Spain On The Brain: Montserrat Edition
Planning to go to Barcelona? Add Montserrat at least as a day trip!
Montserrat is a place I had never heard about prior to going to Spain. I was still quite sick when I was exploring Barcelona because I had a lung infection but I wanted something interesting to do. I was getting bored and needed adventure. I had done a day trip to Toledo and heard about Montserrat, so I made an executive decision and did a day trip there.
Montserrat is about an hour and a bit away by train and if I recall correctly I paid about 20 odd Euros for a return ticket. I decided before I arrived to take the cable car up to the monastery. There is an option to take the Cremillera or rack rail to the monastery but I thought I would get some aerial views of the area. I missed my originally scheduled train because my American credit cards and debit cards do not have chips in them. Instead of using the automated ticket machines I had to go to a ticket booth with a ticket vendor. This took up some time since I didn’t realize this was the problem and missed my train by a couple of minutes. I then missed the Benedictine boys’ choir that sings at the monastery. I heard they are angelic and amazing and I’m quite disappointed I missed them. I guess I’ll have to go back! (*US credit and debit cards suck!)
If you have a chance and have time while in Barcelona, I really recommend going. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the stunning views and atmosphere here. You can even hike around the mountains there if you’re into hiking. I do not practice any faith but my late mother was very Catholic so when I was in Montserrat I did go to the famous Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, which is home to the famous Black Madonna statue. I lined up to see it close up and I lit candles and prayed for my mother. European churches are like no other and quite awe-inspiring.
Here are just a handful of photos from my Montserrat trip:
View from the train ride
View from the aerial tramway
Gorgeous light everywhere, magical really
Funicular, I love that word
Abbey view from behind where the priest stands
Gorgeous stained glass
I lit candles for my late Mama
I witnessed a wedding!
Santa Maria de Montserrat or the Black Madonna
Tips for Montserrat:
- You can hire a car to get to Montserrat but I loved the short train journey. It is only about an hour and a bit each way. Take the train from Plaça D’Espanya in Barcelona to Montserrat by taking the FGC train in the direction of Manresa
- You can choose to either take the Aeri de Montserrat or aerial tramway or take the Cremillara. I’m a little bit foggy about how I got back to the station but I am pretty sure I took the funicular down as I didn’t have proper footwear for a hike. I did some walking around the area but not as much as I’d like to. I am definitely keen on going back, staying around the area, and hike.
FOR MORE HELPFUL POSTS AND LINKS:
- FGC train
- Aeri de Montserrat
- Abbey of Montserrat
- Tripadvisor info about getting to Montserrat from Barcelona