Montjüic

montjuic

In 1992 Barcelona was the proud host of the Olympic Games, and although the athletes were housed on the other side of the city, the main events took place in Montjüic - the mountain at the left hand side of the city. They call it a mountain, but it's really just a big hill, and the name means Jewish mountain. The 'mountain' is topped by a castle with the original cannons from the civil war and the castle itself now houses a military museum. From here you can also take a very worthwhile cable-car ride down the side of the mountain for some breathtaking views to where the Olympic diving boards are (remember Kylie's video, Slow?), and the outdoor Greek Theatre - which has many live performances during June, July and August.

If you like, you can do the cable car ride backwards - i.e. up the mountain from the bottom. The tourist bus stops here, or if you make your own way up, then it's easy to find, as it's well signposted. Of course, the main Olympic Stadium is here, too. This is the home of Espanyol - one of the city's football teams, and tickets for home games here are usually easy to come by, as long as it's not the derby match or they play Real Madrid. If you go on any other day apart from match day, you can go in and have a look. Behind the stadium itself is the Palau Sant Jordi - an extremely versatile building used for the gymnastics during the Olympics, but also recently filled with water and used for the World Swimming Championships. This stadium also plays host to the city's main musical attractions, with Madonna, Sting, Phil Collins, etc. all playing here.

This area also has the Olympic Swimming pools (open to the public), a beautiful flower garden, and a Cactus park! The top part of the mountain also has the Fundació Joan Miró - a museum of the Catalan artist with the largest collection of his works. Moving down the other side of the mountain you find Poble Espanyol - a purpose built Spanish village with all the streets built to represent the architectural styles different regions of Spain. During the day, there are many things to view, such as glass blowing, potter's shops, and many Barcelona souveniers, along with cafés and restaurants. The main Plaça also has performances and dancing, although check before you go to see what's on. At night the place transforms into a top night spot, with many bars and three main clubs, including one of the best in the city - Discotheque/La Terrazzza in summer.

magic fountains

Continue down the mountain, almost to the bottom and you'll pass the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya with a grand collection of Gothic and Romanesque art, before reaching the Fira de Barcelona - a big conference centre where all the city's main exhibitions are held. The centrepiece if you like, is the Magic Fountain - also a must see if you come to the city. This is a beautiful water fountain combined with bright colours and music. From October to April, you can only see it on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM. Then from May to September, you can see it Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM & 11:00 PM.

Next | Eixample

Quick apartment search

As featured in:

TimeOut

Time Out Barcelona 2007Time Out Barcelona 2006
Time Out Barcelona 2005Time Out Barcelona 2008