Thanks for checking out my top 5 day trips from Barcelona!
So you’re in Barcelona either visiting or here a little more permanently? Feel like exploring what this region of Spain has to offer outside of the city? Then you have come to the right place, these are my 5 top day trips from Barcelona if you’re looking to get out of all the hustle and bustle. Having visited all of these places myself I can tell you they are all worth a visit!
If hiking and breath taking views are your cup of tea then you shouldn’t miss spending a day climbing the famous mountain which so many people fall in love with.
2 hours is the time it takes to jump on a train from Sants train station in Barcelona centre and get to the foot of the mountain. Once there you have a couple of options. It’s possible to take the cable car to the top, or if you are feeling more awake after your early morning start you can walk which is a much better idea in my point of view. It only takes a couple of hours to walk up and isn’t too difficult. Don’t worry you can always take the cable car back down after, if by that point, you’ve had your fair share of walking.
At the top is the monastery of Santa Maria. From that view point you have the chance to grab some photos that will be sure to give your Instagram a much needed boost.
Besalu is an old medieval village that is, again, about 2 hours from the centre of Barcelona. The easiest way to get there is by taking a train or bus to Girona (an hour from Barcelona) and then a bus from Girona to Besalu (about an hour again).
A lot of the original architecture from the middle ages is still standing and it’s very easy to feel as though you are back in those times as you explore the narrow alleys and paths that weave through the tiny village.
The main attraction in Besalu is the bridge which is pictured above, although there are a lot of other interesting features that give you plenty of opportunity to become a history boffin for the day.
Once you have seen the village and got your photos, stop off in one of the lovely restaurants for some lunch and then go for a walk around the outskirts of Besalu and experience some of the Spanish countryside.
For all of you ski and snowboard lovers out there Andorra should for sure be on your to do list. You will have to get up fairly early to make a good day out of it (as it takes roughly 3 hours to get there) but it’s just within reach to be able to get a full day out of it, if you plan it properly.
Shopping more your style? Perfect. As a duty free tax haven Andorra offers some amazing shopping. While everyone else is off doing their thing on the slopes you can grab a bargain in some of the hundreds of shops dotted around.
Some companies offer all in one day trips including transport from the centre of Barcelona so do your research and thank me later.
4) Costa Brava
Possibly one of the more popular day trips from Barcelona. It’s not hard to see why.
The Costa Brava is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline Spain has to offer. Only 1 or 2 hours from Barcelona centre depending on which town you decide to visit along the coast it’s probably best visited with your own car, although some bus services do run to the more popular towns.
If you don’t know which town to visit Tossa de Mar is very popular with great beaches and rocky coast lines. Also ‘Pals’ is a great spot for some nice lunch and amazing views.
Perhaps my top recommendation for a place to visit along the Costa Brava is Cadaques. A favourite holiday spot of Salvador Dali, Cadaques is known mostly by locals as the place to escape to during the summer months. The small town has a population of around 2612 but in summer it can rise to 10 times that number.
The one town I would advise against visiting is Lloret de Mar as it’s mainly populated with 18 year old students on holiday, usually English, who are there to go out drinking all day and night (I am English and know what they can be like so I’m allowed to say that). You might get more luck in winter as it’s normally a summer party resort but to be honest there are better places along the Costa Brava to visit anyway. That’s just my opinion though, you may be looking for that kind of thing in which case go for it!
5) River Ebro
This one will divide people, however as the second longest river on the Iberian peninsula the river Ebro has made its way on to the list. It’s world famous for catfish and carp fishing and there are plenty of companies who offer all-inclusive day trips to various sections of the river.
This could be considered a 2 day trip as it’s the furthest away out of the 5 day trips from Barcelona I have mentioned but I really did enjoy my time there, even if I didn’t catch anything. Just being outside in nature is enough to have a good time sometimes especially coming from the city.
I hope that I’ve inspired some of you to take a closer look at what this part of Spain has to offer outside of Barcelona. If you’ve enjoyed reading about my top 5 day trips from Barcelona then check out my other article about 10 Alternative Things To Do IN Barcelona!
Since 2016 I’ve travelled full-time working as a travel photographer and writer remotely. I move around at my own pace (I hate fast-paced travel) and like to spend a few months getting to know each place I base myself in. Currently in the north of España 🇪🇸 and loving it.