Wondering how to do a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat? We have you covered.
After visiting the gorgeous Montserrat several times and trying out different transportation methods, we’ve gathered the best tips for your perfect day trip.
In this article, you’ll learn how to get from Barcelona to Montserrat, what amazing activities you can do there, where you can eat and stay, as well as the most important facts about the mountain and the monastery.
Ready to turn your day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat into an unforgettable travel experience?
Then dive right in!
Short on time?
Note: This article contains affiliate links. In case you purchase something through one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost for you. Thank you for helping us keep creating the free content on this website!
How to Get from Barcelona to Montserrat – Every Available Option
You can reach Montserrat from Barcelona in several different ways. We’ve tried most of them ourselves.
Below, you’ll find all available transportation options to do a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat:
|Mode of Transport||Duration||Book via|
|Tour: Monastery and Hike||~6 hours (round trip)||Get Your Guide|
|Tour: Monastery and Tasting||~5 hours (round trip)||Get Your Guide|
|Car||~50 minutes (in each direction)||Discover Cars|
|Train||~1:35 hours (in each direction)||(See below)|
|Train and Hike||~3:00 hours (in each direction)||(See below)|
|Bus||~1:25 hours (in each direction)||Autocares Julia|
Day Trip from Barcelona to Montserrat By Tour
The easiest and most convenient way to do a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat is by joining a guided tour.
But there are so many companies and tour options that you might drown in the sea of choices. After carefully considering most offers, we’ve narrowed down the best options to the following two tours:
Here’s what’s included in each:
Visit Montserrat Monastery and Hike the Surrounding Mountains
Price: €69 (~$74)
This 6-hour guided tour will reveal the secrets of Montserrat Monastery and take you on a hike in the gorgeous surrounding mountains.
The 11th-century Benedictine Abbey is a religious sanctuary and the home of Catalonia’s patron saint, the Black Madonna.
After exploring the staggering monastery and learning its fascinating history, you’ll take the funicular. The views of the abbey and the mountains as you ascend up the hill are jaw-dropping.
Following your experienced guide, you’ll hike the same paths that pilgrims traversed hundreds of years ago. You’ll wander past incredible rock formations as you breathe in the fresh mountain air.
We should warn you that in summer the temperatures in Catalonia can reach 45°C (113°F), so make sure you hydrate.
After the hike, you’ll have free time to further explore the area of the monastery and browse the local market before heading back to Barcelona.
The entrance fee to the monastery, the ticket for the funicular, as well as water and hiking poles for the hike, are included in your tour price.
Visit Montserrat Monastery and the Black Madonna, and Taste Local Liquors
Price: €57 (~$61)
This half-day tour to Montserrat will show you the monastery and provide a unique tasting experience.
You’ll arrive by bus and take the rack railway train for the last ascend to the abbey. Inside the monastery, you’ll learn about its fascinating history and the geography of the area. Then, you’ll enjoy priority access to view the Black Madonna, the patron saint of Catalonia.
After exploring the architecture of the basilica, sample the finest locally produced liquors.
Before heading back to Barcelona, you’ll have free time to shop for organic produce at the market and visit the museum.
Travel from Barcelona to Montserrat By Car
You have two options for reaching Montserrat from Barcelona by car.
- If you leave Barcelona in the southeast direction using B-10, get on A-2 and continue for about 31 mi (50 km). Then, change to BP-1103. The ride takes just over one hour.
- If you take C-31 to the northeast, continue driving on C-58, and then switch to BP-1121. The whole journey is around 38 mi (62 km) and takes about the same time as the previous route.
Of course, you can also take one of the roads, driving from Barcelona to Montserrat, and the other route, returning back to Barcelona. This way, you’ll see more of Catalonia.
The parking at the Abbey of Montserrat currently costs €7 (~$7.60) for 24 hours. However, the spaces are limited. More parking options are available on BP-1121.
Go to Montserrat from Barcelona By Car and Train
Alternatively, you can drive to Monistrol-Vila, and then take the train to Montserrat.
A huge, parking house is available at the train station if you choose this transportation option. The train ride takes about 15 minutes.
Tip: the tickets cost less if you buy them at the train station. Also, the first two trains for the day – at 8:35 AM and 8:55 AM – have a lower ticket price.
Visit Montserrat from Barcelona By Train
When it comes to traveling from Barcelona to Montserrat by train, we must admit:
We needed quite some time to decipher the different ticket options.
Below, you’ll find the available packages and what each one includes.
Trans Montserrat: Train, Rack Railway or Cable Car, and Funicular
Price: €45 (~$48)
- Return train ticket from Barcelona to Monistrol de Montserrat station.
- Ride on the rack railway, Cremallera, from Monistrol de Montserrat to Montserrat or the cable car from Montserrat Aeri.
- Ride on the Sant Joan Funicular.
- Free admission to the basilica, Aula de Natura, Espai Audiovisual, and Ancient Rack Railway Vehicle Museum exhibition areas. Note: the latter is located at the old Monistrol-Vila station.
Important: Make sure you get off the train at the right station. If you’ve chosen the cable car option, get off at Montserrat Aeri. For the rack railway, get off at the next stop, Monistrol de Montserrat.
Tot Montserrat: The All-Inclusive Montserrat Experience
Price: €65.50 (~$70)
- Everything from Trans Montserrat (train, rack railway, funicular, free access to exhibitions).
- Montserrat Museum ticket.
Insider Tip: Buy your ticket from the vending machines at the Plaça Espanya station. It is faster and easier than queueing at the cashier. Check our guide for more Barcelona travel tips.
Day Trip from Barcelona to Montserrat by Train and on Foot
Price: €11.50 (~$12.50)
You can take the train from Plaça Espanya to Monistrol de Montserrat, then hike to the monastery.
This is the cheapest option to do a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat but it requires more time and energy than the other available transportation modes.
If you’re up for the challenge, here’s what you should know:
- The hike from the train station to Montserrat Monastery takes about 90 minutes. On the way down, you’ll need between 60 and 75 minutes.
- You can follow several hiking trails. We recommend route GR-96. Its name is Camí de les Canals i de l’Aigua (Path of the Canals and Water), and it’s also known as the Montserrat Pilgrimage Path.
- The path is well marked with red and white markers, and easy to follow. The trail isn’t very steep, so you can enjoy the views on the way up and down.
- If you do the hike in summer, bring plenty of water. The temperatures in Catalonia reach up to 45°C (113°F), so make sure you hydrate.
Timetable of the Trains Between Barcelona and Montserrat
The trains from Barcelona to Montserrat run every hour.
- The first one leaves at 8:36 AM and arrives at 10:08 AM.
- The last one is at 4:36 PM and will get you to Monistrol de Montserrat at 6:08 PM.
- There are two additional trains leaving Barcelona at 5:36 PM and 6:36 PM but they only run on certain days.
The trains from Montserrat to Barcelona also run every hour.
- The first one leaves at 9:15 AM and reaches Barcelona at 10:45 AM.
- The last train from Monistrol de Montserrat is at 6:15 PM and arrives at 7:45 PM.
- Two additional trains leave at 7:15 PM and 8:15 PM but again they don’t run every day.
For the additional trains, you need to ask the FGC train company’s staff or consult the information boards.
The rack railway ride between Monistrol de Montserrat and Montserrat takes approximately 20 minutes. The schedule matches the FGC’s train timetable with about 5 minutes of connecting times.
Day Trip from Barcelona to Montserrat By Bus
You can go to Montserrat from Barcelona on a day trip by bus with Autocares Julia.
Here’s what you should know about this transportation option:
- The bus starts near Barcelona Sants Train Station.
- The buses from Barcelona to Montserrat leave at 9:15 AM and arrive at 10:40 AM.
- The buses from Montserrat Monastery leave at 6:00 PM and arrive in Barcelona at 7:15 PM in the summer. In winter, the buses leave the monastery at 5:00 PM and arrive at 6:15 PM.
Ticket Prices for Your Visit to Montserrat from Barcelona
Since May 2023, you need a ticket to visit the Basilica in the Montserrat Monastery.
If you book one of the guided tours we’ve recommended, the entry to the basilica will be included in your tour’s price.
Below, you’ll find all the entrance prices for your day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat.
|Black Madonna |
(includes entrance to the Basilica)
|Boys’ Choir (Escolania) |
(includes entrance to the Basilica)
|Black Madonna and Boys’ Choir||€12.00 (~$12.90)|
|Museum of Montserrat||€8.00 (~$8.60)|
|Visit Montserrat Combo |
(includes entrance to the Basilica, Black Madonna,
Montserrat Portes Endins, and the Museum of Montserrat)
|Visit Montserrat Combo and Boys’ Choir|
(includes entrance to the Basilica, Black Madonna,
Montserrat Portes Endins, the Museum of Montserrat,
and singing of the Boys’ Choir)
Interesting Facts about Montserrat
Before finding out what you can do on a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat, let’s uncover a few fun facts about this fascinating destination:
- Etymology of the name. Montserrat is a stunning mountain, with a jagged outline, full of incisions – like a row of teeth or a saw. That’s where the natural phenomenon gets its name from. Montserrat from Catalan means “serrated mountains”.
- Montserrat’s geology is very unusual. 50+ million years ago, Catalonia was underwater. The sea was fed by great volumes of water, which left deposits on its banks. The deposits began to solidify, forming different layers of strata. When the sea dried up, the first shapes of Montserrat’s outline emerged. The hardest deposits could withstand erosion. Rain, wind, and ice swept the weaker sediments. Tectonic movements further sculptured the mountain’s unique forms.
- Montserrat is a protected area. In 1987, to ensure its conversation, the Catalan authorities pronounced it a National Park. Sitting right in the heart of Catalonia, the natural park boasts over 3,600 hectares.
- Montserrat is the highest mountain in the Catalan hinterland. It’s part of the Catalan Prelittoral Mountain Range. Montserrat’s ridge measures 6 mi (10 km), and is 3 mi (5km) wide.
- The highest summit is Sant Jeroni, standing at 4,055 ft. (1,236 m). You can access it via several hiking trails. They start from either the monastery, the base of the mountain, or the top entrance of the Sant Joan funicular.
Things to Do in Montserrat on a Day Trip from Barcelona
Now that you know the most interesting facts about Montserrat and how to get there, let’s find out what you can do on a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat.
1. Visit the Benedictine Abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat
The Montserrat Monastery has functioned since the 11th century. It is still home to more than 70 monks.
The abbey is the most important religious retreat in Catalonia. At least once in their lives, young people from Barcelona and other parts of the region hike overnight to observe the magical sunrise from the heights of Montserrat.
The monastery is also famous for one of the oldest boys’ choirs in Europe, the Escolania. It performs during communal prayers and religious ceremonies in the basilica.
However, the highlight of the Montserrat Monastery is the Black Madonna. If you want to see The Virgin of Montserrat – Catalonia’s favorite saint – you have two options:
- Queue in line for an hour in Mare de Déu de Montserrat for a quick gaze of the Black Madonna. When Svet visited Montserrat for the second time, he waited in line to see the icon. He only had 10 seconds to take a quick look, so it wasn’t really worth the wait.
- If you don’t want to queue, you can see a replica of the Madonna in Barcelona’s Sant del Mar Cathedral. In our opinion, you’re better off spending your time exploring the monastery.
Keep in mind that since May 2023 you need a ticket to visit the basilica, and another one to get close to the Black Madonna. See the table in the previous section for more details.
2. Follow the Hiking Trails
The area around the monastery is a great starting point for numerous hikes and treks as some of the serrated mountains reach a height of more than 4,000 ft. (~1,215 m). Just make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes.
If you want to save some energy, you can take one of the two funiculars:
- The first one goes down a bit to the Santa Cova cave. The place is an important pilgrimage site, also known as “The Holy Grotto”.
- The second one ascends to Sant Joan. Once there, you can marvel at a stupefying view of Montserrat from above.
The variety of routes with different lengths are well marked and maintained.
Here’s a list of the hikes you can do around Montserrat:
- The Sanctuary – this route takes you to the basilica where you can learn more about the history of Montserrat. From there, you have several options to continue exploring further (see below).
- Via Crucis – Sant Miquel – Fra Garí – the path starts near the Sanctuary. This is the way pilgrims used to reach Montserrat Monastery.
- From the entrance of the monastery to Els degotalls – the easy walk leads north and provides a magnificent panoramic view of Pla del Bages and the Pyrenees.
- From the Sanctuary to Pla de les Taràntules (Sant Joan funicular top station) – the path is comfortable to walk and is part of several long-distance routes. It takes about an hour.
- From the Sanctuary to Placeta de Santa Anna – this walk takes only 20 minutes but features 800 cement steps.
- From the Sanctuary to Pla de Trinitat – the route goes around some of the chapels and ruins in Tebaida. You’ll need approximately one hour.
- From the Sanctuary to Santa Cecília – you’ll have to climb the steep steps up to Pla de la Trinitat and continue with a constant descent to Santa Cecília. This route will take you about 1:40 h.
- From the Sanctuary to Sant Jeroni – the route to the summit of Sant Jeroni (4,055 ft. / 1,236 m) passes to the right of the top station of Sant Joan funicular. If you use the funicular, you’ll need 2:30 hours to reach the summit. Add an extra hour if you walk the whole route.
- Santa Cova – the winding path features fantastic panoramas and leads you to the cave chapel. There – according to the legend – shepherds found the image of Mare de Déu de Montserrat. Take the funicular if you want to avoid the steep climb.
- From Pla de les Taràntules to Sant Joan Chapel – from the end station of Sant Joan funicular, walk for about 15 min to reach the chapel. Next to it, you’ll find a viewpoint with heart-stopping vistas.
- From Pla de les Taràntules to Santa Magdalena Chapel – two things will fascinate you on this hike – the remains of the chapel and the lookout at one of the highest parts of the mountain. From the top station of the Sant Joan funicular, you’ll only need 20 min to reach it.
If you go hiking in summer, make sure you bring plenty of water. Keep in mind that the temperatures in Catalonia can go up to 45°C (113°F), so make sure you hydrate.
3. Engage in Rock Climbing
The Cavall Bernat at 3,645 ft. (1,111 m) is an important rock feature, attracting many climbing enthusiasts.
If you love rock climbing, then you’re in for a treat. Catalonia is a heaven for such activities. And Montserrat will surely put your climbing skills to a test.
The rocks are composed of high-quality cobblestone conglomerate. Couple that with numerous sinker pockets and protruding knobs, and you’ll end up with top-notch conditions for a first-class climbing experience.
Since the last century, the massif has become a true school for Catalan mountaineering. Nowadays, the three most practiced pastime activities in Montserrat are trekking, climbing, and potholing.
There’s something for everyone – from via ferratas and 3rd class scrambles to 5.14c. For more information, check out this website.
4. Go Around the Area of The Monastery
If you don’t feel like doing strenuous hikes or climbing rocks, you can spend your time walking around the monastery.
Or, if it’s one of those lazy days at the end of your vacation, you can always just do people watching or admire Montserrat’s beauty from the comfort of a bench.
5. Visit the Montserrat Museums
If you’re a museum aficionado, don’t skip visiting these two museums on a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat.
- In the Montserrat Museum, you’ll marvel at the masterpieces of Dalí, Miró, Degas, Picasso, and El Greco. Some of the works date back to the 13th century.
- In Espai Audio Visual, you can explore Montserrat’s rich history. The museum is housed in the Monastery’s bookshop. There, you’ll discover peculiar facts about the printing press of the monastery, as well as have a look at the daily lives of the monks that reside in Santa Maria de Montserrat.
If you came from Barcelona to Montserrat by train, check if the entrance tickets to both exhibitions are included in your ticket. Currently, some are included in the Trans Montserrat and Tot Montserrat combo tickets.
6. Reward Your Palate at the Montserrat Restaurants
When you grow tired of exploring, you can recharge your batteries by treating yourself to a delicious meal at one of the few restaurants in the area.
A café, two formal restaurants, and two canteen-style restaurants will suit all tastes and budgets.
- If you want to try traditional Catalan cuisine and exquisite wines in a historic setting, we recommend you dine at Restaurant Abat Cisneros.
- Restaurant Montserrat is located on the road just below the monastery building and will tease your palate with outstanding Mediterranean dishes.
- Montserrat Buffet, Bar De La Plaça, and La Cafeteria offer buffet-style lunch, as well as fast food options. We have to warn you that these budget options are the preferred choice of most tourists, so waiting times at lunch can be quite long.
Naddya loved her visit to the Restaurant Abat Cisneros and still daydreams of the scrumptious crema catalana she devoured.
7. Purchase Souvenirs and Local Delicacies
Several shops offer you the opportunity to fill your bag with a souvenir, a gift, or a book.
In them, you’ll find artisan products crafted by the local monks, including delectable chocolate bars and Catalan olive oil.
We absolutely loved the white chocolate with coconut hints. What we didn’t like so much was the fact that most things were a bit overpriced.
A small market at the side of the road sells cheese, nuts, and dried fruit. We loved sampling the incredible goat cheese and the raw honey.
Where to Stay in Montserrat
A day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat will be enough for most people.
But if you have more time, and you’d like to take it slowly with the hikes, monastery visits, and admiring the gorgeous scenery, consider staying for a night.
You have three options in Montserrat Abbey:
You can find further accommodations in nearby Monistrol.
Now You Know How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip from Barcelona to Montserrat
There you have it – your best planner for the perfect day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat.
Montserrat is a center of pilgrimage that welcomes 3+ million visitors from across the globe every year. For us, it’s definitely one of our favorite day trips from Barcelona we’ve ever done.
One thing is certain: the spellbinding beauty of the serrated mountains will make a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat an experience you’ll never ever forget!
We know because you’ve been there ourselves multiple times and can’t get enough of the surreal beauty of the mountain and the monastery.
Now, tell us:
Have you been to Montserrat before?
Did you hike, climb rocks, or devour monastery treats?
Share your idea of a perfect day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat in the comments below.