Although famed for its architecture, from Medieval to Modernista, much of Barcelona’s magic lies in its landscape. From the soaring heights of Tibidabo to majestic Montjuïc, the city’s topography offers natural vantage points from which it can be truly appreciated.
If visiting Montjuïc, take the Teleférico del Puerto from the waterfront to the Miramar station. Gasp in awe as you hang suspended high above the harbour. Take in the stunning and extensive views of the city below with a nod to Tibidabo in the distance. Stroll through the Jardins de Miramar to Estació Park Montjuïc where you can pick up the Teleferic de Montjuïc to the Castell de Montjuïc for further breathtaking views over jaw-dropping heights. From there, the choices of what to do next are as many as the paths that wind down through the fragranced gardens: ascend the Castell tower for even more extensive views both of the city and out to sea; nature lovers may wish to visit the Botanical Gardens, or simply stroll along the Camí del Mar; if art is more your thing, there’s the Catalan National Art Museum and the Fundació Joan Miró; for the sport-minded, there’s the iconic Olympic Stadium where the 1992 games were held. Descend towards the Plaça Espanya and, if visiting on a weekend, see the Font Màgica in all its technicolour glory as it lights up after sunset.
Tibidabo takes its name from the Latin for ‘(All this) I will give to you (if you bow down and worship me)’ Satan’s words of temptation to Christ according to Matthew’s Gospel. Ascend the summit and you will understand the etymology, for all of Barcelona lies before you. The summit is best reached first via the Tramvia Blau (old-school electric streetcar-style tram) followed by the funicular railway. From the top station, you are in the realm of the clouds, but if your head for heights is not yet satisfied, ascend the tower of the Temple del Sagrat Cor by lift, and take the final steps to the feet of the Apostle – all this can be yours. Alternatively, or indeed also, check out the funfair for further vertiginous viewpoints – the Big Wheel offering the best.
From now on, when you meander through the gothic alleyways or stroll along the waterfront, you will look up to Tibidabo and Montjuïc and know your place exactly.