Those of you who travel regularly will surely have seen with your own eyes that each place has its own distinct sunset, that makes it unique. It’s possible that I’m biased and say this because I was born in Barcelona, but I think that it’s a city in which you can observe a multitude of unique sunsets. The uniqueness of its geography, which has hills and mountains as well as the sea and many beaches, together with the beauty of its skyline, with historic and iconic buildings as well as easily recognisable monuments, are the main reasons for these marvellous and unique sunsets.
The 11 best places from which to enjoy sunset in Barcelona
Below you’ll find information about the 11 best places from which, in our humble opinion, you can enjoy a spectacular sunset and a magical evening in Barcelona. All of them set a magnificent scene for this wonderful moment of the day, and we only hope that you have the chance to go to more than one of them, in order to be able to choose your favourite. And it goes without saying that if you experience it in the perfect company, it’ll be even more special! Make sure you check the sunset times in Barcelona before making your plans.
Unlike what happens in many other cities and towns, where the sun sets over the sea, in Barcelona the sun gradually disappears over the mountains, specifically over Tibidabo and the rest of the Sierra de Collserola. Although some people might think otherwise before seeing it, this doesn’t affect the beauty of the sunset at all, quite the opposite in fact. If you would really like to see the image of the sun glimmering above the sea, you can always get up early and watch the sunrise.
1. From the top of the bell tower of the Santa María del Pi church
The bell tower of Santa María del Pi, which is 55 metres high, is one of the best places from which to see the magic of Barcelona’s sunset. Its strategic location, in the centre of the Gothic Quarter, allows you to see many iconic places in Barcelona, such as the Plaça del Rei, Barcelona’s Cathedral, the Basílica de la Mercè as well as the network of narrow streets in the old town of the city. It’s also possible to identify buildings in the distance that make up Barcelona’s iconic skyline, such as the two towers of the Hotel Arts and the Mapfre building, as well as the silhouette of the W Hotel Barcelona or the Aeri del Port cable car that hangs above the coastline. It’s fascinating to see how the sky and Barcelona’s buildings change in colour during the setting of the sun.
The only way of going up to the top of the bell tower is by booking onto one of the guided tours. The tours are organised at various times of the day, depending on the day of the week and the time of the year. For more information, and to choose the tour that will allow you to see the sunset from the top of the tower, we recommend that you visit the website of ‘Riosta Barcelona’. Depending on the time of year, it may be necessary to book a private group tour.
2. On the beach or the promenade
Walking along Barcelona’s seafront or promenade is one of the best ways to enjoy the sunset, especially if you’re lucky enough to be there on a day when the dense white clouds, cumulonimbus, scatter the sky over the city. The reddish tones that tinge the beach and the sea are simply indescribable. We’d therefore like to draw your attention to the photo that accompanies these words, taken in January 2016. Although you might not believe it, it was taken without any filters and hasn’t been edited in any way that alters the image. As far as the beaches are concerned, we think that the best views of the sunsets come from Barceloneta beach, Somorrostro beach, Sant Miquel beach and Sant Sebastià beach. And make sure you don’t miss out on the views of the changing colours as the sun sets over the Pez Dorado (the Golden Fish) by Frank Gehry, one of the most striking monuments along the seafront. We also recommend that you sit down for a drink in any of the ‘chiringuitos’, the temporary beach cafés that are scattered along Barcelona’s seafront between May and October, providing you’re there in season.
It goes without saying that no sunset is the same, even when you look at it from exactly the same place. Depending on the time of year and the types of clouds that are hovering over Barcelona’s skyline, the colouring of the sky and the intensity of colours will of course change. Maybe we’re just speaking from our own experience, but we do think it’s possible to predict some of the best sunsets in Barcelona. We’ll just give you one clue – when you see a fairly clear sky, but with a few of the typical thick white clouds (called cumulonimbus), we think you’re guaranteed a good sunset!
3. From one of the viewpoints in Montjuïc
If you fancy admiring a lovely sunset from Montjuïc mountain, we invite you to do so from the Mirador del Migdia viewpoint, and if you decide to do this, there’s nothing better than going to the terrace of La Caseta del Migdia when it opens, and observing it from there. Another option is to go to the viewpoint next to the Jardins de Miramar gardens, and an ideal spot would be sitting in the terrace of the Terraza Martínez or of the Bar – Restaurante Miramar, which has better views but the food isn’t quite as good. Or you could even go Montjuïc Castle, at the summit of Montjuïc, and enjoy the views either from the top or from the ramparts, where you’ll find plenty of space to sit and admire the view.
4. From any part of Tibidabo Mountain
The summit of Tibidabo is the highest point of Barcelona, so this should be a good indicator of how spectacular the sunset can be from this magical spot. We recommend going to the viewpoint within the grounds of the historic theme park, or from the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, the iconic church at the top of Tibidabo, in which case it’s even better if you can take the lift that takes you to the top of the temple.
5. From the Turó de la Rovira viewpoint
There are no words to describe the sensation that you feel when you look at the city of Barcelona, and especially for the first time, from the Turó de la Rovira viewpoint. This is where the Carmel air-raid bunkers can be found, which were used during the Spanish Civil War. We therefore recommend that you go up to enjoy and discover this magical place, and that you do so just before the sun starts to set. Don’t forget your camera, and if you are planning to be there for a while, take some sandwiches or something to eat and drink (you can pick something up in the Bar Las Delicias, on Carrer de Mühlberg, 1).
6. From the Torre del Baró Castle, or the Serra de Collserola
The Torre del Baró, which translates as the Baron’s Tower, is in the Nou Barris district, and it’s one of the hidden charms that the city has to offer. Given its location, somewhat further away from the most central and touristic areas of the city, it doesn’t usually appear in the tourist guides. We therefore think it’s one of those places that is appreciated even more every time we go to see it. From its unfinished building, in the form of a castle’s tower, as well as from the viewpoint situated just a few metres below, you’ll be able to see some super views of Barcelona. It’s true that in spite of the fact that the views from here do have some similarities with the views from the Turó de la Rovira, because of the Torre de la Rovira’s angulated form and the fact that it’s higher up, you won’t get such a spectacular view from the Torre del Baró. However, the fact that it’s still unchartered territory for the vast majority of tourists, and even for people who live in Barcelona, makes it a special place, and very worthy of being on our list. Having said this, the views from various parts of the Carretera Alta de Les Roquetes, the main road that goes along part of the Serra de Collserola, are no less spectacular.
7. From the terraces of the viewpoint of the Museu Nacional de Catalunya
The Palau Nacional de Montjuïc, which has been the home of the National Museum of Catalunya since 1990, houses a huge amount of treasures. Two of these, which are surely two of the least known, aren’t exactly works of art but two terraces, from which you will enjoy beautiful views of Barcelona from two aspects of Montjuïc mountain. From one of them you can appreciate the majesty of the Four Columns by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, as well as seeing in the distance the Plaça d’Espanya, the Venetian towers and what used to be the Las Arenas bullring, which has now been converted into a shopping centre. You can also identify the silhouette of the Serra de Collserola, with Tibidabo mountain at the top and in which the figure of the Collserola Tower stands out. The other terrace allows you to discover, through the trees, the depths of one of the least-known gardens in the city, the Joan Maragall gardens. You can also see the Palauet Albéniz, the Telefónica tower and a small part of the Olympic stadium as well as one of the towers of Montjuïc castle. If you visit the National Museum of Catalunya, access to the terraces and viewpoint (which has a bar) is included, whereas if you only want to go to the terrace you’ll usually need to pay 2€, although access is free of charge on Friday and Saturday nights from 20:00 to midnight, throughout the summer months.
8. From the Aeri del Port cable car
To fly over Barcelona from the Aeri del Port cable car is an incredible experience. If it also coincides with sunset, when the sun starts to give our city the most wonderful reddish glow, this experience will turn into a unique and unforgettable one. You have two options to choose from. The first is to do the journey in the cable car from the Barceloneta Tower (by the Sant Sebastià beach, in the Barceloneta district) up to the Miramar Gardens (in Montjuïc), from which you’ll be able to continue to enjoy the sunset from one of the terraces that you’ll find there. The second option is to do this journey in reverse, in which case you’ll finish enjoying the sunset from the seafront itself. Whichever you choose, you will have made the right choice!
9. From Park Güell
The well-known Park Güell, an unfinished project of the Eusebi Güell and Antoni Gaudí partnership, is one of the most iconic places in the city from which you can admire the effects that the sunset has over the city. If you do decide to go there for sunset, we recommend buying your tickets for the monumental zone of the park around an hour and a half before the sun actually sets. By doing this you’ll have plenty of time to walk round the park and once you’ve done so, to wander to one of the three viewpoints from which you’ll best be able to enjoy the sunset: the Colina de les 3 Creus (Hill of Three Crosses), the Mirador del Virolai (the Virolai being the hymn dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat), and the Explanada, the large open space which is surrounded by the curved seating area. You don’t have to pay to enter the monumental zone if you decide to just go to the Colina de les tres creus or the Virolai viewpoint, as they are both free of charge to access.
10. From the terrace of the Catalunya History Museum
The Catalunya’s History Museum, MHCAT, has a little jewel on its top floor. It’s a terrace, that you can access directly from the lift and without paying to enter the museum, which will give you the opportunity to admire Barcelona’s Old Port (Port Vell de Barcelona). Whatever time you go, its privileged position is a great place from which to enjoy the wonderful views of the area and spend a little time having a drink at the bar or at one of the tables. However, our advice is to go there just before the sun starts to set, so that you are treated to an unforgettable sunset from this charming terrace.
11. From the W Barcelona Hotel or other hotel terraces
Due to its fantastic location, in the Barceloneta district and a stone’s throw from the beach, the W Barcelona hotel is one of the most idyllic places from which you can enjoy a beautiful sunset. The hotel has two areas where you can go. Firstly, sitting or even lying down on one of the sofas and loungers of Wet Bar. Although throughout most of the day they only allow access to residents of the hotel, its doors open to the public from 20:00, which is the perfect moment to enjoy the sunset during the summer months. Alternatively, the Eclipse area (which is open from 6pm), located on the 26th floor of the hotel, is ideal for taking in the magnificent views of Barcelona as the sun sets beyond the horizon.
In reality, it’s not just W Barcelona that has a beautiful terrace to spend an enjoyable evening during sunset. That is why we recommend you to visit our section on hotel terraces in Barcelona, where you can find all the information on opening hours, the type of services they offer and the most important features of the terraces in the best hotels of the city.
Map of where to see the best sunsets.