About 50 kilometers from Barcelona, a surreal mountain range towers over the Catalan landscape. The bizarre rock formation has exerted a strong attraction on pilgrims and hikers for centuries and is definitely worth a day trip from Barcelona. Montserrat is 1,236 m high, making it one of the highest mountains you can visit near Barcelona.

MontserratTickets, opening hours & public transportation
TicketsA ticket to the museum costs €8. Students, pensioners and groups (min. 20 people) €6.50. Children 8 to 16 years €4. Children under 8: free.
Public transportation / metroTrain: Montserrat Aeri or Monistrol (R4).
Opening hoursThe monastery
Open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Holy Virgin/Black Mardonna
You can visit the space of the holy virgin between 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and from noon to 5:45 p.m.
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. (in winter, until 5:45 p.m.).
Saturday-Sunday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


What is Montserrat?

The Montserrat mountain range, about two hours by public transport from Barcelona, is a beautiful location for hiking, but attracts by far the most visitors because of the Montserrat Monastery located here. You can see the Black Madonna there, attend a performance by the famous boys’ choir and visit the Museum of Montserrat.

Sports enthusiasts can take several hikes from the monastery, ranging from easy to very strenuous. In this article I have included the most popular hike.

Here is a short impression video:

Did you know? Montserrat literally means “sawn mountain,” and the mountain formation owes that name to its finger-shaped peaks that remind one of saw teeth. These are probably the result of centuries of erosion of limestone rocks. The famous Catalan poet Jacinto Verdaguer once spoke of the “saw work of angels.

Tickets and tours Montserrat

There are several tickets available for a day excursion to Montserrat from Barcelona. You can visit the place on your own, or you can use an organized tour.


To Montserrat (entire day)

This ticket is everything you need for a great day at Montserrat. The return trip Barcelona-Montserrat by metro or train is included in the price. You will then have the opportunity to take the Cremallera or Aeri cable car to the top of Montserrat. At the top you will have a beautiful view and can visit the monastery and museum. Those who want to go even higher can take the Funicular de Sant Joan up the mountain. Also included is a meal from Montserrat’s self-service restaurant/coffee store. Cost: €65.50. Admission to the museum is included with the Tot Montserrat, but if you’re going to Montserrat on your own, that’s something to consider. A ticket gives you access to the audiovisual room, including an audio guide with information about the monastery. Do keep in mind that the queues can be extremely long, so it is wise to go as early as possible or just a little later in the day.


Only want to take the cable car up and down from the train station? Then it costs €13 euros for a return trip


Since May 2023, it is also necessary to buy a ticket for the monastery. This includes the atrium, the basilica and the Shrine of the Virgin. This was chosen to improve visitation, preserve the prayer environment and contribute to the maintenance of the whole. Individual tickets for each section can be purchased. Admission to the basilica costs 6 euros, admission to the Shrine of the Virgin costs 8 euros and tickets for the boys’ choir also 8 euros. In addition, a full tour is available that includes an audio guide in all cases (18 to 23 euros).

Organized tours

There are also several tours available, where you visit Montserrat on an organized excursion. In most cases, these tours include the bus trip.

Practical information

Opening hours

The Monastery It is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Admission to the basilica costs 6 euros, admission to the Shrine of the Virgin costs 8 euros and tickets to the boys’ choir also 8 euros. In addition, a full tour is available that includes an audio guide in all cases (18 to 23 euros). For a fee, you can light a candle. The holy virgin/black Madonna You can visit the space of the holy virgin between 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and from noon to 5:45 p.m. Admission to the Shrine of the Virgin costs 8 euros. The boys’ choir Attending a concert by the Montserrat Boys’ Choir? Then be sure to secure a spot in the pews at 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. You won’t be the only one, so be on time. Another concert will take place at 6:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Please note there are no performances by the choir on Saturdays. On Sundays and holidays, you can listen twice a day: at noon and at 6:45 pm. Ticket for the boys’ choir costs 8 euros.

Museum opening hours The Museum of Montserrat is open from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. (in winter and spring until 5:45 p.m.).


For the museum you have to pay an entrance fee. Price: an entrance ticket costs €8. Students, pensioners and groups (min. 20 people) €6.50. Children 8 to 16 years of age €4. Children under 8 years of age may enter for free. On April 27, the day of the Virgin of Montserrat, entrance is free. Important! Photos may certainly be taken inside the monastery, but not with flash. Furthermore, visitors are supposed to be quiet, so do not talk or laugh loudly.

How do you get to Montserrat from Barcelona?

There are no metro or regular bus stops near Montserrat. Below are the various options for reaching the mountain on your own.

1. Travel options to Montserrat by train

You have two options to reach Montserrat by train. Note that you can choose either option when you purchase a train ticket. A ticket (return) costs about 25 euros. 1. To reach the monastery, located halfway up the mountain, from Plaça d’Espanya take the train towards Montserrat-Manresa (R5). You get off at Montserrat Aeri station (the ride takes about an hour), where you then take the teleférico, (the so-called Aeri cable car), which drops you off near the shrine. The ride on this cable car to Montserrat takes about 5 minutes and is an experience in itself.

Montserrat Funicular

2. Another option is to get off one station later, at the Monistrol train station, where you can then take the so-called funicular cremallera (ride train or cogwheel train) to the top. The ride takes about twenty minutes. This way you have the opportunity to visit different parts of the mountain, including the Santa Cova. Tickets for public transportation can be purchased from the ticket machines at Plaça España, the station where the trains to Montserrat depart. The Trans Montserrat ticket can be purchased online in advance. For more information about the Aeri cable car, you can take a look at the website of the Aeri cable car itself. Here you can find out, among other things, the best connection to train times. Keep in mind that there is nothing else to do at the station where the cable car departs.

2. By car

If you want to get to Montserrat by car, take the A2 to Martorell. Take the NII to the Montserrat interchange. You can park your car for free at the Cremallera de Monistrol. Good to know is that when the cog railway closes (around 7 p.m.), the parking lot also closes.

Visiting Montserrat: the sights and highlights

Hiking in the beautiful mountains

On Montserrat you can do several and incredibly beautiful hikes. Most people hike to the viewpoint. You can get here in different ways and it is therefore also fun to choose a different way back so that you walk around. The routes are self-explanatory, because on the square at the monastery are clear maps and on the way everything is indicated with signs. So you can’t get lost!

The route initially runs along small waterfalls and through a forest. Then you come fairly quickly to the top of the mountain range. Here you have a beautiful view of the surroundings but also of the rock formation itself. The times I walked there I actually always encountered goats, so you imagine yourself completely in nature. Because you have already climbed the biggest hill with the cable car, the hiking trails are not very tough. Of course you go up a bit, but it is not really mountain climbing.

Mountain montserrat barcelona

The monastery and the Black Madonna

For believers, the Virgen de Montserrat, also called the Virgin of Montserrat or Black Madonna, is the reason to visit the pilgrimage site. Her image is said to have been found in a cave in the ninth century, in the year 880 to be exact. The story goes that one Saturday a group of young shepherds were led to the spot by a bright light and songs. In the following weeks, the phenomenon repeated itself, and when the bishop of Manresa then organized a visit to the mountain, a painting of the holy virgin appeared in the cave.

The bishop was so impressed and wanted to move the painting to his city, but it turned out to be much too heavy. Conclusion: the Black Madonna wanted to stay where she was found. A chapel was built around her. Since then, the Santa Cova (“Holy Grotto”) and the chapel have been a place of pilgrimage for Catholic pilgrims. In the 11th century, a Benedictine monastery, the Monestir de Montserrat, was added, and from then on the mountain and its shrine became an important place of pilgrimage in Spain.

The black madonna

The statue La Moreneta is also one of the reasons for many visitors to visit Montserrat. The Black Madonna venerated to this day is a Romanesque statue from the 12th century. The statue is about 95 centimeters high and, except for the head and hands, is made entirely of gold. On Sept. 11, 1881, Catalonia’s national holiday, the Virgin was declared the official patron saint of Catalonia by Pope Leo XIII. Her black face is said to have been caused by the smoke from candles in the convent.

The boys’ choir

If you visit the inside of the monastery, be sure not to miss the performance of l’Escolanía, the boys’ choir. It is one of the oldest children’s choirs in Europe. Documents from the 14th century already mention the existence of the choir. The boys – there are thirty of them – live in the monastery and also go to school here.

Montserrat Boys choir


The monastery houses a library with nearly 300,000 works, some 6,700 newspaper publications, 1,500 manuscripts and hundreds of old folders and maps. One of the manuscripts is the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (The Red Book of Montserrat), which was written between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The book is a collection of liturgical, informative and instructional texts surrounding Marian worship in Montserrat and takes its name from the red velvet binding with which the manuscript is bound. The most valuable from the Llibre Vermell are the ten songs, including musical notes. Unfortunately, the library is not open to the public.

The museum of Montserrat

At the beginning of the 20th century, the “Biblical Museum of Montserrat was opened. At first, you could find here mainly archaeological, ethnological, zoological and botanical materials, from the Middle East. Now there are six diverse collections, totaling some 1,300 pieces. In 1963, the museum was renamed Museu de Montserrat and added Renaissance and Baroque paintings, which came from the monastery. About twenty years later, from various donations, an important collection of art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was added. The museum houses works by El Greco, Picasso and Salvador Dalí, among others. You can also see a mummy from Ancient Egypt.

The museum of Montserrat

Dress code

When visiting the Montserrat Mountains, there are no dress codes. However, while visiting the monastery, it is appreciated if you wear appropriate clothing. Access may be denied if you wear a shirt without sleeves, shorts or short skirts and/or flip-flops. Therefore, in extreme heat, always take a long outfit or a covering scarf into your bag.

Personal tips

  • On Montserrat it is usually a few degrees colder than in Barcelona city. Make sure to bring an extra sweater during the winter months just to be sure. Also, always check in advance what the weather will be like! If it’s cloudy or rainy you might prefer to wait another day and visit Montserrat when weather conditions do allow. Is the sun shining? If you plan to hike don’t forget to cover up and drink water. Bring a cap or hat if necessary.
  • You can reach Montserrat by cable car or ride train. Hard to choose? Go up by cable car and down by train (buy two tickets for this).


Hiking on the Montserrat

If you are not much into religion, spirituality or museums, but have a bit of an athletic bent, you can visit Montserrat for a hike. A day trip to Montserrat is among my favorite trips into nature. There are routes for both experienced climbers and families with children. The beautiful views alone are worth it!

View of Montserrat

A classic and relatively easy hike is the Cim de Sant Jeroni. The starting point is the monastery of Montserrat, where you also finish. The highlight – literally and figuratively – of the hike is Saint Jeroni, the highest point of the Montserrat mountain range. Don’t forget your camera, because here you have one of the most beautiful views in Catalonia (including the Mediterranean near Barcelona and the Pyrenees)! From the monastery you walk through the woods via the Cami Antic past the little chapel of Sant Jeroni. The way back you can do via the Cami Nou, walking along the extraordinary rocks. The walk takes about three hours, but can be shortened by taking the Funiculaire de San Joan for the last part. In the latter case, you have to ascend and descend 300 meters; if you’re going to walk all the way, that’s over 500 meters. The real daredevils can climb all the way up Montserrat. Just keep in mind that it’s quite a steep climb up. So I recommend this only if you have a good condition!

Is Montserrat accessible to the disabled?

It is possible to visit Montserrat by electric scooter or wheelchair. The easiest way to get there is by car. You can park it at the cog railway (cremallera) which is specially adapted for the people with reduced mobility. The parking lot is about 400 meters away from the monastery. The funicular trains (Sant Joan Funicular and Santa Cova Funicular) take you to other parts of the mountain. The monastery and the museum can both be visited by wheelchair. There is a route that does not require you to climb stairs and here you will also find adapted facilities such as restrooms.

Food and drink at Montserrat

Once on the mountain, you won’t go back down in an hour. That means you will probably have lunch at Montserrat. You can of course bring a sandwich from Barcelona, but it is also possible to have lunch at a restaurant near the monastery. At restaurant Abat Cisneros on the Plaza del Monasterio, there is a continuous kitchen. A dish costs an average of 12 euros and for 27 euros per person you have a (good!) menu. Quick appetite? There is a small supermarket, which sells local products and fun souvenirs in addition to standard refreshments.

Hotels near Montserrat

Want to spend a few days in the beautiful area around Monsterrat? There are some nice hotels and apartments in the area. Here are my tips.

  1. Hotel Abat Cisneros Montserrat
  2. Alberg Abat Oliba
  3. Apartamentos Montserrat Abat Marcet
  4. El Celler de La Guardia

Facts about Montserrat

  • Napoleon’s troops destroyed much of the monastery in 1811, and a century later it was hit again: during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the monks were again expelled. In 1925 the monastery was restored to a design by modernist architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Puig i Cadafalch is also the architect of Casa Amatller, the house next to Casa Batlló on Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia, as well as many other works in Barcelona.
  • Under the regime of dictator Franco, the monastery served as a secret bastion for Catalan resistance fighters, which only reinforced the mysterious mountain’s sacred status among the Catalan people.
  • Montserrat, or Montse for short, is a common girl’s name in Catalonia.
  • The Caribbean Island of Montserrat was discovered under the Spanish flag in 1493 by Columbus, who named it after the extraordinary Catalan mountain.
  • You may have heard of Montserrat Cabellé, the Spanish opera singer. She became known to many people outside Spain when she scored the hit Barcelona with Freddie Mercury.