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8 Daytrips from Barcelona to Consider

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Barcelona, the bustling capital of the Catalonia region, is perfectly situated on Spain’s northeast Mediterranean coast. Its prime location and excellent transport links make it an ideal base for exploring the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada to the south, or the stunning mountain scenery of the Pyrenees to the north. Countless charming villages, towns, and cities are just a stone’s throw away.

As one of Europe’s most visited cities, Barcelona attracts tourists from all over the world to experience its rich cultural and historical sites, such as Parc Güell and La Sagrada Família, and to enjoy a taste of Catalonian life in this cosmopolitan seaside city.

A visit to Barcelona doesn’t have to be confined to the city’s main attractions. There are many varied and accessible day trips just a short distance from the city, offering a deeper dive into the region’s diverse heritage.


Girona, a stunning city teeming with culture, is located towards the eastern tip of Spain. It borders other Spanish cities like Lleida and Barcelona and stretches to the Mediterranean coast. Many travelers flock to Girona to explore its museums, world-class cuisine, art galleries, and historic sites like cathedrals and ancient stone walls. Besides its impressive history, Girona hosts vibrant festivals, beautiful beaches, and enchanting places to get lost in.


Figueres, the birthplace of the great artist Salvador Dalí, is home to the Dalí Theatre-Museum, the largest surrealistic object in the world. Originally housing the Municipal Theatre, which was destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War, Dalí saw an opportunity in the ruins and created his museum, which now houses approximately 1,500 pieces of art, ranging from sculpture to painting, drawing, engraving, and photography. Even if you’re not a Dalí enthusiast, the town’s beauty makes it worth the visit.


Just 100 km south of Barcelona lies the ancient Roman town of Tarragona. Once the capital of Rome’s western Mediterranean empire, Tarragona boasts some of the finest Roman remains in Spain. The city’s old town is full of character and offers wonderful museums, including the National Archaeological Museum, featuring ancient Roman artifacts and impressive mosaics. Additionally, the nearby Port Aventura, the largest theme park in Spain operated by Universal Studios, features Europe’s biggest roller coaster and numerous rides for all ages.


Nestled on the coast of the Costa Brava, Cadaqués is a picturesque fishing village known for its whitewashed houses and crystal-clear waters. This charming town has long been a haven for artists, including Salvador Dalí, who spent much of his life here. Visit the Dalí House-Museum in nearby Portlligat to see where the artist lived and worked. Cadaqués is also perfect for leisurely strolls along its scenic waterfront, exploring its art galleries, and enjoying fresh seafood in local restaurants.


Just a short train ride south of Barcelona, Sitges is a vibrant seaside town famous for its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and annual film festival. With its charming old town, filled with narrow streets and whitewashed buildings, Sitges offers a mix of relaxation and cultural experiences. The town is also known for its welcoming atmosphere, making it a popular destination for LGBTQ+ travelers. Enjoy a day at the beach, explore the Maricel Museum, or simply wander through the town’s picturesque streets.

Ruins of Empuries

History enthusiasts will be captivated by the Ruins of Empuries, located on the Costa Brava near the town of L’Escala. This ancient site features the remains of a Greek colony founded in 575 BC, later expanded by the Romans. Wander through the ruins of temples, houses, and an amphitheater, and visit the onsite museum to learn more about the site’s fascinating history. The Ruins of Empuries offer a unique glimpse into the ancient civilizations that once thrived in this region.


Begur is a small yet captivating municipality on the Costa Brava coastline. With less than 4,000 inhabitants, this hidden gem is perfect for nature lovers, offering beautiful beaches and parks. Begur was once nicknamed “Little Africa” due to its secluded location. The town’s streets are filled with Moorish and Spanish architecture, creating an inviting and mysterious atmosphere. In the late 19th century, local merchants returning from Cuba built neoclassical mansions, rumored to have hosted pirates.


The unique, rounded peaks of Montserrat, a holy mountain just under an hour’s drive northwest of Barcelona, can be seen for miles around, rising to 1,235 meters. This iconic and sacred mountain for the Catalans is home to the Black Virgin, a 12th-century statue of the Virgin Mary, housed in a magnificent basilica. Legend has it that the statue was miraculously found in a cave. People leave offerings, such as wedding dresses and photos, hoping for favors like having a baby or curing an illness.

Another major draw is the famous Montserrat boys’ choir, one of the oldest in Europe, performing daily except Saturdays. Don’t miss the Montserrat monastery complex, which also has an art museum featuring works by Picasso, El Greco, and Monet.

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