6 Perfect Day Trips From Barcelona

Christa Adams
4 min readMay 29, 2022

From white-washed fishing villages to charming medieval cities, day trips from Barcelona are the move. Catalunya, the region Barcelona is the capital of, is packed full of impressive places. So, whether you’re looking for hiking trails or picturesque towns, it’s absolutely worth taking a Barcelona day trip to see what else this area has to offer.

One of the first views on the trail from Blanes — Playa de Santa Cristina

Costa Brava

With its rugged coast and dozens of picturesque villages, Costa Brava is hard to pass up. Come here for quaint beaches, kayaking, hiking, partying, or relaxation. There’s a little something for everyone in Costa Brava.

One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Costa Brava is to take the train to Blanes, Tossa de Mar, or Palamos. From one of the spots, hike around to discover scenic coastal views, tucked away beaches, and teeny tiny colorful villages like at Cala s’Alguer.

Costa Brava wraps all the way up to the border with France, so not all parts of it are day-trippable (made a new word) unless you have a car. For example, two stellar Costa Brava destinations Roses and Cadaqués. Both are less than two hours away by car but three hours by train and bus. So, stick to the destinations closer to Barcelona if you’re looking for a day trip to Costa Brava.

So, if I had to choose just one Costa Brava day trip? I’d pick Tossa de Mar. This is an incredibly gorgeous small, medevial town with a sandy beach, surrounding hiking trails and calas to swim in, and it’s topped off with a castle boasting dreamy Mediterranean views.

And if you want to hike, trek from Blanes to Tossa de Mar for a nice little workout and rewarding views. Otherwise, here are three of the best day hikes in Costa Brava. If you’re looking for scenic, coastal hiking one one of your day trips from Barcelona, go to Costa Brava.

Vic

Vic is home to medevial charm everywhere you look, so much so that it hosts an annual medevial festival every fall! Cross stone bridges, pass by near-ancient cathedrals, and discover some of its many delicious restaurants along the way. Just hop on the train from the center of Barcelona, and you’ll find yourself in Vic in under an hour and 20 minutes.

Distance by train: 1 hour 18 minutes from Plaça Catalunya station

Castelldefels

Barceloneta Beach is the worst. Sorry to point out the obvious. That’s why locals flock to other surrounding beach towns like Castelldefels. Boasting a long and wide sandy beach and a cute town centre, Castelldefels is the perfect beach day trip from Barcelona. Plus, there’s even some pretty decent specialty coffee shops, local markets, beach equipment rentals, and all the essentials for a great beach trip near Barcelona.

Distance by train: 35 minutes from Plaça Catalunya station

Planning a trip to Barcelona? See how to spend the best 4 days in Barcelona.

Girona

Catalunya’s other must-see city is Girona. This smaller Catalan city boasts tons of charm with its romantic cobbled streets and iconic cathedral (featured in Game of Thrones). My favorite though? Walking on the Roman walls that border the city. You’ll get excellent views of Girona’s orange-hued roofs and impressive cathedral.

But, Girona is also worth a visit to see the 20th-century Noucentist architecture that hugs the Onyar River. It gives me Amsterdam vibes with a Spanish twist. Definitely one of the best day trips from Barcelona, and it’s easy to get to by train.

Distance by train: 1 hour 35 minutes from Plaça Catalunya station

Besalú

One of the regions most preserved medevial towns, Besalú is a must-see for anyone who looks old-world architecture and surrounding natural scenery. Cross over its stone bridge and enter into a town full of cobbled streets, open plazas, and old, stone buildings.

I recommend going for a stroll around the town, catching a few picturesque viewpoints, and then walking down to the quaint waterfront. There are several churches, artisan shops, and restaurants, but there’s not a crazy amount of things to do. That’s why I recommend this day trip from Barcelona if you’re taking a car and can stop at other spots like ‎Castellfollit De La Roca (a village on a cliff), Banyoles Lake, and Parque Natural de la Zona Volcánica de la Garrotxa.

Distance by car: 1 hour 20 minutes

Sitges

Another lively beach town near Barcelona, Sitges is a place for life to be celebrated. Boasting a huge LGBTQ+ scene, nightclubs, and bustling bar scene, a lot of people come to Sitges to let loose and have fun. However, it also has a beautiful beachfront, pretty hilly streets, great restaurants, and events happening throughout the year.

Two of the biggest events that happen in Sitges are the Sitges Film Festival and its massive Carnival parade and celebrations.

Distance by train: 40 minutes from Sants Station, 50 minutes from Francia Station.

Originally published at https://thespiritedexplorer.com on May 29, 2022.

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