Excursions from Barcelona: the best day trips around Barcelona

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Barcelona is an enchanting city full of art and entertainment, but it is not the only destination worthy of interest in Catalonia: the whole region is dotted with more or less large centers equally fascinating for their natural beauties or for the monuments witnessing the local history and art. Here is a selection of the more interesting trips to do in one day starting from the Catalan capital.


  1. Montserrat
  2. Dalinian Triangle
  3. Lloret de Mar
  4. Colonia Güell
  5. Tarragona
  6. Girona
  7. Sitges
  8. Andorra la Vella
  9. User questions and comments

1 - Montserrat

Montserrat is the most important mountain in Catalonia, about 51 km from Barcelona. Its name means serrated mountain, and it is a naturalistic wonder it offers several hiking trails, from the easiest ones suitable for families, to the most complex ones for trekking and free climbing enthusiasts, to reach over 1.200 meters above sea level.
If, on the other hand, you are a lover of comfort but still love the views and the mountain air, do not despair, because there is a funicular service that will take you to the top in a few minutes.

Set in the rock of the mountain the famous monastery of Montserrat stands, a Benedictine complex founded in the th century, although its origin is uncertain. The Gothic-style building is famous for being the sanctuary of the Moreneta, a statue of a black-skinned Madonna that is said to have miraculous powers.

  • Range: 51,5 km
  • from Barcelona by train on the R5 line, connected directly to the funicular at the Montserrat Aer stop, or by the FGC train, starting from the España station in the first case and from Plaça Catalunya in the second - Get directions
  • the monastery is open from 07:00 to 19:30, while the cable car from 09:40 to 19:00 from March to October, while in the winter months the last run is at 17:45 from Monday to Friday and at 18: 15 on weekends and holidays
  • a single ride on the cable car costs € 7,50, while the combined return ticket costs € 11,50

2 - Dalinian Triangle

Fans of surrealism cannot fail to dedicate a day to the so-called Dalinian triangle, in the north of Catalonia. It is about an itinerary consisting of three stages in the footsteps of Salvador Dalì, the eclectic Catalan artist.

The first stop is Figueres, the city that gave birth to Dalì which houses the theater-museum designed by the artist himself to house his works, and where the artist's remains currently rest.
Following the town of Port Ligat, a small hamlet overlooking the sea in the municipality of Cadaqués. Dalì called Cadaqués the most beautiful village in the world, and it is therefore not surprising to know that here he chose to stay and work for a long time in his house-studio, now used as a museum.
Finally the last stop is in Púbol, where you can visit the castle that Dalì gave to his wife Gala, his love and the inspiring muse of many works. Dalì adopted the castle as his last residence and laboratory.

  • Range: 138 km
  • Figueres can be reached from Barcelona by train from Sants station in about 1 hour and a half. From Figueres you can always get to Cadaques by train passing through Roses and changing to Cadaques, then on foot to Port Ligat for about 2 km. Finally, from Port Ligat to Pùbol in about 3 hours, returning to Figueres and from there passing through Bordils Juià and La Pera, before a stretch of about 1,5 km on foot.
    The tour instead provides pickup directly at the hotel between 8:00 and 9:00 in the morning.
  • the tour lasts approximately 12 hours.
  • the full day tour of transport costs € 120,00.
  • Salvador Dalí tour from Barcelona with pickup

3 - Lloret de Mar

If you have only one day to dedicate to the sea of ​​the Costa Brava, you can only choose Lloret de Mar, 68 km from Barcelona. The Catalan municipality is among the favorite destinations of young people from all over Europe, for its wide free but well-kept beaches, the cheap hotels and the tireless nightlife.

Lloret de Mar is therefore ideal for a day full of fun and carefree, perhaps to be inserted between a cultural itinerary and another. In addition to the golden beaches and water parks don't forget to visit the Church of Sant Romà, whose colored majolica that make it unique in its kind.

  • Range: 68,9 km
  • by bus with the Sarfa service from Estaciò del Nord, or arriving by train to Blanes and then from there taking a bus of the Pujol line to Lloret de Mar - Get directions
  • the catamaran tour lasts 4 hours, from 15:00 pm to 19:00 pm
  • the recommended excursion costs € 42,00
  • Lloret de Mar: Catamaran Tour with BBQ Lunch

4 - Colonia Güell

Just 4 km from Barcelona, Gaudí fans will not be able to miss the Güell colony. It is a small village created to provide accommodation and services to the workers of the textile factory of Eusebi Güell, who most will remember for the park in Barcelona which takes its name similarly to the colony. The construction of the colony was entrusted to Gaudí, who however personally built only the crypt of the chapel, delegating the rest of the buildings to his assistants.

The crypt is part of the unfinished works of the Catalan architect, as the works were interrupted following the death of Güell. Nonetheless, the crypt was declared World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2005.

  • Range: 4,1 km
  • from the Pl. Espanya stop take the S8 train of the FGC service to reach the colony in about half an hour - Get directions
  • the crypt is open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 00pm from November to April, while from May to October it closes at 17pm. On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays the crypt closes at 00pm, regardless of the season.
  • the visit to the crypt costs € 7,00, which rises to € 9,50 if you choose a guided tour, where however the Italian language is not available.

5 - Tarragona

Tarragona is a city in southern Catalonia, 93 km south of Barcelona. In Tarragona, history, art and sea coexist, making it an unmissable destination to complete the Catalan itinerary. The main attractions of the city are very close to each other, which will give you the freedom to explore them on foot without using public transport. On the historical side, the Terraco, a complex of Roman ruins, the nearby amphitheater and aqueduct, and finally the Cathedral of Tarragona, in Romanesque-Gothic style, deserve a mention.
Take a few hours of your trip to discover the history of the city, then lose yourself in the relaxing atmosphere of the Catalan coast, between crystal clear sea and tapas bars.

  • Range: 93,3 km
  • Reachable in 1 hour and 25 minutes by car or by train in about 1 hour from Barcelona Sants Station. The suggested tour is designed for small groups and includes hotel pickup
  • the tour is scheduled to depart at approximately 8:30 am
  • the recommended tour cost is € 78,00
  • Tarragona: Small Group Half-Day Tour from Barcelona

6 - Girona

Girona is a beautiful medieval town, 99 km from Barcelona. In recent years the city has gained considerable fame for having lent some of its most evocative views such as set for the TV series Game of Thrones, which inspired special tours. Attentive fans will recognize the stairs of the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Girona, used for the temple of Baelor in King's Landing, while several streets served as the backdrop to the story of Arya in Braavos in the sixth season.

But Girona is not only this: the city is a mixture of stories and peoples, which you can explore from the Jewish quarter, one of the most beautiful in Spain, to the famous thermal baths of the Arab Baths, dating back to the th century.
Finally, strolling on the banks of the Onyar river, do not miss to admire the colorful ones Penjandes houses, which urban redevelopment has transformed from poor fishermen's houses to a symbol of the city.

  • Range: 99,8 km
  • Girona is easily accessible from Barcelona by train, leaving from Sants station with a journey time of approximately one hour and twenty minutes. There is also a bus connection, but the rides are not very frequent
  • the suggested tour lasts two and a half hours, allowing you to explore the city in freedom. It is available at 10:30 and 15:00
  • the tour costs € 40,00 per person
  • Girona: Game of Thrones Locations Small Group Tour

7 - Sitges

Known as little Ibiza, Stiges is a seaside town on the Costa Dorada, south of Barcelona. The main attraction of Stiges are its 4 km of beaches that overlook a sea that boasts the Blue Flag certification. The local beaches and lidos differ in the type of entertainment and hospitality, making Stiges a destination suitable for everyone, whether you are with family or friends.
After a day on the beach, we recommend that you take advantage of the sunset lights for a stroll through the narrow streets of the historic center, whose colors will take you to the Greek islands in your mind.

  • Range: 41 km
  • Stiges is well connected to the Catalan capital through a dense network of trains. The cost of the ride is about € 3,50 and the duration varies from twenty to thirty minutes. The departure stations from Barcelona are Estació de França, Passeig de Gracia and Sants Estació
  • the catamaran tour starts at 16pm and lasts approximately three hours
  • from € 36,00 per person for the recommended tour
  • Costa Daurada: catamaran and snorkeling tour

8 - Andorra la Vella

Andorra la Vella is the highest capital of Europe, located in the heart of the Pyrenees at 1023 meters above sea level. The city is quite isolated as it has neither an airport nor a train station, however it is worth a visit for a relaxing day.
Andorra is home to the largest spa in Europe, where you can immerse yourself in the numerous pools of boiling water while outside the climate is rather cold in every season.
In addition to the spa complex, do not miss the buildings of the Barri Antic, the historic city center with its typical slate houses, and the shopping centers where you can shop at really affordable prices.

  • Range: 214 km
  • by bus, for a journey of approximately three hours from Barcelona Sants
  • the thermal baths are open every day until 22:00 (Saturday until midnight), while the buildings in the historic center can be visited from 10:00 to 18:00

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