How to get to Montserrat on public transport

The most traditional and environmentally-friendly way to reach the top of Montserrat Mountain is by climbing up on foot. But if you’ve never done any hiking, aren’t very fit or simply don’t feel like putting your trainers on, then use public transport! Trains stopping at Monistrol de Montserrat station leave Barcelona every hour. Once there, you can get to the top of the mountain by conveniently connecting to the rack railway or by taking the cable car. It’s your choice! Founded in the 11th century by the influential Abbot Oliba and consecrated to the Virgin Mary, the Benedictine monastery is the second most-visited place of worship in the regions of Barcelona, only surpassed by the Sagrada Família. It’s a mythical site in spiritual, cultural and natural terms, and a must-see attraction!

1. How to get to Montserrat on the train and rack railway

Your journey starts at the Barcelona-Plaça Espanya Station of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC), the Catalan Government railway network, where you should buy a combination ticket that includes both the train and rack railway journeys, this being the cheapest option. Once you’ve got your ticket, take the first train on the R5 or R50 line heading to Manresa. It’s best to check timetables beforehand since the usual frequency is one train every hour. The journey to Monistrol de Montserrat Station takes approximately one hour and this is where you connect to the rack railway, which is one of only two rack railways operating on the Iberian Peninsula. So enjoy the panoramic views of the magical mountain and the 15-minute journey until you arrive right in the middle of the monastery complex.

2. How to get to Montserrat on the train and by cable car

Would you like to reach the monastery more quickly? OK, are you scared of heights? If not, then take the cable car! Your starting point is still Barcelona-Plaça Espanya Station of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC), the Catalan Government railway network, where you need to take a train on the R5 line, but in this case you get off at the “Aeri de Montserrat” Station rather than Monistrol. Cable cars leave every 5 minutes, which is how long the journey up to the monastery takes. It’s a different way of climbing Montserrat Mountain and the one favoured by children, who are usually amazed by the set of religious sculptures between the monastery and the cave in which the statute of the Virgin Mary was found in the 9th century.

  • Would you like to climb even higher? The rack railway can take you from the monastery up to the Chapel of Sant Joan, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of Montserrat Mountain. With a look-out point at 1,000 metres above sea level and a Nature Classroom with information on the mountain’s flora and fauna, the Sant Joan Rack Railway Station is the ideal starting point for exploring the natural park.

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