5 Incredible Day Trips from Barcelona By Train

Barcelona is everyone’s favourite city and it’s easy to see why.

It is a city that lives and has everything – iconic and unusual attractions like Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral and Parc Guell, rows of beaches lined with beach bars buzzing with atmosphere and a nightlife that really pops, and is extremely LGBTQ+ friendly.

As such, the region which surrounds Barcelona is often unfairly neglected, when it too offers unique experiences for the intrepid traveller.

So, let’s take a break from the heaving crowd of tourists in Barcelona – no matter how cool it is – and get out into the wilderness to see five of the best sights Catalonia has to offer.

Here are 5 amazing day trips from Barcelona by train.

5 Incredible Day Trips from Barcelona By Train


Known as Barcelona’s ‘other mountain,’ after the famous Tibidabo, Montserrat mountain is a stone’s throw from the capital.

It is a picturesque multi-peaked mountain range made of jagged rocky formations reaching skyward out of the surrounding Catalonian forests.

Montserrat’s most defining feature – and the reason it is so visited – is an ancient monastery hugging the cliff face of the epic mountain, like something pulled straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.

For thousands of years, this mystical landmark has been revered as a spiritual site, sacredly guarded by Catalan monks.

Within is the renowned Basilica of Our Lady of Montserrat, a Marian shrine that celebrates the Black Madonna statue of Mary, which the devout can even queue to kiss!

The interior of the monastery also houses a 11th century Romanesque church, a museum of fine art and archaeology and a 12th century library.

Surrounding the monastery are a range of hiking routes through the mountains with spectacular views over the landscape and a chance to get a closer look at the mountain’s unusual rock formations.

Barcelona to Montserrat by train

Montserrat is easy to reach via a train from Barcelona Plaça España station to Montserrat, a journey which takes about 1 hour.

Once there, take the Aeri de Montserrat, a cable car which travels to the top of the mountain and a welcome respite from the city.

You can find more information on the FGC website.

Santa Maria de Montserrat
Santa Maria de Montserrat


Sitges is a small town with a BIG personality.

The coastal town looks how you would expect a Spanish town to look, with white-walled buildings and cobblestone streets, but it is also a veritable maze of restaurants, museums, shops, bars and clubs, all winding down to the gorgeous seafront promenade, where numerous beaches – including a nudist one – lie to either side of an ornate church perched on a rocky outcropping.

Basically, it’s stunning!

Then there are the parties!

The residents of Sitges are a diverse mixture of Catalans and Expats – especially LGBTQ+ ones – who need little excuse for a street party.

There’s Pride, Bear Pride, Carnaval, Wine Harvest Festival, Sitges Film Festival, their own ‘Festa Major’… you get the idea…the party never ends in Sitges, making it easy to time your visit and enter in on the festivities.

Reaching the charismatic village is as easy as an hour train ride to the south of the capital, in which you are spoilt by the spectacular beach views on route.

Barcelona to Sitges by train

The trains from Barcelona to Sitges are direct and take just 30 minutes, making it one of the easiest day trips from Barcelona by train!

You can find the schedule and prices on Trainline.



Taking the train a little further south along the beach-lined coastline brings you to the historical port city of Tarragona – the capital of the southern region of Catalonia.

History comes alive here as ancient ruins persist from when the city was a Roman colony.

You can delve deep into the Necropolis to see Roman tombs, visit the ‘Amfiteatre Roma´ (a 2nd century outdoor theatre with a view out over the ocean), traverse the cobblestone streets of the walled old town and climb the ramparts of ‘Passeing Arquelogic’ for expansive views of the city.

When you’re done reliving history, Tarragona has some lively beaches – the biggest of which being Platja Llarga – for some quality time under the Spanish sun.

The city has a rather lively main square in the old town, which buzzes with the locals enjoying tapas and drinks out on the terraces way into the night – making it easy to get carried away and miss your train back to Barcelona.

Barcelona to Tarragona by train

The journey time from Barcelona to Tarragona by train is just 1 hour.

You can find train times and prices here.

Amfiteatre Roma
Amfiteatre de Tarragona


From the south to the north, venturing upwards from Barcelona brings us to Girona in the capital of the northernmost region of Catalonia.

Girona is a picturesque beauty of a city brought to fame largely by Game of Thrones.

Fans will surely recognize many of its iconic landmarks, such as the city’s majestic wall and the breathtaking view and steps down from the Girona Cathedral.

Even the non-initiated will find plenty of breathtaking sights like the gardens hidden away inside Europe’s largest and best-preserved century Jewish Quarter, Parc de la Devesa gardens, or the charming Old City.

Whether you climb up the city’s walls for a stunning sunset or meander through its cobblestone streets, Girona is ‘the real’ Catalonia.

Unlike Barcelona, everything – from the menus to the street signs –  is in the region’s native language, Catalan, and Catalonian culture is more present giving a more authentic taste of the region.

Barcelona to Girona by train

On average, it takes just over an hour to get from Barcelona to Girona by train, although the high-speed Renfe train takes just 38 minutes!

You can find train times and prices here.



Not far from Girona is the town of Figures, which would be unassuming if it weren’t for one particularly bizarre structure looming above it all.

Surrealist Salvador Dali made Figueres his home and left behind a fittingly larger-than-life legacy in the form of the elaborate Salvador Dali Museum.

The building itself is an oddity, but built within the walls of what was once an old theatre, this museum holds many features that are nothing short of truly bizarre, from an enigma ballroom to giant eggs suspended high above your head.

Up until this day, the surrealistic artist’s influence on Figueres remains unmatched.

What was once an unassuming Spanish city with barely 13,000 inhabitants has grown to become a major tourist destination due to the many bizarre attractions and declarations of admiration by any Salvador Dali aficionado, so you’ll find many restaurants and souvenir shops to help you remember the time you were brave enough to explore beyond Barcelona into the diverse lands of Catalonia. 

Barcelona to Figueres by train

Barcelona to Figueres is a quick and easy 55 minute direct train.

You can find train times and prices here.

salvador dali museum figueres
The Salvador Dali Museum!

Day Trips from Barcelona by Train | Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this article about day trips from Barcelona by train!

This article is actually a guest post, which was kindly written for me by Auston from Two Bad Tourists, an incredible blog for LGBT+ travellers looking for gay-friendly travel destinations and unique festivals and events around the world!

Be sure to check out their blog, and as always, if you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below!

Until next time,


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