Would you agree with me that €0.00 is the best price to pay while on holiday?
Then I think we’ve got something in common.
While other tourists drop €50.00 notes like cheating spouses you’ll be spending zero at one of the city’s top attractions: the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc.
The beautiful water, light, colour, and music spectacular is a must so let me show you how to visit.
The Magic Fountain Barcelona
The colossal Magic Fountain of Montjuïc operates on 3620 water jets circulating 2600 liters of water every second in the 3.1 million liter pool. Then throw in 4760 lights and a max water spout of 52 m.
The result is a light show of dancing fountains that will leave you speechless.
Watch as over 7 billion light and water combinations push and pull in the night. The spurting colour is perfectly choreographed to classical or contemporary music making this piromusical a can’t-miss.
Music selections include 1980’s mix, cartoon soundtracks, Spanish classical, swing, current hits and more. If you’re looking for a specific type of music check out the choreography schedules.
In all the show lasts about 20 minutes and it’s completely free.
Magic Fountain Barcelona Times
From 2016 onward the city has cut show times with the goal of saving 10% on energy. This means the Wednesday to Sunday schedule has been bumped to start in June instead of March.
Here is the new Magic Fountain timetable for 2018 (no shows Monday to Wednesday):
- Apr-May-Oct 2018: Thursday to Saturday from 21:00 to 22:00.
- June to September 30 2018: Thursday to Sunday from 21:30 to 22:30.
- Nov-Mar 2018: Thursday to Sunday from 20:00 to 21:00.
- January 7 – February 28 2018: closed for maintenance.
Attention: On March 24th 2018 the show will only be ‘performed’ in the 8:00-8:20 time slot.
The Magic Fountain show lasts about 20 minutes and begin at 30 minute intervals, that means there are about ten minutes between show times to get into position – so get there early, wait for people to leave, and pounce!
Check out the official city website for all Barcelona Magic Fountain times.
Where to Get the Best Views
To get the best view of the Barcelona Magic Fountain show make sure you arrive early.
A good way to ensure the best view is taking in the first show. Get there an hour in advance and relax with some beers and snacks from a nearby shop and wait it out. You’ll have your pick.
In general the best place to sit is on the steps leading up to the MNAC museum behind.
Another great spot is the pedestrian bridge on the Plaza de España side.
If you’re willing to spend a bit of money you could also grab a drink on the 8th floor terrace of Hotel Catalonia Plaza for a view without crowds.
Tip: if you’re close up, gauge the wind before the show because if not you might get soaked!
How to Get There
La Fuente Magica is found in Plaza Carles Buigas at the end of Avenida Reina Maria Cristina.
The address is Pl. Carles Buïgas, 1.
Simply arrive at Plaça d’Espanya (metro station Espanya, red line L1 or green line L3) and then follow the crowd toward the palace. It’s just beyond the two Venetian towers.
To get to the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc using the Bus Turistic there are a few stops in the area including Plaça d’Espanya, MNAC, and CaixaForum – Pavelló Mies van der Rohe.
For Bus Turistic users I recommend using Plaça d’Espanya to arrive to the fountain and taking the MNAC stop on the way back. It’ll let you explore two different areas with minimum uphill walking.
Buses serving the area are: 13, 23, 37, 150, H12, and H16.
The FGC stop is Plaça d’Espanya.
What to Do in the Area
The areas surrounding the Magic Fountain are worth a great deal of exploring.
In Plaza de España we see one of Europe’s best squares with a huge fountain, two 47 m tall Venetian towers, and an ex-bullfighting ring with an incredible panoramic view that’s now one of Barcelona’s top shopping malls.
I suggest walking into the shopping centre (called Las Arenas, you can’t miss it) through the main entrance and taking the escalators up to the top for an amazing view and maybe a beer. Do not pay for the elevator.
Since the show is late it’s only natural to go for dinner or drinks after.
From the Magic Fountain it’s about a 15 minute walk down into the neighbourhood of Poble Sec to find the famous Calle Blai – home to a ton of one euro beer and pintxo bars.
For the highest quality food I recommend La Tasqueta de Blai at Carrer de Blai 17.
If you’re looking for a full dinner with authentic and seasonal tapas look no further than Plata Bistró. The owner Victor opened this beautifully decorated restaurant looking to modernize traditional Spanish dishes.
Go for the calamari, grilled octopus, or the foie gras.
You’ll find it 5 minutes walking from Plaça Espanya at Carrer de Sepulveda 23 and reservations can be made via the restaurant’s Facebook page or by calling (+34) 935169130.
In the mood for Japanese? Then look no further than Suita Ramen at Carrer del Príncep Jordi 6. It’s one of the best ramen spots in Europe. Don’t be put off by the simple decor – this restaurant packs a punch. Make sure you try the gyoza and green tea cheesecake.
Another idea to cap an amazing evening is to head for even further magic: seeing an authentic flamenco show while biting into some classic Spanish tapas.
Right in Plaça Espanya you’ll find one of the top spots in a refurbished bull fighting area called Las Arenas. The show is called Arte Flamenco. Shows run daily at 6:30 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:30 pm.
You can buy tickets in advance from Barcelona Tourisme.
From the top of the area you also get one of the best views of the city.
Around this area you’ll also find one the top areas to stay in Barcelona if you’re there for a conference at La Fira or you need proximity to the airport.
Magic Fountain of Montjuïc History
The Fuente Mágica de Montjuic (Magic Fountain of Montjuïc) was envisioned by Carles Buigas for the 1929 World’s Fair as a replacement for the Four Columns Monument – a monument destroyed by Dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera in 1928 as an affront to Catalan nationalism.
With only a year to go before the fair many deemed Buigas’ plans too ambitious.
Cue 3000 workers.
The fountain was completed in record time and the first show went down on May 29, 1929.
Barcelona’s famous fountain continued shows well into the 1930’s until it was badly damaged during the Spanish Civil War. It remained out of operation until 1955 with Buigas overseeing the repairs.
The music/light choreography that we see today wasn’t added until the 1980’s. It wasn’t until the 1992 Summer Olympic Games that the Barcelona Magic Fountain was completely restored.
Today more than 2.5 million visitors take in the shows every year.
Visiting the Barcelona Magic Fountain Hacks
- Take the escalators behind the fountain up to a great panoramic view area of the city.
- Earlier show times generally have smaller crowds.
- If you’re taking the metro leave a few minutes early to avoid a huge rush of people.
- Double check the times before going to ensure not missing your show.
- Again, get there 30-60 minutes before desired show times to get the best spots.
- There are 8 public toilets in a small building near the fountain (tip the woman).
- Travel lightly and keep bags at front because the crowds attract pickpockets.
Please Soak Me in Commentary Below
OK, now you’re an expert on the Barcelona Magic Fountain show.
If I’ve left anything out be sure to ask me about it or anything else related to your Barcelona holiday in the comments below – and any comments you have to make this resource better would be greatly appreciated!
And don’t be afraid to join the Magic Fountain discussion in my new Facebook group called I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, chat with fellow travelers, and more – anything goes!
Happy fountaining 🙂