The hill of Montjuïc is directly above Barcelona’s Port Vell, and can most easily be reached by cable-car. It is known as the “Barcelona’s green lung,” for its many parks. It’s also home to several museums, galleries and restaurants, as well as venues for sports, entertainment and sightseeing. If you’re spending the winter in Barcelona make sure to explore this cultural hot-spot!
The first thing you will notice when you look up from Port Vell is Montjuïc Castle, located on top of the hill at 170m above sea level. It was built in 1640 and has experienced centuries of change, including a significant role in the Spanish Civil War. Montjuïc’s natural corners are full of beautiful plants and natural features. The Montjuïc Cactus Garden has hundreds of cacti, whilst the Botanical Garden overflows with Mediterranean flora and offers some truly spectacular views across Barcelona.
Montjuïc was one of the main venues for Barcelona’s 1992 Olympic Games, and many of these installations are still part of the Barcelona’s world-class sporting infrastructure. The Bernat Picornell Olympic swimming pool has full-size outdoor and indoor pools and an impressive open-air diving pool. Palau Sant Jordi is one of the city’s main venues for athletics and various indoor sports, as well as hosting the biggest-name concerts in town.
If you’re into sports, be sure to check out the Olympic Museum and immerse yourself in the city’s Olympic history, as well as interactive activities and insights into the world’s most popular sports. If you’re interested in art, a visit to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Plaça Espanya is a must. This is home to an extensive collection of Catalan and European art. Also recommended is the Fundació Joan Miró which contains the world’s largest collection of Miró’s masterpieces, and temporary exhibits.
And of course, the famous Magic Fountains are located in Plaça Espanya at the bottom of Montjuïc. The fountains are illuminated by a light show as the water jets dance to a pop, rock, and classical music. Another sightseeing highlight is Poble Espanyol, a model village with replicas of Spanish architecture, as well as restaurants, a flamenco parlour and several nightclubs.
Don’t be satisfied by just seeing Montjuïc from below, take that cable-car and enjoy!