Best Day trips from Barcelona | Complete Guide


The city of Barcelona is surrounded by oceans and mountains. This city has so much to offer not only inside it, but also around it. From the endless seaside towns of Costa Brava, to the beautiful Montserrat mountains with a monastery on top, to the Catalunya vineyards producing delicious wine and cava, to the ski resorts of La Molina and Vall de Nuria, the list is very long. Here are my top picks of the best day trips from Barcelona.


1. Montserrat

  • Montserrat is a beautiful multi-peak mountain range near Barcelona. This beautiful mountain range is made up of unusual rocks which a great sight.
  • Adding to its beauty, there is a monastery on top of this mountain which makes the place of great religious importance. This monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat, houses the Virgin of Montserrat, which is the most famous attraction of that place.
  • The many peaks and numerous viewpoints on this mountain offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Visit our day trip to Montserrat article for details about the best things to do in Montserrat and more.


By Train/Car:

  • To get to Montserrat, you will first have to reach the Aeri de Montserrat/Monistrol de Montserrat station either by a train or by road. This train is available only from Espanya station in Barcelona and takes about an hour to reach. Driving here takes the same time.
  • From the station, you can either hike or take a funicular(Monistrol de Montserrat) or a cable car(Aeri de Montserrat) to go up the mountain. The cable car/funicular drops you near the Santa Maria Monastery. You will have to take another cable car to go to the peak. For ticket booking and timetable of the train, cable car and rack railway, please visit the Montserrat website.

2. Tossa De Mar

  • This small beach town on the Costa Brava consists of a set of quaint streets leading to a marvelous medieval castle. If you climb all the way up along the 14th-century walls of this castle, there are super views overlooking the city, the nearby beach and the Mediterranean sea which is one of the most recommended things to do in the town.
  • This is great place to be out in the sun and sip your drink overlooking the beautiful waters. The best way to get there is by drive(Around 105 KMs, about 1 hour 30 mins drive). If you are look for a guided tour combining couple of towns of Costa Brava including this one, the booking link is given below.

3. Pals

  • Pals is a charming little medieval town near Barcelona. Strolling on the cobblestone streets of this town will make you feel you are in a period movie. This place is a paradise for history buffs. The town has a historical city center with a clock tower dating back to the 11th century. Everywhere you will see stoned balconies and and facades with pointed arched windows.
  • The town wall has 4 towers which dates back to the 4th century. They offer an amazing view of the surrounding countryside. Look out for the sunflower fields nearby, you will thank me later!
  • The best way to get there is by drive (Around 132 KMs, about 1 hour 40 mins drive). If you are look for a guided tour combining couple of towns of Costa Brava including this one, the booking link is given below.

4. Vall De Nuria Ski Resort

  • Vall De Nuria is a super scenic valley in the Pyrenees mountains. Being a no vehicle zone, this place feels magical when you enter it as you leave the bustle of the city behind and surround yourself with raw, spectacular nature.
  • This place is a year round destination. It offers a completely different set of activities in the summers and winters. In the summers, the valley offers a mountain resort with restaurants and an exhibition center. Plus there is a long list of activities like picnic zones, canoeing and boating the lake, children adventure park, archery and mini, plenty of hiking trails and much more.
  • In the winters, the resort becomes a ski resort and then you can enjoy a day skiing or just admiring beautiful views around. Plus there are plenty of ice related activities. So overall this is very recommended!


1) Drive + Rack Railway:
  • The best and the most recommended way of reaching here is driving/taking a train till the train stations of Ribes Enllaç/Ribes-Vila/Queralbs. From here you can take the rack railway up the mountain. You cannot drive up there, as Vall De Nuria is a no vehicle zone.
  • For resort and rack railway booking, list of activities in summer and winters and all the other information, please visit the Vall De Nuria website.
Guided Tour:
A guided tour will take though the same way mentioned above and will also combine few other towns along the way. Booking link is given below the image.

5. PortAventura

  • PortAventura is the largest theme park in Spain. Due to so many choices of activities inside, it is not only a favorite place for kids, but grown ups too. This theme park has 3 different parks in itself:
    • PortAventura Park: This is the classic theme park with numerous different adrenaline-inducing rides.
    • Caribe Aquatic Park: Yes you guessed it right! A huge water park perfect for summer trips featuring swimming pools, several different slides and even give rafting a try.
    • Ferrari Land: This is a wonderland for speed-lovers. Filled with rollercoasters and much more, one of its attractions is the highest and fastest rollercoaster in Europe.
  • The best way to get there is by drive (Around 110 KMs, about 1 hour 20 mins drive). The other best way is book a tour which combines pick and drop with the park tickets. The booking link is given below the image.

6. Sitges

  • Sitges is a beautiful coastal town near Barcelona. It is famous for its lively beaches, energetic nightlife and beautiful architecture. This city is also famously known as the gay capital of Europe!
  • So if you are looking for a beach day out from Barcelona filled with water sports and martinis, this is the place! Also there is a famous carnival that happens every year in February here for which people from all over the country visit here.


1) Drive: Around 40 KMs, about 45 mins drive 2) Sitges is only a 30-minute train ride from Barcelona Sants station 3) Guided Tour: A guided tour will cover Sitges along with few other towns along the way. Booking link is given below the image.

7. Wine tasting in Catalunya’s Vineyards

  • The Catalonia region in Spain is a famous producer of wine. Beside the usual white and reds, they produce a local variety known as Cava, which is a sparkling wine. Also it is cheaper and smoother.
  • The Sant Sadurní d’Anoia area of Catalonia is the center where around 60 vineyards produce cava and export to the resort of the world. You can come for a wine tasting day trip to one of the vineyards giving a vine tour here.


1) Guided Tour: A guided tour will cover 2-3 excellent wineries with convenient a pick and drop. This is the most recommended option. Booking link given below the image. 2) Drive: These wineries are about an hour away by car.

8. La Monila Ski Resort

You can spend a day skiing on the icy mountains of Pyrenees or just soaking in and admiring the views! We would recommend spending a night here. Obviously, this ski resort runs only in winter time(that is from November to April). Visit the La Molina website the list of activities, booking and more.


1) Drive: 160 KMs, around 2 hours drive 2) Train: From Placa Catalunya Station(2 hours 30 mins) Tip: There is a combo offer called Skitren that includes a return train ticket + bus to the slopes + daily skiing pass in about 41 Euros. Visit the Rodalies de Catalunya website to know more. This is the cheapest deal you can get.

9. Figueres

  • The town is the birthplace and home to the museum of the artist Salvador Dalí, a Surrealist Spanish painter and printmaker known for exploring subconscious imagery.
  • Looking at the exterior of the museum, Pink walls with eggs on top of it, I mean how can you even think of this right? Now just imagine how surreal and quirky his whole life work will be. The museum exhibits pieces from his personal collection and all his life work. If you are into art, you will really enjoy this.


1) 150 KMs, around 2 hours drive
2) Train: From main stations(Passeig de Gràcia and Barcelona Sants)(2 hours). You can also opt for the faster AVE and AVANT trains. 

10. Girona

  • Another famous medieval town near Barcelona is Girona. It is filled with historic sights, the most famous one being the Cathedral of Saint Mary. This site and city become hugely famous after 2-3 Game of Thrones scenes were shot inside and outside of this Cathedral.
  • The city walls of Girona are very well preserved and they have multiple towers overlooking the countryside. The view is just breathtaking.
  • Girona is also known as one of the best gastronomic cities in the world. It is home to Celler de Can Roca, the restaurant which has been awarded World’s Best Restaurant title multiple times. Trust me, you have to be lucky to get a reservation here as it is always booked.


1) Guided tour: Since you are visiting an medieval city, taking a guided tour is recommended. Booking link is given below the image. 2) Drive: Around 105 KMs, about 1 hour 30 mins drive

11. Cadaques

  • Cadaques is a laid back fishing village. This village has a Greek island type all white architecture which makes it super pretty. Stroll the white washed streets, have coffee in one of quaint cafes and soak in the stunning views of the mediterranean.
  • World renowned artists like Picasso and Miró considered this Cadaques as the most beautiful village in the world. This town was also one of the homes of Spanish Surrealist artist Salvador Dali. That home is now converted into a museum, which art lovers will enjoy.


1) Driving distance is 175 KMs, about 2 hour 15 mins drive 2) Guided tour: Guided tour generally combines the town of Figueres with Cadaques. So you visit the very famous Dali Museum along with the beautiful town of Figueres. Booking link is given below the image.

12. Tarragona

  • Tarragona is another beautiful coastal town near Barcelona. Apart from the beaches, this town is filled with roman remains all over the town. This unique combination makes this place famous.
  • This place is so much filled with relics that you can discover random sites while just roaming around on the streets. . The most famous is the Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is obviously very recommended.
  • This city’s coast is also very famous as it is 15 KM long and is filled with plenty of coves and bays.


1) Drive: Driving distance is 100 KMs, about 1 hour 30 mins drive 2) Guided tour: Guided tour generally combines the town of Sitges with Tarragona. Booking link is given below the image.
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