Discovering Catalonia: 5 Top Day Trips from Barcelona

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day trips from Barcelona

Barcelona is a city filled to the brim with things to do.

But if you’re itching to get outside of the 2nd largest city in Spain, you might want to look at planning some day trips!

Just outside of bustling Barcelona are a whole host of cities and towns waiting to be explored.

So what are you waiting for?

These five day trips from Barcelona will show you the magic of Catalonia – all a simple train ride away!

1.  Montserrat

The top of our Barcelona day trips list starts at the top of a mountain: Montserrat.

Montserrat is a stunning monastery located about one hour from Barcelona by train.

You’ll take the Barcelona España rail station to reach Montserrat.

Once you’ve reached the foot of the mountain, there are two options to reach the top.

You can take either the Cremallera Funicular (Cremallera de Montserrat) or take a cable car (Aeri de Montserrat)  to reach the top of the mountain.

Once you’ve reached the peak of the mountain, explore the Monastery or simply soak in the view.

This multi-peak mountain range is known for its jagged peaks, making for spectacular views from the top!

Entrance into the Monastery itself is free, but if you wish to peruse the museum at Montserrat, you can expect to pay an €8.00 entrance fee.

2.  Costa Brava

From the mountains to the sea, we’re headed to Costa Brava!

This stretch of Catalan coastline is filled with rocky coves and mountain landscapes.

Costa Brava does translate to rugged coast, after all.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply want to enjoy crystal-clear beaches, Costa Brava is a must-visit when planning out a list of Catalonia excursions.

The weather in Costa Brava ranges from mild to hot, with very little rainfall all year.

The beautiful weather makes Costa Brava a popular summer holiday destination.

If you want to avoid the crowds, be sure to plan your trip accordingly!

However, no matter the time of year, this destination is ideal for water sports such as kayaking, diving, and snorkeling.

Hiking enthusiasts may also enjoy the Camí de Ronda trail which offers gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and sea.

If hiking or kayaking aren’t really your thing, there are plenty of picturesque, historic villages to explore.

For example, stroll over to Tossa de Mar which is known for its medieval old town, or visit Castell de Begur which houses the remains of a 16th century castle!

barcelona day trips

3.  Girona

One of the most beautiful cities in Catalonia is the city of Girona, which makes it an easy pick for a spot on our list of day trips from Barcelona.

You can easily combine Costa Brava and Girona into one day as Girona is the capital of Costa Brava!

The city holds ancient Roman roots with a diverse set of cultural influences making it an excellent location to get your fill of history.

Girona is also known for being the backdrop to a popular TV series! (Game of Thrones anyone?)

Explore the Jewish Quarter in the center of the city which houses hidden patios, courtyards, and a maze of streets before heading over to the Bonastruc ça Porta Centre.

This center houses a museum that explores the history of Jewish communities in the area.

After exploring the important El Call neighborhood, why not wander over to the Arab Baths (Banys Àrabs)?

Built in the 12th century, this historic site provides a look back in time to the practices of medieval Girona.

Located north of Barcelona, a train ride from Barcelona to Girona will take less than an hour each way.

Located in the heart of Costa Brava, Girona is a must-see when looking for things to do near Barcelona.

4.  Sant Sadurní d’Anoia

If you’re looking for something more on the gastronomic side of things, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia might just be the perfect trip for you.

Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is a popular wine-tasting destination located just under an hour’s ride from Barcelona.

This is a location that could easily be paired with a trip to Montserrat!

In fact, one of the Catalonia day tours begins with a tour of Montserrat before ending with a guided afternoon of cava tasting.

Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is an excellent location for wine and food lovers alike. It’s especially known for it’s production of cava, Spain’s version of Champagne.

The town hosts a variety of festivals such as Cava Week in October and a variety of traditional feasts all summer long.

Not to mention, the entire month of May is dedicated to all of the delicious dishes made local to the area.

Enjoy culinary specialties throughout the city or take a wine tasting trip any time of year in this beautiful municipality!

5.  Figueres

We’d be remiss not to include the town of Figueres on our list of day trips from Barcelona.

Home to one of Catalonia’s most famous artists, Figueres is the birthplace of Salvador Dalí.

This location is a little bit of a 180 from the ancient vistas of Girona or Montserrat.

Home to plenty of stunning Modernista architecture and the Teatre-Museu Dalí, Figueres is a surreal stop on our list of Catalonia excursions.

The Teatre-Museu Dalí is perhaps one of Figueres’ most well-known attractions.

It is well worth it to visit this surrealistic museum where Dalí’s eccentric creativity is front and center.

The museum is composed of two areas: an old theater and a complex of rooms.

During the museum tour, you’ll be able to take in exhibits over the course of 24 different rooms.

Tickets to the museum will cost about €14.00.

If you’re still on the hunt for historic locations, you can still get your fill of castles as Figueres is home to the historic 18th century Sant Ferran castle!

Located on the top of a hill, this military fortress spans a complex walk of over 3 kilometers.

The train from Barcelona to Figueres is just under an hour and costs about €12.00.

day trips near Barcelona

Other Hidden Gems Near Barcelona

Still looking for other exciting excursions or day trips from Barcelona?

Sitges, Tarragona, and Castelldefels are all excellent spots if you’re hoping to get some additional beach time in.

Heading slightly more inland, Vic and Colònia Güell are both a couple of remarkable historic sights worth a trip out of town.

If you’re traveling with kids, PortAventura Park is home to one of the largest theme parks in Spain!

Ready to Take Your Own Day Trips from Barcelona?

Ready to get out of Barcelona for a day and explore all that the surrounding area has to offer?

Check off one or two of these locations from your list and explore the magic of Catalonia.

We hope to hear which of these day trips near Barcelona is at the top of your list.

Already visited them all?

Let us know in the comments which one was your favorite and what’s next on your list!

What are the best day trips near Barcelona?

There are a wide variety of locations near Barcelona that are worth a visit! It simply depends on your preferences. If you’re hoping to get more time at the beach, Costa Brava might be perfect for you. Looking for the perfect day of wine tasting? Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is an excellent choice.

What’s the easiest way to get out of Barcelona?

For many, taking the train is an easy and affordable way to explore the variety of day trips available. Trains run frequently every few minutes from the two main stations: Estació de Sants and Estació de França.

Should I double up on my trips outside of Barcelona?

Yes! A great way to see more of the region is to plan a couple of locations in one day. For example, you can see the top of Montserrat and enjoy a good meal in Sadurní d’Anoia all in one day. Trains and buses make it easy to travel between locations.

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