One of the coolest things you can do while visiting Barcelona is to head out to Montserrat, which is a short drive or train ride away from the city center. Not only will you get to see what the Catalonian countryside looks like, but a day trip also provides an escape from the urban hub bub that can sometimes get a bit overwhelming in Barcelona, one of the busiest tourist destinations in the entire world.
For many visitors looking for awesome Barcelona tourist attractions, a trip to Montserrat near Barcelona would be the highlight of their visit. Montserrat is the name of the mountain, which also serves as home to an amazingly beautiful Benedictine monk mountain retreat just one hour North West of Barcelona by train.
Inside the basilica, there is an art museum housing masterpieces by Dali, El Greco and Picasso. There is also a publishing house, The Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat which is one of the oldest in the world. The first book was published there way back in 1499! Another thing not to miss and one of the most popular Barcelona tourist attractions is the Black Mary which house in the Basilica as well.
The Monastery can is reachable by road, cable car or by the Montserrat Rack Railway. The lower stations of the railway and the cable car can be reached by Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya train from Plaça d’Espanya station in central Barcelona. From the monastery, the Funicular de Sant Joan funicular railway extends to the top of the mountain. Up there, you can find interesting abandoned hovels in the cliff faces that used to be the homes of reclusive monks.
The natural beauty surrounding the monastery is simply breathtaking. If hiking is your thing, there are also a wealth of interesting trails through the mountains where you will experience magnificent views of some of the most unusual rock formations all of the Catalonia region. You can take a funicular (cable car) to the top of the mountain and from there you can choose a number of different walks, all with amazing vistas of the picturesque Catalonian countryside.
Montserrat in the Catalán language (a mix of French and Spanish), literally means “saw mountain” which make sense given the unique, jagged peaks of the mountain.