10 day trips from Barcelona by train
No need to drive a car and worry about parking and crazy Barcelona traffic! Public transportation in Catalonia is excellent. There is so much to see around Barcelona that you can easily reach by train and bus. Below are my 10 favourite day trips from Barcelona you don´t need a car for.
The train company Rodalies sells combination tickets for the train and funicular all the way to the famous Monastery of Montserrat. I started at the Passeig de Gracia station, from there it´s around an hour and a half one way. You can also take a cable car up to the Monastery if you´re fine with heights. Montserrat is great for hiking also! Ask for a hiking map at the tourist information by the funicular station.
In my humble opinion Tibidabo is a must-see for anybody who comes to Barcelona. Especially if you have children, because they will love the amusement park. See my post on other things to do with little children in Barcelona here. If you travel without kids it´s worth it for the view. The view from Tibidabo is one of my absolute favorite views of Barcelona! Trains go from Placa Catalunya, then take the funicular, then either walk or take bus 111. You can use the T10 tickets for this route and it´ll cost you hardly more than one Euro each way. If you prefer to take the historic funicular right up to the Amusement park, you´ll have to pay a little extra.
Every half hour there is a Rodalies train to Blanes. Blanes is where the Costa Brava starts, the part of the Spanish Coast that goes up to the French border and names after its wildness. You´ll see how the rocks separate the coastline into many small bays here. To get there, the 1h15min train ride takes you right along a seemingly endless beach. In Blanes I highly recommend the Botanical Garden, even if you don´t care for plants, the views of the Costa Brava are priceless. If you´re up for a little hike, walk up to the Castel. The old fortress makes for a perfect Instagram spot. If you have a a few more days to spend in the area, check out my post about other must-see towns along Costa Brava.
Tossa de Mar
A little up the coast from Blanes you´ll find Tossa de Mar. There is no direct train from Barcelona. But you can take a bus either from the Blanes train station or straight from Barcelona (Moventis has buses several times a day from Estacio de Nord in Barcelona). The medieval old town of Tossa de Mar looks as if it was untouched for a thousand years. You have to see it to believe it. For inspiration see my post about my day trip to Tossa de Mar.
Do you like wine? If yes, then there is no excuse not to visit Penedes, the wine region just south of Barcelona. Rodalies has trains that stop in several villages worth seeing. In Vilafranca de Penedes you can get a map of all the vineyards in the area. If you like Cava, Spain´s sparkling wine, makes sure to visit Sant Sadurni d´Anoia, the Cava capitol. The train station is right next to the famous Freixenet celler, winery and visitor center. They offer tours is several languages. I also did a tasting at Llopart that I loved, but that´s quite a hike from the station.
Talking about hikes… If you like nature, the biosphere reserve park of Montseny is for you. You´ll find several hiking trails of varying difficulty with good signage in this area. Rodalies offers combination tickets for the train from Barcelona to Sant Celoni and the bus from the train station to the Park. As I mentioned in my blog post on hiking in Montseny a few weeks ago, remember to bring clothing for all weather situations, as conditions can change quickly in the mountains!
The same Moventis bus described above that goes along the Costa Brava also stops in Palafrugell. From the bus stop it´s about an hour walk down to Calella de Palafrugell. This tiny village, hidden in the cliffs, is picture postcard perfect. Have lunch here in a restaurant by the beach and enjoy the tranquillity that inspired the painters and poets. Or use it as starting point for a day hike along Costa Brava.
Painters and poets bring me to Figueres. Regular trains from Barcelona to Figueres makes it a great day trip for anybody who enjoys the art of the famous Spanish sculptor and painter Salvador Dalí. Figueres is home to the Salvador Dali Museum, which I wrote about last year. Check out the blog post for more details.
There are a number of picturesque towns south of Barcelona as well though. Sitges is one of them! It´s very easy to reach on the train and a wonderful ride along the coast. A word of warning though: Many know about the charme of this village so it can get rather crowded in the summer and on weekends. Still, it´s worth a visit!
Tarragona is about an hour train ride south west of Barcelona, directly on the coast. You´ll notice the influence of the Romans everywhere in this city. The ruins, the amphitheatre and the museums around town tell the full story. It´s a great place to visit on a sunny spring or autumn day, because there are so many outdoor attractions. Maybe not on a hot summer day, because you´ll be walking up and downhill a lot to see all of it 🙂
I hope this list of day trips from Barcelona by train is useful. Let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions to add!