If you are planning your visit to Barcelona then you will, probably, come across Montjuic as one of the recommended points of interest.
Not without reason.
Among all the other city landmarks, Monjuic hill is one of those that are out of the city crowds, to be enjoyed with calm and at your own pace.
Visit to Montjuic Castle and it’s exhibitions give a nice overview of the beginnings of Barcelona and Montjuic as it’s first settlement.
On the other side, if you decide to take a Cable Car ride up to the castle, you will also get a quite good visual overview of the city as you will be seeing it from some 173 meters above sea level.
If you are into outdoors and breathtaking views with some history lessons in between, you are gonna love Montjuic Castle visit and, if you like cable cars, then you are about to have the best day in Montjuic.
In this text we will give an overview of the Montjuic Castle visit, how to get to the Cable Car that will bring you there, what to expect, how much you will pay for it etc.
But, first things first.
WHAT IS Montjuic?
Montjuic is a hill in Barcelona, only few kilometers away from the city center.
Back to the origins, Monjuic used to be Barcelona itself.
In other words, Barcelona city was born in Montjuic hill and, from there, started to expand further.
On the top of the hill there used to be several military constructions built with the initial purpose of defending the city.
One of them, the latest built one – the Castle of Montjuic is still there and you can visit it.
You can reach the Castle by a Cable Car while having an incredible views on the way and that’s what makes this visit even more cool.
You will be able to see the city from totally different perspective and also, you will be standing on the place where the city itself was born.
As for the castle, dating back from the 17th century, Montjuic Castle has been having numerous functions.
It served as a prison (especially dedicated to political prisoners). Also, it served as an execution site during the Spanish Civil War.
Post-war Monjuic got completely different aspect.
As the city started to recover and transform in so many levels, the population of Barcelona started to grow.
Soon enough, Montjuic became a place of so-called shanty-towns or slum settlement.
Throughout 20th century, as the city of Barcelona was going through many transformations, offering to it’s inhabitants many work opportunities, so, many decided to try their luck in Barcelona.
Huge waves of migrations were, from one side, providing Barcelona with more workers and, from the other side, creating a problem of housing.
It is said that it used to be more work opportunities than housing space in Barcelona back then.
So, naturally, slum settlements started to emerge.
Montjuic become one of the most suitable places for creating such settlements – kind of isolated from the city center an not so striking.
Even though the government was putting effort in eradicating these settlements, they still managed to exist for quite a lot of time.
Nowadays, Montjuic is just a memory of those times.
As a tourist you can walk around, enjoy the nature and beautiful views of the harbor while visiting some of the remaining witnesses of it’s turbulent past.
As it is a hill, you can take a cable car that will bring you straight up to the castle while you will have the opportunity to enjoy spectacular panoramic views on the way.
Once you are on the top of the hill, you can explore the area walking around and visiting the fortress and it’s exhibitions about the history and life in Monjuic.
What there is to Do?
Assuming you took the Cable Car to arrive (because you definitely should – it’s spectacular), it will leave you exactly at the Castle doors.
Cable car is a fun way to get to the top of the hill and, moreover, you will have the opportunity to see Barcelona from the sky.
The ride is slow and easy and will bring you up to the fortress in some 10-15 minutes.
For a quite cheap price you can enter the fortress where you can see some of the permanent exhibitions and learn about the history of the place.
In the Montjuïc Interpretation Centre (which is located inside the fortress), you can see a Permanent Exhibition about the development and history of the Montjuic Castle and also about the surrounding areas of Montjuic.
Current exhibition called “LIVE IN MONTJUÏC. Memories of a forgotten shanty town” explains in details the history of the slum settlements in Montjuic showing the original material – photos, videos and also interviews with the people who used to live there.
You will get the idea of how the post-war Barcelona looked like, where was the biggest slum settlement, how the life of it’s inhabitants looked like and how the authorities dealt with the housing issue in the city.
Life of an immigrant is never an easy one and this exhibition shows the life of people who moved to Barcelona in the search for better life.
Living without basic services – drinkable water or bathrooms and many other difficulties that inhabitants of the Montjuic shanty town were facing are documented through the interviews with people who used to live there.
You can watch those documentaries within the exhibition and hear the confessions of the former inhabitants.
This exhibition is a temporary one and will be displayed until 01. Nov.2020.
Another temporary exhibition – called “Sonorous Postcards of Barcelona“, is an interesting hearing experience, based on six postcards that evoke six representative places in the city.
After you sit comfortably in a very dark room, you will, first, hear the sounds specific for certain spots in the city.
This will be followed with some visualization of the places so you can get the feeling of the atmosphere in those iconic spots in Barcelona.
Visit to all the exhibitions is included in your Castle entry fee.
To check the current exhibitions visit the official web page – Current Exhibitions – Castel of Montjuic.
As for the castle, you cannot really see much of the interior. Actually, none of it.
But you can explore the external passages and gardens around and see it massive walls.
Since this castle was built, primarily to defense the city from the potential enemy, there is no much of a luxury or decoration you can see.
PANORAMIC ROOF TERRACE
There is a big roof terrace which you can visit and enjoy some nice 360º views of the city. From here you can see the port, mountains surrounding Barcelona and the city itself with all it’s main landmarks.
You can even spot Sagrada Familia emerging in the heart of the city.
In the courtyard of the castle there is a kind of a small, open theater put up to host temporary performances which you can also watch for free (the admission fee for the fortress includes it).
Normally, they start in the evening hours and are held only during the summer months or special occasions.
You can check the schedule on the web page – Activity Calendar – Castle of Monjuic
Apart from that, you can just walk around the fortress and it’s surrounding, breathe fresh air and enjoy the views.
- Wi Fi
- Food and drink truck inside the fortress
- Hand sanitizers at the entrance and inside the exhibition rooms
- General information available in Spanish, French, English & Catalan
Parking space reserved for people with functional diversity using a vehicle duly accredited.
All areas of the Castle (except for the terrace) are accessible for people with reduced mobility.
Some difficulties can be experienced if moving with the wheelchair due to the uneven pavement.
Fully accessible toilets.
Guide dogs have access to all areas of Montjuïc Castle.
Montjuïc Castle offers sign language tours for groups (reservations must be made at the following mail: [email protected]).
Also, there is an option of guided tours for groups of people with intellectual disabilities (it is necessary to book previously) with routes adapted to the different needs of the group.
For any special request it is necessary to contact in advance – [email protected]
More about the accessibility on the web page – Accessibility – Castle of Monjuic
Food & Drink
Normally, there are 2 food tracks inside the fortress where you can take some snack and drinks.
Time for Visit
Visiting time is unlimited (within the working hours) so you can explore it at your own pace and without hurry.
- General ticket: 5 eur
- General ticket + guided tour: 9 eur
- Reduced fee: 3 eur
- Reduced fee + guided tour: 7 eur
* More about reduced fee requirements on the web page – Reduced fee access to Monjuic Castle
- Open days (free admission): every Sunday after 3pm and every first Sunday of the month
- Free admission for people under 16 years old
- Guided tour on open days: 4 eur
More about prices and timetables of the organized guided tours – Visit to Monjuic Castle
You can buy tickets on the spot or online – Castle of Monjuic – Tickets
- Monday to Sunday from 10am to 8pm
- Closing ticket offices at 7:30pm
Location & How to Get There
Address: Montjuïc Castle, Ctra. de Montjuïc, 66, 08038 Barcelona
Bus line 150 (from Plaça d’Espanya) – will leave you nearby the castle
By Metro + Funicular + Cable Car:
From Paral-lel metro station (Purple Line) you can take Funicular – FM (included in the metro ticket) that will bring you to the Cable Car stop (Telefèric de Montjuïc).
As you leave the Funicular you can either walk up to the castle (that will take you approx.30min uphill)
OR you can take a Cable Car ride all the way to the top. Cable Car will leave you basically at the entrance to the Montjuic Castle.
- Cable Care (Teleferic) ticket costs 13.5 eur (round trip) or 8.90 eur (one way) if bought on the spot.
- If buying online these prices are -10%.
To buy tickets online visit the web page – Montjuic Cable Car (Teleferic) – Tickets
For more information about the Cable Car route, prices, special offers etc. visit the web page – Teleferic de Monjuic
We recommend this option as Cable Car is really nice and relaxing way to get to the top. Plus, you will be rewarded with beautiful views of Barcelona.
The whole trip (one way) lasts some 10-15 minutes.
You can go back the same way (by cable car) or you can walk down (while exploring the surrounding park) all the way to the metro stop Paral-lel.
You can arrive to Monjuic Castle on foot too. This one is also an option.
On the positive side – it’s free.
The negative side is that is uphill all the way.
In case you decide to arrive to Monjuic Castle on foot, you can also see the Montjuic Botanical Garden on your way.
Another option is to take the Cable Car up and to go back walking. Downhill is not that bad as going uphill.
And, also, you can explore the nearby park and Botanical Garden on your way.
All in all, you can plan a half-day or even full-day excursion if you want to take it easy and explore the Montjuic area on foot.
If you are into outdoors, walking, parks… and besides that also interested in learning about the beginnings of Barcelona, Montjuic is a great place to spend the day.
If you are coming with kids, they will for sure, love running and playing around as there is a lot of open space.
If you have some extra time and interest, there are few other interesting activities you can do around Montjuic:
- The Palau Nacional – home of the National Museum of Catalan Art
- Magic Fountain (Font Magica) – with music and lights performance
- Poble Español (Spanish Village) – an open-air architectural museum that recreate the atmosphere of Iberian village life using the traditional architecture of all the different regions of Spain
- The Olympic Ring – Olympic Stadium that was designed for the 1936 Games and reconstructed for the Olimpic Games 1992 and the Sport Museum
- Botanical Gardens
**Check the operating hours on the web pages of the place as some restrictions might be in place due to Covid-19 situation.
You finished your Montjuic tour and you are looking for the best places to eat/drink? Check out our text about The Best Tapas Bars in Barcelona.
Now, you are all set for your Barcelona trip.
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4 thoughts on “Discover Barcelona – Montjuic Castle Visit & Cable Car – Self Guided Tour”
So I took the cable car up. But couldn’t find a way to get to the castle. What did I do wrong? Go up instead of down? Down instead of up? I think I’ll never know.
Oooh, so sorry to hear that 🙁 did you maybe get off at the first stop? The first stop leaves you at the Montjuic Park and the next one on the Castle stop. When did you visit it?
We wanted to visit Barcelona! Great post and tips! Keep it upx
Hey Katrina, thank you very much. You should definitely come to Barcelona 😉