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Figueres is a small city in Catalonia that’s well known as the birth place of Salvador Dalí. Unsurprisingly, due Dali’s worldwide fame and strikingly bizarre art, Figueres is a very popular day trip from Barcelona.
And I didn’t want to miss Figueres either!
When I was in Catalonia, I took an independent Figueres day trip from Barcelona, and over all, I had a wonderful travel experience wandering the narrow lanes and the “trippy” Dali Museum.
As a traveler, I always like seeing smaller cities that are within reach of the larger, more popular international cities. I love big cities, of course, but at the same time, having a “break” from all the hustle and bustle is important to me.
Furthermore, I feel like diving into these gems is intellectually rewarding. In any European itinerary, a mixture of large and small cities offer a broader knowledge of the region as a whole.
No doubt, small cities are still worth the time and energy for a visit.
Not going to lie, I even looked at real estate for Figueres on my day trip, because I thought the city was so cool! (And if you’re also guilty of checking out real estate in all the cities that you visit, I promise that you’re not alone).
So, if you’re planning a Figueres day trip from Barcelona, this post will help you with some good ideas and jumpstart the brainstorming process. Although small, even in comparison to nearby Girona, Figueres has a lot to unpack, and I want to make sure that you don’t miss anything or exhaust yourself like I, unfortunately, did.
Is Figueres Worth Visiting?
First I want to answer a question that I’ve seen on Google and Reddit. Is Figueres worth visiting at all? You paid a lot of money to visit Spain (and Catalonia), so you want to make sure that you’re getting a true “bang for your buck,” so to speak.
Now, personally, I think Figueres is worth visiting if you’re already spending ample time in Barcelona.
Barcelona has so much to see and do. No joke, I was overwhelmed reading about all the attractions in Barcelona, and already know that I need to plan my return to see even more sites. You want to give Barcelona the love it deserves as a city. It’s one of my favorites in all of Europe.
So. Do you have 5 days in Barcelona to spare? Sure, hop on a train to Figueres. On the other hand, are you only in Barcelona for one weekend? Then take your time enjoying the city and save Figueres for another trip.
How to Do a Figueres Day Trip from Barcelona
A Figueres day trip from Barcelona is relatively easy if you have the time and plan in advance. I love traveling solo to Spain and never have any issues with their public transportation system.
You can opt to go to Figueres on a train, or reserve a spot on a guided tour if you prefer to have transportation taken care of for you. I will cover both options in this post.
Train from Barcelona to Figueres
For independent travelers, the easiest way (by far) to go from Barcelona to Figueres (and back again) is on a train.
Spain’s trains are frequent and comfortable. I have no complaints.
My suggestion is to board the high-speed AVE train to go to Figueres. Might tickets cost more? Sure, but you will reach Figueres is only 53 minutes, and your time is worth just as much, if not more, than your money. The train is direct. You can board the train at Barcelona Sants station or Passeig de Gracia.
Take care to validate your tickets at the machines if you don’t purchase them online with a barcode. Not validating your tickets will cost you. The fines are steep. Always, always validate the tickets.
Figueres has a small train station, especially in comparison to Barcelona. It is only a short (ten or fifteen minute) walk to the main attractions, including The Dali Museum.
One final piece of advice. If you’re independently traveling to Figueres, perhaps go to Girona on a different day. A lot of guided tours bundle these two cities together, which is totally fair if someone else is doing all the driving, but as an independent traveler, visiting both cities in one day turned out to be a lot running around and exhaustion.
Of course, I don’t regret visiting either place, but I do wish I had another day built into my trip.
A Guided Tour to Figueres
A Figueres day trip from Barcelona isn’t challenging, but travel takes up a lot of “mental battery.”
So, if you don’t want to travel to Figueres on your own, then you have nothing to fear, because plenty of guided tours exist that will take you right to the town. Keep in mind that there are a lot of tours available, so it’s important to do your own research ahead of time. Reviews are important.
To help you, I’ve listed a couple of options for you.
Options for a Guided Day Trip to Figueres From Barcelona
- Girona, Figueres and Dali Museum Day Trip: This in-depth and fully guided tour takes over 11 hours! Perfect for travelers who not only want time in Figueres, but Girona too!
- Girona and Dali Museum Small Group Tour: Girona is another wonderful small city that is usually paired with Figueres. This small guided tour will take you to the Dali Museum, as well as the best sites in Girona. A two-for-one deal!
- Immersive Dali Tour: If you want to learn all about Dali, this organized day trip not only takes you to Figueres, but also includes excursions to Port Lligat and Cadaques.
What to See and Do in Figueres
Taking a Figueres day trip from Barcelona will obviously take up a chunk of your time. So what exactly is there to see and do in Figueres?
Honestly, you will find a surprising amount of attractions in this small city that will keep you entertained for a few hours, especially if you take your time studying the art in the Dali Museum.
As a final note, I sadly didn’t have time to see Castell de Sant Ferran, which is a gorgeous castle set in the hills on the outskirts of Figueres. If you have more time, definitely check it out! It looks lovely!
Casa Natal de Salvador Dalí
If you’re very interested in Salvador Dali, be sure to swing by his childhood home right here in Figueres. It’s a beautiful building, and you can read a little plaque with some descriptions about Dali and his family.
Keep in mind, though, that this is a fast photo stop. You cannot enter the building itself. Still cool to see, though.
The Dali Theatre Museum
Without a doubt, the Dali Theatre Museum is the most popular and important attraction in all of Figueres. The incredible collection of Dali works is inside a municipal theater that was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War. Dali wanted to create a museum from its ruins, and boy, what a surrealist adventure this museum is!
I loved wandering through all the rooms, especially the Mae West Exhibit. The museum was crowded, but if I had more time, I could’ve easily spent well over two hours wandering from room to room, ogling at the bizarre (and fun) imaginative Dali pieces.
Just this museum alone makes a Figueres day trip from Barcelona well worth your effort.
As far as tips go, make sure to book your ticket in advance for the Dali Museum, especially during peak periods and holidays. I cannot stress this enough.
Time slots sell out and fast. You don’t want to go to the museum and then not see anything inside. For example, the museum actually lets visitors inside according to the time stamped on their ticket, so if the next available time isn’t for another five hours, then you are out of luck, my friend.
Also pack your patience. As a popular museum, crowds flock to the Dali museum, and not all tourists are polite. Do your best to keep your distance from big groups to optimize the experience, as well as visit the museum early or late in the day to avoid the bulk of day trippers.
Església de Sant Pere
This gorgeous church, which is located right in the heart of Figueres, is where Salvador Dali was baptized. Definitely worth a visit if you have the time to spare.
Feel free to wander inside the church if you need respite from the hustle and bustle of the nearby museum.
You’ve probably heard of La Rambla in Barcelona. Believe it or not, this street in Figueres is quite similar to its much more famous namesake! This pedestrian boulevard is in the heart of the city center. Feel free to wander without worrying about a car honking at you to move. I didn’t have a chance to go inside the shops, but saw some cute and unique window displays that are worth your time and money.
Other Museums in Figueres
Believe it or not, Figueres is home to some other museums in addition to the Dali Museum.
While Dali’s art collection is understandably the most popular in town, you should also check out the city’s smaller museums, too. For example, the Toy Museum of Catalonia has three floors where you will find ancient toys and an extensive miniature railway that took eight years to build.
If you want even more Dalí, then you should check out Dalí Jewels Collection on your day trip to Figueres. The permanent collection is home to jewelry created by the artist himself.
Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí
This funky square, where the Dali Museum is located, is an attraction in and of itself.
Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí has a lot of unique statues, including a monument dedicated to the artist himself, so you’ll have a lot of opportunities to snap pictures. I always appreciate public art in addition to exhibits in art museums.
And while not an attraction, the people-watching in this square is pretty entertaining too. After all, this is where people wait in line to enter into the Dali Museum.
Tapas & Treats
Figueres has a lot of yummy treats available for visitors. I took a peak in some of the bakeries, and my stomach was grumbling at the scrumptious window displays of cupcakes and chocolates.
After sightseeing inside the Dali Museum, feel free to stop and eat. And if it’s a beautiful day, enjoy some tapas in the open squares.
Believe it or not, Figueres has some unique street art if you know where to look for it. I felt very safe exploring Figueres in the afternoon, so I see absolutely no harm in “getting lost” and discovering some fantastic street art on your own.
Like many other European cities, street art adds splashes of color that make for some stunning photography. Don’t forget to bring your camera.
A Figueres day trip from Barcelona might include a lot of sites, but don’t forget to take even thirty minutes to explore the town without an agenda.
I hope you’re excited to go on a Figueres day trip from Barcelona. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, or check out my Europe travel planning services for additional help.