Jardins de Joan Maragall

Neo-classical sculpture and columns at the Jardins de Joan Maragall on Montjuïc, Barcelona

This lovely formal garden on Montjuïc contains the official residence of the Spanish royal family, which explains why it is seldom open – you can only visit between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm on weekends or public holidays.

The royal pavilion, or Palauet Albéniz, was built for the 1929 International Exposition, and the gardens surrounding it were designed at the same time by Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier.

The gardens were extended in 1970 and named after the Catalan poet Joan Maragall. They are now home to 32 sculptures dating from the 1950s to 1970, along with the original neoclassical details.

The fountains, sculptures, and tree-lined pathways are a big draw, but for me it is the serenity. You seldom have to share the park with more than a handful of other people.


Open: Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays 10am – 3pm


Jardí Botànic Històric

  • charming old botanic gardens

There are actually two botanic gardens on Montjuïc: the new gardens near the Olympic stadium, and the Jardí Botànic Històric just behind the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. Established in a pair of old quarries, the gardens provide a pleasantly cool respite on a hot day, and are really rather lovely.