Barcelona as a city has everything to offer. From great food, ground breaking architecture to snowboarding in winter and beach volleyball in summer. It’s no surprise that there are as well numerous options for day trips from Barcelona.
I was born in Barcelona and I know this Mediterranean pearl like no other city. Me and my friends love to jump in the car to spend a weekend out of the city. I have spent summers and winters snowboarding in the Pyrenees, jumping from cliffs into the sea, lakes and rivers, and much more.
One Week In Barcelona is the perfect amount of time to get to know the city AND surroundings. With the Costa Brava in the North and cool things to do in the south, there are so many opportunities for day excursions.
Therefore, I dedicated this full article only to cool day trips you can take from Barcelona.
So, let us have a close look on these 33 day trips from Barcelona to enjoy a weekend or a few days away for the hustle and bustle. Pack your beach towel, put on your best travel shoes and hit the road.
Turn on the music (check out our travel songs compilation), and… enjoy your trip!
1. Montserrat Mountain and Monastery
The Montserrat Mountain is a multi-peaked mountain, only a 1-hour train ride away. This is a perfect activity for a day outside Barcelona for every hiker and nature lover. The monastery at Montserrat Mountain is also worth it to visit. There is a black Madonna you can visit – impressive stuff.
You can either take the cable car for going up the mountain or hike up.
There are day trips leaving from Barcelona to Montserrat.
How to get here? Check out the our full article on the Montserrat Monastery here. The train leaves from Plaza Espanya, and your final train stop is Manresa.
2. Sitges (Beach and Restaurants)
Another great day trip is going to Sitges. The village is a popular, small beach destination in the south of Barcelona. You can come here by train. There are different events happening in Sitges such as the Sitges Film Festival in October and the Sitges Carnival in February.
Check out the schedule for the Train to Sitges.
You can also come here by car and scooter/ motorbike. We recommend renting a Red Vespa. The road along the coast is beautiful, absolutely memorable. Experience in driving is recommended, though.
Are you a foodie? Then have a look as well at Fodor’s insider Guide.
3. Tarragona (Colosseum and Old Town)
Even more south, you find Tarragona. Back in the days of the Roman empire, Tarragona was more important than Barcelona. Today, you can visit a well-preserved Colosseum, a lovely, smallish town with own beaches. Those beaches are also worth it to pay a visit.
Even better if you plan your visit in Tarragona during the Tarraco Viva festival. Then you will experience yourself how the Roman life was.
Reaching Tarragona is very simple, you just need to take a train from Estacio de Sants. Check out how to get around Barcelona, arrive at the train station, and enjoy the ride!
4. Waikiki Beach next to Tarragona (Cala Fonda)
Talking about beaches next to Tarragona, there is the magical Waikiki Beach. The official name of Waikiki Beach is Cala Fonda. However, the locals call it Waikiki Beach.
It requires some hiking to get here. There are no shops or beach bars nearby. Make sure you bring enough water and an umbrella.
How to get to Waikiki Beach in Tarragona? We wrote an article about how to get to Waikiki Beach Tarragona from Barcelona.
5. Horta de Sant Joan
Have you ever heard of Canyoning? In Horta de Sant Joan you can do just that. And kayaking, riding a bike…
Horta de Sant Joan is a tiny village at the edge of Catalonia. It takes you 2-3 hours by car to get here, and you can slide down a river canyon. When it comes to activities around Catalonia, of course, there are as well lots of cool sports activities to join, no surprise, right?!
Here is our video from the canyoning experience in Horta de Sant Joan:
6. Gerona (“you know nothing, John Snow”)
Game of Thrones anyone? Anyway, Gerona is the small hidden pearl up in the north of Barcelona. It is a medieval town to visit, and absolutely worth it. You can get lost in the old town, visit chic cafés, and eat very, very well!
There is also an Airport Gerona, which connects you directly with Costa Brava. Talking about…
7. Costa Brava in General
Whilst we are exploring the coast for excursions from Barcelona, we should say something general here.
Costa Brava is an incredibly beautiful coast line in the North of Catalonia. The best part: Only a few parts are loaded with tourists, and that only in July and August.
The very firsts town of the magical Costa Brava is only a 1-hour ride from Barcelona. It is the city of Blanes. The Costa Brava has everything from touristic hot-spots, adventurous activities, diving, skydiving, kayaking, cliff jumping…or simply getting a nice color at the beach!
Personally, we recommend renting a car to get to Costa Brava. It is faster, affordable and you can visit more places.
8. Sant Feliu de Giuxols
A small village with a wide beach, harbor and history. Sant Feliu de Guixols is a great choice! Especially in summer time there are plenty of events going on.
Here you can find more things to do in Sant Feliu de Guixols.
9. Blanes (by train)
The easiest way to get to Costa Brava without a car is Blanes. There is a direct train leaving from Barcelona to Blanes. It is the very first village at the Costa Brava. It has a beautiful old town and a wonderful beach to hang out. The coastline itself is unique as they have a small peninsula.
For a view all over the town, you can go up all the way to the old castle. It’s quite a way to get up here, but certainly worth it.
10. Lloret de Mar
Feel like partying? Lloret de Mar is famous for being a party town on a budget.
Many schools organize their very last students trip to Lloret de Mar. But don’t be fooled. Although it can get really busy here and quite crazy, the beaches around the city are gorgeous. Just keep walking either south or north – it will be worth it.
11. Aquatic Park in Lloret de Mar
The old fisher town of Lloret de Mar also has its own water park. SUPER FUN!! For a booking, we recommend checking out their website at Water World. There they offer many different types of promotions.
Vols gaudir el doble?? Doncs amb la promoció “2 parcs, Doble diversió quan vinguis a Water World t’emportaràs una entrada per la cara per l’@aquadiverparc a Platja d’Aro. #waterworldlloret #waterparc #lloretdemar #lloret #viulloret #costabrava #watermountain #fun #double #promotion #enjoy #friends #amazing #ride #summer #july #goodvibes #goodtimes #picoftheday #fotodeldia #instagood #instalike
12. Tossa de Mar
A beauty! And many people refer it as the most beautiful town at the Costa Brava. The beach is quite small. So keep walking and climb up the steep way to the tower. There are many small(er) beaches around Tossa de Mar.
People say Tossa de Mar is a very romantic city. If you need more romantic ideas to surprise your partner, you can check out our romantic things to do in Barcelona.
13. Calella de Mar
A bouncing castle in the ocean? OH yes, in Calella you can do just that…and hang out at the looming beach.
Unfortunately we have no photo because we were having fun all day long and forgot the camera. Our advice: don’t forget yours!
14. Cliff jumping, beach and (the best) paella in Pals
If you ask us:
“What’s your favorite day trip from Barcelona?”
We will always reply: “PALS!”
Pals is a small, medieval town, only a few km away from the coast. During the day you can kick-back at the beach. The beach in Pals is wide and long, and there are several restaurants around.
However, here is the kicker: We recommend walking over to the beach of Illa Roja (check out the map!). It is actually a nudist beach, but this is totally optional, not mandatory. There are several different cliffs to jump from in the ocean. Brave enough?
Even if you do not want to jump by your own, it is still exciting to see the different people enjoying the 4-5 meter jump in the sea.
Later you can walk through the tiny city center of Pals. There are several great restaurants and a few souvenir shops to explore. If you fancy a stunning Paella, then head over to the Restaurant Bona Vista. We PROMISE you, their Paella is an absolute dream!
If you are keen cooking your own paella in Barcelona, check out Foodie Experience Barcelona. There is even a 5% discount you can use!
15. Via Verde Bike Tour
Via Verde is a famous road to take with the bicycle and it takes you along scenic landscapes. From Horta de Sant Joan towards to ocean, you can find an easy ride, perfect for beginners and families.
We joined this activity with a bunch of friends. Here is our video from Via Verde:
16. PortAventura in Salou
Portaventura in Salou is the biggest theme park in Spain. You can come here by direct train from Barcelona, or as well with your car.
Find all possibilities and tickets for Portaventura here.
17. Delta de L’Ebre
A natural park just 3 hours from Barcelona with thousands of different birds species. There are also rice fields and beaches. Perfect for a bike trip, as everything around is flat.
You can just spend your day at the beach, practice some sports ( this area is well known among kite-surfers), or enjoy the gastronomy, really tasty! There are also rice fields. Perfect for a bike trip, as everything around is flat.
18. Garrotxa/ Olot Vulcano
Perfect for hikers, and loves of nature, the Olot Vulcano region! It is best and easiest to reach by car.
And even better if you go during autumn. This area has so many colors during autumn season!
19. Mataro (Paella and Beach)
Fancy a less-crowded beach, and a fantastic paella restaurant next to it? Mataro is the place to be. It is close and easy to reach by train. The beach and the recommended restaurant for Paella is just a 5 minutes walk from Mataró train station.
Do you want to learn how to cook your own Paella?
Then check out this review of Foodie Experience Barcelona. It is the best cooking class in town.
20. Bike Tour up to Mataro (or any other town along the coast)
Actually, we live bike tours. You can rent a bike in the city and ride along the coast up to Mataro – or any other town along the way. The trail is all at the coast, starting from Badalona.
We recommend taking the train with the bikes (you can take them for free with the train!), until Badalona. Get off here and start your trip from here.
If you need to rent a bike, check out our guide on how to get around Barcelona.
21. Pyrenees Skiing Grandvalira
When Barcelonis local say „you can do everything in Barcelona“, they included as well skiing and snowboarding. Just drive up to the Pyrenees, and there are numerous of ski resorts you can pick.
For Andorra, we recommend going to Grandvalira, Andorra.
22. Zombie Walk in Sitges
Dress up in your scariest outfit, and you still won’t fit the Zombie walk…most likely! Many locals, especially teenagers, dress up in the most creative, and scariest Zombie and horror outfits ever, and do the Zombie walk.
Here you can find more details on schedules, and background info about the Zombie Walk in Sitges.
23. The 7 Waterfalls of Campdevanol
Pack your hiking boots and some picnic equipment. And your swim shorts/ bikini. We will need all of it! The 7 Waterfalls of Campdevanol are just a 1 1/2 hour car ride away from Barcelona. The water from the waterfalls and the small lakes comes right from the top of the mountain. It is super fresh and cold.
The best part: Once you get out of the water, you will feel reborn. It is best to reach by car!
Mr. Google knows all about the 7 Waterfalls in Campdebanol.
24. Calcotada in Vilafranca de Penedès
Yay, let’s burn some onions, dip them into a red-orangy sauce, and eat them! The calcotada experience is certainly one of the most local things to do in Barcelona, and Catalunya.
In Vilafranca del Penedes, there are many beautiful, traditional Catalan houses, called “Masia” with Menus. Take the train, walk to a Wine Cellar and ask for the menus. Have a good meal!
25. Wine Tasting in Penedes
Wine lovers, listen up, this one is for you!
Penedes is the perfect spot for an activity aka. tour to get lost in wineries and wine tastings. We aren’t your parents, but we say it anyway: Don’t drink and drive. There is a direct train connection from Barcelona-Penedes anyway!
More about Wine Tasting in Penedes here.
26. Feel like Tarzan in Bosque Vertical
Ziplines, swing ropes, hanging bridges… Everything in a safe mode! There are two different high-ropes parks we personally tested around Barcelona where you can feel like Tarzan . Here is a list of different bosque verticals we can recommend:
Parc de Dosrius and Parc de Mataro: www.boscvertical.com/es/que-es
Bosc Urba in Barcelona: www.barcelonaboscurba.com
27. Ski Diving in Empuria Brava
Ski Diving in Empuria Brava, and the sky is the limit. There is not really anything to add here, is there? Jump out of a plane, overlooking Costa Brava! Period! You can find more information here.
28. Kayaking in Las islas medas
We love kayaking! You can join different Kayaking tours around Catalonia as activities. Alternatively, you can get your own kayak and hit the waves. Either way, it is a great way to get around, and to get a different point of view.
Our recommendation: Prepare yourself a picnic with some food and drinks. The Kayaking tour can rent you as well a waterproofed bag. Along your tour, you can stop at the smallest beaches and have your lunch there. Or maybe even directly at the Islas Medas?
29. Besalu and Castellfollit de la Roca
Besalu is actually quite known, and their photos are used all over Catalonia. Their bridge is famous, and quite a few tourists come here. And it is worth it!
Less known on the other hand is Castellfollit de la Roca. It is a tiny village, sitting at the edge of a cliff – BOOYA!
30. Kitesurfing and meeting Messi
Do you love kitesurfing or wanna try it out? The long and wide beach in Casteldelfels is the place you can do just that. Bare in mind, there is usually a time where Kitesurfing is not allowed, most likely from June to September. This can change from year to year.
And what about meeting Messi?
Messi lives around here, and if you are really, really lucky, you can meet him walking at the beach.
31. Padel Surfing in, well, everywhere!
Along the coastline, there are plenty of shops offering padel surf. And actually, you can also do it right at the city beach.
Anyway, always nice to have an excuse for a day trip, right? You can check out Padel Surf Courses in Barcelona here.
32. Olympic Park in Casteldelfels
Pure fun! The Olympic park in Casteldelfels offers different water sports activities including kayaking, water bounce castle, and cable ski.
The cable ski is one of the longest ones in Europe, and many championship winner love to come here.
Next to the cable ski, there is a cool bar with music, tapas, and drinks. So when your friends are hitting the waves, you can lean back, take a sip, and watch them flying over the water.
33. Camino de Ronda – Hiking Costa Brava
The Camino de Ronda is the hiking trail from the border of France all the way down to Blanes. Blanes, this is the first town in the south of Costa Brava.
Our recommendation: Bring some good sports shoes, lots of water and sun cream. There are different trails you can walk along. So different, so beautiful. Have a look at do get an idea of the Camino de Ronda.
A great website and resource for Camino de Ronda is this one by Xavier Blanca Fort. It is in Catalan though and filled with maps and photos.
EXTRA: 34. Aquatic Parc in Vilassar de Mar (Illa Fantasia)
Closer to the city and super fun! A water park is a great idea to spend your day. Illa Fantasia is reachable by public transport. You can also buy a pack which contains the train, shuttle bus and ticket entry to the Water park.
Summary 33 Day Trips from Barcelona
Here you have it. By now you should have gotten so many awesome ideas for some epic daily excursions and activities from Barcelona. Pack your friends, and rent a car or take the train. Barcelona is absolutely stunning and the surroundings are certainly worth it to check out too.
Of course, these trips can be turned into a weekend trip, if you have time and want to stay longer. We recommend checking hotels in advance, as it can get busy.
Do you like printed books? Rick Steves Pocket Guide is a must-have then!
Last but not least, this article is part of our big guide to spend an awesome One Week In Barcelona.
Any questions, own ideas? We would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below. Thanks a bunch!
Now, get out there, and explore Catalonia!