It’s universally understood that each city has its own sunset. As evening falls over, Barcelona is filled with a special kind of magic: the Catalan capital is one of the most photogenic cities on the planet, a statement that holds especially true when the sun begins the set and the sky is lit up with hues of purple, orange, and yellow. A sunset in Barcelona is truly worth experiencing yourself.
Barcelona’s one-of-a-kind geography spans the calm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, boundless coastline, and jagged peaks, creating stunning vantage points. And just wait to see how the sun bounces off the eclectic mix of architecture, ranging from gritty gothic cathedrals to the colorful creations of Gaudí himself.
Since the city lies on Spain’s eastern coast, the sun doesn’t actually disappear over the horizon and instead vanishes behind the mountains. But don’t fret! The twilight that comes over Barcelona is no less magical and, in fact, even more charming. Here are 4 of the top locations to behold the magical sunset in Barcelona.
Pro tip: spotting a sunset in Barcelona is one of the very best things to do in Spain. You won’t want to miss this.
Platja de la Barceloneta
Barceloneta Beach is intrinsically linked to the former fishing quarter of the same name, and the city’s historical neighborhood by the sea is one of the most picturesque scenes in town. The promenade stretches nearly 5 km, and is one of the best places in Barcelona to grab a bite at one of Spain’s world-famous tapas bars. Whether you opt to sit with your feet in the sand or at one of many terraces with a drink in hand, Barceloneta is one of the premiere spots to watch an epic sunset in Barcelona. Since this is the main city beach, it’s here you’ll find everyone from the typical beach-goers and surfers to bohemian hippies and strumming guitarists. For a one-of-a-kind experience, be sure to grab a seat at one of the many chiringuitos, the seasonal beach bars open along the sand between May and October.
The summit of Tibidabo Mountain is the highest point in all of Barcelona at 512 meters. The elevation of this forest-covered peak naturally brings breathtaking aerial views of the city with the city’s most recognizable dotted across the landscapes. Whether you choose to hike up to the top or take the cable car, atop Tibidabo awaits an old-fashioned amusement park, telecommunications tower, and looming basilica that’s visible from almost everywhere in Barcelona. When on Tibidabo Mountain, there’s no bad viewpoint to watch the sunset over Barcelona, with vistas of the city and the sea on one end and green fields and shimmering small towns on the other.
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
The Palau Nacional de Montjuïc has been home to the Museu Nacional de Catalunya for almost three decades now and houses an enormous amount of cultural treasures. The Neo-Baroque silhouette of the palace looks like it was taken straight out of a Disney movie with a theatrical staircase, lined on each side with perfectly manicured gardens and a waterfall down the middle. Once you finally reach the top of the stairs (there’s also a series of escalators on the far side), you’ll be treated to several street buskers and local musicians performing in front of the venue that was built for the 1929 World Exhibition. Situated on top of the Montjuïc Mountain, you can enjoy wonderful views all around the city. In front of the steps you have a unique vista of Plaça d’Espanya and its two Venetian watch towers, exploding fountain, and bullfighting ring turned shopping center juxtaposed against the lush peaks.
Bunkers del Carmel
Sitting close to Park Güell, El Carmel is the barrio situated atop the Turó de la Rovira hill, filled with steep streets and old-fashioned houses. The Bunkers del Carmel were built during the Spanish Civil War in 1938 to house anti-aircraft guns and cannons. This was once a military-controlled defense point, which makes sense considering the panoramic 360º views of Barcelona. After taking the metro or bus, it’s still quite an effort to reach the bunkers and you’ll have to do some uphill walking. Once you’re there, however, it will all be worth it. The bunkers are a popular spot for locals and tourists to visit, bring snacks, and hang out as the sun goes down. It’s closer to the city than Tibidabo and makes for immersive views where you can pick out the city’s most iconic landmarks. After the sun goes down, take a walk through the city and spot some of Gaudi’s famous architectural treasures.