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Montjuic Castle

Montjuïc Castle Segway Tour in Barcelona

by Christian Petzold - updated December 20, 2023

Not too far from the old city’s center, Montjuïc Castle is one of Barcelona’s best-kept secrets, with views of the city that are second to none.

Side Of Montjuic Castle

The castle sits atop the highest mountain in Barcelona’s city center, overlooking nearby Plaça Espanya and a stunning panoramic backdrop of the city. 

Brief History of Montjuic Castle

Montjuic is a hill that borders Barcelona to the south and is one of the Catalan city hills. Because of its strategic location close to the sea, it has been an important historical place throughout history. The name, which translates as ‘Jewish Mountain’ in Catalan, relates to an old Jewish cemetery uncovered on the mountain’s southern slope.

Built during the 17th century as a military fortification, Montjuic Castle played an essential part in the Siege of Barcelona in 1705 and the conflict between Spain and Catalonia, which resulted in Catalonia losing its independence. Juan Martin Cameo, an architect who finished the project in 1799, dismantled the castle and rebuilt it from scratch.

Montjuic Castle Flag

The Spanish Civil War and the tragic execution of Lluís Companys leave indelible marks on the psyche of Barcelona City. The Castell de Montjuïc, once a military fortress and prison, played pivotal roles during these tumultuous times. Intriguingly, figures like Juan Martín Cermeño have also contributed tales of valor and resilience, which resonate within the castle’s walls.

Since the end of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714, Montjuïc has symbolized independence and submission to the Republican forces.  The castle has always been under the hands of the central government. For 300 years, the guns of Montjuic were used against the citizens of Barcelona, particularly during the turbulent years following the Catalonian defeat.

The Gardens

Take a rest on one of the castle’s expansive, beautiful green lawns after you arrive. Bring something to drink and something to eat with you. Cheese or Spanish ham on pa amb tomaquet with water is a good accompaniment (bread smeared with fresh tomato and drizzled with olive oil).

Montjuic Gardens

Take a self-guided walk of the Castle grounds and look for notable sculptures like Josep Clarà’s “La Fertilitat” and Pau Gargallo’s “La Pomona,” which has apples in her skirts. At the Explanada de Miramar, you can pose and take pictures with the cannons and Barcelona’s bustling harbor.

At the lookout point, the beautiful mosaic floor of ceramic and glass deserves your complete attention.

The Montjuic Gardens

The Castle

After taking a leisurely tour of the gardens, cross the drawbridge and ascend the stone steps to the vast expanse of the castle’s roof-top terraces, which provide panoramic views of Barcelona and beyond.

Inside Montjuic Castle

For far too many years, this fairy-tale-like fortress laced with ivy served as a desolate prison where individuals were denied their liberty, humanity, and lives and where they were tortured and killed.

But today, this awe-inspiring symbol of power should be regarded as a monument of peace. The towers have been preserved, and some of the areas have been converted into a museum. The Castle is a place where myth and reality intersect, a testament to the power of a time gone by and a story that continues to fascinate.

Barcelona’s Olympic Dream

In the shadows of Montjuic Castle, the Summer Olympic Games found a spectacular stage, transforming Montjuïc Hill into a global sporting arena. The Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Ring stand as permanent reminders of Barcelona’s vibrant sporting culture and its capability to host significant international spectacles, such as the International Exhibition, beneath the auspices of the castle’s towering silhouette.

Olympic Stadium1

Montjuïc’s Artistic Pursuits

Amidst the vibrant energy of Las Ramblas and the divine serenity of the Sagrada Familia, and from the green utopia of Park Güell to the martial history encapsulated in the Military Museum, the Castle overlooks a spectrum of attractions that collectively narrate the tale of Barcelona. 

Montjuic Castle 4

The meticulous stewardship of the Barcelona City Council ensures that locales such as the Poble Sec and the Palau Sant Jordi continue to echo the city’s rhythmic vitality.

An Ensemble of Attractions

From the bustling promenade of Las Ramblas and La Rambla to the sacred walls of the Sagrada Familia, and from the verdant expanses of Park Güell to the echoing corridors of the Military Museum, Montjuïc Hill is surrounded by attractions that define Barcelona. 

The Barcelona City Council has been instrumental in maintaining these landmarks and ensuring that places like the Poble Sec neighborhood and the Palau Sant Jordi arena continue to thrive.

Experience Montjuïc

For those wishing to delve deeper into Montjuïc Castle’s stories and significance, a guided tour provides the perfect opportunity. With many attractions offering free admission and a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty to explore, Montjuïc promises an unforgettable experience.

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

Just a stone’s throw from Montjuic Castle, at the foot of Montjuïc Mountain, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc near Plaça Espanya is a must-see attraction. Originally designed for the 1929 International Exposition, this stunning fountain near the Castle delights visitors with its dramatic choreography of light, music, and water. Each show is a unique artistic display, symbolizing the dynamic essence of Barcelona and the historic presence of this fortification.

Magic Fountain Of Montjuic 1

Gearing Up for Montjuïc Castle and Exploring Nearby Attractions

Packing Essentials for Your Visit to Montjuïc Castle

Visiting the historical and culturally rich Montjuïc Castle necessitates a thoughtful packing list to enhance your exploration. Here are some items to consider bringing:

Comfortable Footwear: The Castle is surrounded by the sprawling Montjuic Park and various terrains, making supportive shoes a must for exploring.

Camera: Montjuïc, with its historical architecture and breathtaking panoramic views of Barcelona City, provides plentiful photo opportunities.

Light Snacks and Water: While navigating through the expansive grounds of Montjuïc Castle, having refreshments on hand will keep you energized.

Map or GPS Device: A tool to navigate through the robust history and numerous sections within and around Montjuïc Castle.

Weather-appropriate Clothing: Ensure a comfortable exploration of the Montjuïc Castle and its open areas, adapting to Barcelona’s weather.

Backpack: A handy storage option for essentials, as well as any artifacts or souvenirs acquired around Montjuïc Castle.

Exploring Attractions Near Montjuïc Castle

Post your enriching visit to Montjuïc Castle, consider elongating your Barcelona adventure by exploring nearby attractions that reflect the spirited ambiance of the city:

Las Ramblas: A short distance from Montjuïc Castle, this vibrant street beckons with its myriad of shopping, dining, and cultural explorations, connecting the heart of the city to the sea.

Sagrada Familia: Beyond Montjuïc Castle, immerse yourself in the architectural magnificence of this iconic basilica, reflecting Antoni Gaudí’s masterful creation.

Park Güell: Expanding your architectural tour from Montjuïc Castle, this park offers a mixture of natural and man-made beauty with stunning city views and intricate designs.

La Rambla: A lively artery of the city, providing a contrast to the historical serenity of Montjuïc Castle with its bustling markets and street performances.

Palau Sant Jordi: After soaking in the history of Montjuïc Castle, engage in the modern entertainment hosted at this significant venue, a legacy from the Olympic Games.

Barcelona Aquarium: Offering a family-friendly experience not far from Montjuïc Castle, exploring a fascinating underwater world and engaging with aquatic life.

Your visit to Montjuïc Castle and its nearby attractions promises a holistic experience of Barcelona, blending the ancient with the modern, and the cultural with the entertaining, crafting an eclectic journey through time and experiences.

Poble Espanyol: A Cultural Haven Close to Montjuic Castle

Experiencing Spanish Architecture and Craftsmanship Near Montjuic Castle

In the vicinity of Montjuic Castle, Poble Espanyol stands as a testament to Spain’s diverse cultural landscape. Constructed alongside Montjuic Castle for the 1929 International Exposition, this open-air museum showcases a variety of Spanish architectural styles and crafts. It’s a short walk from Montjuic Castle and offers visitors an immersive experience of Spain’s rich cultural heritage.

Montjuïc’s Artistic Legacy: Joan Miró

A Journey Through Modern Art Near Montjuic Castle

Near Montjuic Castle, on Montjuïc Mountain, the Fundació Joan Miró serves as a beacon of modern art, celebrating the works of the famous Catalan artist, Joan Miró. This museum, not far from Montjuic Castle and Palau Nacional, is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. It provides a unique opportunity to explore Miró’s imaginative universe and the modernist movement that flourished in the shadow of Montjuic Castle.

The Palau Nacional and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Exploring Catalan Art in the Shadow of Montjuic Castle

Perched atop Montjuïc Mountain, the Palau Nacional, near Montjuic Castle, houses the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. Offering a stunning view of Barcelona, this museum is a stone’s throw from Montjuic Castle and is renowned for its extensive collection of Catalan art. From Romanesque masterpieces to modern artworks, it represents a historical journey in the vicinity of Montjuic Castle.

Montjuïc’s Role in the Olympics and Beyond

Celebrating International Sports Near Montjuic Castle

Montjuic Castle oversees the Olympic Park on Montjuïc Mountain, a site integral to the 1992 Olympic Games. The area around Montjuic Castle, including the Olympic Stadium and Palau Sant Jordi, continues to be a hub for major sporting and cultural events. This blend of historical and modern significance near Montjuic Castle symbolizes Barcelona’s place on the global stage.

Montjuïc’s Hidden Gems: El Raval and Funicular de Montjuïc

Discovering the Old Town and Unique Views of Montjuic Castle

The neighborhood of El Raval, forming part of Barcelona’s Old Town, offers a contrasting experience to the historical grandeur of Montjuic Castle. This diverse area, combined with a ride on the Funicular de Montjuïc, provides unique perspectives of Montjuic Castle and the Barcelona skyline, making for an enriching urban adventure.

Boqueria Market: A Culinary Journey Near Montjuic Castle

Savoring Barcelona’s Flavors Close to Montjuic Castle

Not far from the historical Montjuic Castle, the Boqueria Market on Las Ramblas is a culinary hotspot. This bustling marketplace, buzzing with energy akin to the historical aura of Montjuic Castle, offers an array of fresh produce and traditional Catalan cuisine. It’s a perfect destination for food lovers to experience the local flavors of Barcelona in the shadow of Montjuic Castle.

How to Get There

Montjuic Castle Bridge

For those who don’t have time to hike on foot from Plaça Espanya, you may take the metro to Parallel and get on a Funicular to Parc de Montjuïc. While climbing, take a moment to gaze down at the Plaça de Catalunya and Montjuic Palace.


General admission: €5.00

Discounted: €3.00 for disabled visitors

Under 16: FREE

Note: Admission is free every Sunday after 3 pm and the first Sunday of every month.

Opening hours:

November 1st to February 28th: Mon-Sun (10:00 am to 6:00 pm, last tickets 5:30 pm)

March 1st to October 31st: Mon-Sun (10:00 am to 8:00 pm, last tickets 7:30 pm)

Closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Writer’s Note

A visit to the castle will show you the history of Barcelona and a glimpse into what it means to be a Barcelona citizen. Make sure you take a few hours out of your day, grab some snacks and spend time at this historic ruin. We will add more articles to this series as we develop them.

We hope that this little overview of Montjuic Castle has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, please leave a comment for us.

Our Barcelona travel articles will help you plan the best places to see and things to do when you visit. You can find a few of them below.

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