Theme parks are a fun and exhilarating addition to any holiday, especially when travelling with children. Thankfully, Barcelona has an impressive offering! Perched atop Barcelona’s highest point, the Tibidabo Amusement Park has an awesome combination of classic and new rides, with great options for kids young and old alike – and of course for the young of heart.
The park has options to suit every budget, from the purchase of single tickets for individual rides to wristbands that allow for unlimited access to the park for a day. It’s also a fantastic spot to watch the sunset and you can spend some time relaxing in the “mirador”, or lookout point, admiring what is undoubtedly the best view of the city.
Access to the top of the Tibidabo Mountain was completed in 1901. Should you not feel like walking, you can still use the “funicular” to get up to the amusement park – don’t worry, it has been renovated since the 1900s! This became the star attraction in the early years of the park as it was such a modern mode of transport for the time. In the first decade of the park’s existence, small attractions such as swings, bowling alleys and mirror halls were added, providing great amusement to visitors.
It wasn’t long before rides were installed, with an Electric Merry-go Round added in 1910 and the Aerial Railway in 1915. In 1921 and 1928 respectively, the Look-Out Tower, known as Talaia, and the “Avió” Aeroplane ride were built in the park, two signature rides that still stand today (again, don’t worry, they have been renovated in that time!).
Business understandably slowed during the Civil War (1936-1939) and the Second World War (1939-1945), but the 1950s and 60s saw massive development, and the 1980s was when the park was truly modernised to suit the needs of a modern public. Throughout the 1990s the park developed even more attractions, such as themed nights, themed shows and live entertainment for all the family to enjoy.
Unfortunately, due to financial issues the park went into bankruptcy in 1999, however after receiving a cash injection, the park was reborn. Five new rides were debuted, including Catalonia’s first free-fall rollercoaster, and the park has gone from strength to strength since then. It is officially Spain’s oldest theme park that is still in operation, and the third oldest in Europe.
One of the wonderful things about the Tibidabo Amusement Park is how the modern and traditional rides are side-by-side. You can feel the history of how this park developed. It would have been easy to knock down the old rides and replace them with modern ones, but the rides themselves are an important part of the park and you can imagine how it would have felt to step into one of them when theme park attractions were a relatively new concept.
The park also has new rides which are fun for all the family, we suggest visiting the Tibidabo website for a full list and to help you plan your day there.
When you’re wandering the streets in Barcelona, you may also notice the shape of an impressive building up on the highest hill. From below, the silhouette of this building against the sky, with the Ferris wheel at its side, is reminiscent of the castle at Disneyland Paris. However, it’s actually a church, called the Church of the Sacred Heart, and, while it’s not technically part of the park and there are no rides inside, it’s well worth a visit when you’re at the top of Tibidabo.
When it comes to dining on the mountain, you’re not going to find anything particularly refined (unless you head over to the terrace of the Hotel La Florida which is also located on the mountain top), but there’s a canteen with the usual theme park lunch menus of burgers and chips, plenty of candy floss and popcorn, and the local favourites, churros dipped in chocolate for a sticky, indulgent dessert.
For Mum and Dad, or just the grown-up theme park lovers, you will find “jamón” (Spanish ham) for sale with glasses of cava or vermouth, perfect for if you’re on the mountain on a warm afternoon.
As previously mentioned, the “funicular” is still running and will take you up the side of the mountain (when it is out of service for maintenance, a substitute bus service is provided).
Please see the list below for the options:
Shuttle bus (T2A) from Plaça Catalunya
Location: corner of Plaça Catalunya and Rambla Catalunya, in front of the Desigual shop
Schedule: runs from 10am up until 30 minutes after closing, approximately every 20 minutes every day that the Amusement Park is open.
Shuttle bus (T2A) price: €3 /person (one way ticket).
Shuttle bus (T2B) from B:SM Sant Genís parking lot
Funicular (or substitute bus)
Closed: From the 6th and the 31st of January and the whole of February.
Opened every day except:
February: open at weekends only.
Tibidabo Amusement Park
General entrance tickets 28.50 €
Children’s entrance ticket (under 1.2 m in height) 10.30 €
Children’s entrance ticket (< 0,90 m height) Free
General entrance ticket 12.70 €
Children’s entrance ticket (under 1.2 m in height) 7.80 €
Children’s entrance ticket (< 0,90 m in height) Free.
Once you’ve scaled the mountain, why not relax on the Sea? A Private Catamaran Charter or Private Yacht Charter in Barcelona will help you kick back and you’ll feel any stresses melt away – the kids will love it too!