Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Christian Heide
Discover the treasures of Catalonia
Barcelona is undoubtedly one of the most exciting cities in Europe. With its unique culture, impressive architecture and vibrant city life, the Catalan capital has a lot to offer. But Barcelona also has rich surrounding areas that are perfect for day trips. In this blog article we will highlight the best day trips from Barcelona including Girona, Figueres, Montserrat, Siurana and Tarragona.
1 – Girona: A historical treasure chest
Girona is a charming city near Barcelona that offers a fascinating insight into Catalonia’s history. With its well-preserved medieval city center and well-preserved city walls, Girona is a place where time seems to have stood still. A stroll through Girona’s narrow streets takes you past impressive churches, picturesque squares and well-preserved Jewish quarters. The Cathedral of Girona, which sits enthroned in an impressive square, is an absolute highlight. From here you have a breathtaking view of the city and the surrounding area.
Another highlight of Girona is the famous Staircase of Invisibility, which was used as a filming location in the popular television series “Game of Thrones”. Girona also offers a rich culinary scene where you can experience Catalan cuisine in its full glory.
From Barcelona you can get to Girona in 40 minutes by using the high speed train. If you are traveling by car, it is easy to park in Girona. You can also discover medieval Catalonia. The area around Girona offers many exciting places.
2 – Figueres: The surreal world of Salvador Dalí
Figueres, the hometown of famous surreal artist Salvador Dalí, is another day trip from Barcelona that you shouldn’t miss. The Dalí Museum in Figueres is one of the most visited museums in Spain and an absolute must for art lovers.
The museum itself is just as surrealistic as Dalí’s works. Housed in a converted theater, it is filled with fascinating works of art, including famous paintings such as The Persistence of Memory and The Elephant. The museum also offers insights into the life and psyche of Dalí, making it an unforgettable experience.
After visiting the museum, you can explore Figueres yourself. The city has a charming old town center and many cozy restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy Catalan cuisine.
Figueres is also very easy to reach by high speed train (1:20 hours). If you are traveling by car, you could also visit Cadaqués, where Dalí lived for many years of his life. It is a picturesque white village on the Mediterranean coast.
3 – Montserrat: natural wonders and spirituality
If you love nature and are looking for a day trip from Barcelona that offers both breathtaking landscapes and spiritual experiences, then Montserrat is the place to be. Montserrat is an impressive mountain range located about an hour from Barcelona. The mountain is famous for its bizarre rock formations and the breathtaking views from its summit. It is also an important spiritual place as it is home to the famous Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat.
The monastery complex, which leans against the steep rock faces of the mountain, is a place of pilgrimage and a center of Catalan culture. Visitors can tour the impressive basilica and admire the famous statue of the Black Madonna. Montserrat is also a popular starting point for hiking and climbing tours in the area.
If you would like to visit Montserrat, The Barcelona Feeling offers a private tour: Montserrat Mountain & Monastery. A great day trip where we take the train, climb the mountain in the historic gondola, enjoy great panoramic views and learn more about this spiritual place.
4 – Siurana: A hidden gem in the mountains
Siurana is a hidden gem in the mountains of Catalonia and a paradise for nature lovers and adventurers. The small mountain village sits high on a rocky outcrop and offers spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and gorges. Siurana is a popular destination for climbers looking to scale the area’s challenging rock faces. But hikers and nature lovers will also get their money’s worth in Siurana. The area is of impressive beauty and offers numerous hiking opportunities, including the Camino de Siurana, which takes you to the most beautiful viewpoints. The town itself is picturesque and has a medieval charm. You can stroll through the narrow streets, visit the local church and enjoy traditional Catalan dishes in one of the cozy restaurants.
The easiest way to get to Siurana is by car. The journey from Barcelona takes approximately two hours.
5 – Tarragona: A journey to Roman times
Tarragona, a city on the Costa Daurada, is another worthwhile day trip from Barcelona. The city has a rich history and was once an important Roman settlement, which is still visible today in the form of well-preserved Roman ruins. The highlight of Tarragona is the Roman Amphitheater, which is located directly on the sea and offers impressive views of the Mediterranean. Gladiator fights were once held here and you can literally feel the historical atmosphere. Tarragona also has a charming old town with narrow streets, squares and medieval buildings. Tarragona Cathedral is another architectural gem to visit.
In addition, the Costa Daurada offers beautiful beaches that are perfect for a relaxing afternoon by the sea. Play El Miracle is close to the city and if you drive a little out of the city, Platja Lllarga is simply fantastic.
Tarragona is very well connected by train from Barcelona and is therefore worth a special day trip.
There are so many exciting destinations for day trips in the Barcelona area
Overall, there are so many exciting destinations for day trips in the Barcelona area that it’s difficult to choose a favorite. From the fascinating history of Girona to the surreal worlds of Figueres to the breathtaking landscapes of Montserrat, Siurana and the Roman ruins of Tarragona, Catalonia has something to offer everyone. Set off and discover the treasures of this fascinating region of Spain. It will never be boring!
Contact us for more information about the locations. We can also organize a private tour upon request.