View looking up to Tibidabo

©Esme Fox/Lonely Planet

Framing the north end of the city, the pine-forested mountain of Tibidabo, which tops out at 512m, is the highest peak in Serra de Collserola. Much of its surrounding gorgeous green expanses are protected within the 80-sq-km Parc Natural de Collserola, which is a delight to hike, run and cycle through. Highlights of a trip up to Tibidabo include superb views from the top; an old-fashioned amusement park; a telecommunications tower with viewing platform; and a looming church that's visible from many parts of the city.

At the time of writing, the long-running tramvia blau and the Tibidabo funicular railway – which combined linked the FGC Avinguda Tibidabo train station with the top of Tibidabo via Plaça del Doctor Andreu – were out of action for restoration works. A shiny, new modern funicular is due to launch in late 2020; check online for updates. In the meantime, a replacement shuttle, the T2C 'Funibús', runs from Plaça Kennedy (outside Avinguda Tibidabo station) to Plaça de Tibidabo atop the hill (€12.70 including amusement park admission; 20 minutes; every 15 to 30 minutes from 10.30am during park and/or viewing platform opening hours). Alternatively, the T2A 'Tibibús' runs from Plaça de Catalunya to Plaça de Tibidabo (€3, 30 minutes, every 20 to 30 minutes from 10am until 30 minutes after park closure on Saturday, Sunday and other park opening days).