Home » Things To Do In Barcelona » Viewpoints in Barcelona » Collserola in Barcelona

Collserola in Barcelona

In the northwest of Barcelona lies the Serra de Collserola mountain range, an extraordinarily beautiful natural area just 20 minutes from the city. Barcelonians enjoy the tranquility and numerous activities in the Collserola hills, ranging from hiking or running to cycling and picnicking. For the city, this area is an important source of fresh air and natural beauty. It’s a place to enjoy scenic viewpoints overlooking the city and its surroundings, seek peace, and connect with nature.

Collserola Hills
Collserola Hills

What to See and Do in Collserola

The residents of Barcelona often refer to Collserola as ‘the lungs of Barcelona’. This is not without reason! Besides the beautiful natural park and pristine nature, Collserola offers numerous fun attractions, quiet residential areas, and delightful restaurants for a tasty meal. Additionally, the many walking trails, picnic spots, and old churches are popular among locals. Let me introduce you to the highlights of Collserola and its surroundings.

Collserola Natural Park Barcelona
Collserola Natural Park

Collserola Natural Park

The Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola borders the valleys of the Llobregat river to the south and the Besòs river to the north, the plain of Barcelona to the east, and Vallès to the west. Spanning 17 kilometers in length and 6 kilometers in width, with more than 8,000 hectares of natural park, it is one of the largest urban parks in the world.

The Collserola Natural Park is a mountainous forest area with trees and plant species from the Mediterranean region, including pines, oaks, and shrubs. Ponds, marshes, lakes, and meadows also form part of the Collserola hills.

The area is home to wildlife such as wild boars, foxes, rabbits, lizards, snakes, parrots, magpies, nightingales, and robins.

Collserola is a favorite spot for residents to go running, biking, and hiking. Other outdoor activities like horseback riding are also available.

This natural park is ideal for day trips with friends, family, or colleagues and is free to visit, offering numerous walking and cycling paths for visitors.

One of the most famous paths in Collserola is the Carretera de les Aigües, which runs throughout the entire mountain range.

Carretera de les Aigües Barcelona
Carretera de les Aigües

At the information center (Carretera de l’Església, 92), you can obtain more information about what to see and do in the park. It opens daily from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm.

Some interesting sights in the Collserola Natural Park include:

  • Pantà de Vallvidrera: An old Vallvidrera water reservoir transformed into a beautiful and tranquil lake.
  • Mina Grott: A 1250 m long tunnel where Spain’s first electric railway operated, now out of service.
  • Baterías antiaéreas de Sant Pere Màrtir: Three anti-aircraft batteries from the Spanish Civil War.
  • Ermita de Sant Medir: One of the many small churches nestled in the mountains.
  • Penya Del Moro: Ruins of an old medieval castle and an Iberian village.
  • Ca n’Oliver: Remains of an Iberian village.
  • Castellciuró: Ruins of a castle built in the 14th century on the remains of an old round defensive tower from the Visigothic era.
  • Masia Can Calopa de Dalt: One of the many old farms in the mountains, now specializing in wine production.
  • Casino de la Arrabassada: A spooky, abandoned old casino.
  • Font de la Budellera: One of the most famous fountains in the park.

Tibidabo Mountain

The Tibidabo Mountain, 512 meters high, is the highest point of the Collserola hills and can be easily distinguished from the city by the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, the church adorning its summit.

Next to it stands the Collserola communications tower, another unmistakable landmark. On Tibidabo Mountain, you will also find one of the most fun attractions for children: the Tibidabo amusement park and the Fabra Observatory Planetarium.

Tibidabo Amusement Park
Tibidabo Amusement Park

Picnic Areas in Collserola

The Collserola hills are also a place where Barcelonians like to go when they want to spend time ‘outdoors’ with family or friends over the weekend. Often, they enjoy meals at one of the many picnic areas, known as àrees de lleure and merenderos.

Scattered throughout the mountain range, these areas feature small bar-restaurants, picnic tables, and fountains.

At some, you can also enjoy barbecues (often for a fee).

Note: Due to the risk of fire, open fires are not allowed in the mountains, so barbecue enthusiasts must use designated barbecue areas.

Here are the most comprehensive picnic areas:

  • Àrea de lleure de La Salut de Sant Feliu (Av. de la Riera, Sant Feliu de Llobregat) – ncluding barbecue facilities
  • Àrea de lleure de Sant Pere Martir (Plaça de Mireia, Esplugues de Llobregat)
  • Àrea de lleure de Santa Creu d’Olorda (Carretera de Santa Creu Olorda Sarrià, 417-419) – including barbecue facilities
  • Àrea de lleure de Santa Maria de Vallvidrera (Camí de la Llenega, 4)
  • Àrea de lleure El Torrent de Can Coll (BV1415, km 2, Cerdanyola del Vallès) – including barbecue facilities
  • Merendero Font de Les Planes (Carretera de Vallvidrera a Sant Cugat (BV1462) km 6,5, Les Planes de Vallvidrera) – including barbecue facilities

Viewpoints in Collserola

One of the reasons to visit Collserola is for its many (free) viewpoints that offer breathtaking views of Barcelona and its surroundings. So, come prepared with your best camera!

These viewpoints are known as ‘miradors’ and are a favorite spot among locals.

The most popular viewpoints are those of l’Arrabassada and Sarrià, but there are many others to choose from that offer equally stunning views and are much quieter:

  • Mirador de Sarrià
  • Mirador de l’Arrabassada
  • Mirador de Torre Baró
  • Mirador de la Font Groga
  • Mirador de Cerdanyola
  • Mirador Turó d’en Cors
  • Mirador de Montbau
  • Mirador Turó del Fumet
  • Mirador dels Xiprers
  • Mirador Bateries Sant Pere Màrtir
  • Mirador d’Horta
  • Mirador de Montcada
  • Mirador de Magarola
Viewpoints in Collserola
Viewpoints in Collserola

Vallvidrera i Les Planes

Vallvidrera and Les Planes are the most remote neighborhoods of Barcelona, located in the middle of the Collserola hills. Most houses here have a garden, the streets are quiet, and you can feel nature all around. It’s easy to forget you’re in a large city here!

Vallvidrera i Les Planes - Collserola Barcelona
Vallvidrera i Les Planes

Vil.la Joana (Museu Casa Verdaguer)

Vil.la Joana, originally built in 1708 as a farmhouse named Can Ferrer, was later transformed into a large mansion in the mid-19th century by the Miralles family.

Since 1963, it has been the Verdaguer Museum, dedicated to the memory of the poet who died there in 1902 after a short stay of 24 days.

Cementiri de Collserola

Nestled in the hills of Barcelona is Cementiri de Collserola, the final resting place for many citizens of Barcelona.

This cemetery was created in the early 1970s to provide new burial space when other city cemeteries began running out of room.

Divided into 18 areas, Collserola Cemetery follows the modern cemetery prototype, accessible by car.

Unlike the extravagance and glamour of large mausoleums found in other city cemeteries, Collserola offers a simple design, primarily featuring long rows of functional niches surrounded by the tranquility and nature of the Collserola hills.

Restaurants in Collserola

Scattered throughout the entire Collserola mountain range, you’ll find numerous restaurants and bars for a bite to eat. Some are suitable for a fancy dinner with your loved one, while others are perfect for a cozy family lunch.

What’s particularly charming are the old masies (farmhouses) that have been transformed into restaurants where you can enjoy a true Catalan menu.

Most of these restaurants have terraces that offer extraordinary views of the mountains.

Here are some of my favorite restaurants in Collserola:

  • Bar-restaurante Espai Plaça Mireia (Plaça Mireia, Esplugues de Llobregat): A cozy family-friendly restaurant serving tapas with beautiful picnic areas outside.
  • Masia Can Sardá (Carretera de Horta BV-1415, km 4, Cerdanyola del Vallès): A restaurant in an old farmhouse amidst nature, known for traditional dishes like calçots and grilled meats.
  • El Mirador de Can Cases (Camí de Can Cases, 15, Les Planes): A restaurant with stunning views over the El Vallés valley, featuring a perfect terrace for a vermouth.
  • Bar Restaurant Pinya 2 (Carretera de l’Església, km 5, Barcelona): A family-friendly restaurant near Vallvidrera.
  • Asador Casa Juaco (Carretera d’Horta a Cerdanyola, km 8, Barcelona): A restaurant nestled in nature, specializing in barbecue dishes.
  • Barcelonas Restaurant (Carretera de Vallvidrera al Tibidabo, 83-93, Barcelona): A restaurant at the Gran Hotel Floridablanca, perfect for a romantic and stylish dinner.
  • Mirablau (Plaça del Doctor Andreu, s/n, Barcelona): A bar-restaurant at the foot of the Tibidabo mountain with one of the most beautiful views of the city.
  • Sunset Barcelona (Camí de Can Cases,15, Les Planes): A modern restaurant high in the mountains known for burgers and cocktails. Famous for its beautiful sunsets (they are open only in the evenings).

Note: Most masies and restaurants in Collserola are crowded with locals celebrating family lunches on weekends. It’s highly recommended to make a reservation in advance.

How to Get to Collserola

There are several ways to reach Collserola, including bus 118 and 111, Tramvia Blau (or bus 196), Funicular del Tibidabo, or Funicular de Vallvidrera, depending on your final destination.

Although there are no metro stations directly in Collserola, some nearby metro stations include Peu del Funicular (S1 and S2), Baixador de Vallvidrera (S1 and S2), Les Planes (S1 and S2), Montbau (L3), Mundet (L3), Valldaura (L3), Canyelles (L3), and Roquetes (L3).

If you’re coming from the city center, you can take the S1 or S2 train from the Ferrocarrils in Catalunya station to Peu del Funicular. From there, use your public transport card to transfer to the Funicular de Vallvidrera. The Funicular travels from Vallvidrera Inferior to Vallvidrera Superior and stops at Carretera de les Aigües along the way.

The information center for the Collserola Nature Park is located at Carretera de l’Església, number 92, and serves as a great starting point for exploring Collserola’s natural landscape.

Parking in Collserola

If you’re arriving by car, you can park at one of the following locations:

  • Àrea de lleure de La Salut de Sant Feliu (Av. de la Riera, Sant Feliu de Llobregat)
  • Àrea de lleure de Sant Pere Martir (Plaça de Mireia, Esplugues de Llobregat)
  • Àrea de lleure de Santa Creu d’Olorda (Ctra. Sta Creu Olorda Sarrià, 417-419)
  • Àrea de lleure de Santa Maria de Vallvidrera (Camí de la Llenega, 4)
  • Àrea de lleure El Torrent de Can Coll (BV1415, km 2, Cerdanyola del Vallès)
  • Aparcament Torre de Collserola (Camí de Vallvidrera al Tibidabo, 9-31)
  • Aparcament Tibidabo (Camí de Vallvidrera al Tibidabo, 47)
  • Parking Carretera de les Aigües (Carretera de les Aigües, 311)
Useful information

Price: It is free to walk around Collserola and enjoy the views. The various attractions and museums have their own admission prices.

Opening Hours: Collserola is open all day and night. The various museums, attractions, and restaurants have their own opening hours.

Address: Serra de Collserola 08017 Barcelona

Public Transportation:

Metro: Montbau (L3), Mundet (L3), Valldaura (L3), Canyelles (L3), Roquetes (L3)

Bus: 111, 118, 196, N10, Tibibus

Tram: Tramvia Blau, Funicular del Tibidabo, Funicular de Vallvidrera