For some people it's all about the views. Barcelona is surrounded by a chain of mountains, so there's no lack of high ground to find a decent vista from. Often though the best views are from a rooftop terrace or a hotel bar, right in the thick of the city. From fairground rides on Mount Tibidabo to cable cars over the port, this piece is about getting the best Barcelona views.
Barcelona's Highest Point
At 512 metres, Mount Tibidabo is the tallest point in the Collserola chain of mountains surrounding Barcelona. The Tibidabo funicular railway offers a dramatic ascent up the mountain. There's also a brilliant theme park with all kinds of rides, which is a more helter-skelter way of enjoying the skyline.
Sir Norman Foster's Communications Tower is also a winner, with its lofty observation deck. Known as the Torre de Collserola in Spanish, the tower has the highest views in the city.
Views Along Catalan the Coastline
Barceloneta has an opulent new skyscraper on the beach, the W Hotel, which has a bar — with admittedly steep prices — on the 26th floor. Called Eclipse, it has unreal vistas, especially at night when the port is a bed of shimmering lights.
Another way to get up above the port is by cable car from Barcelona's San Sebastià tower. On the way to the Miramar tower on Mount Montjuic, you can see directly over Las Ramblas and the old city's landmarks and monuments, as well as far out to sea.
Reach New Heights With Gaudi's Architecture
A good way to combine your views with some culture is with Gaudi's monuments. Really unique views over Eixample can be had from the towers of La Sagrada Familia or from the rooftop terrace of Passeig de Grácia's La Pedrera building, while Parc Guell has panoramic views over the city from a hill just above Gràcia.
It is debatable whether it is worth paying to climb La Sagrada Familia. The views from here are not the most attractive in the city, particularly as you can't see Gaudi's famous basilica if you're on it! Plus the line to get in is insane, especially in summer and at weekends. The best thing about La Sagrada Familia is the views from outside.
La Pedrera, on the other hand, has great architecture that can only be seen from the roof (pictured) and views of the whole city.
Barcelona From the Sea
Of course you don't have to get high up in the air for decent views. For a really unique perspective of the city, hit Barceloneta's beach and go for a float in the sea. Backed by mountains, the city looks amazing from here.