Thursday, 14 February 2008


Montjuic is a hill that overlooks Barcelona from the southwest. The low-lying area around Plaça de Espanya just below Montjuïc is Poble Sec. Poble Sec is easily accessible at the metro stops Espanya and Poble Sec.

Getting to Montjuic is a little more complicated than arriving at other parts of the city. Due to its elevation, the metro does not run there. One option – by foot - is to use the series of escalators that run from the Palau Nacional at Plaça Espanya up the hill. A hike up to the top of Montjuic would take about an hour on a so-so trail.

Bus lines 50, 61 and 55 will also take you there.

Alternatively, at the metro stop Parallel, you can take the funicular railway to Estació Parc Montjuic.

When the "Teleférico de Montjuic" is running (it has been temporarly closed or working with limited schedules), you can take this cable car from the Torre de Sant Sebastià in the Barceloneta over the sea and up to Montjuic.

Montjuic (“Jewish Mountain”) is a must-see area of Barcelona. With beautiful views of the city, 2 of the city’s best museums and a vast park, this hill is definitely worth the hike. Northwest Montjuic is also home to the “Poble Espanyol,” a touristy, slightly cheesy but nonetheless attractive rendering of a “Spanish Village.”

Plaça de Espanya, at the foothills of Montjuic, is one of Barcelona's most emblematic sites and a logical starting point if exploring the area by foot. From the rotund Plaza extends Avingunda de la Reina Maria Cristina, leading to the slopes of Montjuic. This avenue is flanked by a beautiful series of fountains, its largest and first being la Font Magica. Nightly music and light shows during the summer bring these fountains to life, a free spectacle no seasonal visitor should miss.

Before ascending Montjuic, you might want to take a detour to Caixa Forum, a cultural center with its own contemporary art collection. Even further west, at about a 5 minute walk from here, is - Poble Espanyol ("Spanish Village"), one of the area's many vestiges from the 1929 World Exhibition. Poble Espanyol represents styles and buildings from all over Spain in an eclectic artificial rendering.

Now back at the fountains, glance up at the hill of Montjuic: you can't miss the Palau Nacional. A neobaroque palace also built for the 1929 World Exhibition, this stately edifice houses one of Barcelona's finest museums, the MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalyuna) Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. After marveling at the MNAC's amazing collection of Romanesque art, simply hop on the series of outdoor escalators connecting the Palau to the Avinguda de l'Estadi at the top of the mountain. And voila, you've made it up to Montjuic, Barcelona.

The escalators drop you in a great position to see the Montjuic Park with its Jardi Botanic ("Botanical Garden") and Olympic Stadium. Also inland, but futher east, is an excellent museum, the Fundació Joan Miró. Its spacious halls and sculpture garden house the most exhaustive singular collection of this Catalan master's works.

For great views of the Mediterranean, head southeast to the Castell de Montjüic, a 17th/18th century fortress.

Find an accommodation in this area of Barcelona.

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