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Towns Near Barcelona

8 of the Most Beautiful Towns Near Barcelona

by Christian Petzold - updated January 31, 2022

Thanks to its incredible tourist draw, Barcelona is home to several great areas where you can encounter fun things to do and places to explore. With a name like ‘Barcelona,’ it’s clear that this beautiful city has something appealing for everybody, regardless of their interests.  

Here is a list of towns near Barcelona that have amazing attractions worth checking out. Take your time getting lost in one of these fantastic areas as they’re all loaded with incredible sights and things worth seeing nearby!

Be sure to ask around, too, as plenty of locals will give on-the-spot advice to visitors. Without further ado, let’s take a look at eight of the best towns near Barcelona, all with their unique quirks and offerings.

8 Best Towns Near Barcelona

1. Sitges

Sitges

Sitges is a small town with 25,000 people located around 35 miles southwest of Barcelona. Sitges is one of the most beautiful coastal towns near Barcelona on the northern Mediterranean coast of Catalonia. Sitges is known for its beach and diverse tourist attractions, from its old town, many museums and souvenir shops to the famous restaurants and nightlife. 

Other notable things near Sitges include a boardwalk along the coast, boat rides across to Mallorca, and plenty of family-friendly activities like biking, golfing, or visits to marine wildlife. It’s also easy to find day trips outside of Barcelona with local travel agencies that will take you to tourist spots, where you can go on the different beachside or hike through natural parks. 

Some things to do here:

  • Carnival
  • Sitges is a seaside resort
  • Museums; Museu Cau Ferrat, Museu Maricel and Museu Romantic.
  • Vintage car rally
  • Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia

Travel time from Barcelona:

Sitges is 45 minutes by train from Barcelona.

2. Besalú

Besalu 1

Besalú is a city in Catalonia, Spain, and one of the most famous towns near Barcelona. It has more or less 3,000 people distributed in the city center and surrounding area. 

The name Besalú comes from the Latin Bisuldunum, which means “fort on a mountain between two rivers”. Because of its geographical location and history, they have primarily known Besalu as an ancient town with many medieval monuments and relics dating back over 700 years; most notably, its 12th-century Romanesque cathedral-one of the best-preserved in all Catalunya. 

Besalu, Catalonia’s most important medieval town, has been proclaimed a National Historic Site since 1966 because of its architectural significance. You’ll feel you’ve journeyed back in time when you visit this magnificent village, so we recommend getting a feel of it.

Some things to do here:

  • The Medieval Bridge
  • Besalu Miniature Museum
  • Attend A Festival
  • Church of Sant Vicente de Besalú

Travel time from Barcelona:

Besalú is 1.5 to 2 hours by train from Barcelona.

3. Rupit

Rupit

If you like the mountains, a visit to Rupit provides a unique vacation experience. At 868 meters above sea level, the village is around 1.5 hours away. The medieval old town, built fully of stone, is set on a prominent ridge and is home to rustic houses, Romanesque churches, and the Rupit Castle.

An incredible suspended bridge spans the Rupit River, and adjacent is the jaw-dropping Salt de Sallent waterfall. If you’re lucky, you could also observe eagles and Egyptian vultures nesting on the nearby cliffs. 

Some things to do here:

  • Stone houses from the 16th and 17th century
  • Puente Colgante de Rupit
  • Església de Santa Magdalena
  • Salt de Sallent

Travel time from Barcelona:

Rupit is 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Barcelona.

4. Sant Pol de Mar

Sant Pol De Mar

Sant Pol de Mar is on the Mediterranean coast in northern Catalonia’s Maresme region one of the impressive towns near Barcelona. The Sant Pau hermitage, established in the 11th century, is the town’s principal landmark. Similarly, the late Gothic Sant Jaume church, erected in the 16th century on an old chapel, has historical importance to locals and even tourists visiting the town.

From Sant Pol, you can take in breathtaking views of the Maresme coast and Barcelona. The city also has significant architectural importance, as seen by many of its buildings maintaining modernist architectural characteristics on their façade. Among these are a group of buildings in the city’s center: Les Escoles, Cal Dr. Roura, Can Planiol, and Can Tió.

Some things to do here:

  • Hot air balloon flight
  • Costa Brava
  • Scuba Diving
  • Matagalls Vic & Cerveceria Artesana Trekking

Travel time from Barcelona:

Sant Pol de Mar is 1-hour away from Barcelona by train.

5. Tossa De Mar

Tossa De Mar

Tossa de Mar, a lovely beach village on the southernmost tip of the Costa Brava, is a popular day excursion from Barcelona. Tossa is known for its sandy beaches and attractive old town dotted with restaurants and cafés.

Once a haven for artists and intellectuals, Tossa became a famous holiday resort in the 1950s after appearing in Eva Gardner and James Mason’s film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. The town attracts domestic and international tourists but has avoided the excesses associated with other resorts.

Some things to do here:

  • Vila Vella 
  • Fortified old Town
  • Roman Villa
  • Municipal Museum

Travel time from Barcelona:

Tossa De Mar is 1 hour drive from Barcelona

6. Figueres

Figueres

Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dali and the capital of the Alt Emporda, is well-known for the Dali Theatre-Museum, which is the second most visited museum in Spain after the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Figueres is a fantastic place for a night or two. Here you can explore a variety of magnificent structures, including the famed Dali museum in one of the most architectural breathtaking towns near Barcelona.

Some things to do here:

  • Museums: Toy Museum of Catalonia, The Emporda Region Museum, Dali Theatre Museum, and the Technical Museum.
  • Festival Internacional De Circ Ciutat De Figueres
  • Sant Ferran Castle
  • Annual Festivals
  • Iglesia de San Pedro

Travel time from Barcelona:

Figueres is 55 minutes by train from Barcelona.

7.  Garrotxa

Garrotxa

This one is dedicated to all of the wildlife enthusiasts out there. Garrotxa is one of the towns near Barcelona in Girona, Spain, that is known for its expansive open areas, undulating hills, and volcanic rock forms. The Volcanic Zone Natural Park is one of the most popular tourist places in this area, and we strongly advise you to pay a visit here. 

There are various activities at the park, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, rail trips, and even extreme sports! Garrotxa is an ideal spot for getting away from the city and immersing yourself in the Catalan countryside. A lot argue that it’s one of the most beautiful hikes in Catalunya.

Some things to do here:

  • Medieval Villages of Garrotxa
  • Hiking in La Garrotxa
  • Cycling in La Garrotxa
  • Hot Air Ballooning over La Garrotxa
  • Romanesque Churches of La Garrotxa

Travel time from Barcelona:

Garrotxa is 3 hours from Barcelona by Bus.

8. Cadaqués

Cadaques

Cadaqués is one of our favorite towns near Barcelona. This fishing town in the Alt Empordà region of Costa Brava is a perfect example of what natural beauty truly is. This town has some excellent views because it is right on the Mediterranean Sea, the Puig Peni, and Puig del Bufadors mountains.

Two of its most famous features are the stunning Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria and the 14,000-hectare Cap de Creus Natural Park. In the end, you’ll reach the historic Cala Nans lighthouse, which is nowadays home to the Geology Museum.

You can also visit the Museum of Cadaqués, which hosts exhibitions of the region’s plastic artists, most notably the master Salvador Dali, who made this province of Girona his favored summer destination.

Some things to do here:

  • House of Salvador Dali
  • Cap De Creus Hidden Bays

Hours away from Barcelona:

Cadaques is two-and-a-half-hour away from Barcelona by Bus.

Author’s Note

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, it might be time to head out to towns near Barcelona. These are the eight most popular towns near Barcelona, with some of the best views that Catalonia has to offer. 

Each town has a different focus, so if you’re looking for something specific, there’s a town perfect for what you’re looking for. We hope you’ve enjoyed our list, and we hope you find this information valuable when planning your travels to Barcelona. Here are more Barcelona guides to help you plan your trip. Happy travels!

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