While a good majority of the human population knows what the Magic Kingdom is, not many know about a stunning location in Barcelona, Spain known to the locals as "Magic Mountain." Its factual name: Mount Tibidabo, and it is the mother of all mountains within the Serra de Collserola mountain range, between the ancient capital of Spain and Catalonia region. Standing at approximately 1,680 feet tall (512 meters as reported by Civitatis,) the mountain of Tibidabo peaks high above its siblings, forming the picturesque and iconic backdrop to the city of Barcelona.
And, while most mountains are known for their tranquil, natural landscape and hiking expeditions, this mountain is unique in terms of scenery, and cultural and leisure activities atop its summit. Home to some of the most incredible pieces of architecture, astronomical wonders, and the oldest theme park in the country — according to España — it's also the best place to watch the stunning Barcelona sunset while taking in breathtaking views of this magical city and the Mediterranean Sea.
Let's start from the peak of Barcelona's highest mountain, and work our way down featuring all the wonderful sites and adventures Tibidabo has to offer to residents and visitors alike. At the summit of Barcelona's magic mountain sits the stunning architectural vision of Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor (Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). Construction of this ornate Catholic church atop Mount Tibidabo began more than 120 years ago: Its steeple adorned with a large, bronze statue of Christ, similar to Brazil's Christ the Redeemer. Within its temple: Mosaics, frescoes, crypts, and a breathtaking basilica. From its exterior surroundings, the whole of Barcelona can be seen, and beyond.
Two interesting, historical monuments are positioned close to Barcelona's mountain church as you inch down its summit: The Torre de las Aguas de Dos Ríos (The Tower of the Waters of Two Rivers) which was built in the early 1900s to pump water to the nearby amusement park; and the equally old, astronomical wonder — the Observatorio Fabra (Fabra Observatory) — where visitors can participate in observing the constellations, comets, performances, concerts, and enjoy fine dinners under Barcelona's starry night sky.
While enjoying Tibidabo's scenic landscape, you may notice a more industrialized, peculiar-looking tower that seemingly looks out of place among the territory. Known as the Torre de Collserola, the telecommunication tower was fashioned back in 1992 to accommodate the mass attendance and technological necessities of the Summer Olympics, which Barcelona hosted. The Tower of Collserola observation deck is open to visitors, however, it's recommended, in order to get the best panoramic view of Barcelona, that visitors make their way to the mountain's peak or the Talaia lookout tower.
Visiting theme parks is always a fun and adventurous feat. Combine that with one being atop Barcelona's highest mountain peak, and you can feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins before you hop on any rides. The Tibidabo Amusement Park has been branded as the oldest theme park in Spain. Its construction along the slopes of the mountain began in 1899 and by 1901 the gates to this adventure-filled, larger-than-life, playground filled with an array of rides and activities for children and adults, opened to the public. Getting to all these fascinating locations atop this magic mountain is quite easy thanks to several modes of transportation available, like Barcelona's new Tibidabo Funicular Railway known as the Cuca de Llum (The Firefly) and by bus depending on where you start your adventurous journey within the country of Spain.