Montserrat – Day Trip From Barcelona

Montserrat – Day Trip From Barcelona

If you are around Barcelona and want to see and do something completely different than city sightseeing + you are into nature, amazing views and hiking almost above the clouds, Montserrat is an ideal place for your day trip from Barcelona.

This incredible mountain is some 50km far away from Barcelona and you can reach it in around 1 hour of pleasant train ride.

It`s main peaks are: Sant Jeroni (1,236 m), Montgrós (1,120 m) and Miranda de les Agulles (903 m).

If you are more on an easy going side and not into hiking, there is plenty of easy and short paths that do not require much of a fitness but still offer great views, fresh air and an incredible experience.

 Montserrat - day trip from Barcelona - panoramic view of Montserrat Monastery

There are several hiking trails of different intensity and difficulty so everyone can find a suitable one and enjoy breathtaking views.

If these seem like something you would like to see yourself spending your day on, keep reading. In this text we gathered all the necessary information to organize your day trip to Montserrat from Barcelona (how to get there, what to do, how much time & money do you need…)

WHAT IS MONTSERRAT?

Montserrat is a multi-peaked mountain range near Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain.

It is famous by great hikes, climbing, incredible views, fresh air, beautiful nature…but also as a place of a religious significance.

The monastery of Montserrat is a home to La Moreneta – the Black Virgen of Montserrat. She is considered the patron saint of Catalonia (together with Saint Jordi).

This statue of Black Madonna has a local name –  La Moreneta which means “the little dark-skinned one” and it is believed to have healing powers.

Beside the monastery of Montserrat, there are also several other spots on the mountain that have religious significance and symbolism.

 Montserrat - day trip from Barcelona - mountain view

HOW TO GET TO MONTSERRAT?

Assuming you are traveling to Monserrat from Barcelona, the most common way (and the best one) is by train.

Trains from Barcelona run each hour, so basically, you can catch one at any moment.

If you are doing just a one-day trip to Montserrat, we suggest taking the early-morning train (the first one is at 8.36) to take the maximum profit of the day.

The train goes from Plaza d’Espanya station from where you need to look for the train to Manresa (R5 line -Barcelona – Manresa).

Keep in mind that the train will bring you to one of the two stops (Aeri de Montserrat or Monistrol stop, depending on your choice) from where you will need to take a cable car or rack railway to bring you up to the mountain.

Normally, you can buy combined tickets that include train from Barcelona + Cable Car or Rack Railway.

Once you find yourself at the ticket vending machine at Plaza d’Espanya, you will have several ticket options to choose from.

Option 1: train from Barcelona to Aeri Montserrat Stop + Cable Car

Take the ticket to Aeri de Montserrat and take off on that train stop. Once you leave the train, you will find yourself just in front of the cable car station. There, you have to validate your ticket and wait for the next cable car to bring you up to the Montserrat.

The ride lasts about 5 minutes long and you will be together with around 15 persons standing in the cable car (no sitting spots).

We suggest choosing this option since the ride is beyond spectacular and you will have incredible views of the mountains just before your eyes.

Still, if you don’t feel comfortable with the idea of cable car lifting you really high in the mountains, option 2 might be better for you.

For more information about the cable car to Montserrat – visit the official website Aeri de Montserrat | Desde 1930

Cost: single ticket Barcelona – Aeri de Montserrat + Cable Car costs €13.25, return ticket €24.00 eur

  Montserrat - day trip from Barcelona - Cable Car

Option 2: train from Barcelona to Monistrol stop (Cremallera Funicular (rack railway station) + Rack Railway

This one is the next stop after the Aeri de Montserrat. If you didn’t like the idea of cable car, you can buy a ticket to Monistrol and take off there.

From there, after leaving the train, you will take a rack railway (Cremallera Funicular) that will bring you up to Montserrat in about 15 minutes.

This way is maybe more comfortable than cable car, as you will be sitting. Still, the ride will be scenic and enjoyable but not so thrilling (in our opinion) as the one with cable car.

Cost: single ticket Barcelona – Monistrol stop + Rack Railway ride costs €13.25, return ticket €24.00 eur

Option 3:

Option 3 is actually a combo ticket called Tot Montserrat (All Montserrat) which includes:

  • return ticket Barcelona – Montserrat
  • the rack railway (Cremallera Funicular) or Cable Car
  • Admission to the Interactive Exhibition where you can learn about Montserrat
  • A visit to the Museum of Montserrat, where you can see works by Dalí, El Greco, Miró, Picasso…
  • Unlimited use of the Sant Joan Funicular of Montserrat, from where you can see the horizon stretching from the Pyrenees to the sea
  • Meal in the self-service restaurant at Montserrat.

Cost: Tot Montserrat ticket: 52,90 eur

*For more information and tickets for Tot Montserrat visit the official page – Tot Montserrat | Visit Barcelona Tickets (barcelonaturisme.com)

WHAT THERE IS IN MONTSERRAT?

  • Several hiking trails that will bring you to some spectacular mountain views.
  • Monastery of Montserrat, La Moreneta (the statue of Black Madonna), Santa Cova (saint cave)…
  • Cable cars (that will bring you around if you are not into too much walking)
  • Mountain train (that will bring you around if you are not into too much walking and are scared to take cable car)
  • Breathtaking nature & fresh air (all around)
  • Museum + different temporary exhibitions

***

  • HIKING TRAILS:

  • Hike to Sant Jeroni

Sant Jeroni summit is the longest and seem to be the more difficult hiking trail. However, the views all along the path are so spectacular and rewarding that you won’t even be complaining that much.

 Montserrat - day trip from Barcelona - San Jeroni Hike

There are two ways to start this hike:

Option 1 –  starting from the Escales dels Pobres – stairs that you will see on the main square where the restaurant and supermarket are. Starting from this point you will have to climb a loooot of stairs… really many… like thousands and this is the most tiring part of it.

At some point (after what feels like millions of stairs) the stairway will turn into a nice forest path and will lead you to some beautiful landscapes.

The path is quite well marked and there is no many opportunities to get lost. However, it’s possible so make sure to start (and finish) your hike during the day (consider that you will need between 3 and 4 hours to complete the hike).

**If you are on a day trip from Barcelona and want to leave Montserrat in the evening, take into account the timings of the cable car/rack rail and the train to Barcelona.

Once you reach the Sant Jeroni summit, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views so this is the ideal moment for a nice break with some refreshment and snacks and, of course, taking some photos.

From this point you can decide to return the same way back or to continue forward and complete the full hike.

If you decide to do a full circle, eventually, you will find yourself at Sant Joan cable car station from where you can return to the center (near to the monastery and the center of Montserrat) by cable car.

If you are not too tired, you can skip the cable car and complete the route walking.

Option 2 – easier way to start this hike is doing it clockwise – starting from “Cami de Sant Miquel trail” located in front of the Sant Joan Funicular (lower station, in the center of the village).

Here, you can decide if you want to take a cable car to bring you up and shorten the path a little bit or you want to do it al walking.

In any case, if you start your hike clockwise, you will end it going down the stairs which is a way easier option than climbing them (like in the option 1).

***Please note that this hike is moderate to high difficulty so take enough time, do it at your own pace and, if you see it`s getting too hard, better go back.

Bring enough water, some snacks and make sure you are wearing your most comfortable shoes.

Cost → Free
LocationSant Jeroni summit 
Hiking time → 3-4 hours
Opening Hours → 24/7
Best time to visit → during the daylight (take into account the closing hours of the cable car/rack railway if you are not sleeping over in Montserrat)

  • Santa Cova

Santa Cova or Saint Cave is a religious shrine where Virgin of Montserrat statue was hidden during the Moorish invasions. Upon the discovery of this place, it became a pilgrimage destination and earned a special religious significance.

 Montserrat - day trip from Barcelona - Santa Cova

The path that leads to Santa Cova is quite easy and not demanding so it is suitable for those who are not into hiking. Here, you can visit the Chapel of Santa Cova and enjoy amazing views all around.

It is located down the mountain, around 2km of walking distance from the Montserrat Monastery.

Cost → Free
LocationSanta Cova
Hiking time → 30 min
Time for Visit → 10 – 15 min
Opening Hours → 24/7
Best time to visit → during the daylight (take into account the closing hours of the cable car/rack railway if you are not sleeping over in Montserrat)

  • Creu de San Miquel (Saint Michael’s Cross) Trail

This one is the easiest hiking trail, it is around 1,5km long.

Starting point is Sant Joan Funicular (lower station) and it will take you less then half an hour to do it.

In case you are doing a full Sant Jeroni hike, you will, eventually, pass by the Saint Michael’s Cross.

Along this trail you will discover some of the best spots for the panoramic pictures of the Montserrat Monastery and the center of the village.

 Montserrat - day trip from Barcelona - Creu De San Miguel Trail

Cost → Free
LocationSaint Miguel`s Cross 
Hiking time → 20-30  min
Opening Hours → 24/7
Best time to visit → during the daylight (take into account the closing hours of the cable car/rack railway if you are not sleeping over in Montserrat)

***

These 3 hiking trails are the most commonly done ones so, depending on your fitness levels, current mood and interest, you can choose to do some or all of them.

In case you are on a one-day visit to Montserrat, you might not have enough time to do all 3 trails but still, it is not impossible.

Besides hiking there are few other places worth of visit in Montserrat:

  • Monastery of Montserrat

Santa Maria de Montserrat is an abbey of the Order of Saint Benedict located in the center of the village. It is famous by it’s statue of the Black Madonna, patron saint of Catalonia which is believed to have healing powers.

 Montserrat - day trip from Barcelona - Catedral

You can visit the inside of the monastery and also see the famous statue.

Cost → Free
LocationAbbey of Montserrat
Hiking time → 0km (it is located in the center of the village)
Time for visit → 10-15 min
Opening Hours → 7AM – 7.30PM
Best time to visit → during the daylight (take into account the closing hours of the cable car/rack railway if you are not sleeping over in Montserrat)

 Montserrat - day trip from Barcelona

  • Montserrat Monastery Museum

If you are into art and want to take a look at the treasures of Montserrat museum, check out this museum.

Here you can see works by major artists, such as Dalí, El Greco, Monet or Giordano.

You will also find interesting archaeological and liturgical exhibits.

Cost → 8 eur
Location Museum of Montserrat
Hiking time → 0km (it is located in the center of the village)
Time for visit → 30 – 60 min
Opening Hours → 10AM – 5.45PM
Best time to visit → during the daylight (take into account the closing hours of the cable car/rack railway if you are not sleeping over in Montserrat)

*More info about the museum on the official website – Museum of Montserrat – Montserrat Abbey – Official site (museudemontserrat.com)

  • Street Market

On the way to the monastery of Montserrat, there is this small street market where they sell typical products of the area. Here, you can buy home-made, artisan products such as oil, herb liquors, honey, cheese…

Be sure to try:

  • mel i mató – fresh, Cottage-like, cheese with honey – normally eaten as a dessert or snack
  • herb liquorsAromes del Montserrat- typical for the zone that is made out of 12 different types of herbs;  La Ratafia – typical Catalan liquor made of green nuts

***

Besides the hiking trails, museum and the monastery, what you shouldn’t miss at any cost is taking a stroll along the main street from where you will have some nice views of the valley from one side and the mountain peaks on the other side.

FOOD AND DRINK

On the main square you can find a grocery shop and 2 self-service restaurants (more kind of a fast food place) and a souvenir shop.

One of the restaurants serves sandwiches, pastries, packed salads and drinks (water, juices, bear, wine).

Another one has bigger variety of meals such as sausages, roasted vegetables, chicken meat, salads, pasta, potatoes, sandwiches and pastries, fruit salads and drinks (ice teas, juices, water, bear, wine, coffee, tea…)

 Montserrat - day trip from Barcelona - street in Montserrat

Grocery store is supplied with all basic products (food, drinks, toiletries) + they sell some of the local products such as local sausages, liquors, chocolates… and some souvenirs as well.

As for the foods and drinks, you should know that the options are limited and the prices are quite high, so if you are traveling on a budget, consider bringing some snacks or sandwiches from Barcelona.

***

IMPORTANT!

If you are on a day-trip to Montserrat from Barcelona, check in advance the closing times of the Cable Car/Rack Railway and check the timings of the train to Barcelona.

Due to covid-19, the standard schedule is changing frequently so check in advance the timetable.

*Cable Car Timetable  – Aeri de Montserrat | Timetables and fares

*Rack Railway TimetableTimetable and prices | Montserrat Rack Railway and Funiculars (cremallerademontserrat.cat)

***

ACCOMODATION IN MONTSERRAT

In case you fall in love with Montserrat that much that one day is not enough (our case, btw) there is a quite nice (and big) hotel so you can book a night (or two) and explore Montserrat with more calm.

We have stayed in Apartamentos Montserrat Abat Marcet where we had quite large apartment (two rooms, living room and a kitchen) with basic amenities for some 100 euros for 2 nights, 2 persons. The location is perfect being just in the center, on the main square.

 Montserrat - day trip from Barcelona - Monastery

WHAT NEXT?

Now that you got to know one of the most visited mountain spots near Barcelona, maybe you would like to continue your Spanish trip and get to know more?

Check out our text about Valencia and what are the best places to visit + best food to try – 2 Days in Valencia (Spain) – Full Guide – Best Places + Best Food (tangoandrakija.com)


Want to explore more of Catalonia? Check out our text about our favorite coastal town ever – Sitges Best Things To Do In SITGES, Spain – Full City Guide (tangoandrakija.com)


Want to explore Barcelona?

Here are some of our Barcelona Guides:

***

Happy Travels!

***

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