There is no doubt that Barcelona is a beautiful city. With stunning architecture, rich history and even a beach, the city is a well loved destination for visitors. Part of the appeal of Barcelona is that there are plenty of things to do which are just outside the city. Many people choose to base themselves in the city and then do day trips to places around Barcelona. Mount Tibidabo is the highest mountain in the Collsera mountain range at around 520m. Thanks to the prime location on the outskirts of Barcelona, views from the top are incredible. On a clear day, you can see as far as the famous Montserrat, and often out over the Mediterranean. When in Barcelona, it is certainly worth the short trip to see Mount Tibidabo.
Where is Mount Tibidabo?
As you can see from the screen shot below, it is just outside of the city of Barcelona. You can actually see that it is not to far from Park Guell, heading out of Barcelona in the same direction. Although it is very mountainous, it is actually very close to the city itself.
*Please note, the screenshot was taken from Google Maps at the time of Covid19. That is the reason it says temporarily closed!*
What is there to do at Mount Tibidabo?
Once you reach the top, there are several things up there that you can do! I always would recommend checking opening hours for whatever you would like top do there though!
Enjoy the view
It doesn’t matter what you plan on doing at Mount Tibidabo, you will undoubtedly take a minute to enjoy the view. thanks to both the position and height of the mountain, the view is spectacular. You are rewarded with an unbelievable panorama across the whole city of Barcelona. You can see down to Park Guell, La Sagrada Familia and right out to the open ocean. It is also a great spot to watch planes coming in to land at the airport. They appear as tiny white dots in the distance as they soar over the city!
Tibidabo amusement park
Many locals and visitors come to experience the amusement park at the top of the mountain. It is the perfect day out of families in Barcelona, kids will certainly enjoy the rides! The park has a certain vintage look to it, with an old ferris wheel and other fairground rides. The amusement park has 2 different levels of entry.
Panoramic Area – This is the highest point of the park. here is the Big Wheel, the plane that swings out over the side, and a few other rides. It is €12.70 for adults, and €7.80 for kids under 120cm.
Amusement Park -This is the main area of the park and has lots of different amusements. There are arcade games, small rollercoasters for kids, and carousels among other things! It is €28.50 for adults, or €10.30 for kids under 120cm.
Cathedral del Sagrat Cor
The most impressive sight at the top of Mount Tibidabo is the cathedral. The name translates into English as “Cathedral of the Sacred Heart”. The church was constructed between 1902 and 1961 and is Neo Gothic in style. Atop the Cathedral is a huge statue of Jesus. Open armed and looking out across Barcelona, this statue is an incredible sight. The cathedral itself is beautiful both outside and inside. Entrance is free, and you can wander quietly inside and admire the stained glass windows. You can also pay €2 to take an elevator even higher to a viewing platform – highly recommended!
You will see a huge satellite tower from the top of Tibidabo which is worth mentioning! This was specially built for the transmission of the 1992 Olympics. The very top of the antenna reaches 288m high. The tenth floor of the building is actually open to the public. You can head up to the observation deck here, and you will get a similar panoramic view like the one from Mount Tibidabo.
How do you get to Mount Tibidabo?
There are a few different ways to reach Mount Tibidabo, depending on where you are coming from and which transport you are using.
Driving to Mount Tibidabo
If you are driving, the route up to Mount Tibidabo is easy to navigate.. There is only one route up and down, so you cannot really get lost. How to get to the route depends where you are coming from. I suggest using a GPS or Google maps to at least get you to the foot of the mountain. From here, the road up is signposted. The road is very windy, with lots of twists and corners. Take extra care as you may encounter cyclists, and the corners mean lots of blind spots. The views on the way up are great! There is parking at the top, but it is paid.
Shuttle bus from Plaza Catalunya
There is a very handy shuttle bus that runs every half an hour. It only runs the days and hours that the theme park is open. The bus stop is in front of Desigual on the corner of Plaça Catalunya and Rambla Catalunya. This is probably the simplest way to get to Mount Tibidabo, as it takes you all the way tot he top. Also, most people who stay in Barcelona tend to stay close to Plaza Catalunya. It costs just €3 for a one way ticket.
The first to be built in Spain, the Mount Tibidabo Funicular is a fast, easy way to reach the top of the mountain. To catch the funicular, you need to first get to Plaza Del Dr. Andreu. To get here, you must get a train or metro to Plaza de John Kennedy. Outside this station is a bus stop, clearly signposted as for Mount Tibidabo. From the bus stop, take the 196 bus. In a few minutes, that will drop you at Plaza del Dr. Andreu, the departure point for the funicular. Instead of the bus, you could use the Tramvia Blau Tram. Effectively, it is the same route and getting you from the train station to the funicular. however, some people prefer it as it is a great experience (see below). Alternatively you can walk from Plaza de John Kennedy to Plaza del Dr. Andreu in about half an hour.
Tramvia Blau Tram
The old tram is a great experience in itself. It does not take you up Mount Tibidabo, only to the funicular. It is over 100 years old, and is a wonderfully traditional experience. To reach the tram, you must first make your way to Plaza de John Kennedy on a train or metro. The Plaza de John Kennedy station is directly next to the bus stop for the tram. The tram comes every 15-30 minutes. On busy days, like weekends or holidays, you may have to queue. The tram itself is rather deceptive – it looks very small but many people can cram on! The driver collects money as your board, you cannot buy tickets in advance. On busy days, it may not be suitable for those who may feel claustrophobic. A one way ticket is €5.50.
Can you walk to Mount Tibidabo?
Yes! Although not the most popular way to reach the top, you can hike up Mount Tibidabo! You still need to get to the Funicular at the foot of the mountain. So, you could walk there if you are super keen, or else use the directions above. then, instead of getting on the funicular, you will walk up instead. the trail follows the funicular for a while, so you should easily find the trail. When the trail does leave the funicular, it is signposted and you cannot really go wrong. The walk to the top, whilst not too difficult, should not be underestimated. Barcelona can be notoriously hot and humid. This trail is no different, so take plenty of water. Expect to take at least an hour to reach the summit. Only really to be attempted by keen hikers who enjoy the experience and can handle the heat!
Is Mount Tibidabo free?
It is entirely free to go up to the top of the mountain and just wander around. You can enjoy the view without having to pay. of course, you have to factor in the cost of getting there, but that is quite cheap. It does cost to visit the amusement park (see above for prices). However, the church at the top is magnificent and free to enter.
That “Friends” Episode….!
If you are a “Friends” fan, Mount Tibidabo may be familiar! It featured prominently during the “One with the Videotape” episode. During this episode, Ross admits to Joey that he is having trouble with the ladies. Joey tells Ross he has a story that he tells women to make the fall for him. The story starts:
The story features a few times in the episode as different cast members use it! This is one of the best episodes of Friends! So if you are wondering where you have heard about Mount Tibidabo before, it would be this episode!