When visiting Montserrat take note of the advices and notices of those who know it better: the local people. Follow these points and we assure you will get the most of your visit to the mountain.
1. How do i arrive?
Spend the minimum time to get to the Monastery. Instead of the cable car or funicular that go from the bottom of the mountain to the monastery, take the zip car to Sant Joan Chapel, it’s higher than the monastery and will give you a unique perspective of the mountain. Also, If you travel to Montserrat from Barcelona, you can do it by train but the most comfortable and fastest is by bus. With a guided tour that includes expert local guide and transportation so you do not miss anything while travelling up the mountain. We recommend you this tour that you can combinate also with a visit to the largest underground cellars in the world, Codorniu.
2. What is the weather like?
Despite the fact that in Barcelona the weather is mild, on the mountain of Montserrat it can get much colder during the winter due to the altitude. So our advice is always dress warmer than the city. It’s not far but you will be surprised that it can be quite chilly. A good jacket, globes and scarf is a must during the winter.
3. When is the best time to go?
Avoid Sundays because it is really crowded and the Boy’s Choir, La Escolania, are on holidays that day. If you can, you must get there in the afternoon, when there are less people so less queue to touch the Black Madonna and walk around.
4. Do you want to listen to the Boys’ Choir?
You must enjoy Les Vespres, the prayer of the Vespres, sung by the monks and the Escolania, the Boys’ Choir. A magical moment you should definitely see! The evening mass will give you the mystical experience, as there aren’t the crowds you find at noon. Also, check out the schedule!
5. Do you want to walk?
Take the zip car to Sant Joan chapel and start walking from a higher spot, it will take you much farther and higher than if you start from the monastery. When you arrive to the top the natural view of the mountain will leave you astonished.
6. Nip into the museum:
You will be surprised with its impressive collection. In its interior you will see works by Picasso, Dalí, El Greco, and many other collections including archeological pieces from the Ancient World to Vanguard Art. This museum even has a mummy from ancient Egypt.
7. Enjoy a taste of local delicatessens:
If you visit Montserrat do not forget to have a taste of artisan cheese and honey that you will find in the stalls along the way. All products elaborated by the merchants of the area. Ask for the typical “Mató” (Catalan fresh cheese) and add it some honey from Montserrat. Delicious!
8. Light a candle:
Remember to light a candle in the Basilica or in the stone path that surrounds it and pray for your loved ones or goals. It is a beautiful route that you can not miss.
9. Get close to La Moreneta, The Black Madonna:
The Black Madonna is sometimes known by other names, such as ‘La Virgen de Montserrat’ and ‘La Moreneta’. The image is behind a glass sheet. However, one of his hands holding a sphere (symbolizing the universe) is not behind the glass. It is a tradition to kiss or touch the hand of the Virgin while you open the other hand to Jesus. So if you visit Montserrat, do not leave without touching it.
10. Choose the best tour for you:
Travelling in total comfort to avoid surprises and turn your trip into an unwanted adventure. With a guided tour you will have the comfort of taking you to the monuments you choose with a local expert guide and fast track entrance to museums and monuments. Something to keep in mind because in the high season the access queues can over time.