Barcelona is a city made for being outdoors, and during the summer there are a huge number of events taking advantage of the good weather. The month-long open-air cinema at Montjuïc Castle is definitely one of the season’s highlights.
From the end of June until the start of August, Sala Montjuïc – a series of international films beamed up onto the battlements of Montjuïc Castle – is a fun and original way to enjoy a languid summer evening with friends away from the hustle and bustle on the city streets.
What is Sala Montjuïc?
Sala Montjuïc is an open-air film festival which takes place at the castle on top of Montjuïc hill. The peaceful and relaxed setting is complemented by the stunning scenery and spectacular views over Barcelona, making it the ideal place to take some time out from city life below. Up here, Las Ramblas really does feel like a million miles away.
The festival plays a selection of the best films of all time on a huge screen. If your Spanish skills are not all that they could be, don’t let this stop you, as there are a number of foreign films shown in their original language (with Spanish subtitles). There are also a wide variety of genres on offer, so whether you prefer an action film or a tearjerker, you’ll find something for you. The 2013 list of films includes French multi-award winning The Intouchables, a Spanish twist on the classic Snow White with Blancanieves, classics such as West Side Story and Donnie Darko as well as other critically acclaimed international hits.
And it doesn’t stop at world-class films! Every night before the main event the organisers put on a short film and concert. Make sure you don’t forget a blanket, however if you would prefer to settle back in the shadow of Barcelona’s 17th-century fortress in a deckchair, you can rent a one for €3. There will be a few stalls on hand selling hot dogs, nachos, etc, as well as beer and bottles of Cava. Many people also take a picnic, a perfect accompaniment to the evening’s entertainment under the stars or if you purchase a ticket in advance online you have the easy option to add a picnic as an extra.
It’s as old as the hills… almost
Last year Sala Montjuic celebrated its tenth anniversary and over the past decade it has become a real hit with locals and tourists alike, not least because of its affordability. At just €6 a ticket it is very good value and one of the cheapest nights out you will find in the city. What also makes it such a popular event is that it is something everyone can enjoy. Over the years it’s continued to attract people of all ages and nationalities, and with all tastes in film.
By car: There’s a car park 10 minutes from the castle.
Public transport: There is a special bus service that goes from Plaça Espanya to Sala Montjuïc. This departs from the Plaça Espanya Towers between 20:30 to 21:30 and returns at the end of the film.
Teleféric cable car: Until 9pm the Teleféric cable car runs between the beach and Montjuïc, stopping just down the road from the castle.
Other practical information
Concerts begin at 20.30 and film screenings at 22.00 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening from June 30 until August 7. Entrance tickets cost €6 which can be purchased at the event from 20.30 onwards or can be bought in advance through the Sala Montjuïc website, where you can also see the full programme and other useful information about the event.