Best Day Trips from Barcelona

Barcelona is one of Europe’s most vibrant and diverse cities. You could spend a lifetime in the city and never tire of its charm and beauty. Whether you’re looking for culture, history, nightlife, architecture, good food, or just a relaxing day at the beach, chances are you’ll feel right at home. But it’s also a perfect base for several day trips into the rest of the country.

Here are some of the best options for day trips from Barcelona by train:

1. Girona

The ancient town of Girona is a beautiful place to visit to escape the bustle of Barcelona. You’ll find a old houses lining quaint cobbled streets. There’s also a stunning cathedral, Benedectine monastery, Arab baths, and a Jewish museum that details the history of the Jewish community that resided there until the late 1400s.

How to get there by train: There are RENFE trains to Girona every 10 minutes. The journey time is 38 minutes.

2. Figueres

Figueres is well known for its stunning architecture, which includes the 18th century Castell de Sant Ferran. There’s also a famous theatre-turned-museum, Teatre-Museu Dalí. Salvador Dalí converted the theatre himself, and inside is a surreal world of art, sculpture and statutes. Street-side cafés, a small Old Town and a range of popular restaurants make Figueres a nice break from nearby Barcelona.

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How to get there by train: The total journey time to Figueres is 1 hour 45 minutes. There are hourly RENFE trains that leave from Barcelona.

3. Montserrat

If you’re looking to stretch your legs and take in some epic views, head to the rocky range of Montserrat. It’s part of the pre-coastal range in the area, and is conveniently close to Barcelona. There’s a cog railway and cable car to assist with the journey to the Montserrat monastery. If you’re looking for the best views of the valley, pack a pair of walking shoes and head to the peak of Sant Jeroni.

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How to get there by train: There are trains from Plaza Espanya to Aeri de Montserrat every 30 minutes. The journey time is one hour. Once there, you will connect onto either the cable car or rack railway. You can purchase a ToT Montserrat that includes all transport, including the journey to the monastery.

4. Sitges

This beautiful Mediterranean town is just 21 miles southwest of Barcelona. It’s primarily a seaside town, complete with more than a dozen beaches in the region. The mild micro climate means it’s possible to enjoy a beachside trip at most times of the year. But there’s more to the town than just beaches. There are beautiful avenues, a network of quaint and walkable streets, and a handful of museums to keep you busy on a day trip.

How to get there by train: There are trains leaving Barcelona for Sitges every half hour. The total journey time is 45 minutes.

5. Collserola

If you’re looking to get away from the bustling city life of Barcelona, follow the locals’ lead and head to Collserola. There you’ll find the stunning Parc de Collserola, which is packed full of cycling routes and walking trails. The routes are well signposted, but you can also pick up a map from the information centre.

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How to get there by train: Take the train from Barcelona to Baixador de Vallvidrera station. The journey is just 15 minutes. Many people choose to walk across the hills to Sant Cugat, and return from there by train.

6. Montblanc

The medieval walled town of Montblanc is easy to reach by train, and has several attractions worth visiting as part of a day trip. The Bover Tower and St Jordi gates are steeped in history and legends. There are also several Gothic and Romanesque monuments to see throughout the town. Many also visit the town as part of a bigger exploration of the Cistercian Route — UNESCO World Heritage Site Monestir de Poblet is just five miles away by car.

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How to get there by train: There are RENFE trains from Barcelona to Montblanc every four hours. The total journey time is two hours.

7. Vic

Vic is a fascinating inland town, to the south of the Pyrenees mountains. It’s the capital of Osona and one of the most important towns in central Catalonia given its position. This has lead to an attractive old town and a several popular eateries. Most activity takes place around Plaça Major, where you’ll find beautiful mansions and regular markets.

How to get there by train: There are trains to Vic every 30 minutes, and the total journey time is 80 minutes.

Though it would be quite possible to spend several weeks in Barcelona without running out of things to see and do, many people choose to spend a day or two exploring the surrounds. Many are within reach by train, and with a Eurail Pass you can get there and back with ease.

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