Barcelona is like no other city in the world. Full of amazing architecture, an abundance of sunlight and the best food comes in bite sized appetizers. Experience Barcelona by walking around, putting your head back and look up and savor the flavor of the city. But did you know Barcelona also offers breathtaking vista across the city? Where to find the best viewpoints in Barcelona and how to get there? I list the 15 vantage points that give you the best Barcelona views!
This is a guest post written by Naomi from Probe around the Globe. Naomi is a train travel enthusiast who is crackers about cheese and loves history and ruins. She mainly travels in Europe and visited Barcelona on many occasion. Always looking to make travel planning easier, Naomi dedicates her blog to writing practical tips for your urban travel adventures.
Barcelona viewpoints in the city
When you’re walking around in a new city, buildings and streets all seem to look-alike and blur together into one big urban memory. A great way to refresh your sightseeing, is by finding a viewpoint where you can overlook the city. You can trace your steps where you’ve been and where you want to go. Luckily, Barcelona has many impressive rooftop views that are easily accessible to the public. Here are the best viewpoints in Barcelona city.
Cathedral of Barcelona
Did you know you can climb the cathedral of Barcelona? Walk around on the roof of the church and enjoy the 360 degrees views of the Barrio Gotic or the Gotic area of Barcelona. They have an elevator to bring you right up the roof. From there you’ll see the back of the facade of the church and the pinnacle and the closely knit streets and houses of the Gotic area. This is one of the easiest and most accessible Barcelona viewpoints in the city.
Rooftop La Pedrera
The building resembling a stone quarry on the corner of the Passeig de Gràcia is also called Casa Mila. Casa Mila or La Pedrera is a typical Gaudi house, with flowing lines, natural resemblance, amazing architecture and long queues to get in. Luckily, you can buy your skip-the-line-tickets in advance online which will give you access to roam around the house, explore the exhibition and venture out on the rooftop for chimney selfies and a good view on Barcelona. I really liked that from La Pedrera you can see the lovely colored house of Casa Batllo across the street.
The unsurreal Rooftop of the Casa La Pedrera in Barcelona
Rooftop Casa Batllo
That is correct, right across the street from La Pedrera, you’ll find another famous Gaudi house, Casa Batllo. This pastel colored house from the outside, feels like you’ll submerge into the underwater world on the inside. The architecture of Casa Batllo is dominated by the nautical theme and nature. Once you do come up for air, the rooftop of Casa Batllo offers you a divers view of Barcelona. You get to see the gigantic block of stone that is Casa Pedrera, the broad avenue that is Passeig de Gracia and the older quarter of Barcelona in the distance. Combine that with the colorful tail of a dragon and you have an unique view in my opinion! Buy your early bird entrance tickets to Casa Batllo here.
Dragon spine on the rooftop of Casa Batllo in Barcelona
Museum of National Art of Catalonia
In all fairness, I haven’t visited the museum of Catalonian Art (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya) to look at their pieces of art. But I have been to the museum to enjoy the sweeping views of Barcelona! Situated at the tip of the Montjuic, the MNAC stands tall at the head of a large staircase, going down to the Plaça d’Espanya. If you stand with you back against the museum, you’ll see a big part of Barcelona, framed by antique pillars and dramatic statues. The staircases and water fountains, guide your eyes to the city below as it unfolds in front of you feet.
One of the best views in Barcelona is from this point on Montjuïc
On the Teleferic from Montjuic
Another great Barcelona viewpoint can be found at the other side of Montjuïc. With such a large hill, embracing the city, it is logical to find some great vistas here. You can take the bus or metro up Montjuic, or climb the stairs from Placa d’Espanya. But you can also take the Teleferic from Montjuïc down to the harbour. Float across the sky, over the hill, the city and the harbour. Swap land for sea views as you slowly descend down to the Barcelona shoreline.
Gliding down on the Teleferic to the harbor of Barcelona
Near the harbor, at the end of the famous Las Ramblas pedestrian area, you’ll find a tall column with a statue on top. The statue is of Columbus pointing his finger into the distance. Although a nice landmark in the city, did you know the base is home to the organisation behind wine tourism in the Catalonia area? And did you know the elevator takes you right up to Columbus his head for 360 degrees views of the sea and Barcelona? For a few euros, you get dazzling views of the Ramblas and the harbor of Barcelona. And a glass of wine is included. Curious? Check out ticket prices here.
City view of Barcelona from the Columbus Statue
Another great Gaudi house with rooftop views, is the Palau Güell. This urban palace for the Güell family, is one of Gaudi’s first houses and you see a less refined touches that he later perfected in newer houses. But the Palau Güell does offer bubbly bright-colored chimneys and a chance to enjoy the Barcelona view. Decipher the Raval neighbourhood and Barcelona landmarks in the distance.
Funny looking chimney and the Cathedral of Barcelona on the roof of the Palau Güell
Climb the towers of the Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s still unfinished masterpiece is slowly entering the final stage of her long and troubled building process. Only a couple of years are left, to put a crown on Gaudi’s masterpiece. The Sagrada Familia is an exuberant tale of the Christian faith, combined with an architectural ode to nature and a plethora of light, dazzling her visitors. If you’re lucky to snag up those coveted tickets to visit the church and climb one of the towers, you can see the towers up close. And get the view of Barcelona with her square quadrants below you.
Sant Pau Hospital
The only problem with climbing the towers of the Sagrada Familia is, that you’ll not get a Barcelona view with the Sagrada Familia in it. It is like climbing the Eiffel tower in Paris and missing that one iconic landmark of the city in your pictures. Luckily, this post is full of Barcelona viewpoints, so you can pick the best one! A great view of Barcelona with the Sagrada Familia is from the former Hospital de Sant Pau. Not far from the Sagrada Familia, this complex of modernist buildings has recently opened for visitors. Roam the halls to learn about the history of this hospital and marvel at the glass stained windows with epic Barcelona views with the Sagrada Familia included.
The Sagrada Familia in the distance, seen from the Sant Pau Hospital
Best Barcelona viewpoint a little bit further away from the center
What makes a viewpoint epic and unforgettable? It has to be high up, provide unobstructed views of the city and a breathtaking view of course! These viewpoints are a little bit further out of the city center, but still easily manageable if you want to find amazing panoramic views of Barcelona.
View from Parc Güell
Another Gaudi masterpiece and one of the biggest tourist attractions in Barcelona, is the lovely Parc Güell, situated in the north of the city. Situated on the slopes of what was once called the “Bare Mountain” (Muntanya Pelada), Gaudi transformed it into a lush, flowing park with gardens and Modernist architectural features. You can visit the park for free, but the best sight and view of Barcelona, is from the monumental zone with her terrace overlooking the park and the city. You need to get a ticket for that part of the park. In the far distance you’ll see the Mediterranean Sea, but in front of you, is a sea of city. You can see the whole of Barcelona, framed by colorful benches and modernist landmarks. The sunset is particular pretty at this Barcelona viewpoint.
Sunset at Parc Güell, one of the best viewpoints in Barcelona
Skybar of the Grand Hotel Central
Barcelona is full of swanky hotel with rooftop pools that offer hipster drinks (with umbrella) to all visitors, not just their hotel clientele. My top pick for best rooftop hotel bar, would be the Skybar at the Grand Hotel Central. If you’re not staying at the hotel, you can visit the Skybar from 1.30 pm till 9 pm. Order a drink, take a dip in the infinity pool and gobble up the sweeping views of Barcelona. What more do you need after a full day of sightseeing in Barcelona.
Do you know that conical shaped building in Barcelona that turns magic blue and red at night in Barceloneta? That building is the W Barcelona Hotel, also known as the Hotel Vela (Sail Hotel). All the way, at the 26th floor, you’ll find the Eclipse Bar. Nightlife focal point of Barcelona, the Eclipse Bar also offers one of the best views in Barcelona. Dance the night away as you’ll gaze at the dark city with million of twinkling lights at your feet.
Bunkers del Carmel
A silent reminder of the Spanish Civil War, the Bunkers of Carmel, sit firmly at the Turó de la Rovira hill in the Carmel area. The bunkers were used as anti aircraft warfare but now form another great viewing point of Barcelona. Once a local’s secret viewing point, now it is flocked by tourist who lounge around all day, meeting up and having a picnic. Especially at sunset it can be hard to find a safe spot to take in the bird’s eye views of Barcelona, but it is all worth it.
Enjoy the Barcelona view from the Bunkers del Carmel
At 512 meters (1,679 feet) above sea-level, Mount Tibidabo is Barcelona’s highest mountain. Take the old vintage tram up the mountain and release your inner child at the theme rides at the Tibidabo amusement park. Or enjoy a picnic while savoring the views from Tibidabo with the Sagrat Cor church in your back. If this isn’t high enough for your taste, the Basilica del Sagrat Cor Tibidabo has 2 viewing platforms. The first one can be reached by elevator for a couple of euros. Here’s you’ll find yourself at the same level at the impressive bronze Christ statue. Climb higher via stairs to the very top of Tibidabo. Now at 548m (1,797 ft.) you’ll find exhilarating views of Barcelona basking in sun.
An amusement park, a dramatic church and one of the best Barcelona viewpoints, Mount Tibidabo is all in one.
One of the best day trips from Barcelona, Montserrat is a great way to escape the clustered urban vibe and get some fresh mountain air. Attractions are the monastery, the choir, the mountains and the view! Take the train from Barcelona to Montserrat and zip up the mountains with funicular. Hike around the mountains to called Sant Jeroni (Saint Jerome). At 1,236 meters (4,055 feet) above sea-level this is the highest peak. Take in the hazy views of the soft sedimentary rock formations that make up the Montserrat Mountains.
The oddly shaped rock formations in the Montserrat Mountains near Barcelona
The Best Viewpoints in Barcelona
Wow, that is a dazzling list of highlights for sweeping views of Barcelona. But which one is the very best Barcelona viewpoint? I’ll let you decide that on your own. Go to Barcelona, discover and explore and let me know what vista you appreciated the most.
Have you been to Barcelona and found another great viewpoint? Share it with us in the comment section below! Did you like this article? Feel free to share it with your friends on social media.
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Enjoy the Mossen I Llobera garden at Montjuic
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