11 best day trips from Barcelona (& how to get there)

11 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM BARCELONA (& HOW TO GET THERE)

Barcelona is the second largest and probably most famous and touristic city in all of Spain. You can easily spend days to explore this Gaudi filled, beautiful place. However, there is much more to discover in the region of Barcelona. That is why we put together a list with the 11 best day trips form Barcelona (& how to get there)!

Girona

Girona is a beautiful city north of Barcelona. The city is known for its hanging houses and bridges over the Onyar River. But many will know the city because it was used as a film location for Game of Thrones! The old town is on top of a hill and has a medieval atmosphere with narrow streets. Places to visit in Girona are La Catedral de Santa Maria, Passeig de la Muralla, the Jewish quarter El Call, Monastery Sant Pere de Galligants and the Game of Thrones film locations.

How to get there: From Barcelona to Girona is a 1 hour and 15-minute drive. It will take you 1,5 hours if you go by train from Barcelona Sants to Girona or 38 minutes with the AVE train.

Tarragona

Tarragona is a port city and a student city. The city is situated on a hill of 160 metres, which offers a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea in several places. The old centre, with several UNESCO world heritage monuments, consists of narrow streets and many restaurants and bars. Fun places to visit are the Amphitheatre, Rambla Nova and Mediterranean balcony, the Cathedral, Pont del Diable, Casco Antiguo and Plaça de la Font, Plaça dels Sedassos and El Serallo.

How to get there: If you go by car, it is a 1 hour and 15-minute drive. It will take you 1 hour and 10 minutes by train from Barcelona Sants to Tarragona.

Montserrat

Montserrat is a striking and beautiful rock formation of 1236 metres in height. This is one of the highest mountains you will find near Barcelona. Montserrat is also known for its monastery, which is located at the foot of the mountain. You can see the Black Madonna there, attend a performance by the famous boys’ choir and visit the Museum of Montserrat. All-in tickets for Montserrat cost €52.90 and allow you to go anywhere in Montserrat for the entire day (including the Funicular de Sant Joan which takes you up the mountain).

 How to get there: Unfortunately, Montserrat is not reachable by public transportation. Driving there will take you just under 1 hour.

Zaragoza

Zaragoza is the 4th largest city in Spain. The city is located at the Ebro River, in a valley of a landscape with mountains of the Pyrenees, deserts, wine regions and forests in the north of Spain. Zaragoza is not necessarily a very famous city for tourists, but it is definitely worth a visit! You will find many nice shops, charming restaurants and old Roman monuments. Sights to see are Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora de El Pilar, Palacio de la Aljafería, the neighbourhood El Tubo, Plaza del Pilar, La Lonja and Catedral del Salvador.

 How to get there: The AVE will take you from Barcelona Sants to Zaragoza-Delicias in 1 hour and 40 minutes. Driving there will take you more than 3 hours, so taking the train would be the better option here.

Sitges

Sitges is a nice and well-known seaside village. Along the long boulevard with nice tapas restaurants and charming bars, you will find the large beach. Especially since Barcelona only has a very small beach, Sitges is a wonderful day trip to relax and recover from the bustle of the city. You should also visit the Casc Antic, full of clothing shops and cute boutiques, Museu Maricel, Racó de la Calma, Port d’Aiguadolç and for the Bacardi lovers, a visit to the Casa Bacardi Museum is not to be missed.

How to get there: If you go by car, it will be a 45-minute drive. It will take you only 35 minutes by train from Barcelona Sants to Sitges.

Colònia Güell

Barcelona and architect Antoni Gaudí are inextricably linked and the Sagrada Família is the best example of this, but outside the city there is also a religious work by Gaudí to be admired: the Crypt of Colònia Güell. According to some, the crypt is even Gaudí’s best kept treasure. The crypt is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Entrance prices are between €7.50 and €9.50.

How to get there: The drive is only 25 minutes by car. You will spend 45 minutes on the metro. Take the metro from Pl. Catalunya to Pl. Espanya, there take the metro to Moli Nou – Ciutat Cooperativa. From there, it is a 10-minute walk to Colònia Güell.

Sa Tuna

Sa Tuna is a small, very authentic village near Begur. The beach is not very big, but it is very picturesque and there is a lively and charming ambiance. Sa Tuna is definitely the perfect getaway if you would like to spend a day at the beach away from the bustle of the city. You can also walk the coastal pathway, past the candy-coloured houses, to nearby Cala de Aiguafreda.

 How to get there: Unfortunately, you cannot reach Sa Tuna by public transportation. If you go by car, it is a 1 hour and 45-minute drive.

Figueres

The town of Figueres is known for being the birthplace and final resting place of surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. In the city you will find the Teatre-museu de Dalí (the Dalí museum). This museum is one of the most visited sights in Spain and should not be missed during your visit! You can also enjoy a drink at Plaça de l’Ajuntament or visit Castell de Sant Ferran.

How to get there: By car, it is a 1 hour and 40-minute drive. It will take you 1 hour and 50 minutes if you take the train from Barcelona Sants to Figueres.

PortAventura Park

PortAventura is the largest theme park in Spain. It actually consists of 3 different parks: the PortAventura park, the aqua park and Ferrari Land. The first is the main park, the second has more water rides and the last has an Italian theme. You will also find the highest and fastest roller coaster in Europe. A day trip to PortAventura is perfect for anyone with kids or anyone who likes theme parks!

How to get there: The drive is 1,5 hours by car. It will also take you 1,5 hours by train from Barcelona Sants to Salou – PortAventura.

Tossa de Mar

Tossa de Mar is often called one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Spain. The beaches and coves in the city are also among the most beautiful in Spain. The old part of town, La Vila Vella, is truly beautiful to stroll through. Tossa de Mar is a perfect location for a quiet day at the beach while still enjoying some beautiful sights and delicious foods!

How to get there: By car, it is a 1 hour and 15-minute drive to Tossa de Mar. It will take you 1 hour and 45 minutes if you go with public transportation. First, take the train from Barcelona Sants to Girona, there take bus 4 to Tossa de Mar.

Premià de Mar

Premia de Mar

For an authentic Catalan experience, a day trip to Premià de Mar is really perfect! This old coastal town has retained its old charms well, but embraced today’s culture accordingly. Here too, the beach is beautiful and vast and you will find plenty of authentic and delicious food.

How to get there: If you go by car, it is a 25-minute drive. If you take the train from Barcelona Sants, it will take you 35 minutes.

If you would like to read more about Barcelona, make sure to check out our Ultimate Barcelona Travel Guide!

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