Barcelona is one of the most diverse cities in Europe. It’s possible to spend months just exploring the sights and hidden gems in the city. What not everybody knows is that there are lots of beautiful and interesting cities, towns, and sights not so far from Barcelona that you can visit in one day. If you are thinking what to see around Barcelona, you are in the right place.
Here are the 6 best day trips from Barcelona:
Girona is one of the most interesting cities in Catalonia. It is one of the oldest cities in Spain full of medieval castles, narrow streets, and monuments that have survived wars, sieges and unrests.
We recommend visiting the Cathedral of Girona, Girona Wall, Arab baths, cobbled narrow medieval streets, and a Jewish museum that details the history of the Jewish community that resided there until the late 1400s.
2 Fun Facts about Girona
Game of Thrones
Many episodes and scenes of the TV show hit, Game of Thrones, have been shot in Girona and ever since, Girona has become one of the hottest destinations for the TV fans.
Below is a list of all the Girona locations that appeared in Game of Thrones during its sixth season, so you can visit them feeling like Arya Stark struggling to survive Bravoos, or like a Lannister enjoying power in Baelor’s Sept.
- Great Sept of Baelor – Girona Cathedral (Image)
- Streets of Braavos – Bisbe José Cartañà Street
- Port of Braavos market – Rei Ferran el Catòlic
- Street and Archaeological Walk
- The Baths of Braavos – Arab Baths
- Braavos bridge – Galligants bridge
- Braavos theatre – Plaça dels Jurats
- Braavos Market – Pujada de Sant Domènec
- The Library of Oldtown and the King’s
- Landing Cloister – Sant Pere de Galligants
El Celler de Can Roca
For our foodie readers, we recommend visiting the three-Michelin-starred restaurant “El Celler de Can Roca” which was rated as the 2nd best restaurant in the world back in 2016.
How to get to Girona from Barcelona:
With Studentfy: We run fun and affordable trips to Girona once or twice a month. We also visit Besalú, Figueres and the Salvador Dali museum all in a one-day trip by private bus and a private tour guide. This is the ideal trip for students and young tourists.
By train: There are fast RENFE trains going from Barcelona to Girona every 10 minutes. The journey time is about 38 minutes.
Monterrat is one of the place you must visit if you are in Barcelona and it’s one of the most iconic sights in Catalunya. It is about 48 km (30 miles) away from Barcelona, and is easily accessible by train, car and bus.
If you like hiking or just want to enjoy some epic views, the 1,236 meter high mountain range offers an excellent and breathtaking view. Montserrat is also very popular because of its monastery and the Black Madonna statue.
If you feel hungry, there are restaurants and cafés where you can get food, snacks and drinks. A 3-course lunch would cost about 15€ per person.
How to Get to Montserrat from Barcelona
With Studentfy: We run affordable one-day trips to Montserrat every month in the spring and autumn. There are discounts also available.
By train: Most public transit options will take you to the Montserrat-Aeri or Monistrol de Montserrat terminals at the foot of the mountains, where you can take a cable car or rack railway to reach Montserrat and its monastery, high up in the mountains.
You can buy the ToT (all) Montserrat ticket which includes everything and take the R5 from Plaza Espanya to Monistrol de Montserrat if you want to take the rack railway or the Montserrat-Aeri if you want to go up the mountain using the cable car.
Sitges is a coastal town in Catalonia about 45 minutes from Barcelona. It is known for its old town, beaches, and lively nightlife. Despite its small size, Sitges has lots of galleries, museums and restaurants with mostly seafood.
Sitges has been a resort town since the 19th century, and was a key location for the Modernisme movement, which paved the way for the famous painters like Picasso. These days ,it’s Spain’s most famous gay holiday destination. In July and August, Sitges cranks up the volume to become one big beach party town.
There are 2 big events taking place in Sitges every year: the International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia (October Film Festival) and the Sitges Carnival.
The International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia
This is the number one fantasy film festival in the world and represents, at the same time, the cultural expression with the most media impact in Catalonia. Sitges’ status as the number one fantasy film festival in the world allows it to receive visits from top-level movie stars, directors and producers like Quentin Tarantino, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.
The Sitges Carnival
Barcelona might be the bigger city, but when it comes to carnival time, Sitges is the place to be. One of the loudest and brightest carnivals in Spain, the Sitges Carnival is famous for its colorful parade, bold fancy dress costumes and wild after parties.
How to Go to Sitges from Barcelona
With Studentfy: We run a trip to Sitges every March when the Sitges Carnival is going on and over 300 students book through us. We recommend checking out our Sitges and other trips on our website.
By train: There are 3 train stations in Barcelona that have trains going to Sitges throughout the year: Estació de França, Passeig de Gràcia and Estació Sants.
The C2 train goes from Estació de França to Passeig de Gràcia, to Sants and then to Sitges. The final destination of the train is either Vilanova i la Geltru or St. Vincenç de Calders – these are the names that you should be searching for on departure boards and on the front of the train rather than Sitges.
4. Mont Rebei
Congost de Mont Rebei is one of the greatest destinations in Catalunya for hiking lovers, kayakers, rock climbers and Instagrammers! It’s a location that you will never forget. We promise you that.
The Mont Rebei Gorge is a natural cut that the Noguera Ribagorzana River has made in its passage through the pre-Pyrenean mountain range of Montsec. It is the border between the communities of Aragon and Catalonia and it was declared as a Wildlife Refuge in 2015.
Walking through the gorge, we can observe the history of the formation of the Montsec mountain range written on its rocks, which goes back more than 100 million years. You can visit millions of years ago just meters away from you.
How to get to Mont Rebei from Barcelona
There are no public buses or trains going to Mont Rebei. The only options are going with Studentfy or renting a car. Studentfy runs affordable one-day trips to Congost de Mont Rebei every month in the spring and autumn.
Cadaqués is a beautiful coastal town in Costa Brava in the province of Girona, known for its white and blue building, narrow cobbled streets and big blue sea water. The city has lots of shops and the famous Casa-Museu de Salvador Dali, the famous surrealism painter, is located in Cadaqués.
The town has been historically isolated due to its geography and as a result, the locals have kept a lot of their old traditions and linguistic features speaking a specific dialect of of the Catalan language.
How to Get to Cadaqués from Barcelona
With Studentfy: We run affordable one-day trips to Cadaqués in the spring and autumn. There are discounts also available.
By car: If you are comfortable driving in Spain, then one of the easiest ways to get to Cadaqués from Barcelona is by car.
By bus: You can take a bus to Cadaqués from Barcelona’s Nord Bus Station. It takes around three hours and there are several bus companies offering the ride, so you can look for the cheapest ticket.
6. Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar is a fairly small town on the Costa Brava in the province of Girona. It is about 100km north of the city of Barcelona and about 40km south of Girona. The city is about 2000 years old but it began growing around the year 966. The castle was build in 1187 and ever since, it has become one of the icons of the town giving you astonishing views from the highest point of the town.
Tossa de Mar is often known for its medieval vibe, the castle walls surrounding almost the entire town, and the narrow alleyways and Tossa’s Lighthouse. The city attracts huge groups of tourists who want to escape the busy cities and beaches like Barcelona and enjoy a quieter time on the beautiful sandy beaches of Tossa de Mar.
The three main beaches of Tossa de Mar are The Tossa Beach (Platja Gran), La Mar Menuda, and El Codolar. The clear water and soft sandy seabed mean Tossa de Mar is the ideal place for diving and snorkeling fans.
You can find lots of restaurants, shops and cafes in the city serving tasty seafood dishes.
How to Get to Tossa de Mar from Barcelona:
With Studentfy: We run affordable one-day trips to Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar with a private bus in the spring and summer. There are discounts also available.
By car: By car: Driving to Tossa de Mar is very easy. It shouldn’t take more an hour and twenty minutes by car.
By bus: You can take a bus directly to Tossa de Mar from the Barcelona Nord Bus Station and it would take about an hour and half.
If you want to see Tossa de Mar, the easiest way would be to fly into the International Airport of Girona and then take a bus to Tossa de Mar.
What are your favorite cities and towns not so far from Barcelona? Let us know in the comments below.