Top 5 Spots Overlooking Barcelona
Barcelona is an epic city full of bars, restaurants and amazing cannabis clubs. If you’re new to Barcelona – or BCN to the locals – and looking for some amazing views, then there are plenty to be found.
…Below we’ll go through the top 5 spots overlooking Barcelona and offer some information about these amazing places.
Bear in mind that many great spots for views in Barcelona can get busy, so think ahead about what time you are visiting to avoid the crowds.
First up we are going to recommended what to avoid.
One of the most prominent and obvious places to visit would be the iconic ‘W’ hotel on the seafront. This large landmark would be an ideal spot to see the city if the people that ran it didn’t treat it like an exclusive club. There are numerous stories of bookings being cancelled when you are stood waiting to enter. This is one of those places where it’s more about who you know and how much money you have, rather than whether you have booked. We would advise avoiding it at all costs. Especially if you are high as it may not be a nice experience.
Park Guell does have amazing views of the city, but unfortunately, it’s usually incredibly busy during the daytime. It is mostly empty at sunrise, so if you are an early riser, then it’s worth a visit. It’s also free to enter before 8am so worth getting up early to avoid the 8 euros entry fee.
Sky bar is a venue that almost made this list but unfortunately it is only open between April and October. If you are visiting during these months, then it’s worth a visit. It has some excellent views and is one of the better rooftop bars in Barcelona.
5. Barceló Raval
Our first recommendation is a rooftop bar between the Gothic Quarter and El Raval. Many of the rooftop bars in Barcelona are a part of a hotel or consider themselves to be exclusive and can be difficult to access. Barceló Raval’s 360 views are open to anyone willing to buy a drink at the bar. While their prices can be a little expensive, they have some truly extraordinary views that you only get when you are in the heart of the city.
The bar is open between 6pm and midnight, so it’s a great place to visit after having an evening smoke in one of the many amazing Barcelona cannabis clubs in this area. Do try to remember that Barceló Raval is a hotel and they do reserve the right to not allow entry. Try to not look like a complete stoned mess and you shouldn’t have any issue accessing the bar.
4. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya / National Art Museum of Catalonia
This huge palatial building dates from 1929 and houses many of Catalonia’s greatest works of art and historical artefacts. It is Spain’s biggest museum and one of the most talked about museums in Barcelona. The entrance to the museum is a series of stairways and squares that lead triumphantly up to this iconic museum. Or alternatively it also has escalators if you are too lazy or high to take the stairs. Thanks to these impressive steps it has some outstanding views of the city.
It faces away from the sea so there are some excellent cityscapes and you can even see over to the mountains beyond the city. At the bottom of these impressive staircases is a fountain which is regularly active during the summer, so it adds to an already impressive view when they are active. Visiting the area in front of the museum is completely free and a great place to stop for a rest if you are walking around the city.
3. The Arenas Shopping Centre
The Arenas shopping centre or ‘Centro Comercial Arenas de Barcelona’ is one of two former bullrings in the city, the other being ‘La Monumental’. The bullrings closed after bullfighting dwindled in popularity in Catalonia and was eventually banned in 2012. La Monumental was turned into a museum, while the Arenas was turned in to a large shopping complex. The rooftop of the arenas was designed to give magnificent 360 views of the city and offers people the chance to relax after a day of shopping. It’s a very well-known spot to get views of Barcelona which means it can get a little busy, but the views are still excellent. Probably best to avoid this one on a Saturday if you’ve just left a BCN weed café and don’t want to be jostled by strangers.
You can get a lift directly to the top of the arena for 1 euro if you are feeling lazy or take the internal stairs if you are feeling energetic. As with Barceló Raval it’s in an excellent location in the heart of the city, so offers a different perspective to some of the other attractions on our list.
2. The Teleféricos
The Port Vell Aerial Tramway is the iconic cable car that takes riders from Barceloneta over to Montjuïc. There are two cable cars that take you to Montjuïc, however the Port Vell Aerial Tramway is the only lift that will take you from Barceloneta. The Montjuïc Cable Car only takes riders from the bottom of Montjuïc hill to the top. It’s important to note the difference here as these two different services start in different places and take different routes.
The Port Vell Aerial Tramway has had a chequered history. The tramway has been closed almost as much as it has been open since it originally started giving rides to the residents of BCN. It was originally built for the 1929 Barcelona international exposition but wasn’t completed on time. It finally opened in 1931 however due to civil war and the great depression, It had large periods of being closed. It was even used as a gun tower during the civil war. After years or opening and closing and changes of ownership, it was finally given a new lease of life in the year 2000. Since then it has remained a popular tourist attraction in the Barcelona skyline.
Neither of these services are on the same network as the rest of the Metro system so you will need to buy a separate ticket for them. The Port Vell Aerial Tramway is around 11 euros, while the Montjuïc cable car is 12 euros. Both are worth the price for the outstanding views that they offer over the city and the ocean. If you’ve just tumbled out of a Barcelona cannabis club and want some great views of the city, this relatively central landmark will provide views in abundance.
1. The Bunkers del Carmel
The Bunkers del Carmel are well known amongst residents of Barcelona as being one of the best spots in the city for panoramic views. Originally built during the Spanish civil war, these bunkers had anti-aircraft guns on them to shoot down enemy planes. The bunkers are now usually just home to students, tourists and potheads hoping to catch an epic sunset of one of the world’s most thriving cities.
The Bunkers del Carmel are free to visit and during winter months, are not very busy. They can get a little busy at sunset during summer months, however the people there will likely be good company. There is always a fun and happy atmosphere here as the bunkers attract the friendliest of BCN residents. The bunkers are very close to Guinardo Park so it’s perfect for an evening walk in the park and a relaxing sunset sit at the bunkers. Greenardos cannabis club is in this area, so if you’re a member at this excellent cannabis club then this is an excellent spot to visit after getting high.
Other places worth mentioning
As you can imagine in a city as big as Barcelona, these aren’t the only amazing views available to visitors. These are our top five picks, however the following locations also offer some excellent views of the city…
The actual castle at the top of Montjuïc also offers some outstanding views of the ocean. A ride on the telefericos to the top of Montjuïc and a walk through the historical grounds of the castle would make for an awe-inspiring trip. The area is free to visit, however it’s probably best not to go too late in the evening. The area is a little secluded, so best to visit during the day and get the last cable car back.
Tibidabo is also another hilltop location popular with residents. The is very prominent in Barcelona as it is topped by the Sagrat Cor Church and the Torre de Collserola telecommunications tower. Both of which are iconic pieces of Barcelona architecture and can be seen from across the city. The area is also home to the Tibidabo amusement park, one of the oldest amusement parks in Europe. The park originally opened in 1905 and still has many of the original attractions. The roller-coaster was originally opened in 1961 but has since been replaced by a much more modern and safer ride. The new ride which opened in 2008 has been designed to feel like a vintage rollercoaster, so will still scare the life out of anyone who has spent all morning in a BCN coffeeshop.
The Jardins del Turó del Putxet are also worth a visit. Much like Guinardo park, they are an excellent park to head to after visiting Park Guell and have excellent views of the city. The unfit should be warned though that there are a lot of hills. You must work for your views here!