hiking on a day trip to montserrat

Best Thing on Day Trip to Montserrat Hiking

A day trip to Montserrat is one of the most popular day trips from Barcelona. It has some stunning views and is easily accessible by public transport from Barcelona. And if you do a day trip to Montserrat hiking should definitely be on your itinerary. In a matter of fact, hiking was the best part of my day trip to Montserrat.

Getting There 

I would recommend doing this day trip from Barcelona by public transport on your own and not doing a tour. If you’re doing a guided tour, you will be able to see the monastery at Montserrat hiking will probably not be possible though. And the hike was my highlight of the trip, but more on that later. This way, it’s an experience on its own. Especially if you take the cable car as I did.

There are two ways to get to the top of Montserrat. Either by cable car or by funicular. For both options, you need to get the train from Barcelona first. The cable car and funicular set off from different train stops! So you need to decide which to take before you buy the ticket. The easiest way to get there is with the R5 train from Barcelona España station. Once you get to the station, follow the signs for the R5 train and you’ll see advertisements for Montserrat pretty soon after. There are two information desks for Montserrat, one for the cable car and one for the funicular. You need to buy the ticket at the machine though. Make sure to get a combined (train and cable car/funicular) and return ticket. When I visited in October 2022, the combined return ticket was €24. 

Cable Car

As I said, I do recommend getting the cable car. You need to get out at Aeri de Montserrat train station and walk about two minutes to the cable car station. Two cable cars are going all the time. You still might need to wait a bit until your go, since not many people can fit in one gondola. But just waiting there and seeing the gondolas come and go looks pretty cool. The cable car ride only takes about 5 minutes, but you get a spectacular view.

Montserrat Monastery 

The location of the Monastery is amazing, to build such a big structure in the middle of the mountains. But the buildings themselves look very unimpressive, like a big concrete block. Only the church, which you can only see from the inner courtyard, looks more detailed. 

There are some praying hours when the church cannot be visited, otherwise, you can just walk in. If you want to see the black Madonna up close you need to book a ticket in advance.

The downside of the monastery

In general, I didn’t like how touristy and commercial it is, even in mid-October. There were people everywhere and queueing up at the cafeteria was a nightmare and the vegan options were very limited. I don’t even want to imagine what it’s like in high season. So it’s probably best to bring your own lunch, you can grab a vegan snack in Barcelona before you set off. Because of the amount of people at Montserrat hiking is a great way to escape the crowds and enjoy the amazing views.

Montserrat hiking tours

When you’re at Montserrat hiking is the best way to enjoy the beautiful scenery with fewer crowds. Many people do a guided bus tour to Montserrat and they don’t have time to go for a hike. There are still quite a lot of people walking and hiking Montserrat, but it spreads out a bit more and the atmosphere seems more relaxed.

Sant Joan Funicular

I got the Sant Joan Funicular and started my hike from the exit at the top. The way signs aren’t the best, but it’s still easy enough to find the paths. I decided to go on the walk to the hermitages of Sant Joan, Sant Onofre and Santa Magdalena. It took me about 45 minutes from the funicular stop to the mountain top along that route and about 20 minutes on the way back (there’s a shortcut if you continue down the steps, you can’t miss it). The walk was pretty easy, but you should wear good shoes and not be afraid of heights. Also, don’t forget to bring enough water to drink and a snack if you need it.

I got the funicular back down since I bought a return ticket, but I would recommend walking down instead. The scenic way down takes about 40 minutes according to the way signs.

Is a Day Trip to Montserrat Worth It?

In my opinion, a day trip to Montserrat is worth it if you add a small hiking tour as well. I think I would have been disappointed if I came with a tour and only had time to walk around the sanctuary a little bit.

If hiking on a mountain is not your thing, maybe you’d prefer the beautiful coastal walk from Sitges to Vilanova, which is also close to Barcelona.

Hiking at Montserrat
Impressions of my hiking trip at Montserrat

Other day trips from Barcelona you might like

There are numerous day trips you can do during your stay in Barcelona. I managed to do 5 day trips from Barcelona during my time in Catalan’s capital.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous pictures! My sister’s best friend lives in Barcelona and I really hope to visit the area soon. I will definitely add Montserrat to things to see on the trip. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing! A good hiking trip can definitely make a visit worth it. Also great photos! I also think cable cars can have some spectacular views!

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