How to get to Bunkers del Carmel Barcelona
Wondering how to get to Bunkers del Carmel Barcelona to capture those gorgeous city shots? We got you covered! In this post, you will find a detailed transportation guide, with sightseeing and photography tips to help plan your visit.
How to get to Bunkers del Carmel Barcelona Guide
Visiting Bunkers del Carmel in Barcelona was one of our bucket list items. We wanted to soak in those city views from above.
And you know the best part is that this attraction is completely FREE to check out.
Here is the address of Bunkers del Carmel and other official information
Address: Carrer de Marià Labèrnia, s/n, 08032 Barcelona, Spain
On Google Maps, you can either type Bunkers or MUHBA. The attraction site is called MUHBA Turó de la Rovira aka the Bunkers. It is located in the El Carmel neighborhood which is about a kilometre east of the famed Gaudi creation of Park Güell.
You can reach the Bunkers by bus, metro train, taxi, or by walking depending on where you are starting from (more information below).
Also, there are a few ways to get to Bunkers del Carmel while keeping your Barcelona Itinerary intact
- From Park Guell, walk 20 minutes going through parks, and residential areas to reach MUHBA Turó de la Rovira. Cab ride will be 5 to 7 minutes
- From Passeig de Gracia take a bus (24), arrive at the Parc del Guinardó entrance and then hike up
- From La Ramblas (metro + bus), take the metro to Liceu, and then take the bus no 22 or 24 towards El Carmel, get down at the bus stop and hike up to the Parc del Guinardó
- From La Ramblas (metro only), arrive at the Guinardo or Alfons X metro station and walk to the top (this route takes a longer time)
- From Port Vell or Gothic Quarter (near Las Ramblas) you can take the V17 bus
- From Plaza Catalunya take bus 22
So essentially, bus numbers 22 and 24 are your best bet, and they drop you at the foot of the hill. The best metro stops are Guinardo or Alfons X and then hike through Parc del Guinardó – we have added detailed pictures of the parc hike below – so keep reading!
History of Bunkers del Carmel Barcelona
The Bunkers, as the locals lovingly call it, is set on top of the Turó de la Rovira hill in the district of El Carmel.
The site is home to underground military bunkers that were built during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. Being on a hilltop, the bunkers offered uninterrupted views of the entire city.
It was set up as an anti aircraft fortification with large 105 mm cannons mounted on the concrete. There were masonry defenses and it helped to protect Barcelona from attacks by the Fascists.
Bunkers del Carmel’s significance is its role during the Spanish Civil War. After the war was over, these anti-aircraft guns were retired and the site was almost abandoned.
The years after the Civil War saw a wide divide in the society, the disparity of the rich and poor widened, and this site was used as shelter (by the needy). Economic struggles lead to petty crimes, and this earned a bad reputation for the Bunkers. It was not considered a pretty part of the city for a long time, especially in the mid 20th century.
The 1992 Olympic Games were instrumental in changing Barcelona’s image to the rest of the world, and it was during this time that Bunkers got a slight facelift. The shelters were moved, and this in turn (also) cleaned up the site.
It was in 2011 that the abandoned Bunkers del Carmel was resurrected. Museu D’Historia De Barcelona MUHBA restored the site, excavated the bunkers, and opened a small museum inside of the bunkers to share the history of the Spanish Civil War.
Once restored, locals and interested visitors started flocking to the Bunkers. Eventually, Bunkers found a spot in every Instagrammable feed, and others grew curious about this hidden gem in Barcelona (and probably that’s why you are reading this post too!).
Different ways to get to Bunkers Del Carmel
There are different ways to get to the Bunkers. We enjoyed a short hike, and a rest stop at the Parc del Guinardó.
The easiest way to add the Bunkers to your Barcelona itinerary is to head there after exploring Parc Guell.
- Walk will take 20 minutes going through parks, residential areas (short hike)
- Public transportation will take 15 minutes (with walking)
- Cab ride will take about 5 to 7 minutes and they will drop you at the closest entrance.
If you are at the Passeig de Gracia shopping or exploring Casa Mila and Casa Batllo, then take a bus to get to the Bunkers
- Take bus number 24 from Passeig de Gracia to get to the entrance to the Parc del Guinardó.
We were at Las Ramblas and from there we headed to El Carmel. Although we planned to use bus 22 via the Liceu metro stop, instead we continued on to Alfons X (metro) and opted for a longer route.
When we got out there were no signs for Bunkers, and so we had to ask a gas station for directions. We walked through small lanes, and then found our way to Parc del Guinardo, and then got to the hilltop (took us about 30 minutes!).
How to get to Bunkers del Carmel from Las Ramblas Barcelona – by Metro
So we used the metro to get to the El Carmel neighborhood. If you are at Las Ramblas, you can choose one of the following ways
- From La Ramblas (metro + bus), take the metro to Liceu, and then take the bus no 22 or 24 towards El Carmel, get down at the stop and hike up to the Parc del Guinardó. Buses will drop you at the foot of the hill. It will take 15 minute walk
- From La Ramblas (metro only), arrive at the Guinardo or Alfons X metro station and walk to the top. You will walk through steep stairs to Bunkers, and it will take 25 to 30 minutes (or more if you are resting along the way)
Once you arrive at the bus or the metro stop you need to look for Parc del Guinardó.
As we took the metro we arrived at the Alfons X station. Once there you need to look for a playground and a flight of stairs (we got directions from the gas station staff).
The playground is evident with markings – a football pitch, benches, and green space. We were visiting the Bunkers in the late afternoon/evening so kids were playing as well.
Look for steps that will lead to the hilltop. There will be a sign that says “Escales de Tenerife”. The hike to the hilltop via the metro stop can be a little challenging as it is very steep.
Along the way, you will find graffiti like “Tourist go home”, which might be scary, but it was safe to venture around and explore Barcelona (we stayed until 09:30 pm and it was all good!). Read Barcelona tips to prepare for your trip!
Here are pictures and stops along the way
As you can see there are well marked walkways but it requires good walking shoes and a fit body to get there without being tired. If you are not keen on this challenging hike, then take the bus to reach closer to the Bunkers or hire a cab.
As we went to the hilltop it was amazing to see the skies change their color as the night was falling. We planned for a sunset view so we arrived there in the evening, and left the site at 09:30 pm via the Taxonera 119 bus (to metro stop and back to Las Ramblas).
It is completely safe to stay there until late in the night, but we wouldn’t get down through the park in the dark.
How to get to Bunkers del Carmel by Bus
Buses are a good way to get to Bunkers. It also reduces walking/hiking time to get to the hilltop. Use buses 22 and 24 to connect from various sightseeing areas in Barcelona.
From Passeig de Gracia take a bus (24), arrive at the Parc del Guinardó entrance, and then hike up.
From La Ramblas (metro + bus), take the metro to Liceu, and then take the bus no 22 or 24 towards El Carmel, get down at the bus stop and hike up to the Parc del Guinardó
From Port Vell or Gothic Quarter (near Las Ramblas) you can take the V17 bus.
From Plaza Catalunya take bus 22
There are smaller buses – Taxonera 119 bus – that drop you closer to the entrance of the Bunkers. You can connect via StopGran Vista.
How to get to Bunkers del Carmel by Cab or Taxi
A cab or a taxi is always an option to get to Bunkers. It drastically reduces travel and walk time, and you don’t have to hike up the hill.
Cabs will take you via a residential area, and drop you very close to the MUBHA museum, and it is a short walk (less than 3 minutes) to get to the viewpoint!
How to get to Bunkers del Carmel by Walking
Walking to Bunkers from Las Ramblas will take you about an hour and 15 minutes, and you can use Google Maps to guide you.
From Parc Guell it is relatively quicker to walk to the Bunkers. It takes about 20 minutes to get there.
Is Bunkers del Carmel worth visiting?
1000%. The hike to get to Bunkers was challenging, but it was worth it. This Barcelona city viewpoint is completely free to visit, and the views from there are amazing.
From there you can capture the Sagrada Familia Basilica, many buildings, roads, and forest areas along the way. It makes for a wonderful photo shot from up there!
Many travel experts still regard the Bunkers as a hidden gem. For one, it is not an easy way to get there (due to the location and metro and bus stop being far away from the actual viewpoint).
You won’t find Bunkers as a stop on Hop-on and Hop-off tours, or any other sightseeing excursions (unless you book a private tour and opt to include a visit to the Bunkers).
Bunkers as an attraction came into light only after 2011 when excavations were carried out, and a museum was set up. And now more and more travelers are digging this spot for Instagrammable shots!
Locals visit the Bunkers with friends and family and use it as a hang-out spot.
When should you visit Bunkers del Carmel for optimal photos?
We visited Bunkers at dusk and we planned for a sunset trip to capture the golden hues. Although sunset is a popular time to visit, and it can be crowded, we still think this is the best time to visit the Bunkers for photos.
You should plan to visit when there is ample daylight so that you can hike safely and capture daytime pictures, and then stay there until the sun goes down. And then enjoy an evening under the starry skies, and Barcelona’s twinkling lights (with the Sagrada Familia peeking at you from afar).
Bunkers sightseeing trip planning
Whichever method you choose to get to the Bunkers, it is important to keep the following things in mind.
Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes – If you are hiking, opt for sturdy and comfy shoes.
Even if you get dropped off at the entrance you will still need to wear covered shoes as the site is not well maintained – it is possible to see broken beer bottles, pointy rocks, etc.
The site is uneven too. There are steps, raised platforms, and plain areas (where you can sit) so wear comfortable shoes.
Safety on site – There is a very popular spot that people climb to, and sit for an Instagrammable shot – be very very careful when you do that. I would say that avoid climbing and stay safe. Just capture the spot from a distance and keep the site intact.
We saw people waiting to get to the top, climbing, slipping, and getting back up. Let’s not do that for your safety, and for the integrity of the site.
Carry water with you – If you are hiking to the top you will need water! So carry some. Once you reach the top you will find people selling water bottles – in case you forget.
Wear comfortable and breathable clothing. The hike is very steep, so take breaks if needed.
We recommend bringing a picnic mat so that you can sit there for a bit and admire the view.
Also, grab some light snacks and food with you. Remember to clean up after you leave (don’t leave empty bottles, boxes, and wrappers behind!)
There is a museum at the Bunkers site, and worth visiting if you wish to know more of its history. Click to get latest hours here
So from being a military site, a shanty town to a popular Instagrammable spot Bunkers Barcelona has come a long way. We highly recommend visiting this attraction on your trip to the city!
Thank you Mayor. We are panning to go to Barcelona in October. So I was just trotting with you as you described so vividly. I think we’ll have a lovely time.
I am so glad, Dita! Happy travels!