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Montserrat ticket details

I'm planning a trip to Barcelona in September with my parents. I'm sure there will be more questions to follow but currently I'm researching a day trip to Montserrat. I've looked around the forums and some Barcelona tourism sites but I'm still a little confused about a few details hopefully you can help me clear up.

What I've been able to find so far is (correct me if I'm wrong) there's 3 different types of tickets: normal train/rack rail combo tickets (purchased from machine at Plaça d'Espanya station), Trans Montserrat (online or in person), and Tot Monserrat (online or in person). I understand the actual train I'll be taking is the R5 and we plan on using the rack rail instead of cable car. However, what I'm still trying to figure out:

1) If we're only planning to see the monastery and not go all the way up the mountain, would we be fine with the normal train/rack rail combo rather than either of the other two more expensive tickets?
2) Do we need to buy tickets in advance? I was hoping just to buy at Plaça d'Espanya on the day we go to Montserrat.
3) Is any part of the journey timed-entry? Or do we just take the first available train from Barcelona to Monistrol de Montserrat, and then take the first available rack rail up to the monastery?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks for all the great information! We had a wonderful time, our week in Barcelona was amazing and our day trip to Montserrat went smoothly. I just wanted to follow up now that we are back from the trip, on the off chance anyone else is stumbling upon this thread looking for similar information.

My observations:

  • The best ticket for us was the standard combo ticket train/rack railway (not the similar Trans Montserrat or Tot Montserrat tickets) for €24.50 per person (as of Sep 2022), since the monastery was the main purpose of our visit and we did not want to do any hiking. We were able to purchase these no problem from the ticket machines at Plaça d'Espanya on the morning of our day trip. The ticket machines for FGC are placed just before the entrance to the platforms where you take the R5 train to Montserrat. Simply follow the signs at Plaça d'Espanya for Montserrat, it is well marked.
  • The R5 trains are timed to coincide with an easy transfer to the Cremallera (rack railway) at Monistrol de Montserrat station. There was one waiting for us upon arriving; we did not need to leave or change stations or anything of the sort, we just followed the crowd down the platform.
  • Going either direction on the Cremallera, there is an intermediate stop at a station called Monistrol-Vila. We knew about this beforehand but just a reminder, do not get off here.
  • Entrance to the Basilica itself is not ticketed, however the entrance to see La Moreneta (Black Virgin) requires a timed entry ticket. This timed entry is free of charge but you will need to make reservations online ahead of time, or at the monastery in person (subject to availability). We were able to secure our timed entry in person and the wait was about an hour. I am unsure if this has always been the case or if this is a new restriction due to COVID.
  • For our return journey, we were not allowed to queue up at the Cremallera station until 15 minutes before the departure of the next Cremallera back down to Monistrol de Montserrat. However, the staff at the station were helpful and will guide you if you have questions about the departure times, etc.
  • The connection was similarly smooth on the way back, we waited only a few minutes before the R5 train back to Barcelona arrived (it was on platform 2 for us but this may change; check the screens upon arriving at Monistrol de Montserrat station).

Keep in mind these are just my observations for our trip and these days things are seemingly subject to change at any moment, but I thought maybe this information could be helpful to others doing the same journey.