Day trips from Barcelona are plentiful, enticing, and mostly easy to access. Outside of the Barcelona city center, there are tons of cultural and natural attractions.
You can find Medieval villages, monasteries, beaches, mountain peaks – you name it. As long as you know the right spots to visit, you’re in for an amazing day trip from Barcelona.
After spending over two months road-tripping around Spain, I discovered a bunch of cool day trip gems from beautiful Barcelona. You’ve gone through all the best things to do in Barcelona and now, I’m here to help you find the best day trip from the city. Let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
- 21 Best Barcelona Day Trips
- FAQs About Barcelona Day Trips
Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. See our Advertising Policy for further explanation. Thank you!
21 Best Barcelona Day Trips
One of the Catalonia region’s most popular and convenient beach vacation destinations for any type of visitor.
Although Barcelona is technically a coastal city, it’s not generally regarded as a beach destination.
When you’re craving that oceanside escape, hop on a train and head to the seaside town of Sitges – it’s less than an hour away from Central Barcelona. With 17 of the best beaches in Spain to choose from in town, Sitges definitely qualifies as a nearby paradise.
The town’s main seasides, Sitges Beach and San Sebastian Beach, are excellent for families. Both are close to amenities and restaurants. They’re also only a 15-minute walk away from each other, so technically you can hit both in a day.
Alternatively, the Playa de los Balmins and Platja d’Aiguadolç nudist beaches are a little bit outside of the main city center with a more adult vibe. Sitges can accommodate any type of visitor.
Tossa de Mar
A charming Spanish city home to the ideal combo of picturesque beaches and intriguing local history with a medieval castle.
Looking for a bit of history and some gorgeous scenery on your day trip from Barcelona? Tossa de Mar is the right fit for you.
This medieval town is located right on the stunning Costa Brava coast. It’s a much different experience than Barcelona, but it’s only a little over an hour away. It’s easy to have a good, simple day in Tossa de Mar, which is why it’s one of the best day trips from Barcelona.
Take a stroll around to see the old town walls and the massive Castle of Tossa de Mar that towers over the city’s skyline. Once you’ve honored the history of the city, get to know its enchanting beaches such as Cala Giverola and Platja Mar Menuda. Finish off your day trip with some incredibly fresh seafood at Restaurant La Placeta before returning to Barcelona.
The grand prize at this mountain top is a magnificent monk monastery surrounded by jagged cliffs.
Just outside of Barcelona’s city center is the massive Montserrat. However, this isn’t simply an elevated mountaintop with panoramic views over the Catalonia region – there is also an enormous monastery at the top called the Abbey of Montserrat, also known as the Santa Maria de Montserrat. Today, 80 monks still call Montserrat home.
You can ride the Funicular Aeri de Montserrat up to the monastery for an even more scenic experience. It’s a blast for kids, too. Montserrat is considered to be one of the best day trips from Barcelona for any type of traveler with time to kill.
It offers an amazing experience totally unique from every other day trip around the region and is very easy to reach by train or bus. For those short on time or who don’t have a rental car, I recommend visiting Monsterrat on a tour such as the morning access to Montserrat Monastery from Barcelona.
Castellfollit de la Roca
An intensely gorgeous village set on a cliff between the Fluviá and Toronell Rivers.
Although Spain is home to a litany of stunning little towns, Castellfollit de la Roca still manages to be one of the most picturesque. Thanks to its cliffside location surrounded by rivers, the town almost feels like a piece of nature itself. It’s a laidback day trip that doesn’t demand too much and is fantastic for photographers.
You could spend your whole day simply walking around the cobbled streets and still have a magical time. The Pasarela-mirador de Castellfollit de la Roca is the main attraction as it provides expansive views of the area and the town’s architecture. Overall, this is more of a lazy day trip for visitors who just want to relax and not be bogged down by a big to-do list.
Calella de Palafrugell
An outdoor adventure goldmine with sandy beaches, botanical gardens, and cute neighborhoods.
Day trippers who want to spend most of their adventure outside will greatly appreciate Calella de Palafrugell on Costa Brava. There are outdoor activities galore in this intriguing coastal town.
Calella de Palafrugell offers visitors several dazzling beaches like Playa Platgeta and Cala de Sant Roc right on the Mediterranean Sea. Plus, the waters aren’t too harsh, so it’s ideal for families and easygoing beachgoers.
That’s just the beginning of the fun when you visit Calella de Palafrugell. The town also features bountiful botanical gardens called Jardíns de Cap Roig along with stellar hiking trails throughout Camí de Ronda de Calella a Llafranc. The best part of it all is that the town itself is one of the most adorable in the area, so it’s an attraction in itself.
A mecca of Roman culture coupled with jaw-dropping seashores like Platja del Miracle and Savinosa Beach.
Out of all the day trips from Barcelona, Tarragona is one of the most recognizable names. There is a good reason why travelers wide and far know about this medieval Spanish city.
The big thing to see in Tarragona is the variety of Roman ruins, which are collectively deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is the Ferreres Aqueduct, the Roman Walls of Tarragona, Circ Roma, and the Tarragona Amphitheatre to check out.
There is more to do in Tarragona than just exploring Roman history, though. The lively Central Market of Tarragona has been around for over a hundred years. The city has several beaches for lounging, like Platja del Miracle and Savinosa Beach. Plus, one of the best viewpoints in the region – Balcó del Mediterrani.
👉 Pro Tip: There is so much exciting stuff to do in Tarragona that it might be smarter to just opt for a tour around the city. This affordable Guided Tour of Roman Tarragona will take you to all the major sites of the city for less than $15. Just keep in mind that admission to attractions won’t be included.
Lloret de Mar
A conveniently-located beachy paradise with an abundance of nightlife and family fun options.
There are a lot of tempting beach getaways conveniently located near Barcelona, but one of my top recommendations is Lloret de Mar.
Lloret de Mar is an especially fun weekend day trip for young adults who want to indulge in the Spanish party scene. As the name suggests, Platja de Lloret de Mar is the main beach in the town. It’s conveniently located right near a bunch of restaurants and beach bars like Cocktails Mar i tu Beachbar.
Lloret de Mar also has a major casino called Gran Casino Costa Brava for visitors who want to test their luck. Don’t let the party atmosphere scare you away if that’s not your thing. Families will also get a kick out of Lloret de Mar with its Water World Parc and big arcade called Magic Island Lloret.
Serra de Collserola Natural Park
A bountiful nature respite super close to Barcelona offering hikes at varying degrees of difficulty.
When Barcelona locals need a retreat into nature, they go to Serra de Collserola Natural Park just 30 minutes away. It’s the largest and most accessible green space in the area. Within the park’s more than 30 square miles, you’ll find several hiking trails of varying difficulties and lovely spots to pause for a moment and to have a picnic.
The 1.5-mile Sant Pere Mártir hike is great for a leisurely trek, while the 7.3-mile Turó de Santa Maria is a more fitting choice for people who really want to get a workout in.
It’s pretty easy to get to Collserola by yourself, but you won’t find all the best spots without the assistance of someone who knows the park. That’s why I’d recommend something like this guided photography tour through the nature of Barcelona to get access to the best parts of the park.
An interesting city filled with Gothic architecture at its famed castles and cathedrals.
When you’ve already done all the major day trips from Barcelona and want to go somewhere off the beaten path, consider a trip to Lleida. While it’s not the most talked about town in the Catalonia region, it is one of the most interesting for architecture lovers. From the grandiose La Seu Vella Cathedral to the Castell de la Suda castle, there is definitely enough to fill a day here.
After exploring the historic attractions of Lleida, you can check out some of the natural attractions. The city’s two big parks, Parc dels Camps Elisis and Parque de La Mitjana, are great places to hang out after a long afternoon of exploring.
An adorable city that’s renowned for its photogenic architecture and colorful Temps de Flors festival.
Girona is an undeniably beautiful city, which makes it worthy of a day trip from Barcelona without question. It’s actually so idyllic and well-kept that it was used as a filming location for the television show Game of Thrones. Its beauty and history make Girona a must-see for any traveler with room in their Spain itinerary for a day trip.
There are exceptional museums, like The Cinema Museum, Museu d’Art de Girona, and Masó House. Girona also has top-notch historical attractions, including the Girona Cathedral, the Arab Baths of Girona, and the Sant Pere de Galligants monastery.
Plus, there are spots for photos all over the place, from Pont de les Peixateries Velles bridge to the River Onyar.
👉 Pro Tip: The city hosts numerous events throughout the year, but the one it’s especially known for is the colorful Temps de Flors festival. For nine days in May, the entire city gets covered in an extraordinary display of flowers. It’s something you have to see to believe and you won’t want to miss it if you’re visiting Barcelona in May.
The birthplace of surrealist artist Salvatore Dali and home to the Dalí Theatre-Museum.
Figueres is the ideal day trip from Barcelona for art lovers and families. One of the most famous and fascinating museums in the whole country is tucked away in this town: the Dali Theatre Museum. From the second you walk up to this place, you’ll quickly realize it’s unlike any museum you’ve ever seen before.
The museum is dedicated to renowned surrealist artist Salvatore Dali. As you enter, it’s like walking through a very, very weird dream (in a good way). It’s intriguing to adults and entertaining for kids.
Of course, there is more stuff to do in Figueres besides the Dali Museum, like the historic Sant Ferran Castle. Alternatively, families with children might prefer the Toy Museum of Catalonia in Figueres.
Take a quick day trip out of Spain to this stunning tiny country in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France.
Let’s talk about Andorra. It’s a teensy independent country squished right between Spain and France. Yes, you technically have to take a quick dip outside of Spain for this day trip, but it’s just as possible to accomplish as every other journey on this list. The benefits of making the endeavor are pretty extensive, too.
The big thing to do in Andorra is nature and the various ways to experience it. There are ski resorts and hikes to panoramic viewpoints like Mirador Roc Del Quer. There are also historic sites like the 12th-century Sant Joan de Caselles Church and Casa de la Vall.
Alternatively, visitors who just want to relax on their day trip can opt to spend the day at Caldea Spa. It’s one of the largest spas in Europe with 18 different floors to peruse.
👉 Pro Tip: Since it is a little more of a complicated expedition, it might be smarter to join one of the guided tours to Andorra. This 3 Countries in 1 Day Small-Group Tour from Barcelona is a terrific choice if you’re tight on time.
Vilafranca del Penedès
A prized wine destination of the Catalonia region, known specifically for its Cava production.
Pretty much everywhere in Spain is a great location to sip on some wine, but travelers who want to take it to the next level of deliciousness can visit Vilafranca del Penedès. It’s a Catalonian town that’s become famous around the region for wine production, specifically Cava. In Penedes, there will be all different types of ways to appreciate the local wine culture.
You can partake in a guided tour of nearby wineries like Can Bas Domini Vinícola and Giró Ribot S.L., and Cava Torreblanca. These places almost always come with a wine tasting. Once you’ve visited one of the wineries, stop by the VINSEUM. This museum is dedicated to showcasing the art of wine production and there are also some tastings to find here.
A super scenic city that’s renowned for its lively La Patum festival in early summer.
For most of the year, Berga is a quiet, little city with just a few sites to see and delicious food to eat. There isn’t too much going on, which makes it perfect for people who just want to experience a new place without it being too intense. However, everything changes in Berga in early June.
During this time, the city transforms into a five-day celebration of the La Patum festival. It’s an ancient celebration and parade as part of the Corpus Christi festival. A vivacious energy settles over Berga as dancers and performers take to the streets to theatrically tell the stories of the holiday’s history. It’s such a big deal that the festival was actually named a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
An ancient town bordering the Meder River with architectural wonders, museums, and an annual Medieval market.
Vic is one of Spain’s Medieval villages and there is a ton of history to dive into in this city. Start a day in Vic by hitting all of its major significant historical sites, including the Roman Temple of Vic, Vic Cathedral, and the oldest bridge in the city Pont de Queralt. With a dose of the city’s culture in your system, it’s time to head over to one or two of its museums. Vic is home to the MEV Museu d’Art Medieval and the Museum of Leather Artistry.
Every December, the city of Vic brightens up for its annual Medieval Market. It’s one of the largest events of its kind in all of Spain. For four days, the town will really go back to its Medieval roots and it’s a super fun thing to be a part of.
There are activities for kids, plenty of souvenirs to buy, and as much food and drink as you can handle.
A quaint fishing village on the rocky coastline of Costa Brava with amazing seafood, beaches, and an untapped well of inspiration.
Are you in desperate need of a little artistic inspiration? You may very well find it in Cadaqués on Costa Brava.
For generations, artists and geniuses have flocked to this small Spanish village to spark their creativity. Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Joan Mirò, and even Albert Einstein all spent time in Cadaqués. That’s a pretty impressive list!
It’s not difficult to have an entertaining, easygoing day in the charming fishing village of Cadaqués. It’s considered one of the prettiest towns in the whole region for its rocky shoreline and variety of intimate, little beaches. In the town, one of the best things to do is just roam around, take in the surroundings, and eat at all the outstanding restaurants.
Compartir and El Gato Azul are both terrific, tasty options.
A stylish beachy paradise perfect for lounging the day away with a surprising amount of history.
One of the things I appreciate about all these little Spanish towns is that they’re not one note. They have beaches, history, and more to explore. Begur is a great example of how multi-faceted Spanish towns can be. Less than two hours away from Barcelona, Begur is absolutely packed full of stuff to do.
First and foremost, you must visit at least one of the many picturesque beaches near Begur, like Playa Illa Roja, Platja Fonda, or Platja de Sa Tuna. Beachgoers who can’t stand overcrowded city beaches will love these spots. Then, get into some of the town’s rich history at Begur’s Castle, which towers high above the streets.
Muntanyes de Prades
A stunning Catalonian mountain range with spots for rock climbing, hiking, and more.
Outdoor enthusiasts will get their fill of adventure on a day excursion to Muntanyes de Prades – about 1.5 hours from Barcelona. This mountain range is the biggest protected section of nature in the whole region. There are quite a few intense, yet rewarding, hikes and mountain bike paths weaving throughout the area.
As you make your way up through the trails to the top of the mountain, you’ll be greeted with striking views all the way over the clouds.
For adventurists that want an extra hit of adrenaline, there are a few gorgeous spots to go rock climbing, too. In the fall, try visiting the Prades Mountains when mushroom picking is available. Just make sure you know your stuff or tag along with a local guide, so you don’t eat the wrong type.
An adorable village inside the staggering Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park.
A cute town inside of a volcanic natural park? Sign me up! That’s exactly what you have in store when you venture off on a trip to Olot from Barcelona.
There are four inactive volcanoes around Olot’s city center. One of the most popular things to do around this area is to visit the natural park surrounding the town – Parc Natural de la Zona Volcànica de la Garrotxa. There are plenty of walking trails where you can get to know this magical piece of nature.
Inside the town, visit the Espai Cràter cultural center, which puts on interactive shows and exhibits about the volcanoes. It’s an especially intriguing stop for families with kids who want to learn more about the natural phenomenon. Want an extra memorable experience in Olot? Consider booking a hot air balloon ride over the landscapes with Vol de Coloms just outside of town.
A coastal town with 2.5 miles of sandy beaches and two overflowing botanical gardens with thousands of species.
Blanes is another of the Catalonia region’s magical coastal towns less than an hour away from bustling Barcelona.
Beach lovers will be thoroughly entertained here by Platja De Blanes and Platja de s’Abanell that span along the coastline. Even though it’s considered a beach town, the seashore isn’t the main feature of Blanes. The must-see, can’t-miss attraction in this tiny town is its two massive botanical gardens.
The larger one is Jardín Botánico Marimurtra, which is right on the coast with views of the sea. It’s considered one of the best botanical gardens in the world. The other, Jardí botànic tropical Pinya de Rosa, is better for people who don’t want to be squished by hordes of other visitors. Between the two of them, there are more than 11,000 plant species to discover in these gardens.
Cala Fonda Beach
A calm, secluded nudist beach often dubbed as the Catalonia region’s version of Waikiki Beach.
Cala Fonda Beach might not be the most recognizable name on the master list of things to do in Spain. However, its lowkey status has helped preserve the magic of this serene beach a little over an hour from Barcelona. This nudist beach is a stunning untouched gem that still has the rugged feel that most popular beaches lack.
Its crystal clear water is so majestic that Cala Fonda has actually been compared to Hawaii’s famous Waikiki Beach in this regard. Most days, you’ll have this beach all to yourself with just a few in-the-know locals off in the distance.
However, there aren’t any amenities at this beach and you’ll have to trek through the forest for a bit to get there. So, this is one of those day trips from Barcelona that’s better for the adventure type and might not be good for young kids.
FAQs About Barcelona Day Trips
What cities can you visit from Barcelona?
There are a lot of Spanish cities you can easily visit from Barcelona, including Sitges, Tarragona, Tossa de Mar, and Girona. These cities are all located less than 2 hours away from Barcelona. For an easy transportation option, this Tarragona and Sitges Tour with a Small Group and Hotel Pick Up will accompany you to these cities and show you all the best sites.
What are the most scenic day trips from Barcelona?
Can you do a day trip to Mallorca from Barcelona?
It is not possible to do a day trip to Mallorca from Barcelona. Technically, it only takes a 45-minute flight to reach the island from Barcelona. However, it actually takes more like 3 to 4 hours in total. The ferry to the island also takes nearly 6 hours each way. All in all, it’s better to travel to Mallorca from Barcelona on a weekend trip minimum.
You’re officially rich in day trips from Barcelona! Up next, check out my guide to where to stay in Barcelona for all the inside details about the city’s neighborhoods.
(Featured Image Credit: Mike Workman / Shutterstock)
Help us help you travel better!
Your feedback really helps ...
What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?