Day trips are always a good idea. Me thinks. And if you are in Barcelona and your schedule allows it – I cannot recommend Montserrat enough.
You might have heard that it’s somewhat difficult (like there are different routes and tickets…) to get there, but that is so not true. Getting to Montserrat from Barcelona is actually super easy. I did a ton of research before embarking on this mini adventure though, which definitely gave me an extra peace of mind, but even without that it’s nothing to be intimated about. The information and guides floating on the net about Montserrat are aplenty (you can even download a -totally useless- app), but the one I found the most useful is THIS one.
It’s kinda long though so here’s the short and sweet version of How to Travel to Montserrat.
1, Take the metro to Plaça Espanya station (you’ll need to transfer to a train from there).
2, Look for signs saying Montserrat and follow them to the entrance of the railway line (easy right?).
3, Locate the ticket machines.
4, Choose your language (English) and buy your ticket.
I do have to mention here that there are different kinds of tickets available and you can pick between finishing your journey by cable car or funicular but –
5, just buy Aeri Montserrat (and then you’ll get to hop on that cute yellow cable car below).
6, Board your train (this is where you have to be a bit careful and make sure you get on the right train).
7, Get off at station Aeri Montserrat (there are light-up signs showing the next station, so no worries the chances of ending up stranded on some random platform is pretty low).
8, Ride the cable car to the top. (Repeat it backwards when going back.)
And that’s it. Totally doable, amiright?
Bonus tip – if you want to see/listen to the boys’ choir, I’d recommend catching the 10:36 train. Then you’ll arrive at Aeri Montserrat around 11:40. From there it will take about 5 minutes to reach the top, but as you can see those cable cars are kinda small, so there will be a line, a long one. My advice is to walk around a bit, eat, take some pictures and then get in line around 12:15. That way you’ll reach the top just in time for the concert (they perform at 13:00). I didn’t want to stay for the whole service so scoring a standing place at the back was perfect for me, but if you want a seat, you should go earlier. Much earlier.
Once at Montserrat, you can admire the rock formations, take in the incredible monastery (Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey), see and touch a black madonna (Virgin of Montserrat), go even higher with a funicular or just walk/hike around – and find a nice bench with a view to read, like I did 😉