Barcelona is the perfect travel destination for lovers of architecture, history, Spanish cuisine and beautiful beaches. But if you ever want to have a look at the city from a high viewpoint, then you have to go to Mount Tibidabo.
You probably already have seen Mount Tibidabo while walking around the streets of Barcelona. Mount Tibidabo, being 512 m high, is the highest mountain of the Serra de Collserola range. On its top stands a church that overlooks the whole city. What is noticeable about this church is the statue of Jesus on the top of the building with his arms wide open. And you can even see it from the streets of Barcelona.
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History of Mount Tibidabo
You might wonder where the name Tibidabo origins from. According to legend, it is most likely from the Bible verse Luke 4:6. In that scene the devil and Jesus both stand on a high mountain overlooking the whole world. The devil himself said to Jesus:
“All this power will I give you, and the glory of them: for that is delivered to me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.”
And Tibidabo means “ I will give it to you” in Latin. Naming the mountain Tibidabo implies that this scene actually happened there.
After visiting it I really feel like Tibidabo is a very underrated area of Barcelona where you usually do not see too many tourists going. But the views from there are spectacular! You can get a full 360 degrees view of Barcelona, the Medittearanian Sea, even parts of Montserrat and Montseny. Since the Amusement Park falls right into the views it gives it a very unique vintage atmosphere. And it seems like the perfect place to visit with children!
The Tibidabo Amusement Park
The Tibidabo Amusement Park is the oldest Amusement Park in Spain and one of the oldest ones in Europe. During my research I found out it was built in 1899. How crazy is that? It offers several different carousels, roller coasters, a ferris wheel and other different attractions. There are over 25 different rides you can go to! Apart from that it also has a restaurant and and resorts (When I went there the hotels were closed due to Covid).
You will see many families with children coming here. But its retro atmosphere made me think of what a great place this could be for a date! There is even an area with tables which makes it perfect for a little picnic. And you can bring your own food! By the way, Tibidabo also has four mascots named Ti, Bi, Da and Bo.
What can you do at Mount Tibidabo
I already mentioned some of the fun things in Mount Tibidabo but here is a list of the best things to do there:
- Talaia, The Big Lever: The highest point where you can be in Barcelona. It brings you high up in the air where it leaves you hanging a couple of seconds. The view from there must be incredible!
- Colourful Carousel: A classic carousel with horses. It looks a bit vintage and is perfect for children.
- Giradabo: The colourful ferris wheel that will be in almost all of your photos in Tibidabo. I really wanted to go on it, but there was a huge line when I went there.
- Avió Tibidabo: Avió is an attraction at Tibidabo which is an airplane ride on a retro red airplane! The plane even circulates using its own propeller. It was opened almost 100 years ago (in 1928) and some original parts are still used in it! Avió is supposed to be a replicate of the first plane flight going from Barcelona to Madrid in 1927.
- The Automaton Museum: The Automotion museum includes more than 40 pieces from the 20th and 19th century. The oldest and most famous model is the Mandolin Clown (Payaso Mandolinista) from 1880. A true treasure of the museum!
You can walk around Tibidabo for free if you do not want to go of any of the rides at the Amusement park. This is absolutely worth it just for the breath-taking views you have. The price for the amusement park is 35 Euros per person. Check out their official webpage for prices and details.
Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón
Of course, you cannot visit Tibidabo without going to its famous church! The Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazon sits on the top of Mount Tibidabo and looks like it could be in a fairytale. It is actually a small basilica and translated means “sacred heart”. The architectural work was done by Spanish architect Enric Sagnier and the construction lasted from 1902 to 1961.
The entrance to the Church is free. You can go up to the very highest viewpoint by elevator for 3 Euros.
How to Get to Mount Tibidabo
Getting to Tibidabo is already an experience by itself. Why? Because you will pass the Avinguda del Tibidabo which is where the biggest and most beautiful mansions of Barcelona are. So keep your eyes open and look around on your way there!
If plan on going there with public transport, the easiest way is taking the bus from Placa Catalunya at the corner with Rambla Catalunya. The bus T2A leaves right in front of Desigual. A one-way ticket costs 3 Euro. The buses usually leave every 30 minutes.
The second option would be taking line 7 from Placa Catalunya to Avinguda Tibidabo FGC (Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat). The metro in Barcelona is quite easy to navigate and has signs in Catalan and English. I would definitely recommend getting the TMB App! From Avinguda Tibidabo you can hop on Tramvia Blau. Here, you will pass Avenida de Tibidabo with the beautiful mansions I mentioned before.
The trams stops at Plaza Doctor Andreu where you can take the funicular train to the top of Tibidabo. It will leave you right at the entrance of the Amusement Park. The funicular train has been going there since 1901 so it is definitely an experience to take it!
The easiest way would be to go by car, of course if you happen to have that option. There is plenty of space to park your car and the price for a whole day is 13 Euros. You can book your ticket here in advance.