Wednesday, 9 May 2012


It is maybe the best show in Barcelona, it runs several times every night and it is free.

Every night hundreds of people gather around the main fountain on Avinguda Maria Cristina, the avenue behind between the big square towers at Plaça Espanya, which heads up to the four pointless columns in front to the Palau Nacional on Montjuïc for the spectacular display of choreographed water sprays and jets. 

Sometimes accompanied by musical soundtrack, eighties revivial and movie themses usually, and coloured by lights, candyfloss mists bloom across the fountain while massive plumes of water leap into the sky.

Originally built for the 1929 World Fair, the Magic Fountain has more recently acquired the musical accompaniment, making it one of the city’s top attractions.

From twilight to midnight, give or take, a new Magic Fountain show starts every thirty minutes. In practice the timetable is a bit random.  There are more shows during the summer months than winter.

At the height of the tourist season viewing space is at a premium, with spectators packed around the fountain and crowded onto the terraces leading up to the Palau Nacional, which becomes something of a large open air chill out zone as the night goes on, attracting decent quality buskers, jugglers, skater punks and such like. 

An alternative vantage spot is from the viewing deck of the Arenas shopping mall on the other side of Placa Espana, but it does not have quite the same atmosphere there.

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