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Barcelona and Montserrat Tour with Skip-the-Line Park Güell Entry and Hotel or Port Pickup
"Leave your central Barcelona hotel (or cruise port) by air-conditioned minibus and travel up Montjuic – Barcelona’s famous 755-foot (230-meter) hill – while enjoying breathtaking views of the city harbor. Located at the hill’s peak is Anella Olímpica where the 1992 Olympic Games were held. After stopping to explore continue to Montjuic Castle for photos and then head back down the hill into town.Barcelona is famous for its links to Antoni Gaudi – Spain’s celebrated Modernist architect – and the city is scattered with his highly acclaimed works. Stop outside passing other architectural sites of interest like Casa Amataller and Casa Morera and then head to Gaudi’s Park Güell. Make your way past the long entrance lines with your skip-the-line ticket and then spend some time exploring with your guide. Easily one of the most impressive public spaces in the world the gardens are said to encapsulate Gaudi’s creative genius with an abundance of colorful mosaics and intriguing gatehouses.After a break for lunch (own expense) hop back on board your minibus and travel west to Montserrat
From EUR106.00
 
Barcelona Shore Excursion: Barcelona and Montserrat Tour with Skip-the-Line Park Güell Entry and Port Pickup
"When your cruise ship arrives at the Barcelona port you’ll be picked up by your guide by comfortable vehicle and taken on a small-group tour. Admire breathtaking views of the harbor and city as you drive up the hill of Montjuic to visit the Olympic Ring the site of the 1992 Olympic Games and take stunning panoramic snapshots from Montjuic Castle.Then visit surreal buildings of one of the world’s most famous architects Antoni Gaudi. Head to one of his most extraordinary creations the still unfinished La Sagrada Familia
From EUR106.00
 
Barcelona Shore Excursion: Small-Group Barcelona City Highlights and Skip-the-Line Park Güell Tour
"When your cruise ship is in Barcelona meet your driver-guide and air-conditioned minivan at the port and set off on your small-group tour.Drive up Montjuïc Hill the home of Barcelona’s 1992 Olympics admiring the awesome views of the city’s harbor on route. Hop out of your minivan at the Olympic Ring to admire the exteriors of the Olympic Stadium Palau Sant Jordi and elegant Calatrava Tower and then snap photos of the magnificent city views from Mirador del Alcalde next to Montjuïc Castle.Take in Plaza de España the vast square dominated by the National Palace and Arenas de Barcelona
From EUR66.00

Day Trip: Montserrat Tips (50)

Getting to and From Monserrat

To get to Monserrat from Barcelona, head to the Plaza Espanya train (metro) station. There, you can usually speak to a Monserrat Tourism employee, or just use the self-service machines to book your tickets. You save the most money by buying a combined ticket - Ferrocarils de Catalunya train to the base of the mountain, and then your choice of either the cable car or the tram up the mountain. We paid €12 each for combined return tickets for adults. Trains currently leave Plaza Espanya every hour from 9:36 am, but beware that the last train home leaves the bottom of Monserrat around 5:30 pm (at least in the fall and winter).

Once you are at Monserrat, there is an additional charge to take the funicular from the basilica / cafe / museum up to the top of the mountain (to see the old monastary, hermitages and excellent hiking trails). It is approximately € 6 return. You can pay half of that to take the funicular up and walk / hike down to the basilica (approxmiately 75 minutes).

Jetgirly
Dec 31, 2004

Montserrat: the spiritual centre of Catalunya

Montserrat is not meant to be a tourist hot spot but more of a place for quiet serenity and spirituality. For many people it is a place for pilgrimage and prayer. In that respect I think you can appreciate more of the beauty of the monastery and the area. For many others is a well an amazing place for hiking and enjoy the nature.

Montserrat as well is one of the symbols of Catalunya. Even for non-Catholics, as this place played a key role of the preservation of Catalan culture, language and traditions during the dark times of the Franco's dictatorship (1939-1975)

No need to get a tour to go there, it's easy to go there by public transport, and you can organize you trip on your own way. Tours tend to loose a lot of time having lunch or shopping. BTW, nothing especially interesting to buy there apart from religious items and the delicious local "mel i mató" (kind of cottage cheese, traditionally served with honey)

About Montserrat and how getting there:
www.montserratvisita.com

Apart from visiting the monastery (and if you're into art, the museum, one of the best of the region), I highly recommend you to take the racktrain to Sant Joan's peak. The views are impressive. You can return with the racktrain again, or can walk down the monastery. It is a very nice, not difficult but long walk (about 3 hours). If you're fit enough, you can walk as well till the highest point of the Mountain: St Jeroni. This one is a more difficult walk, but really scenic. There are as well other nice mountain paths, but you'll need more than a daytrip to full explore the area.

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Belsaita
Jun 15, 2010

Monasterio de Montserrat

Catalonia's most important religious retreat is Montserrat. Here athletes pledge barefoot pilgrimages if prayers are answered and vital competitions won. Groups of young people from Barcelona and all over Catalonia make overnight hikes at least once in their lives to watch the sunrise from the heights of Montserrat. "La Moreneta" (the black virgin), Catalonia's favorite saint, resides in the famous sanctuary of the Mare de Deu de Montserrat, next to the Benedictine monastery nestled among the towers and crags of the mountain.

Montserrat, whose name means serrated mountain, is 48 kilometers (roughly 30 miles) west of Barcelona, and can be reached easily and spectacularly by train and cable car. Just take the FGC train from Plaça d'Espanya station (R5) and go to either the cable car stop or the funicular stop. I suggest the first stop, the cable car for it's remarkable view! Make sure you buy the combination ticket before leaving (saves you some money!)

Looming 1236 meters (4055 ft) over the valley floor, Montserrat, the highest point of the Catalan lowlands, stands central to the most populated part of Catalonia. The massive conglomerate stone monolith is ideally located to play an important role in the cultural and spiritual life of Catalonia.

The Basilica houses a museum that is packed with works of art by a long list of prominent painters and sculptors including works by El Greco, Dalí, Picasso and many more.

Lastly, Montserrat's highest point, Sant Jeroni, can be reached by funicular (price included in combination ticket) from the Romanesque monastery of Santa Cecilia. From Sant Jeroni, almost all of Catalonia can be seen. You can see more about this monastery soon on my Monistrol de Montserrat page.

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seamandrew
Jul 03, 2004

Monstserrat Cable Car

I would highly recommend taking the cable car (aerial) to Montserrat rather than the train. It is about a ten minute ride and the views are just spectacular. You really can see forever, especially on a clear day! It is also a VERY steep climb up the mountain, which can be quite exciting.

The cable car takes you to nearly to the top of the mountain, to a height of approximately 720 meters above sea level. You will still need to take the funicular to reach the top.

Jetgirly
Dec 31, 2004
 
 
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MONSERRAT AND THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Montserrat - massif 50 km NW of Barcelona with dolomite-like rocks. Richard Wagner stayed there - his opera Parsifal uses the mountain as its backdrop. The Benedictine monestery is a popular shrine in Catalunya, with its Black Virgin (La Moreneta), a 12th century wooden sculpture. Splendid views and rambles - an ideal day out.

Monastery (f. 1025) sacked by Napoleon's troops in 1811. Dissolution of monestery in 1830s (anti-clerical laws). Choir sings the 'Virolai' at 13:00 and the 'Salve Regina' at 19:10 Mon. through Sun.

Hike along one of the paths behind the monestary to the far side of the massif (next to the radio masts). There is an impressive sheer drop of a 1000 feet of so if you fancy peering over the edge (warning, do not try this in fog!).

The monestery is ugly. The side streets offer trinkets and dear catering. Avoid weekends and holidays (coach parties galore!).

A local wag said of Catalonia that "a country with a black virgin and a white gorilla can't be all bad" - cruel but funny. Sadly, the gorilla ("Floc de neu", a.k.a. "Snowflake") died in 2003 and it turns out the Montserrat virgin only went black over the ages. She is a sickly cream colour beneath the grime.

Should you be one of the few VIPs asked to sign the visitors book, ask to see the entries for 1940/41. Lo and behold, there is Heinrich Himmler's name! The old bugger was convinced the Holy Grail had been taken there from Montsegur after the Pope and his cohorts wiped out the Cathars in 1244 (the Catholic Church at the time had its own version of "The Final Solution"). Wagner, Parsifal, Himmler, and the Nazis' obsession with the occult - you won't find this kind of information in the tourist brochures.

FGC (Catalan railways):
Dep: Placa Espanya stn. Barcelona
Arr: Monsterrat Aeri stn.
(Journey time approx. 1 hr.)
then cable car to monestery
Enter stations, travel date & departure time in the 2nd. web below for timetables. Round ticket includes cable car.

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Harold_Godwin
Apr 04, 2011

Outside the Montserrat Basilica

The exterior of the basilica at Montserrat is absolutely beautiful. It truly is a mix of the old and new, with Gothic cloisters from the 1300s mixing with towers constructed as recently as the 1930s. You will surely be struck by the beautiful atrium floor, which bears an inscription reading

"Only those baptised and born in the water like fish can understand the meaning of the fish of Eucharist."

I have no idea what that means!

Outside the basilica you will also see the 14th century tombs of Joan of Aragon (not Joan of Ark!) and Bernat de Vilamari.

Jetgirly
Jan 01, 2005

Images of Monserrat Along with the Liquor

Monserrat produces a good bottle of anise flavored liquor, of which I am consuming a cool cocktail of right now, so please go to the other websites for more historical details of this great monastary. There's plenty of hiking in the rocks around the monastery, and inside there are plenty of religious relics to appreciate, but mostly this is about the funicular and views from above. Don't forget to buy the Aromas de Monserrat before heading for tram down the cliff.

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atufft
May 22, 2007

Things to Do in Montserrat

There are plenty of things to do at Montserrat, and this tip will focus on the area at the top of the aerial / tram (you don't need to pay for the funicular to get here).

This area is home to most of the tourist attractions at Montserrat. For starters, there is a large gift shop connected to a cafe and restaurant. There is also a hotel and two restaurants. I would highly recommend staying overnight at Montserrat, especially if you really like hiking.

Other attractions include the basilica (see my other tips), short hiking trails and the museum. The museum at Montserrat is home to artists such as Dali and el Greco. I believe there is also a guided audio tour that covers the history of Montserrat for those interested.

Options exist for people wanting to buy the entire package, including transportation to and from Montserrat, lunch and admission to the major attractions. Check with tourist information in Barcelona, or with the ticket machines at Plaza Espanya train station.

Jetgirly
Jan 01, 2005

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Montserrat Funiculars

There are two funiculars that connect the basilica and outlying buildings at Montserrat to the mountains high above. The funiculars are trains that run on steep tracks (about 65 degrees) along the side of the mountains. At Montserrat, the trains have glass roofs so you will get an amazing view! Don't worry if you are afraid of heights, it is a gentle trip and you will feel very secure. We took the funicular Saint Joan, which takes you up the mountain to beautiful walking trails and abandoned hermitages.

Jetgirly
Jan 01, 2005

Great Day Trip

You have to make sure you have to go in through the right Metro entrance at Espanya station, you need the R5 line on FGC.
The train & cable car combined ticket is around 13 Euros. A train/funicular ticket is available also. Both can be purchased from the ticket machine in the station. Machines coins, notes and credit/debit cards.
The trains leave every hour to Montserrat at 36 minutes past the hour. The journey takes just under an hour. The destination and line number are displayed on the front of the train and the side of each carriage.
Trains leave Monsterrat at around 39 minutes past.

On reaching Montserrat Aeri (cable car stop) its a very short walk to the cable car. Keep hold of your ticket!!
The cable car itself can get very full so it is worth waiting a bit to get a later cable car up and leave earlier to get a cable car down 20 -30 minutes before the train is due then you are more likely to get a decent spot by the window without getting an elbow shoved down your ear.
We took a short peek round the monastery but didn’t bother joining the huge queue to see the black virgin statue. You can see it from the monastery and you can take a picture from there with a decent enough zoom!
There is a hotel, a couple of restaurants and several shops at the top. The main cafeteria almost opposite the cable car entrance sells everything from soup and sandwiches to three course hot meals with wine. There are also vending machines dotted around selling ice cream, pop (Coke etc), water and the rather nice alcohol free, low calorie Spanish beer Free Damm.
Montserrat was a lot more built up than I thought but there are a lot of walks up and around the mountain and its woods which get you away from the crowds. Paths are marked and paved making for easy walking albeit up some steep gradients.
The Sant Joan funicular rises 820 feet above the monastery (Just over 6 Euros return) from the funicular station its about a 20 minute walk to Sant Joan chapel another funicular heads towards Santa Cova - the holy cave.

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SueWarwick
Jul 01, 2007

Montserrat

A visit to Montserrat Mountains and monastery is absolutely compulsory. The last part of the train trip offers an absolutely stunning scenery, and the views from the top of the mountains are trully amazing.

The monastery is beautiful also. Inside you can find a famous sculpture of Virgin Mary. There is no entrance fee to visit the monastery.

You can add up to the already amazing experience by taking the Sant Joan funicular straight up to the top of the Montserrat mountains. It is a very steep line up.

Reaching Montserrat is very easy from Barcelona. You will take a train from the metro station Espanya (you will have to take a special line from there). As you approach the platform you will find a special kiosk with flyers and leaflets about Montserrat. As we were students we paid around 15 Euros for the transportation there.

The transportation can be various. You can also hike up to the monastery I believe. Our route was from Barcelona Espanya to Monistrol to Montserrat. There we changed to another train called la Cremallera de Montserrat. It is wise to pick up this solution as on the return you will have guaranteed places to sit. The train gets very crowded sometimes and it is pretty small.

For another 5-7 Euros you can take the Sant Joan funicular right to the top of the mountains. It is a very nice experience, very worth if you are in Montserrat.

In Montserrat there are several cafes available and also a small museum.

Beware of the temperatures in Montserrat. Always take some warmer clothes and definetely an umbrella.

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mingul
Jun 14, 2007

More on the Exterior of the Montserrat Basilica

The facade of the basilica at Montserrat was built in 1900 and 1901. It features sculptures of the apostles by Agapit Vallmitjana, whose brother designed the reliefs in the tympanums. I thought this was one of the most beautiful church exteriors that I have ever seen!

Jetgirly
Jan 01, 2005

Things to Do Near Day Trip: Montserrat

Things to Do

Daytrip -Montserrat

Montserrat is truly a special place. It's easy to get there from Barcelona. There are a lot of tickets on tourist info places that cover all the expenses. You just need to pay attention to the...
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Museu d'Art Contemporani - Modern Art Museum

The Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona is situated in a huge white and glass building designed by Richard Meiers and opened in 1995. Its in El Raval, not too far from Las Ramblas and in an area...
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Museu del Modernisme Catala - Museum of Modernism

Located in at the corner of consell de Cent and Balmes just off of the Rambla, the Museu del Modernisme Catala is dedicated to the Catalan artists representing the Catalan Modernism and include such...
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Catalunya Square

Catalunya Square is the heart of Barcelona. It is a transport hub and a crowded meeting spot. When we visited it was hosting a market and a weird futuristic hair-styling event which was very...
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Plaça Catalunya

part two of my two part tip with more pictures. Plaça Catalunya can be considered as the City Center of Barcelona as it is located along the middle of many of the attractions in the City just as the...
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Carrer Montcada

There are some beautiful charming corners in Barrio Gotico. Montcada is one of the them, a long narrow street with best preserved buildings and a view of a palm tree at its end. This is also where...
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Getting to Day Trip: Montserrat

Address

About 50kms NE of Barcelona

Hours

  • Sunday 08:00 to 18:00
  • Monday 08:00 to 18:00
  • Tuesday 08:00 to 18:00
  • Wednesday 08:00 to 18:00
  • Thursday 08:00 to 18:00
  • Friday 08:00 to 18:00
  • Saturday 08:00 to 18:00

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