Barcelona is a modern city filled with hip and trendy restaurants, shops and boutiques. As enjoyable as that is, Catalonia offers so much more. One of the perks of living in Barcelona is the fact that there is so much to do and explore outside of the city.The region of Catalonia is rich in history and archaeological sights. Just outside of Barcelona there are multiple impressive historical sights to explore. These spots take you back in history and are perfect to learn as well as escape the busy city for a day. All of these sights are close to Barcelona and perfect for a day trip or weekend trip. If you are curious to explore the beach, read our article on 6 amazing beach spots near Barcelona
1. Monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet
Located at the foot of the Prades Mountains is a Cistercian monastery. As part of the UNESCO World Heritage, it is one of the largest and most complete Cistercian abbeys in the world. Not only the monastery but also the area is very impressive and authentic. We would recommend you going there by car, which takes about 1,5 hours so that you can add some other stops.
2. Ruins of Empuries
Another impressive archaeological site just outside of Barcelona. Located about 1,5 hour by car. The Greeks settled here beginning during the sixth century before Christ, and later the Romans selected the place for their settlement. The ruins and museum open from 10:00-18:00 and during the main season, from the 1st of June to the 30th of September until 20:00.
3. Colonia Guell
Gaudí’s best-kept secret and a world heritage site by Unesco. Colònia Güell is a must-see in Catalonia. Discover the recently renovated buildings built by Antoni Gaudí at only a 40-minute train ride away.
This port city located on the Costa Daurada is where roman history comes alive. With its archaeological legacy of Roman time, this city his rich in history and will take you back in time. But there is more to do, Tarragona has an amazing beach and port. It is only located about 1 hour away from Barcelona and it is really worth a visit.
This beautiful medieval city is only a 40-minute train ride away. The city of Girona’s history traces back more than 2000 years. It won’t take you long to fall in love with the medieval architecture and history of Girona. The main sights of the city include the Cathedral, the old fortifications, and Sant Feliu. The 3 rivers that run through the city gives a true European vibe. Trains leave every 20 minutes from Passeig de Gràcia and to Girona.
Dating back to the 8th century, Catalonia has gone to so much and had so many stories within these ruins and historical sights. Exploring just these 5 sights will give you a lot of different timelines of Catalan history. Combined with the great ambiance of the towns, beaches and incredible nature, surely it will be worth a visit. If you are planning to visit Barcelona during Easter Weekend, be sure to read our latest article!