7x beautiful places near Barcelona by rental car
A trip to Barcelona is a hugely popular vacation for many. Logical, the climate is pleasant, the food delicious, it is located on the coast and the city is full sights for all ages. Do you want to get out of the crowds? Then rent a car and go! Also outside the city there are many great places to see. Herewith our 7 tips where you can easily go with a rental car.
Montserrat Monastery (1 hour drive)
This monastery (abbey) is located in the distinctive rock formation called Montserrat about 50 km north of the city. In addition to the unique landscape, you can visit the basilica, museum, and chapel of Montserrat. There are also some restaurants and plenty of hiking trails of different levels with beautiful views. The rental car can be parked in the parking lot on top of the mountain and costs €6.50 per day.
Lloret de Mar (1 hour drive)
North of Barcelona lies one of the most famous costal places of the Costa Brava. And rightly so! Lloret de Mar has beautiful beaches and lively nightlife. It is therefore a good option to stay an overnight when making the drive up from Barcelona. Stroll along the palm-lined boulevard and enjoy a Sangria on one of the many terraces afterwards. The architecture is also a feast for the eyes, such as the Sant Romà church, the many luxurious villas, and the castle of Sant Joan. Please note that in Lloret de Mar, as in all other Spanish cities, most locals take a siesta between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM and most shops are therefore closed during these hours.
Sitges (45 min drive)
Less than an hour's drive from Barcelona you will find yourself in this beautiful seaside resort on the Spanish coast. The town is a wonderful place to shop, eat tapas, and visit the beach. Quality always comes first, and the people are very hospitable. Take a walk through the old town along the old facades, beautiful buildings, and the Sant Bartelomeu church. In Sitges it is not uncommon to have to pay to park. There are car parks but be aware that these are often tight for larger cars. Our tip: park on the municipal ground floor of Residencia Sitges Park on Carrer Victor Balaguer. From here you can walk to the center of Sitges or to the beach in 10 minutes.
Girona (1 hour 15 min drive)
The city of Girona is about 100 km north of Barcelona and can be easily reached by car. Although it is not located on the coast, two rivers (Onyar and Ter) run right through the city. This creates many photogenic bridges and 'hanging' houses over the water. The famous cathedral of Girona is here and the old city walls, over which you can take a walk. Game of Thrones fans will quickly feel at home here, as from season six onwards many scenes of the well-known series have been shot here. Parking in Girona is best done near the Devesa park, where you can find some free parking spaces.
Tarragona (1hr 15min drive)
A less famous city, but certainly not less unique is Tarragona. Also located on the Catalan coast, about 100 kilometers south of Barcelona. The city is located on a hill, which means you always have a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea. Several UNESCO World Heritage monuments can be found in the old city center. It may remind you of Barcelona's El Barrio Gotico with its small streets, various restaurants, cafes, and quaint squares. A unique sight in the center of the city is the Roman amphitheater, right next to the sea. Our tip: with the freedom of a rental car in Tarragona you have the opportunity to visit the largest Roman remains the ‘Pont del Diable’ aqueduct. A visit is free and is only four kilometers from Tarragona.
Pals (1 hour and 30 min drive)
In our opinion one of the most charming medieval towns in Spain, Pals. Also a well-known place among the Spaniards to celebrate weddings due to its picturesque streets. The traditional Catalan houses are built around a fortress, on top of a high mountain with great views. In Pals you will find those unique souvenir shops with locally made items. As the city is not as famous as some of the others, you will not have a problem parking the rental car.
Valencia (4 hours drive)
A somewhat longer drive for a road trip is to the bustling city of Valencia. As the drive is a bit longer, it may be an option to take a one way, where you pick up the car in Barcelona and drop it off at one of our many locations in Valencia. The nice thing about this city is that it has two faces. On the one hand, the old, medieval city center, and on the other, the ultra-modern Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (the City of Arts and Science). The city is located along the coast, has a huge park (Turina) and many annual events and museums. Plenty to see and do! Our tip: Once you have arrived by rental car, change your wheels and rent a bike to discover the many corners of the Turina Park.