One hour from Barcelona you can visit Montserrat which is a mountain where you can see the monastery Montserrat. This monastery is important for pilgrims because of the black Mary statue. It is a great day trip from Barcelona because you have the chance to visit the monastery and the beautiful mountain landscape!
In this article, you read what you can do in Montserrat if you should visit it with a guide or independently, how to get to Montserrat, and more tips. We have visited Montserrat many times, as our family is from the area. We share all our tips so that you can experience a great Montserrat day trip from Barcelona.
Why Montserrat day trip from Barcelona is fun to do?
First of all because of the environment, via public transport you are quickly high in the mountains and can enjoy magnificent views. If you like to be active, you can do awesome hikes in this area. In addition, there are many beautiful buildings to visit, the highlight is of course the monastery of Montserrat. If you are in Barcelona or close to Montserrat it is worth visiting this place because the surrounding is so different in comparison to other parts of Catalonia. Also good to know is that if you don’t have all day you still can visit Montserrat in +/- 6 hours.
Keep in mind that Montserrat is a popular place to visit by tourists but it’s still worth a visit! Especially because of the views and the fact that it feels like you enter a completely different world.
Things to do in Montserrat?
In Montserrat, every type of traveler can find something they like. There is nature, culture, and spirituality. Read below the best things to do in Montserrat.
Tip: use the map below to see where the best things in Montserrat can be found. Click on the top right corner to enlarge the map. If you click on the star symbol next to the title you can save this map in your Google Maps account. In the map you can show or hide different categories. You can then use this map to navigate when you reach your destination.
#1 Monastery of Montserrat
Of course, the reason to visit Montserrat is to visit the monastery called: Abadia de Montserrat. This is a Benedictine abbey, the history of the monastery is not quite clear. In 880 a light was seen after which the locals built a priory here. During the Pope’s visit, a painting of the Virgin Mary was discovered in a cave. They wanted to move it, only because of the weight this was not possible. The Pope decided to build the monastery that we can admire today at this place.
In this monastery, you can see the statue of the Holy Black Mary. The reason it is black is probably because of the smoke from the candles. For the Catalans, this monastery is very important, because during the time of Franco they were not allowed to speak Catalan, nevertheless, they continued to speak Catalan in this monastery.
You can admire the statue of the black Mary up close, for this you have to join the queue on the right before entering the monastery. Many people want to see this statue up close to make a kiss and greet Mary.
The monastery can be visited daily for free from 07:30 am to 08:00 pm.
There are several tours available, we recommend two tours. The half-day tour is perfect if you don’t have much time and still want to visit Montserrat. If you have more time it’s nice to follow a full-day tour. While booking the full-day tour you have the option to book a Spanish wine tasting as well. This is fun to do if you love wine or want to learn more about it.
Check current availability and prices here: half-day tour & full-day tour.
#2 Hiking at Montserrat
Montserrat is a special mountain range where you can do great hikes. You have the choice to hike a small circle or hike for hours through the mountains. You can also choose to hike from the bottom of the mountain to the Montserrat monastery instead of using the bus, cable car, funicular, or train.
We recommend using the cable car from Montserrat Monastery to the top of the mountains. At the top, you have the choice to hike two routes. The route on the left is the simple route where you walk back to the monastery. This route takes about 1 hour to walk. This hike is mainly for people who want to see something of the mountain range but do not want to hike too long.
If you turn right at the top you walk to Sant Jeroni. This is the highest point of Montserrat. From this point, you have a spectacular view! This route takes +/- 3 hours hiking in total. The route is recommended for travelers who like to be active and who want to hike through this special nature reserve.
#3 The choir of Montserrat
You can watch one of Spain’s most popular boys’ choirs for free from Monday to Friday at 1:00 PM and 6:40 PM. On Sunday this is at 12:00 pm. The choir consists of 50 boys who perform in the monastery of Montserrat but also in other places in the world. It is beautiful to hear the choir because they are so good and the environment makes it very special. So big advice, make sure that you are at the monastery at one of the two timeslots.
#4 Cable Car
When you arrive in Montserrat you can visit the monastery, museum, restaurants, and other beautiful buildings. You also have a funicular de Sant Joan to go to the highest viewpoint. From this point, you can walk back to the monastery or go to the high point of Montserrat called Sant Jeroni.
#5 Museum of Montserrat
In Montserrat, you can visit the Museum for €8 per person. In this museum, you will learn everything about the place Montserrat and the monastery. This museum is recommended to visit for travelers who want to learn more about Montserrat. You can buy tickets on the spot.
Where to eat in Montserrat?
First of all, Montserrat is located high in the mountains, which means that transport costs for products are high. As a result, the prices for drinks and food are higher compared to other places. But also because it is popular among tourists prices are high.
If you are at the top of the mountain, we recommend visiting La Cafeteria. Here you can grab your food, they have excellent sandwiches, salads, and various warm dishes in the afternoon. Expect nothing special!
When you are at the bottom of the mountain you need to visit Restaurante Bartomeu. This is a local restaurant where you can eat very well. The great thing about this place is that it is cozy because of the locals.
Visit Montserrat independently or with a tour?
The short answer: it depends on what you want to do. If you want to visit Montserrat without having to arrange everything yourself and if you want to learn everything about the area through the guide, it is recommended to book a tour. There are several tours available, we recommend two tours. The half-day tour is perfect if you don’t have much time and still want to visit Montserrat. If you have more time it’s nice to follow a full-day tour. While booking the full-day tour you have the option to book a Spanish wine tasting as well. This is also fun to do if you love wine or want to learn more about it. Check current availability and prices here: half-day tour & full-day tour.
If you prefer to do everything independently, this is also possible, below you can read how to get to Montserrat.
How to get to Montserrat from Barcelona?
Montserrat can be reached by using a train, funicular and car.
First, you need to travel by train from Plaza Espanya to Montserrat. If you want to travel with the cable train you have to get off at Monistrol de Montserrat.
If you want to travel by funicular, get off one stop further at Aeri de Montserrat. Here you can use the Cremallera de Montserrat funicular.
At Plaza Espanya train station you can buy a combination ticket for the train and funicular or cable train. Both options cost €24 per person. You cannot switch your tickets on the spot, so choose wisely. The funicular is the most common way to travel to Montserrat because it is easy. The cable car is the most beautiful route because you have an amazing view during the trip up to the mountain.
If you travel by car you arrive in Montserrat in about 1 hour from Barcelona. You can park your car for free at Monistrol Vila. Here you can take the train (€12.50 per person) at Cremallera de Montserrat.
If you travel to Spain by plane and you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.
How much time do you need for Montserrat?
If you do it through a tour it depends if you follow the half-day tour or full-day tour. If you do it independently, it takes about 1.5 hours from Barcelona on public transport to get to Montserrat. You need about 3 hours to visit Montserrat, this includes the funicular and the walk from the top back to the monastery. With breaks and food, you need about 7 hours for Montserrat. If you want to walk to the highest point of Sant Jeroni you have to count on about 2 hours extra.
Where to stay in Montserrat?
If you are making a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat, there is no need to stay overnight here. If you would like to stay in Montserrat Hotel Abat Cisneros Montserrat is recommended. The advantage is that you have plenty of time to take long walks. This hotel is the only hotel that is on top of the mountain. Other hotels are down the mountain. Check availability here.
What is the best period to visit Montserrat?
Montserrat can be visited all year round. The best period is during the spring and summer. During these periods the temperatures are most pleasant. This is especially nice if you want to take a long walk to Sant Jeroni. Nevertheless, you can visit Montserrat in autumn and winter without any problem. Keep in mind that you are 1000 meters above sea level, so it can be cooler here.
Want to see more of Spain?
You will probably visit Montserrat as a day trip from Barcelona. If not and you haven’t been to Barcelona yet, this is your chance to discover one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Read here our 3 days Barcelona itineray.
If you are looking for a road trip to discover the north of Spain, you can find inspiration in our article. From Montserrat / Barcelona it is best to travel to Zaragoza, Ordesa National Park, or discover more of the province of Catalonia. Zaragoza is a typical Spanish city where you can discover some beautiful sights. Ordesa National Park is the greenest part of the Pyrenees where you can walk beautifully. in the province of Catalonia, there are places such as Girona but also coastal towns such as L’Escala.
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