Barcelona's best viewing points for families: you'll scale the heights! 01/06/2023
Barcelona is a perfect destination for families: it has an excellent transport network, lots of activities for all ages and tastes, and no end of kid-friendly things to do. So, in addition to exploring on foot, admiring architectural jewels and stimulating the senses with new flavours, today we've lined up an amazing plan for all the family to capture the very essence and scale of the city: seeing Barcelona from the heights. We've chosen the city's most fun and curious vantage points, which also have secrets in store. Are you ready to scale the heights and see Barcelona at your feet?
Natural viewing points: Mount Tibidabo and Mount Montjuïc
Barcelona is the perfect city to admire from the heights. It is guarded by natural viewing points from its two mountains, and both of them offer panoramic views of Barcelona for all the family.
At the city's highest point, the top of the Collserola Massif, you'll find Mount Tibidabo, which is also known as the Magic Mountain. You can take a fun ride to the top on the funicular, "La cuca de llum" (or glow worm). The Tibidabo panoramic viewing point, 515m above the city, provides picture-postcard views of Barcelona with the city at your feet against the backdrop of the sea. Seeing as you're here, spending the whole day at the Tibidabo Amusement Park is a fantastic idea. It's a dreamlike place with unforgettable rides, attractions and entertainments. Now you know why this mountain is magic! The amusement park opened in 1901 and is one of the oldest in Europe. You'll have a ball on the roller coaster, or admiring the views from rides like the aeroplane, the Avió, and the watchtower, or Talaia, as the city whizzes past below. Panoramic vistas for all the family in Barcelona with that extra bit of fun!
Above the amusement park, you'll find Barcelona's highest viewing point, 600 m above sea level: the viewing terrace of the Sagrat Cor Church of Atonement, which stands at the top of Mount Tibidabo. This unique church has a lift that will take you to the upper terrace and the highest tower. The panoramic views of Barcelona from here are simply stunning!
Montjuïc stands 173 m above the sea, and is the other mountain that keeps careful watch over the city of Barcelona. It is full of special places that boast fantastic views of the city. For instance, the Mirador de l'Alcalde is a natural belvedere overlooking the sea and city. You can play at spotting the city's iconic buildings from the different terraces set among gardens and fountains. Exploring them is quite an adventure!
From here, you can take the cable car, the Telefèric de Montjuïc, and ride to Montjuïc castle. You'll enjoy spectacular views from the cable car cabins and the castle. Montjuïc has many more attractions with amazing panoramic views of Barcelona, including the Palau Nacional which was built for the 1929 International Exhibition and is now home to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, or the Fundació Joan Miró, where you'll be able to enjoy superlative views of the city as well as the most complete collection of the artist's work. By the way, did you know that Miró is one the artists that children like the most? His universe of shapes and colours truly stimulates the senses.
Urban viewing points: a bird's eye view of Barcelona
Some of the city's most iconic buildings and monuments have amazing viewing points. For instance, did you know that the famous Columbus Monument, at the bottom of La Rambla, has a lift inside that will take you to the viewing gallery at the top: the Mirador de Colom? Dating from 1888, this was the city's first lift and it ascends the column to the top, 60m above the city. It boasts breathtaking 360º panoramic views of the city and port. Don't the people walking along La look tiny?
The Glòries Tower is much more recent but is just as iconic. It was designed by Jean Nouvel and built in 1999. It resembles a geyser rising up from the ground and is now home to a new concept in viewing points: the Mirador Torre Glòries.
It is located on the 30th floor, 125 m above the ground, and boasts stunning 360º views. And you're sure to be amazed by the floating sculpture suspended from the dome inside the tower by the contemporary artist Tomás Sarraceno: Cloud Cities Barcelona. You can touch it or walk inside it and feel as if you're on a cloud! The visit to this innovative observation deck begins in the basement (level -1), where you'll find Hyperview Barcelona. It will show you the city beyond what you see at first glance, in an extremely beautiful, dynamic space, combining art, music, technology and large-format audiovisual displays. You'll be amazed by this new concept in viewing points!
Climb to the top of a bell tower and discover Barcelona's hidden viewing points
Some of Barcelona's churches are true jewels of Gothic art and architecture, but they also have some of the city's best viewing points. We invite you to climb to the top of their bell towers to enjoy amazing views.
The Barcelona Cathedral viewing point brings the whole family amazing 360º views from its rooftop, from where you'll see every detail of the Gothic Quarter.
Nearby, the city's other Gothic gem, the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, will not only amaze you with its harmonious proportions and solemn beauty, but also with the views from its rooftops. You'll be able to make out the maze of medieval streets where the artisans in the Ribera district once worked, but you'll also be able to enjoy a close-up view of impressive architectural elements, such as the vast rose window and stained-glass windows.
Just off La Rambla, the magnificent basilica of Santa Maria del Pi has a bell tower that boasts incomparable views of the Gothic Quarter. As you climb the spiral staircase, you'll feel like you've travelled back to medieval times… or like Tom Holland! Did you know the basilica of Santa Maria del Pi was one of the locations for the film Uncharted?
The bell tower of the basilica of Sants Màrtirs Just i Pastor – another of the churches in the Gothic Quarter – will take you on a journey through the history of Barcelona to the 6th-century archaeological remains in the basement and the amazing 21st-century buildings you'll be able to see from the rooftop and bell tower.
Now you know about the different viewing points where you and your family can scale the heights. Which one are you going to choose?
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