best places to visit in catalonia

Catalonia provides a wide range of places to visit and can be driven through in only three hours. However, over these three hours, the landscape quickly transforms from beaches to mountains and from quaint towns to modern metropolises. This distinctive and culturally active area of northeastern Spain is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the east and the Pyrenees Mountains to the north. It is endowed with magnificent scenery and a rich history.

Barcelona draws tourists who enjoy Gaudi’s architecture, vibrant nightlife, and exciting dining options. Roman ruins and an amphitheater in elegant Tarragona contribute to the city’s historical attraction. Beachgoers swarm to the Mediterranean coastline’s playgrounds, which include the 40-mile stretch of sand at La Maresme and the pine-forested Cape Salou.

The fact is that by only visiting Barcelona and ignoring the rest of Catalonia, you’re limiting yourself given the abundance of things to do there. Below are places you can visit while in Catalonia

#1. Besalu

best places to visit in catalonia
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One of Catalonia’s most picturesque locations is the town of Besal, which is adjacent to Girona. This is a result of the city’s amazing medieval architecture. The jaw-dropping Romanesque bridge is the most spectacular item of construction. It’s difficult not to picture how the bridge can have appeared hundreds of years ago as a means of accessing the rest of the town. The stronghold that is perched atop a sizable hill that is supposed to have once been a volcano is another notable aspect of Besal.

A stroll around the streets while taking in the historic architecture is the nicest part of a trip. While doing so, it can make you feel as though you’re in a Lord of the Rings movie. Although Catalonia is home to many beautiful sites, few compare to Besal!


#2. Montserrat

Even without including Catalonia, Montserrat is one of Spain’s most strikingly beautiful locations. From a distance, you can see the unusual rock formation, which only gets more amazing as you go closer to it. It is a popular spot for those spending the day outside of Barcelona. You can explore the monastery that was erected there as well as the surrounding surroundings by hiking around Montserrat.

It was constructed around 1025, but it only gained notoriety after numerous supposed miracles were said to have happened there. As a result, it developed into a significant site for pilgrimage. Along with the monastery, there is an art gallery that is home to a great collection of artwork. However, the breathtaking views of Catalonia that you enjoy from the peak of the mountain are undoubtedly the highlight of a vacation to Montserrat!

#3. Figueres

best places to visit in catalonia
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One of the most intriguing sites to visit in Catalonia is Figueres because of its famed connection to the artist Salvador Dali. The enormous Salvador Dali Museum is the town’s top draw. Due to its distinctive look, the structure itself is fascinating. It is a distinctive and memorable structure due to its crimson façade and eggs on the roof.

There are several different Dali pieces there, showing just how flexible his creativity was. The museum must be seen when you are in Figueres! even if you don’t appreciate art. Figueres also has a number of other museums including the magnificent Castell de Sant Ferran. Any drive throughout Catalonia that you want to take must include a stop at Figueres.

#4. Cadaques

One of the top tourist destinations in Catalonia is, without a doubt, Cadaqués. On the Costa Brava, it is a stunning beach community. Visit this picturesque town—you won’t regret it. The bay is surrounded by a number of whitewashed homes, giving it a very Mediterranean air. When you’re in town, you really must take a stroll along the bay, since it’s an amazing sight.

The town has a history with Dali, just like Figueres. In the neighborhood of Portlligat, where he had a vacation house, a museum has since been established. If you’re passionate about art or a fan of Dali, it’s worthwhile to see. Another location you should visit while in Cadaqués is the Cap de Creus National Park, which offers a great undeveloped beach that is ideal to explore on a sunny day!


#5. Tarragona

best places to visit in catalonia
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One of the top things to do in Catalonia is without a doubt visit Tarragona. The city is a stunning location near the beach with a lot of history, situated to the south of Barcelona on the Costa Daurada. The city, which has a history of around 4,000 years, was a significant Roman colony. The Tarragona Amphitheatre, which is near the water, serves as proof of this. Although not as stunning as the Colosseum when you visit Rome, it is nonetheless a remarkable sight.

You can see other Roman landmarks in addition to the amphitheater, including the walls, the Necropolis, and the Palace of Augustus. Visiting all of these locations can easily take up a whole day. Tarragona is a terrific destination if you want to unwind and spend the day in the sun because it offers various beaches. It’s a fantastic area to stop if you’re driving from Barcelona to Madrid!

#6. Sitges

Another coastal resort in Catalonia that you ought to visit while you’re in Barcelona is Sitges. It is a great location to visit for the day because it is only 40 minutes by train from the city. Sitges’ beaches are excellent. The LGBT-friendly beach that gets popular in the summer is Platja la Bassa Ronda, whereas Platja de Sant Sebastià is a modest but lovely beach.

In addition to its beaches, Sitges has a wide variety of cultural attractions. The Catalan artist Santiago Rusiol has created several fantastic works of art for the Museu Can Ferrat, and there are many intriguing structures to explore in the Old Town, such as the Church of Sant Bartomeu. There aren’t many better places to visit or party in Catalonia than Sitges, which boasts a bustling nightlife scene and hosts an annual film festival every year.

#7. Vic


There are many fantastic buildings and museums to explore inside this historic city, 69 kilometers (43 miles) from Barcelona is the city of Vic, which is situated in Catalonia. These structures include the Catedral de Sant Pere. It is a fusion of styles as a result of several restorations, with a neoclassical façade from the 18th century and an 11th-century seven-story Romanesque bell. The Museu Episcopal, which has some truly outstanding works of art from many different ages, is also a structure that is well worth visiting.

Vic doesn’t have a beach; therefore, I’d only recommend going if you’re interested in seeing the local landmarks. But if you are, you won’t be let down. Vic is a beautiful city and without a doubt one of the top places to visit in Catalonia to see!

Read Also: Best Time to Visit Spain: Ultimate Guide

#8. Montseny

Montseny is one of the top places to visit in Catalonia if you’re looking for a location to go hiking. There is a natural park in Montseny that is waiting to be discovered. Mountain biking, hiking, or simply taking a stroll while taking in the scenery are all options. Sharp terrain variations that abruptly alter in altitude after a few hundred meters are a defining feature of the park. Rivers and cliffs are common sights as you travel.

In addition, the park is home to various megalithic buildings, some of which are older than the Roman era. They are many on the through August and via Austa walks.

#9. Barcelona 


Due to its popularity as one of the most places to visit in Catalonia, Barcelona had to be listed. It is still a place you should explore, even if it is receiving more attention than the rest of the region. If you stay in Barcelona for three days or longer, it won’t matter because it’s one of the greatest cities in Spain. You can see a lot of breathtaking vistas here.. There is a lot to see, from the imposing Sagrada Familia to other Gaudi works of art like Casa Mila.

A brief walk from the city center will take you to Barceloneta Beach, where you can unwind. There aren’t many cities in the world that are right on the beach! With so many things to do, you could spend a week in Barcelona and yet not see everything. When planning a journey across the region, Barcelona is an excellent spot to base yourself if you want to tour the rest of Catalonia.

#10. Girona

In Catalonia, Girona is likely one of the most well-known places to visit after Barcelona. Barcelona can be larger and have more beaches, but this location is nonetheless spectacular. Girona offers a variety of activities despite its modest size. You can see the majestic cathedral that appears in the television series Game of Thrones. Visit some of Spain’s top eateries while strolling around the Roman Walls.

Girona is a stunning city. It’s interesting to explore the historic buildings and museums while strolling through the Jewish Quarter’s winding lanes. Due to the abundance of things to do, it’s undoubtedly among the top locations to visit in Catalonia. It’s worth going just to see the history and architecture!

#11. Tossa de Mar

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The finest destination to visit in Catalonia is without a doubt Tossa de Mar. Tourists come from all over the world to this gorgeous coastal village. Here, you can find one of the nicest beaches in the nation, which is very amazing. At the edge of the shore, there is a castle that makes for a spectacular photo and has turrets with fantastic vistas.

With a variety of stores, eateries, and cafés to check out, the town is a terrific spot to visit. Even yet, in addition to the castle, there are a number of historical sites to view, including the old town. The absence of a direct railway to Tossa de Mar is the sole drawback. You can either rent a vehicle or take a bus from Barcelona to get there.


#12. Calella

Located north of Barcelona, Calella is a beach community. Due to its close proximity to the city and its stunning beaches, it is one of the greatest day excursions from Barcelona. From Barcelona, it takes slightly under an hour to go to Calella. If you want to get away from Barcelona’s bustle and explore some of Catalonia’s top beaches, it’s worth it.

The city’s top beaches, including Playa Roca Grossa, are worth visiting. Another location worth seeing is the Calella lighthouse. Calella is a lovely area, making it one of the best locations to visit whether you want to unwind in the sun or discover a less well-known region of Catalonia.

#13. The Costa Brava

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The Costa Brava is Spain’s most beautiful coastline, stretching northeast from Blanes’ oceanfront to Catalonia’s border with France. One of Europe’s favorite coastal playgrounds, this 1,240-mile coast of rugged cliffs and exquisite beaches has drawn artists like Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso to its delightful small whitewashed villages.

#14. Olot and the Pyrenees Foothills

Olot, located in the Pyrenees’ foothills (112 miles from Barcelona), boasts a laid-back vibe and a thriving cultural scene. The town has a refined atmosphere because of its lovely tree-lined streets, charming outdoor cafés, and ancient aristocratic residences. A modern art museum, several galleries, and the 18th-century parish church Parrquia de Sant Esteve, which boasts a magnificent Baroque altarpiece, are among Olot’s tourist attractions.

The Garrotxa region’s aesthetic and cultural heritage is the focus of the Museu de la Garrotxa. In addition to a gallery featuring artwork from the Escola d’Art d’Olot (Art School of Olot), the museum also features a section devoted to 20th- and 21st-century art. This museum is one of the top destinations in the area for people who enjoy modern art.

What is One Thing Catalonia is Famous for?

Catalonia has produced world-famous artists like Salvador Dal, the curvy architecture of Antoni Gaud, and the Barça football club. Not to mention a wide range of natural scenery and unique festivals and traditions

What is the Best Month to Visit Catalonia?

Virtually, the best time to visit Catalonia is late spring. May and June are absolutely fantastic, and September to early October. July and August can be very hot and August is very busy.

What is the Difference Between Catalonia and Catalunya?

In English, Catalonia is pronounced /kætəˈloʊniə/. The native name, Catalunya, is pronounced [kətəˈluɲə] in Central Catalan, the most widely spoken variety, whose pronunciation is considered standard. The Spanish name is Cataluña ([kataˈluɲa]), and the Aranese name is Catalonha ([kataˈluɲɔ]).

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