Barcelona is a vibrant, bustling city with a unique cultural identity. Like many travellers before me, I completely fell in love with this sunny city by the sea. The main reason for my infatuation wasn’t the delectable food, the white sands or the bustling city vibes, it was, in fact, the unforgettable views which captured my heart. It’s rare for such a busy city to be so easy on the eye, but I found Barcelona to be just that, so I wanted to share with you the five best views in Barcelona. If you’re anything like me then these views will keep you coming back for more in possibly one of the most “Instagramable” cities I’ve encountered!
Ok, so this one may be cheating slightly as it’s not technically in the city itself, however, a short drive will take you to the mountains of Montserrat and the beautiful monastery nestled within them. Take your time exploring the monastery, trying local produce from the daily farmers market and sampling monastery made liquor – it’s a must-see on my Barcelona hit list! This whole place could easily be popped on a postcard, but the real magic for me was when we hiked up to the viewpoint, around a 20-minute gentle incline from the monastery. Here the view was truly unforgettable (well, unless you’ve sampled too much of the monastery made liquor that is!) with a full panoramic view of rolling hillsides, sharp mountain peaks and the monastery rising proudly between them, all framed by an azure blue sky. If your aim is to find that picture perfect spot, then look no further than this viewpoint, I was absolutely blown away by the landscape in front of me, and I’m sure you will be too!
Want to know more about this amazing day trip from Barcelona? Check out my full post on Montserrat here!
The Sagrada Familia is almost synonymous with Barcelona, and rightly so! This astounding piece of architecture demands to be appreciated by all, even when still unfinished. I can see after witnessing this one of a kind place of worship why it is considered Antoni Gaudi’s greatest piece of work – it is without question the most beautiful church I’ve ever set foot in. The Sagrada Familia most certainly deserves its place on this list as it bewitches the eye from both the inside and out. First, head across the road to the beautiful little park opposite the Sagrada to get some sunny landscape snaps of the twisting turrets framed beautifully by trees. With your entry ticket, you can then appreciate the exquisite detail which has gone into carving each tower and entryway up close before finally continuing inside. Concealed perfectly from the outside, step foot into something straight out of a fairytale. Rainbow beams of light stream down around you from the hundreds of stained glass windows and shimmer against the white stone carved into intricate shapes on the ceiling. This cave of wonders is definitely my favourite part of the Sagrada experience. Although the Sagrada can most definitely be considered a view in itself, one of the other highlights for me was travelling up one of the two main towers of the church to get a birds-eye view of the city below. This picturesque palace of worship is definitely not one to be missed and is definitely one of the best views in Barcelona.
It will come as no surprise that another of Gaudi’s masterpieces has made it on to my list of top views. Park Guell is a well-known Instagram hotspot in Barcelona, and for good reason. This public park is like none you will have ever seen before, as amongst the joggers and dog walkers there are some of the most beautiful and bizarre bits of architecture you’ll come across. There are two sections to this larger than life art exhibit; one is free to the public and another area is ticketed. I definitely feel like both are worth a visit, but know that if you’re on a budget, you can still experience this weird and wonderful place without parting with your pennies. We had a lot of fun on our visit running around and letting our creativity flow while posing for snaps with this aesthetically pleasing and unusual backdrop, aim to go early to miss the crowds because I don’t know about you, but I get some serious photo-rage when someone obstructs my shot. If you’re into photography and great views, then Park Guell will be right up your street.
Castle Mont Juic
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to great views at Mont Juic. Firstly the cable car which provides a view of the city and stunning Meditteranean which I found to be second to none. The National art gallery which takes up residence in a building which is a piece of art itself, sits half way up Mont Juic. At the front of the gallery sits the fountains where at night you can witness the free light and water spectacular exhibited daily – A great way to spend an evening on a budget. If you take the cable car all the way to the top you are met by Castle Mont Juic. Now the castle itself, in my opinion, wasn’t so easy on the eye, resembling more of a fortress – it wasn’t the sort of castle you’d find in Disneyland put it that way! The view, on the other hand, was a different kettle of fish entirely. Think completely unobstructed 360 views of both the city, the coastline and those gorgeous sparkling Mediterranean waves. We were so taken by the view we just found ourselves a bench with a great view and sat talking and taking in the postcard-perfect scene before us. This, in my opinion, is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon, though keep in mind when the last cable car leaves or you’ll be facing a very long walk down the hill!
Bunkers De Carmel
Lastly, one of the lesser known spots in Barcelona to get a great view, Bunkers de Carmel. This place has a bit of a grungey feel with graffiti, wire fencing and an old concrete bunker. It’s a secluded spot and my sister did wonder if I was a little bit insane leading her up an overgrown path to what looked like a teenage miscreant hang out. But what can I say, the views of the city from this place are insane! It’s an uphill trek to get there, but once you reach the top you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the city. It is a photography lover’s paradise with plenty of opportunities to play around and get some amazing shots – the grungey surroundings kind of adds an arty vibe in my opinion. But the best thing about Bunkers de Carmel? It’s completely free! Situated a twenty-minute walk from Park Guell, my advice would be to spend the morning marvelling at Gaudi’s masterpieces before taking a picnic up to the bunker to enjoy your lunch looking out over the city. Alternatively, return in the evening to share a glass of wine while witnessing the setting sun turn the city scarlet.
If you enjoyed my ‘Best Views in Barcelona’ post, consider checking out my other European travel guides here to get more tips, budget friendly inspiration and a little bit of wanderlust!