Which Cable Car is Better in Barcelona? (Montjuïc vs Port)

The Montjuic cable car in Barcelona as the better one to take
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In Barcelona, riding a cable car isn’t just about getting from point A to point B – it’s an adventure with some awesome views. You’ve got two main choices: the Montjuïc Cable Car, which takes you over lush greenery and gives you a peek at the sea, and the Port Vell Aerial Tramway, where you get a cool view of the city’s harbor.

I’ve been living in Spain for some time now and have taken both these rides in Barcelona, so I can definitely confirm that they each offer something special.

So, which cable car ride in Barcelona is the one you shouldn’t miss? Let me take you for a closer look at both the Montjuïc Cable Car and the Port Vell Aerial Tramway (and a few others!), to see which one gives you the best experience for a memorable day out in Barcelona.

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!

Barcelona’s cable cars

Montjuïc Cable Car (Telefèric de Montjuïc)

The Montjuïc Cable Car, or Telefèric de Montjuïc offers an amazing aerial ride in Barcelona. It’s also often the one many visitors to Barcelona choose to do based both on its views of major sights in the city and given what’s at the end of the trip.

That is, it starts its journey from the Montjuïc Park, a green oasis in the city, and takes you all the way up to the Montjuïc Castle, which itself is a must-visit for history buffs and offers some of the best views of the city.

The Montjuic cable car in Barcelona as the better one to take

The journey is about 750 meters (0.47 miles) long and climbs almost 85 meters (277 feet) high. This means that it offers some seriously good views of the city (as you can see from that photo just there – just check out the Sagrada Familia!), especially as you get higher up.

One of the best parts of this ride is the perspective it offers. As you ascend, you’ll see the sprawling city beneath you, with famous landmarks becoming tiny specks.

The entire trip takes around eight minutes, but these minutes are packed with awe-inspiring sights. It’s perfect for snapping some Instagram-worthy shots or just soaking in the beauty of Barcelona.

Why hop on this cable car? Well, apart from the obvious reason of getting to Montjuïc Castle, it’s a relaxing way to see the city from above and escape the hustle and bustle for a bit.

In terms of cost:

  • For adults (13 years and up), a one-way journey is €10 and a return ticket will set you back €15.
  • For kids aged 4 to 12 years old, a single ticket is €8 while buying a return ticket costs €11.
  • Kids under 4 years old ride free!

This makes it a bit more budget-friendly compared to the Port Cable Car and totally worth it for the unique experience. And if you buy your ticket for this cable car in advance, you get to skip the line!

The Montjuïc Cable Car has its own bit of history too. It was initially built in 1969 and has since become a popular way for locals and tourists alike to reach the top of Montjuïc Hill. It underwent a major renovation in 2007, making it a modern and safe way to enjoy the views.

Cable cars in Barcelona

Here’s a quick look at its operation times:

  • January to February: 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • March to May: 10:00am – 7:00pm
  • June to September: 10:00am – 9:00pm
  • October: 10:0am – 7:00pm
  • From November to December: 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • December 25th, January 1st and January 6th: 10:00am to 2:30pm

So there you have it! The Montjuïc Cable Car is your ticket to some of the best views in Barcelona and a peaceful journey away from the city streets.

Do you need to book the Montjuïc Cable Car?

No, you don’t usually need to book the Montjuïc Cable Car in advance but you can do so to skip the line. Otherwise, you can buy tickets on the spot at the cable car station. This makes it super convenient if you’re exploring and decide spontaneously to take a ride.

During peak tourist seasons or on particularly sunny days, there might be longer lines, so a little bit of patience is needed. For that reason, I do generally prefer to buy tickets online in advance – after all, I’m on vacation to see things, not wait around!

If that sounds like you, you can grab your tickets to the Montjuïc Cable Car here. But if you’re fine with a turn-up-and-go kind of deal, then that’s also usually ok in the end.

Port Cable Car (Transbordador Aeri del Port)

The Port Cable Car, also known as the Transbordador Aeri del Portcar isn’t just a mode of transport – it’s a piece of history. Designed for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, it wasn’t inaugurated until 1931, making it a historic symbol of the city.

Cable cars in Barcelona.

The ride covers a distance of 0.8 miles (1.3 km) and reaches an altitude of 57 meters, offering some of the best views of Barcelona.

Starting at the San Sebastià Tower in Barceloneta Beach and ending at Miramar on Montjuïc Hill, this 10-minute journey is a feast for the eyes. You’ll see the beautiful coastline, the bustling port, and, if it’s a clear day, the stunning city skyline with Montjuïc in the backdrop.

It’s a great way to get from the beach to Montjuïc, where you can explore the lush gardens, fascinating museums, and the famous Montjuïc Castle, which is about a 30 minute walk (1.8 km or 1.12 miles) from the Miramar cable car station.

As for how much it costs, a one-way journey is €12.50 and a return ticket will set you back €20. This means that while it’s not the cheapest attraction in town (and is more expensive than the Montjuïc cable car), the unique views and the experience are well worth the price.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the operating times:

  • 1 January – 28 February: 11:00am – 5:30pm
  • 1 March – 31 May: 10:30am – 7:00pm
  • 1 June – 11 September: 10:30am – 8:00pm
  • 12 September – 30 October: 10:30am – 7:00pm
  • 31 October – 31 December: 11:00am – 5:30pm (closed on Christmas Day)

So, if you’re in Barcelona and want a unique perspective of the city, definitely give the Port Cable Car a go. It’s a memorable way to see Barcelona from above and something you’ll remember long after your trip!

Funicular de Montjuïc

Now, let’s talk about the Funicular de Montjuïc. Okay, so it’s technically not a cable car, but it’s still a fun way to get up a hill and see Barcelona from a different angle.

The funicular is more of a steep train ride that takes you up Montjuïc Hill. It starts at the Paral·lel metro station, which is super easy to get to, and in just a couple of minutes, you’re halfway up the hill.

The ride itself is pretty short – think of it as a quick elevator to the good stuff on Montjuïc, like the Spanish Village and the Joan Miró Foundation. It’s especially handy if you’re not in the mood for a steep uphill walk.

Funicular de Montjuïc. One of the best cable cars in Barcelona.

Plus, it connects with the Montjuïc Cable Car, making it a convenient two-part journey to reach the castle at the top.

Why take the funicular? Well, it’s a quick, efficient, and fun way to start your Montjuïc adventure.

And the price? It’s included in your regular public transport ticket – so no extra charges if you’ve got a metro pass. It’s a great deal and a smart choice if you’re exploring this part of the city.

Is the Montjuïc funicular free?

The Montjuïc Funicular isn’t exactly free, but it’s included in the price of a standard Barcelona public transport ticket. So, if you have a metro pass, you can use the funicular at no extra cost. This makes it a really budget-friendly option for getting up Montjuïc Hill.

It’s a great deal, especially considering that it connects you to the Montjuïc Cable Car, which you can catch at a discounted rate if you’ve used the funicular. It’s part of the city’s effort to make sightseeing more accessible and convenient.

Just remember, while the funicular is included in your metro pass, the cable car requires a separate ticket.

Mount Tibidabo Funicular

The Mount Tibidabo Funicular is another unique ride you’ve got to try. Again, it’s a funicular, not a cable car, but it offers some of the most spectacular views of Barcelona.

This one takes you up to Barcelona’s Mount Tibidabo, the tallest mountain in the Serra de Collserola. The journey starts at the Plaça del Doctor Andreu, easily reachable by public transport.

The ride up Tibidabo is a bit of a step back in time. The funicular has been around since 1901, making it a historic piece of Barcelona’s transport system.

Mount Tibidabo Funicular. One of the best cable cars in Barcelona.
Source : Paula Funnell (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

As you ascend, the views of the city get more and more impressive, and by the time you reach the top, you’re greeted with a panorama of Barcelona that’s hard to beat.

And at the top, well, besides the breathtaking views, there’s the Tibidabo Amusement Park and the stunning Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It’s a great spot for families or just for anyone who loves a mix of fun and scenery.

The cost of the funicular is separate from the regular public transport system – it’s around €7.70 for a round trip. But considering the unique experience and the views, it’s definitely worth it.

Whether you’re riding the Funicular de Montjuïc or the Mount Tibidabo Funicular, you’re in for a treat. These funiculars offer a different perspective of Barcelona, and they’re a fun, easy way to explore the city’s hills.

Which cable car is better in Barcelona?

Choosing the better cable car in Barcelona really comes down to what you’re looking for. If you’re after historical charm and seaside views, the Port Cable Car is your pick. But if you prefer a more serene, nature-focused journey leading to a historic castle, then the Montjuïc Cable Car is for you.

Both have their unique charms. The Port Cable Car, being older and offering a traditional experience, lets you see Barcelona’s coastline in all its glory.

On the other hand, the Montjuïc Cable Car, which is part of a larger recreational area, provides a more relaxed ride with lush greenery and ends at the Montjuïc Castle, a perfect spot for history lovers.

Ultimately, it’s really about whether you prefer a beachside vibe or a hilltop escape.

Does the Hola Barcelona Card include the cable car?

No, the Hola Barcelona card doesn’t include the cable cars. It covers unlimited travel on the metro, buses, and other public transport, but for the cable cars, you’ll need to buy separate tickets. However, the Hola Barcelona card does include the Montjuïc funicular.

It’s a bit of a bummer that the cable cars in Barcelona aren’t included in the card, but trust me, the experience of doing one of them is worth the extra cost.

(And if you want to secure your Hola Barcelona card to take advantage of all that free public transport while you’re here – including the Montjuïc funicular – you can grab your Hola Barcelona card here.)

Female inspecting ticket of the passenger of cable car in Barcelona.

At the very least, taking the Montjuïc funicular is a great way to start your journey up to Montjuïc Hill. From there, you can catch the Montjuïc Cable Car for a discounted rate.

So while it’s not fully covered, the card still offers some perks for your aerial adventures!

Are there two cable cars in Barcelona?

Yes, there are two different cable car rides in Barcelona. You’ve got the Port Cable Car (Transbordador Aeri del Port) and the Montjuïc Cable Car (Telefèric de Montjuïc). Each offers a unique experience and views of the city.

The Port Cable Car gives you an amazing aerial view of the Barcelona coastline and port, while the Montjuïc Cable Car takes you up Montjuïc Hill with beautiful views of the city and ends at Montjuïc Castle.

Both are fantastic ways to see Barcelona from above and are worth trying. Just remember, they’re different experiences – the Port Cable Car is more about the harbor and beach (and is slightly more expensive), while the Montjuïc one is all about the hill, the park, and the castle.

How do you use the cable car in Barcelona?

Using the cable car in Barcelona is pretty straightforward. First, you choose which one you want to ride – the Port Cable Car or the Montjuïc Cable Car. Either buy your ticket online in advance or at the starting point of your chosen cable car and hop on.

It’s really as simple as that! For the Port Cable Car, you’ll start at either the San Sebastià Tower near Barceloneta Beach or the Miramar station on Montjuïc Hill.

Woman taking a ride in cable cars in Barcelona.

For the Montjuïc Cable Car, the journey begins at the Montjuïc Park station. Either way, the cars come regularly, so you won’t have to wait long.

Just make sure to have your camera ready for those amazing views!

How long is the Barcelona cable car trip?

The duration of the Barcelona cable car trips depends on which one you take. The Port Cable Car ride is about 10 minutes long, offering ample time to enjoy the seaside views. The Montjuïc Cable Car trip is slightly shorter, around 8 minutes, but it’s packed with beautiful sights of the city and nature.

These durations are perfect for getting a quick, yet comprehensive, aerial view of Barcelona’s stunning landscape. They’re long enough to take in the sights and snap some great photos, but short enough to keep the journey exciting.

Plus, both cable cars move at a leisurely pace, so you can really soak in the views without feeling rushed.

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