This post explains why you should do a Day Trip from Barcelona to Costa Brava. Learn how to get there, what to do when you're there and answers to other common questions.
To begin, Barcelona is an AMAZING city.
From the history, to the food, the beaches, and the shopping, it really has it all! We were blown away by it all. I mean, you can't really beat a city on the beach, right?
Something we discovered during our time in Barcelona was the proximity to Costa Brava. We didn't know too much about it so we never thought to consider it as a day trip.
Our Airbnb host said we HAD to make time to visit Costa Brava and specifically Tossa de Mar. She was adamant that we change our schedule to fit that in. After doing our research, we obliged!
Can you visit Costa Brava from Barcelona in one day?
I have to give two answers for this question.
Yes, you can visit Costa Brava from Barcelona in one day. We specifically visited the town of Tossa de Mar. It was less than 2 hours from Barcelona on a comfortable bus. If you leave early, you'll have enough time to explore the gorgeous beachside town.
However, I'd also have to say NO, you can't visit Costa Brava from Barcelona in one day. For the simple reason that when you leave, you're going to wish you stayed overnight or more!
Why take a day trip from Barcelona to Costa Brava?
If you're like us, we didn't really think too much about visiting Costa Brava. We knew the beaches were nice, but that was about it. After our Airbnb host explained how nice Costa Brava was and that she, like many other locals, go every year we decided to do it.
So here's why we believe you should visit Costa Brava:
- Crystal clear beaches
- Breathtaking mountains surrounding beaches
- Amazing seafood
- Cute boutiques
- Short distance from Barcelona
I will dive in deeper on what to do during your time in Tossa de Mar. Please note, the beaches in Barcelona DO NOT compare to the beaches of Costa Brava. We're talking crystal clear waters with amazing rocklike formations alongside it.
We heard a French man on the beach say that Costa Brava looks similar to the French Rivera. This also makes sense because this area stretches all the way to the French border.
How do you get from Barcelona to Costa Brava?
The trip from Barcelona to Costa Brava is fairly easy. We took the bus to the town of Tossa de Mar.
I booked the tickets through the Omio app which I recommend having for any European vacation. It cost 25 euro for a roundtrip ticket per person. The bus was pretty comfortable actually and it was a scenic trip! It says it takes 1 hour and 20 minutes, but it was more like 1 hour and 30 minutes.
You also have the option of taking the train which we DO NOT RECOMMEND. It is much more complicated than the bus. The train doesn't go to Tossa de Mar. You'd take the Renfe R1 train and get off at Blanes. From Blanes you'd have to take a bus or a taxi to Tossa de Mar. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to Blanes and then another 40 minutes if you take the bus to get to Tossa de Mar.
Another option would be to drive there yourself! Depending on where you are in Barcelona, it will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there.
Our recommendation is to take the bus! Just be sure to book ahead of time especially in the summer and get there early as the lines can be long!
What to do in Tossa de Mar?
We were pleasantly surprised by Tossa de Mar. It was much more than a beach town! When you get off the bus you have to walk through the actual town and it is really cute! There are so many small boutiques with unique clothing pieces and accessories. There's a fair share of restaurants and bakeries as well. Plus there's a lot of history.
Here's what we recommend:
- The first thing we would recommend is to check out the Muralles de Tossa de Mar. This is a 12th century castle with huge walls and towers overlooking the water. The views are jaw dropping! There is so much to see and the higher you go the better the views.
- Next, go the beach. The main beach is called Platja Gran which is really nice! We decided to go to a smaller beach right off the castle. It's called Cala es Codolar. This was gorgeous! It's a small beach planted right between these two huge rock formations. It was unbelievable. Note these couple of things. One, it's a small beach and gets packed FAST. Try and get there early. We got there before noon. Two, there is a small bar on the beach to grab Aperol Spritz. I think it was 8 euro but it's worth the experience!
- After soaking up the sun, go for lunch! We ate at La Placeta. We knew we wanted seafood and this place had good reviews so we went with it! The seafood was so fresh and the outdoor seating was really nice as well. We shared grilled vegetables, a salad, mussels and grilled squid. Don't miss it!
- Once you're full, check out the small shops in the town center. As I said before it's full of cool handmade jewelry, home decor items and clothing. We bought some small pieces of the jewelry!
- Before getting back on the bus, you have to try this special pastry! We stopped at Gelateria Pastisseria Sant Pere. We shared a Xuixo (Catalan Pastry) and we had to stop to understand how good it really was. It's a cream custard filled cinnamon sugar coated doughnut twist. Please don't miss this!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes and no. It only takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there, but once you're there you're going to wish you were staying longer! The beaches and towns are amazing. Plus, Costa Brava is actually a coastal region in northeastern Spain.
YES! We went to Tossa de Mar for the day and wish we stayed for way longer! There are amazing beaches, seafood, small shops and history!
You can take the bus or the train. We took the bus to Tossa de Mar because its the only direct option to get there. The train is very complicated.
We really recommend taking at least a day trip to Barcelona to Costa Brava. If you have more time, staying for a couple of days would be even better. The town of Tossa de Mar was beautiful and it was an easy trip from Barcelona. We hope you guys visit and discover this amazing region of Spain for yourselves!
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