Designed for the 1929 Universal Exhibition by the engineer Carles Buigas, the Magic Fountain of Barcelona was restored in 1992 for the Olympic Games and has proved a popular attraction ever since.
This huge fountain bubbles and bursts, spews and spouts cascades of water in a sensational show set to music and lit by every colour of the rainbow. Thousands of people gather each night during summer to enjoy the spectacle, sitting on the many steps that lead up to the MNAC museum and watching the sunset from the vantage point of Montjuic mountain, under which the Magic Fountain sits.
It’s not highbrow culture, but it is a lot of fun, and on a warm evening in particular the atmosphere is great.
Magic Fountain Show Times
The operating hours of the fountain varies depending on the year, with five shows a night every Thursday to Sunday inclusive from May to September, taking place at 9pm, 9:30pm, 10pm, 10:30pm and 11pm.
From October to March the fountain operates just on Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm, 7:30pm, 8pm and 8:30pm.
Each show lasts 15 minutes.
Do I Need Tickets?
The Magic Fountain shows are completely free to attend.
So no need for any tickets, just turn up.
The Magic Fountain in numbers:
Pool dimensions: 50 x 65 m.
Basin diameter. Top: 12. Intermediate: 35 m.
Pool capacity: 3,100,000 liters (Current: 2,950,000 liters)
Number of pumps: 5
Pump output: 4x 265 hp + 1 x 125 hp
Total volume of water in circulation: 2,600 liters per second
Maximum pressure: 5.4 kg/cm2, equivalent to 54 m maximum water height
Number of water jets: 3,620
Number of water arrangements: 29
Number of hydraulic valves: 109
Number of main colors: 8
Different combinations of water-light: C(29.3) + C(29.4) + C(29.5) x CR(8.6) x CR (7.2) = 7,000 million
Number of electric motors: 134
Output of electric motors: 1,567 hp (1,153 Kw)
Number of lights: 4,760
Illumination power: 1,507 Kw. (Current: 995 Kw)
Sound equipment power: 7,500 w RMS
Approximate length of water pipes: 1.5 Km.
Approximate length of compressed air pipes: 6 Km.
Approximate length of electric cables: 355 Km.
Date opened: May 19, 1929
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!
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.
On nearby Montjuïc Hill you also have the city’s most beautiful public gardens, some super-interesting military fortifications, and the legendary open-air architecture museum Poble Espanyol.
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