If you want to explore the cities outside Barcelona, we have compiled a list of the best destinations. Check them out!
Girona may play second-fiddle to its better known Catalan counterpart, Barcelona, but this walkable city makes a perfect weekend destination in its own right. Its narrow medieval streets hold historical treasures from every era, along with a lively selection of quirky bars and superb restaurants. Girona is the capital of the province of Girona. It is spelled ‘Gerona’ in Castilian Spanish and ‘Girona’ in Catalan, which is the primary language spoken throughout the province. Girona is in the north-east of Spain, and is bordered by France, and the provinces of Barcelona and Lleida.
Fourteen kilometers inland from Catalonia’s glistening Golf de Roses lies Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dalí and now home to the artist’s flamboyant theatre-museum. Although Dalí’s career took him to Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and the USA, Figueres remained close to his heart. In the 1960s and ’70s he created the extraordinary Teatre-Museu Dalí – a monument to surrealism and a legacy that outshines any other Spanish artist, in terms of both popularity and sheer flamboyance. Whatever your feelings about this complex, egocentric man, this museum is worth every cent and minute you can spare. Beyond its star attraction, busy Figueres is a lively place with a couple of interesting museums, some good restaurants, pleasant shopping streets around Carrer de Peralada, and a grand 18th-century fortress. It’s well worth staying to see the town breathe after Dalí day-trippers board their buses at sundown.
Montserrat, 50km northwest of Barcelona, is at the heart of Catalan identity for its mountain, monastery and natural park weaving among distinctive rock formations. Montserrat mountain is instantly recognizable, sculpted over millennia by wind and frost. Its turrets of rock, a coarse conglomerate of limestone and eroded fragments, extend like gnarled fingers from its 1236m-high bulk. More than halfway up the mountain lies the Benedictine Monestir de Montserrat, home to La Moreneta (‘Little Brown One’, or ‘Black Virgin’), one of Spain’s most revered icons. Extending from this sacred spot is the Parc Natural de la Muntanya de Montserrat, superlative hiking terrain where brooks tumble into ravines and lookout points deliver panoramas of rocky pillars.
Just 35 km southwest of Barcelona, Sitges sizzles with beach life, late-night clubs, and an enviable festival calendar. Sitges has been a resort town since the 19th century, and was a key location for the Modernisme movement, which paved the way for the likes of Picasso. These days it’s Spain’s most famous gay holiday destination. In July and August, Sitges cranks up the volume to become one big beach party, while Carnaval unbridles the town’s hedonistic side. But despite the bacchanalian nightlife, Sitges remains a classy destination: its array of galleries and museums belie its small size, there’s a good choice of upmarket restaurants in its historic centre (which is lined with chic boutiques), and the October film festival draws culture fiends from miles around. The town is quieter during the off-season, but you can still get a feel for it.
In this effervescent port city, Roman history collides with beaches, bars and a food scene that perfumes the air with freshly grilled seafood. The biggest lure is the wealth of ruins in Spain’s second most important Roman site, including a mosaic-packed museum and a seaside amphitheatre. A roll-call of fantastic places to eat gives you good reason to linger in the knot of lanes in the attractive medieval centre, flanked by a towering cathedral with Romanesque and Gothic flourishes. Tarragona is also a gateway to the Costa Daurada’s sparkling beaches and the feast of Modernisme architecture in nearby Reus.
These are just some of the best day trips you can take from the city. If you want more, just visit us and get inspired.
See you soon,