Barcelona’s Bunkers del Carmel: The Ultimate Guide (2024)

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The Bunkers del Carmel, or just ‘the Bunkers’ as many people call them, are where you get some of the best views of Barcelona. This spot used to be part of the city’s war history but now it’s where everyone goes to see Barcelona from up high.

I live in Spain and have been up to the Bunkers a bunch of times. Trust me, the view up there of Barcelona from above never gets old.

So, why are the Bunkers such a hit in Barcelona, and what’s their story? Get ready to dig into their past as a war bunker and see how this is now one of the best spots for a panoramic view of the city.

Planning a trip to Barcelona last minute?


If you’re booking your trip to Barcelona last minute, I’ve got you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

⭐ Most popular sights in Barcelona

  1. Sagrada Familia – tickets often sell out weeks in advance so get your entry ticket here (or entry tickets AND a guided tour here)
  2. Park Güell – grab your skip-the-line entry
  3. Casa Batlló – click here for tickets and audio guide

🌍 Top tours in Barcelona

  1. Montserrat Tour, Monastery and Winery (great day trip!)
  2. Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes (incredible night out)
  3. Tapas Walking Tour with Food, Wine, and History (all the highlights at once)

🛏️ Top hotels in Barcelona

  1. Ohla Barcelona (5-star luxury with an amazing rooftop pool)
  2. Seventy Barcelona (boutique hotel with beautiful décor)
  3. Àmfores Boutique Guest House (great budget option with superb location)

🚌 Want free public transport while you’re in Barcelona? Check out the Hola Barcelona travel card!

Why visit the bunkers of Barcelona?

If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, make sure to add the Bunkers Del Carmel to your itinerary. This hidden gem (at least for many tourists) offers some of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the city, making it a must-visit spot for visitors and locals alike.

The Bunkers Del Carmel were used as a strategic defense point during the Spanish Civil War and offer 360-degree views of the city. From here, you can see all of Barcelona’s major landmarks and monuments, including the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and the Mediterranean Sea.

panoramic viewpoint from Barcelona's Bunkers del Carmel

Visiting the Bunkers is a unique experience that allows you to see the city from a different perspective. It’s a great spot to take photos, have a picnic, or just relax and enjoy the view – not to mention that it has my pick for the best sunset views in Barcelona

Plus, it’s free! Unlike other tourist attractions in Barcelona, the Bunkers offer a budget-friendly option for travelers who want to enjoy the city’s beauty without breaking the bank.

Basically, if you want to experience Barcelona in a unique way, make sure to visit the Bunkers Del Carmel. The panoramic views of the city are truly breathtaking, and the experience is one that you won’t forget. 

What are the bunkers in Barcelona?

These bunkers are former anti-aircraft fortifications that were used during the Spanish Civil War to protect the city from aerial attacks. Located on the Turó de la Rovira hill in the district of El Carmel, the Bunkers del Carmel are now known for their stunning panoramic views of the city. 

From here, you can see the entire city, from the Mediterranean Sea to the mountains in the distance. It’s a truly breathtaking sight that you won’t want to miss.

The Bunkers del Carmel were also used as a shanty town after the war, and many people lived here until the 1990s. Today, the bunkers have been transformed into a museum that tells the story of the Spanish Civil War and the role that the bunkers played in protecting the city from bombings. 

It’s a fascinating look into the history of Barcelona and a must-visit for anyone interested in history or military architecture.

View of Barcelona city and coastline in spring from the Bunkers in Carmel in the night. one of the best views in Barcelona bunkers.

History of Barcelona’s bunkers

Barcelona’s bunkers have a rich history that dates back to the Spanish Civil War. During this time, the city was heavily bombed by the Italian fascists commanded by Mussolini. The Bunkers del Carmel were used as an anti-aircraft base to shoot down those attacking planes.

Clearly, if you’re looking for a glimpse of Barcelona’s past, the Bunkers del Carmel is a must-visit destination. 

Nevertheless, after the war, the bunkers were abandoned and became a shanty town for the city’s poorest citizens. The area was known as Los Cañones, and people lived in makeshift homes made from scrap materials. 

Blonde woman in El Carmel bunkers viewpoint in Barcelona bunkers.

Poverty was rampant, and the conditions were dire. It wasn’t until the 1992 Olympic Games that the bunkers were finally restored and opened to the public.

Today, the Bunkers del Carmel is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Barcelona. The bunkers sit atop the Turó de la Rovira hill in the district of El Carmel, offering stunning panoramic views of the city. 

The strategic 360-degree perspective it provides has been used for hundreds of years, making it a coveted location.

Where are the bunkers in Barcelona?

The Bunkers del Carmel are situated on the Turó de la Rovira hill, which is part of the Tres Turons (Three Hills) in the Carmel neighborhood, in the northern part of the city. The neighborhood is known for its hilly terrain, and the Turó de la Rovira hill is one of the highest points in the area. 

This means that, to get to the Bunkers del Carmel, you’ll need to climb up the Turó de la Rovira hill. It’s a bit of a trek, but it’s genuinely worth it for the stunning panoramic view of the city. 

That said, if you’re not up for the hike, you can take a taxi or bus to the top of the hill. Once you reach the top, you’ll see the Bunkers del Carmel, which are now open to the public.

The neighborhood is also home to several other interesting landmarks, including the most famous park in Barcelona, the Gaudí-designed Park Güell, and the Hospital de Sant Pau, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

View of Barcelona city and coastline in spring from the Bunkers in Carmel in the night. One of the best time and view in Barcelona bunkers.

How to get to the Bunkers Del Carmel

If you’re looking for a great view of Barcelona, the Bunkers Del Carmel is the place to go. Here’s how you can get there:

How to get to the bunkers of Barcelona by metro

The nearest metro station to the Bunkers Del Carmel is Alfons X on the yellow line (L4). From the station, take the Ronda del Guinardo exit and follow the signs towards the Bunkers Del Carmel. The walk takes about 30 minutes, and it’s a bit of an uphill climb. 

Even so, the scenic walk is worth it – and it all adds to the journey!

How to get to the bunkers of Barcelona by bus

You can take the V19 bus, which stops at Pl Mitja Lluna, the last stop. From there, it’s an 8-minute walk to the Bunkers Del Carmel. Alternatively, you can take the 22 bus, which also stops near the Bunkers Del Carmel.

How to get to the bunkers of Barcelona by taxi

If you’re short on time, you can take a taxi to the Bunkers Del Carmel. However, keep in mind that the road up to the bunkers is narrow and winding, so it may take longer than you expect. It’s also not the cheapest option for getting there.

How to get to the bunkers of Barcelona by walking

If you’re up for a bit of a hike, you can walk to the Bunkers Del Carmel. There are various routes you can take, but they all involve an uphill climb. Be prepared for a pretty steep climb of up to around half an hour. But once you get to the top, the view is breathtaking.

No matter how you choose to get there, the Bunkers Del Carmel is definitely worth the trip. So pack your camera, put on your walking shoes, and head up to the top of the hill for one of the best views of Barcelona.

What’s the best time to go to the Bunkers del Carmel?

If you want to experience the best views of Barcelona from the Bunkers del Carmel, then you must visit during sunset. The sunset view from the Bunkers is incredible and it’s the perfect time to capture some amazing photos.

During the day, the Bunkers can get quite crowded, so it’s best to avoid peak hours. However, if you do decide to visit during the day, make sure you bring sunscreen and a hat as there is not much shade up there.

If you’re planning to visit during the summer months, keep in mind that it can get quite hot, so it’s best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon. On the other hand, during the winter months, the Bunkers can get quite chilly, so make sure you bring a jacket.

Girls talking and looking at Barcelona cityscape from a viewpoint in Bunkers del Carmel. one of the best views in Barcelona bunkers.

Overall, the best time to visit the Bunkers del Carmel is during sunset. The view is simply breathtaking and it’s the perfect time to capture some amazing photos. Just make sure you bring a jacket if you’re visiting during the winter months and sunscreen if you’re visiting during the day.

Keep in mind as well that the Barcelona City Council has recently announced that it’s closing nighttime access to the bunkers. It will continue to open during the day, from 9am to 7.30pm in the summer and from 9am to 5.30pm in the winter. 

However, the restricted hours are aimed at stopping large nighttime crowds, particularly of young people, who were drinking a lot and damaging the bunkers.

What to do at Barcelona’s bunkers?

If you’re looking for breathtaking views of Barcelona, then the Bunkers del Carmel is the place to be. The panoramic views of the city are simply stunning, and the 360-degree views will leave you in awe. It’s the perfect spot to capture some amazing photos of the city.

Apart from the views, the bunkers themselves are a sight to behold. The graffiti on the walls adds to the charm of the place, and you can spend hours admiring the artwork. 

It’s a great spot for street photography, and you’ll find plenty of inspiration here.

The best way to reach the bunkers is by taking a scenic walk. The uphill climb may be a bit challenging, but it’s well worth it. 

You’ll get to see some beautiful sights along the way, and the fresh air will invigorate you. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of Barcelona.

What is at the bunkers of Barcelona?

The panoramic views of Barcelona from the top of the Turó de la Rovira hill are simply stunning. You’ll be able to enjoy 360-degree views of the city that will leave you in awe. That said, there  are no facilities at the site, so it’s best to bring your own food and drink. 

The Bunkers Del Carmel used to be anti-aircraft fortifications during the Spanish Civil War. Nowadays, they offer visitors a unique insight into the history of the city. You can even have a picnic while enjoying the view!

While there’s no museum or visitor center at the site, you’ll be able to learn about the history of the Bunkers Del Carmel through informational plaques located around the area. You’ll also be able to see the famous Park Guell and the works of Gaudi from afar. 

Where to stay in Barcelona near the Bunkers del Carmel

One of the best neighborhoods to stay close to the Bunkers del Carmel is in Gracia. This trendy area is full of independent bars, restaurants, and designer boutiques, and it’s just a short distance from the bunkers of Barcelona. 

Here, you’ll find plenty of charming guesthouses and boutique hotels that offer a more authentic experience than some of the larger chain hotels.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best hotel overall in Gràcia: Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel – The Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel combines comfort with a touch of luxury, making it my top pick in Gràcia. Its stylish design and commitment to sustainability (not to mention incredible rooftop terrace and pool overlooking the Sagrada Familia) make it a modern oasis in this charming neighborhood.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best luxury hotel in Gràcia: Hotel Casa Fuster G.L Monumento – Hotel Casa Fuster isn’t just a hotel – it’s a landmark. With its breathtaking architecture and top-tier amenities, it offers an unparalleled luxury experience in the heart of Gràcia.

⭐⭐⭐ Best budget hotel in Gràcia: Boutique Apartments 23 Barcelona – For those who want to explore Barcelona without overspending, Boutique Apartments 23 is the perfect fit. These apartments offer comfort, style, and a fantastic location, all at a budget-friendly price.

Another great option is the Alfons X neighborhood, which is just a few minutes’ walk from Park Guell. This area is a little quieter than some of the more touristy parts of the city, but it still has plenty of amenities and is well-connected to the rest of Barcelona via public transport.

If you’re looking for something a little more modern, the Poblenou neighborhood might be a good choice. This up-and-coming area is known for its sleek new developments and trendy restaurants and bars, and it’s not far from the Bunkers Del Carmel. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best hotel overall in Poblenou: Lugaris Beach Apartments – Lugaris Beach Apartments offer a refreshing blend of comfort and modernity, perfect for those seeking a home away from home by the sea. With its close proximity to the beach and contemporary facilities, it’s a top choice for a relaxed and independent stay.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best luxury hotel in Poblenou: The Level at Melia Barcelona Sky – Elevate your stay at The Level at Melia Barcelona Sky, a symbol of luxury and sophistication in Poblenou. Its exclusive services and breathtaking city views offer a premium experience in one of Barcelona’s most modern neighborhoods.

⭐⭐⭐ Best budget hotel in Poblenou: Acta Voraport – Acta Voraport provides a fantastic budget-friendly option without compromising quality or location. Its modern, clean design and excellent amenities make it a great value for those looking to explore Barcelona on a budget.

Some of the hotels here offer stunning views of the city skyline, so it’s worth considering if you’re looking for something a little more luxurious.

No matter where you choose to stay, be sure to book your accommodation well in advance, especially if you’re visiting during peak season. With so much to see and do in Barcelona, you’ll want to make sure you have a comfortable and convenient base from which to explore the city.

Is Bunkers del Carmel worth visiting?

If you’re looking for the best views in Barcelona, then Bunkers Del Carmel is definitely worth a visit. This former anti-aircraft fortification offers panoramic views of Barcelona that are simply stunning. You’ll be able to take in 360-degree views of the city, which is something that you won’t be able to do from anywhere else here.

The views from Bunkers Del Carmel are simply breathtaking. You’ll be able to see all of Barcelona’s famous landmarks, including the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell

Blonde woman in El Carmel bunkers viewpoint in Barcelona bunkers.

The best time to visit is around sunset, as the sky turns shades of orange and pink, and the city lights start to twinkle. It’s truly a magical experience that you won’t forget.

Bunkers Del Carmel is a bit of a hidden gem, and not many tourists know about it – although the locals certainly do. This means that it’s not as crowded as some of the other viewpoints in Barcelona, which is a huge plus. 

You’ll be able to take your time and enjoy the views without feeling like you’re being rushed or pushed around. It’s a peaceful and serene place that’s perfect for taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Are the Bunkers del Carmel free?

Yes, the good news is that the Bunkers are completely free to visit. You don’t have to pay any entrance fee to enjoy the stunning views of the city. In particular, the Bunkers del Carmel are a great spot to watch the sunset. 

The panoramic views of Barcelona from the top of the hill are breathtaking. You can see all the famous landmarks of the city, including the Sagrada Familia, the Gothic Quarter, and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a perfect spot to take some Instagram-worthy photos.

How long does it take to walk up the bunkers in Barcelona?

The walk up to the Bunkers is quite steep, so it can be quite challenging for some people. If you’re reasonably fit, it should take you around 20-30 minutes to get to the top. However, if you’re not used to walking up hills, it might take you a bit longer.

The good news is that the walk up to the Bunkers is very scenic, so you can take your time and enjoy the views along the way. There are also plenty of places to stop and rest if you need to catch your breath.

What are the Bunkers del Carmel’s opening hours?

The Bunkers del Carmel are open from 9am to 7.30pm in the summer and from 9am to 5.30pm in the winter. These times are a recent development by Barcelona City Council to limit some of the damage taking place from parties there at night and will be reassessed in the coming months.

For this reason, it’s worth double checking the opening hours for when you plan to come, just in case they announce revised times before I’m able to update this page.

It’s important to note that the bunkers can get busy during peak times, so it’s best to arrive early to avoid the crowds. If you’re planning to visit during the summer months, it’s also a good idea to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the sun can be intense.

Overall, the Bunkers del Carmel is a must-visit destination in Barcelona, and the opening hours make it easy to plan a trip at a time that suits you. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a unique viewpoint of the city, the bunkers are sure to impress.

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