milestone in sight for this. My understanding is that at this stage is rather a pilot scheme. Unluckily, some of the more popular attractions are privately run (ie. Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Sagrada Família, Camp Nou, etc.) so it's highly unlikely these will be added to this program any time soon (if ever). Gaudir+BCN is open to everybody, not only city residents -this is because EU law prohibits discrimination among citizens of the EU, regardless where you live in the EU- so city councils running these sort of programs (and Barcelona's too!) while opening them to everybody, they tend to make it 'hard' for short time visitors to make use of it by delaying the issuing of the user:password more than 7 days. Still, if you're a frequent visitor it's a good resource, join on this upcoming visit and enjoy from the next onward -unless you're planning to stay more than 7-10 days, in which case you might end up being able to use it on the same trip.

The procedure to enrol is free but requires to attend in person to the City Council downtown (or, I believe it's now possible to do it on any of the District Councils too). You're required to provide a valid ID (national ID card or passport, your email -to receive the combo user:password and the newsletters- and your fingerprint. The later is because this program does not rely on membership cards (costly to issue, renew, etc). You purchase your ticket online (which using your user:password will cost you nil) and then pick it up the day of the visit (ie. Park Güell) in one of the ATMs located either at the park or at the nearby metro stations. You do so by using your fingerprint at the ATM -that you're unlikely to "loose", "misplace" or "forget it at home", LOL!

As Eileen is pointing out, the address is:

It's worth pointing out membership to this program allows unlimited visits to the sites (only Park Güell and Castell de Montjuïc for now) -not "1 free pass" Eileen- which means one could eventually be purchasing 365 tickets per year! But, as mentioned earlier, these are strictly personal, that is, for personal use and CANNOT be used by someone else.

Ah yes, in order to enrol you need to pre-arrange your visit to the OAC (Office of Citizen Services), much like a doctor's appointment... you can't just walk in (you used too, not anymore!) It's very straightforward, and you can do that online or by phone: --sorry though this page is only in Catalan, if you Eileen or anyone else needs help, either use Google Translator or send me a private message and I'll try to guide you ;) Alternatively you can just show up and play dumb... you might or might not be served without a scheduled visit.

Hope this info helps.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for the info Enric! Your posts have been a great help in my trip planning. I have almost a month before arrival so I will check on getting an appointment. (I did get fooled by the reference to Gaudi and the photos of Parc Guell thinking the program was focused on Gaudi.)

Do you happen to know if the Duece Coop by James Turrell is still in place? I have found old references to it being at the Centre Civic Convent de Sant Agustí but don't see many recent listings. (I wasn't finding anything on the Civic Center site using google translate.)

Interesting points brought up about tourists using subsidized services. I have spent quite a bit of time in Oahu, Hawaii this past year and they've evolved into a system that highly encourages tourists renting cars which in turn heavily burdens the locals' lifestyle and their road system. It seems to me that most of the money spent on car rentals goes to hotels (parking fees) and car rental companies not headquartered in the state. The incremental tax on the rental wouldn't be enough to compensate for the heavy traffic on 2 lane roads (can't build them any wider on parts of the island), high number of tourist traffic crashes plus all the wear and tear on the roads themselves.

The rental car tax was recently amended to allow for Car2Go (car share paid by the minute) to operate in Honolulu - this would be highly beneficial to the locals to supplement the bus system. The original tax had been set up using the traditional way cars are rented to visitors with a high tax rate per rental transaction. As a car share user, I'd make use of it just a few trips over a visit and use the bus for most travel. I'd like to think that would be better for the island overall with that portion of my travel budget going for local goods and services vs the car rental.

It'd be interesting to see an analysis that looks at the various transport systems (since all are subsidized) and what would be the best way for tourism to better support it's impact on local communities.

Posted by
2870 posts

Hi Eileen, I'm afraid I have no idea about the Turrell question. I haven't been able to find any reference in the Centre Civic Convent Sant Agusti website either. I however found an external reference of this exhibition in another website, but it's dated in 2011 so I am afraid you're far too late for this (unless there's been a rerun or something!). This art centre renews its exhibitions very often so most of them are in display for a (relatively) short period of time. Same then in Palau de la Virreina or Centre d'Arts Santa Mònica, both in La Rambla (same style, mostly free exhibitions).

It's indeed interesting the story about Oahu, especially taking into account it throws us into a complete different set of problems here: sustainability. In Europe this is an issue very much into everybody's agenda, not just because we all must do our bid to 'safe the planet' but also for an equally important yet more practical matter: traffic. In many of our major cities traffic is near collapse and needs to be reduced drastically. Also, some of these old cities, having exploded in size and population in the late 18th and early 19th centuries are not 'designed' to cope with lots of traffic due to lack of space. Thus, encouraging non-residents (tourists) to renting cars would be a reeeeeeally bad idea for us. Instead, a push on enhancing public transportation systems is more or less established everywhere... with some places being more successful than others I must say. We also have in Barcelona a few car share 'experiments' (ie. Car&Go, not "two" but "and" ;) but it doesn't seem to catch up (yet!). In Barcelona, probably also due to its weather, one of the more recent successes is the public bicycle sharing scheme set up by the City Hall several years ago: Unfortunately for you, it's aimed to the city residents only. Having said that, there is a blooming private business around the bicycle rentals for visitors too, yet at another sort of prices of course as the public scheme is, again, partly subsidized... of course :)

Barcelona is a relatively compact city -in fact it has one of the biggest densities among all the major cities in Europe, the city has 1.7 million inhabitants in 40 sq miles, no less than a little over 41 thousand inhabitants per sq mile -only surpassed by Paris and Athens, albeit the population of the later is less than half the size of Barcelona's. ( And this of course without counting the passers-by, that is, all the people that commutes daily into the city from the metropolitan area -which comprises 36 cities, summing up to a total of 4.5 million people in an area a little over 300 sq miles. It might not sound a lot, especially if compared to major metropolis in the rest of the world, but I can tell you it's far enough for many of us, LOL!

But again, Barcelona is made for walking as everything is relatively close. There's a saying among locals that "...everything is at a distance of 15-20 minutes", be on foot, be by bus/metro/tramway, be by bicycle, be by motorcycle (yes, Barcelona is 'the' city of the scooters and motorcycles, even more than Rome itself!)

Your last thought it's indeed an interesting one but, having lived myself in several big cities around Europe, I suspect there's not a single answer as it often involves many factors other than the mere straight forward economic ones (topology and orography of the city, its size, the weather and also the idiosyncrasy of its citizens).