9 of the Best Day trips from Barcelona

9 of the Best Day trips from Barcelona

The easiest way will always be renting a car, just because you have so much freedom and flexibility! However, if renting a car isn’t an option for you, or the thought of driving in Spain is intimidating, you can still reach most of these places by train or by bus.

1. Montserrat

1 hour 40 minutes by train

montserrat town cousins in Montserrat

If you’re looking for one of the most popular day trips from Barcelona, look no further than the Abbey of Monsterrat. It’s a Benedictine monastery located close to the top of the jagged and beautiful Monserrat mountains.

The stunning cathedral draws tourists and Catholic pilgrims to see the Black Madonna. You’ll want to arrive as early as possible as it attracts long lines. You can visit the Santa Cova Chapel where it was found, or hike on the many trails to enjoy the spectacular views. You can even hike to Sant Jeroni, the highest peak.

Visit the small museum with artifacts from the area to learn more about this impressive place. For a special treat, check out the Montserrat Boys Choir that sings twice a day.

Montserrat is an incredible place to visit for its importance, both religious and cultural. It’s a stunningly beautiful area and a really easy day trip from Barcelona.

Contributed by Sam from My Flying Leap

2. Callela

1 hour by train

beach at calella

Calella is the perfect day trip from Barcelona, located 45 minutes north of the city and since Spanish public transport is great for tourists, it’s easily reachablle. This little town is known for its beaches, nightlife and beautiful scenery. This is definitely not a quiet town. There is always something going in Calella and it’s become a hotspot for tourists looking to have cheap drinks close to the water. Stroll through the old town or enjoy your day at the beach before grabbing a delicious lunch at one of the many local restaurants or pubs. The tapas are always delicious and of course affordable.

Contributed by Victoria from Guide Your Travel

3. Sant Cugat del Vallès

40 minutes by train

Cathedral Sant Cugat del Valles

Are you still looking for a great day trip from Barcelona without spending a lot of time on transportation? Then Sant Cugat del Vallès is just perfect for you. This charming little town is located just 17 km from Barcelona. You can reach Sant Cugat easily and quickly by train (about 25 minutes ride) from Barcelona.

Despite its proximity to the big city of Barcelona, in Sant Cugat, you have the feeling of having landed in a completely different place. This is because the alleys of this Catalan town exude tranquility and relaxation.

The main attraction in Sant Cugat is the impressive monastery, which is located directly in the city center. Besides the beautiful monastery garden, a visit is worthwhile, especially for the interesting museum situated inside the monastery.
In general, Sant Cugat is also great for strolling through the city center and taking in the typical Catalan architecture and culture.

Contributed by Vicki from Vickiviaja

4. Lloret de Mar

2.5 hours by train

sea at lloret del mar

Lloret de Mar lays about an hour north of Barcelona and is a popular day-trip destination. Lloret is known as a party town and has become a hotspot for bars, clubs and wild nightlife. However, the little beach town also has a lot of charm left despite its popularity. You can explore little alleyways or spend time at the stunning beaches. Lloret is great for walking around, exploring and hiking. You can visit attractions such as the water park or hike up to the Castell de Sant Joan, a former castle ruin in the area. Of course, a cocktail by the beach is an absolute must-do as well.

5. Peñíscola

2 Hours by train

view from castle peniscola

To the south of Barcelona is the beautiful beach town of Peñíscola. This town is popular in the summer for its beach, but also has a fantastic old town, with bird’s eye views of the city and of the Mediterranean. You can also visit the castle at the top for only 5 euros.

One day is enough to visit, but you should really spend time exploring the area and some of the beach towns near Valencia. Peñíscola is definitely a picturesque destination!

6. Girona

40 minutes by train

girona city

Girona is the largest city in Northern Catalonia and can be easily reached from Barcelona by car or train. The beautiful architecture of the Old Town of Girona is worth visiting, and one day is enough time to see the main attractions of Girona.

Several of Game of Thrones filming locations were in Girona, and if you are a fan of the show, you may choose to go on a walking tour to explore those. You can book a guided tour or just research beforehand the landmarks that you need to pay attention to when exploring the Old Town of Girona.

One of the best free things you can do in Girona is going around the Old Town on Muralles de Girona – City Wall Promenade. From there you get panoramic views of the city and may see the famous churches, charming balconies, and rooftops of the old houses.

Contributed by Una from Wandernity

7. Andorra

3 hours 15 minutes by bus

city center Andorra la vella me in Andorra

Although complicated to get to without a car, Andorra is a nice day trip. It’s one of the smallest countries in Europe and is deep within the Pyrenees mountains. In the winter it’s great for skiing, and in the summer you can find some hiking if you have the time! The main city is Andorra La Vella, and while there isn’t much to visit there, it is a great shopping destination and another country to mark off!

8. Sitges

40 minutes by train

sitges

Sitges is located 30 kilometers from Barcelona. It’s a beautiful seaside village, a paradise for surfers and definitely worth a day trip to when you’re staying 3 days in Barcelona!
The beaches of the city can be divided into 3 parts; Playas Zona Centro, Playas Zona Levante and Playas Zona Poniente. These are the beaches closest to the center and therefore best to visit.
In addition to the beaches, Sitges also has beautiful sights. For example, the Church of Sant Bartelomeu and Santa Tecla is worth a visit. This church is the symbol of the city. The Sant Bartelomeu and Santa Tecla are located directly on a cliff that is called ‘La Punta’ by the residents. Besides these sights, Sitges also has an impressive old town where you can visit medieval castles and beautiful gardens.

Contributed by Alexander from Travel Your Memories

9. Perpignan and French Catalonia

2 hours by car

french catalonia

Little may know this, but just like the Basque country, the Catalan region is actually split between France and Spain. While Barcelona is the capital of the southern side, Perpignan is the capital of the French Catalan region up North. Visiting this part of the world is a great way to learn more about the history that has shaped our current borders, but also discover a charming city and its gorgeous coastline.

Perpignan is about 200km North of Barcelona and an easy day trip to organise thanks to the high-speed train linking both cities within 1.5 hours. Trains leave Barcelona every day early in the morning and head back from Perpignan in the evening. The return tickets are less than €65 per person. There are a few things to see in Perpignan and around that are worth a day trip from Barcelona. The most photographed landmark is the Castillet, a beautiful red brick tower that has served as the main gate to the city since the 13th century. You can also visit the Palais des Rois de Majorque nearby, home of the Kings of Majorca who once ruled the town. As you walk around the city centre, you can also stop at the Cathedral, Casa Xanxo, Loge de la Mer and the Campo Santo, all beautiful buildings in the historic disctrict.
If you have access to a car, go on road trip for the day along the Mediterranean coast. You can stop in Collioure (photo), one of the most beautiful towns in the south of France, admire the Canigou (Catalan’s sacred moutain), and enjoy the gorgeous French Catalan countryside before reaching Perpignan and heading back to Barcelona via the motorway.