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Sports & activities

El tren de l’Oreneta – a hidden gem for children

Written by Ingrid

In the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district of Barcelona, tucked away in the foothills of the Collserola mountain range, is the delightful Parc de l’Oreneta (‘Park of the Swallow’). Here winding paths around the pine trees lead to adventure playgrounds and picnic areas which make this the perfect destination for a family Sunday. But best of all for the little ones is the miniature railway which operates on Sundays and public holidays from 11am – 2pm. More information can be found below.

History of the train line


Photo by: chenines via Visualhunt / CC BY

This miniature railway was built in 1981 and is quite a feat of engineering. It has its own shed with turntable, a tunnel, embankments, level crossings and an old-fashioned station. It is a haven of nostalgia for the heyday of steam travel in miniature. The track length is 635m, and a journey around the layout takes around 5 minutes as the trains double back and go through the tunnel twice. This makes it great value at €1.50 per ride. There are 11 locomotives and 3 carriages. There are a mixture of steam and diesel locomotives, so do check the train’s website if you want to make sure you get a ride aboard a steam train.

Related article: A trip to the Museu del Ferrocarril de Catalunya in Vilanova

Planning the perfect visit

Oreneta diesel

Photo by: estamosdeacuerdo via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Consult the calendar of operational hours to avoid disappointment. Bring a picnic as there are plenty of shady trees and picnic tables. Bring sun-cream if you plan on using the playgrounds as they are un-shaded. The trains circulate frequently so you shouldn’t need to queue for long in order to ride. If your little ones are bored there is an old-fashioned station bell which will keep them amused whilst queuing (although it is often surrounded by a rugby scrum of children all trying to ring the bell at once)! Bring cash as the ticket office does not accept card payments, and the nearest cash point is some way down the mountain. The nearest metro station is Reina Elisenda at the end of L6 (included in fare zone 1), and from here the V3 bus runs right to the park entrance. The walk from the station is around 15-20 minutes, all uphill. There are also pony rides available in the park so it is easy to pass a half day there. Bring a camera and you are sure to capture some great family moments and stunning views over Barcelona.

About the author


Having studied English Language and Literature at university, Ingrid went on to obtain an MA in Classics. She currently works as a freelance writer, covering a variety of subjects, especially language, literature, history and archaeology.

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