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Montserrat Monastery.

I can't decide on whether to do a guided tour, with transport, or to go there on my own and do a self guided tour.

How long should I expect either to take?


Another question?

La Sagrada Familia?

Guided tour or self?

Will I be able to do so in the am, then head to ship?  I have to be on board by 3pm.


Any and all info welcome.



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I don't think there is a need for Montserrat tour. Tickets are sold with different options and just for monastery visit half day is enough, more if using on site funiculars  and hiking. There are 2 ways to get there from train station: aeri and funicular depending on purchased ticket. Aeri station is first from Barcelona.



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Montserrat -- on own versus tour.  If you go on your own then you'll save a little money and have more flexibility with time but at the cost of a more effort and more transit time than if you go with a tour.  You should have a great half-day to day either way, it's absolutely worth the trip and I don't think you can go wrong.


Montserrat -- getting there on your own.  How comfortable are you with public transportation?  If you take the train you'll need to get to Placa Espanya to take the R5, which generally leaves every hour but sometimes more frequently depending on the day and time.  The easiest way to get to the R5 ticket area is to enter from the area to the Southwest of the circle.  I posted photos to another thread and will repost here if you want.  I've attached an annotated map to this post.  Go down two levels to buy tickets and the down one more level to get to the train.  We also took the cable car and you need to select the "Aeri" ticket option if you want to take the cable car rather than the funicular up and down the mountain.  The boys' choir takes a break during the summer but if they are not on holiday then it's beautiful to hear them sing.  We went on a Sunday and they sang throughout the 11 am Mass and immediately after.


Montserrat -- timing on your own.  When we went a couple of weeks ago we took the 8:36 am R5 train from Placa Espanya (give yourself plenty of time to buy tickets) to the Montserrat-Aeri station.  We hustled off of the train and were in the first cable car to go up the mountain, then went immediately to the line for Our Lady of Montserrat.  We were done by about 10:45 then waited for Mass to start at 11.  After Mass we ate lunch then took the funicular up to the very top of the mountain for some hiking.  Beautiful views all throughout the day.  We took the funicular back to the monastary then the cable car down the mountain and we were taking pictures again from the Aeri train station at 3:21 pm to wait for the 3:45 pm train, which got us back to Placa Espanya at 4:45 pm.  So you can take the whole day there if you want.  Going on your own will use up a big chunk of time as the train takes one hour each way and you also have to add in the time to get up and down the mountain plus time to get to and from Placa Espanya.


La Sagrada Familia.  You should be able to see before heading to the ship.  Be sure to buy your tickets (for the tour or self-guided) well in advance to make sure you get the time slot you want.





Placa Espanya entrance location for easiest R5 access.jpg

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