In order to get to Monserrat by public transportation, you need to take the rail line for the 30 miles-50 kilometers. There are about about 10 stops along the way for local connections. The fare is steep at minimum of 15,70 Euro for a round trip that also includes the Cremellera, or aeri cable ride (you choose one of these) for the last leg of 4-5 miles to get to Monserrat after the rail line ends. You could spend as much as 34 Euro if you got a tickets with full rides for rail, funicular, and other lines once on Monserrat top to further destinations. That ticket and the ride may take more than one day to see it all, though, so you would have to pay more for a second day.
The rail line is hard to find, and asking directions by public staff around the subway system led me to believe not many really knew how to get to the train line. You go to the end of and find the train down a corridor of the Red Line subway, and ticket booths and turnstyles let you know you have arrived. You need to look for-ask for R5 line of the rail towards Manresa. There are guides at the turnstyels to help you purchase tickets since previously the confusion led to long lines and pickpockets.
A very convenient way of getting to and around on Montserrat is by getting the Trans Montserrat ticket for 22.50 euros. The Trans Montserrat ticket includes 2 metro journeys, return journey to and from Barcelona (Placa Espanya station), a choice of the Aeri (cable car) or Cremallera (train) from the foot of Montserrat to the monastery (return) and unlimited rides on both the funicular trains to Sant Joan and Santa Cova.
There is also the Tot Montserrat ticket ( 36.95 euros) which covers all the above and includes entry to the Montserrat museum and a buffet lunch at the self-service restaurant.
The tickets can easily be purchased from the tourist information booth (with the red "i" sign) located right in front of the Fira Barcelona when you come out from the Placa Espanya metro station. Bear in mind that you must decide if you wish to take the Aeri or the Cremallera up to the Monastery at the time you purchase the Trans/ToT Montserrat ticket. You cannot change your mind later. Tickets in hand, ask the guy at the information booth to indicate where you should go to catch the train to Manresa (it is not easy to find it!).
The overall journey from Barcelona (Placa Espanya) takes about 1.5 hours (about 15 minutes shorter if you opt for the Aeri) and that meant we essentially had only about 5 hours to spend on Montserrat. I read a tip that advised people to opt for the Cremellera instead of the Aeri because on the return trip, the train picks passengers from the Cremallera first and those who opted for the Aeri found the train full and had to stand throughout the entire journey back to Barcelona. Well, let me tell you that it made almost no difference for we too had to stand throughout the entire trip back even though we chose the Cremallera. The train from Manresa would have stopped at 4 earlier stations before picking passengers of the Cremallera so you'd probably only get a seat if you're lucky.
Before going to the monastery at Montserrat I could not figure out if it would be cheaper for me to buy the TransMontserrat card or pay individually for the different transports, but as I had lost my T10-travel card for the metro I thought it would be about the same.
I bought the TransMontserrat card at the Tourist Office at Placa Catalunya and it was 20.90 Euro (February 2008). The card includes:
- Metro to and from Placa Espanya
- Train (R5) from Placa Espanya and back
- Cable car or Rack Railway up to Montserrat, and back
- Use of the two funiculars at Montserrat
- Entrance to the Audiovisual Room at Montserrat
The first train is leaving Placa Espanya at 8.46 and is running once an hour. Going back the trains are running quite late, but the problem was the cable car. In February when I visited the last cable car left Montserrat at 17.45.
Only one of the two funiculars where running when I visited Montserrat. I was told that in low season it was not always that both where running.
I made a daytrip to Girona from Barcelona. My guidebook said trains were leaving from Barcelona Sants Station so I took the metro there from Passeig de Gràcia. I bought a return ticket for 12.10 Euro and took the next train leaving (9.25). Guess if I was surprised when the train 5 minutes later stopped at Passeig de Gràcia, the station I had started from. Well, at least I now knew I could go off there when I returned.
The train between Barcelona and Girona took 1 h 15 min, but some of the trains that stop more often takes 1 h 30 min.
In Girona it is not far to walk from the train station to the old part of town. On the way I stopped at the tourist office and got a timetable for the trains back to Barcelona. I took the 18.28 train back, but had then waited for over half an hour as I didn’t notice that the train leaving 17.56 only were running on Sundays.
I visited Tarragona on a daytrip from Barcelona and took the 8.55 train from Barcelona Passeig de Gràcia. About 1h 15 min later the train arrived in Tarragona. From the train station in Tarragona it is walking distance to the city centre.
I can’t remember which train I took back to Barcelona but they are running every half an hour or every hour until 21.34.
A return ticket between Barcelona and Tarragona was 10.50 Euro (March 2008). In Barcelona the card is stamped when you go through the gates, but in Tarragona you should not forget to stamp the ticket in one of the machines to make the ticket valid (the machine didn’t work for me so I went to the ticket counter to get it stamped).
Like any major european city Barcelona has its own touristic bus. There ae pobably more than one company, however the one that is run by the metropolitan service of the city, is a good option. You can buy one ticket and enjoy the possibility of three different routes and 44 attractins on the whole. Hop on and off as you like, enjoy an audio system in 10 different languages so that you do not miss a single detail of your favourite attraction. A day ticket costs 19 Euros and should you prefer to buy a ticket that is valid for 2 days, it goes for 23 Euros ( October 2007 ) They have special rates for children upto 12 years. Infants below 3 ride for free. You can buy your ticket once you board the bus. You can find a map or a brouchere at any tourist office or also check out their web site. Another reason why you should go for a tour on these busses are tht you are offered special discounts at a number of places which include food outlets, so its worth the deal.
It can be reached by FGC Train R5 approx. 1hr from Plaça d' Espanya.You can either get off Montserrat Aeri Station where a cable car takes you up the side of the mountain to the monastery.
Or the next station Monistrol de Montserrat where a Cremallera train goes up to Monastery.
I paid 18.40 Euro for a return ticket.
once inside BARCELONA you can take a tourist bus.It will take you around the city and stop on the several and much to many beautifull places you like, and all the time you want .
they have two diferent lines named blue and red and within 3 /4 days you managed to visit almost everything.
unfortunetly i was there only for one day and half,,,
Because Barcelona is so big, we took a two day tourist ticket E21. There are three circuits with continuous double decker buses and guides, and you hop on and off. The first day we did the Red circuit to the northern part of the city and the Green circuit to the east and the Olympic boating area. The second day we did the Blue circuit and also a walk up to the fort.
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one point is for Van travellers ..its a good place to park your caravan and take the train to get BCN... the question everyday is harder and more expensive do it in the city
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