Are you taking an extended stay in Barcelona? Have you already seen all of the main tourist attractions, but still want more? Do you most definitely not want to buy an expensive flight and book an expensive hotel for a weekend? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then keep reading!
We’ve written a guide on how to do day trips to places just outside of Barcelona, cheap! Catalonia has so much to offer, and with such great public transport links, it’s so easy to travel to new and amazing places on a budget! Why not visit some of the following places…
Just a forty-minute train ride from Barcelona-Sants station, Sitges is one of the closest and best places to spend a day escaping the city. The white washed buildings and walls of the town will make you feel like you have just stepped off the train in Greece, and the gorgeous beaches easily rival the beautiful bays of Barcelona. You can start your day by exploring everything that Sitges has to offer, like climbing up to the church of Sant Bartomeu, a stunning example of baroque architecture located on a small hill just north of the town. If you are a fan of Bacardí, it might interest you to know that Bacardí’s founder also grew up in Sitges, and the town even offers a tour which includes a free rum tasting session, as well as a free drink!
Sitges has dozens of local restaurants that offer a range of different cuisines. Traditional tapas, Greek delicacies, Japanese sushi, and even Peruvian food, are on offer in this small coastal town. But don’t forget to try the fresh seafood caught in Sitges itself!
Every year in October, Sitges hosts its annual film festival which specialises in films from the Fantasy and Horror genre. There is even a zombie walk which sees fearless attendees dress up as the walking dead and parade around the town! The streets of Sitges are decorated for the festival, making Sitges even more breath-taking than usual!
How much? A round trip ticket will only cost you €8.40, and you can travel on the overhead Renfe trains which connect Barcelona to a range of beautiful coastal towns.
Just like Sitges, Badalona offers guests an alternative beach getaway to those that are sick of Barceloneta’s crowded sands. The beaches in Badalona are bigger and cleaner than in Barcelona, giving you room to relax and even play some sport using the volleyball nets. And if you take a walk down the beach to the historical pier Pont del Petroli, you can even experience amazing views of the sea, the beach, and the town!
There are plenty of lunch spots in Badalona, particularly along the town’s Passeig de la Rambla, a street which runs parallel to the beach and offers al fresco dining among the palm trees. After lunch, you can walk through the narrow streets to the historic district of Badalona, where you can visit the historic church, the town hall, and many more beautiful streets and buildings.
Keep walking to Parc de Can Solei I Ca l’Arnús, an oasis hidden away in the northern part of the town, and you will find playgrounds, sports fields, a lake, and other stunning historical buildings. If you have time, stop at the Museu de Badalona to check out ancient Roman ruins of the city of Baetulo. The ruins are located underneath the building and include baths and partial remains of shops. Various artifacts that have been excavated since the museum’s opening in the 1960s are also on display.
How do you get there? Badalona is accessible by either the Renfe or by metro, located on the R1 or at the end of the L2 (the stop is Badalona Pompeu Fabra).
A nearby city full of mesmerising medieval architecture, Girona is a must for anyone looking to escape the city centre for a day out, or even a long weekend. Start your day by walking around the city, stopping at Passeig de la Muralla, the defensive wall surrounding Girona. Visit the Girona Cathedral for a taste of Gothic architecture. The building is massive and beautiful- it’s no surprise then that Game of Thrones was filmed there, along with other places in Girona, like the Banys Arabs.
The Moorish baths are also a must-see during your visit as they date back to the 12th century and were built in a Romanesque style, plus admission is only €2. The Jewish Quarter of Girona boasts narrow, cobblestone streets and small shops you can wander into while exploring. Visit the two museums in the Jewish Quarter and the Girona History Museum, all of which have free admission on certain days of the week. You should also make sure to check out the Onyar River and the many ornate bridges that cross it, there are eleven in total. The most popular of these is Pont de Ferro, designed by Gustave Eiffel– of Eiffel Tower fame. The architecture of the homes along the river is also notable and evokes the feeling an Italian city like Venice or Florence.
Girona has plenty of delicious food options, and with the proximity to France, the French food is a must-try. Check out the cafés and bakeries for the cheapest, freshest food. Visit Rocambolesc Gelateria if you want to try ice cream designed by Jordi Roca, the pastry chef at the three-Michelin star restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca. But as this is a guide for people on a budget, we recommend avoiding the restaurant and instead stopping at the gelateria for dessert!
Montserrat is a mountain range near Barcelona which gives you some of the best views of Catalonia. There are plenty of breath-taking attractions like the Montserrat Monastery, and the Basilica, both free to enter. You can also hike over to Sant Miquel’s Cross for more amazing views of the mountains and a great view of the monastery on the other side.
Close to the restaurant at Montserrat is The Stairway to Heaven, a popular tourist attraction and photo opportunity. Unfortunately, the artwork is now fenced off, but it is still a cool site to visit during your trip.
Montserrat is accessible by train or bus (more on that later) but there is also the option to buy a ToT Montserrat ticket, which includes a round trip train ticket, entry into the Montserrat museum, and a free buffet lunch at the restaurant at Montserrat. The total cost of the ticket is €53.
Without the ToT ticket, you can take the Renfe R5 train from Plaça Espanya and then get the cable car or the funicular to reach the top. A combined tickets can be purchased at Plaça Espanya for €22.
You can also take the bus to Montserrat, a ticket costing €10 and taking an hour and thirty minutes. We recommend that you book all tickets to Monsterrat in advance.
Let us know if you used this guide to plan a cheap day trip outside Barcelona on a budget by leaving a comment here, or on our facebook page.