When you arrive in Barcelona, you undoubtedly have the notion that you’ll never want to leave. While the beauty of its architecture and the culinary arts will entrance you, there are several areas outside of the city that will leave you in awe.
Here is a list of our top destinations outside the metropolitan area that are only a short distance away:
The city of Figueres has always been overshadowed by the museum it houses, for good reason. Figueres was the birthplace of Salvador Dalí and the artist chose to house a large selection of this works under one roof as a sign of devotion and appreciation to his upbringing. The Dalí Theatre-Museum showcases some Dalí jewels as well as some art he specifically made for the museum. Aside from the museum, the city boasts a cuisine that will surely please the palate as well as some of the finer vineyards in Spain. Be sure to stop and admire the unique architecture and if you can, see the 18th century Saint Ferran Castle.
Tarragona has always been considered a special, unique city due to the combination of it’s architecture and flawless beaches. Much of the allure of this beautiful city is found within the Roman ruins that are found at various spots throughout the region. Your first stop should be to visit the Tarragona Amphitheatre and see the Roman structure that was built in the late 2nd century. To continue your historic adventure, we highly recommend visiting the National Archaeological Museum. Here you’ll find much of the history that the city was proudly built on. One more mandatory stop before heading to the Pala Alta area to discover the incredible local cuisine is the Tarragona Cathedral, that was built in the 12th century. After, be sure to take your vacation to the waters by renting a boat and exploring one of the several beaches that Tarragona has to offer.
Taking a trip to Montserrat just outside of Barcelona has become a pinnacle for most tourists. The mountain range attracts visitors of all sorts, some coming for a beautiful hike and some coming for solely religious purposes. The views that the mountain range produces are surreal and will surely bring tranquility. It is not uncommon for tourists to take an overnight hike to see the sunrise from this beautiful viewpoint. Once you are there, visit the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, which is home to the meaningful statue of the Virgin of Montserrat. Admire the beautiful architecture and unrivaled courtyard made up of marble floors and historic latin engravings.
The quaint Catalan city of Vic is the perfect crossway between a rural and urban town. Not far from Barcelona, the small city houses a long history, which has visibly affected its modern development. Walk down to the Plaça Major and experience the rich culture that exists in Vic. This unpaved, open space will showcase much of its distinct character and charm. The farmers market is open every Tuesday and Saturday in Plaça Major, allowing you to sample the local ingredients and flavor. The town is small enough to get to know it by foot and this way, you’ll get to know the rich history while admiring the beautiful mix of architectural styles that the city has to offer. Aside from the views, a staple in the local cuisine is the sausages that are made from a longstanding recipe. Be sure to sample the local sausages, fuet and llonganissa, and have a taste of one of the most prized, traditional offerings the city has to present.
When you arrive in Pals, you’ll immediately fall for the charming town with its medieval architecture. Topping your itinerary in this stunning town is to walk through its historic streets and admire the details that dates back centuries. Admire the four towers that were once part of the fortification of the village and see the endless amounts of walkways and arches. You’ll immediately feel the sense of culture and history that the roads produce. A definite advantage of being in the medieval town of Pals is the quick access to unspoiled beaches and endless natural parks. Depending on when you arrive, the town holds several festivals and events showcasing their local gastronomic arts along with award-winning wines from the region.
The ancient Catalan city of Girona is perfectly situated near Barcelona, the Pyrenees, and the beautiful Costa Brava beaches. Although this is a major benefit, the city deserves much more praise and attention. There are several points of interest within the city that are exceptional. One of the most beautiful sights that epitomizes the ancient city can be seen from the Onyar River. Stop halfway on the legendary Eiffel Bridge and make sure you have your camera ready. After taking in the beauty from this standpoint, the next points are more historical in nature. To see the city in its entirety, take a walk on the medieval walls, which surround the eastern border of the city. Here, you’ll have great vantage points, while standing on a piece of history.
Another historical must see is the Jewish Quarter. Preserved for more than 500 years, these narrow neighborhoods and streets are filled with character. Walk through the heart of Girona on cobblestoned lanes and navigate the maze of streets that will certainly astonish you.
On your next vacation to Barcelona, be sure to compliment your trip by adding one of these beautiful destinations to your itinerary.