There are many day trips that you can take from Barcelona but one of the most popular among tourists and locals is the trip up to Montserrat. You can either join a guided tour or you can do the trip by yourself. You can take the train from Plaza Espanya and be at the mountains in an hour. At Plaza Espanya station you have the option to buy a combined ticket for the train and the cable car for when you arrive.
When you arrive there are various ways in which you can get up to the top of the mountain, you can go by foot and enjoy everything that the surrounding nature has to offer, you can go by road, train or cable car. The cable car is a popular way to reach the top of the mountain as you are at the top in just five minutes and you have some spectacular views as it takes you up. It is also easy to access as it has links with the FGC rail network that starts in Barcelona and takes you straight to Montserrat everyday from 8:36am. If you are interested in the foot paths and walking trails that you can follow then you can click here for more information.
There are two cable cars (funiculars), one called the funicular de Sant Joan and the other is the funicular de la Santa Cova. The funicular de Sant Joan takes you up to an altitude of 1000m and gives you spectacular views of the monastery as well as the Pyrenees and general countryside. The funicular de la Santa Cova takes you down to the sacred cove where the legend has it the original statue of the Black Virgin was carved in 890.
When you arrive you wont miss the Monastery that is located in the central plaza. Once you reach here, you can do a self guided tour which includes an audio guide, a map, tickets to both the open air museum and the audiovisual room.
There is also the Monastery of Santa Cecília that is a five minute drive from the sanctuary and is the finest example of Romanesque architecture. It is currently hosting the work of one of the most internationally-celebrated contemporary artists: Sean Scully.
There is an interactive exhibition too which is great for all the family to enjoy, it explains the history of Montserrat and everything you need to know to educate yourself about this beautiful area. If you want to find out some of the history before-hand you can do some research here.
For art lovers: Montserrat is the perfect place for any art lovers as you have several museums and art galleries. The museum of Montserrat is said to have one of the most important collections of art in the country and exhibits art from various eras and cultures of some of the most renowned artists including Picasso and Dali.
If you are really like you want to really splash the cash and experience the breathtaking views of Montserrat, why not book on to a helicopter tour of the beautiful mountains? Or, if you fancy being adventurous, why not try one of the climbing experiences that mean you can experience the view literally hands on.