Unreal View: Barcelona from Tibidabo

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When it comes to things to do in Barcelona, the options are endless.  From the beaches to the bustling city life, this colorful city offers more than enough for everyone to keep uniquely busy during their stay.  However - if I am going to push one activity that everyone should do in Barcelona - it's heading to the mountains on the outskirts of the city and taking the funicular up to Tibidabo Amusement Park for the absolute best view of the city. 

From Catalunya main station, it's about an hour trek to get to the park, including a train, funicular, and bus (directions here).  You can actually pay for the 30 euro admission to the park (make sure to check the hours), or you can do what we did, which is take the 3 euro bus ride (#111) to the free Tibidabo Sky Walk and enjoy the panoramic views.  Most of the rides at the sky walk, like the famous ferris wheel, are à la carte too, so if you want to get just a couple rides in, that is an option. 

We really didn't know what to expect going into this. We knew that there would be some overlooks and a pretty church, but we didn't know that we would be able to climb to the top of the church (Temple de Sagrat Cor) and get an amazing view of the entire city of Barcelona from 575m up. 

To get to the top of the church, you first take a small 2 euro elevator ride which brings you about halfway. From there, you can then continue up by climbing the stairs (enjoying the lookout stops on the way) to the very top of the church, right next to the Sacred Heart statue.  Along with the views it offers, the 200 plus year old church is beautiful itself, so be sure to check out the neo-gothic architecture as you ascend.  Some people opt to just enjoy the view the elevator takes them to, and then head back down. I'd say that it's absolutely worth the steps to get to the very top.  It's a smaller overlook (in diameter) so it really gives a 360 degree picture of the panoramic view.  Be warned: it's a little windy up there, so it makes the potential selfie opportunity less appealing. 

While at the top, it was super fascinating to us how expansive the city is.  When we go to a big city like Barcelona, we rarely get this holistic view and exploring each part doesn't really do the size justice, especially when we take public transit. It can be an overwhelming feeling like: we have so much still to explore! But, I think just being able to see the whole city at once really pulled the visit together for me and made me feel good about what we were able to see and do in our couple of days there. 

Once you're done climbing, there are a couple of restaurants / cafes at the sky walk that can offer a little break. I'm a bit hyper-aware of potential tourist traps - almost to the point of paranoia - so I wouldn't eat a meal here. However, for a quick app and/or drink and some WIFI for planning your next move, these places are perfect. 

Overall: Tibidabo was such an awesome surprise for us. I'd absolutely recommend adding this stop in your stay at Barcelona! 

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