10 Best Day Trips From Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city so exciting and vibrant that you may not ever want to leave. It’s packed with awesome things to do, mouth-watering food, and rich history.

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However, if you find yourself a bit overwhelmed by the crowds and you’re looking for an escape, consider escaping the city and taking some Barcelona day trips!

There are so many gorgeous spots in Catalunya that can be reached easily from Barcelona.

There are historic cities, small villages, and all kinds of nature excursions. Barcelona is a wonderful place, but if you have a chance to visit some of the day trip destinations, don’t miss it. We’ve had the chance to visit quite cultural and natural attractions near Barcelona, and here are some of our favourites.

Best day trips from Barcelona
City view of Barcelona
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The Best Day Trips From Barcelona

1. Montserrat Monastery/Mountain

Perhaps the most popular day trip from Barcelona is Montserrat, a striking rocky mountain and a monastery of the same name. For the devout, a trip to Montserrat is a pilgrimage and a highly significant religious act. 

For the average tourist, the visit is more about the history and the beautiful nature surrounding the area.

You’ll be whisked to the top of the mountain in either a cable car or funicular. Once at the top, you’ll have the chance to explore the sacred monasteries, the Stations of the Crosswalk, and various steep but rewarding hikes in the area.

This 5.5-hour day trip to Montserrat includes transportation, one hour of hiking, train tickets for Sant Joan’s railway, and a guided tour of the Abbey of Montserrat.

Monserrat Mountain, Barcelona
Monserrat Mountain, Barcelona
Monserrat Monastery, Barcelona
Monserrat Monastery, Barcelona

READ NEXT: Guide to Visiting & Hiking Montserrat, Barcelona

2. Girona

To the north of Barcelona, close to the French border, you’ll find the city of Girona. With a population of just 100,000 people, Girona is an easy spot to explore on a small group tour. 

The best part of the city to explore is the walled Old Town, where you could get lost exploring narrow romantic alleyways. The Old Town looks like something out of a fairytale, with its winding waterways, colourful houses, and cobblestone streets.

The churches in Girona are also some of the most gorgeous in Spain, and you could spend a number of days exploring those alone. The best way to explore the city is by walking, and while you can certainly explore on your own, we recommend joining a walking tour so you can learn the most about the city’s rich history from a knowledgeable local guide!

Girona is one of our top picks for best day trips from Barcelona; we really enjoyed our time in this lovely city! During the 3 hour-guided walking tour, we walked along the city walls, visited the monumental Cathedral of Girona, and saw filming locations featured in Game of Thrones. Our guide took us through the medieval streets in the Jewish quarter and explained the city’s fascinating and diverse cultural history.

Best day trips from Barcelona Spain
Girona, Spain
Day trips from Barcelona: Girona, Spain
Girona, Spain

3. Costa Brava

The Costa Brava is the coast of Spain between Barcelona and the French border to the north. The entire coastline is dotted with unbelievable beaches and perfect seaside towns.

If you’re looking for some excellent sandy beaches and surf, then this day trip from Barcelona is for you. We recommend visiting places like Tossa de Mar, Cadaqués, and Llafranc. Make sure not to miss the Cap de Creus, a rocky peninsula that makes a great place for hiking.

To get away from the crowds and see an ancient fishing village relatively untouched by modern tourism, visit Calella de Palafrugell. Perched along a rocky coastline dotted with small coves, this village is great for walking or cycling, with the Cap Roig Natural Area and Llafranc nearby.

Hitting up all these spots in one day may be a bit of a struggle, so if you are short of time, consider joining a tour to get the most out of the region. A guided day tour will offer hotel pick-up and stress-free transportation on an air-conditioned bus, allowing for quality beach time and freedom to explore the picturesque coastal towns.

costa brava, best day trips from barcelona
Costa Brava, Spain
Day trips from Barcelona: Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava
Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava
Best day trips from Barcelona
Llafranc, Costa Brava

READ NEXT: Best Beaches in Costa Brava, Spain

4. Horta De Sant Joan

About 2.5 hours southeast of Barcelona, you’ll find Horta de Sant Joan, a tiny mountain town full of adventurous corners to explore. The most famous mountainous area is Muntanya de Santa Bàrbara, which is full of exciting hiking trails and epic views

People also visit Horta de Sant Joan to see the Pablo Picasso Center, where you can learn all about Picasso’s life and work. Another notable museum is the Eco-Museum of the Natural Park of the Ports, which would interest most environmentally-conscious travellers. In addition, don’t leave before attending a local olive tasting.

Day trips from Barcelona: Horta de Sant Joan, Catalonia
Horta de Sant Joan, Catalonia
Horta de Sant Joan, Spain
Horta de Sant Joan, Spain

5. Tarragona

As one of Catalunya’s most stunning port citiesTarragona has lots to offer visitors. This is one of the best towns to visit on a day trip from Barcelona. Tarragona boasts great weather, pristine beaches, and a charming old town.

While you’re there, make sure to wander the cobbled streets and visit the town’s main attractions, like the Tarragona Amphitheatre, the ancient Cathedral, and the National Archaeological Museum.

Best Day trips from Barcelona, Tarragona, Catalonia
Tarragona, Catalonia
Tarragona, Catalonia
Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain

6. Figueres 

Figueres is a small town to the north of the city. Many take this day trip from Barcelona to see the Dalí Museum, Figueres’ claim to fame. In fact, the whole town is crazy about him and his work since it is the famous artist’s birthplace.

Not only does he have a museum dedicated to him, but he also has a theatre in his honour and many other buildings, monuments, and foundations around the city. While in town, be sure to visit the Castell de Sant Ferran, the city’s hillside fort.

The best way to get the full experience without worrying about the logistics of travel and parking is to join a full-day tour. You’ll visit the fishing village of Cadaques, the source of Dali’s inspiration, then explore the Dali Museum at Figueres, tour Dali’s home in Port Lligat, and end the trip with a stop at Platja de Castell, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Costa Brava region.

7. Parc Natural Del Delta De L’Ebre

This unique nature park is about two hours south of Barcelona and offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching. Located on the edge of the Ebro Delta, it’s a perfect spot for those who want one of the best day trips from Barcelona that isn’t a city trip but rather a natural escape

The amazing park has been designated a European Destination of Excellence by the European Commission as recognition for its initiatives in sustainable tourism. For this reason, you won’t find many guided tours, as the park custodians carefully manage human interference to the fragile ecosystems.

You can tour the park by hiking, biking, canoeing, or on horseback. With an area of 320 square kilometres, these flatlands offer much to explore. The protected landscape includes the Ebre River and its delta, sandy beaches and dunes, coastal lagoons, salt flats, and river islands.

The park has an astounding 700 species of vegetation and more than 400 bird species, making this home to some of the most important breeding colonies in this part of the world.

Ebro Delta Natural Park
Ebro Delta Natural Park

8. Tortosa

Right to the west of the Parc Natural del Delta de l’Ebre is the town of Tortosa, one of the best day trips from Barcelona for so many reasons. Tortosa has gorgeous cathedrals, a towering castle, beautiful public parks, and lush botanical gardens.

An architecture enthusiast’s dream, Tortosa is home to excellent examples of medieval, Renaissance, baroque, and modernist architecture. Must-see landmarks include the Suda Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and the annual Renaissance Festival. If you happen to visit Barcelona during the second half of July, consider a trip to Tortosa just for this festival. The town puts on around 60 shows a day, and you’ll see thousands of locals and visitors in period dress. 

There are countless museums for history enthusiasts, as well as the Ebro River that runs through the city, where you can walk and enjoy.

9. Medieval Villages

There are a number of small medieval villages that make awesome Barcelona day trips. Miravet, a small town just to the north of Tortosa, is one great option. Here, you’ll find huge castles and Roman ruins.

Another great day trip from Barcelona is Tivissa, an even smaller village full of Romanesque buildings and home of one of the oldest settlements on the Iberian Peninsula.

Lastly, consider visiting Sitges, only an hour’s train ride south of Barcelona. After the short train ride, you can walk through the historic old town, enjoy the beaches, and experience the vibe in one of the world’s most LGBTQ+ friendly destinations. In general, if you choose to visit a medieval village in Catalunya, you can’t really choose wrong.

Day trip from Barcelona: Miravet, Catalonia
Miravet, Catalonia
Day trip from Barcelona: Tivissa, Catalonia
Tivissa, Catalonia

10. Join A Wine Tasting Tour 

Spain is famous for its wine, and Barcelona is surrounded by regions known for producing excellent vintages. With 138 identifiable wine regions, how do you choose just one to explore? If you are after a specific type of wine, here’s a comprehensive list of varieties with their region of origin. It’s extensive, but it will definitely help point you in the right direction if you have something specific in mind.

If you wouldn’t mind seeing some gorgeous countryside, going on a 4×4 adventure through historic vineyards, and exploring a 10th-century estate chapel before sampling vintages alongside local cheeses, this Penedes Region Wine Tour is perfect. You’ll try 7 award-winning wines and Cava, a sparkling wine produced with the same method as Champagne, but with indigenous grapes.

If you want to go on some fun day trips, Barcelona is the perfect home base. There are so many things to see in the region, from sacred churches and monasteries to peaceful nature to rich history and art. With so many options for Barcelona day tips, you’ll likely have to visit a few times before you can take them all. Each one of them has something special to offer, and each will delight you in different ways.

Wine tasting at Ellerman House
Wine tasting tour

Have You Ever Take A Day Trip From Barcelona? Where Would You Most Like To Go?


READ NEXT: Things to do in Valencia, Spain

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