You have numerous places to explore if you are looking for a getaway from the capital of Catalonia. Here are some great day trips from Barcelona, Spain.
What are the best day trips around Barcelona?
The best day trips from Barcelona are Sitges, Cardona, Andorra, Montserrat and Girona. Different destinations offer different attractions. The one you choose will depend on whether you want to relax on the beach, explore historic towns, trek through mountains and forests or sample local cuisines.
Barcelona is an amazing travel destination with lots of things to see and do. It has some of the best museums in the world, unique architecture, ancient ruins, and miles of pristine, sandy beaches.
Also, you will enjoy some of the best food in Spain in this city.
However, outside the city’s limits, lies some of the most beautiful beaches, charming historical towns, small fishing villages, gorgeous landscapes, majestic mountain peaks and vineyards, nestled among rolling farmlands.
So, once you feel like you’ve had enough of the city, you have plenty of other amazing attractions which you can explore outside its boundaries on a day trip.
To make your work easier, here are some of the best day trips from Barcelona.
Sitges is originally an old fishing village. But, it has been recently converted into a seaside resort.
Today, it’s one of the most popular travel destinations for day trips from Barcelona, since it’s only about 40 kilometers away.
It’s perched along the Mediterranean sea, overlooking verdant mountains.
The beaches are, without a doubt, the main attraction for tourists to this coastal town. There are dozens of beaches to choose from, depending on your budget.
And, the majority of the beaches here offer world-class amenities, ranging from showers, restrooms, snack bars, rentals of umbrellas and lounge chairs, as well as lifeguard supervision.
While the beaches are the town’s main draw, it also has something for history lovers.
They include the churches of Iglesia de Santa Tecla and Iglesia de Santa Bartomeu.
Other noteworthy buildings in the area include the Palau Maricel, featuring a unique blend of Baroque, Medieval and Renaissance architectural elements as well as the Casa de la Vila, with its impressive neo-gothic architecture.
Apart from historic architecture and gorgeous beaches, this town also has an outstanding range of gourmet restaurants.
You will have an opportunity to enjoy both local and international cuisines. And if you love to party, then Sitges also has got you covered.
If you are fascinated by history and geology, then Cardona should be on your list of day trips from Barcelona.
This medieval village is located approximately 90 km from the city of Barcelona. It stops on top of a hill, surrounded by river Cardener, which is a branch of the Llobregat River.
At Cardona, you can enjoy its medieval castle, nestled on a hill.
You can also visit its historical center, where you see stunning medieval buildings, with their Romanesque architectural style, such as the Collegiate Church of San Vicente.
While in Cardona, you can also book a trip to the salt mountain, locally known as Muntanya de Sal.
This 120-meter-high salt mountain was once one of the most popular salt mines throughout the world. But, as much as it’s not active today, it remains a great tourist attraction.
For this visit, you should consider renting a car in the city, so that you can see as much as possible along the way.
But, if renting one isn’t a possibility for you, then you can also visit through the Alsa bus company, which runs from Barcelona to Cardona via Manresa.
Andorra is a quaint town located high up in the eastern Pyrenees, approximately two and a half hours from Barcelona.
Sitting at an altitude of around 1,030 meters, it’s Europe’s highest capital. And, it has numerous attractions worth making a day trip up there.
It’s renowned for its Romanesque chapels, with the Sant Joan de Caselles being the most notable one.
Built in the 11th century, this chapel has some of the most unique and beautiful frescoes that you will ever see. There’s also the Esglesi de Sant Esteve, a 12th-century church with its well-preserved bell tower and Romanesque apse.
Another popular tourist attraction in this area is the Madriu-Perafita Claror Valley, which is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Located on the southeastern side of the city, this glacial valley features a wide array of trails, cutting through lush forests, meadows, scattered pastures, rocky crags and isolated settlements. The views all around the valley are among the most beautiful that you will experience.
A list of the best day trips from Barcelona is not complete without Montserrat. It’s arguably one of the best know day trips from this city.
If you were to ask a Barcelona resident to recommend a place away from the urban city for a day trip, there’s a high chance that all the answers you will get will point you to this place.
Montserrat combines a mountain, an abbey, a national park, a sanctuary and a basilica, all in one place.
Located northwest of Barcelona, it rises approximately 4,055 feet. It features jagged rock formations, created by wind and water erosion.
There are dozens of things to do and places to explore in and around Montserrat. First, you can hike or trek on one of the trails around the mountain.
If you can manage to hike up to the top of Sant Jeloni, you will be rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views of Catalonia. Also, if you are a skilled mountain climber, then you can scale some of its rock formations.
If you are not a hiking or trekking enthusiast, then you can simply book a train ride that goes all the way to the top of the mountain. Halfway along the way is the Montserrat Monastery, which was established in the 11th century.
It’s home to Benedictine monks and the Black Madonna. Summer and spring are the best times to visit.
Girona is a gorgeous city located between Costa Brave and Barcelona. It’s renowned for its beautiful architecture, botanical gardens, cobbled streets, rich history and medieval walls.
With so many wonderful attractions, it’s undoubtedly one of the best places to go on a day trip from Barcelona.
It is also home to one of the world’s best-preserved Jewish Quarters. The Jews lived here between 982 and 1492.
Their settlement features winding, narrow cobblestoned streets, which are well preserved, as they were more than 500 years ago.
And if you want to learn more about this settlement, then you can visit the Jewish Museum.
Other things to do in this area include walking on the medieval walls, along the Onyar River, across the Eiffel Bridge and up the steps of the cathedral, wandering along the city streets and stopping by the Placa Independencia or Independence Square, where you can enjoy some wine or coffee, as you soak in the city.
- There is plenty to see and do around the city of Barcelona
- You can explore beaches, historical towns or mountain ranges
- You have the option of going on a guided tour or exploring these places yourself
- Most of these destinations are open all year round