This walk takes in the sights of Montjuic Mountain – a quintessential Barcelona landmark, The Miró Museum, the MNAC (National Museum of Art of Catalunya), the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies Van de Rohe. We recommend you start early, this is a long itinerary that packs in lots of activities and walking, surely one to remember.
View Montjuic, MNAC and the Fundació Miró in a larger map
Our walk starts at Paral.lel metro from where we take the Funicular up Montjuic. The Funicular is integrated into the metro system so you can use your metro ticket again. The ascent is rapid and the higher you go the more you see of the city. Once you arrive and exit the Montjuic Funicular Station to the right you will immediately be struck by an astounding view over all the city with the beach, the Sagrada Familia and the spires of the Gothic Quarter all laid out at your feet.
To your right are the Jardins de Joan Brossa – a green and attractive park. There are two ways to tackle the next stage of the walk that takes us up to the Montjuic Castle. Firstly you can stroll through the gardens, then use a slightly twisty and steep road to reach the Castle. The other option is somewhat easier – cable car! The view is very impressive.
Both options take you to just in front of the castle. It is worth exploring its deep walls and gardens not just for the views alone. There is an outdoor café here where you can enjoy refreshments whilst soaking in the views across the city.
Next on the agenda is the Miró Museum. Descend the hill the same way you came, on arriving at the Funicular station follow the road to the left (left upon exiting the station entrance), follow the signposts and in about 10 minutes you will arrive at the Miró Museum.
Miró is one of Barcelona’s most famous artists; housed in a spectacular modern building my Josep Lluis Sert, this is perhaps the finest and most complete collection of his work in the world.
At this point in the walk you may find yourself in need of refreshment. Exit the Miró Museum and turn right. Not far along the street on the right is a park, descend into the park and you come to the Font Del Gat restaurant. Housed in a beautiful art nouveau building surrounded by gardens it offers a splendid terrace overlooking the city. Typical Catalan food is offered and the quality and price is excellent.
You may wish to call it a day here and return to the Funicular. Otherwise the next stop is the MNAC – The National Art Museum of Catalunya. Return to the main road and continue along it for roughly 5 minutes, you will see sign posts for the MNAC all along the way, turn right when indicated and you will approach the MNAC, which is nestled into the side of Montjuic, from behind. On the way keep your eyes peeled for the entrance to the old botanical garden on the left, a tranquil, shady space well worth a visit. Back on the main path, you soon come to an escalator in the hill that takes you down to the MNAC and more spectacular views. The collection here includes in the main Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art though there are often temporary exhibitions on more diverse themes.
This area of Barcelona is rich in cultural attractions. Descending the impressive steps from the museum one passes the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van de Rohe. Built for the German section of the 1929 International Exhibition and reconstructed on this spot in the 1990s by some Spanish architects, this is an early example of the international modernist style whose influence is still going strong today.
Further along is the Ciaxa Forum. If you haven’t had cultural overload at this point, there are usually several free exhibitions on offer.
You arrive Plaza Espanya shortly afterwards where there is a metro station on the red line (L1). Options here include the new Las Arenas shopping centre, recently renovated, it is built in a former bull ring, and contains many excellent restaurants as well as shops. Also worth mention is the Park Miró behind Las Arenas, an attractive city park with two outdoor bars where you can finish your walk with some refreshments.