Outdoor family fun
The Military Museum closed down in 2009 and its contents were moved to Figueres. The castle is now an International Peace Centre. For now, visitors can stroll through the castle, climb the battlements for fabulous views, or picnic in the wide moat. There's a café in the Plaça de Armes.
Created from a quarry in 1987 by Josep Martorell and David Mackay, the team that went on to design the Vila Olímpica, this park boasts a large swimming pool complete with a 'desert island' and a sculpture by Eduardo Chillida: a 50-ton lump of curly granite suspended on cables, called 'In Praise of Water'.
Covering an area the size of four city blocks, the old slaughterhouse ('escorxador') was demolished in 1979 to provide some much-needed parkland, although there’s little greenery. The rows of palms and pines are dwarfed by Miró’s sculpture 'Dona i Ocell' ('Woman and Bird') getting its feet wet in a cement lake; there’s also a good playground for small kids.
The port side of Montjuïc is protected from the cold north wind, creating a microclimate that is two degrees centigrade warmer than the rest of the city – allowing some 800 species of the world’s cacti to flourish here. This extraordinary collection was closed to the public for some time while funding for essential maintenance was sought, but now it's back in all its glory.
The two main attractions of this park are riding on a miniature railway and for the children riding a pony. Castell de l'Oreneta’s rideable miniature railway is one of the best scale railroads in Europe.