Tibidabo

Tibidabo is Barcelona’s tallest mountain at 512 meters, and a wonderful spot to get some fresh air if you need a break from the busy city. It’s an excellent place to go for a walk and while you’re there you can also visit Spain’s oldest amusement park. The views are also something else, especially in the evening at sunset.

Sacred heart church at the top of tibidabo
Barcelona has its own Sacre Coeur at the top of Tibidabo

In this article you will find:

  • Practical info on tickets for the amusement park
  • Tips for walks and hikes in Tibidabo
  • Information on how to get there
  • Practical information: opening hours and prices
  • Everything about the church Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón
  • Tips for food and drinks
  • Insider tips for activities on and near the Tibidabo

What is Tibidabo and why should you visit it?

If you want to change atmospheres a little and get out of the city, Tibidabo is the perfect place to go.

Tibidabo mountain is the highest spot in Barcelona.

It offers great views of the city and the surrounding areas, and it has many interesting places to visit, such as the Tibidabo amusement park, the Fabra Observatory, the church of the Sacred Heart (inspired by the famous Sacré Coeur of Paris), and the Parc de Collserola.

Plan your visit to Tibidabo

Tibidabo is at least a half day activity.

It takes some time to get to and from it from the city center, and there’s a lot to see and do on the mountain.

We recommend you dedicate a full morning or afternoon to your visit.

When to visit the Tibidabo?

If you’re planning on going to the amusement park, be aware that it’s not open year round, and that even when it is, some attractions may be closed.

The park is shut during the months of January and February, and throughout the rest of the year it opens on school holidays (Easter and the summer months), bank holidays, and weekends.

Since the schedule is somewhat irregular, we recommend you check the park’s official website before planning your visit to make sure it is open on the day of your choice.

If instead you’re going to take pictures, enjoy the views, and explore the rest of the mountain, the best time is in the morning or in the evening.

The hottest hours of the day in Barcelona are 1 pm to 4 pm, although this is only a concern in the summer.

Do keep in mind that if you’re not visiting in the summer, it can get windy and chilly on Tibidabo so make sure to bring a jacket.

In the amusement park you’ll find cafes, bars and kiosks where you can get food and drinks.

There are also many suitable picnic areas on the mountain where you can eat and enjoy the view if you brought your own food.

Beautiful church at the Tibidabo with people in front of it
Church at the Tibidabo mountain

 

Insider tips:

  • Between the stop of the Tibibus (see How to get there? further down) and the amusement park there are some picnic tables you can use freely.
  • Would you like to surprise someone with a romantic diner? Between June and October you can have dinner under the stars on the Fabra Observatory’s viewing deck. After the meal you’ll be taken on a short tour of the observatory and you’ll be able to look through the telescope.
  • Take the elevator at the church of the Sacred Heart (€3.50) and enjoy one of the most breathtaking views of Barcelona. Not recommended for people that are afraid of heights!
  • The Gran Hotel La Florida is one of Barcelona’s highest rated luxury hotels. This five star boutique establishment houses a luxury spa and an elegant restaurant. Even if you’re not a guest, you can stop by for a cocktail on the terrace, this is especially recommended in the evening, when the entire city will light up at your feet.
  • The science museum CosmoCaixa is located on one of the flanks of Tibidabo. If you want you can visit both on the same day.

 

What to see and do on the Tibidabo mountain?

Parc d’Atraccions Tibidabo

The Parc d’Atraccions del Tibidabo opened its doors in 1901. It is Spain’s first amusement park, and one of the oldest in the world.

Local pharmacist Salvador Andreu came up with the idea of a park that would consist of various levels, connected to each other by elevators, paths and stairways.

The 6th level of the park is known as “Camí del Cel”, which means “sky path”.

tbidabo ferris wheel
A ferris wheel on top of a mountain offers spectacular views — just be careful if you have vertigo!

This is where the park’s ferris wheel is located and as you can imagine, a ferris wheel on a mountain makes for a pretty spectacular ride.

Entrance to this area is free, but you need to pay for the attractions separately.

You can also buy a ticket that gives you access to all the attractions on the level, but it doesn’t include the attractions on the others.

Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón

The Sacred Heart church sits at the top of Tibidabo, its name a reference to the famous Sacré Coeur of Paris.

At the end of the 19th century, a rumor began to circulate stating that a casino or a protestant church would be built at the top of the mountain.

Fearing both of these scenarios, a catholic organization purchased the land and built their own temple instead.

The construction started in 1901, led by the architect Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia, and was completed in 1961 by his son Josep Maria Sagnier i Vidal, who by that time had taken over the job from his father.

One of the things that’s remarkable about the building is the difference in style between the crypt, built in sand colored stone and aesthetically resembling a medieval fortification, and the church itself, which is a bright white color and richly ornamented, mixing gothic, neoclassical and modernist elements.

The stone for the construction was drawn from Barcelona’s other famous hill, the Montjuic.

The most interesting part of the church is the viewing platform right below the Christ statue at the top. You’ll have to pay to go up (€3.50), but the rest of the church and the crypt is free.

Church at the Tibidabo Mountain in Barcelona
Church at the Tibidabo mountain

Dress and code of conduct

As with many Catholic temples, visitors are required to wear appropriate clothing to enter the church.

Shorts and short skirts are not allowed, and hats and other items that cover the head must be removed.

Visitors can take pictures inside but you can’t use the flash. Food and drink are not allowed.

Torre de Collserola

For one of the most spectacular views over the city you go to the Torre de Collserola.

The radio tower, that is on the list of the World Federation of Great Towers, was designed by the British architect Norman Foster for the Barcelona Olympics of 1992.

The tower is twelve floors and 268 meters high and serves as a television and radio mast.

The lookout platform sits 115 meters up in the air (and 560 meters above sea level) and will give you a rush of vertigo when you look down.

On clear days you can up to 70 kilometers away, over the city and the suburbs, the Parc de Collserola and the characteristic shape of Montserrat.

On certain days when the weather is just right, you can even make out the outline of Mallorca on the horizon.

Observatori Fabra

The Fabra Observatory is the only building of its type in Barcelona. It was designed by Josep Domenech i Estepà and built in the early twentieth century.

The observatory is owned and run by the Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona (Royal Academy for Science and the Arts), and it is one of the oldest still-functioning observatories in the world.

The observatory was built thanks to a generous donation by the Marquis of Alella, Camilo Fabra i Fontanills.

Originally the building was to be named Observatori del Tibidabo, but it was changed to incorporate the name of its illustrious patron.

The building was officially inaugurated in 1904, in the presence of king Alfonso XIII.

Since its inauguration, twelve small planets and a comet have been discovered.

Guided tours of the building are offered, including the very special “sopar amb estrelles” (dinner under the stars) in the summer months.

If you’re looking for something unique and romantic to do during your stay in Barcelona this should be on your list.

Walk or bike the Carretera de les Aïgues

There are several walking and biking routes through Collserola park.

The most well known is La Carretera de les Aigües (the road of the waters), a ten kilometer path that runs along the side of the hills that encircle Barcelona, in parallel to the coastline, offering spectacular panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean.

Years ago, there were canals running through this area to distribute water, hence the name.

Tramvía Blau

Absolutely the nicest way (but not the cheapest) to reach Tibidabo: the old fashioned blue tram. Scroll down to ‘how to get to Tibidabo’ for more information.

Practical information

Opening hours

Tibidabo amusement park
In January and February the park remains closed. It reopens in March, but until the summer only on weekends. The park also opens on school and bank holidays.

For smaller attractions (the section of the park known as the Sky Walk) there are different opening hours.

Due to its somewhat confusing schedule, we suggest you check the park’s opening hours on its official website before going for a visit.

Torre de Collserola
Just like the amusement park, the opening hours for the mirador vary a lot.

On Saturday and Sunday the tower is open, however this can differ on weekdays and depending on the season. Check the official website before your visit!

Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón
From 11am to 6pm (in June, July, August and September until 8pm).

The view from Tibidabo over the amusement park and the city

Tibidabo Tickets and Prices

Tibidabo amusement park

  • A basic ticket costs €28.80. Children shorter than 1,20 meter pay €10,30 and children under 90 centimeter enter for free.
  • If you only want to visit the Sky Walk, with attractions for small children, you pay €12.70 for a basic ticket. Tickets for children shorter than 1,20 meters costs €7,80 and tickets for the very smallest (under 90 cm) are free of charge.

 

 

Torre de Collserola
In order to enjoy the view over Barcelona from the tenth floor of the tv tower, you need to buy a ticket.

Adults pay €5.60 while children under than 14 and those over 60 pay €3.30. Tickets can be bought on the spot.

Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón
Visiting the temple is free of charge. If you want to go up to the viewing platform and be amazed by the views, you pay €3.50.

How to get to Tibidabo?

  • First of all: walking or biking up are not an option unless you are in really good shape and you want a challenge. You’ll arrive much faster using one of the multitude of transport options we detail below.
  • Driving: You can park near the amusement park or at the Torre de Collserola (€10 per day).Another option is the Aparcamiento Tibidabo Vall d’Hebron in front of the hospital Vall d’Hebron (€4.20 per day), from where you can take a free shuttle bus (Tibibus T2B) to the amusement park (only on days that the park is open).With a rental scooter, you can get here easily as well. Keep in mind that it will take you about 45 minutes from the city center.It’s a beautiful route and you can easily park your scooter for free once you’ve reached the park.
  • Public transport: Not the cheapest, but a wonderful way to reach the mountain is the Antic Tram Blau, that has been running since 1901.In order to take the blue tram you need to take the brown line (L7) of the FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya) to Avinguda Tibidabo.The tram will take you via the Avinguda del Tibidabo to the square Plaça Doctor Andreu, after which you get on the Funicular del Tibidabo that will take you all the way up. The tram is especially fun for kids.This is only possible on days that the amusement park is open.

    An alternative for the blue tram is bus 196, that takes exactly the same route as the tram and you pay the normal price for public transport.

    Church at Tibidabo

     

    The prices for a one way ticket are the following:

    • Tramvia Blau €5.50
    • Funicular del Tibidabo €7.70 (the price is €4,10 in combination with the entrance fee of the amusement park)

    The cheapest way to to reach the Tibidabo is the bus from Plaça Catalunya. The stop is near Rambla de Catalunya.

    The T2A will bring you all the way up to the square at the amusement park (near the Hotel La Florida).

    A one way ticket costs €2.95 and it’s free if you show your tickets for the amusement park. The bus leaves every 20 minutes starting at 10.15 am.

    If you are not in a hurry and you like to walk, you can take the FGC train (line S1 or S55) to Peu del Funicular, where you can take the Funicular de Vallvidrera, which you can ride up to the top of the mountain.

    From there you can walk to any of the other destinations on Tibidabo.

    For the Carretera de les Aïgues, get off at the first stop (beware that this way you won’t get to the top of the Tibidabo), while for the amusement park you should get off at the final stop (Vallvidrera Superior) and take bus 111 — you’ll find a bus stop near the exit of the funicular. It runs every half hour so you might need to wait a little.

    The advantage of this route is that it’s free for Barcelona Card or Hola Barcelona Transport cardholders.

    You can also use a regular T10-card, which makes this the cheapest way to get to the top of the Tibidabo by public transport.

    There is no metro stop near Tibidabo.

     

     

     

    Food and drinks on the Tibidabo

    These are our favourite spots when you get hungry and/or thirsty:

    • Merbeyé (Plaça Doctor Andreu 2, at the Funicular station) Tapas and cocktails. Opening hours from early morning till very late at night.
    • Mirablau (Plaça Doctor Andreu, near the Funicular and the end station of the Tramblau) Open every day until at least 3am.
    • Mirabé (Carrer de Manuel Arnús), on weekdays only open for dinner. Ask for a table on the terrace!
    • The TB Bar (Carretera Vallvidrera al Tibidabo, 83-93), the bar of Gran Hotel La Florida. Enjoy your drink with Barcelona at your feet.

    Attractions near Tibidabo

    There is one other major attraction near Tibidabo:

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