Are you heading to Barcelona?

Barcelona is one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe.

However, beyond the fun cultural attractions, beautiful beaches, and epic nightlife scene, it also happens to be near some other great destinations and sites.

So if you’re travelling with a car, going on at least one day trip from Barcelona is a must.

Keep reading to discover the 15 best day trips from Barcelona by car.

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1. Serra de Collserola Natural Park

If you’re looking to get out of the city and escape to nature, then Serra de Collserola Natural Park is the place to do it!

This gorgeous park is only a 45 minute drive outside of Barcelona and it has so much to offer.

The park is 8,000 hectares in size and is ideal for cycling, hiking, and bird watching.

It’s also a great place to enjoy a picnic and take in the sweeping panoramic views of Barcelona down below.

There are also several historic sites to explore within the park, such as Collserola Tower.

Finally, as you enjoy Serra de Collserola Natural Park, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife like wild boars, badgers, rabbits, and squirrels.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 24.4 km (15.2 mi) via A-2
  • Duration: 45 minutes drive

2. Sitges

Sitges is a historic beach town just 45 minutes from Barcelona, which makes it the perfect spot for a day trip or even a half day trip.

This coastal town is southwest of Barcelona and sits on the foothills of the dramatic mountains in Parc Natural del Garraf.

The town is mostly known for its bustling seafront promenade and string of beaches.

Take a stroll through the area and you will quickly discover all of the grand mansions and many quaint shops and restaurants that are located here.

Finally, Sitges is also famous for its nightlife scene, especially its gay bars and nightclubs, so be sure to plan a night out while visiting!

  • Distance from Barcelona: 40 km (24.9 mi) via C-4
  • Duration: 46 minutes drive

3. Vilafranca del Penedès

Experience Spanish wine country in Vilafranca del Penedes.

This historic area less than an hour from Barcelona is pure paradise if you’re a wine lover.

The region is a hub for the local wine industry, which means much of the appeal of this region involves travelling to nearby vineyards or visiting the museum dedicated to wine.

But there are plenty of other non-wine related sites in Vilafranca del Penedes that are worth checking out.

These include the gothic church of Santa Maria, the royal palace, and the Palau Balta.

Whatever you plan to do with your time in Vilafranca del Penedes, just know it’s easy to spend a leisurely afternoon here, strolling around this beautiful town.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 57.9 km (36 mi) via AP-7
  • Duration: 53 minutes drive

4. Montserrat

For a truly breathtaking day trip that will make you feel like you’ve travelled much farther than 1 hour away from Barcelona, consider Montserrat.

Montserrat is the name of the mountain range within the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range.

It is hands down one of the most popular day trips from Barcelona and it’s easy to see why.

Not only is it a pleasant drive, but it offers an opportunity to explore the beauty of the unique Spanish countryside.

Visitors are invited to climb to its summit, which offers incredible views of Catalonia and of the town down below.

Beyond hiking the mountain, Montserrat also has an art museum, a local farmers’ market, and a funicular.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 58.6 km (36.4 mi) via A-2
  • Duration: 1 hour drive

5. Vic

Who wouldn’t want to visit an ancient town?

That’s exactly what you’ll get in Vic, Spain.

This Spanish town, located inland, is known for its rich and colourful culture and history.

As soon as you arrive, you will see that this small city is bursting with old world charm owing to its ancient origins.

Many of the top attractions in Vic relate to its history.

Some of the top things to do include visiting the Episcopal Museum of Vic, Plaza Mayor, the Roman Temple of Vic, and Vic Cathedral.

Essentially, you can be transported back in time on this day trip destination that is only an hour by car from Barcelona.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 71.1 km (44.2 mi) via C-17
  • Duration: 1 hour and 3 minutes drive

6. Lloret de Mar

A party town and a beach town?

Sounds perfect to us!

Lloret de Mar is a great place for a day trip or even a weekend getaway while staying in Barcelona.

It is only an hour away by car but it has a totally different vibe to Barcelona.

Located on the sunshine coast, this small town is dotted with sandy beaches.

Two of the most popular beaches are Lloret Beach and Fenals Beach.

Once you’re done swimming in the turquoise blue water during the day, it’s time to enjoy Lloret de Mar’s renowned nightlife scene.

Between the nightclubs, bars, festivals, and private parties that are held here regularly, there is no shortage of fun in this Spanish town.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 75 km (46.6 mi) via C-32
  • Duration: 1 hour and 3 minutes drive

7. Tossa De Mar

Nestled on the picturesque Costa Brava is where you will find Tossa de Mar.

Tossa de Mar is just under an hour and a half from Barcelona and sits on the Girona coast.

It is known for its Mediterranean climate and its medieval architecture.

The old town is walled and still has many of its historic buildings.

Outside of the town, you will find pristine beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

Must-see attractions in Tossa de Mar include Castillo de Tossa de Mar and Old Town.

At night, the city really comes alive and visitors will find an array of karaoke bars, lounges, and nightclubs.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 87.1 km (54.1 mi) via C-32
  • Duration: 1 hour and 20 minutes drive

8. Tarragona

Ancient culture and Mediterranean beaches await in Tarragona.

This port city is under an hour and a half by car from Barcelona and dated back to the 5th century BC.

There are many ancient ruins located here and they were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Existing ancient sites that visitors can walk around include the Cyclopean walls, Tarragona Amphitheatre, and Les Ferreres Aqueduct.

There are also many important and architecturally beautiful religious buildings in town, such as the Tarragona Cathedral and the convent of the Poor Clares.

Finally, don’t miss out on the region’s beaches, some of which even have Blue Flag designation.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 98.5 km (61.2 mi) via C-32 & AP-7
  • Duration: 1 hour and 20 minutes drive

9. Girona

Picture yourself walking among historic medieval walls, through winding cobblestone streets, and past colourful buildings…

That is what you get in Girona, Spain!

Girona is in the northeastern part of Catalonia and is roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes by car from Barcelona.

It is a popular day trips for visitors in Barcelona thanks to its abundance of medieval architecture.

Girona is truly a sight to behold (and to photograph) and looks completely different than Barcelona.

Must-see attractions range from the Cathedral of Girona and the Girona Art Museum to the Esglesia de Sant Feliu.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 102 km (63.4 mi) via AP-7
  • Duration: 1 hour and 20 minutes drive

10. PortAventura

Whether you’re travelling with kids or just a fun loving couple, a day trip to PortAventura will guarantee a day of fun!

PortAventura is a premiere amusement park located in Tarragona, Spain.

It is less than an hour and a half by car from Barcelona which makes it totally doable for a day trip.

There are also several hotels right near the park if you wish to stay overnight.

Once you arrive at PortAventura, you will find both a water park and theme park all in one.

Visitors can enjoy upside down roller coasters, splash pools, water slides, spinning tea cups, and more.

Many visitors choose to spend 2 days here: 1 day for the rides, and 1 day to relax in the water park.

  • Location: Avinguda del Batlle Pere Molas, km 2, 43840 Vila-seca, Tarragona, Spain
  • Distance from Barcelona: 109 km (67.7 mi) via C-32 & AP-7
  • Duration: 1 hour and 22 minutes drive

Official site

11. Montblanc

Enter the medieval town of Montblanc.

Montblanc is an hour and a half from Barcelona but offers a completely different experience.

The town still has its medieval walls surrounding it and it will truly make you feel as though you’ve stepped onto a Game of Thrones set.

Montblanc is all about the history, so if you travel here, there are a few attractions you can’t miss.

These include the Monestir de Poblet, which is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Also, be sure to check out Bover Tower, the St Jordi Gate, the Gothic church of Santa Maria, and Plaza Major.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 118 km (73.3 mi) via AP-7 & AP-2
  • Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes drive

12. Begur

Begur is a true hidden gem on the Costa Brava.

Just over an hour and a half by car from Barcelona lies this small coastal town, home to just 4,000 inhabitants.

While the town of Begur has many important historic buildings that date back to the 16th and 17th centuries, most tourists travel to the region for the beaches.

In fact, in the summer time, Begur can get so busy that the population grows to as much as 40,000.

Some of the best beaches in Spain can be found here, such as Sa Riera, Aiguafreda, and Sa Tuna.

If it’s a beach getaway you’re after, Begur is for you.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 130 km (80.8 mi) via AP-7
  • Duration: 1 hour and 38 minutes drive

13. Besalu

Besalu is one of the most popular villages in Catalonia.

In part, that is because it is easily accessible from both Girona and Barcelona.

But also, Besalu offers pristine medieval architecture that is hard to find elsewhere.

If you decide to make the trip to Besalu, be sure to explore the famous Bridge of Besalu, Castillo de Besalu, Monasterio de San Pedro de Besalu, and the Museum of Miniatures.

The town is quite small in size so you really won’t need more than a half day here, which makes it the perfect spot for a leisurely day trip from Barcelona.

We guarantee you won’t be disappointed by this well-preserved medieval town.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 132 km (82 mi) via AP-7
  • Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes drive

14. Figueres

Art and history collide in the Spanish town of Figueres.

Located in the province of Girona, Figueres is famous for being the birthplace of Spanish artist Salvador Dali.

Fans of Dali flock to his hometown just to see where he grew up.

There town is also home to the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí, which is a large museum designed by Dali himself.

If you’re not into art, there are plenty of other things to do in Figueres.

Top sites include the Toy Museum of Catalonia, the Technical Museum of Emporda, and the Esglesia de Sant Pere.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 139 km (86.4 mi) via AP-7
  • Duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes drive

15. Cadaques

Last but not least, you can’t go wrong with a day trip to Cadaques.

Cadaques is just over 2 hours by car from Barcelona and is located on a bay on the scenic Cap de Creus peninsula.

The small fishing town is beloved by locals and tourists alike.

Cadaques really has it all – small town charm, delicious food, rich history, and beautiful scenery.

Top things to do in the area include the Museu de Cadaques, the Salvador Dali House Museum, and Santa Maria de Cadaques.

You also won’t be disappointed by visiting the beach locales of Cap de Creus and Platja Gran.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 171 km (106.3 mi) via AP-7
  • Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes driv

We hope this list has inspired you on your upcoming trip to Barclona.

From visiting small medieval villages to exploring the birthplace of famed artist Salvador Dali, there are so many extraordinary destinations to visit on a day trip from Barcelona.

One more day trip we haven’t mentioned, is the drive to Madrid for football fans.

For the best experience driving from Barcelona, check out this article:

Rent a Car in Barcelona