4 Days in Barcelona and Montserrat

November 15, 2021| Travel, Spain|8 Minutes|By Mike Tesselaar

4 days, 3 nights, Barcelona and Montserrat, what to do and where to go? I’ll give you the inspiration you’ll need to make your trip to Barcelona a success!

Day 1: Old City Center & Port

Try to catch an early flight to preserve as much daylight as you can in the afternoon. The Barcelona Airport has a relatively new metro-line leaving from the airport terminal to the city (every 7 minutes!). A one-way ticket only costs around €5,50 and lasts as long as you don’t leave the metro network. In other words, it can bring you all the way to the other side of the city, including metro transfers. That’s a good deal.

After checking-in and dropping your stuff at the hotel, you can walk into town. I’d recommend visiting the old center first. In contrast to the rest of the city, the old center has a lot of small streets, randomly placed buildings, visitable courtyards and a big variety of architecture. The old center can be found around El Raval (click for Google Maps).

Some places to keep in mind:

  • Catedral de Barcelona
  • Plaça de Catalunya
  • Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
  • La Rambla

 

If you feel like, you can arrange for free walking tours and guided tours all around this area.

Before the sun starts to set, make your way towards the water. Here you’ll find the Barcelona Aquarium and a cable cart spanning across the port (keep this in mind for the next days). You’ll likely pass by the “Monument a Colom” on the roundabout next to the port.

Want to chill on the beach while the sun sets? You can walk towards one of the many beaches nearby, like Playa de la Barceloneta.

Day 2: Sagrade Família & Park Güell

Early rise today. Pay a visit to the one and only Sagrada Família, the cathedral that has yet to be finished building since 1880. The cathedral opens at 9:00, so make sure to get here early (around 8:00-8:30) to enjoy a “tourist free” view of the Sagrada Família. There are parks on both sides of the Cathedral, I recommend the side of Plaça de Gaudí. The metro stops right under the street here too.

If you want to visit the Cathedral is up to you. It offers guided tours all day.

Park Güell and Turó del Carmel

Next up is Parc Güell. I recommend taking the metro to El Carmel. From here you can walk up to Parc del Carmel and Turó del Carmel. This spot gives you a 360 degree panoramic view of the city! See how far the Cathedral you just witnessed up-close, stick up in the air.

Park Güell is well known for its architecture and works of Antoni Gaudí, and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. You can learn the history of Gaudí’s creation, and the art movement that spread across Europe. You can wander around the park for several hours easily. So take your time and enjoy.

The park is not free to enter, you’ll need to purchase your ticket online or at a ticket booth. When walking down from Turó del Carmel, the closest ticket booth is here.

If you have time left, be sure to check the aforementioned cable cart across the port. It connects the port with the Montjuïc mountain (station on top of the mountain). It gives you a stunning view across the city, the port and the Montjuïc mountain, as well as a small adrenaline kick! You can buy tickets at the entrance.

On the Montjuïc mountain you’ll find various views of the city as well as a luxurious restaurant.

Day 3: Montserrat

Montserrat is a mountain with a monastery build on it (Abadia de Montserrat). You can pay a visit to the monastery, a museum, watch a choir, or go hiking in the mountain itself.

There are several ways to visit; a guided tour, by car or by train. When going by train, you leave from train station Espanya. The line you have to look for is R5 (first departure is around 8:30). On this station, you’ll find a ticket booth or yellow machines to buy your ticket. It gives you, among others, these options:

  • Aeri de Montserrat: Cable Cart.
  • Monistrol de Montserrat: Mountain train.

The trainstops are named accordingly. So if you purchased the Aeri / Cable Cart option, you’ll need to get out of the train at Aeri de Montserrat. From there, just follow the signs.

For more information on time tables, ticket packages etc, please continue reading on the Barcalona Guide website.

Want to hike? You can start your hiking adventure by going to Creu de Sant Miquel. Not sure where to go? The Montserrat Tourist Office (located next to the Mountain train station) can show you the way.

Your second option, which I would recommend, is to take a mountain train up to Sant Joan (Sant Joan Funicular Station). This train goes straight up the mountain just behind the monastery. On top, you’ll find a variety of hikes, ranging from 40 minutes to a few hours. You can walk all the way up to Sant Jeroni. Want to take it slow? The 40 minutes hike is downhill and passes by Creu de Sant Miquel as well. This route ends back at the Monastery.

All done? Take a seat in the train back to Barcelona and visit the last of your bucketlist places. Parc de la Ciutadella and Arc de Triomf are worth visiting too!

Tapas and Sangria

Looking for some Tapas and Sangria for dinner? I know just the place. Have a look at Casa Lolea Barcelona (check it on the map here) for some of the most tasteful food you’ve ever had. Moreover, just around the corner of this lovely restaurant is “Palau de la Música Catalana”, so if you like music and concerts this might be the place you want to spend your last night!

Day 4: Return

Depending on your flight, I’d recommend taking it slow on your fourth day. Consider sleeping in and/or visiting another museum before returning towards the airport. You’ll need some time to process all of that 🙂

 

I wish you a good trip!

Cheers, Mike

 

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