37 Day Trips from Barcelona (A Complete Local’s Guide 2023)

written by local expert Catrin Lynn

Catrin is a history enthusiast based in Wales. Her passions are her animals, exploring the Welsh mountains with her husband, wellness, and traveling to different European cities.

If you are looking for the best day trips from Barcelona, you’re in the right place!

I loved everything about my time in the city! Not only that but both Anna and Tom have lived here. Between us all, we have done the legwork to get the best tips and recommendations for your next visit. 

Barcelona is an incredible city! I love the mixture of a bustling atmosphere and endless cultural and natural attractions. If you’re looking for the best things to do in Barcelona, check out our guide here.

We are going to venture just outside the city in this article to find the best Barcelona day trips, from relaxing at sandy beaches, and quaint fishing villages to exploring medieval towns and an impressive mountain range. So sit down, relax, and let’s discover some new destinations!

Park-Guell-Barcelona
Anna at Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain. This attraction has some of the best views in the city making it a must visit destination!

Day trips from Barcelona

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1. Montserrat Monastery

Welcome to Montserrat where rugged peaks scrape the sky and tranquility mingles with awe-inspiring landscapes. Around 45 miles from Barcelona, Montserrat is nestled among natural giants and the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery stands as a beacon for travelers and pilgrims.

It takes just over an hour to drive to Montserrat or you can choose to take the train or book a private tour. It’s a cultural powerhouse, blending art, history, and spirituality against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery making it a true must visit!

This spot has long captured hearts, serving as a muse for artists and a sanctuary for seekers. Within its walls, sacred artifacts and historical treasures tell centuries-old tales, while outside, the vistas speak for themselves.

Whether you’re chasing soulful moments, hiking in Spain, or hunting for epic snapshots, Montserrat delivers. It’s not just a destination; it’s an experience that stays with you.

  • Half-Day Tour to Montserrat – Explore the world-famous basilica and monastery on this private tour from Barcelona. 
  • Montserrat Monastery and Hiking Experience – Enjoy a dual adventure of body and spirit on this hiking trail of  Montserrat’s peaks and uncover the monastery’s hidden tales. 
  • Montserrat and Wine Tasting Trip -From heavenly chorals to effervescent toasts, experience Montserrat’s mystique and Catalonia’s signature bubbles in a journey celebrating soulful sounds and tantalizing tastes!
Santa Maria de Monserrat Monastery
There are many cultural and natural attractions near Barcelona including Santa Maria de Monserrat Monastery mountain range with incredible panoramic views and beautiful scenery!

2. Girona

Picture this: a massive Gothic Girona cathedral, cobbled streets straight out of the Middle Ages, and a preserved Jewish quarter that’s buzzing with life.

Girona’s like a patchwork quilt of cultures, all stitched together with some seriously old-school charm. And the best part? It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Barcelona. You might even recognize some of the spots from ‘Game of Thrones’ — yep, it’s that cool.

Get ready to wander through tiny, twisty streets, chill by the Onyar River with its Insta-worthy colorful houses, and eat your way through the local food scene. Girona’s not just a trip, it’s a great place to explore and a full-on feast for your senses!

It’s around an hour’s drive from Barcelona, Spain or you can reach it by taking public transport (this consists of two buses that take around 1.5 hours).

While you could easily spend more than one day in Girona, it’s worth visiting on a day trip if you’re short on time. Especially if you’re a first time visitor!

  • ‘Game Of Thrones’ Tour in Girona– A must-do pilgrimage for every ‘Game of Thrones’ devotee because sometimes, your favorite series should leap off the screen and into reality
  • Girona and Costa Brava Tour – Uncover the secrets of Girona and bask in Costa Brava’s sunshine in one sweep. History whispers and beachside bliss await!
  • Girona and Figueres Tour with Dalí Museum – Step into surrealism with a day trip that takes you from Girona’s historic corners to the mind-bending wonders of the Dalí Museum in Figueres where every piece of art tells a story!
old town of Girona Spain
The old town of Girona, Spain is full of beautiful views!

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3. Tarragona

Around an hour from Barcelona’s city center is Tarragona, your ticket back to the Roman days! Imagine strolling through an ancient amphitheater and wandering under a massive aqueduct, all while soaking up stories from way back when.

But hey, it’s not all about dusty old stones; Tarragona has its slice of paradise with Waikiki Beach. Picture a chill spot with golden sand, far from the crowds, where relaxation takes over. 

Tarragona’s old town is a whole mood, with its cozy medieval vibes, twisty cobbled streets, and food spots dishing up mouth-watering Catalan flavors. Dive into history, chill on the sandy beach, or get lost in charming streets.

Located near the Catalan capital, you can drive here (which takes an hour), use public transport from Barcelona City Centre, or arrange a hassle free private tour

  • Tarragona and Sitges Small Group Day Trip – Journey through the sands of time as you explore Tarragona’s ancient heart and bask in Sitges’ seaside splendor, all in a day’s adventure that bridges epochs and coasts!
  • Tarragona Tour – Delve into a time capsule, as Tarragona unfolds its Roman relics and medieval charms before you, narrating tales of gladiators, centurions, and artisans of a bygone era!
Tarragona Roman Amphitheater in Spain
Tarragona Amphitheater in Spain is one of the best Barcelona day trips

4. Figueres

Ready for a quirky adventure? Say ‘hello’ to Figueres, the hometown of Salvador Dali and one big playground for art enthusiasts and history buffs making it one of the many amazing day trips from Barcelona!

This town is a colorful mishmash of creativity, with streets that just might inspire you to whip out a paintbrush. From the bizarre beauty of the Dalí Theatre Museum to the charming buzz of local life, every nook of Figueres invites you to embrace the unexpected.

The fastest way to reach Figueres from Barcelona is to drive, which takes around 1hr 30. However, you can also take the train which takes approximately two hours.

Afterward, you can head back into the city to experience Barcelona’s nightlife at the city’s best cocktail bars. What a perfect day!

  • Figueres Walking Tour with Guided Visit to the Dalí Museum – Stroll through the whimsical streets of Figueres and step into the surreal world of Salvador Dalí, where every corner of his museum is a wild ride for your imagination. Art lover or not, this walking tour is a visual feast you’ll wanna sink your teeth into!
  • Market to Fork with Social Cooker Yves – Get your taste buds ready for a culinary adventure with Yves, your new foodie BFF! Dive into Figueres’ market, pick the freshest ingredients, and cook up a storm together. It’s a ‘market-to-fork’ experience that’ll make your heart (and stomach) sing!
  • Visit of St. Pere de Galligants and Arab Baths – Time-travel to Figueres’ medieval past at St. Pere de Galligants, then unwind like the ancients in the Arab Baths. It’s a day of exploration and relaxation, whisking you back to worlds gone by. History’s never been so rejuvenating!
Dali Theatre and Museum
Salvador Dali Theatre and Museum in Figueres, Spain – A must see as you enjoy one of the best Barcelona day trips

5. Penedes Wine Region

If you enjoy wine like I do, you will love the Pendes Wine Region. Picture rolling vineyards, the sun kissing your face, and a glass of the finest local drop in your hand! Known for its world-class Cavas (that’s Spanish bubbly), this region is a haven for wine lovers.

It’s not just about wine tasting; it’s about the lush landscapes, the meet-cutes with local vintners, and the joy of uncorking happiness in a glass. Ready to swirl, sniff, and sip your way through Penedes?

Around 30 miles from Barcelona, the quickest way to get to Penedes would be to drive or arrange a private transfer (especially if you’d like to indulge in a wine tasting).

After a day of tasty wines, travel back to the city to sample the best rooftop bars in Barcelona, Spain.

  • Exclusive Cava and Wine Tasting Experience – Embark on a bubbly adventure in Penedes! Enjoy this wine tasting and embrace the art of Cava, sip joy from a glass, and revel in vineyard stories untold. It’s not just tasting; it’s a celebration!
  • Small Group Cava and Wine Day Trip – Join a cozy crew of wine explorers to uncover Penedes’ hidden gems! This trip is your ticket to the heart of Spanish wine bliss, from secret cellars to exquisite toasts.
  • Penedes and Pla de Bages Winery Tour – Set off on a wine quest from Penedes to Pla de Bages! Meet the faces behind the labels, taste their passions, and revel in Catalonia’s rich, spirited heritage, one sip at a time on this unique day trip!

6. PortAventura Theme Park

PortAventura, where adrenaline rushes are around each corner! Forget the siesta; we’re talking about heart-pounding rides, whimsical shows, and worlds beyond your wildest dreams, located just a short trip from Barcelona.

Well, it takes around 1hr 15 to get there. The easiest way to get to PortAventura Theme Park is to organize a tour that includes travel. If you love roller coasters, it’s one of the best places to visit in Spain.

Ready to unleash your inner adventurer in Spain’s largest playground? Buckle up, because it’s going to be an unforgettable ride!

  • PortAventura Day Trip from Barcelona – Escape to the land of thrills with a day trip to PortAventura! From dizzying roller coasters to splash-tacular water rides, it’s a universe of fun waiting just for you. Why wait? Adventure is calling!
  • PortAventura and Ferrari Land Day Trip from Barcelona – Double the fun, double the excitement! Gear up for a day excursion where worlds collide, from PortAventura’s wild rides to Ferrari Land’s need for speed. It’s every thrill-seeker’s fantasy come true, in one action-packed day!
Roller Coaster in Port Aventura Amusement Park in Spain
Roller Coaster in Port Aventura Amusement Park in Spain – one of the best day trips from Barcelona for thrill seekers!

7. Tossa de Mar

Say “hola” to Tossa de Mar, the seaside escape of your dreams! Picture a cozy beach town where the waves dance along the shore, medieval walls tell timeless tales, and the vibes? Pure relaxation.

Tossa de Mar is not just a place; it’s a mood. And guess what? It’s contagious. Dive into crystal-clear waters, wander through narrow lanes brimming with history, and don’t even get us started on the mouth-watering seafood.

Ready for a slice of paradise? Tossa de Mar awaits and is a 90-minute drive from Barcelona.  

  • Discover Scuba Diving PADI – Take the plunge — literally! No more watching from the shore; it’s your turn to explore the deep blue. With every bubble and every breath, uncover a world you’ve only imagined. No experience? No problem! Dive into a day you’ll never forget.
  • Full-Day Private Tour to Tossa de Mar from Barcelona – Escape the hustle, and embrace the serenity. From Barcelona’s buzz to Tossa de Mar’s tranquility, embark on a journey tailored just for you. History, scenery, and the sea — a trifecta of perfection. It’s more than a trip; it’s a breath of fresh air
Sandy beach in Tossa de Mar, Spain
Sandy beach in Tossa de Mar, Spain

8. Vilafranca del Penedes

Nestled in the heart of Catalonia’s wine region, this charming town is a treasure trove of wine culture, buzzing markets, and historic wonders.

From exploring its ancient nooks to toasting at the famed Penedès wineries, a trip to Vilafranca is like stepping into a living postcard where vibrant traditions meet irresistible flavors!

Vilafranca is only 35 miles from Barcelona so will take around 45 minutes to drive there. Alternatively, you can take public transport such as the inter-city rail which takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes. 

A local vineyard in Vilafranca del Penedes
A local vineyard in Vilafranca del Penedes

9. Costa Brava

Dive into Costa Brava’s allure, where sparkling seas meet dramatic cliffs. This slice of Spanish paradise offers more than just stunning sunsets; it’s a haven of hidden coves, artistic heritage, and picturesque old towns.

Whether you’re chasing adventure on coastal trails or soaking in the ambiance at seaside cafés, Costa Brava promises unforgettable moments stitched into the fabric of every visit.

I would recommend using a trip to get to Costa Brava from Barcelona City Centre as it can take up to 2 hours to drive. Regardless, it’s well worth it if you fancy doing a spot of surfing in Spain.

Fancy checking out the Costa Del Sol instead? Then click here.

  • Costa Brava Full Day Trip – Hop on this wild ride to Costa Brava, where it’s all about jaw-dropping coastlines, Insta-worthy villages, and that pure ‘I gotta tell my friends about this’ adventure! Simply put, it’s one of the best day trip options there is!
  • Costa Brava & Dali Museum Guided Tour – Get ready for a day of ‘OMG’ moments, diving into Dali’s bizarre imagination and chilling on Costa Brava’s stunning beaches — it’s like stepping into a postcard sprinkled with a dash of crazy.
costa brava coast near tossa de marmediterranean sea spain
Beach time – The Costa Brava coast is full of beautiful sandy beaches making it the best place to go for beach day trips from Barcelona, Spain!

10. Sitges

A quaint fishing village, Sitges is where every day feels like a carnival! Known for its pristine beaches, bustling nightlife, and colorful festivals, it’s a Mediterranean cocktail of fun which makes it a fab place for a day trip!

This town is a canvas painted with artistic history and a liberal, laid-back lifestyle. It’s not just a destination; it’s an experience that dances to the rhythm of the waves, the laughter, and the endless good times.

From the golden sands to the vibrant streets, you’ll feel a little magic in the air. 

  • Sitges Private Day Trip Tour from Barcelona – Your adventure, your rules. From Barcelona to the heart of Sitges, plan your perfect trip to explore the village. You can also use the inter-city rail to arrive at Sitges which takes just over an hour.
  • Tarragona and Sitges Private Day Trip – Double the destinations, double the joy! Embark on a time-traveling escapade to Tarragona’s Roman glory before unwinding in Sitges’ contemporary bliss. History, beachside thrills, and your private tour – what’s not to love?
Beach front in Sitges
Sitges is a charming fishing village in Spain

11. Salou

The golden heartbeat of Spain’s Costa Daurada – Salou! With its sun-kissed beaches, palm-lined promenades, and vibrant atmosphere, Salou is a pretty beachside village that’s buzzing from dawn till dusk.

Whether you’re riding the thrilling waves or exploring the luminous streets, Salou promises endless sunshine and smiles. It’s not just a place to visit; it’s a radiant adventure waiting to embrace you.

The easiest way to visit Salou is to drive or arrange a taxi as this takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes. You can use the inter-city rail but this will take just over 2 hours. 

  • Paragliding Salou – Soar above Salou, where the sky’s the limit and the sea sprawls endlessly below! Feel the thrill, embrace the freedom, and steal a glimpse of heaven on earth.
  • Canyoning in Salou – Leap into an epic day of splashy thrills with canyoning in Salou — where you’re not just along for the ride, you are the ride!
Sunset in Salou, Spain
Sunset in Salou, Spain

12. Ruins of Empuries

Step into a time machine and travel back to ancient civilizations at the Ruins of Empuries. Where the whispers of the Greek and Roman ancestors echo through the stone relics and mosaic treasures.

This archaeological site paints a vivid picture of past lives and glory right by the azure Mediterranean shores. As you wander the ancient streets, you’ll feel like an explorer uncovering secrets of long-lost worlds, making it not just a visit but a journey through time!

I’d recommend using a tour to get to Ruins of Empuries as it’s quite a drive from Barcelona and there are some unpaved roads along the way. 

  • Costa Brava and Empuries Small Group Tour – Dive into a day of sun-kissed adventures, from the mesmerizing shores of Costa Brava to the historical heart of Empuries, all while riding the waves of history and the sea!
Ruins of Empuries
Ruins of Empuries

13. Colònia Güell

Step into a lesser-known masterpiece by Gaudí – Colònia Güell, a small workers’ village that’s a big canvas of modernist art! Located near Barcelona (only half an hour from the city), this cultural gem dazzles with its innovative architecture. It’s also one of the easiest day trips from the city due to its close proximity!

Located on site, the unfinished Gaudí’s Crypt is a site brimming with the architect’s signature style. It’s a surreal escape where every brick speaks volumes about artistic revolutions and social history!

Colonia Guell near Barcelona in Spain
Colonia Guell near Barcelona in Spain – Another one of Gaudi’s masterpieces!

14. Calella de Palafrugell

Picture a pretty beachside village full of charm where ivory houses kiss the serene Mediterranean shores, and you’ve landed in Calella de Palafrugell.

This unspoiled haven in Costa Brava, Spain weaves a spell with its tangle of narrow lanes, sun-dappled terraces, and coves waiting to be discovered. 

It’s not just a seaside village; it’s a palette of blues and whites, with melodies of local life and whispers of ancient tales. So, take a lazy stroll, relish the sizzling seafood, or hum along with the local musicians — Calella is a melody that you’ll remember forever!

I’d recommend a beach day trip as suggested to arrive at Calella de Palafrugell if you only have a day to explore. It will take around 1 hour 30 to drive the 77-mile distance from Barcelona. 

  • Costa Brava Full Day Trip – Uncover the hidden gems of Costa Brava on an exhilarating day trip from Barcelona that promises quaint villages, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking landscapes – a true escape into Mediterranean bliss!
Calella de Palafrugell
Calella de Palafrugell is a perfect place to visit for a beach day when it comes to crystal clear water and beautiful places to explore!

15. Besalú

Imagine strolling through a real-life fairy tale. That’s Besalú for you, a cozy little town where stories nestle between ancient stones and every bridge has an old tale to murmur.

You’re in for a treat with its jaw-dropping old-school bridges and buildings that look like they’ve jumped straight out of a history book! 

Peek into its rich Jewish roots, snoop around age-old courtyards or just wander the cobbled streets that wind into yesteryears. Trust us, trotting around Besalú is like stepping into a time machine wrapped in medieval mystery!

All of this is just 81 miles away from Barcelona. The easiest way to get here is to drive or organize a tour.

  • Besalú and Medieval Towns Tour  – Explore Besalú’s medieval world, where stories linger on every stone. This isn’t just a tour; it’s a passport to the past!
old bridge over the river fluvia in medieval town of Besalú province Girona Spain
The medieval town of Besalú is one of the best day trips from Barcelona for gorgeous views

16. Castellfollit de la Roca

Castellfollit de la Roca is unique, perched on a basalt cliff so sheer, it’s as if nature sculpted it just for a postcard!

As one of the smallest towns in Catalonia, life teeters thrillingly between sky and earth, offering vistas so dramatic, that they’ll make your heart skip a beat. 

Here, quaintness and wonder walk hand-in-hand along narrow streets that remember the footsteps of centuries. As the sun sets, watch the houses glow like embers, reflecting the fiery spirit of a town clinging to the edge.

It’s not just a visit; it’s stepping into a living fairy tale where every glance is a story waiting to be told!

If you’d like to spend more time in Castellfollit de la Roca, you can drive here in around 1hr 30. 

Castellfollit de la Roca in Spain
Castellfollit de la Roca in Spain

17. Cadaqués

Imagine a seaside village so charming that even Salvador Dalí fell in love with it. Welcome to the beautiful town of Cadaqués, the whitewashed paradise where art, history, and the Mediterranean breeze mingle!

With its meandering lanes, sandy beaches, cozy cafes, and magical light that seems to dance on the waves, this town is a canvas of inspiration.

Whether you’re here to trace Dalí’s steps, devour fresh seafood, or just unwind on the beach, Cadaqués promises every visitor a splash of joy and a stroke of artistic spirit!

Cute balcony in Cadaques, Spain
Cadaques is one of the best day trips from Barcelona, Spain

18. Vic

Located near Barcelona (just under an hour away) is Vic, a vibrant treasure tucked away in Catalonia. Embrace its rich history while strolling through one of the best-preserved medieval centers around.

Famous for its epic market days, you can haggle and mingle with locals, scoring some artisanal ‘fuet’ (that’s a yummy local sausage) or unique crafts. 

Don’t forget the stunning Cathedral of St. Peter, a mix of styles from Romanesque to neoclassical that tells Vic’s story through the ages.

The epic Plaça Major, a vast square that’s been the heartbeat of Vic for centuries, is the perfect spot to kick back and soak in real Spanish culture. Vic’s not just a visit; it’s a deep dive into tradition!

City view, main square, plaza major, Vic, province Barcelona, Catalonia
Vic is one of the best places to visit on a day trip from Barcelona

Barcelona’s best day trips Conclusion

Here’s our roundup of Barcelona’s best day trips! We’ve explored, indulged, and taken a deep dive into the past, all within a day’s adventure from the city.

Each day trip offers a different atmosphere based on the destination and time of year, but ultimately, there are many amazing places to explore beyond the Catalan capital. For example, you can enjoy sandy beaches, hiking trails, and quaint villages. The possibilities are endless.

Other destinations to visit in the whole country include Madrid, Granada, San Sebastian, and many more. However, if this is your first trip enjoying the sights, sounds, and cuisines of Barcelona, there’s plenty to see without leaving!

Now, it’s over to you! Grab your sense of adventure, pick a destination, and off you go. New experiences are just a day trip away.


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Day Trips from Barcelona | Embark on 37 unforgettable day trips from Barcelona with our Local Guide 2023! Discover the hidden gems and local secrets waiting to be explored. #BarcelonaDayTrips #LocalGuide2023 #ExploreCatalonia
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