Note: If you arrive before 12:00 on Sunday or holidays or before 3:00 on all other days, visit the Basilica first. If you arrive later, leave it for the afternoon along with the visit to the Virgin and begin with the outing to the top of the mountain.
- Brief description: Santa María de Montserrat is a Benedictine monastery situated 720 metres above sea level. A place of study and knowledge, and a defender of the Catalan language, it was, and is, a symbol for all Catalonia. In addition many of the devout (and not-so devout), drawn by its almost mystical atmosphere, visit the monastery to rest and reflect on their lives. Noteworthy are the Virgin of Montserrat (patron saint of Barcelona) on the main altar, the organ, the side chapels, and the numerous small lamps hanging throughout the church that were donated by different workers' guilds. On Sundays and holidays at noon the Escolanía boys choir sings the Hail Mary and the Virolai (anthem of the Virgin of Montserrat). All other days at 13:00 (on Saturdays the boys choir does not sing the Hail Mary and the Virolai). Definitely worth seeing.
- Cost: free.
- Length of visit: 30 minutes.
- Hours: 07:30 to 20:00.
- How to get there: on foot. From the cable railway or the rack railway station, continue walking along the road and take the first set of stairs leading up on the right (there's a tourist office where you can get maps of the monastery). Then, on the right, you'll come to Plaza de Santa María, which leads to the basilica.