Before we went on our trip to Europe and Barcelona in April/May 2012 I had looked at a number of web sites, including VT, and a number of YouTube videos to find out some specific things I might want to do on our trip. One of the You Tube videos I came across was the only surviving Tram service left in Barcelona, the Blue Tram.
Being a big fan of the San Francisco Cable Cars I knew that taking a ride on the Blue Tram was something I wanted to fit in on our trip to Barcelona.
We were able to walk down to the start of the Blue Tram route from our Bed and Breakfast which was part of the way up Mt Tibadabo. The start of the route is just above Plaza Kennedy. The round trip cost as of 2012 was 4,70 Euros with a one way ride at 3 Euros. We had a 1 Euro off coupon.
The Blue Tram is a slow rickidty ride up a very nice neighborhood on Avenida Tibadabo which lasts less then 10 minutes. It's a little hard to take pictures going up, but you are rewarded with some nice views of the city below if you are riding on the right side on the way up or the left side on the way down.
A little history exploration on the internet shows that the tram service in Barcelona was 100 years old in 2011. All expect the Blue Tram line were put out of service in 1971. The Blue Tram is strictly a tourist attraction, but a fun one for not a lot of Euros.
There are cable cars that go form the end of the line at park Montjuic to take you to the castle Montjuic. The price to ride a mere 1 mile or so at Montjuic is a ripoff 6,50 Euro each way. That is not worth my hard earned money for sure.
Another cable ride goes from the harbor area and ends up in lower Montjuic (not near to any other connection ride)
To reach the funicular going to and from Montjuic, you need to get to the Parellel Ave subway line of the subway system. From there signs, that are somewhat difficult to follow direct you to the funicular rail. It operates about ever 20 minutes, and drops you off close to Miro Museum on the hill. From there you can also catch bus 50 to get to the Montjuic castle
Teleféric Port Vell cable car links Mount Montjuic with Port Vell which was built for the Barcelona International Exposition in 1929.
The harbor terminal is the Torre de Sant Sebastian on the new mole, the midway stop is the 158m high Torre de Jaume I on the Moll de Barcelona next to the large World Trade Centre. The end terminal on Montjuic hill is the Torre de Miramar in the near of Jardins Mossen Costa i Llobera.
The ride lasts cca. 10 minutes, where you can enjoy the view of the Mediterranean Sea, the harbour area, La Ramblas, the wide Passeig de Colom and Barcelona’s great monuments such as La Sagrada from above.
Operating time daily 11am to 8pm in every 15 minutes (times vary depending from season)
Ticket Prices: Retour: 12.50 €, One Way: 9.00 €
Children under 6 years free of charge.
A car has an official capacity of max. 20 people, but can fit about 10 people only.
Take the cable car up to the castle it beats waiting around for buses etc. 6 euros for return trip
It was a little cold the day we went up but the view over the harbour was still great.
There is another cable car that goes out over the harbour and looks quite menacing thankfully that day it was closed due to wind!! So I couldnt so no to the smaller version could I?
Pictures to Follow
If you want to go up to Montjuic park, you can go to Parallel by metro and change to Funicular de Montjuic (pic1) You will use the same ticket, follow the sign (pic 2). That will take you up to the hill and from there take the Teleferic de Montjuic to the castle (pic 3). It costs 6 euro (8.3e for return ticket) and is open 10.00-18.00 (june-september till 21.00).
The other teleferic travels every 15 minutes from Montjuic over the port of Barcelona to San Sebastia beach in Barceloneta.
There are also some funiculars like the one for Tibidabo from Plaza del Doctor Andreu at end of Avinguda Tibidabo to Tibadabo. Take L7 train from Pl.Catalunya first.
While on holiday, you might like to take one or more of the "leisure" transports. You can get wonderful views of the city from the cable cars, or from the top of Montjuic and Tibidabo mountains
- There is a cable car, "Aeri del Port" from Barceloneta to the Harbour and to Montjuic
Aeri del Port
If you decide to take this one up to Montjuic, take it at Barceloneta. You usually have to wait for a long time at the intermediate stop at the harbour near Columbus statue, as you will only allowed to get up if someone goes down there (but most people will continue until Montjuic)
- There is ANOTHER cable car at Montjuic Mountain, "Aeri de Montjuic" (that goes around the mountain, not from/to the mountain)
Aeri de Montjuic
never took this one, can't say if it's worth it!
- A different option (definitely less scenic, but cheaper and faster) to get up to Montjuic is the funicular from Paral.lel. This one is included in the transport cards (like T-10)
Funicular de Montjuic
- The Blue Tram starts at Av. Tibidabo, you can reach it by FGC train L7 (Pl. Catalunya- Av Tibidabo) or several buses. The Blue Tram will take you to the bottom of the Funicular that reach Tibidabo's top (Amusement park, church...)
Blue Tram only runs on weekends off-season, here you have their timetables:
When the Blue Tram is not running, you can take a bus instead to the Funicular
The Funicular only runs when the Amusement Park is open
Funicular del Tibidabo
The only time I tried to get on the Blue Tram the queues were so huge we decided to walk up (we were going to CosmmoCaixa, not to the top). I never went to Tibidabo using public transport so I can't tell you first hand how convenient it is (it looks fun indeed)
I really liked the metro system of Barcelona and Madrid. It is easy to use and fast. For Montjuic, you have to reach Paral-lel station first, and then take the funicular. After a short ride, you reach a station in Montjuic. Right across the station, there is a tourism information kiosk where you can take a plan of Montjuic. Also the bus station is right there. So you can have a short trip right after the funicular.
Our first aim was Fundació Joan Miro. I asked to information desk and learned that it's distance was just 5 minutes walk.
There are several funicular railways in Barcelona, enabling a train journey up some of the steeper slopes around the city. It is really like being in a cross between a train and a lift (elevator). The train runs on tracks up a steep slope and its floor is arranged in steps like a staircase, providing the passengers with a level surface to stand on. There are proper seats on each of the steps but not a great many of them, so there is plenty of room for people to stand, if it is busy. Even the platform is arranged in steps to make it easier to walk to the front of the train.
It is a very strange feeling when the train travels along quickly at such a steep angle but the journey from stop to stop is very quick and comfortable. They seem to run fairly frequently throughout the day and evening, finishing a little earlier than the metro system.
There is a clear printable map available on the website listed, which shows the funicular railways and other connecting public transport services.
We used this little old tram on our way to visit the beautiful church at Tibidabo. It seemed very popular and there was a queue of people outside the metro station (Avinguda del Tibidabo) waiting for it, when we arrived. When it arrived we saw it had lovely traditional looking wooden panelling on the inside and was smartly painted blue on the outside. Everyone managed to get on it but most of us had to stand in the aisle, rather than sitting during the journey. There were so many other people using it at the same time as us and it looked so old and seemed so rickety that several times I wondered if it would make it to the top, especially as we climbed the twisty steep road to the stop where we would connect with the funicular railway to the top of the hill. Of course, we did arrive eventually and had a wonderful view for most of the journey. There are some very beautiful houses and gardens on the way up.
Returning to where it had left us after visiting the church, we were lucky to find it already there and not quite so crowded for the return journey but somehow the trip down the steep hill seemed much more nerve-wracking. Perhaps it was because the tram looks so much like a railway carriage that it makes you feel there really should be an engine at the front! The cost of the ticket covering our return journey was just a few euros and could be purchased on the tram itself.
There is a clear printable map available on the website listed, which shows the tram and other connecting public transport services.
We flew in to Barcelona airport using Easyjet (don't do it if you can avoid it! They got us there on time, but that's about it!)
Cabs are cheap and there's loads of them, but we got a two day travel pass for the bus and Metro which cost about 7 euros each and allows unlimited travel. The metro is very quick, clean and reliable and is well signposted within. There is also a funicular railway (a bit like a cable car, but on rails) this goes about a third of the way up Montjuic, enabling a visit to the Olympic stadium. You can also catch a cable car across the harbour if you fancy a trip to the top! The picture shows a view from the top of the funicular.
The Blue Tram and Funicular that lead to Tibidabo are not worth the fuss at all. They pack both vehicles so full that it is uncomfortable and difficult to see out the windows. Unfortunately, they remain the best way to get up Tibidabo for people without cars. I recommend taking them up the mountain and walking down!
In typical med fashion, we had to wait for over 1/2 hour while the worker was on lunch (no substitute), but then it was not that long to get to top. The ride is quite long and gives a good view of Barcelona. From up here you really get an idea of the enormity of the city.
There is only one tram in Barcelona and it is called El tramvia blau (the blue tram)
It had a big restoration in 1990 and from then it is following its traditional route from Placa John Kennedy to Placa del Dr. Andreu, from where you can take the funicular up to Tibidabo.
For great sightseeing you can use the cablecar from the harbour to the Pl. de l´Armada.
How to get there: Barceloneta, Bus 14, 17, 57, 64
Or from the other end: Montjuïc, Bus: 61
It runs everyday from 10:30 to 19h. every 15 minutes.
Price(2004): Single ticket 6 € / Return ticket 7,21 €