Known as the ‘green lung of Barcelona’, the Montjuïc, is packed with places for relaxation, entertainment, sports and activities. The mountain has a huge amount to offer and although it can be a bit of a climb to get there, it’s well worth the walk if you’re willing to discover its secrets… And of course, the cable car to the summit is ideal for tired legs, offering unparalleled views of Barcelona.
If you’re burnt out from a busy day in the city, the parks and gardens of Montjuïc maybe a perfect wait to relax and recharge for your next adventure. At Montjuïc you can find the National Botanical Garden, the Jardins de Laribal, and others like Jardins de Joan Brossa. Each garden is specific to the plants that are showcased, in the Mossèn Costa i Llobera garden you’ll find one of the largest desert collections of cactus in the world. Meanwhile, in the Laribal gardens you’ll be in a more formal atmosphere with terraced and boxed-in garden rooms. The park-like atmosphere at the National botanical gardens is great for kids and you’ll have the opportunity to relax and recharge.
One of Barcelona’s top free attractions, the Magic Fountains, is located at the foot of Montjuïc and can be overseen from Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. The dancing fountains are illuminated by a thrilling light show to a mix of music ranging from rock, pop, and classical. Back up on the mountain, the authentic model village, Poble Espanyol, gives a feel for Spanish architecture and an open-air museum allows you to walk through and step back into history. The village also includes several restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife venues. Check out the Poble Espanyol website for further information and their list of upcoming activities and concerts.
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya could be considered as the jewel of Montjuïc, it presides over Plaça Espanya and contains a vast collection of Catalan art, including an important Romanesque collection. Fundació Joan Miró contains the world’s largest collection of the artist’s works, among temporary exhibitions that are dedicated to the artist’s avant-garde trajectory. Nearby, CaixaForum is one of the city’s most important cultural centres. It’s responsible for a carefully crafted program of art exhibitions, concerts, and conferences that take place all year round. Also, the Olympic Museum offers a unique opportunity to relive the Olympic Games hosted by Barcelona in 1992, using advanced technology to make it an interactive museum representing all aspects of competitive sports.
Montjuïc Castle sits high 170m above sea level crowning the mountain and delivers some amazing views of the city. The castle was built in 1640 and has survived centuries of change in the city and played a significant role in the Spanish Civil War. Montjuïc Cemetery can also be visited, evening tours take visitors on a journey into the past. The cemetery is the final resting place of many prestigious and influential people in Catalan history. You can also find the Teatre Grec nestled in the mountain, an open-air theatre built in 1929 by Catalan architect Ramon Reventós.
Of course, we couldn’t write about Montjuïc without mentioning the Olympics, which were held atop the mountain in 1992. Many of the installations created for the occasion remain as part of the city’s world-class sports infrastructure. The Bernat Picornell Olympic swimming pool has large indoor and outdoor pools and a spectacular open-air diving pool. Palau Sant Jordi is an important venue for indoor games and athletics. The Olympic Ring and Stadium are now part of the Open Camp sports experience, with virtual reality and live interactive challenges and games you can train like a real Olympian. Now that it’s hotting up for the summer, you’ll be pleased to hear that one of the open-air pools opens to the public in July and August.
If the sound of this outdoor action is floating your boat, have a read here about walking routes in Montjuïc, Montserrat, Tibidabo and more.