Montserrat Mountain is not technically in Barcelona and is an hour away by train, but you will really be missing out if you don’t make a side trip to Montserrat!
If you love hiking you will be in your element! There are many fantastic routes here so make sure to visit the information desk just over from the funicular station. You can also take a funicular further up the mountain and then walk to the summit called Sant Jeroni. The walk is quite easy, with stunning views all of the way. The views from the top are definitely worth the climb up!
Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery is built half way up the mountainside. You don’t have to be religious to enjoy a visit here, as the location is amazing, the monastery is very beautiful, and the views from it are just stunning!
There is also a museum here with a lovely gift shop, and some smaller shops selling religious souvenirs, chocolates, books, and all kinds of other gifts.
Along the road in front of the monastery, local vendors have some stalls where you can try some free samples of their foods before buying. They sell cheeses, honey, and nuts among other things. There is also a restaurant a little further up the road.
From the monastery, you can take a funicular down to Santa Cova (Holy Grotto), or up to Saint Joan.
At the site of Santa Cova, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in an image. There is also a rather nice small chapel here.
Saint Joan is a good place to begin your walk to the summit, and then come down the other way, which leads back to the monastery. This way you avoid most of the steps (and there’s a lot of them) on your way up. It’s much more fun to come down them!
The train to Montserrat goes from Placa d’Espanya train station, and takes around one hour to reach the mountain. Take the R5 line in the direction of Manresa. If you want to take the cable car up to the monastery, which is a 5 minute journey, then you will need to get off at the train station called Aeri de Montserrat.
If you want to travel up the mountain on the rack railway, which is a 20 minute journey, then you need to get off the train at Monistrol de Montserrat.
At Placa d’Espanyol there is a Montserrat information desk, and they can help you choose which ticket or combined ticket would suit you best.
If you plan to use the funiculars on the mountain, then there is a combined train ticket you can buy from Barcelona, which includes transport to Montserrat, cable car or rack railway up the mountain, and then either one or both funiculars on the mountain. This works out much cheaper than buying separate tickets.
I highly recommend taking the cable car up as the views are breathtakingly beautiful!
Insiders Tip: Take the time to see the Montserrat Boys Choir singing in the monastery basilica as they are lovely to listen too. They normally sing at 13.00, and again at 18:45. They don’t perform in July or during the Christmas holidays. It can get very crowded in the basilica when the boys sing so it is best to go inside 15 to 20 minutes before they start.
A visit to Montserrat should be on everyone’s bucket list!
Entry Price: Free (entrance fee to museum is €6.50)
Opening Hours: Take note of the times of the last cable car, or rack railway train down the mountain, and also be sure to know when the last train back to Barcelona will be. All these times vary depending on the time of year. For more information on transport, and times visit http://www.montserrat-tourist-guide.com/en/transport/barcelona-to-montserrat-train.html
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