Now that you’ve spent your fair share of time wandering among Barcelona’s streets, admiring iconic Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and Modernist buildings, exploring the captivating Gothic Quarter, and tasting delicious local cuisine… It’s time for a trip! You see, Barcelona isn’t only a great city break or holiday destination, but it’s also a great starting point for discovering Catalonia and experiencing Catalan life beyond the metropolis. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, beautiful landscapes, historic towns or sleepy villages, or just scenic sandy beaches – this area offers it all. Vamos, let us show you the best day trips from Barcelona, Spain.
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Transport on day trips from Barcelona
The best and fastest way of getting to all the soon-mentioned places is definitely by car, either yours or rented. If you don’t travel with your own car, you can easily rent the best one for your needs through the Rental Cars website.
Most of the places are also accessible by public transport, by trains or buses. You can search for the connections that might interest you on the rome2rio or Omio website. For the best train ticket deals visit Trainline.
If you don’t want to put too much effort into planning, you can always take advantage of the guided tours and let someone else take care of all the details. For a wide selection and well-reviewed tour options be sure to visit GetYourGuide or Viator.
Note. In this post, we’ll only mention places that are only max 1.5 hours away from Barcelona, if you’ll be driving by car. Keep in mind that using other means of transport may take longer.
Best day trips from Barcelona, Spain
Girona is located about 100km from Barcelona. It’s one of the most enchanting cities in Catalonia. There you’ll find one of the best preserved Jewish Quarter in the world, medieval walls with great views over the city and its surroundings, colorful houses hanging by the river, and an old town full of winding streets and historic landmarks. Oh! And many filming locations of Game of Thrones that fans of the series will love. Girona is without a doubt one of the best day trips from Barcelona, perfect for a picturesque and quiet getaway.
Sitges is located about 40km from Barcelona. If you’re looking for a place with scenic beaches (including nudist ones!), a quaint old town perfect to wander aimlessly, a relaxed vibe, lively festivals, or wild all-night-long parties – it will be a great choice for you. No matter if you’re a party-seeker or just looking for a picturesque day trip from Barcelona – this city should satisfy all your interests and needs. Also, Sitges is one of the most liberal and open-minded cities in the world with an amazing LGBT-friendly atmosphere.
Learn more: 10+ Best Things To Do In Sitges, Spain
Figueres is located about 130km from Barcelona. The town itself might not be the most beautiful or exciting destination in Catalonia but thanks to the mind-blowing Dali Theatre-Museum, a place where you can immerse into the enigmatic mind of the greatest Surrealist artist, it’s definitely worth a visit. Besides the museum, in Figueres you’ll find the largest fortress in Europe, a fascinating Toy Museum, and delightful old town streets full of Modernist architecture and cozy restaurants. Especially art lovers and Dali fans will be in heaven but we’re sure that every traveler will find something perfect for themself in town.
Learn more: 10 Things To Do In Figueres, Spain In One Day
Tarragona is located about 100km from Barcelona. It’s a history buff haven, a place where history comes to life at its best and surrounds you wherever you go. Numerous Roman ruins and archeological sites, ravishing medieval old town, gripping festivals featuring human towers, and stunning beaches… Tarragona has it all and even more, and definitely will keep every traveler entertained. It’s a perfect destination for a day trip from Barcelona for history lovers and those who just want to escape hordes of tourists.
Learn more: 15+ Best Things To Do In Tarragona, Spain
Montserrat is located about 60km from Barcelona. It’s the most important mountain range in Catalonia which has been a popular pilgrimage site for centuries. It’s home to a Benedictine Monastery that hosts the ancient wooden statue of the Virgin of Montserrat – La Moreneta, which apparently grants wishes to those who touch or kiss her orb. But don’t worry if you’re not a religious person! Montserrat offers unforgettable experiences for everyone. Besides spiritual moments, there you can find peaceful moments, fresh mountain air, great climbing and hiking routes with striking views, mesmerizing music, and tasty food.
Learn more: One Day Trip To Montserrat, Spain Near Barcelona
Reus is located about 110km from Barcelona. This inconspicuous town, which by the way is also Antoni Gaudi’s birthplace, is a real heaven for modernist architecture lovers. If you’re one of them, prepare your jaw as it will drop not only once or twice… Reus is a town full of gorgeous architecture, history, and cozy streets perfect for lazy strolls. We’re sure that not only history or architecture buffs will love it and many will be surprised by its beauty and charm (we were!). Oh, and it’s also the best place to taste vermouth, an aromatized, fortified wine flavored with various herbs. So if you’re looking for unique day trips from Barcelona, you definitely should direct your steps to Reus.
Cambrils is located about 115km from Barcelona. If you’re looking for a small town with a chilled vibe without huge crowds, amazing beaches, and breathtaking views – this one will be a perfect choice for you. What’s more, if you’re a food lover you’ll find yourself in heaven too, as Cambrils is considered the gastronomy capital of Costa Dorada! Mmm, yummy! During summer months it’s a popular holiday spot which can also be a great beach day trip from Barcelona for you. You can combine your trip to Cambrils with Salou, which is located only 10km away.
Learn more: 10+ Best Things To Do in Cambrils, Spain
Salou & PortAventura Park
Salou is located about 105km from Barcelona. The town is best known for being one of the most popular holiday resorts on Costa Dorada which offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement. There you’ll find nice views, sandy beaches, exciting attractions, and lively nightlife. But many visit Salou only to feel some thrill and adrenaline rush in PortAventura World – a world-renowned theme park featuring a diverse array of attractions from heart-pounding roller coasters to captivating live shows. What will be your reason to visit Salou?
Learn more: 10+ Best Things To Do In Salou, Spain
Penedes Wine Region
Penedes is a Spanish protected designation of origin (PDO) for wines in Catalonia. Its capital, Vilafranca del Penedes, is located about 55km from Barcelona. Penedes wine region is considered one of the country’s best wine-producing areas and one of the most ancient viticultural regions in Europe. It’s best known for Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine similar to French Champagne. There you can visit as many wineries as you wish and take part in cellar tours and wine tasting. You also can follow Penedes Wine Route! This proposition for a day trip from Barcelona is a real treat for wine lovers!
Other great day trips from Barcelona
Do you still need more ideas for a day trips from Barcelona? We got you! Here are some we had on our bucket list but during our last stay we just didn’t have more time for it. But we definitely will visit next time!
Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar is located about 100km from Barcelona. It’s a medieval coastal town that will transport you back in time hundreds of years. Tossa’s historic part is enclosed within medieval walls and filled with narrow cobblestone streets, old buildings, and ancient watchtowers. From there you can also admire breathtaking panoramic views over the sea and town surroundings. In addition to its historical charm, Tossa de Mar boasts beautiful golden sand beaches perfect for relaxing and sunbathing. Doesn’t it look like a perfect day trip from Barcelona?
Vic is located about 70km from Barcelona. This town is best known for being home to one of Catalonia’s largest and most beautiful central squares – Plaça Major, which is surrounded on all sides by historical buildings. While wandering among Vic’s old town streets be sure to visit the Roman temple of Vic that was built between the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D! Vic is also famous throughout Spain for its delicious cured meat, so don’t miss tasting it in one of the town’s restaurants.
Montblanc is located about 110km from Barcelona. It’s yet another charming Catalan medieval town, enclosed by well-preserved walls. Inside you’ll find many charming cobblestone streets and squares filled with historic buildings, like Gothic Church of Saint Mary, Church of Sant Miquel, or Montblanc Castle. On the top, fantastic panoramic views are waiting! Montblanc is a perfect destination to escape Barcelona crowds, and spend some time in a peaceful and picturesque place.
Begur is located about 130km from Barcelona. It’s a coastal medieval village full of history and natural seaside beauty. Take a lazy walk among its charming narrow streets and squares and admire stone medieval architecture. Begur is dominated by the remains of the 16th-century castle, perched on a high hill, from which you can admire panoramic views over the village and its surroundings. So be sure to direct your steps there too! There you’ll also find Indiano houses – houses that were built by returning emigrants who made fortunes in Cuba. The village also offers lovely beaches perfect for sunbathing during warm months.
Cardona is located about 90km from Barcelona. It’s a medieval town dominated by a stunning 9th-century medieval fortress, Castell de Cardona, from which you can admire magnificent views over the surrounding countryside. Cardona old town is a labyrinth of streets and squares perfect for wandering and admiring ancient buildings like the Gothic church of Sant Miquel. The town is also home to the fascinating Salt Mountain Cultural Park, a former salt mine.
Calella de Palafrugell
Calella de Palafrugell is located about 120km from Barcelona. If you’re looking for a super charming and tranquil coastal town with amazing beaches – Calella is the place you’re looking for. Once it was home to Catalan artists and intellectuals, and now is a picturesque maze of whitewashed houses with flower-filled balconies, winding coastal paths, botanical gardens, golden sand beaches, and hidden coves. Not without a reason Calella is considered one of the most beautiful coastal villages in Spain! It’s a perfect place in Catalonia if you want to get a taste of a typical Andalusian white village.
Best day trips from Barcelona, Spain – Summing up
There are so many beautiful places to discover near Barcelona, right? Charming historic towns, medieval villages, natural sites… If you’re staying longer in the city you definitely won’t be bored. We hope this post was helpful, and now you’re one step closer to choosing your best day trips from Barcelona.
Enjoy the time during your trips and share your experience in the comments. We’re curious about which towns and natural sites you chose. Oh, and if you know about some gem near Barcelona that we haven’t covered yet, let us know as well!
Our opinion about day trips from Barcelona & TOP3
So far we’ve spent 2 months in Catalonia, living right next to Barcelona. Even if the area didn’t make it to our favorite regions in Spain (Andalusia and Asturias are still our favorites!), we enjoyed our time there. During that time we had a great opportunity to visit quite a large part of this region and got to know it pretty well. We really liked our trips during which we explored the mentioned villages, towns, cities, and natural sites. We stayed there during May and June, and thankfully there were still no wild crowds and we explored most of the places in peace.
So what are our TOP3 places for trips from Barcelona? Girona is our unquestionable number one. Next are Sitges, and Tarragona.