There’s no shortage of things to do in Barcelona, but while it’s pretty much impossible to do everything in the city (at least on a long weekend), it’s not impossible to see everything. From parks, public transport and monuments to shopping centres and civil war fortifications, Barcelona boasts a great many lookouts and vantage points from which to enjoy postcard-perfect views of this amazing city.
Watch our video guide to the best views in Barcelona, read through our recommendations and see the city from a different perspective.
The idea of heading to a bunker for one of the best views of Barcelona might seem a little paradoxical, but it’s true – if you’re looking for the Barcelona view, then Bunkers del Carmel is where you’ll find it. Head up into the hills above the city, where you’ll find this Spanish Civil War monument on the site of the city’s former defences. Like a lot of these scenic spots, sunset is a particularly good time of day to go if you’re after the best views, but you’ll also avoid hiking to the top – or down again – in the midday heat.
The bunkers aren’t quite a tourist trap but have soared in popularity in recent years, so we recommend you head to Turó del Putxet if you want something a little quieter. This lesser-known Barcelona hill is home to a rather charming garden and more popular with locals than tourists. Take a moment to sit down, relax, and enjoy a stunning view of the city.
The most prominent hill visible from Barcelona, Montjuïc is home to not one, but two spots from which to soak up some seriously stunning views of the city.
Get off the metro at Plaça d’Espanya and you’ll be greeted by the impressive, imposing Venetian Towers, guarding the entrance to the grand avenue that leads up to the Palacio Nacional. The rooftop and terraces of the palace, now home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), allow you to see the city in all its glory. If you’re in the Plaça d’Espanya area and fancy a snap of the palace rather than a snap from the palace, cross over the road and head to the viewing platform on top of the Las Arenas shopping centre.
If you want to head a bit further up Montjuïc, catch the Teleferic del Port – a cable car that takes you from Barcelona’s beaches to the top of the hill and Castell de Montjuïc, where you can enjoy amazing views of Barcelona’s ports and the Mediterranean. While you’re up here, walk around the hill for a chance to visit the Olympic Stadium.
Opened in 1926, Parc Güell is part-park, part-viewpoint and part-architectural shrine. This hilltop park is filled with examples of Antoni Gaudi’s work and was designed by the man himself. Gaudi is so beloved by Catalonians that the park has always been popular, but tourists soon clocked on and it now attracts over 2 million visitors a year. Head to the free areas above the artistic centre for the best views of the city. Read more about Parc Güell in our Gràcia neighbourhood guide.
Collserola National Park is one of the biggest green spaces in Barcelona, and a popular place to go when spending time among the selfie-stick-waving hordes gets a bit too much. This 8,000-hectare park is filled with footpaths, hiking trails and cycle tracks, the most notable of which is the 9km Carretera de les Aigües – easily accessed with the help of the Funicular de Vallvidrera. And who doesn’t love a trip in a funicular? From up here you’ll have the whole city at your feet and stunning panoramic ‘pics for the ‘gram’ at your fingertips.
It’s a little bit of a schlep to reach the top of the tallest mountain in Collserola National Park, involving both a funicular and a little bit of walking, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Tibidabo is nicknamed the ‘magic mountain’ by Catalonians, and it’s not hard to see why because the view from up there is, well, magical – keep your eyes peeled for the likes of the Olympic Stadium, the Camp Nou, the Sagrada Familia and even El Prat Airport. But if you’ve come for the view, stay for the Tibidabo Amusement Park, which has been up there since 1901, and the stunning Sagrat Cor church at the summit of the mountain. And yes, you can climb the tower of the church in case you fancy one-upping your earlier photos.