day trip from barcelona  montserrat 740x400

Barcelona remains a hugely popular destination with Irish people all year round, and no wonder, as it’s a truly wonderful city with much to enjoy.

There’s the fascinating La Sagrada Familia (where else would a building site be such an attraction?), a host of other Gaudi buildings, the hustle and bustle of Las Ramblas, magnificent parks and museums, and fantastic cuisine.

Sports fans may also enjoy the opportunity of seeing the world-famous Barcelona FC play at Camp Nou, if they visit during the football season – tickets for all but the very top matches (e.g. versus Real Madrid, or for Champions League knock-out stages) can be bought from booths along Las Ramblas and several other locations in the city.

Sometimes, though, it’s nice to get out of the city too – and so another attraction of Barcelona is that it offers a great number of nearby destinations for a memorable day trip. Here’s our selection of five of them:

1 – Montserrat

Piday trip from barcelona montserrat 740x400cture a huge Benedictine monk monastery standing at the base of a 800-meter-high craggy mountain. That’s Montserrat.

Literally translating as ‘Serrated Mountain’, the monastery holds a famous Black Madonna statue and is home to choir boy performances at 1 p.m. each day.

Montserrat is also a great place for hiking, with several well-signposted trails for people of all abilities and fitness levels. It’s about one hour from Barcelona by train.

2 – Figueres

day trip from barcelona figueresIf the quirky Gaudi buildings in Barcelona are your thing, take a trip to Figueres for something even more spectacular!

The town close to the French border was the birthplace of surrealist artists Salvador Dali, and is home to the Dali Theatre and Museum – which was designed by the man himself. It holds many pieces from his personal collection, in a building that features bright pink walls and giant eggs on top. It really does have to be seen to be believed! Again, it’s about one hour from Barcelona by train.

3 – Sitges

day trip from barcelona sitgesSitges is possibly the best of the many coastal resorts within easy reach of Barcelona. The winding alleyways of the picturesque town are packed with cafés, bars and restaurants, while there’s also a beautiful promenade by the sea.

Yes, you’ll find much the same in many other nearby towns too, but Sitges is probably the best in terms of ease of getting there and getting around. It’s little more than 30 minutes by train from Barcelona.

4 – Girona

day trip from barcelona gironaThe name will be familiar to Ryanair travellers, as the airline uses Girona Airport to service Barcelona. But Girona is worth a visit in its own right too. It’s particularly renowned for its medieval Jewish Quarter, which is one of the oldest and best preserved in Europe. Narrow passageways, colourful buildings, and cobblestoned streets mean that every turn presents a new photo opportunity.

Girona is also an attractive spot for all ‘Game of Thrones’ fans, as many scenes were shot there – see which locations you might recognise! It’s between 45 minutes and 90 minutes from Barcelona by train, depending on which service you take.

5 – Andorra

day trip from barcelona andorraFinally – why not visit a different country altogether? The tiny principality of Andorra, straddling the Pyrenees between Spain and France, is the furthest from Barcelona of these five options, but it still worth considering. It’s particularly popular for shopping purposes, as it offers duty free shopping to all EU visitors, so there are great bargains to be had on popular brands and designer clothes.

Andorra also offers spectacular mountain views and walks. Travelling by bus from Barcelona is your best bet, and it takes about three hours each way.


If you happen to be travelling to Barcelona soon, make sure that you and your travelling companion(s) are carrying comprehensive travel insurance for their trip.

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