Barcelona is a stunning city located on Spain’s Mediterranean coast in the Catalonia region. A city full of charm and history, there are endless opportunities for tourists to explore. One of these locations, and my personal favorite, is Montjuic.
My friend since childhood, Ellen, and I had the opportunity to study abroad for a summer in Barcelona and we Googled our hearts out trying to find unique and interesting places to visit. Montjuic was one of the first excursions in the city that we took by ourselves and it ended up being one of the best places that we trekked to.
Montjuic is, essentially, the name of a hill that overlooks the city and the sea which makes for amazing views. The Castle of Montjuic paired with the impressive views are what make the area so intriguing to tourists. The castle dates back to the 1600s with several additions created through the 18th century. Its historic use was that of protection for the city, but as the additions continued and the region underwent social and political change, the castle’s function evolved. Cannons are still in place along its cobblestone walkways, gun ports peek through the walls, and deteriorating prisoner holding cells are still in existence.
To get to the castle, you can walk a series of steps up the hill or hitch a ride on the funicular – the cable car system. Riding to the top of the hill in the cable car is half the fun! You get stunning views of the city and we even got our own personal car to take the venture in. We shamelessly took plenty of selfies during our ascent! It’s an unquestionably unique experience.
When you get to the top, don’t immediately head to the entrance of Castell de Montjuic. There are gorgeous views that call for photos! Pause and take in your surroundings. The turquoise blue sea that blends with the light blue sky on one side, the seemingly teeny-tiny taupe-colored houses of the city on the other, and the dauntingly beautiful, vine-covered fortress in between.
When you do make your way into the castle, there is a ton to see and do. There are museum portions which show visitors the former functions of the castle and how it fits into Spanish history. There is a restaurant and outdoor seating in case you need a snack break or want to sip some delicious Spanish coffee. There are video exhibits to learn more about the castle as well as Barcelona as a whole. There is also a temporary exhibit that changes periodically that guests can view.
The detailed architecture within the castle walls is breathtaking. You can see that someone laid every single cobblestone by hand, chiseled every carved letter. It took work and determination to get this type of grandeur. Be sure to take in these details and don’t overlook them; they’re what make the castle so unique and awe-inspiring.
Taking a daytrip to the tip-top of the hill is very affordable. If you want the full experience, definitely take the funicular to the top of the hill. The cost for the funicular is 10,80 euro, round trip, and the cost to enter the castle is 5 euro which balances out to be about 17 USD. You can purchase tickets in advance or at the door. We found it to be worth every penny!
In short, Montjuic is home to education, exploration, and history. It’s definitely a must-see if you’re in Barcelona!
Hi, I'm Madeline
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