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“Don't miss this” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Afternoon in Montserrat

Afternoon in Montserrat
| Plaça de Catalunya, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
932 853 832
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$66*
and up
Ranked #4 of 288 Attractions in Barcelona
Type: Canyons, Outdoors
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Owner description: Montserrat offers a rich and varied landscape: a unique natural park, one of Spain's foremost museums and the site of the shrine dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat, a Black Madonna.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Don't miss this”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2014 NEW

What an amazing place. The view, the architecture, the train up the mountains. Excellent experience.

Visited April 2014
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English first
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Breath taking views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2014 NEW

It was a shame the rain didn't hold off in the mountains but we enjoyed the Monastery. The black Christ was fascinating and to get up close was a bonus. The shops are expensive, just as the talking guides are but well worth the effort.

Visited November 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rhode Island
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Awesome Mountains”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2014 NEW

A must. I have never seen rock formations like these and plenty of hiking trails, railways and cable cars to scale this unbelievable monastery. Visit the Black Madonna but there may be lines. We purchased a pass for transportation from Barcelona, the trip up and down the mt. and admission to everything and a great buffet lunch for 40 euros which was a bargain at the visitor centers. Look for the big i.

Visited December 2014
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Salisbury, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
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67 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
“An Unforgettable Trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2014 NEW

We had been to Montserrat a few years ago and as we were travelling with friends and family this time, we just had to return for them to see this wonderful site. You can book lots of organised trips to go and see the Monastery but they tend to combine Montserrat with wine-tasting or just a half-day tour which really isn’t enough.

Therefore, I would strongly recommend doing this visit yourself as it is easy to do. We were staying in central Barcelona and headed towards Plaça Espanya rail station. Upon arriving, head towards R5 (Plaça España is a massive station so allow plenty of time to find this as it is a bit tricky to locate!).

Once you get there, there are automated ticket booths and plenty of people on hand to show you how to use them. You can select single or return, adult, children or senior citizen tickets BUT, please ensure that when you are selecting your ticket, you choose the correct type – going up you can go by Cable Car (Aeri) or by Rack Railway (Cremallera). These tickets are not inter-changeable so if you pick the wrong one, you are stuck with it.

We decided to go by Cable Car and the journey time from Plaça España to the Aeri Montserrat (at the foot of the mountain) took about an hour. I think if you take the Rack Railway it’s another 5-10 minutes.

It takes approximately 5 minutes to ascend to the top of the mountain in the Cable Car and you have amazing views all the way up. The lift holds about 30 people and is a smooth ride all the way.

Once there, you are greeted by a sizeable café (which is a welcome sight as there are no refreshments on the train). The café sells everything you would expect, a good variety of food (hot and cold) cakes and pastries and hot and cold drinks including beer.

After our refreshments, we walked the outer perimeter and found some stalls selling local produce (honey, jams, alcohol, cheese and more). We bought some of the local tipple (Crema Catalunya which is similar to Baileys but with a Crème Brulee taste – delicious)!! The lady who served us was extremely generous with her taster measures and gave us about 4 or 5 different varieties of the local liquor to try.

From there, we retraced our steps and then went to the Monastery itself. Upon arrival there was a service going on so we could only stand in the foyer but the interior we could see was awe-inspiring so we made note of when the service was due to finish and decided to return afterwards.

We then explored the surrounding area and took a few of the shorter walks (there are lots of signposted routes you can take, you could actually spend a couple of days exploring if you liked walking).

After we had taken lots of photographs and explored some of the mountain, we headed back down to return to the Monastery. It really was amazing and the lamps and paintings were beautiful. There was also a corridor to the side/rear of the Monastery where people lit candles and dedicated thoughts to their lost loved ones, this was an emotional and thought provoking sight and one which will stay with us long after we leave Montserrat.

Once we had explored here, half of our group decided to take the funicular ride to the top of the mountain (there was an additional charge for this which I think was about 9 Euros - there is a reduction for pensioners). This was well worth doing and afforded us more exceptional views and photo opportunities. The aerial view of the monastery really gave us an appreciation of its size and location.

Before we left, we visited the gift shop (we noticed that the Crema Catalunya was more expensive here and they charged 1.5 Euros to taste it!!). We then headed back towards the Cable Car and our descent back to the station.

Please note, the trains back are typically every hour and there is NOTHING at the station so try to coincide your cable car down the mountain with the expected train arrival time (allowing time for the fact that you might not be able to get on the first cable-car due to the amount of other passengers who want to go at the same time). If you should find you miss your train, all is not lost!! Walk to the end of the platform and follow the signs for a ‘bar’. There you will meet a wonderfully friendly bunch in a make-shift bar/pub which is more like a converted shed and outhouse! The prices are extremely reasonable it is cosy and warm inside and the food looked amazing and home-made – we didn’t order any food (just drinks) but all of the plates were going back to the kitchen - empty!!

All in all, this is an absolute MUST if you are in Barcelona. It is east to get there on your own and we left on the 8.30am train from Plaça España and returned on the 3.40pm train from Montserrat. It really was a fantastic day and although it was December, we had fantastic weather with bright blue skies and picture-postcard views. I would recommend though that you don’t make this trip if the weather is not favourable as the location is very exposed and there is not a lot of shelter from the wind/rain and it would be a shame if you couldn’t experience the views and walks to the full.

Visited December 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Amazing at all times of year”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2014 NEW

We went in December where there was a high level of cloud. It was incredible as the buildings were overwhelmed by the cloud resembling something along the lines of the elf kingdom in lord of the rings. There are several hikes you can do whilst in the mountains, I would recommend you allow yourself a whole day to do some of these hikes as the views over Barcelona are stunning.

Visited December 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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