| Montjuic Castle | Font Magica |
On our fourth and final day in Barcelona, we finally managed to get to Montjuic! After a quick breakfast of croissants and coffee in a local cafe, we took the Metro from Diagonal to Parallel to pick up the Funicular train to Castell de Montjuic. The Funicular is a smaller train running every 10 mins or so from Parallel to Montjuic and back. The ride itself only takes 2 minutes and the journey is included as part of a Metro ride.
Once we arrived, we had the option to pay around €8 for a cable car to the castle (Castell de Montjuic) or opt for the cheaper alternative, and walk; we decided to save our pennies and stretch our legs! We weren’t sure how long it would take to get there (it looked like a pretty big hill!) and were relieved to find we’d reached our destination in around 25 minutes. Although uphill, the walk is pretty and takes you through small gardens and along winding pathways, with views over the city and a steady stream of cable cars visible overhead.
The castle itself is a pretty cool place to wander around; the multiple view-points (overlooking the city and the sea) are definitely a highlight. You have to pay to get in, which is advertised at the desk for €5. When paying, the lady asked whether we were under 30, and after telling her we were, she let us know that our entrance fee was only €3. Worth noting in case the cashier doesn’t ask!
After we’d walked around the castle, we decided to head to Font Magica, Barcelona’s largest ornamental water fountain situated at the bottom of the Palau Nacional, near the Plaça d’Espanya and Poble Espanyol. The fountain is host to a light and water display at certain times throughout the year, which has become one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions. Sadly the timings didn’t work out for this trip, so we never actually got to see the show! The fountain is still impressive regardless, and is worth a visit even if you can’t make one of the displays. To get there from the castle, you are looking at a 40 minute walk. We didn’t have the time or the energy for that, so took the bus (number 150) from the bottom of the castle which runs to Placa d’Espanya and back again. The bus stops directly outside the Palau Nacional, which is around 10 minutes from the castle, and is the cost of a Metro ride (€2.15).
The Palau Nacional, home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia, is reached via a long set of steps or escalators (which we were very grateful for after all our walking!). The grounds are pretty, with a corridor of trees leading to a giant stairway on one end. You can take opt to escalators all the way to the top, which was great! The third pic below shows the views across Montjuic/ Placa d’Espanya from the entrance to the Palau Nacional. We didn’t have time to go in to the Museum, so after taking a few photos, we made our way to Placa d’Espanya and the Espanya Metro stop to head back for one last look around the Gothic Quarter.
On arriving, we made a bee-line for ice cream, after seeing a rather appealing display in the Farggi window! Armed with scoops of white chocolate, honeycomb, cookie and chocolate-hazelnut piled high in to waffle cones, we hurried down the streets in an attempt to buy some last minute postcards and souvenirs. Mission completed, we took our final Metro ride back to our hostel to grab our suitcases.
Once again, we used the Aerobus from Placa de la Catalunya to the airport for €5.90. We made better time than we’d expected, which resulted in a rather long 3 hour wait in El Prat airport, but we were soon on our way with good old Ryanair, back to the land of rain!