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Visiting Montjuic Hill in Barcelona – Our Complete Guide

Shows a scenic view from Montjuic Hill cable car in Barcelona

Montjuic Hill and the wider Montjuic area is a must-see destination when visiting Barcelona. Known as one of the first areas to be inhabited in the city and a major defence outpost in the past, Montjuic is a beautiful hillside area with plenty to see and do. Stunning panoramic views of Barcelona are the top attraction, but you’ll also find a castle, walking trails, museums, and the highlight for us, a scenic cable car ride.

After exploring Montjuic and experiencing everything it has to offer, we’ve assembled a list of helpful information to help you plan your visit. Read about the top things to do in Montjuic, where to eat, attraction costs and much more. We hope you find our guide useful!

Why should you visit Montjuic?

In a city as fast paced as Barcelona, Montjuic is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle. It’s a scenic, secluded area of Barcelona where you can relax with nature and forget about your job and other worries. In our opinion, the top reason to visit Montjuic is for the stunning views. You have an overhead view of Barcelona’s many neighbourhoods on one side. You then have a panoramic view of the beaches, dock area, cruise port and Olympic Stadium. Montjuic is where you can really experience the vastness of the city.

Montjuic Hill is also a great place to go for a long walk and get some exercise. It has some of the best walking trails in the city. The final reason we recommend visiting is for the cable car ride, which is arguably the main attraction. Montjuic Cable car is a fun way to see Barcelona from above.

Shows Montjuic cable car and the city of Barcelona

Where is Montjuic?

Montjuic is located to the south-west of Barcelona city centre, right next to the central Plaça d’Espanya and Poble Sec neighbourhood. Its central location near the main attractions makes it very easy to get to on public transport. It’s also near the coast, providing some excellent views of Barcelona’s cruise port and docking area, with Barceloneta Beach barely visible in the distance.

How to get there

There are a few ways to get to Montjuic Hill. Even though it’s a steep hillside area, public transport makes Montjuic easily accessible and it doesn’t take long at all to get to the top.

Bus

The local bus is the cheapest way to get to the top of Montjuic Hill. The number 55 bus takes around 20-minutes to get you from the city centre Placa de Catalunya area to Monjuic Cable Car. You can then take another bus to the highest area of Montjuic Park. Alternatively, you can walk or get a cable car the rest of the way.

There are also other bus routes to Montjuic from other areas of the city. We recommend checking Google Maps directions for the best bus route and fastest public transport option from where you’re staying.

Taxi

A taxi is the most convenient way to get to the Montjuic area, though it’s also the most expensive. All attractions on Montjuic Hill are accessible by road so you can get the taxi driver to drop you off wherever you like.

Funicular

The third, and in our opinion, the best way to get to Montjuic is to take the funicular transport from Parel-lel Metro Station. It’s easy to get to Parel-lel station by metro, no matter where you’re staying in the city. You can then board the funicular for a quick uphill ascent to Montjuic. The funicular is included as part of a standard journey with your metro ticket, making it very affordable.

The funicular takes you to the base of Montjuic Hill, stopping right outside the Telefèric Cable Car station.

Port Cable Car

If you’re staying in the Barcelona Beach area of the city, a fun way to get to Montjuic is to take the Port Cable Car directly to Montjuic. The cable car departs from Barceloneta Beach throughout the day, taking you on a scenic ride over Port Vell and the many boats docked in the marina. It’s a great attraction in itself! Please note: this cable car is different than the Telefèric Cable Car in Montjuic. Both cable car rides need to be paid for separately.

View the Port Cable Car schedule on the official website.

Barcelona Port Cable Car to Montjuic Hill

Walk

The final way to get to Montjuic is to walk and follow the winding road up the hill. It’s a long, tough walk uphill that we don’t recommend. Therefore, you’re better off getting transport up the hill and saving your legs for walking around Montjuic itself. If you want a long walk or hike, there are plenty of great options on Montjuic Hill.

The top things to do in Montjuic

Once you get to Montjuic Hill, there are some excellent things to do and places to see. Montjuic is a secluded hillside full of nature, nice views and walking trails. There’s also the lower section of the Montjuic hillside, which has some excellent museums, galleries and the famous Magic Fountain. The top things to do in Montjuic include:

Montjuic Cable Car ride

The highlight of any visit to Montjuic Hill is the Telefèric Cable Car. This scenic ride takes you from the base of the hill, all the way to Montjuic Castle at the top. It costs 15 euros per person for a return journey, or 10 euros for the one-way trip. Some people choose a one-way ticket up the hill and then they walk back down. We personally recommend getting the return ticket. The cable car scenery and you’ll get double the time to see it.

On the Montjuic cable car, you have a nice view of Barcelona’s distinctive neighbourhoods. You can also see attractions such as the Sagrada Familia, W Hotel, Barcelona marina and Mount Tibidabo. The cable car goes directly to the top of the hill on the outbound journey. However, on the return trip to the bottom of the hill, it stops at Montjuic Park. We recommend getting off here to walk around and see the viewpoints. You can then get back on the cable car to return to the base.

shows cable cars going up to Montjuic Hill, Barcelona

Montjuic hillside park

Another top thing to do in Montjuic is to walk around its hillside park. As mentioned above, this area is a stop on the cable car. You can also get to the park on foot without using the cable car. It’s home to some excellent viewpoints of the city, several walking trails, a recreation area and snack stall. It’s a great place to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day. Simply take a seat on a park bench, buy a drink and admire the view.

Montjuic Hill park

Montjuic Castle

Montjuic Castle is probably Montjuic’s top attraction. Built in 1640 during the Reapers’ War, the castle is 173 metres above sea level. It features towering stone walls, a lighthouse and several outhouses. You can see the outside of the fortress for free. You can also choose to cross the castle entrance bridge, pay the small fee and explore the inside. The well-preserved fortress grounds have several watchtowers, rooms and parade grounds to discover. A highlight of visiting Montjuic Castle is the views you’ll get from the fortified walls. They’re at the highest point in Montjuic!

shows Montjuic castle

Walking and hiking trails

Alongside Montjuic Castle at the top of the hill, there are several walking trails that head deeper into the hillside. The trails are surrounded by nature and are fairly flat, so they’re easy to navigate. Some sections of the trails go through woodland; others have open-air views of Barcelona’s shipping port. You can walk for miles in this area – it’s the perfect place to get some exercise. Stop off for a rest on one of the park benches or grab a drink at La Caseta del Migdia restaurant.

shows a walking trail in Montjuic Hill - complete guide to visiting Montjuic Hill

Admire the view from one of the many viewpoints

One of the best things to do on Montjuic Hill is to simply admire the view. There are an endless number of viewpoints scattered across the hillside, each offering a unique vantage point. View the city from the park, peer down at the cruise port from the Montjuic Castle area or admire Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium from one of its trails. There’s even one viewpoint where you can spot planes landing at Barcelona Airport.

shows a stunning viewpoint of Barcelona

Barcelona Botanical Garden

Barcelona Botanical Garden is hidden in the woodland area of Montjuic Hill. It’s a nice place to wander around to gaze at the many flowers and plants, with species of flora and fauna from across the planet. The unique plants and neatly manicured gardens are interesting to see, and the environment is very peaceful.

Admittedly, Barcelona Botanical Garden isn’t a marvel of an attraction; it’s quite small. However, with an entrance fee of only 5 euros, it’s a good place to add to your itinerary to extend your daytrip to Montjuic.

shows a botanical garden in Montjuic - complete guide to visiting Montjuic Hill Barcelona

Joan Miro Foundation

A visit to the Joan Miro Foundation is one of the best things to do in Montjuic for those that want to tour one of Barcelona’s highest regarded art galleries. With different exhibitions throughout the year and galleries dedicated to the work of artist Joan Miro, the museum has plenty to see. Stop by for a guided audio tour.

shows the architecture from the Joan Miro Foundation

Lido swimming pool (open only in the summer months)

One of the best things to do in Montjuic in the warmer months of the year is to take a dip in the huge lido swimming pool, which is located a short walk from Montjuic cable car station. The pool is open to the public for a small fee and has panoramic views of the whole city. In fact, it’s probably one of the most scenic places to go for a swim in Barcelona. Bring your swimsuit and cool down in the pool after a day of sightseeing in Montjuic.

shows Lido pool with panoramic views of Barcelona

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, also known as MNAC, is one of Barcelona’s most beautiful buildings. The 19th-century building houses a series of 11th to 20th-century Catalan art, including a diverse Romanesque collection. It’s a must-see for those that like art galleries, but even if you don’t, you should definitely stop by to see the building whilst exploring Montjuic. The exterior and garden areas are stunning!

shows the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona

Montjuic Magic Fountain          

Right in front of the Museum of National Art of Catalunya, you’ll find the famous Montjuic Magic Fountain. The fountain is a spectacle of a Montjuic attraction that has been entertaining visitors since 1929. It’s grand to look at during the day, covering a huge area with its series of water jets. Evenings are where the fountain comes alive!

On varying days of the week, the Magic Fountain show takes place. It features a series of moving water streams, coloured lights, music and colours, as water seemingly does acrobatics to the sound of the music. It’s a fun attraction to check out at the end of your visit to Montjuic. Check the official website for the latest show times.

shows the Montjuic magic fountain show at night

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol is a unique open-air museum at the base of Montjuic Hill. It’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in Montjuic area, filled with colourful exhibitions, traditional Spanish architecture, and a number of craft activities. It was built for the Barcelona Universal Exposition in 1929 to give visitors a rich insight into Spain’s culture and history. Since then, it has evolved into museum of contemporary art and activities. It also hosts frequent events and concerts. The entrance fee costs between 7 and 9 euros per person.

Show the museum of Poble Espanyol in the evening

Barcelona Olympic Stadium

At the foot of Montjuic Hill, you’ll find a huge Olympic Stadium. It was built in the early 20th-century but was then refurbished for the 1992 Summer Paralympics. It’s a pride and joy of the city, boasting towering stone statues and columns, and a large Olympic arena. It’s a great place to visit in Montjuic for those that want a tour of the stadium and its history. You’ll get to see all the main areas of the Olympic complex, including a completely empty arena.

shows Barcelona olympic arena

Where to eat and drink in Montjuic

Surprisingly, there aren’t many places to eat and drink in the Montjuic area, particularly on Montjuic Hill. There are a few snacks stalls on the hill, as well as a couple of good bars, but you’re limited for choice. Therefore, we recommend bringing some snacks and drinks with you for your day out in Montjuic.

Nevertheless, the following bars and restaurants are great places to eat and drink in the Montjuic area.

Salts – Terrassa Bar Montjuïc

View on Map

Salts is a scenic bar on the Montjuic hillside. It sits right above the lido swimming pool area that we featured in our ‘things to do in Montjuic’ section of the guide. The unique setting provides some excellent views as you eat and drink. Salts is more of a snack bar over a full-blown restaurant. It’s a good lunch option for those that want a quick sandwich, slice of pizza or burger. It’s more commonly a spot to grab a drink after exploring Montjuic Hill.

La Caseta del Migdia

View on Map

La Caseta del Migdia is the only bar and restaurant option at the top of Montjuic Hill. It has outdoor seating overlooking the Barcelona docks and is a popular place for events. Order a traditional Spanish dish and enjoy a drink with a view of the coastline. It’s a popular place for locals and is always busy.

Restaurant La Font de Prades

View on Map

In our opinion, Restaurant la Font de Prades is the best restaurant in Montjuic. With excellent reviews and a menu full of Spanish classics such as tapas and paella, plus some popular Mediterranean dishes, it’s a great place to enjoy a meal for either lunch or dinner. The ambience and interior setting are charming, particularly when the sun goes down. We recommend visiting the restaurant after wandering through Poble Espanyol open-air museum. It’s right next door.

Our top tips for visiting Montjuic

shows sagrada familia in the background - complete guide to visiting Montjuic Hill Barcelona
  • Montjuic has two main areas; the top of the hill, which has Montjuic Castle and Park. There’s then the bottom of Montjuic Hill, which has the Magic Fountain and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya building. We recommend heading to the top of the hillside first and then catching the bus or walking 30-minutes to the base area. Both areas are worth visiting.
  • There’s a lot to see in Montjuic. Aim to arrive early to beat the crowds, especially when visiting in the summer months. Aim to spend the full day here.
  • There aren’t many places to buy snacks or drinks on Montjuic Hill. As such, bring plenty of refreshments with you. All that walking and sightseeing is exhausting work!
  • Wear comfortable, supportive footwear for your visit to Montjuic Hill. As we’ve mentioned, you’ll do a lot of walking!
  • If you plan on riding the Montjuic Cable Car, consider booking tickets online ahead of time. Websites such as Hola Barcelona sometimes have special online discounts. You can pay on the day and easily get tickets for other attractions in Montjuic.
  • Visit Montjuic on a weekday for less crowds.
  • Buy return tickets for the Montjuic Cable Car. You get a discount on the return ticket over buying two singles. The attraction is well worth it, and you can have a much-needed rest from walking.
  • If you’re visiting Montjuic Hill on a warm, sunny day, pack a picnic.
  • Take a water bottle with you and refill it at the fountains that are scattered around Montjuic.

Thanks for reading our guide on the best things to do in Montjuic, Barcelona. We hope we inspired you with plenty of things to see when visiting Montjuic. It’s a must-see area when staying in Barcelona and we highly recommend spending the day here. Do you have any questions about Montjuic Hill? Be sure to post a comment below.

Check out our other Barcelona travel guides:

30 great places to visit in Barcelona – top attractions

Central and safe areas to stay in Barcelona

Ricky

BY RICKY MARSHALL

Author bio:

An adventurer at heart that loves anything outdoors. Beaches, mountains and amazing scenery is everything I love about travel! I also enjoy home comforts and need a nice place to relax and re-charge after every trip.

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