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10 Best Day Trips From Barcelona

As a seasoned traveler who has fallen head over heels for Barcelona's enchanting charms, I understand the desire to discover more of what this captivating region has to offer. That's why I've compiled my personal list of the best day trips from Barcelona that will take your exploration game to new heights when you visit Barcelona.

So get ready for an unforgettable journey beyond Barcelona's city limits as we dive into these incredible day trip options that will make you fall even more in love with Catalonia.

1. Girona

Girona day trip destination

Girona is a beautiful city located in the northeast of Catalonia, Spain. It is a perfect place to visit on a day trip from Barcelona, especially if you are interested in history, art, and architecture. Girona has a rich history dating back to the Roman era, and its old town is a testament to that with its well-preserved Roman walls and medieval architecture. The city is also famous for its Jewish quarter, which is one of the best-preserved in Europe.

How To Get To Girona From Barcelona

Getting to Girona from Barcelona is easy and convenient. You can take the train, bus, or drive. The most popular way to get to Girona is by train. The train journey takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes, and there are frequent trains throughout the day. The train station in Girona is located just a short walk from the old town, making it easy to explore the city on foot.

If you prefer to take a bus, there are several companies that operate buses from Barcelona to Girona. The journey takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes, and buses depart from Barcelona Nord bus station. Driving to Girona is also an option, and the journey takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Exploring Girona

Once you arrive in Girona, there are plenty of things to see and do. The city is compact, and you can see most of the major sights in a day. Here are some of the top things to do in Girona:

  • Visit the Girona Cathedral: The cathedral is one of the most impressive sights in Girona. The Baroque steps, featured in Season 6 of Game of Thrones, lead up to the cathedral, and the views from the top are breathtaking.
  • Walk along the Onyar River: The Onyar River runs through the heart of Girona, and walking along its banks is a great way to see the city. The colorful houses that line the river are a hallmark of Girona's architecture.
  • Explore the Old Town: Girona's old town is a maze of narrow streets, alleys, and squares. It is a great place to get lost and discover hidden gems, such as the Jewish quarter and the Arab baths.
  • Visit the Art Museum: The Girona Art Museum is located in a beautiful old building and has an impressive collection of Catalan art from the Romanesque period to the present day.

2. Sitges

Sitges

Sitges is a charming coastal town located just 35 kilometers south of Barcelona. It is a popular day trip destination outside Barcelona for tourists looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Sitges is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and cultural events.

How To Get To Sitges From Barcelona

Getting from Barcelona to Sitges is easy and convenient. The most popular way to travel from Barcelona is by train, which takes approximately 40 minutes and train tickets cost around €4. The train station in Sitges is located in the center of town, making it easy to explore the area on foot.

Another option is to take a bus from Barcelona. Buses run regularly from the city center and take approximately 45 minutes to reach Sitges. The bus station in Sitges is also located in the town center, making it easy to get around.

If you prefer to drive, Sitges is easily accessible from Barcelona via the C-32 highway. The drive takes approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

Beach and Outdoor Activities in Sitges

Sitges is known for its beautiful beaches along the Costa Brava, which are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The town has 17 beaches in total, ranging from secluded coves to long stretches of golden sand. Some of the most popular beaches for a beach day include Playa de la Fragata, Playa de la Ribera, and Playa de San Sebastian.

In addition to its beaches, Sitges is also one of the best places to visit for outdoor activities. The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside, making it perfect for hiking and cycling. There are also several golf courses in the area, as well as opportunities for horseback riding and water sports.

Cultural Attractions in Sitges

Sitges has a rich cultural heritage and is home to several museums and historic sites. One of the most popular attractions is the Cau Ferrat Museum, which was once the home of the artist Santiago Rusiñol. The museum houses a collection of modernist art and is a must-visit for art lovers.

Another popular attraction is the Sitges Film Festival, which takes place every October. The festival is one of the most important film events in Spain and attracts filmmakers and movie buffs from around the world.

Finally, no visit to Sitges would be complete without trying xató, a traditional Catalan dish made with endive, cod, and a special sauce. The town is also known for its cava, a sparkling wine that is produced in the region.

3. Tossa De Mar

Tossa De Mar along the Coasta Brava

Tossa De Mar is a beautiful coastal town located on the Costa Brava, just about 100 kilometers northeast of Barcelona. It is a perfect destination for a beach day trip from Barcelona, and is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and the well-preserved medieval castle.

When visiting Tossa De Mar, one of the must-visit places is the castle, which was built in the 12th century. It is located on a hill overlooking the town and the sea, and offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Costa Brava. The castle is well-preserved and visitors can explore the various sections of the castle, including the tower, the walls, and the courtyard.

Another highlight of Tossa De Mar is its beaches. The town has several beaches, including the main beach, Platja Gran, which is located just below the castle. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the beautiful views of the sea. There are also several other beaches in the town, including Platja Mar Menuda, which is a smaller and quieter beach, and Cala Bona, which is a secluded cove that can be reached by hiking along the coast.

How To Get To Tossa De Mar From Barcelona

There are several ways to get to Tossa De Mar from Barcelona. When you plan your trip, one of the easiest ways is to take a day trip with a tour operator. There are several tour operators in Barcelona that offer full day tours to Tossa De Mar, and these tours usually include transport from Barcelona city, a guide, and some free time to explore the town.

Another option is to take public transport. There are several buses that run between Barcelona and Tossa De Mar, and the journey takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. The buses are comfortable and affordable, and they offer some beautiful views of the countryside along the way.

For those who prefer to drive, Tossa De Mar can be reached by car in about 1.5 hours from Barcelona. The drive is scenic and offers some amazing views of the coastline. However, it is important to note that parking in Tossa De Mar can be challenging, especially during the peak tourist season.

4. Montserrat

Montserrat monastery near Barcelona in Spain

Montserrat is a beautiful mountain range located in the Catalonia region of Spain, just a short distance from Barcelona. It is one of the best Barcelona day trips, and for good reason. The breathtaking views from the Montserrat monastery and the surrounding nature make for an unforgettable experience.

How To Get To Montserrat From Barcelona

Getting to Montserrat from Barcelona is relatively easy and there are several options available.

One of the most popular ways to visit Montserrat is to take the train from Barcelona. You can take the R5 line from Plaça d'Espanya station who runs frequently from Barcelona Sants station to Montserrat-Aeri station. From there, you can take the cable car up to the monastery or hike up to enjoy the stunning scenery.

One of the easiest day trip options is to take a bus from Barcelona to Montserrat. This is a convenient option as there are several bus companies that offer regular services to Montserrat from Barcelona.

If you prefer a more private and personalized experience, you can also consider booking a guided tour to Montserrat from Barcelona. This will ensure that you have a knowledgeable guide to show you around and provide you with interesting information about the history and culture of the area.

Once you arrive at Montserrat, there are several activities to enjoy. You can take the cable car up to the monastery for the best views of the surrounding mountains and countryside. Alternatively, you can hike up to Sant Jeroni, the highest peak in Montserrat, for even more breathtaking views.

The Montserrat monastery is another must-see attraction. It is a Benedictine abbey that dates back to the 11th century and is home to the famous Black Madonna statue. The monastery also has a museum where you can learn more about the history of the area.

5. Figueres

Figueres spain

Figueres is a charming town located in the Catalonia region of Spain, famous for being the birthplace of the renowned surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. It is a popular full day trip destination from Barcelona due to its close proximity and the many interesting things to see and do.

How To Get To Figueres From Barcelona

The easiest way to get to Figueres from Barcelona is by taking a train. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and trains run frequently throughout the day from Barcelona. The train station in Figueres is located within walking distance of the town center and the Dalí Theatre-Museum.

Another option is to take a guided tour from Barcelona, which often includes transportation and a visit to the Dalí Theatre-Museum. This is a great option for those who want a hassle-free experience and the chance to learn more about the history and culture of the region.

Once in Figueres, visitors can explore the many attractions the town has to offer, including the Dalí Theatre-Museum, which houses a vast collection of the artist's work and is considered one of the most important museums in Spain. Other popular attractions include the Sant Ferran Castle, a massive fortress that was once used as a military barracks, and the Church of Saint Peter, a beautiful Gothic-style church that dates back to the 14th century.

In addition to its cultural and historical attractions, Figueres is also known for its picturesque views and charming streets, making it a great place to wander and explore. You can also sample the local cuisine, which includes traditional Catalan dishes such as paella and seafood.

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6. Tarragona

Tarragona

Tarragona is a beautiful city located on the Mediterranean coast, about 100 km southwest of Barcelona. It is a perfect destination for a fantastic day trip from Barcelona, especially for those interested in Roman history and architecture. Tarragona was the capital of the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis and has many well-preserved Roman ruins that are definitely worth visiting.

How To Get To Tarragona From Barcelona

There are several ways to get to Tarragona from Barcelona, including by train, bus, or car. The most convenient and fastest option is by train, which takes about an hour and costs around €10-15 each way. The train station in Tarragona is located in the city center, making it easy to explore the city on foot.

If you prefer to drive, it takes about an hour to get to Tarragona from Barcelona, depending on traffic. There are several car rental companies in Barcelona, and you can rent a car for a fun day trip to Tarragona. However, keep in mind that parking in Tarragona can be challenging, especially in the city center.

Roman Ruins and Cathedral in Tarragona

Tarragona has many well-preserved Roman ruins that are worth visiting, including the Amfiteatre Romà, which was built in the 2nd century AD and could seat up to 15,000 people. The Roman circus, which was used for chariot races, is also worth visiting. The Roman walls, which date back to the 2nd century AD, are another impressive site.

In addition to the Roman ruins, Tarragona also has a beautiful cathedral that dates back to the 12th century. The Cathedral of Tarragona is a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles and has many beautiful features, including stained glass windows and a cloister.

Tarragona Archaeology and More

Tarragona is also home to several museums, including the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona, which has a large collection of Roman artifacts. The Museum of Modern Art is also worth a visit, as it has a collection of contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries.

In addition to the historical and cultural sites, Tarragona also has a beautiful waterfront area with many restaurants and shops. You can also take a stroll along the Rambla Nova, a tree-lined boulevard that runs through the city center.

7. Montblanc

MontBlanc-Spain

Montblanc is a beautiful medieval town located in the province of Tarragona, about 130 km from Barcelona. It is a perfect day trip destination for those who love history, architecture, and culture. The town is situated on the Cistercian Route, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is surrounded by a wall that has been well-preserved, making it an ideal destination for history buffs.

The town of Montblanc is known for its Gothic and Romanesque architecture. The town has several attractions worth visiting, including the Church of Santa Maria, the Palace of the Kings of Aragon, and the Convent of Sant Francesc. The town also has several museums, including the Museum of Montblanc and the Museum of Rural Life.

How To Get To Montblanc From Barcelona

The easiest way to get to Montblanc from Barcelona is by car. The journey takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes. You can rent a car in Barcelona or take a taxi to Montblanc. If you don't want to drive, you can take a train from Barcelona to Tarragona and then take a bus to Montblanc. The journey takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

If you are looking for a beautiful day trip destination from Barcelona, Montblanc is a perfect choice. The town has a rich history and culture, and it is surrounded by beautiful mountains and nature.

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8. Andorra

Andorra

Andorra, a small country nestled in the Pyrenees mountains, is a popular day trip destination from Barcelona. The country is known for its stunning natural scenery, skiing opportunities, and tax-free shopping.

How To Get To Andorra From Barcelona

There are several ways to get to Andorra from Barcelona, including by car, bus, or tour.

If you have a car, it is about a 3-hour drive from Barcelona to Andorra. The route takes you through the Catalan Pyrenees and offers some stunning views along the way.

Alternatively, you can take a bus from Barcelona to Andorra. The journey takes about 3 hours and there are several bus companies that operate this route.

If you prefer a more organized tour, there are several tour operators that offer day trips from Barcelona to Andorra. These tours usually include transportation, a guide, and some free time to explore the country on your own.

Once you arrive in Andorra, there are plenty of things to see and do. The country is known for its skiing opportunities, with several ski resorts located in the area. If skiing is not your thing, there are plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking and mountain biking.

In addition to its natural beauty, Andorra is also known for its tax-free shopping. The country has a number of shopping centers and boutiques where you can find everything from fashion to electronics at a lower price than in Spain.

9. Cadaques

Cadaques coastal town in Spain

Cadaques is a charming seaside town located in the Costa Brava region of Spain. It is known for its picturesque views of the sea, beautiful beaches, and its association with the famous artist Salvador Dali. As a day trip from Barcelona, Cadaques is a great destination near Barcelona for those looking for a relaxing day by the sea, exploring the town's art scene, and enjoying some delicious seafood.

How To Get To Cadaques From Barcelona

There are several ways to get to Cadaques from Barcelona city centre. The most popular way is by taking a car or bus. The journey takes around 2.5 hours, and the route is scenic, passing through beautiful coastal towns and villages. If you prefer not to drive, there are also several organized tours that offer day trips to Cadaques from Barcelona.

Once you arrive in Cadaques, the best way to explore the town is on foot. The town is relatively small, and most of the attractions are within walking distance. You can also rent a bike or take a boat tour to explore the town and its surroundings.

Cadaques is known for its beautiful beaches, such as Platja de Portlligat and Platja de Sa Conca, which are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The town is also home to several art galleries and museums, including the Salvador Dali House-Museum, which is a must-visit for art lovers.

In terms of food, Cadaques is famous for its seafood. There are several of the world's best restaurants in town that serve fresh seafood, such as El Barroco and Compartir. You can also enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail at one of the many bars and cafes in town, such as Cafe de la Mar and El Pescador.

10. Colonia Guell

Colonia Guell

As a day trip destination from Barcelona, Colonia Guell is an enchanting Catalan town that boasts a rich history and an architectural marvel designed by none other than the legendary Antoni Gaudí. The town was built in the late 19th century by Eusebi Güell, a wealthy industrialist and philanthropist who had bought the land to put his factory. Since he had a strong sense of social responsibility for his workers, he decided to build them a community to live and work in.

The highlight of Colonia Guell is undoubtedly the Gaudí Crypt, which is one of the most impressive examples of Gaudí's early work. The crypt was commissioned by Eusebi Güell as a chapel for the workers of the town, but it was never fully completed. Nevertheless, the crypt is a masterpiece of architectural design and a testament to Gaudí's genius.

How To Get To Colonia Guell From Barcelona

Colonia Guell is located about 20 kilometers southwest of Barcelona city, and it is easily accessible by public transport. The most convenient way to get there from Barcelona is by taking a train ride from Barcelona to Colonia Guell station, which is just a short walk away from the town center.

Alternatively, you can also take the bus from Barcelona to Colonia Guell, which is operated by the company Sagalés. The bus departs from Plaça Espanya in Barcelona and takes about 40 minutes to reach Colonia Guell.

Once you arrive in Colonia Guell, you can explore the town on foot and visit the Gaudí Crypt, which is open to the public. The crypt is located on a hill overlooking the town, and it offers fantastic views of the surrounding landscape.

Contact:

Address: Av. Bulevar Príncipe Alfonso de Hohenlohe, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain

Phone: +34 951 55 26 88

Best Flights To Barcelona

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Barcelona. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Barcelona.

FAQ

Q: What are the best day trips from Barcelona by train?

A: Barcelona is a great starting point for exploring the surrounding areas by train. Some of the best Barcelona day trips by train include Montserrat, Girona, and Tarragona. Montserrat is a popular destination for its stunning mountain views and the famous Montserrat Monastery. Girona is a charming medieval city with a rich history, while Tarragona is known for its Roman ruins and beautiful beaches.

Q: What are some recommended things to do outside of Barcelona?

A: There are many things to do outside of central Barcelona. You can explore the beautiful Costa Brava coastline, visit the charming town of Sitges, or go hiking in the stunning Pyrenees Mountains. You can also visit the famous wine regions of Penedès and Priorat, or explore the historic city of Girona during your time in Spain.

Q: Is a Costa Brava day trip from Barcelona worth it?

A: Yes, a Costa Brava day trip from Barcelona is definitely worth it. The Costa Brava coastline is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and beautiful scenery. You can visit charming coastal towns like Calella de Palafrugell and Begur, or explore the rugged cliffs and hidden coves of Cap de Creus Natural Park.

Q: What are some highly rated Barcelona day tours?

A: There are many highly rated Barcelona day tours to choose from. Some popular options include a Gaudi tour, a Gothic Quarter tour, and a tapas and wine tour. You can also take a day trip to Montserrat or Girona, or explore the famous Costa Brava coastline.

Q: What are some day trips from Barcelona to France that are worth considering?

A: If you're looking to explore France from Barcelona, there are several day trips worth considering. You can visit the charming town of Collioure, known for its colorful houses and stunning coastal views. You can also explore the historic city of Perpignan, or visit the famous Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres.

Recommended Hotels In Barcelona

Mercer Deluxe Hotel in Barcelona

Mercer Hotel Barcelona

Mercer Hotel Barcelona is in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, within a 10 minute walk of Las Ramblas. This boutique hotel is in one of the city’s ancient buildings, next to the Roman walls.

Serras Luxury Hotel

Serras Hotel 

In an ideal location right opposite the sea in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, Serras Barcelona is a 5-star hotel with a rooftop infinity pool and free WiFi access is available.

Casa Camper Barcelona

Casa Camper Barcelona

The stylish Casa Camper Barcelona boutique hotel is in central Barcelona, between Las Ramblas and the MACBA art gallery. Each room has a separate lounge, and there's a free 24-hour buffet.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO BARCELONA

Book Your Hotel In Barcelona

You can book your hotel in Barcelona with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like guesthouses, apartments and hostels.

Book Your Flight To Barcelona

Use Skyscanner to find your flights to Barcelona. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the world so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Car Rental In Barcelona?

Here is a budget-friendly rental car resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best car rentals in Barcelona here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Barcelona?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Barcelona, here you will find all the answers to book your next private Barcelona airport transfer.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never visit Barcelona without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel to Barcelona. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Barcelona:

Be sure to visit our Barcelona Travel Guide for even more travel tips.