Bunkers del Carmel

Atop the city hill Turó de la Rovira is one of the most famous viewpoints in Barcelona; the Mirador Bunkers del Carmel. Despite its location slightly outside the tourist center, many people visit daily to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view and witness one of the most beautiful sunsets. And yes, the way there involves a bit of climbing, but once at the top, it’s truly worth it!

What to See and Do at the Bunkers del Carmel

Visiting the viewpoint of the Bunkers del Carmel not only offers an excellent 360-degree view of the city but also uncovers a piece of hidden history about the city. This place formerly served as a military camp and was later used as a shantytown.

Viewpoint Bunkers del Carmel
Viewpoint Bunkers del Carmel

Panoramic Viewpoint Over Barcelona

The most important reason why everyone, local or tourist, visits the Bunkers del Carmel is for its fantastic view of the city. From the top of this hill, you have the city at your feet and can enjoy a fabulous 360-degree view over all of Barcelona for free.

All of Barcelona’s main buildings, like the Sagrada Família, are visible from here, as well as the mountains, streets, and houses of many Barcelonans.

Visiting Bunkers del Carmel in Barcelona
Bunkers del Carmel

Unforgettable Sunsets

Especially at sunset, the Bunkers del Carmel is a favorite spot among locals, who often come to picnic or have a beer with friends while enjoying the beautiful view. There is a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, sometimes accompanied by the singing of a spontaneous guitarist. And as it gets dark, you can see the lights of Barcelona turn on until a fantastically lit city lies at your feet.

Note: After sunset, don’t linger too long, as you will then have to descend the hill in the dark; something I would not recommend.

MUHBA Turó de la Rovira

During a visit to the Bunkers del Carmel, you will quickly discover old constructions and ruins scattered around. They are the remnants of an old military camp and anti-aircraft defense from the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent shantytown “Los Cañones”.

They are now part of the Barcelona history museum (MUHBA); hence, you can find information boards with interesting information and photos of what it looked like in the past. Pay attention to the old floor tiles and staircases that are still there, as well as the structure of the anti-aircraft defense.

Since 2015, the MUHBA has also had a small museum within the old anti-aircraft defense, highlighting the role of this military camp during the civil war and the shantytown Los Cañones. This museum is free to visit but only at limited times: on Wednesday and Friday from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Saturday from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and Sunday from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The MUHBA also regularly organizes free guided tours that illuminate the history of the Bunkers. Advance reservation is necessary.

Pont De Mühlberg

Another highlight of your visit to Bunkers del Carmel is walking over the Mühlberg bridge, located at the foot of Turó de la Rovira, offering stunning views.

The bridge, built in 1991, is 70 meters long and connects Carrer de Mühlberg street with Turó de la Rovira and Bunkers del Carmel.

Bar-Restaurante Las Delícias

If you’re hungry after climbing and hiking in the mountains, Bar-Restaurante Las Delícias nearby can satisfy your appetite. Considered by some as one of the best tapas bars in the city, it’s a place where you dine among locals, reflected in the reasonable prices of the tapas and the size of the portions. Enjoy the authenticity and relaxed atmosphere of this tapas bar.

History of Bunkers del Carmel

Bateria antiaèria del Turó de la Rovira, also known as Bunkers del Carmel, was an old military camp built atop Rovira hill in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Its purpose was to deter Franco’s planes that were bombing the city.

After the civil war, the camp was abandoned, leading to its occupation by immigrants from Andalusia in the 1940s. This shantytown, known as “Los Cañones” (The Cannons), had up to 110 shanty houses where a total of 600 people lived in poverty, without electricity, water, or sewage.

In the 1970s, residents began protesting to improve the neighborhood’s living conditions, achieving some success (including public toilets, garbage bins, and running water).

In the 1990s, the neighborhood was definitively dismantled in view of the 1992 Olympic Games. The hill was abandoned and forgotten by many until it was made accessible again in 2011, and MUHBA began managing the space as a museum. In 2015, a museum section was opened within the old anti-aircraft defense, further explaining the history of the Bunkers and Turó de la Rovira.

The Bunkers del Carmel have now become a major attraction, no longer known only among locals. Tourists also find their way to the top of Turó de la Rovira, and for many, a trip to Barcelona is not complete without seeing the view from the Bunkers.

Getting to Bunkers del Carmel

There are several ways to reach Bunkers del Carmel by public transport. There are multiple entrances: via Carrer del Turó de la Rovira, Carrer de Marià Labèrnia, Carrer de Labèrnia, and Carrer de Mühlberg.

Below are two ways to get to Bunkers del Carmel. Ensure you wear good shoes, as you will need to climb many stairs and not all paths are paved. I advise against cycling to the Bunkers due to the steep and poor roads.

Getting to Bunkers del Carmel from Downtown Barcelona

There are multiple ways to reach Bunkers del Carmel from the city center. You can use either the bus or the metro.

By Bus

From Plaça de Catalunya, you can take bus lines 22 and 24, both of which stop near Bunkers del Carmel.

If you take bus line 22, get off at the Gran Vista stop, and for line 24, it’s Carretera del Carmel – Mühlberg.

By Metro

Another option is to take the L4 metro to Guinardó | Hospital de Sant Pau and then walk up the stairs of Carrer del Telègraf.

This is the longest and most challenging way to get to Bunkers del Carmel, though you will eventually come across elevators and escalators.

Once at the top near the parking area, follow the footpath that leads to Turó de la Rovira. Here, you first walk through the wooded Parc del Guinardó and then reach Bunkers del Carmel. The views you encounter along the way make this challenging hike worthwhile.

Getting to Bunkers from El Carmel

For the least amount of stair climbing and a more local route, take the L5 metro to El Carmel. From El Carmel, transfer to bus 119, which takes you to the top of Turó de la Rovira.

The bus stop for line 119 is located down the road from the El Carmel metro station exit, turning right onto Carrer de la Conca de Tremp. The bus stop is right around the corner. Get off the bus at the Panorama-Labèrnia stop. From this stop, it’s a short walk up the stairs to Bunkers del Carmel.

This route has the advantage of dropping you closer to the entrance, and you’ll have fewer stairs to climb.

Useful information

Price: Free.

Opening Hours: Open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM in the winter months and until 7:30 PM in the summer months.

Note: For people with mobility issues, accessing Bunkers del Carmel can be challenging (the access and facilities on-site are not optimal for people with disabilities).

Address: Carrer de Marià Labèrnia 08032 Barcelona

Public Transportation:

Metro: El Carmel (L5) or Guinardó | Hospital de Sant Pau (L4)

Bus: 119, 22, 24