Would you like to escape the busy city and have a beautiful view of Barcelona from a green setting? Or just soak up plenty of culture or experience the 1992 Olympic Games? For all this versatility, head to the mountain next to the city: the Montjuïc.

  • Where? – Montjuïc borders Barcelona to the south. The Poble-sec neighborhood lies against the flanks of the hill.
  • How to get there? – By cable car from the port/Barceloneta. Metro stops: Paral.lel (L2/L3), Poble-sec (L3), Espanya (L1/L3). A funicular goes up from Paral.lel metro station which is included in the metro ticket. The Hop-on Hop-off bus and regular bus lines 125 and 150 also go to Montjuïc.
  • Main attractions– MNAC Museum, Fundació Joan Miró, Montjuïc Cemetery, Olympic Stadium, Poble Espanyol (scroll further down for more sights).

Looking for a hotel or apartment in Barcelona? I have listed the best hotels and the best apartments for you.

1. Telefèric Aeri del Port: Up by cable car from the port
2. Cactus Gardens: Instagram-worthy!
3. Cementeri de Montjuïc: Imposing cemetery
4. Olympic pool: Swimming with stunning views of the city
5. MNAC and Fundació Joan Miró: Interesting art museums

History Montjuïc

Montjuïc is the 173-meter-high hill that borders Barcelona to the south. The name of the city hill is said to come from Mont dels Jueus, Catalan for “Hill of the Jews. This name would again be traced to the Jewish cemetery on the hill.
Another tradition says that the name may come from ‘Mons Iovis’ (Mont de Júpiter, the ‘Hill of Jupiter’) and thus goes back to the time of the Romans.

Because of its strategic location overlooking the sea, Montjuïc has always been of great importance to Barcelona. Not surprisingly, the inhabitants of the first settlements settled in this very area.

In 1929, the hill was the scene of the second World’s Fair held in Barcelona (the first took place in 1887 with Ciutadella Park as the exhibition site).

In 1992, the eyes of the world were once again on the city hill, when it was the main venue for the Olympic Games.

Montjuïc, what can you expect?

Montjuïc is the perfect place to escape the crowds. Even though tourists do come here, the mountain almost always seems quiet. What’s more, you’ll find several attractions all together.

Provided you have some good mobility, you can visit the hill on foot. However, keep in mind that it is a pretty vast area and depending on where exactly you want to go, it can be quite a climb to get to the top.

You can also choose to take the Funicular (a cable car leaving from Paral.lel metro station) to the top. This Funicular is included in the regular subway tickets. Once at the top, you can continue on foot, or hop on the Telefèric (one of two cable cars), which will take you even higher.

Taking the cable car to Montjuïc
There are two cable cars on Montjuïc. One departs from the port/Barceloneta with beautiful views and the other is located only on the mountain itself. I recommend you to take the cable car from the port, the view is much better ánd you move between two locations. I find the cable car that is only on the mountain less worthwhile: you can actually walk the part and the view is not more special than when you are already on the mountain.

Sightseeing on Montjuïc

  • MNAC – Parc de Montjuïc (metro Plaça Espanya L1/L3)
  • Barcelona Pavilion – Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 7 (metro Plaça Espanya L1/L3)
  • Fundació Joan Miro – Parc de Montjuïc s/n (metro Poble Sec)
  • Cementeri de Montjuïc – Carrer de la Mare de Déu de Port 5
  • Olympic stadium – Passeig Olimpíc 15-17 (metro Poblesec)
  • Olympic swimming pool – Avinguda de Miramar 31 (metro Parel.lel, L2/L3)
  • Poble Espanyol – C/Francesc Ferrer i Guardia 13 (metro Espanya, L1/L3)
  • CaixaForum – Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 6-8 (metro Plaça Espanya L1/L3)
  • Gardens of Montjuïc – Various locations, see link
  • Montjuïc CastleAv. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 6-8 (metro Plaça Espanya L1/L3)
  • Magic Fountains – Plaça Espanya (metro Espanya L1/L3)
  • Teleferic Aeri del Port (cable car from the port) – Passeig de Joan de Borbó 88

Those going up Montjuïc from Plaça d’Espanya will first pass the Barcelona Pavilion and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. The latter played a leading role during the city’s World’s Fair (1929). Five years later, it was put into use as an art museum.

The fountains in front of the palace are the venue for the fountain shows held here daily in summer and on weekends during the winter months.

Next you will pass exhibition center CaixaForum, the “Spanish village” Poble Espanyol, the Olympic Ring including the Olympic Museum and the museum Fundació Joan Miró. Actually all worth a visit!

On top of the mountain is the Castell de Montjuïc castle, the old defensive fortress that served as a lookout for centuries. Nice to visit, even for children!

On the mountain you will also find several restaurants (scroll down for more information), the Olympic swimming pool and a large number of gardens and parks, of which the cactus garden and botanical gardens are our favorite. Personally, I also always love the feeling of swimming in the Olympic pool with beautiful views of the city.

The Cementeri de Montjuïc cemetery is on the other side of the hill, but is well worth a visit. It is so big that there is even a bus to take visitors to the resting place of their deceased loved ones.

Tip: The Poble-sec neighborhood is next to Montjuïc and is very nice and easy to combine with Montjuïc. Walking or with the funicular you are there in no time. In this neighborhood you can taste the local life of Barcelona with few tourists and it has many cozy restaurants and bars.

Food and drinks Montjuïc

La Caseta del Migdia (Mirador del Migdia s/n) – Outdoor café overlooking the sea. Drink a beer under the pine trees or order a meal from the barbecue.
Miramar (Carretera de Miramar 40) – This (chic) restaurant is transformed into a club late at night.
Martínez (Carretera de Miramar 38) – Specializing in paella and a fantastic terrace: ideal for an extended lunch.
Poble Espanyol – The quality of restaurants in Poble Espanyol sometimes leaves something to be desired, but La Font de Prades (Avinguda de Francesc Ferrer i Guardia 13-27) is very good.

Hotels on Montjuïc

There are not many hotels on Montjuïc. In fact, if you necessarily want to stay on the hill itself, you really only have one option.

Hotel Miramar

Located in a former palace, this hotel is certainly not a cheap option, but you are guaranteed a relaxing vacation. There are two swimming pools, a sauna, a large terrace and many rooms have views of the sea or the city of Barcelona. The in-house restaurant Forestier has exquisite Catalan and Spanish dishes on the menu.

Prices, reviews, current information and availability: Hotel Miramar

For more hotels in Barcelona, see also this overview page.