What does Barcelona really look like? Here are 15 suggestions so you can check out the skyline from every point of view, top to bottom, mountain to sea and even inside out! Which is your favourite spot to sit back and wonder at the views?
>> Montjuïc Hill
This is the place to be to enjoy panoramic views of Barcelona. The hill is right next to Barcelona, on one side it looks out into the harbour and sea, on the other Barcelona spreads out in front of you.
Take some time to stroll and walk through the magnificent parks and gardens in Montjuïc, you can find out more about the parks in Mayte’s post.
1. Mirador de l’alcalde – the Mayor’s Lookout
Mirador de l’Alcalde is one of the best spots in Montjuïc to capture the whole scope of Barcelona: from the mountains and out to the Mediterranean. Also called the balcony over the Mediterranean, it has some spectacular views of the harbour and the whole city.
2. MNAC Museum – the National Palace
Besides a unique collection of Romanesque and Gothic art, it is worth to get to the top of the MNAC Museum and enjoy the stunning views.
3. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
Enjoy the light and music show of the Magic Fountain. Sit back and watch it from a distance to get the whole picture: the coloured dancing water of the fountain, Plaça Espanya and Barcelona lighting up in the background.
>> Near la Rambla & the Gothic Quarter
4. Santa Maria del Pi
Santa Maria del Pi has unique 360º views of Barcelona from the very heart of the Gothic Quarter. Be ready to walk, there are 269 steps to get to the top of the bell tower, but the views are just breathtaking. This is my absolute favourite, lots of people know the square and the basilica of Santa Maria del Pi, but very few people actually buy a ticket and climb to the top, it is in the beaten track and totally off the beaten track at once! Also consider the entrance fee helps finance the basilica’s restoration works.
** Do not miss: the beautiful rose window of this 14th century basilica, it is one of the world’s largest Gothic rose windows and has a diameter of 10 metres.
5. Columbus Monument
We all take pictures of Columbus monument from below, but if you take a lift to the top you will also discover some great views of the Port and Barcelona.
Barcelona from Sea and Air
6. From the Sea
We love to look out into the Mediterranean in Barcelona, but what does Barcelona look like from the sea? Golondrinas are the typical boats the locals take for an afternoon along the sea, but there are lots of options nowadays like sail tours.
** Tip: Best time for a romantic trip in the sea is in the evening while you enjoy the sunset.
7. From the Air
The easiest way of viewing Barcelona from the air is by cable car. The most famous trip is from the Port Vell (Old Port) to Montjuïc but there are often long queues. My advice is to either take the cable car on the way down, or take the Telefèric de Montjuïc, the grey cable car will take you up to the Castle, the very top of Montjuïc.
From all the monuments of Gaudí, here are a few where you will enjoy some fantastic views.
8. Park Güell
The monumental area of the park is just magical, with sinuous shapes and bursting with colours. Take a rest and sit on the curved bench, which is at once a seat, a balcony and a wonderful piece of art. The perfect place to enjoy the views, especially if you get there early! when there are few people and it is still not too hot.
9. Sagrada Família
The master work of Gaudí, Sagrada Família is a wonder from inside and out. You can also take a lift up to the towers and admire the views. Beware to book in advance!
10. La Pedrera – Casa Milà
You can stay in la Pedrera for hours, level by level each part is inspiring. The terrace is just beyond anything you can imagine, especially with its curved chimneys that look like soldiers on watch.
** Not to miss: Gaudí designed a frame in the terrace, just look through it and beyond you will find the Sagrada Família, in its entire splendor.
11. Torre Bellesguard
Torre Bellesguard is a jewel yet to be discovered. If you have already seen some of Gaudí, you will be surprised by this monument, you will even find straight lines! Why? He decided to blend Art Nouveau – Modernisme style with Gothic style, as homage to the history of Bellesguard, which had a king living there in the 15th century: Martí l’Humà.
Located near Serra de Collserola, at the far end of Barcelona and higher up from the rest, it also has some great views.
Serra de Collserola
Opposite the Mediterranean Sea is the Natural Park of Collserola. Very close to Barcelona, it gives the locals a moment to relax and take in some fresh air, no wonder why they say it is the lungs of Barcelona.
This is the highest mountain of the Serra de Collserola, 500 m, also known as the Magical Mountain because at the top is the Tibidabo Amusement Park.
** How to get there: Take the L7 underground train from plaça Catalunya to Av. Tibidabo, from there take the charming old Blue Tram, that takes you from the bottom of the hill to the top.
13. Carretera de les Aigües
Carretera de les Aigües is a nature trail that goes along the Serra the Collserola, all along you have Barcelona down below and some spectacular views. This is one of the favourite places where locals go running and cycling.
** Tip: Take the funicular to the top and walk down the path in a gentle descent.
Montserrat is such a unique mountain it is worth to see from a distance and to enjoy the views from the top. It is not exactly in Barcelona, there is about an hour drive to get there.
14. Penedès Wine Region
The Penedès region is a great place to admire the serrated profile of Montserrat. It is a rough and dry region with an ideal climate for vineyards, so once you go, make the most of it, visit a wine cellar and have a taste of cava, method champenoise wine.
** Not to miss: Combine architecture and landscape, visit the Codorníu Wine Cellars. The buildings are modernista-style and it has the largest underground cellars in the world.
15. Montserrat Monastery
The massive rock of Montserrat is over 4000 feet high, with weird shapes and rounded peaks that jut into the sky. It is visible for miles, which also means that the views from the top are stunning.
** Tip: Visit Montserrat in the afternoon, as there are less people than in the morning. It will be easier to see the Black Madonna, and, if you have some extra time, you can wait for the Escolania Boy’s Choir evening session at 6h45 pm, you will find the atmosphere created is spiritual and magical.
These are my 15 favourite spots to enjoy the views in Barcelona. Which one do you think is best? Are you planning to go there? Have you already been and have taken some great pictures? Please share with us either answering below or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.