Montjuic, the so-called mountain of the jews, is situated between Ciudad Vella (the old centre) of Barcelona and the industrial harbour.
With an elevation of 173 metres it is slightly higher than any building constructed in the city. Even Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia will stay just below this.
Due to Montjuic’s strategical location between city and harbour fortifications have been built here in the medieaval ages to defend the wealthy merchant city.
The oldest of these fortifications can still be found on the top of the mountain. It has got a large roof top terrace with incredible 360-degree views over the city. During summer the Sala Montjuic, an open air cinema within the walls of the old castle, offers quality movies during Barcelona’s warm nights.
For those guests and locals that like to run, the circuit around the castle is highly recommended. There is rounds between a half and two kilometres surrounding the castle and offering views of the Mediterranean on the one side and Barcelona on the other side of the mountain.
If you are more into swimming, the Piscina Municipal de Montjuic is the place for you to go. It hosted the diving events during the 1992 Olympics and the spot has become even more famous through Kylie Minogues song Slow.
On the other end of Montjuic, the Anella Olympica (Olympic Ring) includes the central venues of the 1992 Olympic Summer Games.
The 65,000 seater stadium Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys hosted the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics competitions. A lot of indoor competitions took place next door in Palau Sant Jordi, which today is the site of sports and music events with up to 18,000 visitors.
It will also be one of the six sites of the 2014 Basketball World Championships. Walking down Montjuic mountain a bit further you will discover the Torre Telefonica, which was built by Santiago Calatrava for the transmission of the olympic games.
Just below Anella Olimpica, Poble Espanyol invites its visitors to a journey through Spain. This village shows the architectural styles and customs of all Spanish regions as well as art work and the diverse cuisine.
On the western slopes of Montjuic, the Palau Nacional was built for the 1929 world exhibition. Today it hosts the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya which is an impressive collection of Catalan Art from Romanesque and Gothic times to modern art.
Right next to it, Fundacio Joan Miró is honoring this Catalan surrealist who was born in Barcelona in 1893.
The stairs of Palau Nacional face west towards Fontana Magica (Magic Fountain) and Plaza Espanya below. They are among the best spots in Barcelona to watch the sunset over Tibidabo mountain with the city at your feet.
How to get to Montjuic Mountain?
Take metro lines 1 or 3 to Plaza España.
From there you can take the bus up the mountain or walk along Magic Fountain up to the Museo Nacional de Arte de Catalunya (MNAC).
Alternatively, go with metro line 3 to Parallel, change to the Cable Car (included in the metro ticket) up to Montjuic. From here you can either walk or use the chairlift, depending on where you want to go to on Montjuic.
Insider Tip: The probabaly most impressive way to get to Montjuic is from the other side of Port Vell though. A red cable car leaves from the iron tower right on the beach of Barceloneta. 50 metres above the ground you are getting a very special view on the harbor, la Rambla and beyond before reaching Montjuic a couple of metres below the castle.