From great food, ground breaking architecture to snowboarding in winter and beach volleyball in summer.
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.
Need to rent a car? Compare car rentals with Discover Car Hire.
Don’t wanna go by car? I also cover many day trips by train and bike.
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.
You will find many articles such as:
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.
And if you wanna have a blast in Barcelona, here is a full list of fun things to do in Barcelona.
33 great day trips from Barcelona
So, let us have a close look on these tours to enjoy a weekend or a few days away for the hustle and bustle.
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 the city 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 – we recommend booking with BCN Travel, our trusted tour agency we always chose in Barcelona.
How to get here?
Easiest is a day tour! Check out the our full article on how to get to 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. Sitges is especially known for its carnival and is popular in the LGTB community.
There is a few nude beaches. In general, Sitges is great for beaches and nightlife.
You can come here by train.
Check out the schedule for the Train to Sitges.
You can also come here by car and scooter/ motorbike.
My favorite: We recommend renting a Red Vespa. The road along the coast is beautiful, absolutely memorable. Experience in driving is recommended, though.
Here’s my guide on how to hire a scooter rental in Barcelona.
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 Barna. 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. For me, this is the most beautiful beach in the area of Barcelona.
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. And since it is a bit of a hassle to get here, you won’t find a super crowded beach.
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.
Another advantage here: The sea is very shallow here. It is great for playing with a water ball and to swim with kids.
5. Day Trip to Dalí Museum, Girona and Besalu (Tour)
In our big guide to spend 7 days in Barcelona, we cover a full itinerary. We recommend to get out of town and explore Catalonia; so worth it!
Our favorite tour is the trip to the iconic Dali Musem in Figueres and to the two medieval towns of Girona and Besalu. I actually call the tour “Catalonia Tour“.
Dali Museum: One of the most unique museums I have visited in my life! Salvador Dalí Theatre and Museum in all is weird, quirky and a wonderful glory! Dali itself built it actually.
Girona: My 2nd favorite city in Catalonia is Girona. People from all over Catalonia love to come here for a weekend to eat and wander the streets.
Game of Thrones was filmed in Girona as well. Now, that is really a stamp of approval!
Besalu: First time I have seen Besalu I was amazed! The iconic bridge is the highlight of the city and the best place to take a photo. Nevertheless, the tour takes you inside this little city.
The tour also includes and all-inclusive lunch at a sweet local restaurant in Besalu with a complimentary glass of wine.
The tour takes the full day, and there is a max of 15 people in the group. A private, air-conditioned minibus with your guide will pick you up.
Also worth to mention: From Barcelona to Figueres it takes only 40 minutes. This is not a day tour to spend the whole day inside the car!
Simply put, this luxury day trip really covers the Catalonia experience in a nutshell.
6. 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?!
Update: We received the question on where you can find a company to book the Canyoning in Horta de Sant Joan. You can directly contact https://www.montsport.es/barranquismo. Send them an email or call them. Our guide spoke English although our tour was in Spanish. But make sure you get an English-Speaking guide if needed.
That is important for the safety instructions.
Here is our video from the canyoning experience in Horta de Sant Joan:
7. Girona (“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!
You can either book a day trip to Gerona or take the direct train to Gerona.
Here you can find more tours to Girona and Figueres. Starting from $90.
There is also an Airport Girona, which connects you directly with Costa Brava. You can find cheap flights there usually with Ryanair.
8. 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!
You can find day trips to the Costa Brava here. Starting from $100 (95€).
This day trip to Costa Brava is different from the Catalonia Tour we mentioned before.
The Costa Brava tour includes:
- Exploring the beautiful cliffs and coves of the Costa Brava
- Walking around charming fishing villages
- Hiking along the Camino de Ronda
- Boat trip to the Medes Islands’ archipelago
The transport is also with a comfortable bus with free WiFi, yet it does not include lunch. You can usually eat lunch for around 12€-20€ in any restaurant at the coast.
9. 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.
10. Blanes (by train)
The easiest way to get to Costa Brava without a car is Blanes. It is the very first village at the Costa Brava.
There is a direct train leaving from Barcelona to Blanes.
When you arrive with the train in Blanes, you will need to take a bus or taxi to the village itself. You can also walk, which takes around 20 minutes.
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.
11. Lloret de Mar (for Nightlife)
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. So if you are looking for organizing a hen party, stag party or simple want to party, go to Lorret de Mar!
But don’t be fooled, there is more than its nightlife.
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.
Truth the told: Lloret de Mar itself is not really as beautiful as Tossa de Mar or other spots. Seriously, it is not.
If you prefer a scenic, beautiful village on the coast, hop over to Pals or Tossa de Mar.
12. Aquatic Park in Lloret de Mar
The old fisher town of Lloret de Mar also has its own water park.
I went here the first time when I was 12, I had a blast. It is a great day trip fro families, and friends alike.
For a booking, we recommend checking out their website at Water World. There they offer many different types of promotions.
13. Tossa de Mar
A beauty, I already mentioned it.
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. I agree here.
Take into account that Tossa de Mar is a small village. In August and high season it feels really packed.
For more romantic ideas to surprise your partner, you can check out our romantic things to do in Barcelona.
14. 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 your camera!
Many areas along the coast line set up their own bouncing castle in the water. They are only there during summer. The last one we have seen were in Calella de Mar and Pals del Mar.
Take this into account.
15. 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!
16. 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.
Here is a website dedicated to the Via Verde.
We joined this activity with a bunch of friends. Here is our video from Via Verde:
17. PortAventura in Salou
Portaventura in Salou is the biggest theme park in Spain. Oh oh oh, this is PURE FUN!!!
They have everything from roaler coasters, its own water park, a ferrari world, a big area only for children and families, you name it.
If you want to have an amazing day with the whole family, make it Portaventura.
My best tip would be to come here during the week, if possible. The weekends are usually more packed. If you happen to come here during the weekend or a busy day, you can purchase a so-called VIP Ticket. With this ticket you can skip the lines for roaler coastes and more.
How to get to PortAventura from Barcelona?
You can come here by direct train from Barcelona, or as well with your car. There is many parking places right in front of the park.
Find all possibilities and tickets for Portaventura here.
Also good to know: PortAventura runs special events like Halloween.
18. Garrotxa/ Olot Volcano
The area around Garrotxa and Olot is famous for its Volcano.
This area is North of Barcelona.
Perfect for hikers, and loves of nature! 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!
It is quite tricky to come here by train though. You better rent a car to get to Olot.
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.
For the paella, we recommend to head over to Can Margarit in Mataro.
Of course we also cover our favorite restaurants in Barcelona itself. Don’t miss ’em out!
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!
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!
The guys offer tandem skydiving, beginner’s flights and aerial photography work.
The school offers formation skydiving courses for beginners and advanced students, freefly canopy, wingsuit flying (or wingsuiting), formation skydiving for top competition, training for top competition, and flight instruction for professionals.
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
I mentioned before the day trip to the Dali Museum, Girona and Besalu.
Besalu is quite known, and their photos are used all over Catalonia. I LOVE THAT TOWN!
Their bridge is famous, and quite a few tourists come here. And it is worth it!
So again, you can rent a car on your own and come here or join the organized tour I mention above.
If you come by your own with a car, then also add Castellfollit de la Roca to your list. It is less known and beautiful with no tourists!
It is a tiny village, sitting at the edge of a cliff – BOOYA! I added a photo below. There is small cafés hanging above the cliffs, and you can climb up the church tower as well. It takes around 1-2 hours to walk around.
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. Paddle Surfing SUP – everywhere!
Along the coastline, there are plenty of shops offering Paddle 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 Paddle Surf Courses in Barcelona here.
32. Olympic Park in Casteldelfels
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.
We also wrote a big guide on resorts near Barcelona. This could be also a fantastic weekend trip from Barcelona.
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.
Do you have any questions? We would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below.
Thanks a bunch!
Now, get out there, and explore Catalonia!
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