20 Best Day Trips by Train From Barcelona (2024)

Zaragoza as one of the best day trips by train from Barcelona, Spain
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Taking a day trip by train from Barcelona is like unlocking a treasure chest of Spanish wonders. From quaint coastal towns to lush vineyards, there’s a whole world waiting just beyond the city limits.

Having lived in Spain for a while, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had my fair share of these mini-adventures, hopping on trains to discover what lies around Barcelona.

Whether you’re looking to wander through ancient streets, lounge on pristine beaches, or get lost in sweeping landscapes, there are plenty of memorable day trips from Barcelona you can easily get to by train. Check out my picks for the best ones to take your vacation to the next level.

Planning a trip to Barcelona last minute?

If you’re booking your trip to Barcelona last minute, I’ve got you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

⭐ Most popular sights in Barcelona

  1. Sagrada Familia – tickets often sell out weeks in advance so get your entry ticket here (or entry tickets AND a guided tour here)
  2. Park Güell – grab your skip-the-line entry
  3. Casa Batlló – click here for tickets and audio guide

🌍 Top tours in Barcelona

  1. Montserrat Tour, Monastery and Winery (great day trip!)
  2. Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes (incredible night out)
  3. Tapas Walking Tour with Food, Wine, and History (all the highlights at once)

🛏️ Top hotels in Barcelona

  1. Ohla Barcelona (5-star luxury with an amazing rooftop pool)
  2. Seventy Barcelona (boutique hotel with beautiful décor)
  3. Àmfores Boutique Guest House (great budget option with superb location)

🚌 Want free public transport while you’re in Barcelona? Check out the Hola Barcelona travel card!

1. Montserrat

Montserrat is a small Caribbean island known for its lush green landscape, volcanic activity, and a resilient community that has rebuilt itself after significant natural disasters and one of the best day trips by train from Barcelona.

If you’re looking for an escape into nature, visiting Montserrat from Barcelona is your go-to destination. Just about an hour by train from Barcelona, this mountain range with its unique, serrated profile offers a complete change of scenery.

The train ride itself is a joy – winding through the Catalan countryside with picturesque views. Once there, you can visit the Montserrat Monastery, a serene spot that’s not only historically significant but also offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Plus, the hiking trails here are fantastic – you can choose from leisurely walks to more challenging hikes. And don’t forget to catch the famed boys’ choir performance at the basilica if your timing aligns!

…or to really make a day of it, hop on this tour of Montserrat Tour, with Monastery and Winery visits to really discover everything this iconic mountain range has to offer (and, of course, transport all organized).

Starting with a scenic cogwheel train ride, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Montserrat’s peaks. Explore the historic Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, marvel at its stunning interiors, and if you wish, visit the revered Black Madonna.

You can choose between a half-day or a full-day tour, with the full-day option including a visit to an amazing boutique winery up in the mountains. You’ll get tapas or lunch, depending on your choice, learn about local winemaking, and enjoy a tasting session.

Safe to say, you’re in for a memorable day.

2. Girona

The streets of Girona are narrow, cobbled, filled with history, colorful facades, and bustling local life which is one of the best day trips by train from Barcelona.

Heading to Girona from Barcelona, despite only being about an hour and a half away by train, feels like stepping into a different era. Its well-preserved medieval architecture, with narrow winding streets and historic buildings, makes for a perfect backdrop for a leisurely day of exploration.

(In fact, if you love history, this small group walking tour of Girona is a great way to learn more about the past 2,000 years that have taken place here.)

The colorful houses lining the Onyar River are picture-perfect, and the city’s Jewish Quarter is rich in history and culture. Girona also boasts some impressive culinary offerings – from cozy cafes to high-end restaurants.

And if you’re a fan of “Game of Thrones,” you might recognize some parts of the city from the show – and there’s even a Game of Thrones tour of Girona if you’re a diehard fan! Not to mention that the train journey itself is comfortable and scenic, making the travel part of the experience.

If you want everything sorted out for you, the Girona and Costa Brava Full-Day Tour from Barcelona is a fantastic way to experience this. It takes you through the winding medieval streets of Girona and the dramatic landscapes of the Costa Brava.

Highlights include a visit to the picturesque fishing village of Calella de Palafurgell and the opportunity to learn about the ancient pathways of the Caminos de Ronda.

With a small-group setting and hotel pickup and drop-off included in Barcelona, it’s a very convenient (and fun!) way to spend your day.

3. Tarragona

Tarragona's medieval heritage shines in its ancient walls, stunning cathedral, and Roman amphitheater ruins which is one of the best day trips by train from Barcelona.

Just a bit over an hour south of Barcelona by train lies Tarragona, a coastal city with a wealth of Roman history.

The Roman amphitheater, overlooking the Mediterranean, is a must-visit. It’s not every day that you get to see such well-preserved ancient ruins with a sea view!

To learn more once you get here, this Roman Heritage Guided Walking Tour of Tarragona is a great option. They’ll take you to the amphitheater, Roman walls and more, while explaining all the incredible history of this part of Spain.

Tarragona’s old town, with its narrow streets and historic charm, is great for wandering. The city also has a vibrant food scene, with plenty of spots to enjoy fresh seafood.

Don’t miss out on the local vermouth – it’s a regional specialty. The train ride to Tarragona for this a day trip from Barcelona is straightforward and comfortable, offering glimpses of the beautiful Catalan coastline along the way.

(But don’t forget the the Tarragona and Sitges Tour from Barcelona I mentioned earlier! It’s a stress-free way to get to see two of the most beautiful towns near Barcelona, with everything organized for you so you can can just focus on enjoying the highlights.)

4. Penedès Wine Region

The Penedès Wine Region boasts rolling green vineyards, stunning landscapes, and a rich winemaking tradition which is one of the best day trips by train from Barcelona.

For those who appreciate a good glass of wine and the a day trip to the Penedès wine region is a must. Roughly an hour by train from Barcelona, this area is renowned for its wine, particularly Cava, the Spanish answer to champagne.

The journey is a pleasant one, with scenic views that set the tone for a relaxing day. Once there, you can visit various vineyards and bodegas.

Many offer tours where you can learn about the wine-making process and, of course, sample some of their finest products. The rolling hills and vine-covered landscapes also make for great photo opportunities.

Plus, the small towns in the region, like Vilafranca del Penedès, have charming streets and local eateries where you can indulge in some regional cuisine.

If you’re keen to do wine tastings while you’re here, I definitely recommend this Penedès Vineyards Tour.

You’ll head to two boutique wineries with tastings of three wines and four types of cava with local cheese and charcuterie. From there, you’ll be taken on a 4×4 adventure tour of the historic 2,000 year old vineyards, including a 10th century chapel on the estate.

It’s a seriously good day tour, perfect for those wanting a full experience of the famous Penedès wine region.

5. Figueres

The Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres showcases surrealist art, reflecting Salvador Dalí's eccentric creativity which is one of the best day trips by train from Barcelona.

Now, if you’re a fan of surrealism or just curious about one of Spain’s most famous artists, a trip to Figueres is in order. Home to the Salvador Dalí Theatre-Museum, this town offers a deep dive into the world of Dalí.

The museum itself, about two hours by train from Barcelona, is a work of art, displaying the largest collection of Dalí’s works in a building he helped design. Figueres, though small, has a welcoming atmosphere and plenty of spots to grab a bite or a coffee.

The train ride there is part of the adventure, taking you through changing landscapes and providing a glimpse into rural Catalonia.

If you want to see the highlights of Figueres – with a bonus trip to another beautiful town, Cadaqués, which I’ll mention in a moment – this Figueres and Cadaqués day tour from Barcelona is a great option.

With your expert guide, you’ll explore the weird world of Salvador Dalí, starting at the Dalí Museum in his hometown, Figueres.

Then, depending on the season, you’ll either wander through the picturesque streets of Cadaqués, soaking up the beach vibes, or visit a beautiful medieval town and Dalí’s enchanting Pubol Castle.

Let’s just say you’re in for a day full of surreal art, stunning landscapes, and incredible history.

6. Sitges

Coastal towns near Figueres: Roses, Cadaqués, and L'Escala offer stunning beaches, historic sites, and seafood which is one of the best day trips from train from Barcelona.

Any talk on the best day trips by train from Barcelona can’t forget about Sitges, a coastal town known for its beaches, festivals, and vibrant atmosphere. Just a 40-minute train ride from Barcelona, it’s the perfect spot for those looking to enjoy the sea and sun.

Sitges has a beautiful promenade lined with palm trees, and its beaches are some of the best in the region. The town is also known for its lively nightlife and diverse culinary scene.

For a dose of culture, you can visit the Cau Ferrat Museum or the Maricel Museum, both showcasing art and historical artifacts. Sitges is lively yet laid-back, making it an ideal place to unwind and soak up the Mediterranean lifestyle.

A great, hassle-free way to see Sitges (and, bonus, Tarragona – which I’ll get to in a moment!) is with this Tarragona and Sitges Tour from Barcelona. This small group tour, capped at 8 people, honestly feels like a day out with friends.

You’ll get to wander through the ancient Roman ruins of Tarragona, soak up the artsy vibes in Sitges, and unwind on its beautiful beach.

Plus, your transport is all sorted with hotel pick-up and drop-off. It’s the perfect mix of history, culture, and relaxation!

7. Andorra

Andorra is a mountainous city known for skiing, duty-free shopping, and stunning Pyrenean views and can do one of the best day trips by train from Barcelona.

While technically not a train ride away from Barcelona, a combo of train and bus to Andorra is a journey worth taking. Andorra, tucked away cozily between France and Spain in the Pyrenees, is known for its ski resorts and duty-free shopping.

The trip starts with a scenic train ride to L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre, taking around three hours, followed by a short bus ride into Andorra. The shift in landscape as you approach the mountains is something to behold.

Once there, you can hit the slopes if it’s winter, or enjoy hiking and breathtaking mountain views in the warmer months. Andorra La Vella, the capital, is great for shopping and dining, with a range of restaurants offering both local and international cuisine.

Sure, it’s a long day. But getting to say you’ve been to a country that most people haven’t been to – let alone heard of – is something else!

Visiting one extra country is great and all…but how about visiting two?

With this guided day tour to Andorra and France from Barcelona, you’ll get to visit three countries in one day. With stops in medieval villages, natural thermal waters and some incredible views of the Pyrenees as you go, it’s a great day out that’s literally impossible in most of the world!

8. Perpignan

Perpignan, in southern France, blends Catalan heritage with French flair, showcasing medieval architecture, vibrant markets, and a rich cultural tapestry influenced by its proximity to Spain and the Mediterranean and one of the best to do day trips by train from Barcelona.

For a taste of French culture without straying too far from Barcelona, Perpignan is an excellent choice. The train journey takes about an hour and a half, bringing you to this charming city in the South of France.

Perpignan mixes Catalan and French influences, evident in its architecture and food. The Palace of the Kings of Majorca is a notable historic site, offering insights into the region’s past and great views of the city.

The city’s vibrant streets, lined with shops and cafes, are perfect for a leisurely stroll. And let’s not forget the food – the fusion of French and Catalan cuisines here is a real treat for foodies.

9. Lleida

The Cathedral of Lleida, an architectural gem in Catalonia, boasts Romanesque and Gothic influences, featuring stunning stained glass and historic religious artifacts, offering a glimpse into Spain's cultural and religious heritage and it is one of the best to do day trips by train from Barcelona.

Lleida, around an hour’s train ride from Barcelona, is often overlooked, but it’s a hidden gem for those interested in history and culture. The city’s standout feature is La Seu Vella, a beautiful old cathedral that offers stunning views over the city and surrounding countryside.

The old town of Lleida, with its narrow streets and historic buildings, is full of charm. The city also has a vibrant arts scene, with various galleries and museums.

For nature lovers, the nearby Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, with its lakes and mountains, is a fantastic place for hiking and enjoying the great outdoors.

10. Vic

The Plaça Major of Vic is a historic square in Catalonia, known for its picturesque arcades, bustling market days, and cultural events, surrounded by centuries-old buildings showcasing Romanesque and Gothic architecture and one of the best to do day trips by train from Barcelona.

Vic, a lesser-known yet charSource: Jorge Franganillo ming town, is just an hour’s train ride away from Barcelona. It’s a place where you can experience authentic Catalan culture without the usual tourist crowds.

One of Vic’s highlights is its market, held in the main square – a lively event where you can find everything from local cheeses to artisan crafts. The town is also famous for its medieval architecture, including the stunning Vic Cathedral.

If you’re into art and history, the Episcopal Museum of Vic is a real treasure, housing an impressive collection of medieval art. The town’s relaxed atmosphere makes it perfect for a leisurely day of exploring, and you’ll find plenty of cozy cafes and restaurants to enjoy local cuisine.

11. Cadaqués

Cadaqués: nestled on Costa Brava's rugged coast, known for whitewashed houses, art history, and scenic bays with crystal-clear waters and one of the best to do day trips by train from Barcelona.

Cadaqués, a bit further away, requires a train to Figueres followed by a bus, but the journey is well worth it. This seaside town on the Costa Brava is known for its white-washed houses and crystal-clear waters.

…or, of course, there’s always that Figueres and Cadaqués day tour from Barcelona I spoke about above. It will get you there with zero hassle on your side – and will make sure you see all the highlights!

It was once a favorite of artists like Salvador Dalí, and you can visit his house-turned-museum in nearby Portlligat. The town itself is a joy to explore, with its narrow streets, art galleries, and seafront promenade.

Cadaqués is also a gateway to the Cap de Creus Natural Park, where you can enjoy hiking and stunning sea views. The trip might take a bit longer, but the combination of art, history, and natural beauty makes it a fantastic day out.

12. Castelldefels

The castles of Castelldefels, including Castell de Fels and Can Bosc, offer historic charm amidst scenic landscapes, showcasing medieval architecture and cultural significance and it is one of the best to do day trips by train from Barcelona.

For a day of sun and sand, head to Castelldefels, just a 30-minute train ride from Barcelona. This beach town is perfect for those looking to relax by the sea or indulge in some water sports.

The beach at Castelldefels is long and wide, offering plenty of space for sunbathing, swimming, and beach games. The town itself has a laid-back vibe, with a range of eateries and bars along the beachfront.

If you’re feeling adventurous, the nearby Garraf Natural Park offers great hiking and biking trails. Castelldefels combines the ease of a short train ride with the joy of a beach day, making it an ideal choice for a stress-free getaway.

13. Zaragoza

Aljafería Palace in Zaragoza a must visit place if you plan to have a day trips by train from Barcelona

Zaragoza, about an hour and a half from Barcelona by the high-speed train, is a blend of cultural heritage and modern vitality. This city is known for its stunning landmarks like the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, a masterpiece with impressive frescoes and a story that dates back centuries.

Don’t miss the Aljafería Palace, a stunning example of Islamic architecture in Spain. Zaragoza is also a haven for foodies, offering a mix of traditional Spanish cuisine and innovative dishes.

The city’s central market is a bustling spot where you can sample local products. What’s more, Zaragoza’s compact size makes it perfect for exploring on foot after your train ride.

14. PortAventura

A sprawling amusement park complex near Salou, Spain, featuring thrilling rides, themed areas like Ferrari Land, aquatic fun at Caribe Aquatic Park, and family-friendly attractions amidst Mediterranean-inspired landscapes and one of the best to do day trips by train from Barcelona.

For thrill-seekers and families, PortAventura, just over an hour away by train, is a fantastic day trip destination. This sprawling amusement park is one of the largest in Europe, boasting a range of rides and attractions for all ages.

From adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to more relaxed, themed areas like the Polynesia and Mediterranean zones, there’s something for everyone. The park also hosts shows and parades, adding to the festive atmosphere.

A bonus is the adjacent water park, PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park, perfect for cooling off in the summer. The train drops you right near the park, making for an easy and fun-filled day out.

15. Lloret de Mar

Lloret de Mar's beach day offers sun-drenched sands, azure waters perfect for swimming, vibrant beachfront cafes, and lively promenades lined with palm trees, creating a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere ideal for leisurely strolls and enjoying fresh seafood while soaking up the coastal ambiance and it is one of the best to do day trips by train from Barcelona

If you’re in the mood for a beach day with a side of nightlife, Lloret de Mar is the place to go. It’s about an hour and a half by train and bus, but the journey is straightforward.

Lloret de Mar is known for its beautiful beaches, like the main Lloret Beach and the more secluded Fenals Beach. Besides sunbathing and water sports, you can explore the Santa Clotilde Gardens, which offer stunning views over the sea.

The town is also famous for its vibrant nightlife, with a plethora of bars and clubs. During the day, wander the streets of the old town to discover its historic charm.

16. Blanes

Coastal paradise with sandy beaches, botanical gardens, vibrant festivals, and charming Mediterranean ambiance and it is one of the best to do day trips by train from Barcelona.

Heading to Blanes is like taking a mini-vacation to a coastal paradise. Just about an hour and a half by train from Barcelona, Blanes is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Costa Brava.”

The town is famous for its botanical gardens, Marimurtra, which are perched on cliffs offering spectacular views of the sea. The beaches here, like S’Abanell and Santa Cristina, are perfect for a day of lounging and swimming.

Blanes also has a charming old town with narrow streets and local shops. Don’t miss the chance to try some fresh seafood in one of the beachfront restaurants.

The journey by train is easy and scenic, making Blanes an excellent choice for a relaxing day trip.

17. Manresa

A coastal paradise of Manresa where azure waters meet pristine shores, best explored by boat for its serene beauty and hidden coves and it is one of the best to do day trips by train from Barcelona.

Manresa, about an hour by train from Barcelona, is steeped in history and culture. It’s known for the stunning Basilica of Santa Maria de la Seu, a gem of Gothic architecture.

The town played a significant role in the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and you can visit the cave where he reportedly meditated. Manresa’s old town is a pleasure to explore, with its medieval streets and squares.

If you’re there on a Saturday, the weekly market is a lively event where you can pick up local produce and crafts. The train ride to Manresa, through the heart of Catalonia, is itself a pleasant part of the journey.

18. Mataró

Mataró beach a must visit place if you plan to have a day trips by train from Barcelona

Mataró, just a 40-minute train ride from Barcelona, offers a mix of beach fun and cultural exploration.

This coastal town is known for its Roman archaeological sites and modernist architecture, including the work of Antoni Gaudí. The Nau Gaudí, one of his first works, is a particular highlight.

Mataró’s beaches are great for a more laid-back seaside experience, and the promenade is perfect for a leisurely walk. The town center has a vibrant atmosphere with a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants.

You’ll find that Mataró manages to combine the charm of a small town with the vibrancy of a city, making it an ideal destination for a short but fulfilling day trip.

19. Vilanova i la Geltrú

Palau Maricel in Vilanova i la Geltrú is a historic mansion showcasing Catalan modernist architecture, adorned with intricate details and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and it is one of the best to visit if you do day trips by train from Barcelona.

Vilanova i la Geltrú, less than an hour’s train ride from Barcelona, is a coastal gem that often flies under the radar. This town offers a perfect balance of cultural attractions and beach relaxation.

You can visit the fascinating Victor Balaguer Library-Museum, which houses an extensive collection of art and historical artifacts. The town’s beaches, like Ribes Roges and Sant Gervasi, are ideal for a day of sunbathing and swimming.

Vilanova i la Geltrú also boasts a vibrant culinary scene, with plenty of spots to savor fresh seafood and local dishes. The town’s relaxed atmosphere makes it a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona.

20. Cardona

Castle of Cardona a must see place if you plan t have a day trips by train from Barcelona

For a trip into the heart of Catalan history, Cardona is a must-visit. About an hour and a half from Barcelona by train and bus, this town is famous for its imposing medieval castle, the Castle of Cardona.

Perched on a hill, the castle offers stunning views of the town and surrounding valley. Cardona is also known for its historic salt mine, which you can explore through guided tours.

The town’s medieval streets and local market add to its historic charm. While it’s a bit further away, the journey to Cardona is well worth it for a taste of medieval Catalonia.

Exploring these destinations by train not only adds to the adventure but also allows you to enjoy the scenic beauty of Spain’s landscapes – and all in an environmentally friendly way!

So, grab your ticket, and jump on a journey to discover the hidden gems around Barcelona.

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