This 213 meter hill, located to the south of Barcelona’s city centre, offers more than just breathtaking views of the city.
Today, Montjuïc is mostly a recreational area, with a number of sights and attractions. Home to two major historic events, the 1929 International Exhibition and the 1992 Olympics Games, this monumental hill has endured makeovers and renovations galore, but it still retains its beauty and natural open air essence.
- Funicular – If you have already purchased a metro ticket, this is the best option for you. This funicular railway connects Montjuïc with the metro at Paral-lel Station. If you’re near these lines or already using the metro, it’s the easiest way to get to the top.
- Cable Car – For a more fun and unique experience, behold the Montjuïc Cable Car. This ride runs between the Funicular station and the top of Montjuïc mountain. Tickets can be purchased online for round trip or one way options.
- Port Cable Car – Built in 1931, this cable car system is located in Barceloneta. The journey lasts around ten minutes and it’s the fastest way to get to the mountain from Barceloneta Beach. This journey offers unforgettable views of the seaport and Barceloneta…pretty hard to beat.
The oldest sight on Montjuïc is the Castell de Montjuïc, a large fortress built in the 18th century. It dates back to 1640 but still offers some of the best views you can find in the city. Today, the castle is used for cultural activities. The fortress can be reached by a funicular or cable lift. We recommend using this as a starting point, as it is the highest point on the hill and you can then work your way down.
If you’re exhausted from a busy day in the city, the parks and gardens of Montjuïc offer a perfect way to relax and recharge for your next adventure. At Montjuïc, you can find the National Botanical Garden, the Jardins de Laribal, and others like Jardins de Joan Brossa. Each garden is specific to the plants that are showcased. In the Mossèn Costa i Llobera garden you’ll find one of the largest desert collections of cactus in the world. Meanwhile, in the Laribal gardens you’ll be in a more formal atmosphere with terraced and boxed-in garden rooms. The park-like atmosphere at the National botanical gardens is great for kids and you’ll have the opportunity to relax and unwind.
The 1929 World Expo, themed around industry, art and sport, was hosted in Barcelona for the second time, this time at Montjuïc due to the availability of space. Planning began in 1905 with a view to the Expo being held in 1917, however it was delayed by over 10 more years due to World War 1. Starting at the top of the hill, the Palau Nacional was the grand exhibition hall for the event, which is now home to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, housing hordes of art masterpieces, including works by Joan Miró.
The Expo brought about much development across the city. Other sights that remain today thanks to the World Expo include the Magic Fountain, with night-time water and light shows that draw crowds from all over and the Spanish village (Poble Espanyol) was designed to show off different styles of the country’s culture.
As you probably know by now, the city of Barcelona changed drastically due to the 1992 Olympics, with a complete remodeling of certain areas and one of the most prominent changes: the introduction of beaches to the city. Montjuïc also underwent a makeover for the hosting of the Olympics nearly 30 years ago. The interior of the stadium that existed previously from the Worlds Expo was completely rebuilt to accommodate 65,000 spectators.
The Bernat Picornell Olympic swimming pool has large indoor and outdoor pools and a spectacular open-air diving pool. Palau Sant Jordi is an important venue for indoor games and athletics. The Olympic Ring and Stadium are now part of the Open Camp sports experience, with virtual reality and live interactive challenges and games you can train like a real Olympian.
Now that it’s hotting up for the summer, you’ll be pleased to hear that one of the open-air pools opens to the public in July and August.
Travel tip shared by Apartment Barcelona