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Exactly How to get to Montserrat from Barcelona

Known for its distinctive jagged and serrated rocks and the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat, Montserrat is a short distance from Barcelona and makes a perfect day trip to explore Catalonia. In this article we’ll explore exactly how to get to Montserrat from Barcelona.

Dave and I visited Barcelona during November of 2023 and while he worked in the city for the day I took the train to Montserrat and spent the day hiking and exploring. I spent many hours considering different options on how to get to Monteserrat including renting a car or taking a tour and ultimately decided to travel to Montserrat from Barcelona by train.

Below you can see complete details on how to get to Montserrat by train based on my experience. I will also share details on driving to Montserrat by car and the best tours of Montserrat from Barcelona.

Quick Overview of Montserrat

Spiritual Center: Montserrat is a significant religious site, housing the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat. The monastery is home to the revered statue of the Black Madonna, a symbol of Catalonia, attracting pilgrims and visitors seeking spiritual experiences.

Serrated Mountain Range: The name “Montserrat” translates to “serrated mountain” in Catalan, aptly describing the distinctive jagged peaks and rock formations that characterize the landscape.

Cultural Importance: The site holds cultural significance beyond its religious aspects, with a rich history and influence on Catalan identity. Montserrat has inspired artists, poets, and musicians throughout the centuries, contributing to its cultural and artistic heritage.

Outdoor Activities: The mountain range offers a network of hiking trails ranging from short walks to all day explorations.

Facilities: there are plenty of facilities at Montserrat including bathrooms and several options for food and drinks.

how to get to Montserrat
Montserrat Monestary

What you Need to Know about Getting to Montserrat

You can see details below on the best ways to get to Monteserrat but there are a few general things to know.

  • Cogwheel Train or Cable Car or Hiking: Whether you reach Montserrat by train or car, you will still need to ascend to the Montastery. You can choose to get to the Monastery by Cogwheel Train, Cable Car or by hiking. travelers have the option to ascend to the monastery using either a cogwheel train or a cable car. The train provides a scenic journey up the mountain, while the cable car offers a more direct route with breathtaking views. If you are insteresting in hiking to the Monastery, you can see a helpful guide done by Earthtrekkers.
  • Timings and Schedules: It’s important to check the schedule and timings of transportation services, especially if you plan to visit the monastery or explore the hiking trails. Both train and cable car services have specific operating hours, and it’s advisable to plan your trip accordingly.
  • Ticketing and Reservations: Tickets for the train, cable car, and other attractions (such as the Montserrat Museum) can be purchased in advance or on-site. Tickets do sell out during the peak season although this wasn’t a problem when I visited in November.
  • Combination Tickets and Tours: You can see more about this below, but the best way to coordinate your trip is to book a combination ticket. These packages can offer a more streamlined and comprehensive experience, saving time and providing additional insights into the history and significance of the site.
How to get to Monserrat from Barcelona – Rack railway arriving in Monastery

How to Get to Montserrat from Barcelona by Train

It is very easy to get to Montserrat by train.

You will start at the city’s Plaza España station. If you aren’t staying near this station, you can easily reach it on the merto. From here you will take the FGC R5 line (Llobregat-Anoia).  The train take about 1 hour and was 11.50 euros for a round trip. You can see information about prices here.

You have two options for getting from the train to Monteserrat and you will need to get off the train at different stations.

Cable Car

Take the train to Aeri de Montserrat. From here, take the cable car to the top. This cost €13 for a return ticket. The cable car typically runs often based on the number of people. You can see updated information about getting to Monteserrat on the cable car.

The cable car takes you high up into the mountains for incredible views.

How to get to Montserrat – Yellow cable car arriving at the Monastery

Cog Railway

Take the train one more stop to the Monistrol de Montserrat (about 5 minutes). Here you will transfer right to the Rack Railway that is waiting for the train and generally ready to go. This generally costs €13.50 for a return ticket.

The Rack Railway is an easy way to get to the Monastery and the better choice if you have a fear of heights.

Buying Tickets

You can pre-purchase tickets for the trip or you can purchase your tickets right in the train station. There are several combined tickets for sale. You can add on the cable car or rack railway as well as entrance into the monastery.

Tickets are sold in kiosks in the station as well as at an counter. Many people were having difficulty with the kiosks when I visited, and they would not take 3 of my different credit cards. I ended up going to the desk and purchased my tickets here. Give youself AT LEASY 30 minutes to get your tickets or more if you are visiting during the busy season.

How to Get to Montserrat from Barcelona by Car

To reach Montserrat by car from Barcelona, take the A-2 highway towards Lleida and follow the signs for the C-55 road, which leads directly to Montserrat. The drive takes about 1 hour.

The main parking lots are located near the cable car and cogwheel train stations and you can get a ticket on for one of these right on site. It’s advisable to arrive early, especially during peak times, to secure parking spaces, as Montserrat is a popular destination.

Best Tour to Montserrat from Barcelona

If you are only in Barcelona for a short time and want to maximize your experience you can also look at taking a day trip tour to Montserrat from Barcelona. There are many tours that offer different experiences and length. You can see a few options below or search on Viator.

This can actually be a cost effective way to see Montserrat. I ultimately decided to get to Montserrat by train since I wanted to spend the bulk of the day hiking in the area and wanted flexibility. If you just plan to visit the main sites at the Monastery, I would recommend taking on the of tours above.

How to get to Montserrat

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1 Comment

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