Yes, Barcelona is known throughout the world as a city with lots and lots of things to do. But the adventure doesn’t need to end at the city limits. In fact, that’s where the excitement begins anew! So, before you make your itinerary, be sure to check what to see near Barcelona. You will be surprised!
Here, we have summarized some of our favorite spots. But we also recommend you ask locals and tourists alike for their favorite spots. You can simply take to the road, follow the signs, and see where that leads you. For now, let’s begin our countdown. Shall we?
What To See Near Barcelona | Don’t Miss These Top Destinations
So, you’re settled in this bustling city, got your sunglasses on, and your walking shoes tightly in place. What’s next? We bet that you’ll be quite busy with everything there is to do in the city. But, if you have time on the weekend, you should definitely check these top spots:
8 Places You Can’t Miss Near Barcelona
Without further ado, here’s our list of top spots. Sure, we have experiences all over the world, in New Zealand, Ireland, Malta, Australia, and Canada. But, as locals, we have the keenest eye for what to see near Barcelona. Read on!
Located 60 kilometers from Barcelona, Montseny is one of the best-known and most-loved mountains in Catalonia. It extends over more than 30,000 hectares of green landscapes. Unesco declared this mountainous massif a Natural Park and Biosphere Reserve in 1978.
One of the most emblematic points is the Turó de l’Home, the highest peak in the Vallés Oriental region, at an altitude of 1,712 meters. As you can imagine, the panoramic views from up there are quite a spectacle. From here you can take a 5-hour excursion to Les Agulles, the second highest peak in Montseny (1,706 meters).
Around this whole massif, there are many charming little towns to visit. This is a great option to escape from the city in search of nature and a lot of peace.
Sitges is one of the most beautiful places to see near Barcelona. And it is also one of the most prominent coastal towns in Catalonia. This charming town is located just 40 kilometers south of the city of Barcelona. Furthermore, it is very easily accessible by train from the center.
Sitges stands out for its privileged location at the foot of the Mediterranean. But it also shines for its architectural heritage. Strolling through its beautiful and picturesque old town with white houses in modernist and colonial styles is one of the essential things to do.
You must walk the entire promenade starting at the church of San Bartomeu! As it happens, it is one of the most iconic images of this attractive coastal city. It has good beaches, lively nightlife and even one of the most important Film Festivals in Europe.
In our list of what to see near Barcelona, the magical mountain of Montserrat is a must. It is a symbol and one of the most emblematic places in Catalonia. And it is located just 60 kilometers from the capital. It was declared a world heritage site in 1987.
Among its attractions, there’s the Sanctuary and Monastery dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat, patron saint of Catalonia. There are also many routes to hike between mountainous landscapes. Get ready for unique geological phenomena!
You can reach it by railway. Quite a blast from the past and quite worth the experience. Otherwise, you can arrive by car or public transport. But, without a doubt, the most spectacular way to get there is through the Montserrat cable car. In it, you will enjoy spectacular aerial views of the Montserrat Natural Park.
Rupit | Medieval times near Barcelona
Another of the especially beautiful towns to see near Barcelona is Rupit. This stone town from medieval times is located in the Osona region. It’s just over an hour away from the Catalan capital.
Don’t forget to cross the river by its famous suspension bridge. And see the baroque church of San Miguel along with the ruins of a 10th-century castle. You can take a short excursion of about 2 kilometers to the viewpoint of the Salt de Sallent. That’s the largest waterfall in Catalonia and one of the most spectacular, with a 115-meter drop.
This is the perfect place for a long weekend escapade. That’s why local tourists adore it.
La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone
This volcanic zone is somewhat more removed from Barcelona, about 2 hours away. But it is an essential visit if you like nature and are looking for absolute disconnection. We recommend “getting lost” in the forests of the Garrotxa region. Especially in La Fageda d’en Jordà, one of the most beautiful forests in all of Catalonia.
What is so special about this area? Well, the volcanoes, obviously. It has a whale sequence of them. You’ll be waddling and wandering about one of the most powerful forces of nature. In fact, volcanic soil is excellent for growth.
You’ll see so much variety in greenery and wildlife you’ll be amazed. Besides, you can take these routes on foot or bicycle. Although, for us, the best way to see La Garrotxa is by balloon. Head to one of the many outposts and take to the sky!
Andorra | Another world to see near Barcelona
It might sound almost surreal, but by driving just 2.5 hours from Barcelona, you can reach another country. And not just any country, one that seems drawn out from fairytales: Andorra.
With its capital enshrined in gorgeous forested mountains and magical architecture, the trip to Andorra is quite worth the drive. Also, since it has remained distant from international conflicts, it preserves its historic architecture. For example, you can see an 11th-century church just as it was built.
The capital also boasts Unesco protected trails for hiking. And, in the winter, you can ski and practice winter sports. Furthermore, since it’s another country you can enjoy one of the top benefits of international travel: duty-free!
Sant Cugat del Vallès
If history is your thing, then this ancient town is a must for you. This place has been occupied for centuries. You can find and walk through ruins that date to the roman empire. An excellent way to see how life was for the colonies far from Rome. And, they are very well preserved!
But that’s not all. The town was not abandoned after the roman empire dwindled. So, you can also find samples of great architectural currents such as the romanesque and gothic.
There are 12th-century monasteries and 14th-century hermitages. Bring your camera, your fun facts, and a hat! Because you’ll spend a day walking through history. And all while you get sun-drenched.
Castelldefels by the sea
Now, sometimes all we want to do is relax. Just 10 minutes away from Barcelona, you’ll find the wonderful Castelldefels. This is a small, seaside town with fantastic architecture where you can enjoy easy beach strolls, stop for a snack, and just watch life pass by.
If you are up for a bit of action, you can enjoy the Olympic Canal. It was built for the 1992 Olympic games hosted in Spain. And it is now used for canoeing. Finally, if you’d like to bask in culture as well as sunlight, there’s the Castillo de Fels. Yes! This magic, easygoing town also has a castle! Quite worth the visit, wouldn’t you say?