|The Cable Car|
Any visitor to Barcelona will have noticed the iconic Port cable car that cuts across the city's skyline to Montjuic. The names used locally for this cable car service are the Transbordador Aeri del Port or "Port Cable Car". Easily visible from the port area, you only need look up to be reminded of an interesting option for a way to spend a sunny afternoon.
First things first, the Transbordador cable car is not to be confused with another cable car in Barcelona - the Teleferico de Montjuïc. The Teleferico de Montjuïc is on Montjuïc mountain itself. It is a shorter ride in a four person car, taking passengers from the Estaciò Funicular on Avenida Miramar, half way up Montjuïc and dropping them at Montjuïc Castle. This is option is for those of you who alight from the Transbordador and would still like to travel further up the mountain to see the beautiful castle and the stunning views from the top.
"OK" , you think to yourself, "I would like to take the cable car ride to experience the breathtaking arial views of the city". However before you make your final decision be warned, the Transbordador cable journey is not for the faint hearted! The ride begins with a lift ride to the top of the cable car tower, which, in itself, requires a certain amount of courage. Passengers are quickly ushered on to the cable car and on this occasion the staff had little time to chat with us.
According to a sign inside of the car it holds a maximum of twenty people. However I couldn't help but wonder how twenty people could ever fit. Even with ten to twelve people on board it is fairly difficult to manoeuvre around the car and there is some quiet jostling for the windows with the best views. You may have to take your turn for a good spot if you're determined to get picture evidence that you made it to the top!
After an initial heart-in-the-mouth moment as the car sets off, you will be rewarded for your bravery with some stunning views of Barcelona. Take in the bird's eye views of the port and harbour as you glide along. The cable car provides an opportunity to see the whole city clearly, so it's a chance to view Barcelona's great monuments such as the Sagrada Familia and the Torre Agbar, from above.
The entire journey lasts approximately seven minutes and the car moves continuously throughout the trip. Mid-way through the journey the cable car travels through a central tower- the Torre de Jaume I - breath a swift sigh of relief before continuing on your journey.
There are no seats inside the car and people generally move around the space, giving you the opportunity to check out different views from different windows. The car travels directly over the large World Trade Centre. To your left you can view Barcelona's working port and a great expanse of sea. To your right all of Barcelona is there for you to see. It is enjoyable to pick out the spots that you recognise- La Ramblas, the Arc de Triomf, your hotel! As you near the end of the trip you can take in the views of Montjuïc mountain. You will see the iconic Montjuïc Communications Tower.
On arrival at the Torre de Miramar on Montjuïc mountain passengers alight in the Costa i Llobera Gardens. This is an idyllic place to view the harbour area. There are various statues in the gardens and gravel footpaths to walk around the space. The gardens are not particularly large and if you wish to spend the day on Montjuïc mountain you are likely to want to explore and take in some of the other sights, mentioned below. There are numerous coin-operated telescopes at various points around the gardens if you want to spot your friends sunbathing on the beach.
The Gardens are watched over by the impressive and looming art-deco building- Hotel Miramar. There is also the Cafeteria Miramar- a terrace offering a relaxing area to take in the views of the city at this level. Directly below you is the Poble Sec area, however, the gardens are high enough to ensure that you can take in views of the entire city. What's on offer is standard and costly, in comparison to city centre prices, with a bowl of chips costing €4.15 . You will be paying for the location rather than the food. Below this is the rather more classy Miramar Restaurant, but the prices are steep. Having spoken to the restaurant manager it appears that they cater largely for events.
|A View From the Top|
A one way ticket offers you the opportunity to explore the plentiful sights on Montjuïc, including the Miró Foundation, Montjuïc Castle and various botanical gardens. During the summer months the outdoor Olympic diving pool is a must for keen swimmers and sunbathers. There are numerous useful maps and signposts dotted all around Montjuïc Mountain that will help you to find your bearings. It is important to refer to them as closely as possible as it is quite easy to get lost.
|The Return Journey|
You may choose to make your way back down Montjuïc mountain. Alternatively you can hop on the funicular, using a standard underground metro ticket, at Estació Funicular. You will be transported to Paral.lel metro station where you can then take the metro to any part of the city centre.
Gluttons for punishment may decide to make their own way up the steep slopes to Montjuïc mountain, using the Transbordador as a means of returning to the port area.
If you choose to make the return journey, be sure to keep hold of your small cable car ticket. On returning to the port area you can reward yourself with a slap up dinner in the renowned Torre d'Alta Mar Restaurant at the top of the tower. That's if you're not desperate to get your feet back onto solid ground!
There is, perhaps, a sense that the Transbordador is past its glory days- prices are high, staff can be lack-lustre and the stations are slightly shabby. Despite all of this, on a sunny day, the cable ride is arguably the most stunning and exhilarating way to view Barcelona and links two of the city's prime locations - the beach and Montjuïc.
Yellow Line, L4)
The Metro is a fifteen minute walk from the tower. On exiting the metro station you will see the harbour full of boats ahead of you on the right. Head down Passeig de Joan Borbó with the harbour on your right. As you approach you will see the large tower of the cable car ahead of you. It is on the street that you are on, just keep walking!
Round trip: €12.50
One Way: €9.00
Children of 6 years and under travel for free.
11:00 - 17:30 daily (these times vary). During the winter months (approx. November to March) the cable car does not run between 14:00 - 15:00 .
These times should be checked prior to making the journey as they are subject to seasonal change, holidays and weather conditions.
Official Website With Complete Barcelona Cable car operating hours.
Tel: +34 93 430 4716
The cable car runs every 15 minutes.
Torre Sant Sebastiá (in the port)
Teleféric Port Vell
Passeig Joan de Borbó, 88
08039 Barcelona, España
Website: Teleféric Port Vell official website