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34 Incredible Weekend Trips From Barcelona [2024]

Aerial view of Cadaqués, a quaint coastal town in Catalonia, Spain, with its white houses and terracotta roofs nestled between the clear blue waters of a bay dotted with boats and the rolling hills.
View of Barcelona from nativity tower

Barcelona, a vibrant city in the Catalonian region of Spain, is not only an incredible destination but also serves as a perfect base for exploring some of Europe’s most beautiful destinations. Known for its architectural marvels like Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia, instagram worthy places, Barcelona captivates visitors with its architecture, art, incredible cuisine and top attractions like Las Ramblas, Gothic Quarter and Barcelona Cathedral. Visitors can take a variety of weekend trips from Barcelona, both within Spain and across Europe for different cultural, historical and nature experiences.

Within Spain, historic destinations like Madrid, Seville, Granada offer a deep dive into the country’s rich heritage while islands like Menorca, Tenerife and Vall de Nuria offer a tranquil escape from the hustle of the city. Beyond Spain, cities like Amsterdam with its iconic canals and museums, Lyon with its gastronomy, and Naples with its ancient history, are all within easy reach for a quick weekend getaway.

For short Barcelona weekend getaways, drive to Tarragona, Girona, Sitges or Costa Brava.

For rich history and culture, hop on a flight to Madrid, Malaga, Seville, or Santiago de Compostela. Other options within Europe are Lyon, Naples and Avignon.

For escape into nature, Vall de Nuria, Andorra and French Pyrenees are incredible.

For warm Mediterranean vibes and beaches, Menorca, Mallorca or Ibiza are the best weekend trips.

This blogpost covers 34 amazing weekend trips to take from Barcelona ranging from a road trip along the Costa Brava, escape to the Canary Islands, Pilgrimage to Northern Spain to mountain trips to France and city breaks within Europe that are just a few hours away by flight.

Collage for the blog post 'Best Weekend Trips from Barcelona' with the upper image showing the ornate architecture of Plaza de España in Seville and the lower image displaying the colorful riverside buildings of Porto, Portugal, alongside the text 'ACHARMINGESCAPE.COM' at the top

Contribution by Courtney Szumetz of Reisen Around

The Montserrat Monastery nestled in the multi-peaked mountain range of Catalonia, Spain, with a panoramic view of rugged cliffs, verdant foliage, and a clear blue sky.

Located a short distance away from Barcelona, Monistrol de Montserrat offers a nice escape into Catalonia’s beauty and religious history. This rugged mountain range is home to a famous Benedictine monastery. This spiritual retreat is considered a sacred mountain and offers breathtaking views, hiking trails, and a connection to Catalan culture and history.

  • Distance from Barcelona: Roughly 60 kilometers
  • How to get there: 1 hour by car or a scenic train ride up the mountain
  • Best hotels to stay in Montserrat: Hotel Abat Cisneros, Montserrat Hotel & Training Center. Another option is Hotel-Masia Can Farrés, which offers a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a garden and terrace with stunning views.
  • Best restaurants to eat: Indulge in the local Catalonian cuisine at a 16th century monastery turned restaurant – Restaurant Abat Cisneros. For more of a Mediterranean flavor, La Barca Restaurant offers a delicious dining experience with an outdoor terrace.

Once you arrive in Montserrat, you cannot miss the iconic Montserrat Monastery, sitting right into the Montserrat mountain side. This religious site is renowned for its stunning architecture and the famous Black Madonna statue. For breathtaking views, take the funicular Aeri de Montserrat.

If you love outdoor activities and hiking, a visit to the Montserrat Natural Park is highly recommended. The park offers numerous hiking trails along the mountain, and you can even embark on a journey to Sant Jeroni, the highest peak in Montserrat. For more things to do in Montserrat, check out this guide to best sites in Montserrat.

Contribution by Vanessa Morgan of Traveling Cats

A cat stands on a rocky seafront promenade in Sitges near Barcelona, with the Church of Sant Bartomeu & Santa Tecla in the background, its bell tower rising against a clear sky.

Sitges is one of the prettiest coastal towns in Spain thanks to its picturesque beaches and historic center. The ideal time to visit is October, as the town hosts the Sitges Film Festival. Being less than half an hour away, Sitges is one of the quick trips from Barcelona.

  • Distance from Barcelona: About 35 Kms
  • How to get there: Trains and buses run frequently, taking about 30 minutes. A cab or rental car is an option and takes about 20 minutes.
  • Best places to stay: Galeón in the center of Sitges, close to restaurants and shops. Melia Sitges, a chic hotel where the movie stars reside during film festival.
  • Best restaurants to eat: For the best tapas in Sitges, head to La Guineu and their cozy patio. Veggie Garden is a great spot for quick and healthy food. Veggie Garden – a seafront vegan restaurant with outstanding cuisine.

Explore the Old Town and the beach promenade. The area around the Church Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla in the heart of Sitges is a must visit. A stroll along the charming port is also one of the best things to do in Sitges.

If you intend to visit in October, do not miss the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival.

And if you are love museums, be sure to check out Museu Cau Ferrat and Museu Maricel.

Colorful riverside buildings lining the Onyar River in Girona, Spain, with lush greenery along the banks and the city's historic architecture visible in the distance under a bright blue sky

Girona is a treasure trove of history, culture, and gastronomy. Its well-preserved medieval streets, vibrant Jewish Quarter, and the colorful houses along the Onyar River paint a picture of a city that’s rich in heritage and beauty.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 100 Kms
  • How to get there: 40mins via high speed train or 1.5hrs drive. With a direct train, it is one of the easiest places to travel from Barcelona.
  • Best places to stay: Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya Resort, Hotel Nord 1901 Superior, AC Hotel Palau de Bellavista by Marriott
  • Best restaurants to eat: Elevated fine dining at Michelin Starred El Celler de Can Roca or Massana. Iberian pork with truffle at Divinum

Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets of the Barri Vell, Girona’s old town. Visit the stunning Girona Cathedral. Walk along the city’s medieval walls and explore the well-preserved Jewish Quarter.

The houses along the Onyar River offer a picturesque and vibrant backdrop, perfect for leisurely walks or enjoying a coffee at a riverside café.

Contribution by Vicki Franz of VickiViaja

Scenic view of Costa Brava, a popular destination for a quick weekend trip from Barcelona, highlighting the ease of travel and beauty of the nearby getaway

The Costa Brava is undoubtedly one of the best road trips from Barcelona. With its proximity to the Catalan capital, a visit to the coast is suitable at any time of year. With plenty of stops and things to see, it is worth taking a road trip along the Costa Brava to experience the most beautiful beaches and little towns. The towns of Tossa de Mar, Cadaqués and Cap de Creus are a must visit along Costa Brava. With lots of things to do, Costa Brava can also be turned into a long weekend trip from Barcelona.

  • Distance from Barcelona: Begins about 70 Kms from Barcelona and extends all the way to the French border.
  • How to get there: Starting point is about 1 hour by car
  • Best places to stay: Hotel Florida in Tossa de Mar, Hotel Octavio in Cadaqués
  • Best restaurants to eat: Tapas at any of the local restaurants in the Old Town of Tossa de Mar, Catalan Escalivada in Cadaqués.

Check out the beautiful old castle by the sea in the old town of Tossa de Mar. The small town offers a perfect mix of sightseeing, beaches, and hiking opportunities.

A visit to Cadaqués is another must during your Costa Brava road trip. It is considered the most beautiful small towns in Catalonia and attracts Instagram enthusiasts and travelers with its narrow white streets decorated with flowers. Don’t miss the Salvador Dalí museum if you visit Cadaqués.

Hike up the lighthouse in Cap de Creus and enjoy fantastic views of one of Spain’s most beautiful coastline.

If you have time, visit the ancient fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell.

The ancient Roman amphitheater of Tarragona, Spain, captured at sunset with the golden light accentuating the historic ruins, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with modern city buildings in the background.

Tarragona, a beautiful city located in the northeast of Spain, is a blend of ancient history and Mediterranean charm. Known for its Roman ruins, pristine beaches, and vibrant culture, Tarragona offers a unique experience that is quite different from Barcelona. It is a great place for a weekend getaway and one of the best day trips from Barcelona.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 100 Kms
  • How to get there: About an hour by direct train or car
  • Best places to stay: Hotel Mas La Boella, Gran Palas Hotel,
  • Best restaurants to eat: Delicious grilled squid at El Llagut Tarragona, Slow-cooked lamb shoulder at Arc, Seafood paella with locally sourced seafood at Restaurant Raco de l’Abat.

Visit the ancient Roman Amphitheatre. Explore the Tarragona Cathedral, a beautiful mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.

Wander the narrow streets of the Old Town, filled with historical buildings and charming cafes.

Enjoy the beaches and walk the Mediterranean balcony for stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

If you enjoy wine, try wine tasting at the famous wine regions of Tarragona like Priorat and Penedes.

Contribution by Julie from Toronto to Anywhere

A scenic view of Tossa de Mar beach in Spain, showcasing the historic town walls and medieval towers adjacent to a cliff-lined cove with beachgoers on the sand and clear turquoise waters.

Tossa de Mar is a beautiful medieval city located on the Costa Brava and is known for its beaches, stunning views, and medieval castle. Although part of the Costa Brava road trip, Tossa de Mar is an ideal getaway on its own and has everything you are looking for in a weekend away from Barcelona. 

  • Distance from Barcelona: 85 kms
  • How to get there: Takes about 70 mins by car. Public transport from Barcelona takes about 90 mins.
  • Best places to stay: Casa Granados Boutique Hotel, Gran Hotel Reymar, Hotel Diana
  • Best restaurants to eat: Vila Vella Terraza Bar in Tossa de Mar castle with amazing views of the beach and sea below. Enjoy fine Mediterranean dining at Can Sophia

There are many interesting things to do in Tossa de Mar, including exploring the historic old town, relaxing on the beach, and hiking the coastal trails. 

For stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, climb the castle walls. Visit the largest beach is Platja Gran for incredible views of the historic castle. Enjoy a coastal hike along one of the hiking trails of Camino de Ronda or take a boat tour with gorgeous views of the town.

Contribution by Carrie Salter of The Daydream Drifters

Visitors walking through a Wild West-themed area at PortAventura World in Spain, featuring wooden building facades, cacti, and desert landscaping under a soft evening sky.

If you’re looking for an adventurous escape from Barcelona, head to PortAventura World. There are 3 different parks located on the property – PortAventura Park, Ferrari Land, and Caribe Aquatic Park (only open in summer months). PortAventura World is a great weekend trip for those who want some excitement – from kid-friendly rides and water slides to thrilling roller coasters, these parks have it all!

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~110 Kms
  • How to get there: About an hour and fifteen minutes by car
  • Best places to stay: Several hotels within the park including Hotel PortAventura, Hotel Gold River and Hotel Mansion de Lucy 
  • Best restaurants to eat: Avocado fries and Shoya Ramen at Grand Opera 1874, Tinga tacos at LaLiga TwentyNine’s, delicious pizza and pasta at Ristorante Cavallino  

While at the park, Explore the different worlds at PortAventura Park. Ride one of the fastest roller coasters in Europe – Red Force at Ferrari Land. Enjoy the water sports and cool down from the summer heat at Caribe Aquatic Park.

Contribution by Sara from igotospain

The ornate baroque facade of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral under a bright blue sky with fluffy clouds, a prominent pilgrimage site in Galicia, Spain, with intricate architectural details and sculptures adorning its exterior.

Santiago de Compostela is world renown as the culmination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and the famous Catedral de Santiago de Compostela. But the capital of Galicia is also a lively medieval town with a vibrant Old Town and many activities to do during the day and at night.

  • Distance from Barcelona: Approx. 1100Kms
  • How to get there: < 2hrs by plane
  • Best places to stay: Rua Villar, Hotel Compostela, and San Francisco Hotel Monumento
  • Best restaurants to eat: O Dezaseis specializes in Galician cuisine and is well known for its Galician Style Fish. Casa Marcelo, a Michelin-starred restaurant, offers great fusion dishes. Try the Tarta de Santiago at Carrilana or visit the local market for delicious food and local fare.

The city’s Old Town is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the heart of which are the Cathedral and the Plaza del Obradoiro. This beautiful spot marks the end of the legendary Camino de Santiago, where thousands of pilgrims from all over the world arrive every year.

In addition to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and cathedral, there is so much more to do and see in Santiago de Compostela. Take a stroll in the old town with narrow alleys, medieval and Baroque buildings and churches. During the night, book a free Meigas (witches) tour in Plaza del Obradoiro. Meigas are part of Galician folklore.

Contribution by Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes

Panoramic view of Málaga, Spain, showcasing the city's diverse architecture with historical buildings in the foreground and modern cityscape in the distance, under a clear blue sky

Malaga is a gorgeous seaside city in the Andalusia region of Spain. This ancient city is a common port city and popular stop for many tourists visiting Spain. It offers a wonderful mix of beachfront relaxation, as well as rich history and culture.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~1000 kms. 1.5 hour flight, 6 hour train or 9 hrs 30 min drive
  • How to get there: The best way to get from Barcelona to Malaga is to fly, as it only takes about 1.5 hours. There are several non-stop flights from Barcelona to Malaga everyday.
  • Best places to stay: Hotel Miramar, Palacio Solecio, Soho Boutique colon
  • Best restaurants to eat: El Pimpi, Palocortado Malaga

Explore the impressive Alcazaba palace, a fortified palace dating back to the 11th century Moors. It offers incredible views of the city from above.

The Pablo Picasso Museum is a popular stop to pay homage to the world-renowned artist native to Malaga. The museum houses 200+ of his incredible pieces.

Malagueta Beach is the most popular beach to visit and the closest to the city. It is easily accessible and walking distance from city center.

Contribution by Cristina of My Little World of Travelling

The Plaza de España in Seville, Spain, with its ornate Renaissance/Neo-Moorish architecture, vibrant ceramic tiles, and a canal crossed by arched bridges, with tourists enjoying boat rides on a sunny day.

Seville is another fantastic weekend getaway from Barcelona that is rich in culture. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, food, flamenco culture and atmosphere make it perfect place for a taste of Southern Spain. It is one of the best Spain weekend getaways in our view!

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~1000Kms
  • How to get there: Direct flights take about 1hr 40mins. Driving is an option but takes ~10hrs.
  • Best places to stay: Hotel One Shot Palacio Conde de Torrejón 09, Hotel Doña María Sevilla, Hotel Casa 1800 Seville.
  • Best restaurants to eat: Enjoy great Andalusian tapas at Dúo Tapas and Bar Antojo.

Do not miss the following things to do during your two days in Seville.

Visit Seville Cathedral and climb the Giralda Tower.

Explore Alcazar of Seville, one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain and one of the Game of Thrones filming locations.

Watch a live flamenco show at Plaza de España.

Contribution by Joanna of Theworldinmypocket

Twilight view of the Great Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba and the ancient Roman Bridge illuminated against the evening sky, reflecting Córdoba’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Cordoba is a charming city in Andalucia, famous for its incredible courtyards which you can see every May during the Fiesta de los Patios. Cordoba is an interesting mix of Moorish and Christian roots and a unique city to visit.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~850Kms
  • How to get there: Option 1: Fly to Seville and then take a train. Option 2: Catch a high speed train to Madrid, and then another one to Cordoba. 
  • Best places to stay: NH Amistad, Eurostars Maimonides
  • Best restaurants to eat: Try the famous local dishes like flamenquin (a pork loin filled with ham and cheese), salmorejo (a thick cold tomato-based soup topped with jamon and egg) and rabo de toro at Restaurante Almudaina and Bodegas Mezquita. 

Visit Mezquita, one of the unique structures that is a Mosque and a Cathedral. Don’t miss old Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, which is another highlight of the city. The palace was the primary residence of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon and is now landscaped with beautiful gardens.

Check out the courtyards filled with flowers that make Cordoba so famous. You can visit the public ones even outside of the festival that takes place in May. 

Contribution by Martina of PlacesofJuma

Aerial view of Benidorm, Spain, showing the contrast between the tranquil Mediterranean Sea and the bustling cityscape, with skyscrapers lining the coast and a large cross atop a hill in the foreground.

The popular town of Benidorm, located on the coast of the Costa Blanca, is a vibrant city that is known for its stunning beaches and its lively party scene. Benidorm is also home to over 350 skyscrapers, giving it the name “Manhattan of Spain”. This metropolis attracts both local and international visitors with its sunny climate and is a great getaway from Barcelona.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 350 kilometers southeast of Barcelona.
  • How to get there: 4 hours by car or an hour by plane
  • Best places to stay: Gastrohotel Boutique RH Canfali, Hotel Villa Del Mar
  • Best restaurants to eat: Mixed fried seafood platter at Freiduria Los Peces and delicious tapas at Gaztelutxo

Visit the Mediterranean Balcony. Spend a day on the beach at Playa de Levante and enjoy Benidorm’s nightlife.

Contribution by Kristin of Growing Global Citizens

Inside view of Valencia's bustling local market, showcasing vendors at colorful fruit and vegetable stalls with the text 'Frutas' prominently displayed, under an ornate, dome-shaped ceiling with intricate metalwork.

Valencia is a short drive/train ride away from Barcelona and is a unique destination in Spain with a mix of history and modern architecture/design.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 350 Kms
  • How to get there: 3.5 hours by car or 3 hrs by renfe train
  • Best places to stay: Vincci Palace Hotel, MD Design Hotel. For a luxurious waterfront getaway, stay at Las Arenas Balneario.
  • Best restaurants to eat: You can’t leave Valencia without trying the traditional paella at Masusa Paella Bar. Try other Valencian delights like orxata and fartons along with delicious churros at Horchateria Santa Catalina.

One of the best things to do in this bike-friendly city is ride through the Turia park, a green belt of 9 kilometers that cuts through the city. It will take you right through the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias), a futuristic complex that includes a theatre, aquarium and science museum.

Near the City of Arts and Sciences is the Museo Fallero, the museum for the annual Las Fallas festival. The winning statues each year earn a place in the museum instead of being burned, and it’s a fun place to learn about this unique festival.

Climb the old city walls at the Serranos Towers and see the Lonja de la Seda, the old silk exchange. Pay a visit to the Mercat Central, the central market that has a wealth of Valencian treats. Check out more things to do in Valencia here.

Contribution by Anya of Road Is Calling

The facade of an old industrial brick building in Manresa, Spain, featuring tall windows and arches, with a street lamp in the foreground, illustrating the city's historical architecture under a clear blue sky.

If you are into medieval history, Manresa and Cordona would be ideal weekend getaway from Barcelona. Manresa and Cardona are two lesser-known medieval towns with ancient citadels and medieval architecture.

Even though a short distance away from Barcelona, the architecture in these two towns is so different that you will feel like you are in a different country. Another way to explore Manresa and Cordona would be adding a stop here on a long road trip from Barcelona to Andorra.

  • Distance from Barcelona: Manresa is 70Kms from Barcelona and Cordona is 20Kms further out from Manresa
  • How to get there: Just over an hour by car or bus.
  • Best places to stay: Cardona’s Bremon Boutique Hotel
  • Best restaurants to eat: Catalonian food at Punt Zero or tapas at La Taverna Del Pintxo

Besides medieval attractions (particularly the Basilica of Saint Mary of Manresa and Cardona castle), other unique places to visit are the wine county of Manresa with its many lovely vineyards and Cardona Salt Mountain Cultural Park about the history of salt mining in the region.

Contribution by Maria of LifestyleTraveler.co

A picturesque promenade lined with palm trees and patterned paving stones in Alicante, Spain, with pedestrians enjoying the shade and street lamps adding to the charming Mediterranean atmosphere.

If you are looking for a quiet and laid back getaway from Barcelona, Alicante would be incredible. It has a great mix of beaches, culture and delicious food. Alicante is known for its mild climate as well as festivals such as Bonfires of Saint John (Hogueras de San Juan that involves the creation of large papier-mâché figures that are later burnt) and Semana Santa (processions carrying religious statues and icons through the streets during Holy Week).

  • Distance from Barcelona: 500 km
  • How to get there: 5 hours by car or 1 hour flight
  • Best places to stay: Hotel Boutique Alicante S.XVII, Hotel Hospes Amérigo
  • Best restaurants to eat: Paella at La Taverna del Racó del Pla, tapas and drinks at Manero Alicante and La Zona Social Bar

Visit Santa Barbara Castle for best views of the city and the coastline. Walk the historic district of Santa Cruz with whitewashed houses adorned with colorful flowers. Explore the city center Explanada de España and spend some time at Postiguet Beach.

Contribution by Gabi of Nomads with a purpose

The Vall de Núria mountain resort and sanctuary in the Catalan Pyrenees, with a grand hotel and central basilica nestled in a valley surrounded by green slopes and rugged mountain peaks.

Just a short drive north of Barcelona in the middle of the Spanish Pyrenees is the beautiful Vall de Núria, a secluded mountain haven accessible only by foot or railway. It is a small mountain village and outdoor adventure hub with lots of summer activities like hiking and adventure parks to ice diving, tubing, skiing in the winter. It is one of the best places to visit in Northern Spain for adventurous souls.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 125km
  • How to get there: About 2 hrs by car or 3 hours via public transit (train and bus)
  • Best places to stay: Hotel Vall de Núria, Hotel Rural-Spa Resguard dels Vents in Ribes de Fraser 
  • Best restaurants to eat: Restaurant la Cabana dels Pastors in Vall de Núria, La Perdiu Blanca and La Tinto de Ribes in Ribes de Fraser

The Vall de Núria is a perfect weekend retreat from Barcelona into Catalonia’s nature and adventure thanks to its unique but easy access and seclusion from nearby cities.

For hiking trails, hike the Estany de Núria, complete the full Engineers pass loop, or explore others trails in the valley.

Ride the cable car to Alberg Núria Xanascat at elevation of 2,170 meters.

Winter is also the best time to visit Vall de Núria. Enjoy winter sports like skiing or snowshoeing across the valley.

Contribution by Anna of Spain Inspired

View of Peñíscola, Spain, with its iconic castle perched on a hill surrounded by white-washed houses, overlooking the sandy beach and the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

With historic sites and beautiful beaches, Peñíscola is a nice change of pace from the city and makes a nice weekend trip. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful towns to visit near Barcelona. The Peñíscola Castle and the charming old town streets are just a couple of the highlights that make it a must-visit. Peñíscola is one of the filming locations of Game of Thrones (Meereen filming location).

  • Distance from Barcelona: 200 Kms
  • How to get there: 2 hrs by car or a combination of train/bus
  • Best places to stay: Beachfront Hotel RH PortoCristo, Servigroup Papa Luna
  • Best restaurants to eat: Seafood Paella at Restaurant Casa Jaume, tapas and wine at Bar La Raval

Visit the Peñíscola Castle, an impressive fortress, once home to Pope Benedict XIII.

Have a relaxing day at Playa Norte and enjoy incredible views of the castle.

Stroll through the old town and check out the local shops and cafes.

Contribution by Sabrina of Shades of Summr

Aerial view of a unique black sand beach in Tenerife, Canary Islands, with the contrasting white surf of the waves meeting the shore next to a coastal road lined with cars and palm trees.

Tenerife is a volcanic Canary Island in the Atlantic Ocean and is famous for its colorful volcanic beaches, stunning mountains, and warm weather year-round. Is makes for a warm island getaway from Barcelona.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~2500 Kms
  • How to get there: Direct flights from Barcelona take 3hrs. You can also reach Tenerife by cruise ship.
  • Best places to stay: Klayman Diamond Apart Hotel, Barcelo Santiago, Playa De Los Americanos.
  • Best restaurants to eat: Dine at Restaurante El Guanche in Masca for amazing views or Tasca Tapas for some incredible tapas.

One of the most interesting things to see in Tenerife is the Teide National Park. You’ll see the biggest mountain peak of the island here.

Other must visit spots are the black volcanic beaches. Do not miss the Yellow Beach, famous for its bright yellow rock formations. 

Drive to Los Gigantes to see some of the most stunning cliff formations with incredible ocean views.

Crystal-clear turquoise waters of a secluded cove in Mallorca, Spain, with leisure boats floating gently and rugged cliffs providing a natural backdrop under a clear blue sky.

Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands in Spain, is a blend of crystal-clear waters, stunning mountain landscapes, and charming historic villages. Known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich culture, Mallorca is an incredible weekend break from Barcelona for those who prefer warm Mediterranean vibes.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 200 Kms
  • How to get there: Less than an hour by flight. About 7 hours via ferry.
  • Best places to stay: Belmond La Residencia in Deià, breathtaking sea views at Cap Rocat, St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort
  • Best restaurants to eat: Zaranda, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Mallorca. Contemporary Mediterranean cuisine Marc Fish. Red prawn carpaccio with Iberian ham at Adrián Quetglas.

Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma. Explore Serra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with hiking trails, stunning views, and charming towns.

Wander through the picturesque village of Valldemossa, famous for its Carthusian monastery.

Relax by the beach of Playa de Palma or the serene Cala Formentor beach.

Contribution by Andrew and Emily of Along Dusty Roads

Cala Macarelleta, a secluded cove on Menorca island, with turquoise waters, white sandy beach, and sunbathers enjoying the serene Mediterranean setting surrounded by rocky cliffs and greenery.

The Balearic Island of Menorca takes most first-time visitors by surprise. About a fifth of the size of neighbouring Mallorca, and slightly bigger than nearby Ibiza, it offers a very different experience to the high-rises, tourist resorts, and nightlife of the other two islands. If you are looking for a little island escape with relaxing vibes, look no further than Menorca. 

  • Distance from Barcelona: 240 kms
  • How to get there: Less than an hour by flight or 4 hrs via ferry
  • Best places to stay: Barceló Nura just outside Binibeca, Meliá Cala Galdana, ARTIEM Capri in Mahón.
  • Best restaurants to eat: Stunning sunset and delicious food at the cave bar Cova d’en Xoroi in Cala en Porter. Bambu by the waters of Binibeca, Es Molí d’es Racó and Cantina on Isla del Rey.

One of the best things to do in Menorca is to enjoy the stunning beaches. Its sandy beaches are amongst the best in Spain.

Take a stroll on the Cami de Cavalls, a rugged coastal path which circumnavigates the whole island and a dream for walkers. 

Enjoy a stroll along the pretty streets of Mahon and stop for lunch or dinner. Head to Calas on the south if sun, sand and relaxation is more your weekend vibe. 

Aerial view of the iconic Es Vedrà rock formation off the coast of Ibiza, Spain, with its natural arch over the crystal-clear blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and boats navigating nearby.

Ibiza, often synonymous with vibrant nightlife and stunning beaches, is a jewel in the Mediterranean Sea. Beyond its lively clubs, Ibiza boasts tranquil villages, yoga retreats, and hidden coves, making it a versatile weekend destination from Barcelona.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~150 Kms
  • How to get there: An hour by flight or 8 hrs via scenic ferry ride
  • Best places to stay: Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel for its incredible party scene, 7Pines Resort Ibiza, tranquil getaway at Six Senses Ibiza.
  • Best restaurants to eat: Fresh delicious seafood at Es Xarcu, traditional Ibizan cuisine at Sa Capella.

Explore Ibiza Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a charming old town called Dalt Vila.

Spend an afternoon at the popular Playa d’en Bossa and experience nightlife at some of the world’s most famous clubs like Pacha, Amnesia.

Take a boat trip to the unspoiled island of Formentera or explore the natural caves of Can Marçà. Watch the most incredible sunset around San Antonio.

Contribution by Lynn of Brainy Backpackers

The Plaza Mayor in Madrid, showcasing the classic Spanish architecture with frescoed facades and elegant balconies under a clear blue sky, while pedestrians enjoy the open square.

An epic weekend trip from Barcelona is to the heart of Spain – Madrid. While it is surprisingly common to hear the question “Is Madrid worth visiting?”, it is a beautiful city with plenty of culture, art and delicious food.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~650 Kms
  • How to get there: 3 hrs by train, 1.5 hrs by flight
  • Best places to stay: Relais & Châteaux Hotel Orfila, InterContinental Madrid – an IHG Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Madrid
  • Best restaurants to eat: Fine dining at 3-Michelin starred DiverXO, Le Tavernier – a nautical themed rooftop restaurant in the Gran Vía district, A taste of Basque at La Taberna de El Pimiento Verde.

Take time to explore Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol, the two most famous squares in the city and visit the Royal Palace.

Madrid city is jam-packed with interesting museums from the National Archaeological Museum to Reina Sofia Museum, and the quirky IKONO Museum. Also check out the famous Prado Museum.

Shopaholics will go crazy browsing the shops the high-end stores in Gran Vía to vintage shops in Malasaña neighborhood.

Go for a relaxing stroll through Retiro Park where you can breathe in the scent of green grass and admire the beautiful gardens and ponds.

Madrid has a vibrant nightlife full of tapas bars and hip nightclubs of Malasaña.

Expansive view of the French Pyrenees, with rugged peaks and remnants of snow under a partly cloudy sky, conveying the majestic and wild nature of this mountain range.

The French Pyrenees forming a natural border between France and Spain, is a nice place to escape from the bustling city life of Barcelona.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~300 Kms
  • How to get there: Drive takes about 4 hours, passing through beautiful scenery and small villages.
  • Best places to stay: Hotel & Spa Bringué, Hotel Parador de Bielsa
  • Best restaurants to eat: Roasted Pyrenean lamb at Restaurant Le Viscos. Garbure, a hearty Pyrenean soup at Auberge de l’Étable

The French Pyrenees mountain range is a nature lovers’ paradise. There are lots of hiking and trekking trails ranging from easy walks to challenging terrain.

Relax in one of the many natural thermal baths or spas that the region is famous for, such as the ones in Bagnères-de-Bigorre.

In winter, enjoy skiing, snowshoeing and other winter sports.

Contribution by Helen Wildgoose of Curious Goose 

The Palais des Papes in Avignon, France, bathed in sunlight, showcasing its Gothic architecture with tourists exploring its surroundings and tour trains parked in front.

The city of Avignon sits in the heart of France’s charming region of Provence. Picture rolling hills covered in vineyards, historic stone buildings and narrow, cobbled streets with cute little cafes. Provence oozes rustic French charm, and being a short flight away makes it the perfect destination for a weekend break from Barcelona. 

  • Distance from Barcelona: 430 Kms
  • How to get there: Take the short flight to Marseille. From there, rent a car of catch a train to Avignon. The train ride or drive takes an hour.
  • Best places to stay: The famous Palais du Papes at Le Limas guesthouse or the rustic Face au Palais B&B
  • Best restaurants to eat: Start with a coffee at Place de l’Horloge, head to the lively Place des Corps Saints for a delicious lunch at L’epicerie de Ginette. Indulge in courtyard dining at Restaurant La Violette. 

You can’t miss the impressive Palais des Papes in Avignon. One of the best things to do in the city is to join a guided tour of the Palace.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll around Avignon’s historic centre, visiting the various museums and art galleries along the way.

In the warmer months, head to Les Halles market to pick up some local tasty treats to enjoy in the Jardin Des Doms – a leafy hilltop park with sweeping views of the Rhȏne River and Pont du Avignon. 

Avignon also makes a great base for exploring the quaint villages of Provence, such as Gordes and Oppede-le-Vieux. 

Contribution by Kristin of Global Travel Escapades

Breathtaking view from Castle Hill of the curved Baie des Anges and the terracotta rooftops of Nice, France, with the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the backdrop of the Alps under a clear sky.

If you’re after a relaxing beach escape, a wonderful weekend trip from Barcelona is to Nice, France. With its prime location on the French Riviera, the coastal town is known for its many beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and delicious Niçoise cuisine that’s worth indulging in!

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~670Kms
  • How to get there: Best way is to take a direct flight that lasts about 1.5 hrs.
  • Best places to stay: Hôtel Suisse Nice, a 4-star hotel with waterfront views, or Le Negresco, a famous 5-star hotel along Promenade des Anglais
  • Best restaurants to eat: Enjoy a blind tasting menu with seasonal ingredients at Le Panier. Dine at Socca d’Or for local delicacies like excellent socca pancakes and pissaladière pizzas.

For the best views of the city, make your way to the top of Castle Hill. This gives you panoramic views of the coastline and surrounding mountains.

Relax and take in the views at one of the city’s best beaches.

Visit the medieval village of Èze. It is perched on a hill, offering breathtaking views of the sea.

Contribution by Lisa of Travel to Lyon

The golden statue of Mary towers atop the roof of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, with a panoramic view of Lyon's cityscape stretching into the horizon under a clear sky.

Lyon is the perfect weekend break from Barcelona to France if you love history, arts and fine food. There are many reasons why Lyon is worth visiting, from its celebrated gastronomy to its intriguing history and unique arts scene.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~650 Kms
  • How to get there: 1.5 hrs via direct flight or 5 hrs by high-speed train
  • Best places to stay: 5-star hotel Villa Florentine or the boutique Hôtel de l’Abbaye in Lyon’s Presqu’île
  • Best restaurants to eat: Indulge in fine cuisine at one of Lyon’s Michelin-starred restaurants – Le Poêlon d’Or or delicious pastries at Boulangerie du Palais.

One of the major tourist attractions in Lyon is the Notre Dame de Fourvière Basilica.  From its hilltop perch, take in the best panoramic views of Lyon (and don’t miss the stunning gilded mosaics decorating the basilica’s interior). 

Check out the Gallo-Roman amphitheater and the Lugdunum Museum, dedicated to Lyon’s Roman history and artifacts. 

Lyon’s unique trompe-l’oeil murals, such as the Fresque des Lyonnais and the Mur des Canuts, are a must-see!

Contribution by Kim of Explore your bucket list

Aerial view of the lush green valleys of Andorra with winding roads, scattered houses, and rugged mountains in the background, as seen from a high vantage point

Nestled in the Pyrenees mountains, Andorra makes for a great weekend destination from Barcelona since it is a short drive away and a perfect escape into the mountains!

  • Distance from Barcelona: 200Kms
  • How to get there: 2.5 hrs by car, 3 hrs via public transit. There is no airport or rail due to the mountainous terrain so the easiest way to get to Andorra is to drive, take a bus or join a tour.
  • Best places to stay: NH Andorra la Vella, Grand Plaza Hotel & Wellness
  • Best restaurants to eat: Traditional mountain dishes at Restaurant Can Manel, indulge in French food and wine at Plat’in.

Spend a relaxing day at the incredible Caldea, one of Europe’s largest spas and a wonderful place to relax with indoor and outdoor pools.

Go crazy with shopping as Andorra is a duty free country.

Its perfect location in the mountains offers spectacular skiing opportunities with more ski trails than roads and is a haven for winter sport enthusiasts.

Contribution by Ana of We Travel Portugal

Beautiful white buildings with red roofs overlooking the ocean in Faro

Faro is a small and historic city full of unhurried charm. As a weekend trip from Barcelona, it’s a great way of getting to know another country and culture on the Iberian Peninsula. Faro’s a compact and waterfront city with a direct connection to a stunning natural park. 

  • Distance from Barcelona: 1000 Kms
  • How to get there: 2 hrs by flight
  • Best places to stay: AP Eva senses with the best marina and waterfront views, The Modernist for unique architecture
  • Best restaurants to eat: Authentic Cataplana at Tertúlia Algarvia, petiscos (small plates like tapas) at Portas de Sao Pedro and Petisqueira 3 em Pipa.

Faro was originally a walled port city, and one of the first things visitors should do is explore the walled city and the old town. Visit the cathedral for incredible views of the entire city and out into the Ria Formosa, a coastal lagoon that protects Faro from the sea. Inside the old town, you’ll also find Faro’s Municipal Museum which features stunning Roman mosaics discovered while Faro’s train station was developed.   

Plan a visit to Ria Formosa lagoon. The lagoon is nearly 60km in length along the coast and is a stunning habitat full of wildlife, migrating birds, and even dolphins that stop to rest and forage in the calmer lagoon waters.

Contribution by Annelies of Travelers & Dreamers

The vibrant Ribeira District of Porto, Portugal, with traditional Rabelo boats on the Douro River and colorful historic buildings lining the waterfront promenade under a clear blue sky.

Porto is a wonderful city in Portugal to visit from Barcelona. It is located on the Douro River in the north of the country and is known for its world-famous port wine and UNESCO-protected historic old town.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~1000 Kms
  • How to get there: Direct flights run daily and take < 2hrs from Barcelona
  • Best places to stay: The Yeatman offers stunning views of Douro river and home to a Michelin starred restaurant.
  • Best restaurants to eat: Delicious Portuguese cuisine at DOP. Francesinha, a traditional sandwich from Porto at Francesinha Café or delicious plant based dishes at one of the many vegan-friendly restaurants in Porto, with Apuro Vegan Bar being a top choice!

Explore the picturesque houses and streets of the historic Ribeira District.

Visit the iconic Dom Luis I Bridge.

A must do in Porto is to do a port tasting tour.

Contribution by Milijana of World Travel Connector

Castel Nuovo, a medieval fortress with its iconic trapezoid layout and round towers, stands as a historic landmark under the clear skies of Naples, Italy.

Naples is one of the most exciting cities in Europe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage City and a city of art, architecture, historical sites, delicious food, and friendly people. Naples is a perfect weekend trip from Barcelona for art, history lovers and gourmands.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~1000 Kms
  • How to get there: 2 hrs via direct flight
  • Best places to stay: Maison Des Fleurs in Spaccanapoli or the lovely Covo Degli Angioini in the Port of Naples are some of the best places to stay in Naples.
  • Best restaurants to eat: The best authentic pizza at Gino e Toto Sorbillo and Antica Pizzeria Da Michele. Iconic mussel soup in Antichi Sapori Partenopei.

Naples has about fifty palaces, ten museums, and over four hundred churches. Touring the historic center of Naples and exploring the food scene are the top things to do in Naples. The historic center of Naples is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk the three most famous streets of Spaccanapoli, Via Toledo, and Via Tribunali.

Visit Pio Monte della Misericordia (the most famed art gallery in Naples) and Sansevero Chapel Museum (the most famous museum of Italian Baroque in Naples). Visit the Archeological Museum of Naples. It is one of the most famous museums in the world. It has art and archeological collections of the nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum, ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt.

Do not miss a tour of Naples Catacombs and Underground! 

Contribution by Fiona of Following Fiona

The London Eye Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames at dusk, with the skyline of London and a scattering of clouds in the golden evening light.

London is one of the world’s best cities and just a few hours away from Barcelona by plane. London is known for iconic buildings, world-class museums and fascinating history. A weekend will give you a taste of the city and let you see some of the highlights. 

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~1500 Kms
  • How to get there: 2.5 hrs via direct flight
  • Best places to stay: The Biltmore Mayfair, Conrad London St James or Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill
  • Best restaurants to eat: Oblix at The Shard for stunning views of the city, delicious French Cuisine at Coq d’Argent, English breakfast with stunning views over Thames river at Riverside Café.

You can spend days exploring London’s incredible (and often free) museums, art galleries and the famous parks.

Visit the iconic Tower of London. The Natural History Museum is another beautiful place to visit in London.

Take a walk along the South Bank to see the most famous landmarks and have lunch at one of the numeous restaurants in Borough Market.

For evening entertainment, consider booking tickets for a musical or play.

Contribution by Lowri of Many Other Roads

Canal in Amsterdam lined with historic Dutch buildings and lush trees, boats moored along the bank, and a clear sky reflecting on the tranquil water.

Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is a charming destination in Europe. Renowned for its intricate canal system, historic architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, Amsterdam offers a distinct contrast to the Mediterranean flair of Barcelona.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~1550 Kms
  • How to get there: Non-stop flight from Barcelona takes 2 hrs
  • Best places to stay: Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, Eden Hotel Amsterdam
  • Best restaurants to eat: Dutch Bitterballen at Foodhallen, fresh Fish at Pesca

Book a canal tour for an introduction to the historic architecture, charming bridges, and bustling neighborhoods of Amsterdam.

Another popular thing to do in Amsterdam is to visit Anne Frank’s House. This poignant museum is situated in the actual hiding place where Anne Frank and her family sought refuge during World War II.

Rent A Bike and pedal through the charming streets, canals, and past historic landmarks.

Visit the prettiest main street of Damrak for a glimpse of beautiful canal homes.

Contribution by Mal of RentingacarinEurope101

Budapest Hungary

If you’re looking for unique getaways from Barcelona, consider Budapest, famous for its delicious food, vibrant nightlife and excellent thermal baths where you can relax and rejuvenate in mineral-rich waters. With direct flights from Barcelona, Budapest is an easy and affordable weekend trip from Barcelona.

  • Distance from Barcelona: ~2000 Kms
  • How to get there: 2 hrs by flight
  • Best places to stay: Anantara New York Palace, Corinthia Budapest, Prestige Hotel Budapest
  • Best restaurants to eat: Street Food Karavan for authentic Hungarian dishes, pastries and tea at New York Cafe.

No visit to Budapest would be complete without a few relaxing hours at Szechenyi Baths, which is one of the largest spa complexes in Europe with unique Neo-baroque architecture.

Nightlife enthusiasts can’t miss the ruin bars, which are abandoned buildings converted into hipster bars and restaurants. Visit the most famous ruin bar – Szimpla Kert.

If you have more time, rent a car in Budapest and venture out of the city. A 50-minute drive away, you will find the 14-century Visegrad citadel overlooking the picturesque Danube River. 

Contribution by Stephanie of The Unknown Enthusiast

Lake Bled in Slovenia, with its iconic island church surrounded by emerald waters, set against a backdrop of dense green forests and the Julian Alps.

Transport yourself to one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe with a short flight from Barcelona. Bright blue water surrounds a tiny island holding a church in the middle of the lake, and hills surround the lake, offering incredible views.

  • Distance from Barcelona: 1500 Kms
  • How to get there: Quick flight from Barcelona to Ljubljana and a short drive (< an hour) from there.
  • Best places to stay: Vila Bled, Adora Luxury Hotel
  • Best restaurants to eat: Starkl Restaurant and Pri Planincu Restaurants in Bled

There are lots of great things to do in Lake Bled. Swim in the lake, walk around the lake, or rent a row boat and row yourself out to the island and visit the church.

You can also visit the Bled Castle, which sits on a high cliff overlooking the lake, or hike up to some of the beautiful viewpoints in the hills surrounding the water. 

Lake Bled is just outside the boundaries of Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s incredible and vastly underrated national park. Incredible waterfalls, hiking trails, vistas, gorges, and rivers await you in Triglav, which are all essentially within an hour’s drive of Lake Bled. 

Barcelona’s prime location in Spain and its proximity to various European destinations makes it an ideal base for memorable weekend trips. Whether seeking the historical charm and artistic heritage of cities like Amsterdam, the allure of French Riviera’s Nice, or the timeless elegance of Italy’s Naples, there’s a perfect weekend escape for every traveler.

For those preferring to stay within Spain, the options are equally enticing. From the architectural wonders of Madrid to the seaside tranquility of Mallorca and Ibiza to the cultural richness of Seville, each destination offers a unique experience, reflecting the diverse beauty of Spain.

These trips not only complement the experience of visiting Barcelona but also provide travelers with a broader perspective of what Spain and Europe have to offer.

Barcelona’s top attractions and must visit places

Incredible architecture of Barcelona and must visit Gaudi marvels

A foodie’s guide to Barcelona

Most beautiful Instagrammable places in Barcelona

Collage for the blog post 'Best Weekend Trips from Barcelona' with the upper image showing the ornate architecture of Plaza de España in Seville and the lower image displaying the colorful riverside buildings of Porto, Portugal, alongside the text 'ACHARMINGESCAPE.COM' at the top
Promotional image for '34 Ultimate Weekend Trips From Barcelona,' featuring the Alhambra palace against a mountain backdrop, with the website address 'ACHARMINGESCAPE.COM' at the bottom

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I am Aswani Kurra. I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. I always had an urge to write, create and travel. So I created this space to satisfy my creative itch and combine all my skills to help you plan your Charming Escape.

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1 Comments

  1. Yasser Moosa on February 11, 2024 at 3:12 am

    Such a charming list of weekend getaways from Barcelona! Each destination seems like a mini-adventure waiting to happen. I’m already daydreaming about exploring these beautiful spots. Thanks for the wanderlust inspiration!

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