Montjuïc: The Olympic Hill

Its name comes from the ancient Jewish cemetery established in this mountain community of Barcelona, ​​literally means Jewish Mountain,

Since the very old times it was a strategic location, for its privileged location, from there you can clearly see the city and sea sight on the horizon.

On the occasion of the International Fair hold in1929 , the urbanization of some areas of the mountain was completed. Gradually, they have been creating new leisure,  culture, and sports facilities.

Formerly there was a popular park attractions , which today a public park called Jardins Joan Brossa .

You will find several public gardens and green areas in Montjuïc , besides the Botanic Garden , which retains natural native species of spectacular beauty.

In the menu bellow we detail you all areas of interest in the Montjuïc mountain, so you can enjoy it in the best possible way and not miss a single corner.

It is also explained in these sections how you can get to the best places,  and which transportation system you can take. We also detail useful information about schedules and prices of main highlights in Montjuïc...enjoy the Hill!


  • Olympic Area Montjuïc
  • Montjuïc Monuments
  • Viewpoints & Botanical Garden
  • Montjuïc Castle
Montjuïc is the current home of several sports facilities, installed at the foot of the mountain on the occasion of the Olympic Games hold in Barcelona in 1992 .

This area of the Hill is called Olympic Ring and is situated behind the Museu Nacional d' Art de Catalunya , following l' Avinguda de L' Estadi . 

We recommend using public transportation to explore this area , in How to visit Montjuïc we detail you all transportation systems you can use to come here.

Olympic Stadium LLuís Companys


The most important building in this Olympic are is the Olympic Stadium , where you can also find the Museum of the Barcelona Olympic Foundation .

The stadium was built in 1929 , for the 2nd International Fair of Barcelona, even though it was refurbished ten years later , to host the 1936  Alternative Olympic Games.

This games were supposed to be the alternative to the Pylmpic Berlin Games , sponsored by the Hitler regime . These games do not come to a happy end because the Civil War broke out in 1936.

After this event, the stadium was enlarged and refurbished again  in 1992, to host the Olympic Games of the city.

This was the setting for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics, as well as the Athletics competitions . 

As main ornaments outside are visible 2 bronze equestrian figures , crowning the Marathon Gate , decorated with sculptures made by Pau Gargallo .

It has a total capacity for 55,000 spectators. The ground was used until 2009 as the stadium of the football team RCD Espanyol de Barcelona.

Palau Sant Jordi


Undoubtedly the most extraordinary and original building around the sports complex , Palau Sant Jordi stands above the rest of them for its originality. 

It was designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki , conceived as an allegory of a Mediterranean tortoise ,showing her huge glass shell.

It has sufficient capacity to accommodate 24,000 spectators, and is often used as a Music Hall nowadays.

Calatrava's Communications Tower


Very close to the Palau Sant Jordi , is perfectly visible the Communications Tower built by Santiago Calatrava.

It is undoubtedly one of the jewels of contemporary architecture in the city.

It has a total height of 120 meters, and the same inclination of the axis of the earth .

Also in the occassion of the Olympic Games it was built in the Collserola's Hill another Communications Tower ,built in this case by Norman Foster.

Both were projected to facilitate communications system, to ensure the correct transmission in the city of Barcelona and  around its metropolitan area .

Picornell Swimming pool


Emphasizying the Olympic Area stand the Picornell Swimming pool , designed by Catalan architect Antoni de Moragues .

It was the headquarters of the Olympic swimming and diving competitions during the Olympic Games in Barcelona.

In this swimming pool takes place one of the funniest summer activities , that is, cinema and bathroom, watching movies at night while taking a bath, is really cool and fun.

Finally, and close to Olympic pool you will see a huge white building housing the Training Institute of Catalonia, for sportive who want to become professionals.

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How to get to Olympic Ring Area


Metro: L1 and L3, stop Plaça Espanya .
From stop you can take the escalator to go up to the Olympic area .
Buses : 50 55 61 25 193 125

Other Transportation :
Barcelona Tourist Bus : Blue Route
We can take on Plaça de Catalunya or Plaça de Espanya .
Stop: Olympic Ring

Funicular de Montjuïc :
From the metro stop Liceu (L2 and L3 Metro )

Stops :
Palau Sant Jordi
Olympic Stadium
University of Sport
Following the Avenue Maria Cristina from Plaça de Espanya , there isare some electronic staircases going up to the museum area of Montjuïc .

Shortly before arriving, you will see the Magic Fountain, an incredible fountain offering one of the most beautiful shows of Barcelona completely for free.

The Magic Fountain


It is one of the last works  made in tMontjuïc area for the International Exhibition host in 1929.

The local engineer Carles Buigas was the one who devised new systems of water dispensers  and jets of water,  making it one of the most innovative fountains and monuments on that moment in time.

All weekends at night this fountain is iluminated and jets of water are dancing following the sound of liryc music , it all becomes an awesome spectacle of water, light and color.

We strongly recommend you to assist to the show, here you are all information.

There are different sessions and is totally for free. If you want to discover more activities like this one visit our section: Barcellona for free. 

Schedules Magic Fountain:
From October to May : Fridays and Saturdays at 19h , 19:30 h , 20h and 20:30
From May to October : Thursday, Friday , Saturday and Sunday at 21:30 h , 22h , 22h30 , 23h and 23:30

CaixaForum


You can access the CaixaForum cultural center  using the electronic staircases from Avinguda Maria Cristina , close to Plaça Espanya .

One of the most interesting museums in the city, and organizes major exhibitions , mainly of modern art ycontemporáneo , but also from other periods of art history .

It has a privileged location, a formerModern Art Style factory known as Fàbrica Casaramona , who has been admirably restored . The original work of the building was done by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, one of the great architects of the moment, along with Antoni Gaudí. 

Mies Van der Rohe Pavilion


Right in front of Caixafòrum , is located the Mies Van der Rohe Pavilion.

This building was the German Pavilion at the Barcelona Internationals Fair, back in 1929.

It was designed by architect Mies Van der Rohe, main meber of the Arts~Crafts movement and the Bauhauss School. 

It is impressive to see how this early artwork used many modern expressive and material resources, that will later be very common in contemporary architecture.

It is the perfect example of simplicity, funtionality and beauty of the Rationalist Architectural Style. 

The Poble Espanyol


Entering into The Poble Espanyol or Spanish Village is like being into Spain in miniature.

It was also built for the exhibition , following the impulse of the Modernist architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch.

It is a venue reproducing streets, squares and landmarks of Spain , as the City wall of the Torres de Ávila, a typical Andalusian patio, or a Plaza Mayor (Main Square) just to mention some of them.

Represents up to 17 of the Spanish autonomous communities through their buildings. It is therefore a very instructive visit , letting you know our history though many replicas of Spanish buildings.

Another interesting point is that the Poble Espanyol is a constant example of folk crafts , there are several workshops and small shops dedicated to different manual activities.

Finnally, you will also fins inside many restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, such as the Tablao del Carmen Flamenco Venue. If you want a discover the magic of a Flamenco Show we strongly reccomend you to book it on-line, check our Flamenco Shows availables. 

Museu Nacional d' Art de Catalunya


The access to the Museu Nacional d' Art de Catalunya is from Plaça de Espanya , up the electronic staircases situated at Avinguda Maria Cristina .

Located in the Palau Nacional , is the undisputed home of Catalan Art ,  it contains all kinds of artworks( photographs, paintings, sculptures, ceramics...) from the IX to the XX Century.

Particularly noteworthy are the rooms dedicated to Romanesque and Gothic art , with paintings, sculptures , religious objects and silverware objects. 

It also has a unique collection in the world of Romanesque mural painting, in terms of quantity and quality of the works displayed in the Museum. If you want to know it better you can request here for a Guided Tour to this or any other Museum in Barcelona.

Palauet Albéniz


If you travel the back of the Museu Nacional d' Art de Catalunya. You see the poet Joan Maragall gardens , where there are sculptures of Frederic Mares and Ernest Maragall , among others.

But you'll also find the Palauet Albéniz ( palace ) of Juan Moya . It is again one of the buildings surviving from Barcelona's International Fair.

Do not miss a visit inside if you have the chance to do so, you will see paintings of the Surrealist genious Salvador Dalí, dating to 1970.

By following the path located behind the National Museum , there is a XVIII Century hermitage dedicated to Saint Madrona. Staircases there lead you to the Monument to Frederic Mistral, made by Josep Puig and Eusebi Arnau .

Archaeology Museum 


If you continue you down the square called Plaça de les Vidues , you are going to find the Archaeology Museum .

It is the headquarters of the Archaeological Research in Barcelona, and it was created to preserve better the archaeological remains of Catalonia.

The Museum has different venues and sites scattered throughout Catalonia , where traces of other times can be seen and enjoyed. some Iberians ruins or the Greco- Roman ruins of Empurias ( county of Alt Empordà ) among others. 

Fundació Miró Museum


A little further away is located the amazing Fundació Miró.

We explain how to get here, and the possible combinations of public transport in our Section dedicated to the museum.

It is the museum that houses the works of the Catalan artist , and is also devoted to the study of new trends in Contemporary Art .

It contains over 14,000 pieces including paintings , sculptures , tapestries , ceramics, drawings and sketches.

The Grec Theatre


Always close to Fundació Miró , following the road down the mountain you will find the Teatre Grec .

Despite its name, Greek Theatre , is not an ancient theater. It was created for the 1929 , by architect Ramon Reventós .

On Summer time it takes place The Grec Festival of Barcelona, ​​this theater and other spaces in the city organized various spectacles: dance , theater , music concerts...etc and this is the main scenery of the Festival. It certainly worth a visit.

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How to get to this Monuments:

To reach the main museums and monuments these are the best combinations of transport:

Metro: L1 and L3, stop Plaça Espanya .
From stop you can take the electronic staricases to go up to the area of ​​the Museu Nacional d' Art de Catalunya.
Buses : 50 55 61 125 193

Other Transportation System:

Barcelona Tourist Bus : Blue Route .
You can take on Plaça de Catalunya or Plaça de Espanya .

Stops centers Art Montjuïc :
CaixaForum - Mies van der Rohe
Poble Espanyol
MNAC

We detail you how to get to the museum dedicated to Miró in our section : Fundació Miró.

Botanical Garden


The Botanical Garden has many local Mediterranean species, but also so many others natural plants and flowers from all over the world.

Its function is the preservation and documentation of the natural heritage of Catalonia.

The vegetation in the Garden is divided according to geographical origin , and in some cases artificially recreates the area from which are coming  from.

Viewpoints

Montjuïc has a very privileged location from which you can get the best views of the city and the sea.

Due to its location and altitude it is really a part of Barcelona of undeniable beauty . Through their viewpoints you can picture Barcelona from new viewpoints .

In addition , Montjuïc is one of the largest green spaces in the city, so you can enjoy nature trek through the mountains. Certainly noteworthy is Botanical Garden of Barcelona , which also find information in this section.

Here we detail you the best viewpoints of the mountain:

Miramar viewpoint

It is a vast esplanade situated on the harbor , so it becomes a vantage point of the sea and the city.

As for the spectacular views it really worth to climb up there, but also because there are two interesting sculptures there: Fertility, by Josep Clara and The Pomona, by Pau Gargallo .

Alcalde viewpoint 

It is also a lookout to the sea, from which you will have a different view of the port of Barcelona.

Notice the ceramic decorations all over the ground floor, as well as pieces of glass bottles. It is the work of artist named Joan J. Tharrats .

Here there is also a sculpture to admire:  Homage to Barcelona by Josep Maria Subirats . There is also a Fountain, designed by Carles Buigas, author of the famous Magic Fountain of Montjuïc.

Gardens Costa Llobera

There located just below the viewpoint of Miramar.

This special gardens are containing some great cactus spicies, it is considered the most important cactus gardens of Europe.

There are species of plants from places as diverse as Mexico , Kenya and Ethiopia .

Named after the death one of the most important Catalan poets, Costa LLobera, a monument to El Pi de Formentor ,at famous poem of our culture writen by himself. 

Gardens Jacint Verdaguer :
Down the road from the Castell de Montjuïc (Castle) you will find a path that leads you to other beautiful gardens.

These ones are dedicated to Catalan writter Mossen Cinto Verdaguer, a very important writter in the XIX Century. 

Before leaving  the gardens , you'll see Plaça Dante, with some sculptures. One of the most beautiful ones is Beauty, sculpted by the modern artist Llimona .

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How to get to the Botanical Garden


Schedule:
November, December and January : Monday to Sunday, from 10 to 17 h
February, March and October: Monday to Sunday , from 10 to 18 h
April, May and September: Monday to Sunday , from 10 to 19 h
June, July and August: Monday to Sunday, from 10 to 20 h
Closed: 1 January and 25 December

Admission ticket:
General admission : 3,50 €
Free admission: under 16 , students, teachers and retirees.

How to get there:
Metro: L1 and L3, stop Plaça d'Espanya
Buses : 50, 55, Parc de Montjuïc bus .

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Getting to the Viewpoints:

Barcelona Tourist Bus : Blue Route
You can take it at Plaça de Catalunya or Plaça de Espanya .
Stop: Mirador i Jardins Costa LLOBERA .

Other Transportation :
Montjuïc Funicular : from the metro stop Liceu (L2 and L3 Metro ) .
Aeri de Barcelona Montjuïc, that communicates with the Port of Barcelona.
Stop: Mirador del Miramar ( Muntanya de Montjuïc ) .
Montjuïc Castle is located in the highest part of  Montjuïc mountain.

It has always been a strategic location , ideal for military use. It was originally a former watchtower, until it was rebuilt by Jouan Martin Cermeño in 1751.

The King Felipe V ordered its restoration after the Succession War which took place in the early XVIII Century, in which Barcelona surrended to the king after more than a year resistance. 

It was rebuilt to have a better control the city from two sides: the citty centre with La Ciutadella (Citadel) currently transformed into a Public Park , and from the top of the city, up here, the Castle of Montjuïc.

From there the King could bomb the rebel city , the central courtyard of the castle is still preserving the original cannons dating to that moment in time. 

In the nineteenth century, after the French invasion , the castle was occupied by Napoleon's troops . Since 1810 was used as a military prison , and it had the exact same use during the Spanish Civil War.

During the period of Franco's dictatorship became a prison for political prisoners , where they were later killed and buried in the common nearby cemetery . Here was killed Lluís Companys,  president of Republican Government in 1940, among other politicians and members of our culture. 

Is specially remarkablethe courtyard of the castle. It currently houses the Military Museum , containing a collection cannons and armor, as well as portraits of the most important Catalan counts and kings on medieval history.

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How to get  to Castell de Montjuïc


Buses : 193 - Castle of Montjuïc Stop

Other Transportation :
Barcelona Tourist Bus : Southern Route
You can take it on Plaça de Catalunya or Plaça de Espanya .