things to do in Barcelona
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Updated 2 weeks ago

Barcelona is one of the favourite expat cities, where people usually take great affection. It is equally loved by lots of travellers, who come attracted by the unique charm it gives off. If you have time during your stay in Barcelona, a good idea is to spend a couple of days doing some excursions. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the best trips from Barcelona and how to do them (both free and with tour).

Montserrat

Montserrat massif is one of the unique places in Catalonia. If its natural beauty, composed of capricious rounded rocks, was not enough, there is also the sanctuary of the patron saint of this land: the Virgin of Montserrat, popularly known as "la morena", for its black skin. It is effortless and comfortable. You can choose to take a Rodalies train on the R5 line from Plaza de España to Monistrol de Montserrat (1.05h / 10.5 € for the i / v ticket) and from there take the zipper that goes up the mountain (15 minutes /10, € 40 an i / v ticket), or you can also rent a car (a great idea if you want to make the most of the day and do the odd extra stop).

Girona

Its historical centre is an authentic jewel, so Girona is highly recommended. It's even better if you can stay for one or two nights. To get there from Barcelona, you can take the R11 line of the suburban train (Rodalies). The trip lasts 1.30-2h and costs € 11.25. Once in Girona you can quietly explore the city walking (the historic centre is quite small).

Figueres and the Dalí Theater-Museum

Have you always been passionate about the figure of Dalí? In Figueres, just 140 km from Barcelona, is the best museum in the world to approach the genius of surrealism. There you will find works such as Bread Basket, Atomic Leda, Spectrum of the Sex-Appeal, Palace of the Wind, among others (without forgetting the fantastic collection of jewels). In addition, the building itself is worth a visit! If you are just an amateur or just want to see the museum, you can visit it very easily from Barcelona. To get there you will have to take the Barcelona-Figueres train. It takes 1.50 / 2.40h depending on the type of train and costs about € 12-14 (one-way price). The entrance to the museum costs € 14.

Costa Brava

Costa Brava is a stretch of coastline full of coves with clear waters, villages dotted with bougainvillaeas, chiringuitos and a few surprises like the castle Tossa de Mar. The idea is to explore this area for several days, but if you only have a day, here is how to take advantage of it. For the lucky ones who have several days, take a look at the page of buscounchollo where you can find offers of all-inclusive trips to relax at all and forget the world for a few days. If you only have a day, the ideal would be to rent a car and make two stops as much and visit Cadaqués and Tossa de Mar, two lovely villages. You're advised to travel early morning to Cadaqués, spend a few hours on the beach and eat at one of the many restaurants that fill its beautiful streets. In the afternoon you can go to Tossa, visit the Playa Grande and be amazed by the views of the Castle and, of course, you have to go up and see it up close. Tip: date the last bath of the day at the Playa d'es Codolar (on the other side of the castle). Between Cadaqués and Tossa there are some cool villages such as Roses. In Empúries, you can find one of the most important archaeological sites in Spain. Empuriabrava with its canals, the medieval village of Pals, or Calella de Palafrugell with an interesting harbour district are other amazing spots. If you don’t want to rent a car, you can still go by train to the station of Blanes and once there take a bus to Tossa and spend the whole day here! The combined ticket costs € 5 (one way).

Tarragona

There is a great reason to come to Tarragona: its Roman amphitheatre, of course! It is one of the most impressive Roman amphitheatre (measures 109.5 by 86.5 meters) and at the time had a capacity of 14,000 people almost! It also has some cool urban beaches and is a stone's throw from Barcelona. From Barcelona, there are trains to Tarragona very often. Get on a Rodalies train (line R14, R15, R16, it takes 1 hour and costs € 7).

Sitges

Sitges, together with Cadaqués and Tossa de Mar, is a favourite village in Catalonia. You are encouraged to visit: it has a very lively historic centre, with small shops, restaurants and some other architectural jewels such as the Casa Bartomeu, the Parish of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla, the Palau Maricel and the Pati Blau. Besides, its beach is fantastic! In Sitges, you will also eat very well and never miss the party. It's as simple as riding a Rodalies train on the R2 line and getting off 30 minutes later (the ticket costs € 4.2).

Andorra

To visit Andorra, you have to take several days, but if time is not a problem for you do not hesitate. This small country hidden among the Pyrenees has many things to offer, especially if you like hiking, skiing and enjoying nature. It's also cool to go shopping! You can take a bus to Andorra la Vella. It takes 3h and costs € 28 / € 30. Although the best is to rent a car, take advantage, once in Andorra, to visit as much as possible. The bus companies are Alsa, Airbus (to the airport), Movelia, Andorra Direct Bus.

Other excursions from Barcelona

Here is a list of other excursions near Barcelona that are worth it:

  • Penedes Region is a perfect getaway for wine lovers.  
  • Port Aventura is for those who enjoy a good roller coaster!  
  • The Pyrenees if you are more of a mountain and your thing is nature and outdoor activities.  
  • Castle of Cardona which is one of the best-preserved fortresses in the whole country. 
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