Las Arenas (in spanish) or Les Arenes (in catalan) de Barcelona, which used to be the city’s bullring, has kept its original structure but is now a modern shopping centre. Its top floor has a large panoramic outdoor viewpoint, which ironically will allow you to view one of the areas of Barcelona with the most viewpoints, that of Montjuïc Mountain.
On the same level as the viewpoint there are several restaurants and bars, in which you’ll be able to enjoy a well-deserved rest whilst eating or just having a drink. Although these bars and restaurants do have balconies you won’t get such a good view sitting there as you would standing at the viewpoint itself.
To get up to the viewpoint you can either use the escalators inside the shopping centre free of charge, or you can pay (1.00€) to use the outside lift, which will cost you €1.
As well as being able to see the silhouette of Montjuïc Mountain from the viewpoint, the 360º panoramic view from the Las Arenas viewpoint also allows you to see other interesting sights and monuments throughout Barcelona, due to its excellent location.
Plaza de España
From this viewpoint you’ll get the best views of the Plaza de España. This square is the perfect place from which to take the best pictures of its monumental fountain, as it’s not possible to gain access to the plaza, which is in the middle of a huge roundabout.
Parc de Joan Miró
This is also known as the ‘Parc de l’escorxador’, which translates as the ‘park of the slaughterhouse’, as it is where the city’s old slaughterhouse used to stand. The biggest highlight of the park is the Dona i Ocell (‘woman and bird’) statue, which was designed by Joan Miró.
The Four Columns of Puig i Cadafalch
These columns symbolize the four stripes of ‘la Senyera’, the Catalan flag, and they were erected in 2010 just a few metres from the original columns, which were commissioned by Josep Puig i Cadafalch himself, and were destroyed upon the orders of General Primo de Rivera.
The National Palace of Montjuïc
Looking towards Montjuïc Mountain, you’ll be able to see the majestic National Palace of Montjuïc towards the foot of the mountain, which houses Catalunya’s National Art Museum (MNAC).
Looking further afield
Quite a lot further away and depending on which way you are looking, you’ll be able to see the Sagrada Familia, the Torre Agbar and the Serra de Collserola, of which you’ll be able to see its telecommunications tower, and the Temple del Tibidabo. If you look towards the sea, you’ll also see the Torre Mapfre and the Hotel Arts, as well as the iconic silhouette of the W Barcelona Hotel and one of the towers that serves the Aeri del Port cable car.
You’ll be able to enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations and the La Mercè son et lumière show from the Las Arenas viewpoint. Both take place next to the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, and they mix pyrotechnic displays with background music. In the case of New Year’s Eve, there are usually other sights to see.
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 373-385, Barcelona.
Situated on the top floor of the Las Arenas shopping centre, where you’ll also find establishments for eating and drinking, the opening times are the same as those of the restaurants and bars.
Monday to Thursday: 10:00 to 01:00.
Friday to Sunday: 10:00 to 03:00.
It’s free of charge to access the viewpoint, but you would need to pay if you choose to go up in the lift.
How to get there?
Metro: Espanya (Lines 1 and 3).
Buses: Lines 13, 23, 37, 50, 55, 65, 79, 91, 109, 165, D20, H12, H16 and the Tourist Bus.
On foot: it’s easily accessible by foot if you’re near to Montjuïc Mountain or in the Poble Sec district.