Montjuïc Castle

Located 173 meters above sea level, the castle of Montjuïc, Castell de Montjuïc in Catalan and Castillo de Montjuïc in Spanish, is a medieval fortress later converted into a castle that overlooks the city. Today, it serves as a museum and is a must-see attraction for those interested in Barcelona’s military history. It’s also the perfect spot for stunning views over Barcelona.

What to See and Do at Montjuïc Castle

The castle atop Montjuïc mountain is a major attraction. The expansive views and the impressive medieval fortress are enough reasons to visit. In addition, the castle often hosts events and concerts, making a visit even more enjoyable.

Montjuïc Castle
Montjuïc Castle

Castle and Museum of Montjuïc

Originally built as a military fort to defend the city against enemies (at that time, the Castilian troops of Felipe IV), it was later used due to its privileged position to bombard the city and keep the population under control. During the times the castle served as a prison, people were tortured and executed here.

Montjuïc Castle is a place laden with history, reflected in the Centre d’Interpretació del Castell de Montjuïc, the museum part of the castle. The museum delves into the history of Montjuïc and its castle.

Regular temporary exhibitions related to the castle are also offered, providing a great way to learn more about this unique place.

In addition to the museum, you can also view the rest of the castle during your visit, such as the courtyard, galleries, barracks, watchtowers, and defensive walls. The castle is well-maintained and contains original elements like the communication tower and the defense cannons.

View from Montjuïc Castle

The main reason many people visit Castell de Montjuïc is for the spectacular view. From the top terrace of the castle, you can enjoy a fantastic 360-degree view of the city, the harbor, the Mediterranean Sea, the coast of Barcelona, and Baix Llobregat. So, be sure to bring your camera!

Montjuïc Castle
Montjuïc Castle

Events at Montjuïc Castle

Regular temporary exhibitions are held at the castle, often linked to its history or the city.

This is also the venue for many fun events, like the open-air cinema Sala Montjuïc and the summer concerts Nits al Castell and Vespres d’Estiu.

Archery courses are also offered at the Fossar de Santa Eulàlia by the Club Arc Montjuïc.

History of Montjuïc Castle

The current Castell de Montjuïc was designed by Juan Martín Cermeño between 1751-1779. However, various watchtowers and forts were built at this location for the defense of the city as early as the 17th century.

The first castle on Montjuïc was built in 1640 to defend the city against the troops of Felipe IV. Due to many attacks and sieges since the late 17th century, the castle was renovated and expanded. A citadel with three defensive bastions was built.

With the Bourbons in the 18th century, a new defensive system for the city was based on two major forts: the new Ciutadella and Montjuïc (alongside existing Drassanes, Fort Pius, and others).

After the Ciutadella (the new military fort at the current location of Parc de la Ciutadella) was built, work began at the castle of Montjuïc under the direction of engineer Juan Martín Cermeño. He gave the fort its current shape: an irregular trapezium adapted to the mountain with four bastions. The main entrance was placed between the Santa Amàlia and Sant Carles bastions. Access was through a fixed bridge with a spanning drawbridge over the moat. A ravelin and a hornwork provided protection to the upper building that replaced the old fort. The building had a courtyard, a watchtower, and space for storage and barracks. A total of 86 cannons were ready here.

In 1799, work on the new castle was completed, but it remained overshadowed by the Ciutadella. It was not until the liberal and revolutionary Barcelona of 1833-1943 that the castle became infamous, mainly for its violent and repressive measures. The bombardments of the city in 1842 and 1843 began a relationship with the city marked by cruelty.

From 1893, the castle began to be used as a place of confinement and torture.

During the Civil War, the castle became a political and military prison, where extrajudicial executions were carried out at the Santa Elena point. A total of 250 executions took place here, one of the most famous being that of President Lluís Companys in 1940.

In 1960, the castle was partially loaned to the municipality. In 1963, it became a military museum, which was open until 2009. Since 2007, the castle has been fully owned by the municipality. Although the Museu Militar in the castle no longer exists, a visit to this fort is still more than worthwhile.

Montjuïc Castle Tickets

Since 2014, there has been an admission fee to enter Montjuïc Castle. Tickets cost €5 per person (€3 for young people between 16 and 29 years old, retirees, and groups of more than 10 people). Admission is free for children under 16 years old. Entrance tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket offices at the front of the castle and you will be checked again at the entrance.

Guided Tours of Montjuïc Castle

Daily guided tours are also offered at Montjuïc Castle in Spanish, Catalan, English, and French. The price for this tour is €9.

Free Visit to Montjuïc Castle

Walking around the castle and admiring the architecture from the outside is, of course, free. On certain days, however, you can also enter for free! You can visit Montjuïc Castle for free every first Sunday of the month all day, or on other Sundays after 3:00 PM.

How to Get to Montjuïc Castle

Montjuïc Castle is located at the highest point of Montjuïc hill and is easily accessible by the Montjuïc Cable Car, found on Avinguda Miramar. This offers a fantastic view over the city during the ride and is undoubtedly the most fun way to reach the top of Montjuïc hill.

Another option is to walk to the castle. For this, I recommend taking the Funicular de Montjuïc (which is included in the public transport system and therefore costs nothing extra) and walking from the Funicular de Montjuïc station on Avinguda Miramar to the top of the hill. Follow Carrer dels Tarongers, which runs alongside the peaceful Jardins de Mossèn Jacinto Verdaguer. It’s a steep climb to the top, but the view from the top of the mountain is definitely worth it!

Useful information

Price: Normal €5 per person (€3 with discount for youths/students, retirees, and groups), guided tours €9 per person.

For more information on the tours and to purchase tickets online, click here.

Opening Hours: From October 1st to March 31st open Monday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. From April 1st to September 30th open Monday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Address: Carretera de Montjuïc, 66 08038 Barcelona

Public Transport:

Metro: Paral.lel (L2, L3)

Bus: 150