The Madrid City Pass is a discount card which gets you in free or at a reduced rate to a number of attractions in Madrid as well as providing free transportation from the airport and access to a hop-on-hop-off bus tour around the city.
You can purchase a Madrid City Pass that covers:
Over 50 restaurants, 24 shops, 17 bars and nightclubs, seven theaters, six tours, and four car service companies also provide discounts to Madrid City Pass holders. The cost of the pass ranges from 47 EUR to 77 EUR depending on the number of hours/days the card is good for.
In addition to discounted tickets to local attractions, the Madrid City Pass also grants you priority access to museums and tours, meaning you can save some time on your trip to Spain by skipping the line at some of the city's most popular destinations.
When it comes to visiting the capital of Spain, exploring the history and culture of the city is an invaluable part of any trip to the city. If you want to get the most out of your trip while not breaking the bank, the Madrid City Pass may be a great deal for you, especially considering what attractions you'll be able to access.
Major museums with free entry and priority access include the Prado National Museum, Reina Sofia National Museum and Art Centre, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de Escorial, and the Benedictine Abbey of the Sacred Cross in the Valley of the Fallen.
With Barcelona, there are 4 city cards available: Barcelona Card, Barcelona Card Express, Hola Barcleona Card, and Bus Touristic, as well as the Go Barcelona Pass that's significally more expensive (and also more inclusive).
As with most city cards, these provide free public transportation, free entry to some museums and discounts to some tourist attractions and restaurants.
You're going to have to work hard to get your money's worth out of the Barcelona and Madrid city cards, though it's worth it if you plan to explore a lot of the city, especially the many museums and fine dining options the cities have to offer. If there are two museums per day that you want to see, you will save more in admission than the price of the card. Keep in mind that the restaurants on the city cards are generally high-end restaurants, so expect to pay a lot at these establishments, even with your discount.
So are the Madrid City Pass and Barcelona cards worth buying? Yes, if you have a fast-paced historical and cultural program in mind. If you just want to lazily stroll the streets and enjoy yourself, then buying the passes isn't worth it.