Barcelona is just a great city and always worth a visit. What many do not know is that there are wonderful sights in the immediate vicinity of the Catalan capital as well. One of these destinations near Barcelona is just 17 km from the city – Sant Cugat del Vallès. This beautiful place offers the typical Catalan small town atmosphere that makes this province of Spain so special – and that with less than a 30-minutes-journey from Barcelona. In this article, you can find the best Sant Cugat, Barcelona attractions and travel tips.
Sant Cugat del Vallès
Sant Cugat del Vallès (Sant Cugat for short) is a city northwest of Barcelona, which has about 90,000 inhabitants. Although Sant Cugat was still a small town until some time ago, more and more people are moving to this place (For comparison: around 20,000 people lived here in the 1970s). The city is becoming increasingly popular with locals and tourists alike as rents continue to rise in Barcelona. The first church in the region dates back to the 4th century, and the city still provides a medieval atmosphere.
How to get from Barcelona to Sant Cugat del Vallès
Duration: approx. 30 minutes
Price: Zone 1 Ticket (2.40 € or 1.13 € with T-Casual ticket – as of Januar 2020)
Getting to Sant Cugat from Barcelona is very easy. Just take an FGC (Ferrocarrils de Generalitat de Catalunya) line S1, S2 (direction Sabadell Parc del Nord) or S6 from one of the stations in Barcelona (eg Placa Catalunya, Gràcia or Provença (Diagonal) up to the Sant Cugat stop.
The best Things to see in Sant Cugat, Barcelona
The Monastery of Sant Cugat
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10.30 am – 1.30 pm & 4 pm – 7 pm; Sundays: 10.30 am – 2.30 pm // Church: 9 am – 12 pm & 6 pm – 8 pm
Entrance fee: free / Audioguide: 4 €
The monastery of Sant Cugat is probably the most important sight of the city. Many visitors come here solely for a visit to the monastery. Understandable, because the monastery, its church and especially the beautiful courtyard are definitely worth a visit.
The monastery and its bell tower were built in the 11th century from the remains of a Roman fortification, which stood here since the 4th century. Construction continued until completion in the 18th century.
Inside the monastery is now a museum that houses a general exhibition and a traveling exhibition. Both exhibitions will also feature movies. Although the movies are in Catalan, they come with English and Spanish subtitles.
The real highlight of the monastery, however, is the beautiful courtyard. Just walk a bit through the old narrow corridors and admire the impressive architecture of this monastery.
Several times a month concerts take place here in the evening. More information can be found on the official Homepage of Sant Cugat.
Plaça de Sant Pere
This small square is located in the heart of the city, just a short distance from the monastery. It is the perfect place to enjoy a few tapas and a cold beer while watching the locals go by.
Our recommendation: Try the tasty tapas (for example Patatas Picantes) at the Chiars by I & K.
The square provides the typical Catalan atmosphere with its medieval walls and independence flags hanging from many buildings.
This is where you can also find the market of the city.
El Mercat Vell – The market of St. Cugat
On the market, which is located in front of and in an old Modernist house on the Plaça de Sant Pere, you will find everything that a traditional Catalan market should offer. Be sure to be a bit hungry, as it is almost impossible to walk through the aisles of the market without finding something you would like to try.
There is something for every taste – from fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality sausage and cheese to gourmet dishes such as steak or fish. But foreign specialties such as Japanese, Argentinean, and Mexican can be found here as well.
Stroll through the old town
While Barcelona’s old town offers more choice, the narrow streets of downtown Barcelona are usually overcrowded. It is much more relaxed to stroll through the city center of Sant Cugat.
Such a walk through the city center is not only relaxing but with its many small boutiques and shops, you can certainly find something beautiful that will remind you later of this day trip from Barcelona.
The Museums of Sant Cugat
Another attraction of Sant Cugat is its museums. In addition to the monastic museum we have already mentioned, there are two other museums in St. Cugat.
Modernist Wine Cellar
In the impressive modernist building designed by architect Cèsar Martinell, there is an exhibition on winemaking.
Cal Gerrer – House museum
It’s hard to believe, but here in Sant Cugat is the only museum in Europe dedicated to the famous actress Marilyn Monroe. Here you can discover exhibits and information about the life of this popular Hollywood Star. There are also two other exhibitions in this museum. More information on the museums and their opening times can be found here.
Not only Sant Cugat itself, but also its beautiful surroundings invite you to enjoy this town. You can either go on your own or join a tour. You can go for a walk, ride a horse or go for a bike ride. Even a place to play golf can be found.
If you would like to discover the nature of Sant Cugat, you might be interested in this tour.
Be sure to check out our detailed Barcelona Itinerary & Sightseeing Guide.
No accommodation yet?
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More Catalonia trips?
Also read about these 19 great destinations in Catalonia from Barcelona.