9 Best places to visit near Barcelona
Work can be a great excuse to travel. If you have a meeting, presentation or conference abroad, why not add a few days and turn your business trip into a bleisure trip? You have come all this way, so it would be a shame not to take some time to explore in around the city. Barcelona is a popular bleisure destination in Europe and there a lot of things to do in Barcelona. But it is also worth venturing out of the city into the Spanish countryside. From beautiful beaches to charming little towns, there are a lot of great places to visit near Barcelona. These are the best places to visit in Spain that make perfect day trips from Barcelona:
Explore one of the best places near Barcelona is easy: trains run from Plaça Espanya to the cable car up the mountain of Montserrat. On top of the mountains stands a huge Benedictine monastery, the holiest site in Catalunya. View the famous Madonna statue and attend the daily choir performance at 1 pm. Montserrat is also a great place for hiking and rock-climbing, especially to Sant Jeroni peak, which offers beautiful views.
People looking for a Barcelona beach experience will love the bohemian town of Sitges. Easy to reach from the city, with a lovely promenade and some good museums, Sitges is a popular place for a day trip from Barcelona. It is worth walking to one of the smaller calas, as the main beach tends to get crowded. LGBT tourism friendly.
In Girona, a grand cathedral rises over the old town with narrow cobbled streets and ancient arcaded houses. Take a stroll through the town and along the river Onyar. Explore the city’s history at the Jewish Quarter, Museu d’Història dels Jueus de Girona and the Arab Baths. Finish your day with a three Michelin star meal at El Celler de Can Roca, one of the 50 best restaurants in the world. Girona has recently become even more popular as it’s a filming location for Game of Thrones!
The town of Figueres is most famous for the Teatre-Museu Dalí, a surrealist architectural masterpiece designed by the Dali that also houses some of his paintings and artwork. Art fans will love this town close to the French border.
Cadaqués is quite far for a day trip from Barcelona but is worth traveling to. The whitewashed buildings of this fishing village contrast beautifully with the blue water. The village and the landscape of the peninsula inspired some of Salvador Dali’s, Picasso’s and Miró’s art and it is easy to see why.
There are some hidden gems among the best places to visit near Barcelona and Besalú is definitely one of them. Explore this well-preserved medieval town, with its cobbled streets, churches and Gothic architecture, on a day trip from Barcelona. The 12-century Romanesque bridge is especially beautiful.
Tarragona was once one of the most important Roman cities in the Iberian Peninsula. You can still see the remains of its former glory in the Amphitheatre and Forum in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Museu d’Història de Tarragona and Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona are filled with architectural finds and exhibits about the Roman history of Tarragona. Because Tarragona lies right by the coast, you can find lots of delicious fresh seafood here as well.
At a quick train ride from the city, Vic is the perfect place for a day trip from Barcelona. From the historic center to the excellent restaurants, food and travel lovers will enjoy Vic. Visit the local food market at Plaça del Mercadal on Tuesday and Saturday. Take time to admire the medieval, Baroque and Modernista architecture surrounding the square as well. If you are visiting Barcelona in November or December, be sure to go to Vic to see the medieval fair. And, on April live farming & culinary traditions at Mercat del Ram.
9. Costa Brava
The Costa Brava runs for 200 kilometers on the northeast coast of Spain, up to the French border. If you are looking for a Barcelona beach, this is the place to go. Some of Spain’s most beautiful beach, such as Cadaqués or Begur lie on the Costa Brava. The rugged rock coast also houses some secluded beaches on the bright blue Mediterranean Sea.