Are you an adrenaline junkie? Do you love it whenever you have butterflies in your stomach? Or whenever you travel, do you have to see and go to the craziest places that other travelers are typically going nowhere near? Then this is the challenge for you, come along and see a new angle to Barcelona while enjoying some new heights! Barcelona is a beautiful beach town, but it also has some incredible views from above. With these experiences you will be able to see new views of the city and region- while also testing your nerves. Are you up to the challenge? This challenge will require a bit of traveling, and it is going to ensure that you get away from some of the spots that are swarmed by people during the summer. Enjoy the views and make sure your palms aren’t too sweaty while you are up there- we wouldn’t want you to drop you phone or anything!
Officially the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, this monastery has been around since the eleventh century. Once you are up there, you will think to yourself- why aren’t all monasteries built on the sides of mountains? The area is great to spend the day, hike and walk around and offers some scary, fun views of Catalunya. A fun fact about the monastery is that it helped continue the Catalan language during the fascist period of Spain when it was outlawed. The Abbey would continue to serve a strengthening force for Catalan nationalism. The first experience will require a bit of time to get to, if you want there are buses and public transport that will get you to the mountain. Or if you are really feeling up to another challenge, why not try hiking there? Beware that this is an active monastery, so please take appropriate courtesies while there.
Catalunya is one of the only autonomous regions of Spain where bullfighting is no longer practiced. While that can be disappointing for some- it offers the opportunity to utilize and refurbish the former arenas. The Arena de Barcelona is one of those ventures, that is now a fully functioning mall with a food court, shops and even a movie theater! But if you are adventurous enough to go all the way to the top, you can get an incredible view of the surrounding Plaça d'Espanya and Plaça de les Cascades in the distance. My favorite part about this place is that the top of the arena was outfitted with multiple restaurants. It is a great spot to stay for a few minutes or a few hours. There is an elevator that will take you to the top from the outside that charges for use, however the escalators inside the mall are free.
If you are hanging out on the beaches or are down by the port, it would be hard to not miss the Telefèrico. Compared to some of the other experiences in this list, this is probably the one that is closest to the ground. It is JUST far enough up to really freak you out. This experience gets you above the water in a classic cable car, and if you’re lucky the wind might just blow it back and forth! As an added bonus, while going across the port you get to see some unique views that not many other people get to see while spending time in Barcelona. You can catch it going across the port, but it is not the same thing as the Montjuïc funicular. If you’re interested in exploring the Funicular and what to do in the Montjuïc area, check out the challenge “Green spaces of Barcelona.”
Pretty much no matter where you are at in the city, if you look away from the water- you will be able to see Tibidabo and the Sagrat Cor Church. If you take a regional train from Plaça Catalunya, you can make your way up to the amusement park, the total trip can take about 45-60 minutes. This park overlooks Barcelona with an unforgettable view of the city and the water. The rides are classics and can give some a nostalgic feeling for days of old. However, most of these rides play with heights and some make sure to make you feel uncomfortable- as the only thing between you and tumbling back down the hill is a seat belt! You can pay for a day pass or for tickets that can be used for individual rides. Be sure to check the timetable beforehand for the trains back down the mountain!
No trip to Barcelona will be complete without a visit to the world famous Sagrada Familia. While the typical tour will teach you about the history of the church and Gaudi. For all the adrenaline freaks out there, the Tower Tour will put you at the top of the towers after a short elevator ride. The fun begins as you have to make your way down- looking out over the edge of the railing the whole way down! Standing at 172 meters or 564 feet; this unfinished structure is by far the tallest building in Barcelona. And you are reminded of that while you look out over the Mediterranean town. Make sure that you bring your selfie stick for this one, as the views are amazing, and you won’t want to forget any part of it! Be sure to book your tickets ahead of time, as it gets busy quick!