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Barcelona from above: the best way to see the city

As the place where I lived and studied Spanish, Barcelona has a special place in my heart – and I spent a good few hours finding the best places to see as much of it in one go as possible. My conclusion? By far the best way to see Barcelona (and get your bearings) is from above. From towers to mountains, there are plenty of places to get your fill of stunning ‘vistas’ (that’s Spanish for ‘view’). Grab your camera and check out my definitive list:

La Sagrada Familia

Probably the most famous building in Barcelona, this beige behemoth offers spectacular views of the surrounding cityscape. Catch the elevator to the top of the tower and prepare to drop your jaw.

Teleférico del Puerto

Old it may be, but this city stalwart is hard to beat when it comes to city views. Located right on the waterfront, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of the city as you sail through the air. It’s definitely worth a try – just don’t look down.

Montjuïc

If you do pluck up the courage to take the Teleférico del Puerto across the harbor, you’ll dock halfway up Montjuïc. Home to the 1992 Olympics ground, this mountain drops into the sea on one side and slopes down to the city on the other. Savor some peace and quiet and soak up the all-round views of the city and beaches stretching into the horizon.

Mount Tibidabo

See it from down in the city and climb it for a view like no other – Mount Tibidabo is one location you need to visit before leaving this fair city. Reach it by bus and try one of the running or hiking trails on the mountainside. Alternatively, there’s an amusement park at the top that’s probably more fun than running.

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Hotel W Barcelona

Located right down on the waterfront beside Barceloneta Beach, Hotel W is probably the poshest place on my list. It’s also the priciest – with a dress code to match. Still, you’ll enjoy one of the best views anywhere in the city that puts you right on the edge of the glorious Mediterranean. And there’s food and drink available too.

Park Güell

This is one of the most well-known photo spots in the city. Park Güell offers impressive views of Barcelona from its many palm-lined vantage points and you can even get your groove on thanks to the eclectic musical performers who fill the park every day. Dodgy dance moves not included.

Bunkers del Carmel

This secret spot is famous with the locals and offers views to die for. Get there by bus: hop off at the stop called Turó de La Rovira and climb the hill path to reach the concrete ‘bunkers’ that wrap around the hillside. It might be rough around the edges but it’s by far the coolest place to see Barcelona. There’s even trendy graffiti and everything.

So there it is – my rundown of top spots for soaking up the awesomeness that is Barcelona. Remember: it’s always worth making that extra effort for an incredible view. Happy traveling!

Images (from top to top left and down): Rober, Flickr / Creative Commons, Ignatio Martinez Egea, Flickr / Creative Commons, Photo Kamil, Flickr / Creative Commons, Doc Searls, Flickr / Creative Commons, Andrew E Larsen, Flickr / Creative Commons.

 

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