Moving on beyond the Castle, we found ourselves exploring what is quite possibly the best green area in all of Barcelona: the Parc de Montjuïc. Filled with dozens of verdant parks, sculptures, statues, waterfalls, gardens, an ancient ampitheater, the castle, and the arena + remants of the Barcelona Olympic Games and the various buildings left behind, this is one of those places where you can easily lose an entire year’s worth of weekends without even realizing it.
We started at the top and worked our way down. Well, technically we started at the bottom, took a bus up from the metro station, got off at the castle, explored the Festa de Catalana and the museum, and then we started our trek down. And for those of you worried about public transportation in the city, we covered the T10 ticket and beyond in Part One of our Exploring Barcelona series.
The brilliant thing is that you can use the ticket to catch a metro from anywhere downtown to the Paral-lel station. From there, you can either head up to the street level and catch a bus that takes you all the way up to the castle, or you can take the funicular directly from Paral-lel, which takes you up the hill and drops you off at the Montjuïc cable car station, otherwise known as the Teleférico de Montjuïc.
From there, you can either walk the rest of the way up to the castle (or head down through the parks and gardens), or you can pay an additional few Euro for a ticket up the cable car to the castle itself. Note that the teleférico is not covered by your T10 ticket; you can get to the mountain from Paral-lel Station (and back down again) on your T10, but that’s it. From there, you either hike up to the castle, catch one of the buses on the way up, or ride the cable car up.
Remember, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to transportation options and getting around in the city within our travel guide for Barcelona.
Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like Montjuïc Park. It’s a combination of ruins, sculptures, walkways, vistas, gardens, museums, the Olympic Arena and outlying buildings, and culminates in the National Art Museum of Catalonia at the bottom of the hill. As previously mentioned, you could easily spend an entire year here with each weekend dedicated to a specific park, garden, or walkway, and probably still not uncover everything there is to see and do.
For me, my favorite part was the fountains and sculptures. For Cristina, it was the gardens and the old ampitheater. And while the Olympic Stadium is impressive in scope, the sheer size and magnitude of the National Art Museum takes your breath away. Sure, it’s not La Sagrada Familia, but it’s still a majestic structure that puts the “awe” in “awesome”.
Check out the video below for a more intimate view of our exploration of Montjuïc Park. And don’t forget, if you need more information on the city itself you can read up on the Visit Barcelona website as well as over at the Catalunya Experience, or pick up our our Barcelona travel guide, jam-packed with local information such as apartments and houses for rent, chapters on local transportation, restaurants, cultural hotspots and more.