Don't Skip Montserrat When Visiting Barcelona

Montserrat-1

Located an hour away from Barcelona, Montserrat is a multi-peak rocky range. It is a part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range running parallel to the Mediterranean Sea coast in Catalonia. Home to Benedictine abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat, this location plays an important part in the cultural and spiritual life of Catalonia... and could be the coolest rock formations you'll ever see


How to get to Montserrat

We started early morning knowing we wanted to be in Montserrat just before noon. From Barcelona, we took Line R5 towards Manresa from Espanya station. Espanya station is on the red, pink, and green metro lines (L1, L8, L3) making it very accessible. Note that taking Line R5 only takes you to the foot of the mountain, not to the top yet.

At the R5 platform, there were two different booths: Aeri de Montserrat which is a cable car ride; and the Montserrat Rack Railway. We opted to take the cable car for better views and an adventure ride. A roundtrip ticket including both the train and cable car is 20.20. Should you want to buy tickets separately, a round trip cable car ticket costs €10 and can be bought upon arrival at Montserrat.

Remember to know where to stop while on the train to Montserrat: the Aeri de Montserrat (cable car) train station comes first before the Rack Railway. The train ride takes an hour and it’s best to leave early morning. We took the 9:36 train and trains only come by every hour.

This travel guide has been helpful to us in finding our way to Montserrat including train timetables.

At the foot of the mountain... going up!

We arrived at the Aeri de Montserrat stop just before 11 in the morning. There was a long queue for the cable car but it was the kind that we patiently waited for since the views from below were already astonishing. The cable ride was really cool so it's best to pick a spot by the window if you want to take pictures! The ride takes 10 minutes and is not for the faint hearted!

On the top of the world!

Taking the cable car was the grandest of grand entrances! From the stop we walked towards the mountain proper and at every angle was a breathtaking view. Montserrat's highest peak is 1,236 meters so you can only imagine how high up in the clouds we were.

It was nearly noontime when we arrived so we went for a quick lunch first and foremost. There are a few cafes to choose from but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to bring a packed lunch which I felt we should’ve done. There were also many tourists that the place felt like a small town atop the mountain. 

Apart from the climb and the views, there are many other locations to see in Montserrat. It is home to the Benedictine Abbey and The Art Museum of Montserrat to name a few. There are also a number of walking trails should you want to do some hiking! 

We left Montserrat around 2 in the afternoon so we can catch the R5 train back to Barcelona at 2:45PM. Going to Montserrat requires good timing so it’s best to know what time the trains leave. The trains can be full too so watch out for a good spot where you can sit comfortably for an hour’s journey.

Montserrat was one of the highlights of our Barcelona trip. It was a great way to get away from the city and experience nature and manmade architecture like no other.


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