Barcelona is a city with something for everyone; great weather, delicious food, stunning architecture and plenty of squares to explore and enjoy a cafe con leche. Add to that a gorgeous beach and plenty of shopping opportunities, and you’re set! But some of the best ways to appreciate the city is by taking a step back and checking out the panoramic views of Barcelona and its impressive skyline.
Originally built in 1929 for the Universal Fair, it has since undergone a few refurbishments, most notably to be used as part of the 1992 Olympic Games. The history is interesting, but the real winning factor here is the stunning panoramic view of Barcelona. You’ll be able to spot Sagrada Familia in the distance, with the constantly growing towers sticking out of the neighbourhood blocks.
The pool is open July – August if you fancy a dip. But if you just want to check out the views from the top of the tiered seating, you can try asking nicely at the entrance to just have a look, or there’s a cafe next door where you can sit and admire the view with a drink and snack.
Christopher Columbus monument
Standing tall at the end of Las Ramblas, the Christopher Columbus monument looks like it’s just a column with a statue on top. However, concealed within the column is a lift that fits about 3 people in, which takes you from the basement up to the top of the column. The viewing platform is enclosed and very cosy, but offers great views over the harbour, of the surrounding buildings and up Las Ramblas. Probably not one for those who are claustrophobic though…
Jardins del Mirador
Sat atop Montjuic, it’s a hilly walk to these gardens but totally worth it. With several viewing points, mostly over the harbour and out to sea, the gardens themselves make this a worthy viewpoint. As it’s just a short walk from the Olympic pool, it’s a great option to pair up to make the most of the panoramic views of Barcelona and soak up the sea views too.
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Taking pride of place above Font Montjuic, MNAC is housed in the Palau Nacional. With a cascading waterfall effect in the pools in front of the building, it’s an impressive building on its own. But when you add in the stunning views down Av. de la Reina Maria Cristina towards the Torres Venecianes and Plaça d’Espanya, plus the panoramic views of Barcelona, well, it’s an all-rounder.
The perfect opportunity to combine stunning views with a huge taste of Barcelona culture. Parc Güell is one of Gaudi’s most famous works in the city. Full of colour, interesting shapes and mosaic lizards, the park is a draw to Gaudi fans visiting from all over the world. From it’s prime position on a hill, you get stunning panoramic views of Barcelona. If you can’t get / don’t fancy splashing out on a ticket for the park, you can still get a feel for the Gaudi vibes in the park, plus the views are even better the higher you go.
As you wander around the marina, you can’t help but notice the cable car making its way from Barceloneta to Montjuic. There are in fact two cable cars in the city; one from the port to Montjuic, and another up to the castle. For the best views, you’ll want to jump on the Transbordador Aeri del Port, taking you from the port, across the marina and up to Montjuic with a journey time of about 7 minutes.
In a city with beautiful weather for a good portion of the year, rooftop bars are common. Whether they’re part of a hotel or a standalone bar, the views of the city are the perfect backdrop for a few drinks or dinner. There are so many great bars in the city, but check out some of the best here.
Tibidabo is the highest hill in the area, located to the west of Barcelona. It’s within easy distance on public transport, just a 30 minute train and bus ride. With so many options for breathtaking panoramic views of Barcelona, even those not wanting to head all the way to the top of the hill will be afforded amazing views.
After taking the bus, you’ll find a restaurant close to the funicular station. Mirablau offers great views of the city as you enjoy a meal, but be aware you’ll only get a window seat if you’re eating. To take the views up a notch, the funicular runs up to Tibidabo Amusement Park. It’s free entry to the park (just pay for the rides) and the viewing platform will draw you in with citywide views.
Those who want to brave the climb to the top of the church on top of Tibidabo will be rewarded with the best views around, from the highest point on the highest hill. There are several levels you can stop at, but the best views are, of course, from the very top. Just below the feet of the statue of Jesus, on a clear day you can see for miles. Out over the city to the sea, inland over the Serra de Collserola Natural Park, it’s just stunning in every direction. This is my number one best spot for panoramic views of Barcelona!
And, added bonus, you can also legitimately use Joey’s chat up line from Friends – ‘I was just outside Barcelona, hiking in the foothills of mount Tibidabo’.
And there you have it, the best spots in the city to soak up those stunning panoramic views of Barcelona. Which would you go for?
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