Barcelona is located on the northeastern coast of Spain. Its proximity to the French border, the Pyrenees mountain range, and other coastal cities and towns in Catalonia make it a good base if you are planning to explore further. And because it is the region’s transportation hub, it’s quite easy and convenient to hop from one destination to another from here.
Here are some of the places you can visit on a day trip from Barcelona. All of these destinations are easily reached via train or bus services. We also included Klook links if you are interested in joining guided day tours with Barcelona as the jumping-off point.
WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
Protected as a national park since 1987, Montserrat is a mountain range that features rock formations, hiking trails, and a prominent Benedictine abbey — Santa Maria de Montserrat.
From afar, the karst peaks resemble the jagged blade of a saw — hence the name ‘Montserrat’, which literally means “saw mountain” in Catalan. For hikers, the popular peaks are Sant Jeroni (highest), Montgrós, and Miranda de les Agulles. Funicular and cable car shuttle visitors from the base to the abbey. If you want to reach the peak but don’t have the stamina to ascend on foot, the funicular can carry you from the abbey station. Get panoramic views of the surrounding areas from different heights and spots.
Nearest Train Station: Aeri de Montserrat Station (FGC R5 Train). Take the train from Barcelona’s Plaça Espanya Station. The cable car and funicular are both linked to Aeri de Montserrat. The travel time from Barcelona to Montserrat is about an hour.
If you are a fan of Klook, you can choose your English-language package: full-day or half-day and regular or bus transfer only.
2. Costa Brava
Dominating Spain’s northeastern portion, near the French border, is the rugged Costa Brava in the province of Girona. The costal region rose to fame as a choice holiday destination in Europe for its beaches, nature, and climate.
Some points of interest are the fisherman’s village of Calella de Palafrugell, the medieval town of Pals, the Greek and Roman ruins of the Empúries, and Girona’s cathedral and Jewish Quarters.
Nearest Train Station: Barcelona Sants Station. This is the main railway station in Barcelona, so many trains from various railway companies make a stop here and many different train lines converge here. Decide which area of Costa Brava you want to explore then choose the nearest station to that town.
If you want to explore multiple sites within Costa Brava, the most convenient way is to join a guided tour. Klook is offering two options that both includes roundtrip transfers, inland transportation, and an English-speaking guide. One option includes sailing on a boat with a submarine vision.
3. Penedes Wine Region
Straddling two coastal provinces, Barcelona and Tarragona, Penedes is one of the best wine-producing regions in Spain. The landscape is characterized by fertile vineyards sprawled between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountain range. The region prides itself on producing world-renowned sparkling wine, Cava.
Aside from the sparkling wine, they also produce outstanding dry red and white wines. Wine lovers take a day tour from Barcelona to the region to learn more about the wines and the Cava production.
Nearest Train Station: Vilafranca del Penedès Station. This is the usual jumping-off point for wine tours in the region if you are planning to pull a DIY. Take the RENFE trains R2 or R4 stopping at any of these stations in Barcelona’s city center — Arc de Triomf, Plaza Catalunya, and Barcelona Sants. Travel time is about an hour from Barcelona.
If you are interested in taking a wine tasting tour in the Penedes region, Klook is offering one that covers guided tours to three wineries, wine and cheese tastings, and roundtrip transfers.
Located north of Barcelona, Girona is the largest city in Northern Catalonia and the capital of Girona Province. The city is famed for its ancient fortresses, narrow cobbled streets, and its Jewish Quarters.
Its well preserved medieval sites and buildings have attracted not only tourists but also TV and film producers. Some scenes in the Game of Thrones TV series were shot here. The popular tourist spots aside from the ones mentioned previously are Girona Cathedral, Sant Feliu, Sant Pere de Galligants, Plaça de la Independència, Onyar’s colorful riverside houses, and the Eiffel Bridge among others.
Nearest Train Station: Girona Station. You can get on a train from Barcelona Sants via RENFE trains to Girona. The travel time is about an hour.
Klook is offering a small group guided tour which also includes a trip to Figueres from Girona. This covers roundtrip transfers, hotel pick-up and drop-off service, an English-speaking guide, and a ticket to Dali Museum in Figueres.
Also in Girona Province is the town of Figueres. It boasts prominent Spanish personalities; the most famous is artist Salvador Dali.
Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí, a museum designed by Dali himself, attracts tourists to the small town. It showcases Dali’s works and serves as his final resting place. Visitors usually combine Figueres with Girona in a day tour.
Nearest Train Station: Figueres Station. You can take the cheaper but slower regional train from either Barcelona Sants station or Passeig de Gracia station in Barcelona. The travel time is roughly two hours. You can also reach the town via high-speed train, but this entails a bus or taxi ride from the station to the town center.
Interested in visiting Girona too? You can book this guided tour with Klook!
Located nearly 70 kilometers north of Barcelona, Vic is characterized by cathedrals and its old town with narrow winding streets and old mansions surrounding Plaça Major, one of its major tourst spots. Don’t forget to check out two of its notable landmarks — the Church of Sant Pere Apòstol and Sta. Maria la Rodona.
There is a significant number of the student population in Vic, so it has that unique combination of old and youthful vibe. Foodies will be delighted to know that Vic is a big producer of sausages. Its specialty is the thin cured sausage called fuet.
Nearest Train Station: Vic Station. From PlaÇa Catalunya Station in Barcelona, the direct train route’s travel time is about 1.5 hours.
If you want to visit more medieval towns and cities, Klook is offering a package that covers four towns in Catalonia, including Vic. The other towns are Besalú, Castellfollit de la Roca, and Santa Pau. This is inclusive of roundtrip transfers and a bilingual guide.
Because of its significance, especially in the early Middle Ages, Besalu was declared a historical national property in 1966. Up to this day, visitors can still marvel at the structures, streets, and squares that date back to the medieval era.
It is also known for its rich Jewish history. The popular attractions are the Pont Fortificat, Sant Pere Church, and an 11th-century Jewish ritual bath. Tourists who like to visit more than one medieval town in the Catalonia region but don’t want to think much about how to go from one point to the next usually join group tours.
Nearest Train Station: Girona Station or Figueres Station. There’s no direct route from Barcelona to Besalu. You need to take a bus from your chosen train station. Alternatively, you can take a direct bus from Barcelona to Besalu. The travel time is 1.5-2 hours.
Klook is offering Medieval Towns of Catalunya Day Tour which includes four towns in the itinerary — Besalu, Vic, Castellfollit de la Roca, and Santa Pau.
8. Castellfolit de la Roca
Laid out atop a basalt crag formed by volcanic rocks, Castellfolit de la Roca is a peculiar medieval town in the province of Girona. Its narrow streets are a throwback to its medieval roots. The area tapers down to the southeast, punctuated by the town church, Església vella de Castellfollit de la Roca.
Nearest Train Station: Girona Station. From the station, you still need to take a bus to the Castellfolit de la Roca. There are direct bus routes operated by Teisa from Barcelona. The travel time is 2-2.5 hours.
Book Klook’s Medieval Towns of Catalunya Day Tour which includes four towns in the itinerary — Besalu, Vic, Castellfollit de la Roca, and Santa Pau.
Launched in May 1995, PortAventura Park is one of Europe’s largest theme parks. The park encompasses six zones: Mediterrània, Far West, Mexico, China, Polynesia, and Sésamo Aventura. It features about 40 thrilling rides — from roller coasters to water slides to kid-friendly ones.
Aside from the rides, the park entertains guests with regular live shows like Sesamo Parade, FiestAventura, tribal dances, acrobatic performances, and many more. There are options aplenty for food from various restaurants and food stalls.
Nearest Train Station: Port Aventura Station (RENFE). Travel time from Barcelona’s Paseo De Gracia is 1.5 hours.
Klook is offering admission and transportation to PortAventura Park from Barcelona. There is also an option to get both PortAventura and Ferrari Land since they are located close to each other.
Cardona is a medieval hilltop town northeast of Barcelona. Wander around the Old Town and see centuries-old sites and landmarks, particularly the vast and imposing Cardona Castle on a hill, overlooking the town and the Cardener river valley. The castle features an 11th-century tower, rising at 15 meters, and a state-run luxury hotel.
Other attractions in Cardona are the 11th-century Church of St. Vincenç (adjacent to Cardona Castle), the Church of Sant Miguel, and Museo de la Sal de Cardona. Not far from the town is the Parc Cultural de la Muntanya de Sal housing the Cardona Salt Mountain. There are plenty of hiking trails around the area. Some tourists opt to trek and hike to the Salt Mountain from the town center.
Nearest Train Station: Manresa-Alta Station. You still need to take a bus to Cardona from Manresa. Alternatively, you can take a direct bus route from Barcelona to Cardona. The travel time is 2-2.5 hours.
There are tour packages offered in Barcelona that combine visiting Cardona town and the nearby rock salt mountain. Klook has this type of package too! It’s inclusive of roundtrip transfers, hotel pick-up and drop-off service, an English-speaking guide, and admission to Cardona Castle and Salt Mountain.
Tarragona is a port city lying on Costa Daurada facing the Mediterranean Sea on the northeastern portion of Spain. The city, used to be called Tarraco in ancient times, was an important base during the Roman period.
Today, the map of Tarragona is adorned with many important well-preserved historical structures. The most significant is the Roman archaeological site, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the best in Spain.
One of the key tourist spots is the Amfiteatre Romà, which dates back to the 2nd century. It faces the Mediterranean, giving visitors a great view of the sea. Other notable sites are the Old Quarter (Old Town), Cuartel de Pilatos, Les Ferreres Aqueduct (also known as Devil’s Bridge), the Necropolis with its Roman tombs, and Tarragona Cathedral, just to name some.
Nearest Train Station: Tarragona Station or Camp de Tarragona Station. From Barcelona Sants Station, the travel time is over an hour.
If you want to visit both Tarragona and Sitges, you can book the tour with Klook. This covers roundtrip transfers, hotel pick-up and drop-off service, an English-speaking guide, and admission to Tarragona Amphitheater and Tarragona Circus.
Sitges is anything but a sleepy town. Sprawled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Garraf Massif mountain range, what used to be a quiet fishing settlement has attracted not only tourists but many foreign residents.
Located southwest of Barcelona, it is a popular day-trip destination for those who make Barcelona their base. Sitges boasts 17 beaches, most of them are lining along the urban town’s coast. Four are located east of the town center, and two are tucked away further west. Being a resort town, expect the nightlife to be lively and vibrant, so if you are into drinking or dancing the night away, Sitges welcome you! Shops and restaurants abound, especially in the town center.
Nearest Train Station: Sitges Station. From Barcelona Sants Station, it will take about 30 minutes to reach Sitges.
Interested in visiting both Sitges and Tarragona? You can book this tour via Klook!
For those who really take cocktails to heart, you can attend a cocktail class that will show and teach you how to make them from scratch. This is inclusive of the entrance fee to Casa Bacardí Sitges, mixology class, learning 9 cocktails recipes, making 2 cocktails of your choice, and a personalized certificate of attendance.
The Pyrenees mountain range serves as a physical border separating Spain and France. The whole stretch, about 490 kilometers, is dotted with several national parks, offering different outdoor activities and hiking trails. The Pyrenees also hosts ski resorts and during the winter season, locals and tourists alike flock to the Pyrenees for winter sports and leisure.
Nearest Train Station: Puigcerdà Station. This is a station near the border with France. The Pyrenees is extensive, so if you plan to do a day trip, you can visit one to two attractions at most: Vall de Núria, Ripoll, or Puigcerdà. The travel time from Barcelona Sants Station is about 3 hours.
If you are coming in winter and want to experience the Pyrenees during this season, the most convenient way is to join a group tour. Klook is offering snow experience in the Pyrenees tour. This is inclusive of the following:
- Roundtrip transfers
- Multilingual courier and guide on board
- Tickets for the Vall de Núria rack railway
- Entrance to the viewing point, including a ticket for ski lift
- Snowshoe guided tour
- Discounts on activities, ski passes, and snow equipment hire
Having an area of 468 square kilometers, Andorra is the sixth smallest nation in Europe. It’s a sovereign microstate that lies in the eastern Pyrenees, surrounded by the lush mountains. It’s known for its ski resorts and duty-free retail economy.
Tourism is the main economic driver of Andorra with over 10 million visitors annually. The capital city Andorra la Vella is regarded as the highest capital city in Europe. The popular tourist attractions are Barri Antic (old quarter), Santa Coloma Church and its bell tower, Església de Sant Esteve, Government Exhibition Hall, and Meritxell Avenue, a popular street with many shops and boutiques.
Getting There: Since it’s located in the Pyrenees, there’s no airport or railway service in Andorra. Your only option if you are taking public transportation from Barcelona is the bus. There are direct bus routes between Barcelona and Andorra. The travel time is approximately three hours.
15. 3 Countries in 1 Day
For those who love crossing borders, there are tour packages that offer three-country itinerary, covering Spain, France, and Andorra. This is perfect especially for those who are pressed for time but still want to experience a little bit of the three countries.
Klook is offering this service. For this package, you’ll be coming from Barcelona, then cross borders at Baga Village to France’s Aix-Les-Thermes Village. And then you will pass through the mountains to reach Andorra and spend time exploring or shopping in the capital city. This is inclusive of transportation and an English-speaking guide.
Top Barcelona Hotels & Apartments
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Edited by: Asta Alvarez