Day Trips from Barcelona | Best Side Trips from Barcelona, Spain

August 11, 2022

Barcelona. It’s such a beautiful city. Known for its spectacular football team, FC Barcelona, gorgeous beaches, delectable food, and stunning architecture, it’s a city you definitely need to have on your bucket list.

But what happens when you feel like you’ve exhausted all the things to do and see in Barcelona? Have no fear; many tours from Barcelona to the neighboring areas will allow you to experience so much more of Spain.

Barcelona is a fantastic city, but to avoid exploring all of it in one day, we recommend taking a day trip outside the city every now and then. Explore the tremendous mountain range of Montserrat, or visit Girona and its magnificent architecture. Snorkel in Costa Brava or immerse yourself in the works of Salvador Dalí.

This guide will help you discover the best day trips from Barcelona, Spain, to keep you excited and entertained throughout your time in this spectacular country.

Best Barcelona Day Trips

You don’t have to stay in Barcelona when you’re in Barcelona. The areas around the city have some fantastic sights and attractions to see and experience and are only a short commute from Barcelona. We have picked some of the best trips from Barcelona to make sure your time in Spain is unforgettable.

Design by Antonin Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain

8-Hour Costa Brava Kayak and Snorkel Tour

This is the perfect tour for the adventurer in you. If you enjoy snorkeling and water sports, then you need to try the Costa Brava Kayak and Snorkel Tour. This day trip from Barcelona ensures a lot of fun in the sun.

The Costa Brava Kayak and Snorkel Tour is an 8-hour trip where you can discover beautiful marine reserves and hidden caves in the serene blue waters of Costa Brava. Kayak in the Mediterranean Sea, go snorkeling, or perhaps just take a swim in the cool water.

The tour meets in the city center of Barcelona. You will hop on a private coach and travel to a stunning beach where the guides will be waiting. They will kayak you out to places only accessible from the water, where you can explore a treasure trove of sea coves and caves.

You don’t need experience to go on this trip – you just need moderate swimming skills. If snorkeling isn’t your cup of tea, you can marvel at the beauty around you while swimming in the water. For travelers who are more adventurous at heart, you can climb up onto rocks and dive into the water below.

Snorkeler under water with fins

After spending a few hours enjoying the wonder of the Mediterranean, you will return to the beach where delicious sandwiches lay waiting. They are freshly made and included in the price of the ticket.

Other things that are included in the package are the snorkeling gear, a wetsuit, a life vest, and full injury insurance. You don’t have to worry about anything while you’re out on the water.

If you want to experience the best of the beautiful marine life and unbeatable adventures in Costa Brava, you’re sure to love this Barcelona day tour.

If you’re yearning for more, take a look at our guide to day trips to Costa Brava.

Note: This tour is unsuitable for anyone under the age of 7 or people who struggle with swimming.

What We Love Most:

  • The marine life
  • Snorkeling in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea
  • The fresh sandwiches on the beach

Check tour dates and book your Costa Brava Kayak and Snorkel Tour here!

Feet on a kayak on the water

Small-Group Catamaran Cruise with Sunset Option

With so many places to visit near Barcelona, you don’t want to miss out on the gems of the city. The Small-Group Catamaran Cruise is great if you want to sit back, relax and enjoy Barcelona’s unseen treasures.

Feel the sea breeze on your face as you sip on a drink, cool off with a swim in the water, and enjoy the sun setting over the Barcelona skyline. It will be one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see.

You’ll start the tour in the Marina Vela port. Your guide will take you on board the catamaran, where you will receive a welcome drink before setting off. Enjoy the sights around you as you enjoy the calming melodies of gentle lounge music.

Make sure you have your camera ready. You’ll pass by La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic, Torre Agbar, Mount Tibidabo, and Barceloneta Beach. You won’t want to miss taking pictures of these beautiful attractions. It’s a perfect Instagram opportunity.

Ship on the water at night

There is a daytime and sunset cruise option. During the daytime cruise, the boat will stop and allow you to take a quick dip in the water before returning to the port. While on the sunset cruise, you can relax on the boat and soak up the beautiful Barcelona sunset before going back.

The tour includes a welcome drink and snacks, but other beverages need to be purchased at the bar. You can choose between wine, a beer, or a soft drink for your welcome drink.

For an incredibly relaxing tour of Barcelona’s best attractions, take a catamaran cruise and enjoy the sun setting over the city.

What We Love Most:

  • The beautiful sunset over Barcelona
  • The relaxing vibe on the boat
  • The beautiful attractions

Check tour dates and book your Small-Group Catamaran Cruise here!

Boat on the ocean with waves behind it

Montserrat Monastery Visit & Lunch at a Farmhouse

This tour is a great way to experience Montserrat’s unique cultural history while witnessing the mountain region’s beauty.

The tour begins in Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia. From there, you’ll travel to Montserrat, Catalonia’s most famous mountain range. It’s a few miles away from Barcelona, so you won’t be traveling far.

Spend your day admiring the beautiful nature around Montserrat. Visit the Benedictine Monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat, where 150 monks still live. You will learn about the history of the monastery. A fun fact, the monastery hosts the patron saint of Catalonia, La Moreneta, who is famously known as ‘The Dark Maiden’ or ‘Black Madonna.’ And we don’t mean Madonna, the ‘Queen of Pop’.

Montserrat Monastery in Spain with cherry blossoms around it

Indulge in a delicious three-course meal at the Masia Farmhouse. This meal includes salad, barbecued food, and dessert. There are also vegetarian and halaal options.

The ticket also includes a performance by the Escolanía de Montserrat (Boys’ Choir). However, this cannot be guaranteed, as it is subject to availability and performance schedules.

For a fun and cultural experience in beautiful Montserrat, this tour cannot be missed.

Note: This tour is not suitable for wheelchair users.

What We Love Most:

  • The gorgeous views of Montserrat
  • Touring the Monastery
  • The delicious lunch at the farmhouse

Check tour dates and book your Montserrat Monastery Visit here!

Entrance to the Monastery in Montserrat, Spain

Girona, Figueres, and Dalí Museum Day Tour

Any art buff will enjoy the Girona, Figueres, and Dalí Museum Day Tour. This 11-hour tour will take you to some of the best attractions in Girona and Figueres.

You’ll go on a walking tour through Girona, where you can see the magnificent medieval monuments in the city. Then you’ll head off into the surreal world of Salvador Dalí in Figueres.

You’ll meet your guides in Estació Barcelona Nord before heading off to Girona. Learn about the history of this city that the Romans founded. It has some of the most incredible architecture in the whole of Spain. There are medieval walls, Gothic monuments, and Arab baths. There’s no wonder Girona was used in the filming of Game of Thrones.

An important monument in Girona is the Jewish Quarter. Jewish people inhabited this area before they were expelled from the country in 1492. Now it’s a labyrinth of stairs, streets, houses, and arches. You can find some of the best architecture in this quarter.

Roof of the Dali museum with egg shaped accents

After this, you will head off to Figueres, the home of surrealism. This is an art lover’s dream with priority entrance to the Dalí Theatre-Museum. Not only does it have the biggest collection of Salvador Dalí’s works, but the building itself is a work of pure surrealism.

Salvador Dalí himself said: “I want my museum to be a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object. The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream.” And he really fulfilled his vision. It has an undoubtedly surrealistic design; the entrance is a tower with what looks like eggs on the top.

The tour includes round-trip transportation to and from Barcelona, as well as all the tours. Food and drinks are not included in the ticket.

If you have an interest in medieval architecture and surrealistic art, this tour is for you.

Note: Children under the age of 8 can go on the tour for free.

What We Love Most:

  • The majestic architecture in Girona
  • The Dalí museum, inside and out
  • Learning about the history of the Jewish Quarter

Check tour dates and book your Girona, Figueres, and Dalí Museum Day Tour here!

Lake with flowers in Girona, Spain

Montserrat Half-Day Wine and Tapas Trip

Another fun trip to Montserrat, but this one has wine and tapas, the classic Spanish cuisine. This half-day trip is filled with incredible drinks, delicious food, and great company.

After meeting in Barcelona, you will head to Montserrat on an air-conditioned bus. The first part of the tour includes a quick visit to the Benedictine Monastery. You’ll have a 1 hour guided tour of the monastery before having free time for another hour.

Now, the wine tour begins. You’ll go to a boutique winery in Montserrat and tour the impressive facility that’s located in a castle. The castle is more than a thousand years old, and the winery has more than four hundred hectares of land.

On this tour, you will learn about the upkeep of the grape vines, the harvest, how the French Oak barrels affect the taste, and of course, taste the delicious wine. Spanish tapas will also be on the tables to keep you from filling up on just wine. Mains will be followed by a lovely dessert.

Wine bottles and tapas on a table

After the tour, you will have the opportunity to purchase some of the wines you tasted at the winery. There is also shipping available for the wine if you can’t carry it home with you.

Any wine enthusiast will enjoy this trip to Montserrat. With the amazing views over the mountain and the delicious tapas, this trip is honestly a true Spanish treat.

If you enjoyed your time in Montserrat, or you’re interested in other tours, here are some more great day trips to Montserrat.

Note: It’s not necessary to inform the tour provider beforehand of dietary restrictions or allergies. They can be catered for on-site.

What We Love Most:

  • Learning about the process of making the wines
  • The delicious tapas and dessert
  • The views of Montserrat

Check tour dates and book your Montserrat Half-Day Wine and Tapas Trip here!

Montserrat Monastery and mountain in Spain

Illa Fantasia Water Park Skip-the-Line Day Ticket

For an enjoyable water park experience, Illa Fantasia is the place to be. With three pools and over twenty-two slides, you have a ton of options to stay cool and have fun.

Just twenty minutes from Barcelona lies a whole day of fun, sun, and water. Illa Fantasia has many different rides, attractions, and activities for the entire family to enjoy.

There are rides for everyone. Family fun is ensured; there are even small slides for toddlers and children.  There’s the Aquamania, a closed tube slide that is 50 feet tall and very fast for the adventurers. Within 10 seconds, you will hit the water, and immediately, you’ll want to go down the slide again.

If you want to relax, there is a lovely picnic area where you can set down a blanket or sit on a picnic bench. Pack a lovely basket and just enjoy the sun, or have a family barbecue at one of the grills.

Child playing in water

If you don’t want to make your own food, there are many restaurants and fast food places in the area. Grab a burger, pizza, waffle, or ice cream. Afterward, make sure to stop at the souvenir shop to get something to remember your trip.

If you go on a Thursday, the Aqua Sound Pool Party is included in the ticket. This is a great event filled with music and celebration. Live DJs will make sure the party doesn’t stop.

Unfortunately, transport is not included in this ticket, but there are buses and trains that will take you to have a fun-filled day at the park.

Note: The park is not suitable for people who are pregnant, have back problems, have mobility impairments, or have heart issues. It’s also not suitable for wheelchair users.

What We Love Most:

  • The Aqua Sound Pool Party
  • Going down the Aquamania slide
  • Having a nice barbecue at the grills

Check tour dates and book your Illa Fantasia Water Park Trip here!

Water park tube ride in Spain

Montserrat Hiking Experience from Barcelona

If you’re an exercise buff or just enjoy hiking, this trip is perfect for you. With the beautiful views of Montserrat around you as you hike through the mountains, the Montserrat Hiking Experience is a wonderful trip.

You’ll get picked up at your hotel and then drive in an air-conditioned minivan to Montserrat. Before you start the hike, you’ll learn about the mountain’s spiritual significance and the myths surrounding this beautiful place. A fun fact is that Montserrat has a reputation of being the home of the mystical Holy Grail, as per Arthurian legend.

There are many different routes that you can choose from depending on your fitness level and experience. Levels 1 and 2 are great for novice hikers or families. It’s an easy walk that has gorgeous views from the top of St. Joan Funicular Railway.

Levels 3 and 4 include a round trip around the mountain to the summit. You’ll hike along the beautiful scenic St. Jeroni Trail.

Man hiking the summit of Montserrat mountain in the fog

And if you’re an expert hiker and in the mood for a challenge, take on the hike from the west side to the east side of the mountain. Your reward will be a visit to the famous Benedictine Monastery.

Snacks will be provided on the walk, but be sure to bring along lots of water. Gratuities and other expenses are not included. There will be souvenirs available to buy so you can remember your hike on Montserrat.

We would recommend this tour for anybody who wants a bit of a different perspective of Montserrat. You don’t get to experience the wonder of the mountain on some of the other trips, so this is a great way to learn about the mountain itself and explore all it offers.

Note: This tour is not suitable for people who are pregnant, have back problems, have serious medical conditions, or have a low fitness level. It’s also not suitable for wheelchair users.

What We Love Most:

  • The fantastic views of the mountain
  • Learning about the history and significance of the mountain
  • It was nice to get some exercise in such a beautiful place

Check tour dates and book your Montserrat Hiking Experience here!

Montserrat Monastery surrounded by the mountains in Spain

PortAventura Amusement Park Ticket

If Illa Fantasia Water Park doesn’t tickle your adventure bone, then PortAventura is the park for you. It is one of the biggest amusement parks in Spain. There are some fun, adrenaline-pumping rides here, perfect for any adventurer.

It’s about an hour away from Barcelona, and unfortunately, the ticket does not include transportation. However, a quick ride on the train will get you there.

PortAventura is designed around five different themed civilizations – Mexico, China, the Far West, Polynesia, and of course, the Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean part is decorated to look like a fishing village. The most popular attraction here is the Furius Baco, a roller coaster with a top speed of 83 miles per hour.

If that isn’t enough thrill for you, then you can escape a volcanic eruption in the Polynesian area on the Tutuki Splash Ride. Or you can go on the Kontiki ride and fight through a storm.

Mexico is decorated with sculptures and temples reminiscent of ancient Mexico. You can grab your kids and go on the armadillo ride. Or, for an adrenaline-pumping time, try the 1,082-foot tall Hurakan Condor. But only if you have the courage.

PortAventura World roller coaster

Explore your inner cowboy in the Far West. Show your skills on the Buffalo Rodeo, or take a ride on the Stampida, a wooden roller coaster.

Or head to imperial China and take on the mighty Dragon Khan, a roller coaster with eight loops. If you’re not brave enough, try the Shambhala, a mild 250-foot tall roller coaster.

There aren’t just rides at this fun-filled park. You can catch some fun shows as well. In Mexico, there are shows called Viva Mexico! and Templo del Fuego. Or you can watch a nice Cancan Show in the Far West. Perhaps also see the Bang Bang West (as you can see, the Far West likes its alliteration).

Many à la carte restaurants around the park serve food from different cultures, so you can even indulge in multicultural cuisine.

Kids can also have a ball of a time in SesamoAventura, which is based on Sesame Street. They’ll even get to meet Elmo and Big Bird.

The park also has a water park called Caribe Aquatic Water Park if you need to go cool off halfway through.

Note: The park is not suitable for people who are pregnant, have back problems, have mobility impairments, or have heart issues. It’s also not suitable for wheelchair users.

What We Love Most:

  • The fun, adrenaline-fueled rides
  • Exploring the different cultural themes
  • The food from all the different areas

Check tour dates and book your PortAventura Amusement Park Ticket here!

Roller coaster at sunset

Final Thoughts on Barcelona Day Trips

Barcelona is a great city, but sometimes spending too much time in one place can get a bit boring. To make sure your time in Barcelona remains fun and exciting, taking some day trips to locations outside the city is a great idea.

And if you enjoyed all of these fun day trips outside Barcelona, be sure to check out our other fun tours around Spain.


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