Day Trips & Weekend Excursions

Experience Spain through a Local Lens!

Barcelona SAE gives our students the tools to integrate as much as possible into the local culture during their stay. Our awesome day trips and weekend excursions mix historical tours with modern events, and we try to get you off the beaten path while you gain a better understanding of Spain. All of our day trips and weekend excursions include both cultural and academic components.

Day Trips

Here at Barcelona SAE, we’re passionate about cultural immersion and want to show you what makes Spain such a magical destination. Although Barcelona is an absolutely incredible place, there are so many awesome cities that are just a hop, skip, and a jump away – and we can’t wait to introduce you to them through our variety of day trips!

Codorniu Vineyard

Codorniu is a very well know vineyard in Spain. Founded in the 16th century, the vineyard produces several wines and sparkling wines called “cava.” Visit the wine cellars, vineyards, and see how wine is made from grape to bottle.

Figueres and the Dalí Museum

The Dalí Theatre-Museum is quite possibly the most unique museum in the world. Not only does it contain countless of Dalí’s impressive works, but the building itself is the largest surrealistic object in the world.

Girona

Girona is a small town just north of Barcelona that has one of the most precious city centers in Catalonia. Its Carolingian wall, well conserved Jewish Quarter, and Cathedral make it a “must see.”

Montserrat

Montserrat is one of the most breathtaking natural features in Catalonia. A jagged mountain that is home to a monastery as well as a prized rock climbing spot, Montserrat has something to offer almost everyone.

Montserrat Monastery has had a presence on Montserrat Mountain since the ninth century. The Monastery sits proudly in the mountain, practically at its peak and seems to be at one with its surroundings.

On a day trip to Montserrat, you may decide to visit the monastery, spend the day hiking on the trails though the mountain, or just take in the view of the country below.

Sitges

Sitges has always been a place that has captivated artists, tourists and, in general, visitors from all around the world. Sitges is known for its Mediterranean beaches and 300 days of sun per year.

Sitges has preserved important modernist architecture as well as landmarks from the old fishing and farming town it once was, offering visitors a valuable architectural heritage.

Tarragona

The city of Tarragona is a natural ancient fortress located by the sea, with a rich artistic and roman architectural heritage, which allows visitors to enjoy all the charms of the Mediterranean. It is considered the most important Roman town in Spain.

The town has several attractions that bring in people from all over the world, many of them listed by UNESCO World Heritage. The most famous of all these is the Roman amphitheatre. This well-preserved battleground dates back to 2 BC. Standing inside of it, it’s not hard to imagine gladiators fighting each other (and beasts) to their death.

Weekend Excursions

Our students often find themselves with three day weekends, and what better way to explore your surroundings than through our Barcelona SAE weekend excursions! Although Barcelona is less than two hours away from some of Europe’s top cities such as London, Rome, and Paris, we believe that Spain itself is filled with SO many sites to be seen and activities to try – and we’re so excited to help you create all sorts of weekend memories!

Costa Brava: Iberian Paradise

Where is it?

Northeastern coastal region of Spain

Why do we go?

The beauty of the Mediterranean Sea is at its best from Barcelona stretching north to the French border. This area is packed with beaches, water activities, sprawling golf courses, seaside cliffs, forest hikes, and endless other outdoor activities. On the way, our stops may include: Figueres, to visit the impressive and unique Dalí Museum and Palamos, a modern resort is set around a beautiful harbor full of yachts.

Granada: The Moorish Jewel

Where is it?

Southern Spain near Sierra Nevada National Park

Why do we go?

Granada is a city of many treasures… starting with the allure of Alhambra palace against a backdrop of Sierra Nevada’s mountains and lakes. Medieval Albayzin rests atop a hill, and offers examples of ancient times and Moorish architecture. The Islamic past feels recent as a growing North African population fills its winding streets with kebab and cake shops, slipper and tea nooks, and even a modern Mosque. The best of Granada is that it maintains its age-old charm, but is still Andalusia’s “hippiest” city, with a free-tapas culture, innovative bars, and tiny flamenco holes. 

Madrid: Spain’s Capital

Where is it?

The center of Spain

Why do we go?

Although Madrid is Spain’s largest city with over 15 million people calling it home, it still feels friendly and safe. We visit Madrid to see firsthand how the history of Spain spread from its cosmopolitan capital city and to see the seat of Spanish government. Our experience in Madrid includes an artistic journey with the famous painters of years past, kings and queens who formed the future of this country half a millennium ago, and how contemporary issues such as the fall of the dictatorship and immigration affect the lives of citizens.

San Sebastian and Bilbao: Basque Culture and Beach

Where is it?

North coast of Spain along the Bay of Biscay

Why do we go?

Northern Spain is known as the Basque Country is a bit of a “secret Spain”. About 30 percent of the population speak a language which has no known links to any other living language. Although part of Spain, you’ll feel as if you have traveled to another country entirely. Basque culture varies from Spanish culture in dress, music, food, rituals, and sports…so the area is perhaps the most unique in the Iberian Peninsula and a precious addition to travels in Spain. Our excursion will teach us where and when these differences arose and how they play out in contemporary society. We will also experience the incredible culinary treasures of the Basques and picturesque landscapes that never cease to amaze those who witness them.

Seville: The Heart of Andalusia

Where is it?

Southwest Spain

Why do we go?

The city if packed with Flamenco dancing and orange trees. The friendly city is best known for its welcoming atmosphere, Moorish history, and as the home of Christopher Columbus’ tomb, not to mention it was supposedly founded by the Greek God Hercules – we wouldn’t be surprised!

Valencia: The City of Arts and Sciences

Where is it?

East coast of Spain along the Mediterranean and about a 3.5 hour drive south of Barcelona

Why do we go?

Valencia was originally founded as a Roman colony and still holds the same progressive mindset. It is Spain’s third largest city and features a bit of everything. A park runs through the city providing a bit of nature, and plenty of historic sites, but its real attractions look more like visions of the future. The Oceanographic is world renowned aquarium and marine park and the Museum of Science looks like a spaceship landed in perfectly blue pond. It’s truly unlike any other place.

Zaragoza: Grace and History

Where is it?

North central Spain toward the border with France

Why do we go?

The beautiful city offers a certain fineness and grace. It sits on the Ebro River and is the capital of what was once the Kingdom of Aragon and also the province. We love it because of the excellent tapas and wealth of historical sites including Roman ruins and Ajafería Palace.