If you’re like me and follow a bunch of Instagram travel and wanderlust related accounts, you will have probably seen Barcelona’s emblematic tourist spots in your feed. Park Güell, Casa Batlló, Sagrada Família and Torre Glòries, among some others.
Their beauty, I’m sure, has made you save a few of them in your “must do” list for Barcelona, but have you pictured what it must be like to see those sights from up high? Say in the sky?
Some of the most impressive images of Barcelona I’ve seen on my feed are of the aerial shots taken of the city, which no doubt set it apart from any other city in the world. Barcelona’s most famous characteristics are striking captures of the iconic Eixample district, an area that boasts modernista building grid patterns that look so neat and metropolitan from straight above!
So when I had the opportunity to take a helicopter tour of Barcelona, I was absolutely ecstatic about what I was going to see! I yearned to see the famous Barcelona city grid and be able to see the W Hotel, Sagrada Família, and Torre Glòries from above.
I have quite a few pictures of these places from ground level and have frequented them often but I could only imagine what images I would capture from an aerial perspective!
I took my first helicopter tour over Barcelona with CatHelicopters a few days ago, and I could easily do it a hundred more times and I guarantee you will want to repeat the experience as well!
I highly recommend it if you are looking to see all of Barcelona and its sights in a different light, or should I say height? Pun intended!
I’ll share why I think this experience is completely worth doing when in Barcelona, Spain, along with some images I took from above. I’ll also give you tips and suggestions on how to plan and make your experience even more enjoyable.
Why Go on a Helicopter Tour of Barcelona
Often when visiting a new city, we plan out each day according to what sights we’ll see. A helicopter tour of Barcelona would be a perfect way to see the whole city if you’re short on time, not to mention it’s a very unique way of getting to know it rather than by foot!
One thing you’ll notice about Barcelona, no matter how you get to know it, is its unique city layout. However, when get a view from above, you can marvel at its old Gothic quarters, its grid like modernista areas where blocks have a hollow courtyard interior, its famous avenues like Passeig de Gràcia and Diagonal, and the beach, of course, all in plain sight.
Barcelona is a city where its highlights are spread out and looking at the skyline with all these important landmarks in a panoramic view is nothing short of impressive! Not only can you appreciate the city and the beach, but also its surrounding mountains like Tibidabo and Montjuic.
A helicopter tour of Barcelona is also a really cool experience to share with someone special.
Although you definitely won’t be bored doing it by yourself like I did, the excitement, thrill and joy I felt made me wish I had someone to share it with. Definitely recommend it for any couple adventure seekers out there!
My Experience: Get to Know Barcelona from Above
Getting Ready for the Helicopter Tour
The day of the helicopter tour, I made sure I had everything I needed as soon as I woke up. My reservation to fly wasn’t until 4:30pm but I really didn’t want to get to the heliport and see that my passport was missing! I made sure I had a water bottle, my valid passport, and a charged camera ready for the adventure.
My helicopter tour took place at Barcelona’s Helipuerto where CatHelicopters is located.
For anyone, whether from Barcelona or not, the Helipuerto de Barcelona might be a little hard to get to if you don’t have a car. The Helipuerto is located in the port the cruise ships sail into (Moll Adossat), and if you’re not paying attention to the signage you might miss where its located.
I took a taxi there and although it is a little out of the way, I must say that being driven over the very tall, long bridge into the port when the afternoon sun paints the water and ships yellow, was absolutely spectacular!
It made me feel like I was about to have the most luxurious, exclusive afternoon. Almost as if I was someone important being taken on a helicopter ride to my next destination. Maybe someday but not today, one can dream!
Although there is a way to get to the helipuerto using public transportation, I highly recommend taking a taxi there. One reason is that sometimes things might come up and you definitely don’t want to let public transportation make you late to your helicopter tour!
Also public transportation will not actually take you inside the port. You will have to walk about 20 min over the port bridge to actually get to the heliport.
More importantly though, the drive into the helipuerto is going to heighten your excitement and make you take out your phone to start recording the seaside views.
When I arrived to the Heliport, I was greeted by a front desk attendant upon ringing the doorbell. I made sure to get there 30 minutes before the tour, as they advised me to do, and got my passport scanned, as is required. I was also weighed to figure out how they needed to distribute the weight on the helicopter.
After being weighed and getting my passport scanned, I was asked to put my bag into a locker. However, I was allowed to take my phone and my camera. Lockers required a 1 euro deposit, but if you’re out of change, they give you a toy euro for you to utilize as well.
After that, I was instructed to wait around for my tour group number to be announced.
Helicopter Flight Over Barcelona
Tour groups came in and out of the waiting hall in CatHelicopters, and in twenty short minutes my group was called to fly next.
The staff gave our group of three safety instructions for boarding the helicopter and let us know our assigned seats. I was instructed I would take two flights and that I would move up from the passenger seat to the co-pilot spot on the second flight.
When it was our turn to fly, nervous jitters boosted my adrenaline. We were given earphones for the helicopter noise and we were directed by personnel to board. Once on the helicopter, we strapped on seat belts — and just like that we were off, all in a matter of a minute!
The lift off was much smoother than I had imagined. We gracefully lifted off and glided into the coast passing by the W Hotel on Barceloneta and eventually reaching the Besòs River.
I could see all of the city landmarks in the distance, its various districts, and parks and even people like windsurfers enjoying coastal living. Barcelona’s beauty was just marvelously glittering back at me on a perfect, sunny afternoon.
Unfortunately, due to the protests recently in Barcelona, CatHelicopters was not able to take me directly over the center of Barcelona due to government and police restrictions. We were just able to cruise by the coast and have a clear view of the city skyline and the mountains from the sea.
The two tours I went on were the “BCN Costa Tour” and “Litoral BCN + Besòs”. However, had it not been for restrictions due to protests, I would have tried the BCN Sky Tour. It was still a fabulous time, and I did manage to see some outer parts of the city and grab some amazing shots!
One of my favorite highlights is being able to capture Torre Glòries and Sagrada Família from above and from the seaside, even if it was some distance away. Usually I have seen the opposite view from the mountains, but with this angle the mountains were in the same shot.
During both tours, I got a pretty good, almost floor-to-ceiling view of outside! The helicopter used in the tours is a lighter design than most, and it feels like there is almost nothing separating you from the outside.
I expected to have butterflies in my stomach, but I actually didn’t get that sensation at all. It was a smooth, light ride!
The BCN Costa Tour was about 6 minutes in the air while the Litoral BCN + Besòs Tour was about 12 minutes in the air. I should mention that both tours take you along the coast, but the difference between the two is that the Litoral BCN + Besòs Tour takes you all the way to the Besòs River and the outskirts of Barcelona.
After both tours, I hopped off the helicopter and couldn’t stop smiling from the incredible opportunity I had to see Barcelona the way I just did.
Since there was another group ready to hop on their tour as soon as I landed and with the helicopter still propelling, I couldn’t get any time for pictures of myself inside the helicopter. Luckily, I took a bunch of selfies with my phone during the flight!
After grabbing my bag from the locker, I wondered how I would get home. At the Heliport in the Port of Barcelona there were no taxis around, especially during the low tourist season when I went. Unless I used Cabify it would have been very unlikely I would have come across a taxi.
The port is pretty empty this time of year, and with hardly any tourists around. I decided I would walk to the center of Barcelona and find my way home from there. I was told by the receptionist that it would take me 20 minutes alone to walk off the port bridge! I thought about it for a second, decided it was golden hour anyway and I didn’t mind the idea of a nice walk.
After about 10 minutes walking, I was so glad I chose to walk!
The sun was setting right behind Montjuic and reflecting its golden glow on the water, and the views of Barcelona from the port bridge were spectacular. I probably would have never enjoyed it if I hadn’t decided to walk home.
Along the way I enjoyed the small pleasure of seeing people enjoy an afternoon in the port. Whether that meant shooting a low budget music video, jogging with a partner or scuba diving for who knows what?! These small observances ended my afternoon on the perfect, positive thought and that was that I love Barcelona and all that it offers.
Furthermore, I can just imagine someone’s date ending on a high note by taking pictures on the port’s bridge and enjoying Barcelona’s romantic, seaside views.
Barcelona Helicopter Tour Review
After having experienced a helicopter tour over Barcelona what I can say is this...you should absolutely do it at least once!
The WOW factor in this experience was getting to see a popular tourist city Barcelona differently than most would, and seeing all the landscape and urban landscape that makes the city so picturesque.
As far as bang for your buck goes, it is definitely a special occasion sort of experience. Helicopter rides are never really cheap and typically they are pretty short rides. But if you can afford to spend a little extra on this sort of tour, then I definitely suggest you do! The cheapest helicopter tour they offer is from 50 euros and the rest are just upwards from there.
Although this experience involves heights, there really wasn’t much to fear. As I mentioned earlier, the ride is pretty smooth. Although it might not be something you’re used to, it was really simple to board, understand instructions and enjoy!
This adventure was also more on the low challenge level. The staff was very clear, and the boarding process was easy.
Booking a Helicopter Tour in Barcelona: What You Need to Know
With just a quick click, you can easily book a Barcelona helicopter tour.
I booked this experience through Adrenaline Hunter, which is a great platform to use when you’re looking for adventure activities around the world. It was easy, convenient, and hassle-free to book on their website.
When booking your helicopter tour, I recommend double-checking the route you’ve chosen to do. Make sure you will see the exact sights you want to see and perhaps be on the lookout for things that might affect your tour. In my case, it was protests.
Booking ahead of time also helps to ensure this, and reschedule if need be.
The company that runs the tours, CatHelicopters, also offers company events, getaway gourmets and vineyards, flights on demand, photography and sports filming in Barcelona. They use the latest technology and look forward to giving each customer the VIP experience. They also have an awesome 4.5 stars on Google reviews!
To learn more about their offerings in Barcelona, you can check out dates, timetables and rates here, or by clicking the button below.
Although anyone from different ages and backgrounds could enjoy this experience, it is more of an activity for those that don’t mind spending a little more for a truly extraordinary and special time!
When you’re setting off for your helicopter tour, remember that a valid passport or other photo identification is required. Can’t forget your phone or camera either, you’ll want to brag about your killer shots later!
A tour by helicopter over Barcelona is an unforgettable way to experience the city. It’s definitely one of the most awesome things you can do in Barcelona, and I highly recommend it if you can afford to spend a little more for something luxurious.
It’s an activity that doesn’t require the whole day to enjoy, and I recommend it even more if you have someone to experience it with — that way you have a reliable photographer for your selfies too!