Unusual Barcelona and picturesque Catalonia annually attract thousands of tourists who come here not only for a magnificent beach holiday, but also for the amazing experience that gives the ancient sights of the capital’s surroundings.
Consider the most interesting attractions near Barcelona and in the capital of Catalonia itself.
Top 10 interesting places near Barcelona
Experienced travelers know that the real beauty of Catalonia is revealed just outside the center. Although the capital itself has a lot to see, its surroundings are a treasure trove of attractions for all tastes. Excursions can be booked at the hotel of residence or make up an itinerary yourself. Here are the top 10 places to see near Barcelona.
This small town is located in the outskirts of Barcelona. There are dozens of museums and exhibitions in cozy white houses. The settlement was formed as a fishing town, but later it attracted artists and writers from all over the country, who began to set up small exhibitions, museums and expositions. Over time, the town has become a true center of art and culture.
There is also a famous nudist beach on the coastline of Sitges, and it also attracts hundreds of tourists. If you are not used to swimming without clothes, there are also other beaches for family and decency.
Gaudi’s Can Artigas Gardens
Not long ago, nothing was known about Can Artigas. This landmark in Spain near Barcelona was discovered only a few decades ago, and today it is one of the most amazing and visited places in the vicinity of the capital of Catalonia. The garden is located in a secluded corner at the foot of the Pyrenees just 130 km from the capital. The locals call this place “a box of surprises,” because at every step of the way travelers are waiting for delightful discoveries.
Similar creations of the genius architect can be seen in other parts of the country, but Can Artigas Gardens is truly a masterpiece.
Girona is a city with a rich medieval history. There was a large Jewish community here before the expulsion of the Jews. Located near the main city of Catalonia, this place is considered a must-see when traveling to Spain. Girona’s calling card is the brightly colored houses along the Onuar River. The preserved monuments of medieval architecture fascinate tourists with their majesty and mystique.
Favorite places to visit are the ancient churches, Gothic temples and the Jewish Quarter.
To see in the vicinity of Barcelona on your own, should, of course, Cadaqués! It was here that such famous Picasso, Chagall, Dal and others sought their inspiration. You can get to this cozy seaside town by car from the capital. Both beach lovers and those who prefer to spend time exploring the architecture and natural scenery will love it here.
Tourists will be interested in visiting local museums and churches, as well as famous natural attractions. Also the settlement is famous for its restaurants, which serve the most delicious Spanish dishes.
Castelfoliet de la Roca
Castelfoliot de la Roca is a truly unforgettable place. The village is nestled along a steep cliff, and astonishes with its unusual architecture and striking scenery. Houses are pressed tightly together here, as if afraid to fall from a height of 50 meters straight into the gorge. Any of these houses has a magnificent view of the mountain slopes. It is simply impossible not to notice or forget this town.
Today the stone houses and ancient cobblestone streets are the hallmark of Catalonia and attract travelers at any time of year.
Just 60 km from the main city of the region is an amazing ancient monastery, which is one of the main sanctuaries of Catalonia. The monastery is inhabited, and real monks live here and hold services in the local church and are famous for their choral singing. The monks are subsistence farmers and don’t really like to talk to newcomers.
One of the main values of the monastery is considered to be the sculpture of the Black Madonna, which is said to have the power of healing. After visiting the monastery, you can visit the site of Santa Cova, where the statue was found.
This medieval settlement holds ancient secrets and mysterious stories. Surrounded by a stone wall, the town abounds with architectural sights, chief among them three monasteries preserved since the Middle Ages. You can get here by train or car, and the journey is best combined with a visit to the wonderful city of Tarragona.
The excursion to Mont Blanc is called “The Cistercian Way” and includes a visit to all the most important places in the city. You can visit the town on your own or book an excursion at a travel company.
A trip to Tarragona is worth planning for those who want to see with their own eyes the well-preserved ruins of the Roman amphitheater. This structure is simply astounding in its size and perfect mathematical precision in architecture. Also in the city you can visit the National Archaeological Museum and the observation deck on the shoreline. The Tarragona Cathedral is also a must-see.
After seeing the sights of the city you can go to the nearby PortAventura Park in Salou.
Surrounding Barcelona – What else can I see? If you want solitude and serenity, the splendor of natural landscapes and stars right above your head, go to the Natural Park of Collserola, 10 km from the center of Barcelona. This picturesque place is perfect for a family vacation, as well as for a romantic trip. In order to visit the most interesting places in the park, take a map of routes in the information center and make your own journey. You can move around the park on foot and by bicycle.
When you get hungry, be sure to visit one of the local restaurants that delight guests with home cooking.
Figueres is a small town that is famous for only one attraction – the unique theater-museum of Salvador Dali. It was here that this genius of surrealism was born, and the museum was created by him himself. The museum is beginning to surprise with its building. The bright salmon color of the facade and the semi-circular tower and eggs on the roof set tourists up for a fascinating journey.
The museum has dozens of unique and amazing exhibits, on the tour which should take a whole day. You can get to the city by train or car. The price of the ticket is 12 euros. Children under 8 years old are admitted free of charge.
Travel plan for Barcelona and surroundings
Sightseeing in and around Barcelona should be planned in advance, so that not a single day will be wasted and will be filled with vivid colors and unforgettable impressions. Interesting places are many enough that every tourist will be able to make a plan for a few hours of travel on their own, using the usual guidebook. To save time you can hire a guide with a car, but if you come here for a few days, you can move around by public transport.
You can start your journey from the capital of Catalonia itself. In the city, be sure to visit places like:
- La Rambla,
- Gothic Quarter,
- Citadel Park,
Then you can go to the Montjuïc hill, where the magic fountain and the park “Spanish Village” are located. Also among the must-see places in the capital are the masterpieces of architect Antonio Gaudi. Be sure to visit Casa Mila, Casa Batlló and Park Güell.
After seeing all the sights of the city, you can go to the cities near Barcelona. Numerous ancient settlements allure tourists with its colorful and unusual. Here you can see ancient temples, medieval fortresses, unique natural attractions and distinctive folk villages.