Attractions Nearby Barcelona, Day Trips and Excursions
(Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)
Barcelona enjoys a very scenic coastal setting on the far north-easterly side of Spain, where it is close to a number of appealing attractions and tourist destinations. Montserrat (literally translated as 'Serrated Mountain') is especially near and is to be found just 50 km / 31 miles to the north-west of Barcelona.
The attractions of both San Cugat del Valles and Sitges are even closer to Barcelona and offer excellent shopping and stunning beaches respectively. Just a little further away are the cities of Figueres and Girona
, each of which are still suitable for day trips and steeped in Spanish history.
Set slightly inland from the Golf de Roses and 118 km / 73 miles north-east of Barcelona, Figueres is a fairly run-of-the-mill Spanish town, with the exception that it has one huge attraction - it was the birthplace and home of world-famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali (1904 to 1989). During the sixties and seventies, Dali created his very own museum and theatre, the Teatre-Museu Dali. This very unusual and eye-catching building is filled with illusions and similar attractions designed to amuse, bizarre sculptures and collages, and many original Dali paintings from different periods in his life - although you should be aware that queues can get extremely long at peak times.
Girona is the biggest city in northern Catalonia and stands within a scenic valley, some 102 km / 63 miles to the north-east of Barcelona. With a charming Jewish section, many characterful winding alleyways and historical attractions, and some impressive city walls, Girona is often overlooked by holiday makers heading for more mainstream destinations. If you are able to come to Girona for the day, you will be able to enjoy some excellent city views as you walk along the ancient walls, before you head to the Placa de la Catedral and check out the imposing architecture and detailing of the cathedral, which interestingly boasts the widest Gothic nave in Europe.
This unique mountain towers at just over 1,200 metres / 3,935 feet and is made up of some rather unusual rock pillars, which have been created by centuries of erosion. Perched on the side of the mountain is the Benedictine Monestir de Montserrat, which has exceptional views and ranks amongst Catalina's most important shrines.
The Catalonian Pyrenees encompasses some very special valleys and mountains, being approximately 150 km / 93 miles north of Barcelona. Apart from the sheer natural beauty of the Pyrenees, the main attractions are of a recreational nature and include walking, hiking, seasonal skiing and an array of other outdoor activities. For the best scenery, head to the Parc Nacional d'Aiguestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, on the north-western side of the Pyrenees.
San Cugat del Valles
Lying a mere 15 km / 9 miles north-west of the city and therefore being only a short drive away, San Cugat del Valles is a medium-sized town and is so close to Barcelona that it is often considered to be a suburb. San Cugat del Valles offers tourists a popular shopping mall, two cinemas, a good museum (Museu de San Cugat), and some superb Romanesque cloisters and ancient stone carvings, at its medieval monastery.
The seaside town of Sitges really does have something for everyone, and at only 40 km / 25 miles away, a day trip or excursion from Barcelona is a 'no-brainer'. With family friendly beaches along the Costa Dorada, an interesting museum with Picasso art works, waterfront cafes and plenty of Catalan gift shops dotted around the pedestrianised streets, Sitges is also home to a thriving gay scene. If you only have time for one beach attraction, then it should be the Platja de St. Sebastian.