Top Tips for Visiting Catalonia

Catalonia is without a doubt one of Spain’s most beautiful regions, home to the splendid Pyrenees mountain range, striking medieval villages, breathtaking scenery and of course vibrant and culturally rich cities such as Barcelona, Girona, and Tarragona. With this in mind, here are some top tips to help you make up your mind whilst visiting this delightful Spanish region.

Visit the city of Barcelona

When visiting Catalonia a visit to Spain’s second largest city is a must. You will have the chance to explore this visually stunning and incredibly exciting city, admire Gaudi’s impressive architecture and enjoy attractions such as Montjuïc’s Magic Fountain and Port Vell. Spend a few days here to truly experience the vibe of the city, you will be able to find your room in Barcelona through this page.

Admire the Costa Brava

The beautiful Costa Brava begins in Blanes and stretches for miles on end before reaching the French Coast. Visitors are able to explore quaint Catalan villages such as Begur and Tossa del Mar before taking a dip in the crystal clear waters or relaxing on the beach. The Costa Brava is also lined by delightful restaurants and bars making it a wonderful place to enjoy a little Spanish nightlife.

Explore medieval Montblanc

Montblanc is located in the Catalan region just one hour’s drive from the city of Barcelona. Legend tells that it was here where St. Jordi killed the ferocious dragon back in the medieval times. The medieval village itself is well worth a visit due to its spectacular ancient defences, splendid architecture, colourful past and extraordinary Catalan panoramas.

Marvel at Tarragona’s Poblet Monastery

If you are passionate about architecture you will almost certainly want to visit Bargués’ fabulous monastery. The monastery has been considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site for more than two decades and attracts a staggering number of visitors each year. This is one of Spain’s most historically significant buildings as it was once the royal pantheon of the almighty kings of Aragón.

Discover the Delta de l’Ebre

This spectacular nature reserve is also home to Spain’s rice growing plantations. If you are a keen bird watcher you will be delighted to admire the region’s many migratory species from the specially constructed birding stations. Nearby visitors are able to visit a number of museums dedicated to the Battle of the Ebro, the longest battle of the dramatic Spanish Civil War.

Catalonia not only boasts awe-inspiring architecture, natural beauty and a fascinating history, but this Spanish region is also celebrated for its divine cuisine, exquisite shopping and vivacious nightlife meaning that there really is something for everybody!

Check back in a few months when I delve even deeper into Cataluña (a region I really like, despite not clicking with Barcelona) as a part of my 17 Spanish Regions series! For the first two installments, click here.

What are your top tips for Catalonia? Looking to learn Spanish in Barcelona? Contact me!

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. I was just thinking earlier this morning about a potential trip to Catalunya next year; big cities like Figueres, Girona, Tarragona, and Lleida are on my hitlist but I was craving some smaller villages in the countryside…so thanks for the recommendations to visit Poblet and Montblanc.
    Trevor Huxham recently posted..Photo Post: Colexiata de Sar, the Leaning Church of Santiago de Compostela, SpainMy Profile

  2. Gorgeous shots, especially the bridge. Catalunya is beautiful.
    Corinne recently posted..Troy – The World Heritage Site That Almost Wasn’tMy Profile

  3. Great article, when I return I’d love to visit Montblanc and Costa Brava.
    Lyn recently posted..Barcelona – I’m not that into youMy Profile

  4. Pedro Meca Garcia says:

    been to Cataluña several times, say, Barcelona, Palamos, San Feliu de Guixols, Playa de Aro, Roses, Vilanova, Arenys de Mar, etc and the best places without any doubt was Arenys and Playa de Aro.

    i don’t like Barcelona at all because many of them answer you in Catalan if you are a Castilian speaking Spaniard, but this is a different history…..

    by the way, a great top destination is around Camp Nou stadium, home of “cules”, i mean, a top destination if you support Real Madrid and want to shout loudly with your fist up “Hala Madrid” just to make pedestrians fume, haha! i did it years ago together with some friends and we almost got beaten.

    • Hi Pedro,
      Loved your response would you be able to go to our Barcelona page and post your response.
      Steve recently posted..Barcelona – I’m not that into youMy Profile

      • Pedro Meca Garcia says:

        thanks for your reply Steve!….i’ve just read your blogpost about Barcelona, and let me say that i agree with some of what you say, but i also disagree or at least it does surprise me some other things that you say.

        anyway, thanks for inviting me to comment on your blog, i feel as if i were someone important :-)

    • Cat Gaa says:

      When our host from AirBnB told us not to miss Camp Nou, I laughed (but refrained from singing the Himno del Betis).

      I don’t like Barcelona, but I do really like the region of Catalonia.

  5. Costa Brava is gorgeous. We had the opportunity to visit in 2012. I really have to recommend two gardens in Blanes: Marimurtra and Santa Clotilde. Marimurtra specializes in Mediterranean plants and Santa Clotilde used to be someone’s fabulously landscaped property.
    Linda Bibb recently posted..One Day in Dubrovnik: How Much Can You Really See?My Profile

    • Cat Gaa says:

      I certainly like the parts away from the city. I think the Costa Brava may be one of the most beautiful parts of Spain – and I’ve seen a lot! Hope you two are well.


  1. […] In case you didn’t know, I’m not a fan of Barcelona, its capital city. But, at the time I’m writing, Cataluña is still part of Spain and deserves a spot in this Autonomous Communities project. Love it or not, Catalonia is in the news and reaches far beyond Barcelona, from the cradle of catalán in the Val de Aran and the Roman ruins at Tarragona to the whitewashed coastal villages and mountaintop monasteries bordering the Pyrenees – and visiting Barcelona should include visiting Catalonia.  […]

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