Montjuic Walking Tour, Barcelona (Self Guided)

Montjuic is a hill in Barcelona which offers a variety of great attractions of historic, cultural, and architectural value. Here, you can watch a magic show by Font Magica de Montjuic, visit the place where matadors faced the bulls in the past, explore the Castell de Montjuic with its spectacular views, and much more. Discover the best spots of Montjuic with this tour today!
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Montjuic Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Montjuic Walking Tour
Guide Location: Spain » Barcelona (See other walking tours in Barcelona)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 km
Author: RoseC
Placa d'Espanya

1) Placa d'Espanya (must see)

Possibly one of the most important squares in Barcelona, the Placa d’Espanya is a must visit for tourists. The main building was completed in 1929 and was constructed especially for the occasion of the International Exhibition which was held at Barcelona’s Sants Montjuic district.

Placa d’Espanya is one of Barcelona’s largest squares and hence one can fathom the importance that it holds. The mastermind behind the designing of this impressive structure was the famous Josep Amargos. The square includes a fountain as well as some statues which were designed by Josep Maria Jugol and Miquel Bay respectively. Nicolau Maria Rubio i Tuduri was responsible for designing the rest of the buildings in this square.

The site at which Placa d’Espanya is located today was once used for the purpose of public hangings, complete with gallows. The Ciutadella fortress was also built here in 1715. This fortress was later demolished when the idea of Placa d’Espanya was conceived. The square was designed in 1915 for the Universal Exposition and reached its completion in 1929. The fact that it connects many prominent destinations and buildings in Barcelona gives the square great importance in the city today.

Why You Should Visit:
Transportation hub with shopping, dining, views, hotels, and lots of people. A great place to cool off and restore your energy while touring Barcelona.

Nice over day and night – try both! As dusk approaches, the fountains might be switched off while illuminations begin, and this provides a totally different atmosphere.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm
Arenas de Barcelona

2) Arenas de Barcelona (must see)

Previously a bullring in Barcelona, the Arenas de Barcelona is now a commercial complex located close to the Placa d’Espanya. The former bullring was built somewhere during 1889-1900. The designer responsible for this project was the Spanish architect by the name of August Font i Carreras. One of the most prominent features of this arena is the horseshoe-shaped entrance which has been adorned with beautiful tiles. The arena itself has been constructed in the Moorish style, which was typical for Carreras.

The huge arena has the capacity to accommodate over 16000 spectators. Its total diameter is around 171 feet (52 meters). Conventionally a bullring, this arena has also played host to many other events such as concerts. One such memorable concert was held in 1966 when the Beatles performed live.

One surprising fact is that this area was built for the purpose of being used as a bullring, but bullfighting never caught the attention of people in the city as much as it was expected to, and the last bullfight took place in 1977, after which the arena remained unused for years. Plans were then made to turn this into a recreational and shopping complex, as seen today.

Why You Should Visit:
Exclusive shops, a leisure area with 12 multiplex cinemas, a cultural auditorium, a sports and thermal center of the prestigious Metropolitan chain and several restaurants that offer panoramic views. Even the external structure has been maintained in its splendor and is a particular architecture to admire.

To go directly to the top, it is possible to take the panoramic elevator for €1, which can be recovered by taking lunch or anything else at the restaurants on the top deck.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-10pm
Fira de Barcelona

3) Fira de Barcelona

The Fira de Barcelona was inaugurated in 1932. This piece of land was allotted for the purpose of being used as a ground for trade fairs in Barcelona. The organization and management responsible for Fira de Barcelona have managed to successfully organize over 80 shows, allowed over 40,000 companies to come together to participate and attracted nearly 3.5 million spectators and visitors to date.

Spanning over an area of 365,000 square meters, this is perhaps the biggest trade fair ground of its kind in all of Europe. It has been divided into two main areas, one is located at Montjuic spanning over an area of 165000 square meters, whereas the other is situated at the Gran Via business district which occupies 200,000 square meters of exhibition space.

The latter was inaugurated in 2007. The management here constitutes a position among the top five companies in all of Europe. This industrial trade fair ground is a platform and forum for economic growth and progression in Barcelona. It also promotes various organizations, industries and allows different companies to come together and communicate in order to make progress in the field. The Fira de Barcelona is still being used for trade fairs.
Palau de Congressos

4) Palau de Congressos

Situated in the prominent Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona, the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya is the city’s financial and business centre. Because of its location and importance, the structure is surrounded by the most spectacular and picturesque gardens in the entire city.

The Palau de Congressos is basically a part of the Rey Juan Carlos I Hotel. The complete structure, which includes the hotel and resort, is counted amongst the most luxurious and splendid hotels in the world. Though Barcelona is rich in history with the presence of hundreds of structures based on gothic, medieval and renaissance architecture, this particular building is a classic example of contemporary Barcelona. The designers behind this breath-taking project are Cartana and Ferrater, who in 2001 were presented with the National Architecture award. The building is designed in such a way that it utilizes natural light to the highest degree and lights up spaces with natural sunlight.

The building consists of over thirty five rooms and halls. The auditorium of the building has the capacity to seat over two thousand people. It also features an exhibition space spanning over 4000 square meters which is often used for banquets and can accommodate over three thousand people.
Barcelona Pavilion

5) Barcelona Pavilion

The Barcelona Pavilion was built for the occasion of the International Exposition held in Barcelona and during this expo this building was used as the German Pavilion. It is from here that the German portion of the exhibition was displayed and inaugurated. It is a classic example of modern architecture in the city and yet it has great historical value. Materials such as travertine and marble have been used mostly in its construction.

In 1928, Mies was given the charge for the erection of the building with complete artistic management. There was however one condition that he had to follow stringently and that was the time limit of one year that was given to him to complete this project. The economy of the country was also unstable during these times which posed another great challenge to Mies. Once the construction was complete, at the exhibition, the German Pavilion displayed and represented the new Weimar Germany with elements of democracy, prosperity, progression and advanced architecture.

The purpose that the Pavilion was meant to serve at the exhibition was to convey a message to the world, that Germany had marked an era of a new beginning in terms of prosperity and advancements after World War 1.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Magic Fountain of Montjuic

6) Magic Fountain of Montjuic (must see)

A fact that is little known about the Font Magica de Montjuic is that it still uses the plumbing that was installed when the fountain was first built. Perhaps one of the most spectacular sights to see in the Catalan capital, this fountain has over 3500 tubing pieces and is illuminated by over 4500 bulbs. The fountain works its magic after sunset when the water dances to different tunes from different ages.

The Font Magica de Montjuic is located near the Avenida Maria Cristina at the Montjuic district of the city. The famous landmarks in the vicinity of the magic fountain are the Palau Nacional and the Placa d’Espanya. The purpose for this fountain construction was to make an impression at the International Exposition held in Barcelona in 1929, and to complement many other buildings and structures in the city.

The mastermind behind the designing of this marvelous fountain was Carles Buigas who is known for his work on fountains with spectacular lighting. The site where the fountain stands today was previously occupied by the famous Four Columns which were demolished in 1928. There were 3000 people involved in the construction of this project because the time given for its completion was rather short, and hence, the fountain dazzled its first round of spectators when it displayed its magic for the first time on the 19th of May, 1929.

Why You Should Visit:
Good (free) entertainment!

Bring food/beverages and try to get a good spot at least 45 minutes in advance, as it does get very crowded

Operation Hours:
Jan 1 - Jan 6: Thu, Fri, Sat: 8pm-9pm
Jan 7 - Feb 28: CLOSED
Mar 1 - Mar 31: Thu, Fri, Sat: 8pm-9pm
Apr 1 - May 31: Thu, Fri, Sat: 9pm-10pm
Jun 1 - Sep 30: Wed - Sun: 9:30pm - 10:30pm
Oct 1 - Oct 31: Thu, Fri, Sat: 9pm-10pm
Nov 1 - Dec 31: Thu, Fri, Sat: 8pm-9pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)

7) Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC) (must see)

The National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), locally known as the Museu d’Art de Catalunya or Museu d'Historia de Catalunya, is one of the most interesting museums in Barcelona. The MNAC is the centre for visual arts at the Palau Nacional. It is located on the Montjuic Hill, and was declared the National Museum in 1990 following the merger of two museums, the Museu d’Art Modern and the Museu d’Art de Catalunya. The unification of the two resulted in an impressive collection containing Gothic, Renaissance, Romanesque and Baroque art.

The museum comprises various departments including the department for prints and drawings, the numismatics department, the department for photography and the Biblioteca d’Historia de l’Art (the Library for Art History). All these departments were not present at the museum originally but were added later as a part of the expansion project.

The inauguration was held in 1995 when the museum displayed its section of Romanesque Art. The addition of the section for Gothic Art came in 1997, and the Baroque and Renaissance sections were opened in 2000. In 2004, when the building was complete with all the sections and addition of various departments, the official opening took place.

Why You Should Visit:
An absolutely magnificent museum, newly updated and modernized for the contemporary tourist.
Reasonably priced; plenty of lifts/stair lifts/toilets, and comfortable leather sofas dotted here and there when your feet ache.

The restaurant has a magnificent view of Montjuic and good price/value ratio.
Do not forget to visit the roof – the view will be multiplied!

Operation Hours:
Tue-Sat: 10am-6pm; Sun: 10am-3pm
Grec Theater

8) Grec Theater

The Grec Theatre was built by the famous architect Ramon Reventos in 1929 for Barcelona’s International Exhibition. Located in the Montjuic Mountain, the theatre is one of Barcelona’s prime attractions today. A centre for European performing arts, the Grec Theatre houses performances such as musical concerts, dance, circus and various festivals that reflect its history and Catalan culture. Initially, the theatre was only used for festival production purposes but today it stands as a multi-purpose centre for all forms of performing arts and entertainment.

The Barcelona City council promotes the theatre, which does not have any public administration involvement apart from this; therefore the theatre’s primary income comes from the sales of tickets, sponsorships as well as public grants. As the name indicates, the Grec Theatre is an open air theatre and its main attraction is the Grec Festival of Barcelona. This festival is of great importance all over Europe as one of the greatest performing arts festivals in the country. Every year a staggering number of tickets are sold for this event which attracts a great number of visitors annually.

The theatre is also associated with various other cultural programs and facilities, theatres, and public areas in the city as part of the Grec programme.
Museo Etnologico de Barcelona

9) Museo Etnologico de Barcelona

The Museu Etnologico de Barcelona, or the Ethnology Museum of Barcelona is a space that is dedicated to the mutual cultures of the world. The structures that make up towns and cities here are used to study the basic concept of society, of how it originated and how it established as compared to how it is today. In Barcelona, it is used to study the different cultures in the various communities present in the city which provides a great deal of information on the history of these communities and of the area in general.

The museum became associated to the Xarxa de Musueus d’Etnologica, or the Ethnology Museum network in 2008. Here, the museum is teamed with eight other museums in Barcelona namely, Aneu Valleys Ecomusuem, Conca de Barbera District Museum, Montsia District Musuem, Palamos Fishing Musuem, Espluga de Francoli Rural Life Musuem, Val d’Aram Museum, and the Montseny – La Gabella Ethnology Musuem.

The Barcelona Ethnology Museum comprises the greatest collection of objects among all the museums that make up this network of museums. It also has the largest number of staff members and also the greatest budget for its own management. This makes it a must see for all locals and visitors.
Palacio de Albeniz

10) Palacio de Albeniz

Palacio de Albeniz is a royal palace, built in the Novecentismo architectural style in 1928. It was designed by Juan Moya. It is the official residence of the Spanish royal family when they visit Barcelona. There is an interesting fountain in front of the building, decorated with sculptures. Featured paintings by Salvador Dali are inside the palace. Only the gardens surrounding the palace are open to the public.
Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys

11) Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys

The Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys is a stadium located in the Catalan capital city of Barcelona. This stadium was built for the occasion of the International Exposition that was held here in 1929. The project reached its completion in 1927. Later, the stadium played host to the Summer Olympics of 1992 for which it was renovated in 1989. The huge stadium has the capacity to accommodate nearly 56,000 spectators. It is situated at the Anella Olimpica, near the Montjuic Hill.

The designer of this stadium was the well known architect Pere Domenech i Roura. The stadium was meant to be the main stadium for the Summer Olympics of 1936, an honour which was handed over to Berlin instead, resulting in protests and outbreaks. In 1955, the stadium became the centrepiece for the occasion of the Mediterranean Games.

It also played host to the National Football Cup final between RCD Espanyol and Barcelona Football Club in 1957. The condition of the stadium deteriorated significantly in the seventies. Over the years, the stadium has met and played host to some of the most prestigious and most memorable games and sporting events in history, and even today it is one of the most prominent stadiums in Barcelona.
Museu Olimpic i de l'Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch

12) Museu Olimpic i de l'Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch

The Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch, or the Olympic and Sports Museum located in Barcelona is one of the first of its kind in all of Europe as it provides an ethical, entertaining, historical and knowledgeable aspect on the world of sports and games. Cutting edge advance technology has been utilized in order to make this museum as interactive and up-to-date with the world of sports as possible, and it is for this reason that the museum is truly a sight to behold for visitors of all ages.

Multimedia has been used to the greatest degree to provide lifelike experiences of the most prominent names in sports worldwide, a feature that gives visitors the experience of a real living museum. Every single aspect of sports as seen today has been displayed at the museum including modalities, disciplines, regulations, and history etc. The museum also has a number of interesting activities for all its visitors, including those for disabled people. The museum also specializes in the Olympics department and therefore instigates a great deal of Olympic spirit and practice.

This museum is an ideal place of learning for school going children, because this centre, along with providing an in depth history and information relating to sports will also allow children to engage in various recreational activities, which are a regular feature of the museum.
Jardi Botanic de Barcelona

13) Jardi Botanic de Barcelona

One of the most interesting destinations in Barcelona is the Jardi Botanic de Barcelona, which is the city’s botanical garden located near the Montjuic district. It is located near the stadiums which were used for the Olympic Games held here in 1992. The earliest botanical garden in Barcelona is said to be established back in 1888, but this particular one was inaugurated in 1999. The garden is divided into areas with botanical treasures originating from specific areas of the world like South Africa, California, Australia, Chile, the Western Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean and the Canary Islands.

The botanical garden has been allotted a piece of land spanning 33 acres and has been built on a rather steep, sloping ground. It comprises a huge, breathtaking variety of plants; in fact, the botanical garden of Barcelona is home to over 72 plant communities from all over the world.

Instead of the conventional square botanical gardens, this one has been created in the form of a series of triangular areas allotted to different divisions. This botanical garden truly proves that Barcelona has more than just the treasure of historic relics and ancient buildings and structures. It is indeed a treat for all plant lovers.
Castell de Montjuic

14) Castell de Montjuic (must see)

The Grand Castell de Montjuic is standing atop Mount Montjuic, the famous hill of Barcelona. The view from this location is truly breathtaking as one can see the port, the entire city and then the sea. The Castell de Montjuic was constructed somewhere in the late 18th century and still stands in all its glory.

Initially, it was used as a military prison before being made part of the city in 1960. It is now home to the Museum of the Military History and attracts a great number of locals and visitors alike. At this very site, the very first castle was created in a short span of only 30 days in 1640. At that time, it was used as a fortress. Several years after that, in 1694, this fortress was made into a proper castle with the walls of the previous fortress reinforced.

The Montjuic is already a very famous location for all tourists that visit Barcelona, but the museum at the Castell provides a comprehensive insight into the history of this area and the military history of Spain. One can gain tremendous knowledge from the museum, and one can also enjoy the truly spectacular view that Castell de Montjuic has to offer.

Why You Should Visit:
Ideal for a lazy afternoon and quite fun to get to, taking the funicular railway first, then either the cable car (quite expensive but great views) or the bus (not so scenic but free on a T10 ticket).

If you would rather climb by foot, there is a lot of walking up/downstairs, so wear good shoes.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 12:00am-11:59pm

Walking Tours in Barcelona, Spain

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La Ribera Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
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La Barceloneta Walking Tour

La Barceloneta Walking Tour

La Barceloneta neighborhood was originally formed during the 18th century by fishermen and their families. Today, La Barceloneta beach is one of the most active areas of the city, both during the day and night. It is an ideal place to go for a night out, be it to have dinner in a fancy restaurant or have a drink or party until the wee hours of the morning. This self-guided tour will help you...  view more

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Barcelona for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Barcelona has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money getting around Barcelona and visiting the city's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as iVenture Card, Hola Barcelona: Transport Pass, Barcelona Pass, and Barcelona Museum Pass.

These city passes combine all or multiple Barcelona's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Barcelona hotels that are conveniently located: Iberostar Paseo de Gracia 4* Sup, Catalonia Plaza Cataluña Hotel, Olivia Plaza Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Barcelona, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, as a guided tour of Barcelona typically costs between around US$15 and over US$80 per person:

- Hop on a “hop-on hop-off” double-decker and enjoy sightseeing of Barcelona from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get off at any of the stops along the two interconnecting routes (your ticket is valid for both).

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts around 2 hours and allows you to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.

- Pedal your way around Barcelona on a 3-hour bike tour visiting the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each (for 5-20 minutes) to get rest, watch the surroundings, and learn much about the city from an informative group leader.

- If you're an arts and architecture buff, with a keen interest in Catalan modernism of the late 19th century, then you may definitely enjoy a 2-hour guided stroll around the Quadrat d'Or (Golden Square) in Barcelona's Eixample borough to explore in-depth the works (buildings) of the celebrated pioneers of modernism: Domenech i Montaner, Puig i Cadafalch and, of course, Barcelona's most acclaimed architect Antoni Gaudí. As an extra bonus on this tour, you will get a 20% discount on a guided tour of the Palau de la Música Catalana (Music Palace), discounted entrance at Casa Batlló, free admission to the Museu del Modernisme Català (Catalan Modernism Museum), plus savings on admission to Casa Batlló. Great value and tons of information for the money spent!

- If you don't find tales of the supernatural terrifying, and if the gruesome details of witchcraft, exorcisms and paranormal activity, told after sunset, make your hair stand but only with curiosity, then why not treat yourself to a 2-hour “ghost” walk to discover sinister secrets of Barcelona, visiting some of the city's haunted places, entertained along the way by an informative commentary from an expert guide.

- Have the taste of Catalonia’s gourmet culture on this 3- to 4-hour tour of Barcelona's tapas crawling some of the city’s most prominent bars and cafes in La Rambla, La Boqueria food market, and the Gothic Quarter led by an expert food guide. Apart from savoring a variety of traditional Catalonian cured meats, cheeses and breads, as well as drinks, you will also learn how to order these iconic bar snacks in style, like a true local!

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Barcelona, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like Costa Brava, Pyrenees mountain range, or Tarragona and Sitges. For as little as US$90+ to US$190+ you will get a chance to observe the picturesque villages and dramatic cliffs of the nearby Mediterranean coast, get high up in the Pyrenees Mountains visiting the historic town of Vic in the north of the country with optional hiking, horseback riding or boating excursions, or discover historical highlights of the Roman city of Tarragona complete with a seaside leisure at Sitges. All these trips start and end at your hotel and you'll be carried by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or minivan, accompanied by an English-speaking tour guide.