We had to go a third time in Barcelona to finally get to Tibidabo! Actually, for me, it was my fourth time, but together with Alex our third. Tibidabo is the imposing mountain you see from every corner of Barcelona, just across the sea. Up there you will find a church, an amusement park, and maybe the most beautiful view over Barcelona, 500 m high.
They say that Tibidabo might not be worth its popularity in terms of views, but I never listen to this travel gossip, and I always want to check it out for myself. And after seeing the views, and also the gorgeous, instagrammable church on the top, my opinion is that it’s worth giving it a go. With one mention! This go might take half a day or even more if you also want to spend time in the amusement park. So if you don’t have enough time in Barcelona, I would say skip it for your next trip here.
So let me tell you more about Tibidabo, what you can find here and how to get to the top. And keep reading to see where you can get the iconic shot of the church from (hint: you don’t need a drone!😉)
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What can I see at Tibidabo
Up the mountain you can find the amusement park, the panoramic area, and the Sagrat Cor temple.
The amusement park
The Tibidabo amusement park is not a regular one, but a 100-year-old park! And it still has many of that time’s attractions, even though they added more with time. Check here the park history by decades. They have a roller coaster, bumper cars, a huge rocking ship, teacups and more, see here all the attractions with photos and a brief description.
It’s not open year-round, so check the exact schedule here. Basically, from March to December it’s open only on weekends and holidays, except for July when it’ open Wednesday to Sunday, and August when it’s open daily.
The ticket for the amusement park is €28.50 per person (or €10.30 for kids under 1.2 meters) and it includes access to the panoramic area. Buy the ticket online to avoid long queues.
The panoramic area
The panoramic area is a plaza with beautiful views of the sea and the entire Barcelona. It also has some attractions, all with a panoramic theme, and many of them are here since the park was built. A Ferris wheel, a plane replica of the first plane that flew in Spain (attraction built in 1928, it was considered the first flight simulator, at that time most people couldn’t afford to fly), Talaia (a sort of balcony that takes you very high, to even better views, opened in 1921), the Embruixabruixes aerial railway (a panoramic suspended roller coaster, originally opened in 1915 and recently restored).
Check here the schedule for the panoramic area. It’s open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., except the 1st of January, 6-31 January, 25-26 December, and in February it’s open only on weekends.
You can buy a ticket only for the panoramic area for €12.70 (or €7.30 for children under 1.2 meters).
Sagrat Cor Temple
It’s a gorgeous church right on top of the mountain, with a statue of Jesus with open arms above. You can visit for free between 11 a.m. and 8:45 p.m., and you have to pay €3.50 to climb up to the terrace. We did not enter the church, but I definitely wanted to take this photo, an iconic shot that rages on Instagram 😄.
Top tip: you can take this shot from the Talaia ride, once you’re high up above!
How do I get to Tibidabo
Find here all the details on how to get to Tibidabo, but I’ll also explain it briefly below.
There are two Tibibuses that take you all the way up to Tibidabo. They run only when the amusement park is open (see the schedule above), and it seems by far the most efficient way to get there.
The T2A line departs from Plaça Catalunya (the station is at the corner of Rambla Catalunya, in front of the Desigual store, here on google maps), runs every 30 minutes only when the park is open, and a single ticket is only €3 per person (not included on the T10 transport card).
The T2B line works the same, except that it starts from Paseo de la Vall d’Hebron (here on google maps).
In case you’re not going to Tibidabo when the amusement park is open, you have to go up the mountain with the funicular in Plaça Doctor Andreu (here on google maps). The funicular operates daily, but only when the amusement park or panoramic area are open.
The funicular runs every 15-20 minutes and a return trip is €4.10 if you get your park entry ticket at the funicular stop, or €7.70 if you don’t get a ticket there. As I said, you can climb up Tibidabo and admire the views without buying a ticket for the parks, although this is harder to understand from their website.
To get to Plaça Doctor Andreu you have to take the L7 train from Plaça Catalunya (in Spanish it’s called Ferrocarril), for which there is a specific station in the plaça, don’t go down to the subway stations (it’s here on google maps). It took us a while to find it, you have to look for the FGC orange sign, this is what the station looks like on the surface.
Take the Ferrocarril to the Av. Tibidabo station and from there you can walk to Plaça Doctor Andreu on foot (but it is a lot to climb), or you can take the famous blue tram (an old tram system from 1901 – spectacular, but a trip is €5.5). Or, even better, you can take the 196 bus, which is covered by the T10 transport card and definitely falls within the 75 minutes available for a T10 trip, after taking the Ferrocarril.
I’m actually reading that they are renovating and improving the funicular experience, with the opening scheduled for fall 2020.
Replacement bus for the funicular
If the funicular does not work (for technical reasons), as we experienced last March, there is a bus that replaces it. The only problem is that the bus takes a long time to get there, up to about half an hour. Plus, the bus is not covered by the T10 card, you have to buy tickets separately. And here I think we got a little sting.
I knew I could buy a ticket only for the funicular, and so I asked the same for the bus, a bus-only ticket without one for the panoramic area (the amusement park was closed when we went there). But it wasn’t possible, they made us buy tickets for the panoramic area, totaling €12.70 per person for round trip bus tickets and the panoramic area entry. The bus tickets were actually free this way, but I don’t think we would have been able to ride the bus without getting them.
Costs and opening hours
The opening hours are quite particular, but mainly the panoramic area is open daily and the amusement park just on the weekends. To see the exact schedule for the time when you’re going to Barcelona check here, you can select a day in the calendar and it will tell you what area is open and when.
The costs are, as I said above, €28.50 per person for the amusement park (including the panoramic area), or €12.70 for the panoramic area only. The tickets are actually bracelets that allow you access to the attractions. But in reality, the access to the park is free, if you just want to admire the views and not ride anything. Moreover, you can pay by single attraction, it should cost 2 euros, or at least that’s what I read about the panoramic area. As I said, we were forced to buy the ticket for the entire panoramic area.
If you buy a ticket, you should have unlimited access to all the attractions. When we were there, in March, there were just a few people and no queues at all. We rode the Ferris wheel and the Talaia.
You also have to consider the costs of transport to Tibidabo. The funicular ticket (if it’s working) and the transport to the funicular can get up to €14 if you get the blue tram, but it could cost only €1 if you get the Ferrocarril, the 196 bus and then the funicular replacement bus.
And all the time spent in the various means of transport, along with the wait times, can easily get up to 1 – 1.5 hours. Tibibus is definitely a good deal, a one-way ticket is €3 and I don’t think it has intermediate stations, so the ride up certainly takes less time.
Tibidabo: the best views over Barcelona
Hopefully, I was helpful with all these details regarding Tibidabo. I felt the need to write a separate article because there’s a lot to talk about, transport, what you can find in the parks, costs and opening hours. Even if you don’t go for the amusement park, the view over Barcelona is definitely worth the climb to Tibidabo.
If you have any other tips about Tibidabo, write them in the comments! 😉
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