Day trips from Barcelona

Very close to Barcelona, you have all kinds of opportunities to get away and discover in a morning or a day places you did not know and that you can visit either by public or private transport or by bicycle.

1. Visiting the Llobregat Delta

vistes dels Espais Naturals del Delta del Llobregat

The Llobregat Delta is a unique place that can often go unnoticed, due to its proximity to Barcelona, but which is well worth discovering. If you have just one day to explore this natural delta, which is over 2,000 years old, you cannot miss some of its most important places, which are easily accessible by bike or on foot.

One of the most prominent places is the airport viewing deck, a spot that in recent years has become important not only among plane spotters, but also for visitors and tourists. From this point you can see impressive scenes, with aircraft landing and taking off amidst a very unique atmosphere.

Afterwards, you can take the Bunyola path, which offers a striking tour following the Delta's nature in all its beauty. From this route, you can visit the old Carrabiners barracks, a historical 19th-century building whose function was to control smuggling and guard the coast, but which now protects the natural beach in front of it, which is closed to the public. Continuing your tour, you will reach the Mirador del Semàfor (traffic light viewpoint) and its striking walkways, from where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the wetlands and the Llobregat River. Once there, do not miss Ricarda Lake, a protected natural area with a wide variety of fauna and vegetation typical of the delta.

To end the day, head to El Prat beach, a quiet and pleasant place to relax and enjoy the sun and the sea. You can also take the opportunity to play beach volleyball with family and friends or taste the local cuisine in one of the restaurants in the area with stunning scenery.

2. El Ferret, the Karst Route

Vista de l'edifici de l'Escorxador de Begues

Begues is a small town located in Baix Llobregat, 30 km from Barcelona, surrounded by nature and with great historical and cultural wealth. If you only have one day to visit it, we recommend that you start from the very town centre, from where you can go on many outings, including the Fonts and El Padró routes.

From the centre you can also start a simple tour that will take you to Pi Gros, the remains of a historic Scots pine tree with a very characteristic trunk, marked by the strong twisting of the wind. It is estimated to have been over 400 years old when it perished and is considered one of the oldest trees in Catalonia.

You will also have the opportunity to take a 4-km guided tour, on which you can discover how the ancient inhabitants of this limestone territory of the Garraf massif lived in the past. El Ferret, or Karst route, has been designed by CIPAG (Prehistory and Archaeology Research Group of Garraf-Ordal) and is suitable for everyone. All you need is good shoes and a water bottle to enjoy a tour that will take you into the area's cavities and rock formations, such as the Can Sadurní chasm, a large underground cavity that will take your breath away, or the Can Sadurní salt mine, of great historical and cultural relevance for the area, as salt was one of the most important resources for many years. There are also dry stone buildings, old lime kilns or cobbled paths.

Your visit to Begues will continue with a visit to the Wall, a viewpoint of silence, a quiet and peaceful place, ideal for connecting with nature and from where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Collserola mountain range and the Llobregat Delta. It is a place to end a day in contact with nature and history that will take you to another era.

3. Colonia Güell

Vista aèria de Sant Jeroni de la Murtra de Badalona

In Santa Coloma de Cervelló, in Baix Llobregat, you will find the Colonia Güell or Torre Salvana, a modernist industrial and residential complex built in 1890 by the textile industrialist Eusebi Güell, which has become a valuable historical and cultural heritage site.

Accessible by public transport from Barcelona, this Art Nouveau site features buildings and constructions designed by the architects Francesc Berenguer, Joan Rubió and young Antoni Gaudí, which convey the atmosphere of the 19th century.

Among the different works you can find, the Colonia Güell’s Crypt, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, stands out, in which Gaudí used for the first time the architectural innovations that were later used in the construction of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona. Walking through the streets of the colony, you will see the most popular side of Art Nouveau architecture, with examples such as Ca l'Espinal, Ca l'Ordal, the Sant Lluís Parish Centre, the School and the Teacher's House or the Doctor's House. It is an unknown space, where you can spend the day discovering a highly valuable heritage. If you visit it in October, you will be able to see it in the midst of everyday historical re-enactments that are held to mark the Art Nouveau Festival. A must-visit 25 minutes from Barcelona.

4. Making your way to Besòs

Past the Besòs River, which marks the northeastern section of Barcelona, you will find some of the most important places that are located next to the city. With this one-day getaway you will visit places that are imbued with history and culture in the Besòs area.

Start your adventure by heading towards Santa Coloma de Gramenet, from where an easy tour begins that will take you to the Iberian settlement of Puig Castellar, where you can also visit the Galena mine, an old Roman mine that is one of the great sights in the area. The tour continues to the Monastery of Sant Jeroni de la Murtra, an impressive 14th-century monastery located in a privileged natural setting that can be visited with advanced booking.

You will then head to Badalona, specifically to the Badalona Museum, where you can visit the ancient Roman city of Betuto, which is hidden underground, with a tour of the Roman ruins that will tell you what life was like in this Roman town of the 1st century BC. To finish this historical tasting of Badalona, we also suggest a visit to the old Anís del Mono factory, an iconic liqueur distillery with 150 years of history that offers guided tours.

Finally, you can continue your route to Can Solei and Ca l'Arnús park, where you can enjoy a stroll through the Art Nouveau architecture of the area. From this park, head towards the Pont del Petroli, a historical bridge that connects Besòs with the sea and from where you will have a privileged view of Platja del Coco beach and the Barcelona coastline, to put an end to this getaway along the Besòs.

5. Castelldefels' and Gavà's historical past

Castelldefels and Gavà offer a wide range of activities to enjoy these places in a single day. To start with, we suggest you visit the Gavà Mines Archaeological Park, a fascinating network of mines where you can learn about the life of the Iberians and Romans, as well as variscite, the mysterious green mineral that was mined in the area. You can also visit the Gavà Museum to learn about the history of the city first hand. Furthermore, the city features other historical remains, such as the Gavà Air Raid Shelter, an example of the importance of the area's historical heritage.

Afterwards, the route will take you to Castelldefels Castle, an essential and iconic place to learn about the history of the Baix Llobregat region from its walls, its gardens and its pirate attraction, an immersive and interactive experience that will delight young and old alike. In Castelldefels, you will also find the Olympic Canal, a site that was created for the Barcelona '92 Olympic Games and is perfect for sports lovers, with its wide range of water activities. If you visit Castelldefels at the end of May, the Sant Ponç Fair is a unique experience to get to know the culture of local herbalists and beekeepers.

To top the day off, there is nothing better than a visit to Castelldefels Beach, where you can enjoy the sun and the sea, as well as taste the local cuisine at the restaurants in the area, such as Chiringuito Chalito, Tibu-Ron, L’Ananda or Dolce Vita.

6. Mataró, capital of Maresme

Mataró, just half an hour by train from Barcelona, boasts a history and heritage that deserves to be discovered. On this route, you will discover the capital of Maresme and its distinctive features. The first one is on the same train that connects Barcelona with Mataró, as it is the first railway line in Spain, which was created in 1837 and promoted by the Mataró businessman Miquel Biada i Bunyol, to whom the bronze sculpture of the god Hermes or Mercury that you will see as soon as you leave the station is dedicated.

One of the highlights you cannot miss is the Nau Gaudí, an Art Nouveau industrial space that was commissioned to a young Antoni Gaudí as part of an ambitious textile colony, but which was ultimately never finished. You cannot miss another Art Nouveau example in the works of Josep Puig i Cadafalch, the city's prodigal son, such as the Sisternes House, the Parera House or the Coll i Regàs House, the architect's masterpiece.

Next, head to the old Can Marfà factory, where you will find the Acció! cultural project that will take you on a journey through the history of the city and its important textile tradition. To regain strength and continue your route, Mataró offers a wide range of culinary options at its main markets, the Plaça Gran market (El Rengle) and the municipal market in Plaça de Cuba.

You can then head to the Roman villa of Torre Llauder, one of the best examples of Roman archaeology in the area, but if you want to delve deeper into the city's Roman history, do not miss a visit to Iluro, the roman city. Before setting off on your return journey, you can take a stroll through Cabanelles and enjoy its charm or, if you have some energy left, visit the Capuchin Cemetery, known as the Australian's Cemetery due to a tragic story of the Second World War that lies behind this name.

7. Art Nouveau route through Sant Joan Despí

Sant Joan Despí is a town located near Barcelona that offers an interesting Art Nouveau route, with which you can discover the architecture of the time through its main buildings, such as Torre de la Creu, Torre Jujol, Casa Cebrià Camprubí, Casa Rovira or Can Negre.

The Jujol-Can Negre Centre, which also houses the Municipal Art School, is located at the same place, from where you can start the cultural walk through the town's historical farmhouses, the cultural walk along the banks of the Llobregat River or family workshops, such as The Magic of Trencadís (broken tile mosaic), The Detectives and the Hidden Well or The Romans Come to Sant Joan Despí!.

To regain strength and recharge your batteries, there are plenty of good options to discover the local cuisine, such as La Follia, a country house that offers fresh local products from the Baix Llobregat Agricultural Park or the Oucomballa restaurant, which offers a wide range of quality Italian Mediterranean cuisine, awarded with the Biosphere certificate.

Finally, if you are a sports lover, you can also go to the Joan Gamper sports city and the Johan Cruyff stadium, which was inaugurated in 2019 and hosts the matches of the FC Barcelona women's team.

8. Cardona and the Lords of the Salt Mountain

If you are looking for an iconic place in the province of Barcelona to visit in one day, Cardona is not to be missed. In one day, you will be able to discover much of the region's history and heritage.

A must-see is Cardona Castle, a fortified ensemble built to have almost absolute control over the Cardener valley and the salt flats, from where you will enjoy enviable panoramic views. Its good state of preservation allows you to visit the keep, the church and its Gothic courtyard, the cloister, the crypt, the nave and the walls dating from the War of Succession. A majestic and impregnable ensemble that provided a historic defence for Cardona during the War of Succession.

Another place of interest in Cardona is the Salt Mountain Cultural Park, an old salt mining site that offers guided and dramatised tours to learn about its history, which goes 86 metres deep to discover the textures and images the galleries of the Salt Mountain offer its visitors. This unique place in the world features the Biosphere certificate that acknowledges it as a place that is committed to sustainable tourism.

In the city you will find several culinary options for tasting the traditional dishes and products of the area. At the end, you will be surprised with an educational and entertaining visit to the Giant Workshop of the sculptor Toni Mujal, who specialises in building giants, dwarfs and all kinds of animal and festive figures, which will make a visit like this one unforgettable for young and old alike. 

9. The power of Sant Cugat del Vallès

Sant Cugat del Vallès is a city located just 20 km from Barcelona, i.e. ideal for a day trip. There you will find the Monastery of Sant Cugat, one of the most iconic places in the city, whose cloister is considered to be one of the most important in Europe.

Throughout the city, you will find several urban routes with self-guided tours available via the Natura Local app. You cannot miss a visit to Cèsar Martinell's Art Nouveau winery, a cooperative winery founded in 1921 with an impressive architecture by a pupil of Gaudí. Another must-see, especially for film buffs, is Cal Gerrer, a museum that is dedicated to Marilyn Monroe and her personal belongings.

To delve into the past, you can visit the National Archives of Catalonia or the Property Restoration Centre of Catalonia. The whole city is imbued with a passion for the restoration of cultural heritage, especially at the Mercantic, a vintage market of second-hand dealers, antiquarians, craftspeople and artists that you cannot miss, particularly if you want to enjoy healthy street food market cuisine or a good vermouth on weekends.

Finally, to top it all off, we suggest you go to the Pi d'en Xandri, a monumental tree on the outskirts of the city that is more than 800 years old. It is an ideal place to rest before heading back and helps you understand that Sant Cugat is a city full of surprises that are worth discovering.

More information:

Llobregat Delta
Monastery of Sant Cugat
Visit Gavà
Visit Castelldefels
Cardona Tourism
Visit Mataró
Colonia Güell
Sant Joan Despí
Sant Jeroni de la Murtra