Walking Tour: Views & Gardens On Montjuïc

  • Start Castell de Montjuïc
  • End Jardins de Joan Maragall
  • Length 3km; 1½ hours

Long synonymous with oppression, the dark history of Castell de Montjuïc is today overshadowed by the stupendous views it commands over the city and sea. (Don't miss the little sea-facing trail behind the fortress.) The ride up on the Telefèric de Montjuïc is the perfect way to get here.

A short stroll down the road or the parallel Camí del Mar pedestrian trail leads to another fine viewpoint overlooking the city and sea, the Jardins del Mirador. Take the weight off on the park benches or pick up a snack.

Further downhill is the multitiered Jardins de Joan Brossa. Enter on the left just beyond Plaça de la Sardana, which has a sculpture of people engaged in the classic Catalan folk dance. More fine city views can be had from among the many Mediterranean trees and plants.

Exiting the Jardins de Joan Brossa on the western side, cross Camí Baix del Castell to the painstakingly laid out Jardins de Mossèn Cinto de Verdaguer. This is a beautiful setting for a slow meander among tulip beds and water lilies.

Dropping away behind the Fundació Joan Miró, the 1922-established Jardins de Laribal comprise a combination of terraced gardens linked by paths and stairways. The pretty sculpted watercourses along some of the stairways were inspired by Granada’s Alhambra.

While in the gardens, you can take a break for a meal if hunger strikes. La Font del Gat has a daily changing menu (no à la carte), and a lovely and spacious terrace dotted with orange trees and surrounded by greenery.

Continue walking west, past the Estadi Olímpic (Olympic Stadium) to reach the lovely, but little visited Jardins de Joan Maragall. Lush lawns, ornamental fountains, photogenic sculptures and a neoclassical palace (the Spanish royal family's residence in Barcelona) set these gardens apart. The catch: the grounds are only open on weekends (10am to 3pm).