10 Best Day Trips from Barcelona That are Worth the Trip

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After you’ve spent 3 days in Barcelona, it’s time to get out of the city and explore the surrounding area. There is no shortage of epic day trips from Barcelona to check out during your visit.

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, an autonomous region of Spain, and is long famed as a city with distinct culture and cuisine.

Particularly, tourists are drawn to this coastal city by the famed area of Las Ramblas, narrow alleyways and streets lined with markets, boutiques, bars, restaurants, meandering like mazes in certain areas of the city.

It’s also home to the infamous Sagrada Família Cathedral, designed by Antoni Gaudí – who took over proceedings in 1883, it unbelievably remains unfinished, but is planned for completion in 2026: the centenary of Gaudí’s death.

However, it isn’t just the city itself that attracts visitors: Catalonia and the surrounding coastline have long been wowing visitors from far and wide. And here are some of the highlights you can take in with day trips from Barcelona.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Discover Barcelona Guide Book

10 Best Day Trips from Barcelona

1. Wine-Tasting at Oller del Mas

Oller del Mas - Best Day Trips from Barcelona

This is one of the best day trips from Barcelona if you happen to be somebody who likes wine. Just over an hour by car from the city is Oller del Mas, the site of a 10th-century castle but now home to a successful vineyard.

The 1000-year history of this place encompasses knights and noblemen, battles, and holy pilgrimages – in fact, it’s believed that Saint Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuit order) passed through here during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1523.

Though wine-tasting is the main order of the day at this rustic location, to be able to enjoy some of the region’s local wines in such a historic setting as a medieval castle is an extra bonus.

And on top of all this, a wine-tasting tour at Oller del Mas also offers a tapas lunch for a particularly traditional feel.

Top Recommended Tours at Oller del Mas:

2. Sant Sadurní d’Anoia

wine cellar in Spain

It’s not just ‘regular’ wine that Spain, or particularly Catalonia, is famous for. Arguably the most famous product in terms of wine from this region is cava.

A type of bottle-fermented sparkling wine and the most famous maker of this variety of wine is Codorníu, founded in Barcelona in 1551.

But for a real taste of cava, it’s best to head out of the city on a wine-based day trip from Barcelona to the little town of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, an old settlement first mentioned in 1080.

Here there’s a chance to learn about the wine-making process and to try a number of different cavas produced at the Codorníu cava house on the edge of town. It is a striking example of noucentista, the ‘national architecture of Catalonia’, designed by early 20th-century architect Josep Puig I Cadafalch.

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3. Hiking in the Pyrenees

Pyrenees Mountains in Spain

Spain is bordered to the north by a wall of mountains: the Pyrenees. For a great experience of hiking in the foothills that rise up into the peaks and drop into beautiful valleys, this has got to be one of the most worthwhile day trips from Barcelona you could take – especially if you’re a keen hiker.

But where in the Pyrenees should you go?

The Nuria Valley is a good place to start. Two hours north by car from Barcelona, the entry point to this area of natural beauty is the picturesque stone-built village of Queralbs; after this, it’s a unique ride on a rack railway into the heart of the valley itself.

Here you’ll find a lake and lush green pastures surrounded by towering peaks of the Pyrenees. Hiking opportunities here are on trails leading to the valley Coma de Vaca, a wide rolling stretch of grassy hills pockmarked by dramatic rocks.

Top Recommended Pyrenees Tours:

4. Girona

Canal in Girona, Spain

In Catalonia’s northeast is the ancient city of Girona. Founded in 76 BC, it was home to the Romans, and then the Visigoths until it was conquered by invading Muslims in the late 8th century and for the next, 100 years or so changed hands between European and Moorish forces.

There is evidence of these different cultures throughout the city today, with the Roman walls that once defended the city on show, and the gigantic Girona Cathedral, built in the Romanesque style in the 11th-century on the site of a former mosque.

Colorful houses flank the Riu Onyar is the oldest part of town, one of Girona’s best-known views; there’s a fascinating Jewish Quarter from the Middle Ages, and museums charting the rich heritage of this historic and important city are dotted around the area.

Recommended Tours to Girona:

5. Sitges

Beach in Sitges Spain

Sometimes referred to as ‘Ibiza in miniature’, the counterculture of Sitges grew in the 1960s during the era of far-right General Franco’s rule of Spain.

Today it is a hip beachfront community that draws in tourists for its atmospheric seaside feel. Sitges has also been called ‘St Tropez in Spain’ due to the upscale nature of its establishments, with property prices soaring in recent years.

Here you’ll find narrow lanes, boutiques, cafes, whitewashed buildings, beaches and bars, and as such it’s a great place to spend the day away from the big city of Barcelona.

It’s also famous for xató, a dish dating back to 1886 made up of endive, cod, tuna, anchovies, aubergine, and black olives, but the special ingredient is the distinct sauce used – definitely worth a try when you’re in Sitges.

Top Recommended Tours to Sitges:

6. Figueres

Figueres, Spain

Another one of the northeast-bound day trips from Barcelona, the historical city of Figueres – meaning ‘fig trees’ in Catalan, is around a one-hour-forty drive away and features a wealth of history.

There’s the 18th-century military fortress of Sant Ferran Castle, the imposing 11th-century Church of St. Peter, the intriguing Technical Museum of the Empordà, with a big collection of antique typewriters, but most famously of all is Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí, otherwise known as the Dalí Museum.

It incorporates one of the towers from the centuries-old city walls and is a piece of art in itself.

The artist himself said that he wanted his museum to be “a great surrealist object,” and that people who see it will “leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream.”

Dalí’s dream came true: it definitely makes for a unique day out.

Top Recommended tours to Figueres:

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Discover Barcelona Guide Book

7. Andorra

Andorra, Spain

Nestled in the eastern Pyrenees between Spain and France the tiny country of Andorra was created by charter in 988 AD.

 This micro-state, the sixth smallest country in Europe, is under three hours away from Barcelona by car or bus, meaning that it’s definitely possible to visit in a day.

And why wouldn’t you? Its mountain setting makes it a beautiful place to visit.

The capital, Andorra la Vella, has the highest elevation of all cities in Europe at 3,356 feet above sea level, and in the country’s east you will find Pas de la Casa, a magnificent mountain pass turned ski resort.

Elsewhere in secluded valleys are rustic little villages that give visitors a glimpse into how Andorra would have been in the past.

Recommended Tours to Andorra:

8. Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey

Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, Spain

Just over an hour’s drive from the Catalan capital is Montserrat, a striking mountain range featuring multiple jagged peaks, hence the name, which literally means ‘serrated mountain’.

Here, at over 4,000 feet above the valley floor, you can see almost all of Catalonia, and on a clear day, you might be able to make out the Balearic island of Mallorca, over 150 miles from the coast.

Tucked away in the folds of Montserrat’s peaks is Santa Maria de Montserrat, an abbey founded in the 11th-century that still functions to this day as home to over 70 monks.

There are some stunning examples of medieval architecture here, and it’s here that you’ll find the infamous Black Madonna. Spend a day here at the museum and marvel at the buildings – and the view.

Recommended Montserrat Tours:

9. Costa Brava

Beach in Costa Brava, Spain

Not too far from Girona is the globally renowned region of Costa Brava: Catalonia’s northeastern coast.

It’s well known for good reason and is possibly one of the best day trips from Barcelona that you can embark on, due to the azure seas, dramatic coastline, and charming seaside villages that are spread throughout the area.

There’s the town of Pals, slightly inland, with its imposing medieval tower; the dramatic clifftop castle at Begur; and directly on the coast the picturesque town of Calella de Palafrugell.

Here you can find relaxation and a breath of traditional living amidst the whitewashed houses and clear blue sea.

There are snorkeling opportunities, a chance to chill on its soft sand beaches, and on higher ground, stands Cap Roig, home to the town’s pretty botanical gardens.

Top Recommended Costa Brava Tours:

10. Tarragona

Tarragona, Spain - Best day trips from Barcelona

Spain’s ancient Roman history comes to life in the coastal town of Tarragona. Situated to the southwest of the Catalan capital, it’s a perfect day trip from Barcelona at just over an hour’s drive away.

This town is well over two millennia old, having been founded before the 5th century BC, and it has monumental credentials owing to this long history of existence: it’s packed full of Roman remnants, including a grand amphitheater, circus, and a palace of Augustus – all well preserved.

However, the jewel in the crown of Tarragona’s Roman past is the incredible Les Ferreres Aqueduct; located four kilometers north of town, this feat of ancient engineering supplied Tarragona with water from the Francolí river (14 kilometers away).

It is thought to have been constructed in the reign of Augustus, at least 2,000 years ago! All this stunning history makes Tarragona a must-visit destination.

Top Recommended Tarragona Tours:

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Best Day Trips from Barcelona


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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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