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The 16 best views in Barcelona

From bars to museums to parks, these 12 Barcelona viewpoints boast breathtaking vistas of the city

Rita Roig
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There's never a shortage of things to do in Barcelona, whether you're into museums, beaches or historical sites. One of the best things to lay your eyes on though, is, well, all of it. And luckily for you, Barcelona has viewpoints for days. 

Be it bars, restaurants or famous monuments, there are plenty of spots all over the city to take in everything from above (and allow for some pretty incredible photos). Whether you're an architecture buff, an outdoorsy type or you just fancy a backdrop with your cocktail, here are the best lookout spots for an unforgettable view of Barcelona.

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Alexa Tucker and Rita Roig are writers at Time Out Barcelona. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

The best views in Barcelona

1. Salts

One of the images we remember most from the Barcelona Olympics is that of the trampoline jumpers ‘flying’ with Barcelona in the background. That’s the terrace of the Montjuïc Municipal Pool, Salts. It’s open every day from 10am to midnight, with a non-stop kitchen serving salads, pizza, sandwiches and burgers, all with one of the most spectacular views of the city.

  • El G貌tic
  • price 2 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Bar d'El Corte Ingl茅s
Bar d'El Corte Ingl茅s

The enormous window here gives you an incredible viewpoint of the city centre, that goes from the sea to Tibidabo and back to Montjuïc. At sunset the view is spectacular. But first you have to get there, whichi unfortunately means going through the horror of seemingly never-ending escalators (the descent into Dante's hell would be shorter), or the cold of the lift, which is recommendable for those with slightly less patience. Once upstairs, you find yourself in a kind of 1970s airport, surrounded by the bizarre and unpredictable: wide-eyed tourists, haggard shoppers, career waiters, and spies. Pretty sure they’re spies. To eat and drink is expensive, sure, but it’s the perfect place to do the briefcase swap: nobody sees you, nobody knows you, nobody cares who you talk to, who you are or what you do. Total anonymity, and a view – perfect for writing a novel (or plotting a scheme).

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  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Sants - Montju茂c

Home to the National Museum of Catalan Art (MNAC), the Palau Nacional is stunning on its own, but the views from its rooftop terrace bring the building to a whole new level. Although the steps in front of the historic building make for a great lookout point as well, it’s worth the euros it’ll cost you to get to the top (purchase your ticket at the MNAC front desk). Once you’re up there, you can look out at everything from the magic fountain directly in front of the building to the prominent Sagrada Família in the distance. Follow the path around to the different areas (there are two or three patios, depending on how you look at it) and linger over beautiful Montjuïc from the back.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • El Putget i Farr贸

If crowds of people distract you from enjoying the incredible skyline Barcelona has to offer, this is the place for you. With all of nearby Park Güell's views and none of the chaos, Jardins del Turó del Putxet is a great spot to enjoy the greenery along with some sights. It's a bit hidden and not nearly as well marked as Gaudí's famous park, and you'll be getting your workout in with the uphill walk, but the serenity and the sights of the downtown area on one side and Tibidabo on the other are reason enough to brave it.

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  • Museums

History buffs should take note of this particular Barcelona lookout spot. From a deserted Iberian settlement to the home of an anti-aircraft battery during the Spanish Civil War to the heritage site it is today, one thing that hasn't changed over centuries of existence is the incredible view over Barcelona, despite vast and significant changes in the city itself. Reopened in 2011 after a restoration, the Turó de la Rovira is a great place for looking back to the past and looking forward to the Barcelona skyline.

  • Attractions
  • Towers and viewpoints
  • Ciutat Vella
  • price 1 of 4
Telef猫ric del Port
Telef猫ric del Port

Anyone with a major fear of heights may want to choose another way to see Barcelona from above, but if that's not a problem for you, this is the most mobile view of Barcelona you can get. The suspended cable car travels 101 metres above sea level at its highest point, and takes you from the Barceloneta beach area to the top of Montjuïc. During the ten-minute ride, you'll be able to observe everything in between the two, and if that's not quite enough, you can make it a round-trip on the Telefèric as well (instead of taking the metro or another mode of transport).

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7. El Mirador Torre Gl貌ries

A viewpoint in the basement? You heard that right! In addition to the eagle-eye viewpoint on the 30th floor, El Mirador Torre Glòries features a windowless viewpoint on the basement floor, the Hyper Viewpoint Barcelona, replaced by digital screens providing real-time data about what’s happening in Barcelona.

  • Hotels
  • Chain hotels
  • El Raval
  • price 3 of 4

The 360º Terrace that sits atop the trendy Barceló Raval Hotel is a great spot to see far and wide­ — and close up, if you like. Free-standing lookout binoculars surrounding the circular patio allow you to zoom in on city streets and monuments alike, giving you endless views. There's a small pool for hotel guests, but the terrace is open to the public from 6pm to midnight during the week, and until 1am at weekends. Watch the sun set from one of the many tables and benches lining the loop — it's narrow but still not cramped early in the evening. 

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  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • Dreta de l'Eixample

If you're still jonesing for more Gaudí after the Sagrada Família and Park Güell, a visit to another one of his architectural masterpieces, Casa Milà (better known as La Pedrera), is a splendid way to spend an afternoon or evening. It not only boasts an interior just as attractive as its exterior, but the rooftop is a sight in itself. The cone- and dome-like structures are covered in ceramic fragments, giving the terrace a look all its own. While you walk around the sculpted stairwells, ventilation towers and chimneys, you can admire the city as well. Set in the lively Eixample neighbourhood, La Pedrera is a great place to get a view that's up-close and personal with Barcelona (but still gives you a sense of the big picture).

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Vallvidrera, el Tibidabo i les Planes

Though this spot gives you a view much like that of nearby Tibidabo, it has the 360-degree aspect that the latter lacks. Set in the Serra de Collserola Natural Park, this peculiar yet interesting-looking telecommunications tower provides a place where you can peer down into Sant Cugat del Vallès, a town situated just north of Barcelona. If you're not into going up to one of the tower's platforms, the park itself is a great place to grab a view, too.

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