Barcelona's Bunkers del Carmel Offer the Best View of the City

View from the Bunkers del Carmel | © Zach Marzouk / Flickr
Photo of Tara Jessop
15 June 2017

Until recently the Bunkers del Carmel were a well-kept secret which only a handful of the most adventurous of the city’s residents visited. An abandoned military outpost on the outskirts of the city, today it’s one of the coolest hangouts in Barcelona and offers one of the most breathtaking views of the Catalan capital. Despite being one of the most popular cities for travellers in Europe, Barcelona still has a few hidden-gem locations which even some of the locals don’t know about. Located far away from the tourist crowds in the city centre, the Bunkers del Carmel have for years been something of a well-guarded secret enjoyed only by the most curious of local explorers.

The origins of this curious hangout, located in the El Carmel neighbourhood of Barcelona, can be traced back to the Spanish Civil War when anti-aircraft fortifications were built on the hills on the outer edges of Barcelona. After the war, the weapons which sat upon the bunkers were dismounted and the area was abandoned.

However, during the eighties and nineties the area’s popularity grew as the younger generations discovered it, and enjoyed its remoteness which meant it was far away from the gaze of society – and their parents. Since then, the Bunkers del Carmel has become famous for offering one of the best panoramic views of the city, an impressive 360º view across Barcelona and its surroundings.

In recent years, the local government has banked on the site’s popularity and incorporated it into the Barcelona City Museum of History (MUHBA). Visitors to the Bunkers del Carmel are now greeted with information about the site’s history as well as information about the local flora and fauna. Despite this recent change, the area still retains an ‘off-the-beaten-track’ feel which offers a glimpse at a less touristic, more rugged side to Barcelona.

Part the Bunkers’ charm comes from the fact that the only way to get there is to walk from either the metro station or the bus stop, the latter being much closer. While this means the area isn’t accessible to everyone, it also means that only the most committed explorers will make it to the top.