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:

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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.

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:

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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
  • March 30, 2019 at 8:09 pm
    Bill
    Hello Ash, Thanks for the all the useful information. I was checking your recommended basic all-inclusive ticket offered by Barcelona Turisme link (Trans Montserrat). After purchasing this ticket, it looks like I will still need to go to either Placa Catalunya or Placa Espanya to claim the actual ticket. Can this be done the day before we plan on going, or does this need to be claimed the day of our visit to Montesserat? The reason I ask is that we will be staying near Placa Catalunya and their office doesn't open until 8:30am. We were hoping to take the 8:36am R5 from Placa Espanya to Montserrat, so will certainly be leaving Placa Catalunya before this office opens that morning. Hope this question makes sense? Also this ticket includes two metro tickets? Can this be used any time? Of course if we can claim the ticket ahead of time, we would like to use these metro tickets for the round trip metro from Placa Catalunya to Placa Espanya. But if we cannot, can we save them to use at another time? thanks for any insight you can offer, Bill
    • March 31, 2019 at 12:24 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Bill, Thanks for writing in :) There won't be any problems whatsoever picking up the tickets the day before... that said, it will be impossible for you to use one of the metro tickets to get to Plaça Espanya... but to my knowledge the metro tickets loaded are open tickets and not dependent on time or direction so you should be able to use them for other rides on the trip. Ash
  • November 9, 2018 at 5:41 pm
    Jeanne
    Hi Ash! I have another question. Is it possible to take the Aeri up and the Cremallera back down...or vise versa? We would like to experience both and would be willing to pay extra if it can be done. Thanks, Jeanne
    • November 10, 2018 at 10:44 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Jeanne, You're certainly free to do that but just make sure you don't get one of those combined tickets which my get you a return ticket on one of them, because you'll be spending money for nothing! Grab individual tickets and you'll be fine :) Ash
      • November 10, 2018 at 5:19 pm
        Jeanne
        Thanks :)
  • November 7, 2018 at 12:58 pm
    Jasmine
    Hi Ash, My husband and I are travelling to Spain/Portugal after Christmas and will be spending 3.5 days in Barcelona in January. Have found your blog very helpful so far, thank you for sharing. I was thinking of taking a day trip to Montserrat but wondering how it'd be like in winter - will it still be possible to do the walks, or will there be snow/slippery? Kind regards, Jasmine
    • November 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Jasmine, Thanks so much for the kind words :) Winter has its advantages as typically lines are much shorter - also since you're still around the Med the weather is usually cooperative as far as clear skies. I haven't heard of any people slipping etc. but I've heard with the wind that it can get quite cold so make sure you dress accordingly. Also note that the cable car departs later in the morning than usual. You should still be able to enjoy the typical walks and the monastery/boy's choir though... I would recommend this on a sunny winter day for sure! Ash
      • November 9, 2018 at 9:00 am
        Jasmine
        Thanks Ash, I think we will stick to the plan to visit Montserrat then. Just a few more questions if you wouldn't mind. At the moment my plan roughly is: 9 Jan: Arrive in Barcelona from Granada at 2pm. Have yet to book accommodation but I'm thinking Gracia/Eixample areas based on what I've read so far, so will probably take the AeroBus from airport. After check in explore Las Ramblas. 10 Jan: Casa Batllo. Walk pass Casa Mila (closed). Old Gothic Quarter and El Born areas. I've booked dinner at Hisop as it will be our wedding anniversary. If you have any better suggestions please feel free to share. 11 Jan: Sagrada Familia, Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, Park Guell. 12 Jan: Montserrat. Is it better to see Casa Batllo in the morning (with the daylight), or should we visit in the evening on the first day? The English tour of Sagrada Familia that you mentioned in your article, they run at 12pm or 2pm. Do you think then we should go to Park Guell in the morning, then do the tour at 2pm? Any suggestions for the afternoon of 10 Jan? Or should we go to Park Guell then? I thought of seeing Montjuic but we're not big history or art fans so I'm not sure if there will be anything of interest. Unfortunately the magic fountain will be closed. My husband watches football but he doesn't really care to do the stadium tour. Based on my above plan so far it seems like none of the passes will be worth it, do you agree? Sorry for so many questions and once again thank you for your help! :)
        • November 9, 2018 at 9:40 am
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Hi Jasmine, I would rather see Casa Batllo in the evening, maybe around dawn since the lighting at night is really quite spectacular. My two cents. As for the dinner I've heard great things about Hisop so I can't really fault you for that. For me Park Guell is better either really early in the morning for fresh/cool air with less people and better lighting or later in the evening. In your case I'd try and get there around opening time/9 am and then you'd have enough time for transport and lunch getting back to Sagrada Familia. The 2 pm tour gives you lots of time. Perfect. For the afternoon of the 10th why not check out one of the city's museums? The CCCB would be great if you're into more modern stuff, not so much art focused. You should also definitely go for a little stroll along the beach and try a vermut or some sangria. You could fit in one of these before heading to Casa Batllo. Another option would be to take a stroll through the Born area because it's got great local boutique shopping and some really cool squares and cafes. As for the passes if you're not into the Bus Turistic I wouldn't book the City Pass but just book everything individually. Just make sure you book in advance online for best prices and ability to skip the lines. I've got all the links to purchase on one page more or less. If you purchase using these links (still the best price) I get a little kick back on each ticket that helps me to grow this resource, host the site etc. Thank you! Ash
          • November 10, 2018 at 12:53 am
            Jasmine
            Thank you for your advice and time. I'll look into your suggestions and will use your links to prebook tickets :)
            • November 10, 2018 at 10:45 am
              ashley
              Team Member
              Ash
              no problem Jasmine! :)
  • October 3, 2018 at 8:35 pm
    Chris
    Hey there, I'll be heading to Barcelona in a few weeks and wondered about doing a combo Montserrat and wine or cava tour - can you provide any good recommendations? Thanks, Chris
    • October 4, 2018 at 11:58 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Chris, I unfortunately haven't been on one myself nor heard of anybody taking such a trip (strange, eh?) but I would tend to trust the Barcelona Turisme website for the quality of their recommendations and tours. The Montserrat Food and Wine tour might get you going in the right direction. Cheers, Ash
  • September 17, 2018 at 8:28 am
    lisa
    Hi, We are a family of 5 traveling first week in April 2019. Do you think it will be more cost effective and convenient for us to rent a car and drive up to the monastery than buy all the train tickets, cable tickets, etc to get there? If we took the car all the way to the top, does that mean we will skip the hikes and cable car up the mountain? Would that take away from the experience? Or would we still enjoy the great views inside the car going up as well?
    • September 17, 2018 at 9:38 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Lisa, Without knowing what exactly you plan to see up there I can only compare it to a very basic ticket package, in this case the one that's €35.30. I don't know if you have any children under 4 but they would go free... assuming 4-5 people pay the full package we're looking at a minimum of €140. You could indeed rent a car for cheaper than this. As for the cable car and the views... naturally, taking this type of transport straight up the side of a mountain provides a much more dramatic and visual experience than winding your way up in a car. If you're really looking for that impact trip, which is a tremendous experience in itself, I would opt for this. However, if it's not a big deal for you and you're more interested in saving a bit of money I'd go for the car option. Ash
  • August 21, 2018 at 4:35 am
    MT
    Hi Ash, Firstly, I just want to say how amazing your website is!! Very easy to navigate, lots of great content - it's becoming my main source in my Barcelona research :) I am heading there end of September for 5 and a half days with my boyfriend. One of the day trips we want to take is to Montserrat. I'm thinking of buying the basic all-inclusive ticket (website cost is 35.30 euros) and noticed it's the same cost for both the cable car and rack train. Which option do you suggest for us to take since it's same cost. We are a couple in our late 20s and we also want to do some hiking trails there. Thank you!
    • August 21, 2018 at 9:26 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi MT, Thanks so much for the kind words on the site, I am very glad to help :) As for the difference between the two options, cable car is much steeper, more exciting, and faster. The rack train is a more chill version, takes slightly longer (it's only 15 minutes' difference so quite negligible though), and is less steep. I wouldn't worry about either one having a big affect on the outcome of the day... but I'd simply choose which seems more appealing from a tourist standpoint. The views are amazing with both. Ash
  • July 12, 2018 at 3:00 am
    Mariana Maghames
    Your website is AMAZING !I am visiting barcelonaa and your site was very useful to me ! Keep up the great work and thanksss
    • July 12, 2018 at 9:47 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Mariana, Thank you so much for the compliments Mariana! :) Ash
  • March 31, 2018 at 8:26 pm
    Karen Bradshaw
    Hi Ash WOW, spents hours reading your blog. Fabulous!!! Weve been before but need advice of when/how to fit in our bucket list for Barca, for our 25th Anniversary. Now we have more questions than answers!!! Arrive Gerona Airport 19.30 Sat 26/5/18. Depart 15.40 Gerona Wed 30/5/18. Staying on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, not far from Estacio Nord. Looks like we will miss the dancing waters Saturday night at Montjuic. Really wanted to see those.Such a shame its not on another night of our stay. Sunday what to do??? We were looking/booking tickets independently before i read about The Barcelona City pass. Now im thinking this might be our best option. But which days sun/mon or mon/tues or just one day bus turistic?, weve used the bus turistic before. Really would love to fit in day at Monserrat, is Sunday the best option or not for this. Need to fit in Sagrada F, Parc Guell...my favourite place, sorry to see its under part construction. La Pedera & Casa Batllo(which both look walkable to,from our hotel.) Looking for your advise Many thanks Karen
    • March 31, 2018 at 10:05 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Karen, I see you posted this here as well and just wanted to respond to make sure you got my Facebook message :) Cheers, Ash
  • March 26, 2018 at 2:54 am
    Cherie
    Hi Ash, Fabulous information! You ARE really great! My dear friend and I will be visiting Barcelona several days prior to our 12 day Italy cruise. We are staying at the Hotel Colon de la cathedral. I think there is a metro close that we would take to Place Espanya headed to the wonderful Montserrat! Looks like your advice is to purchase the day trip ticket. This will be our 2nd day adventure allowing the entire day to take all of it in. Our first day arriving, if travel goes well, we will be arriving 11:00 am and hopefully after arriving at the Hotel from BCN we will try to visit the Sagrada Famila Temple? Do you have advice on Gothic Sorter, La Becca Ria Market or Spanis Village? Any restaurant reccomendations or advice? Again, your site is really great! Looking forward to our visit in the last week of May! Hugs, Cherie
    • March 26, 2018 at 4:17 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Cherie, Thanks so much for the kudos, YOU are really great too ;) Let's see, arriving at 11:00 am should leave you more than enough time to get checked in and then go to the Sagrada Familia (I mean, you have to! It's like going to Rome and not seeing the Colosseum)... just make sure you buy your tickets in advance or the long lines could end up putting a wrench in your plans. As far as the Gothic Quarter, La Boqueria, and Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) go I have articles dedicated to both of them that are full of advice, discount ticket links etc. so I suggest you read them if you haven't: https://www.barcelonahacks.com/gothic-quarter-barcelona/ https://www.barcelonahacks.com/poble-espanyol/ https://www.barcelonahacks.com/la-boqueria-market-barcelona/ If you're a morning person I suggest getting up early and going for breakfast at La Boqueria Market, specifically at the restaurant Pinotxo or El Quim de la Boqueria. The Gothic Quarter is where you'll be staying so I suggest checking out the Cathedral and surrounding square... you'll have to dodge a lot of tourist trap restaurants in the area but for a great brunch try out Milk Bar & Bistro, a great seafood lunch can be had at La Paradeta, and my favourite Italian restaurant in the city is Sports Bar (bad name, amazing pizzas). Anyway, if you need something a little more custom/specific please let me know! Enjoy your holiday :) Ash
  • January 10, 2018 at 1:07 am
    Alicia
    Hi Ash I enjoy reading your informative and entertaining comments. My hubby and I (both 65years) are going to Barcelona from Madrid by train after our Spain/Portugal tour, arriving Barcelona in May 13 Sunday around 11am staying in Villa Emilia until 14 May then leaving on 15th May to El Prat airport. We only have 1 and a half days to see Barcelona. What places would you recommend? We are interested in doing a guided tour of Sagrada Familia and Montserrat and probably the Parc Guell and Casa Batlo if we have time. Is it worth getting a Barcelona city pass for discounts? What guided bus tour would you recommend that includes Montserrat (one that doesn't involve too much walking and hiking as we both had joint surgery) and Sagrada Familia on a Monday? Is Sagrada Familia too crowded on Sunday afternoons, we're thinking of going there maybe Sun pm or Mon. Thank you.
    • January 10, 2018 at 8:59 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Alicia, First off thanks for writing in and thank you for your compliments :) Let me say that I don't know anybody who has gone on a guided bus tour that includes Sagrada Familia and Montserrat. So I can't comment about that, only that it would save money booking both independently. With your 4 main attractions it is doable in 1.5 days but it'll have to be done fairly briskly. On the day of your arrival I would check into the hotel and head straight for Casa Batllo. Spend a couple hours there then head up to Park Guell to get the sunset... it'll be spectacular. The next day I would head to Montserrat early following my instructions... if you leave around 8 or 9 am you'll be back for 4 or 5 easily... then you can slot in to a Monday evening Sagrada tour which will be less crowded. The City Pass is your best option. Other passes are more tailored to people spending 48+ hours in the city. The great thing about the City Pass is that in addition to saving you so much time on the bookings, guaranteeing you spots, giving you Sagrada and Park Guell, and saving money... in your case it'll give you a chance to see a lot more on day one. The Bus Turistic (included) can be used for transport on day one as it does connect Park Guell and Casa Batllo, it'll take you to a ton of places in between and on limited time that's a god send. Also for people who don't want to do a lot of walking it's the perfect option. Once you get it they'll send you a 20% huge discount package and that will include some Montserrat options. Make sure to take a good look. Anyway, hope that has been a help. Let me know if you have any more questions :) Ash
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