Barcelona has one of the clearest skies in the world, with nearly 300 days of sunshine per year. So, it should come as no surprise that it’s an excellent place for stargazing.
Far enough from the urban lights sits one of the world’s oldest functioning observatories.
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Where is it?
The Fabra observatory is located just outside the city, in the green hills of Sant Genis dels Agudells, close to the village of Tibidabo. You’ll need your own transport to get there, as it’s quite a walk from the nearest metro station, but definitely worth the trip.
What is it like?
This is the 4th oldest functioning observatory in the world. Built in 1904, it stands up high at 415 meters above sea level, looking out over the city below. It’s main function is the study of asteroids and comets. It was in this observatory that astronomer Josep Comas Solà discovered the comet 32P/Comas Solà, in 1926.
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When is it open?
The observatory is open to the public every Sunday, from 11am to 2pm, with guided tours running from 11am to 12:30pm, at the bargain price of 2€! The staff will inform you about the various active sections of the observatory, focusing on astronomy, meteorology and seismology. They will also show you around the modernist hall, the library and the panoramic terrace, as well as give you access to the two main telescopes. Night observations take place on Fridays and Saturdays, from October to June. It is also possible to book groups tours during the week.
Call 931 701 797 or 697 864 262 to make your booking.
The botanical gardens and outdoor gazebo viewpoint are also open on Sundays, from 11am to 2pm, and they are free to explore! Please consult their guide for more information.
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During the summer months, there is also the possibility of going for Dinner with the stars, which takes place at the observatory. The activity starts at dusk with a meal followed by a visit to the interior of the observatory, combining science with an excellent dining experience, all underneath the beautiful night sky.
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