At an altitude of 257 metres in the Horta-Guinardó district, the Turó de la Rovira (aka Bunkers del Carmel) offers spectacular bird’s eye views of Barcelona. Unlike many of the city’s other viewpoints, from here, you get a full 360º panoramic view. You can also see along the coast as far as Mataró to the north and Castelldefels to the south.
During the Spanish Civil War, anti-aircraft guns were installed here to defend Barcelona from Franco’s air force. After the war, a neighbourhood of improvised housing called the Barri dels Canons grew up around the disused gun emplacements. The area was home to around 600 people, most of who had moved to Barcelona from other parts of Spain. The houses were demolished in the 1990s, but you can still see the remains of their tiled floors.
When I originally wrote this post, back in 2013, the Turó de la Rovira was a little-known spot mostly frequented by people who lived in the neighbourhood. Having said that, at the weekends, the bunkers were already a popular venue for impromptu parties or botellons organised by local teenagers who used to come here to watch the sun go down and drink with friends.
In 2012 the bunkers were featured in the Spanish movie Tengo Ganas de Tí and soon became Barcelona’s best-known secret spot, popular with Barcelona locals, Erasmus students and the occasional in-the-know tourist.
Then, slowly but surely, the classic bunkers photo of someone sitting precariously on the edge of the gun emplacements, their legs dangling into oblivion, started appearing ever more frequently on Instagram, and by 2022, the bunkers had become the place to watch the sunset in Barcelona.
The end result of the increased popularity is that, from May 2023, the bunkers are now closed at night, and you can no longer go there to watch the sunset.
Although the bunkers are no longer the off-the-beaten-path, secret spot, which they used to be, it’s still worth making the effort to get here for what are still amongst the best panoramic views of Barcelona. If you’re looking for the exact location to take the perfect bunkers photo, check out this post.
The Turó de La Rovira is located in the Parc del Guinardó on C/ Marià Labèrnia
How to get there:
The best way to get to the Turó de la Rovira by public transport is to catch a bus. Four routes drop you near the park: The V17, which runs from the Port Vell; the number 22 and 24 from Plaça de Catalunya and the number 92 from near the Torre Agbar. From the bus stops, it takes between 5 and 10 minutes to walk to the viewpoint.
If you prefer to take the metro, the nearest metro stop is Alfons X. From here, it’s about a twenty-five-minute walk up a fairly steep hill. Fortunately, it’s easy to find since you just follow Carrer dels Castillejos until you get to the park and then follow one of the paths up to the gun emplacements.
If you don’t like walking, it will take about 15 minutes by taxi from the centre of Barcelona.
I estimate it would take about forty-five minutes to walk to the bunkers from the Sagrada Família or ninety minutes from the city centre. If you have more time, you could follow the Three Hills Walk, an easy hike that also takes you to El Turó del Carmel and El Turó de la Crueta del Coll.
Whichever method you use to get there, I suggest you make sure you have cached the Google map of Barcelona on your smartphone before you set off, just in case!
|Summer||09:00 – 19:30|
|Winter||09:00 – 17:30|