You could spend weeks in Barcelona and never run out of neighborhoods to explore, things to do, food to try and bars to hop.
But for a taste of Catalan life beyond the metropolis – or simply for a change of pace – take a day trip from Barcelona to experience the mountains, beaches and pretty little towns that are just a short ride away.
Here are the best day trips from Barcelona.
1. Savor divinely beautiful views in Montserrat
Travel time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
The mountain of Montserrat is home to Catalonia‘s holiest site, the monastery of the same name. The views are spectacular – take walking shoes – and season permitting, you might be able to catch a choir performance inside the basilica. Afterward, ride the funicular or take a walk down to the Santa Cova, the spot where La Moreneta – a holy effigy of the virgin – was found, or up to the Sant Jeroni peak for a splendid view of the valley below.
How to get to Montserrat from Barcelona: The R5 line trains operated by FGC run half-hourly to hourly to and from Barcelona’s Plaça d’Espanya station. Next, get the AERI cable car to the monastery from the Montserrat Aeri stop. Alternatively, take the R5 to the next stop (Monistrol de Montserrat), from where cremallera trains run up to the monastery every 20 to 40 minutes.
2. Escape the city clamor in Collserola
Travel time: 15 minutes
Barcelonins seek out the vast Parc de Collserola up in the hills for an escape from city life. Walking and cycling trails run throughout the park, which is dotted with farmhouse-style restaurants. Pick up a map of the various routes from the info center at Carretera de l’Església 92, close to the Baixador de Vallvidrera FGC train station. From here, those with a bit of energy can walk across the hills to Sant Cugat and take the train back to Barcelona from there.
How to get to Collserola from Barcelona: Get the FGC suburban train from Plaça de Catalunya, Carrer de Provença or Gràcia to Baixador de Vallvidrera.
3. Walk through a rainbow in Girona
Travel time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Girona‘s old town is a tight huddle of ancient arcaded houses, grand churches and…
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