6 Best Day Trips from Barcelona

Some of my favorite memories from my study abroad experience in Barcelona were the day trips we took to the nearby cities. Sunny walks, drinking vermouth on the patios and swimming in the Mediterranean, all of that on a little “vacation” away from your home. In this post, I will share some of my favorite day trips from Barcelona that are worth the trip. 

1. A Day Trip From Barcelona to Girona

A trip from Barcelona to Girona

The ancient town of Girona is a beautiful place to visit and to escape the bustle of Barcelona. Located about a hundred km from Barcelona, Girona is the largest city in northern Catalonia and is a fabulous day trip out of Barcelona. Here you will fall in love with the medieval walls, narrow winding cobblestone streets, and one of the best-preserved Jewish Quarters in Europe. As you leave the train station and enter the city, you will be awed by the views of the Onyar River, which runs through the heart of Girona. 

Fun fact: Girona has been one of the filming locations of the Game of Thrones, so you will also find some locations that look very familiar if you’re a fan of the show. 

Best Way to Get There: RENFE train from Barcelona’s Sants or El Clot Aragó train stations.

Tickets cost (one way): 10€ – 13€

Travel Time: 38 minutes

2. A Day Trip From Barcelona to Figueres

A trip from Barcelona to Figueres

The small town of Figueres lies within Catalonia’s Costa Brava region and is about 45 minutes’ drive north of Girona. The town is well-known for its amazing architecture, which includes the 18th century Castell de Sant Ferran and for the famous theatre-museum of Salvador Dalí. Dalí converted the theatre himself, and inside is a surreal world of art, sculpture, and statutes.  

If you’re familiar with Dali’s art and have some time to travel, you should definitely make the trip from Barcelona to Figueres and see this amazing place for yourself.

Fun fact: You can combine a day trip from Barcelona to Figueres with an afternoon in Girona if you’re short on time. 

Best Way to Get There: RENFE train from Barcelona’s Sants train station.

Tickets cost (one way): 24€

Travel Time:  1 hour  

3. A Day Trip from Barcelona to Cadaqúes

A trip to Cadaques

Cadaqués is a small fishing village, located about 174 km from Barcelona, with breathtaking scenery that provided inspiration to the famous surrealist Salvador Dalí. Dalí spent many summers here sauntering through the same streets as you will on your day trip from Barcelona, taking in the inspiring scenery.

While in Cadaqúes, see Dali’s house, which is about 15–20 minutes’ walk from the center of Cadaques, St. Jaume Castle (Castell de Sant Jaume) and Church of Santa Maria. 

Fun fact: You should choose one of the restaurants on the seashore and get fresh seafood in Cadaqúes – it’s delicious.

Best Way to Get There: Bus from Barcelona Nord to Cadaqués

Tickets cost (one way): 10€ – 13€

Travel Time: 2 Hours and 45 minutes

4. A Day Trip from Barcelona to Montserrat

A trip from Barcelona to Montserrat

If you would like to add a little hiking and adventure to your trip as well as see some epic views, take a trip to the rocky range of Montserrat. Montserrat is one of the most popular day trips from Barcelona and one of the closest ones. Explore the monastery grounds, hike the numerous trails winding up and around Montserrat Mountain, and enjoy scenic lookouts and a holy cave believed to be the spot of a miraculous sighting of the Virgin Mary.

Fun fact: On your trip to Montserrat, you should visit the monastery at the top of the mountain, which is home to the 12th-century wooden statue of the Virgin of Montserrat, or La Moreneta (The Black Madonna).

Best Way to Get There: The quickest and most scenic option to get from Barcelona to Montserrat is to take the R5 line from Plaça Espanya in Barcelona to Aeri de Montserrat.

Tickets cost (one way): 6€

Travel Time: 1 Hour

5. A Day Trip from Barcelona to Tarragona

A trip from Barcelona to Tarragona

Tarragona is a port city located in northeast Spain on the Costa Daurada by the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a great place to go if you’d like to enjoy the sunshine, the beach, and culture. It’s a pretty small town, but has a charming atmosphere and is not very touristy. While in Tarragona, you should also visit the Cathedral and the Archaeological Museum and see the Amfiteatre de Tarragona. 

Fun fact: If you can, plan to visit during the Tarragona International Fireworks Displays Competition that happens in the first week of July. It’s the most important fireworks contest in the Mediterranean area is held in a wonderful bay Punta del Miracle, a place praised by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí.

Best Way to Get There: RENFE train from Barcelona’s Sants or El Clot Aragó train stations.

Tickets cost: About 10€

Travel Time: 1 Hour

6. A Day Trip from Barcelona to Sitges

A trip from Barcelona to Sitges

This beautiful Mediterranean town is just 21 miles southwest of Barcelona. It’s primarily a seaside town, complete with more than a dozen beaches in the region. The town also has a lot of beautiful avenues, a network of quaint and walkable streets, and a handful of museums to keep you busy on a day trip.

Fun fact: Sitges is Spain’s most famous gay holiday destination. In July and August, Sitges becomes one big beach party. 

Best Way to Get There: RENFE train from Barcelona’s Sants or El Clot Aragó train stations.

Tickets cost (one way): 10€ 

Travel Time: 30 minutes

7. Do you have more time? Consider a trip from Barcelona to Madrid.

A trip from Barcelona to Madrid

If your time is short, you should choose one of the above destinations and I am sure you will enjoy any of them. But if you have more time in Spain, you should consider a weekend trip to Madrid. Highlights of a trip to Madrid include Buen Retiro Park, incredible Museo Nacional del Prado, the Plaza Mayor, and the Royal Palace.

Fun fact: The Gran Via is a great spot for lunch and is the perfect place to enjoy traditional Spanish tapas and a glass of sangria, or two. 

Best Way to Get There: The quickest trip from Barcelona to Madrid is 2h 30m on a high-speed Renfe RENFE train

Tickets cost (one way): From 30€

Travel Time: From 2h 30 minutes

Are you going to Spain soon? You will also like my European packing list that you can edit and print out. Let me know which of these destinations are you most excited about in the comments below!

Hi, I'm Marina, passionate traveler and blogger, based in the United States and travelling the world. Thanks for following me on my life and travel adventures!

3 Comments

  1. Morgan
    June 29, 2020

    This is so helpful! I’m supposed to be in Barcelona this fall (fingers crossed!) so I’m going to refer back to this to plan a day trip 🙂

    Reply
  2. Robert
    June 29, 2020

    Some excellent suggestions and photos! We only had a short visit to Barcelona on our Mediterranean Cruise a few seasons ago. Would love to return and spend an entire vacation in the area from BC Canada. Love Spain!

    Reply
  3. Under flowery sky
    June 29, 2020

    Wow amazing ideas, I would love to visit Girona already long time,
    Figueres also sounds amazing with its rich offer. I would just love
    to explore more of the Spain..

    Reply

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