The best day trips outside of Barcelona


As a city, Barcelona has it all; we don’t know many other places that have a metropolis core, a stunning coastline, and a beautiful mountain range, all within the same place. It’s the ultimate holiday destination for every kind of traveller, but we’re not the only ones in love with the city. The truth is, the number of tourists in Barcelona has steadily increased in the past few years, and now, summer in the city is a lot busier than it was a few years ago.

One way to avoid the summer crowds is to enjoy a day trip away from Barcelona, but still in the region of Catalonia. Catalonia is one of the most beautiful regions in Spain, yet many only know about its capital. However, there are plenty of other spectacular places to explore outside Barcelona: captivating coastlines with beautiful beaches, tiny towns with roman ruins, and marvellous mountains with picturesque panoramics…

Girona

A forty minute train ride from the centre of Barcelona and just 100km north of the Catalan capital, Girona is the perfect place to spend a day, or even a weekend, away from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona. Despite its smaller size, Girona’s charm is guaranteed to take your breath away. Discover the history of the city from the Jewish Quarter to the old town, and walk along the river counting all 11 bridges that connect the colourful houses across the stream.

Girona

Sitges

The small coastal town of Sitges is known for its beautiful beaches, amazing nightlife, and gay-friendly community; the atmosphere of the annual Sitges carnival in March wouldn’t feel out of place in Brazil. The beaches close to the centre of Sitges are often busy, so if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter, the tranquil Garraf beach offers 350 metres of golden sand and crystal clear waters.

Sitges

Montserrat

Home to the Santa Maria de Montserrat, one of the most important monasteries in Spain, Montserrat is a breath-taking mountain town about an hour from Barcelona. The monastery attracts pilgrims from all over the world and is Catalonia’s most important religious retreat. The Montserrat boys’ choir, L’Escolania, also performs each day at 1pm before mass, the choir made up of young boys who attend the infamous choir school and dedicate themselves solely to their art.

Montserrat

Tarragona

Take a step back in time to the Roman era and get lost in medieval buildings, ancient aqueducts, and historic architecture in Tarragona. Much of this ancient roman city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city is also home to many religious buildings, like the Tarragona Cathedral. For another cultural experience, you can take a look around the Tarragona Museum of History, as well.

Tarragona

Badalona

Just like Sitges, Badalona offers guests an alternative beach getaway to those frustrated with Barceloneta’s crowded sands. The beaches in Badalona are cleaner and quieter than in Barcelona, great for those that want to enjoy a peaceful day on the sand. Badalona also has its own pier, the Pont de Petroli, which you can walk along and experience sensational views of the sea, the beach, and the town itself.

Badalona

Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona. AB Apartment Barcelona is an apartment rental agency offering over one thousand short and long term apartments across Barcelona.

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Comments (6)

  1. Graham says:

    How lucky is Barcelona? It really gets close to having it all. When it comes to location, location, location Barcelona not only has its own beach but it’s also so close to a great coastline. On top of that you’ve got the mountains and the countryside too. Then there is all the culture within the city and I hear that they also have a reasonable football team too!

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Graham, thanks for your comment. You’re right, we’re extremely lucky in Barcelona. Many only come for the city, but we can’t shout enough about how beautiful the nearby mountains are other coastal towns are as well.

  2. Rob says:

    Barcelona is one of my favourite European cities and I visit reasonably often. As I love the place so much it has never crossed my mind to leave the city as I want to make the most of every moment but this post has made me think again. Who knows I might even catch a bus or train on my next visit?

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Rob, we love that Barcelona is one of your favourite citie. As much as we think it’s got it all, there is so much more to explore in Catalonia too. Next time you come, why not catch a train out of the city and see something new. The city will always be waiting for you when you come back!

  3. Caz says:

    I took a day trip to Barcelona when I holiday in Salou a couple of years ago, and it was definitely busy as you’d expect with such a major tourist destination. I had the choice between Barcelona and Montserrat, so I’m glad to see that included in your list; if ever I go back I’d really like to go there next time, it’s definitely an interesting one. I’d add Tarragona to the list, too, for similar reasons of just how interesting the history and scenery is. A lot of places around Catalonia, at least when I visited Salou, can be reached with tourist bus trips as a day out from Bus Plana or your holiday provider if you take a package holiday. This post has made me want to go back already!

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Caz, we love Montserrat and are so happy that you managed to visit a few years ago. We also highly recommend you visit Tarragona. We can’t wait to welcome you back soon!

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