Barcelona is an incredible city with a vibrant culture, beautiful architecture, and plenty of things to do. However, if you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, you should also consider taking day trips to nearby towns and cities to get a taste of Catalan culture beyond the big city. Luckily, there are many great day trips from Barcelona by public transport that will allow you to explore the beauty and history of Catalonia. Here are 7-day trips that you should consider taking during your stay in Barcelona:
Located about an hour’s drive from Barcelona, Montserrat is a stunning mountainous area that is home to a famous monastery. The views are breathtaking, and the monastery is a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists. You can take a train from Plaça d’Espanya station to the Montserrat station, and then a cable car or funicular to the top. The monastery is home to the Black Madonna, one of the most revered figures in Catalonia. You can explore the grounds, visit the museum, and attend a performance by the Escolania de Montserrat, one of the oldest boys’ choirs in Europe.
Tip: Get to the monastery early to beat the crowds and enjoy the views in peace.
Girona is a historic city with a well-preserved Jewish quarter, medieval walls, and a beautiful cathedral. It’s also home to one of the best-preserved Arab baths in Europe. You can take a train from Barcelona-Sants station to Girona station and explore the narrow streets of the old town. Visit the cathedral, one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Europe, and admire its massive nave and the Romanesque cloister. Then, visit the Arab baths, a stunning 12th-century building with a cold water room, a warm water room, and a hot water room.
Tip: Walk along the medieval walls for panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Tarragona is a coastal city with a rich Roman history, including well-preserved Roman ruins like an amphitheater and a circus. The city also has a beautiful beach and a charming old town. You can take a train from Barcelona-Sants station to Tarragona station and explore the Roman ruins, visit the cathedral, or spend the day at the beach. The Roman amphitheater is one of the highlights of the city, with its well-preserved structure and its impressive size. You can also visit the Roman circus, which was used for chariot racing.
Tip: Visit the Balcó del Mediterrani, a balcony that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and offers incredible views of the coast and the city.
Sitges is a beautiful coastal town known for its beaches, colorful architecture, and vibrant nightlife. It’s a great place to spend a relaxing day by the sea. You can take a train from Barcelona-Sants station to Sitges station and enjoy the beautiful beaches, stroll along the seafront promenade, or explore the old town with its narrow streets and picturesque squares. Sitges is also known for its museums and art galleries, including the Cau Ferrat Museum, which was the home and studio of the artist Santiago Rusiñol.
Tip: Try the local dish “xató,” a salad made with cod, tuna, and a special sauce made from almonds, garlic, and red peppers.
5. Costa Brava
Costa Brava is a stunning coastline with beautiful beaches, coves, and crystal-clear waters. It’s a great place for hiking, snorkeling, or just relaxing by the sea. You can take a train from Barcelona-Sants station to Blanes station, and then explore the coastal towns by bus or on foot. Some of the must-visit destinations along the Costa Brava include Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, and Cadaqués. Lloret de Mar is known for its lively atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and historic castle. Tossa de Mar is a charming medieval town with a stunning beach and a well-preserved old town. Cadaqués is a picturesque village with white-washed houses, a beautiful church, and a small beach.
Tip: Bring comfortable shoes for hiking and exploring the rocky coastline.
Vic is a charming town with a rich history and beautiful architecture. It’s known for its medieval quarter, the Plaça Major, and the market square, which hosts a lively market every Tuesday and Saturday. You can take a train from Barcelona-Sants station to Vic station and explore the town on foot. Visit the cathedral, a stunning Gothic building with a beautiful altarpiece, and the Episcopal Museum, which houses a collection of medieval art and artifacts. The Plaça Major is the heart of the town, with its beautiful arcades and picturesque fountains.
Tip: Try the local sausage, “fuet,” and the “coca de vidre,” a sweet pastry with a crunchy texture.
Figueres is a small town that is famous for being the birthplace of Salvador Dalí, one of the most important artists of the 20th century. The town is home to the Dalí Theatre-Museum, a surrealistic museum designed by Dalí himself. You can take a train from Barcelona-Sants station to Figueres-Vilafant station and then walk to the museum. The museum is a must-visit destination for art lovers, with its fascinating exhibits, sculptures, and paintings.
Tip: Buy your tickets online in advance to avoid long queues at the museum.
There are many great day trips from Barcelona by public transport that will allow you to explore the beauty and history of Catalonia. Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, or just relaxing by the sea, there’s a day trip that will suit your preferences. With these tips, you’ll be able to make the most of your day trips and experience the best of Catalonia beyond Barcelona. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore!
One important point to mention is to always check the schedules and frequencies of public transportation before planning your day trips. Some destinations may have limited train or bus services, especially on weekends or public holidays. It’s also a good idea to buy your tickets in advance, either online or at the train or bus stations, to avoid long queues and ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. Additionally, make sure to bring comfortable shoes, a water bottle, and sunscreen, especially for destinations that involve hiking or outdoor activities. Finally, respect the local culture and environment by following the rules and regulations, such as not leaving trash in natural areas and being respectful to local residents and businesses. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy your day trips from Barcelona to the fullest and make unforgettable memories.