Barcelona is undoubtedly one of the most breathtakingly beautiful cities in the world: you have the mountains on one side, the beach on the other, and the perfectly constructed, architectural gem of a city in the center of it all.
Imagine being able to see the ocean, the mountains, the Sagrada Familia, the Torre Agbar, and even Tibidabo, all from one viewpoint, all with a cotton candy sunset and the sound of locals chattering away in Catalan. This perfect panoramic lookout has a name, and it goes by “Los Bunkers del Carmel Turó de la Rovira”. Or to shorten that, also most commonly known as, Los Bunkers, one of the best 360° views of Barcelona.
Brushing up on Facts
The Bunkers were created as anti-aircraft batteries in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. Because Barcelona was frequently under attack during this war, there was a necessity for the installation of four new batteries on top of the Turo de la Rovira.
Before the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, there used to be barracks in which people lived, but since the Games, they have been destroyed and were never restored.
Today the Bunkers are owned by the heritage of the city of Barcelona by law, but anyone has free access to them, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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How to Get There
By metro: Alfons X off of the yellow line (L4) is the nearest metro stop. Although it drops you off right at the bottom of the climb, the 25-30 minute hike is totally worth it. I have only ever taken this option, and I recommend it because there are little viewpoints along the way where you can stop. Personally, it makes me more anxious to climb up the mountain, and the extra cardio workout doesn’t hurt!
By bus: Although it will still drop you off with a ten-minute upward hike, you can take any of the following lines: 24, V17, 92, and 119.
If you are planning on seeing a sunset, I would recommend giving yourself at least 45 minutes in advance so you can make little stops along the steps, take pictures, explore around the batteries, and get a spot claimed!
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What to Expect
When I went to the Bunkers this past weekend, it seemed to be about a ¾ mix of locals and tourists. Although tourists stick out like sore thumbs with their selfie-sticks and foreign accents, the locals were not rude and were there with the same intentions: to have a good time and enjoy the view. Sometimes there is music, chatter, clinking of plastic cups, dancing, laughter, and occasionally live dj’s and bands. Last weekend there was a live Catalan band playing and a solo performer playing acoustic music and people were even doing traditional dances.
If you make the hike up, you should be prepared to stay for at least a couple of hours after sunset, so come ready! It is one of the most relaxed spots to go with a group of friends. Grab a bottle of vermouth, a picnic blanket and basket and reserve a space, because it can get crowded fast! Bring your own snacks, drinks, and music, and don’t forget your camera, you don’t want to miss this supreme spot for picture-taking!