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Besalú Bridge © Montse Poch/ Wikimedia
Besalú Bridge © Montse Poch/ Wikimedia

Great Day Trips From Barcelona Via Public Transport

Picture of Tara Jessop
Updated: 18 October 2016
As great as the city of Barcelona is, we all need a change of scenery from time to time. Luckily, Catalonia is home to a number of beautiful villages, epic landscapes and other vibrant cities just waiting to be explored. Best of all, many of these can be accessed by train or bus from Barcelona, meaning that you don’t have to worry about having a car. Here’s our guide to the best day trips from Barcelona.


Located just 35km south of Barcelona, Sitges is a great day trip for anyone looking to escape the busy city but still enjoy great beaches and a fun atmosphere. There are a number of restaurants serving local cuisine as well as family friendly meals alongside the waterfront and in the old part of town. During the 1960s, Sitges was a hotbed of counterculture in Spain and today it is known as one of most gay-friendly destinations in Europe and has a large international community.

Access: by train, approx. 40 mins from Barcelona Plaça de Catalunya  MAP

Montseny Natural Park

The Montseny Natural Park is located in the Montseny mountain range, one of the closest and most accessible from Barcelona and a great destination for anyone wanting to experience the beauty of the Catalan Pyrenees without having to commit to an overnight stay. Although the Montseny massif itself is best accessed by car, walkers can access the outskirts of the park by train via the train station at Sant Martí de Centelles and walking through Aiguafreda, where an information desk will provide maps and information about the area.

Access: by train, approx. 1 hour from Barcelona Plaça de Catalunya  MAP


This charming waterfront town is situated at the meeting point of three rivers and has sometimes been referred to as the ‘Venice of Catalonia’. The small streets and cozy squares of the old town make it the perfect spot for a romantic get away. Girona has a long history as an important city in the region and some of the main sites date to as far back as the 1st century BC. Each year in the Spring the Girona Temps de Flors festival sees the city burst into bloom as its streets and main monuments are decorated with flowers and floral installations.

Access: by train, approx. 40 mins on the high speed train from Barcelona Sants Station  MAP


The Catalan countryside is home to a number of ancient towns with significant remains from the Roman period or Middle Ages. Whilst many of these can only be accessed by car, a few can be reached by using one of the local bus services. Besalú is best known for its impressively well conserved bridge dating back to the 12th century, which served as one of the main points of access to the city. It is also notable for its Jewish heritage, a reminder of a time when Christian and Jewish populations lived alongside each other in peace before the 14th-century pogroms.

Access: by bus approx 1 hour 40 mins from the TEISA office on C/ Pau Claris 117    MAP

Vilafranca del Penedès

Take a trip to Vilafranca del Pendès and step into the heartland of Cava production in Catalonia. While the town itself is home to a number of 12th and 13th century monuments, including the Gothic church of Santa Maria and the convent of Sant Francesc, a visit to the area would not be complete without an excursion to one of the Cava vineyards located on the outskirts of the city. Many of the sites will be happy to arrange collection from the town itself, or else there are a number of taxi companies available to complete the short journey.

Access: by train, approx 1 hour from Barcelona Plaça de Catalunya  MAP


Located at nearly equal distance from Barcelona and Girona, Vic is an important Catalan town with a long history of affluence in the region. The town is home to a number of churches which are a testimony to its important ecclesiastical heritage and history, of which the Roman temple and the Vic cathedral are worth mentioning. However, Vic is also renowned for its culinary heritage as it is home to the eponymous ‘Llonganissa de Vic’, a cured sausage typical of the area.

Access: by train, approx 1 hour 20 mins from Barcelona Plaça de Catalunya  MAP


This seaside city is one of the largest in Catalonia and is a popular holiday destination in its own right. Dating back to the 5th century, Tarragona has an important Roman heritage and was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2005 under its Roman name ‘Tarraco’. Most notable are the Roman amphitheatre and the aqueduct known as Aqüeducte de les Ferreres. The town is also home to the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona which contains a number of precious Roman remains.

Access: by train, approx. 40 mins on the high speed train from Barcelona Sants station  MAP

Castellfollit de la Roca

This is another great countryside village which fortunately can be accessed via the local bus service. Perched atop a cliff, Castelfollit de la Roca is located in the Natural Parc of the Volcanic Area of La Garotxa. The town itself is one of the smallest in Catalonia, measuring less than a square kilometre, but makes for a great base from which to explore the breath taking countryside around it. It is also home to a number of restaurants where guests will be able to discover some of the specialities of the region in a traditional setting.

Access: by bus, approx 1hr50 from the TEISA office on C/ Pau Claris 117  MAP