Barcelona cable car

If I had to choose between the tourist attractions of Barcelona, I'd go for the Port Vell Aerial Tramway, a cable-car ride between Montjuic and the old Harbour (locally called the Transbordador Aeri del Port), which rewards one with magnificent views of the city.

The trip

If you start on the Montjuic side, the cable car takes you over an intermediate stop at Torre Jaume I, which was unfortunately closed whilst we were there, before stopping at the top of Torre San Sebastian (a 78m tall tower in Barceloneta).


At the top of Montjuic (translates into Mount Jewish) get your camera out and snap away - you wont easily get better views. Here's one of Barcelona's iconic 3 smokestacks, situated on the corner of Avinguda del Parallel and Carrer de Cabanes. The tower to the right of the smokestacks is the Edificio Colón, the first major skyscraper in the city (110m tall).

Smokestacks in Barcelona

You may want to sit on the terrace of Cafeteria Miramar, and eat expensive food (paying for position rather than quality) whilst taking in the view.

Cafeteria Miramar

Other things you may want to do whilst on Montjuic are visit the Olympic swimming pool if it's summer, Montjuic Castle and the botanical gardens.

Cable car

There are 2 little cable cars which ply their way back and forth. They do not rotate, and are filled up so that you cant easily move, so it's important to get a good position - there were 2 open windows. Here's one of the cable cars leaving Miramar Station, at a height of 57m. The cars are the original ones, although they've been refurbished.

cable car in Barcelona

As we ascended towards Torre Jaume I, we pass over Ronda del Litoral (the road) and the passenger terminal for Acciona Transmediterranea, where you can grab a ride to Ibiza, Mahon or Palma da Mallorca. To the right of the base of Torre San Sebastian we can see the World Trade Centre and the Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel.

Torre San Sebastian

Port Vell was refurbished for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, and is now a focal point of the city. Stretching horizontally over this photo is the Rambla de Mar, a walkway running from Portal de la Pau to the Moll dÉspanya (Spain Dock).

Port Vell in Barcelona

Behind that red building we see the Clock Tower of Torre del Rellotge, also known as Campanar de Gracia. The tall building on the right is the Sea Point Hostel. The bluish building in the top middle is the Torre Mare Nostrum, and to the right of it are the Hotel Arts and Edificio Mapfre.

Torre del Rellotge in Barcelona

At 107m, Torre Jaume I is the 2nd tallest aerial tramway support tower in the world - it was the tallest until 1966, when the Glacial Aerial Tramway Kaprun III in Austria was opened. During the Spanish Civil War the tower was used as a machine gun and look-out post. Jaume I is Catalan for James I of Aragon (1208-1276).

Torre Jaume I in Barcelona

Here's a closeup of the World Trade Center. The segment at the bottom of the picture is the Eurostars Grand Marina hotel (if you look closely, you can see people sunbathing on its roof on the right - not a good spot for any hanky panky, with the cable car coming over every few minutes). Barcelona's World Trade Center was opened in 1999, and consists of 4 buildings with a central plaza including shops and restaurants. The buildings are mostly office space and a conference center. We stayed at the Eurostars Grand Marina, as it is so close to where the ships cruise from (we were on a Royal Caribbean International cruise).

World Trade Center in Barcelona

At the end of the trip we arrived at the 78m tall Torre San Sebastian lattice tower. Amazing to think it was opened all the way back in 1931.

Torre San Sebastian Tower

It's worth going to the top of Torre San Sebastian just to see the views. Here you can see the Atlètic-Barceloneta Swimming Club, and in the background is Sant Sebastià beach. The pools are owned by the municipality, and were first opened over a 100 years ago. I didn't go there, but I understand one of the pools is heated. The beaches are fun - tattoos seemed to be popular, and it's interesting to check out the ink on the pretty bods.

Atletic-Barceloneta Swimming Club pools

W Barcelona hotel, with Sant Sebastià beach leading up to it, is the perfect hotel to stay in if your main priority is to do some sun worshipping.

W Barcelona Hotel

Barcelona Airport dancing

Dancers outside the Duty Free shop at Barcelona Airport, dance to Gitana Hechicera by Peret


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