Ash
Written by Ash

Planning an Epic Barcelona to Montserrat Day Trip in 10 Minutes

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Call me a wimp for fearing the grand heights of the cable car or a homebody for not leaving my city safe space but it’s taken me 62 months of living in Barcelona to finally do it.

I’m finally ready to help you plan your day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat.

Here you’ll find what to see when you visit Montserrat, some cool tips and tricks, and how to save time with my list of the top all-inclusive Montserrat tickets.

Already eager to get started? Buy your basic Montserrat ticket package clicking the button:

EASY MONTSERRAT
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buildings in montserrat barcelona

What is Montserrat and Why Should You Visit?

It’s a jagged multi-peaked mountain.

The great thing is it’s only about 50 km (30 miles) from Barcelona to Montserrat.

The name Montserrat literally means ‘serrated mountain’ in Catalan, a reference to the defining saw-like features of the mountain and its many peaks including Sant Jeroni and Montgrós.

At 4055 feet (1236 metres) above sea level it’s the highest point in the Catalan Lowlands.

For both scenic and historic purposes it is arguably the most important mountain in Catalonia: Montserrat is actually Spain’s first National Park.

The views from Montserrat are incredible and you can even see the Balearic Islands on a clear day.

The mountain is made up of pink conglomerate sedimentary rock.

What to See and Do in Montserrat Barcelona

Ride the Funiculars for Stunning Views

Embark on a captivating journey aboard the Funiculars in Montserrat, such as the Aeri de Montserrat and Cremallera de Montserrat, to ascend the mountain slopes and behold breathtaking panoramic views that showcase the natural grandeur of the region.

The Aeri de Montserrat, also known as the Montserrat Cable Car, offers a thrilling ride that elevates passengers from the foot of the mountain to the monastery perched high above.

On the other hand, the Cremallera de Montserrat, a cogwheel train, winds its way through the rugged terrain, providing a leisurely yet awe-inspiring journey with views that astound at every turn.

Throughout the ascent, the Funiculars offer glimpses of the lush greenery, the jagged cliffs, and the distant shimmering sea, creating an unforgettable experience for visitors seeking natural beauty and adventure.

The Abbey + Montserrat Monastery

Going up the mountain to see the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey is one of the top day trip options for tourists visiting Barcelona.

Here you find a Benedictine monastery and a basilica famous for the Virgin of Montserrat aka the Black Madonna (La Moreneta, patron saint of Catalonia).

Montserrat monastery dates all the way back to the 10th century and is still home to 150 monks.

One great thing as well: entrance to the monastery is free.

The long line to the right of the monastery is for the basilica and the Black Madonna statue, which is the main attraction for many of the pilgrims.

While this is certainly worth visiting (visitors always kiss the Virgin’s hand) if you’re looking just to go to the monastery don’t get caught up in this huge line! You should be able to walk straight in.

During the war the Abbey was a sanctuary for scholars, artists, and politicians and in fact the Museu de Montserrat now houses works from Picasso, Salvador Dali, and more.

Entrance to the museum costs €7.00 (students/retired €6.00, children 8-16 €4.00).

The basilica is also home to the legendary Montserrat Boys Choir (La Escolonia), one of the oldest choirs in Europe. Visiting without seeing one of these powerful counterpoint and Gregorian Chant performances is a sin.

There are two daily performances at the basilica at 1:00 pm and 6:45 pm. It’s advised to arrive 30 minutes early for the performances.

hikers on montserrat barcelona

Hiking at Montserrat

Once you’ve arrived at Montserrat monastery with the cable car or funicular you can start your hiking adventure. Just get yourself to the tourist information booth, grab a map with a list of trails, and head for Barcelona nature!

It’s also the best place for hiking because of the sheer variety of trails. With 5 different options ranging from 2.7 km to 7.5 km you’ll find the hike for your level of difficulty.

The Santa Cova and Sant Joan Funiculars

Once you’ve gone from Barcelona to Montserrat monastery you have two options to continue your ascent.

The Santa Cova funicular actually brings you a bit back down the mountain and drops you off at a path to Santa Cova Cave – the cave where local shepherds saw the image of the Virgin Mary.

Expect about 20 minutes walking to the chapel.

The Sant Joan funicular takes you to the very peak of the mountain. The steep climb is as gorgeous as it is frightful. The glass ceiling really puts the climb into perspective. It’s said that on a clear day you can see all of Catalunya.

It’s from here that you can take the most gorgeous walks of the entire mountain.

Tickets for these funiculars can be bought on site but are also included in some of the tickets I’ll be mentioning below.

Ready to go? Most tourists choose the best tours from Barcelona to Montserrat – these all in one packages take the guesswork out of the travel and add a ton of knowledge.

panoramic view from montserrat

Getting Barcelona to Montserrat Tickets Online

As mentioned you’ll save a lot of hassle booking Montserrat tickets from the comfort of your own home rather than juggling multiple ticket machines or practicing your Spanish at ticket windows.

Here are the top Montserrat from Barcelona tours to choose from:

Easy Montserrat (Basic Tour with Guide)

For those looking for a basic Montserrat tour then Barcelona Turisme has a great offer including:

  • Return train transport to Montserrat from Barcelona
  • Return rack railway transport up the mountain
  • An English speaking guide on hand

These tickets are €46.80 making it the cheapest Barcelona to Montserrat tour going.

For more information on the tickets with Barcelona Turisme click the button below:

EASY MONTSERRAT
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Tot Montserrat (All-Inclusive Travel Package)

For the typical visit looking for more historical context there’s a great basic all-inclusive ticket offered by Barcelona Turisme.

It includes:

  • Round trip metro ticket to Placa Catalunya to catch the bus
  • Return bus transport from Barcelona to the Montserrat foothills
  • Return trip on the funicular or Aeri up to the top
  • Entrance to the Montserrat Behind Closed Doors audiovisual exhibit
  • Admission to the Montserrat Museum
  • A meal in the Montserrat coffee shop
  • Access to the Mare de Deu without having to book in advance

At €64.30 this is a great option for people not wanting to lift a finger.

You’ll barely have to give your day trip to Montserrat another thought once you’ve arrived in Spain, and it’ll allow you to focus on the other major Barcelona attractions.

TOT MONTSERRAT ALL-INCLUSIVE
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barcelona to montserrat cable car

How to Get to Montserrat from Barcelona

I go into each of these modes in more detail in my post on how to get to Montserrat from Barcelona.

In the meantime though, here’s a quick rundown on how to do it:

  • Train: Take the R5 line from Barcelona’s Plaça Espanya station to Montserrat and get off at “Montserrat-Aeri” for the cable car or “Monistrol de Montserrat” for the rack railway (Cremallera).
  • Car: Drive via the A-2 and C-55 roads (one hour)
  • Bus: Direct bus packages available from Barcelona, but less frequent than trains.
  • Guided Tours: Many companies offer day trips to Montserrat, including transport.
  • Hiking/Biking: For the adventurous, trails lead from the base of the mountain to Montserrat.
Montserrat Cable Car
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Visiting Montserrat Hacks

  • Allocate 4-6 hours to visit Montserrat properly
  • The earlier you arrive the less chance you’ll be lining up for things
  • Avoid your day trip on public holidays due to crowds
  • Always check Barcelona weather beforehand to dress accordingly
  • Double check the last train departures to Barcelona or you’ll have a long walk back!
  • Bring your own lunch to save money
  • Just past the funicular station there’s a convenience store to buy snacks and drinks for your hike
  • Bring a good pair of shoes and leave the flip-flops at home
  • Try the Aromes de Montserrat liquor (a 12 herb liquor invented by the monks)
  • Women must have their shoulders covered and dresses below the knee at the basilica
  • Believe it or not there are pickpockets in the area so be on your guard

Related: Is Montserrat Worth It?

Still Looking to Visit Montserrat from Barcelona?

If you’ve got any more questions about maximizing your Montserrat day trip from Barcelona that haven’t been answered make sure you harass me in the comments below 😉

Also, have I missed anything? Could I do something better? Make sure to write me below and I’ll be sure to put things right.

48 comments
  • January 13, 2024 at 7:51 pm
    Alison
    This is very informative. I see most take the train. Is the only way to go to the top by bus is if you buy the tot ticket?
    • January 15, 2024 at 10:11 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hello Alison, The Tot ticket does not include a bus to the top. It's a bus to the foothills and then a ride up the mountain on the funicular or Aeri. Two methods of transportation in total. Cheers,
    • January 13, 2024 at 8:12 pm
      Alison
      to Monsterrat..
  • July 26, 2023 at 1:16 am
    Cristina
    Hey Ash!! Love this sight, it has been super helpful in planning my trip to Barcelona!! Is there a dress code of sorts to go to Monsetrrat? Anything that can't or shouldn't be worn?
    • July 26, 2023 at 1:40 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Cristina, Thanks so much :) For the mountain itself there's no need but for the monastery you should cover your shoulders and have no beach wear. It's not as aggressive as some places and I wouldn't worry too much as long as you're using common sense. Cheers,
  • July 12, 2021 at 12:26 am
    Tai
    Thank you so much for all the info. Hands down the best blog page ever for all things Barcelona. Tried booking the 50 euros Monserrat package but it doesn't look available- please do you know when this would be made available again?
    • July 12, 2021 at 10:46 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Tai, Thanks for writing in with your very kind words :) Unfortunately a lot of ticket packages have been put on hold due to COVID and we're trying to update the info as it comes to us... I've spoken to the provider and they still are unsure of when this will be back on sale again :( All of the packages are currently on hold so your best bet would be any of the manual/independent options found on the official site. Cheers,
  • September 16, 2019 at 1:16 am
    Martha Jolly
    Hi Ash, Are tickets required to hear the choir? Ans if so, can they be purchased at Montserrat or better yet in advance? We’d like to hear the choir but would like to arrive at Montserrat earlier than it sounds like we’d arrive if we buy the premium tout. Also, is the return time on the deluxe tour set or is it possible to just catch a return train whenever (before the last departure, of course)? Great stuff here and on the general Barcelona blog - thank you! Martha J
  • September 15, 2019 at 9:30 am
    Julia
    Hi Ash, thanks for such a helpful guide. I am going to Barcelona in November and was wondering what the weather conditions would be like for visiting Montserrat at that time of year? Thanks, Julia.
    • September 15, 2019 at 12:01 pm
      Pedro
      Hi Julia, november can depend but if you'll be in a sunny week you can go at Montserrat for sure!
      • September 15, 2019 at 2:16 pm
        Julia
        Thank you Pedro.
  • July 23, 2019 at 8:30 am
    James
    Hi Ash, We want to book the Deluxe package for a trip today or tomorrow. Do we need to print the order to show to collect tickets or can we show on our smart phone? Also how long will it take Barcelona Turisme to process. Many thanks James
    • July 23, 2019 at 12:37 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi James, Indeed, you'll be given a voucher code and asked to pick up your ticket package at the Barcelona Tourisme information points at either FGC (Catalan Railway) station in Plaça Espanya (daily from 8am to 2pm) or in Plaça Catalunya (daily from 8.30am to 8.30pm). The voucher, which can be shown on a mobile, is sent immediately on purchase with all the relevant pick up info. Cheers, Ash
  • June 21, 2019 at 9:27 pm
    roberta falk
    Hi ash, I relied on your information for barcelona sites. Do you get credit from these various establishments if we order from you? I purchased sagrada familia etc from your site. I'd like to keep pushing any activity your way. thanks
    • June 22, 2019 at 12:02 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Roberta, Some of the links provided offer affiliate commissions while others do not... my goal is only to offer links that have the lowest possible prices for tourists (in my newly launched web shop for example) so in the event I have the possibility to make some money to cover server costs but the price is too high, I simply refer people to the official channels. At any rate thanks so much for this! Buying from here does help me a lot so if that's something you want to keep doing, I won't stop you ;) Ash
      • June 30, 2019 at 7:41 pm
        ROBERTA FALK
        Hi ash, I was about to get the deluxe trip to Monserrat and noticed the colonial quell and Monserrat tour. It doesnt say what they will be driving. Is it an air conditioned vehicle? Would you say going on our own by train would give us more time for Monserrat? We're not going to hike way up. Or does this guided tour take us to the top of monserrat plus get us into museum. and do we pack our own lunch? If we do decide on the doing the train route. When it says metro to and from Catalyn does that mean a bus from our hotel?
        • July 1, 2019 at 10:29 am
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Hi Roberta, It is a fully air conditioned modern bus with the combo tour with Colonia Guell, so not to worry! The tour takes you to the top (as far as you need for the attractions) and you get a tour of the area and the Escolania of Montserrat. This does not include a lunch. The deluxe tour does however include lunch. If you're going independently the metro refers to the two single metro tickets you'll receive in the package... which you can use to get to Plaça Espanya train station from your hotel or wherever else you are coming from. It's where you'll get the train to Montserrat. Ash
  • April 24, 2019 at 5:00 pm
    Peggy G Gustafson
    Great site, thanks. RE The Basic All-inclusive pass: The site doesn't ask for a date. Am I missing something or is it open ended that way?
    • April 25, 2019 at 9:02 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Peggy, Indeed, this basic pass includes open tickets for everything and they are not time dependent. Ash
  • April 23, 2019 at 5:46 pm
    Cleo Sims
    Hello, thank you for your time and help! We only can go this Sat or Sunday April 27/28 to visit Montserrat. Will there be plenty of tickets if we wait to buy them in Barcelona on either the morning of 27th or 28th ? Can we buy them there on Friday the 26th and what time does the ticket counter close? We plan on taking the train and don't know if we will take the aeri or cremallera. Where is the best place to buy them on Sat or Sunday morning?
    • April 24, 2019 at 11:42 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Cleo, Are you referring to the ticket packages or just buying all the stuff individually as you go? With Montserrat I have never heard of anything selling out, even the ticket packages... keep in mind the first two packages above are not timed tickets and are simply access to commuter train lines which serve a huge population of people. You should be fine buying day of... or even showing up to buy at the machines at Plaça Espanya. Either one is fine for me. Ash
  • April 4, 2019 at 2:21 am
    Julie
    Ash, Once again, let me say how extraordinarily helpful this guide is. We are in the final planning stages of our trip in May and I have a question about Montserrat. Usually, I am a do it yourself person, but I found an all day tour by a company called Castle Experience that includes transportation, a guided tour of Montserrat, lunch at a local winery/country club and a winery tour for about 95 Euro (10 hours). Have you heard of this company? Reputable? Any discount coupons if yes to the previous you could share. Looking forward to your valuable advice. Julie
    • April 4, 2019 at 9:06 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Julie, Thank you so much for the kind words on the blog, I am so happy to help :) Honestly I've never heard of this company... Montserrat is kind of new territory for me so I haven't been too ambitious on the collaborations etc. I am playing it safe with the Barcelona Turisme offer above. That said, after looking at it on Tripadvisor they have a 5 star rating with over 2000 reviews so I wouldn't be afraid :) Ash
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