Figueres is a small Spanish town near Barcelona where you can experience a much more relaxed, authentic way of life. And if you’ve had enough of the hordes of tourists in Barcelona then a day trip to Figueres might be just what you need.
However, Figueres is a town not too relaxed or isolated. It has an excellent mix of interesting activities together with plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation.
Below I’ve included an itinerary for a fulfilling day trip. I’m sure you can squeeze in a few more of the town’s other museums and attractions, but if you only have a day there these are the top three sights definitely worth visiting. A visit to these three attractions still allows you ample time to relax a little and absorb the town’s atmosphere over a hearty lunchtime meal.
Itinerary – Day Trip to Figueres from Barcelona
Figueres is famous for the Dali Theatre-Museum, which attracts visitors from all across the globe. The Dali Theatre-Museum is a must-see and I recommend that you get there as soon as the doors open to avoid the long queue of people.
The Dali-Theatre Museum has so much to offer and the eccentricity, quirkiness and craziness of Dali is evident in every room. In fact, Figueres was Dali’s hometown and he is actually buried inside the Dali Theatre-Museum itself. A little creepy but I guess it adds to the peculiarity of the museum and of Dali’s artwork.
Museu del Joguet (the Toy Museum) is especially fascinating for both young and old. The Museu del Joguet has more than five thousand toys (mainly from Spain itself) on display and even features a special section on Salvador Dali’s life as a child and contains some of his toys and family photographs.
Atmosphere is everything when visiting a museum and one thing I particularly loved about the Museu del Joguet is the beautiful background music that heightens your visit and captures the innocence of a child’s world. In particular, I loved the cabinet with dolls from all around the world. I even found dolls from Johannesburg, South Africa and had to smile.
In many ways I loved the Museu del Joguet more than the Dali-Theatre-Museum probably because it wasn’t as busy as the Dali Theatre-Museum and simply for its overall attention to detail and the positioning and placement of each and every toy in the display cabinets. For those who have an appreciation for toys and childhood throughout the ages, you’ll love this museum.
If you start your day trip to Figueres from Barcelona early enough and see the above two attractions in the morning then head over to the central Rambla which comprises a lovely strip of land surrounded by tall trees and plenty of benches where you can six in the sun and relax or even read a book. You can opt to have lunch at one of the restaurants on the Rambla but there are plenty restaurants all over the old town which are equally as enjoyable.
After lunchtime take a fifteen-minute walk from the Dali Theatre-Museum to Castell de Sant Ferran – the biggest fortress in Europe and the largest monument in Catalonia.
The fortress, built in 1753, takes about an hour to tour and you’re given a free audio guide (a bit old-school, almost like some kind of large radio with two on-off buttons), which is a bit of a slog to carry around but worth it to hear and understand the history of Castell de Sant Ferran. The Castell is really not on the to-do list of many tourists so it’s a great way to burn off extra calories after lunchtime, get some sun and explore this extremely large fortress without the crowds.
Approximate Cost of A Day Trip to Figueres (2013 Figures)
Entry to Castell de Sant Ferran (free audio guide) – 6 Euro
Entry to Dali Museum-Theatre – 12 Euro
Entry to Museu del Joguet – 6 Euro
Return train ticket from Barcelona – 30 Euro (1.5 hours one way)
Lunch (somewhere on the Rambla) – 15 Euro
Total: 69 Euro
How to Get to Figueres from Barcelona
Take the Renfe Train from Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona in the direction of Port Bou. The train station is different from the metro station in Passeig de Gracia so you may need to ask someone where it is.
When you get to Figueres, go out the train station and just keep walking straight, you can ask for a map at one of the little kiosks or just ask someone for ‘Dali’ or even La Rambla and they will point you in the right direction. The town is very small and easy enough to navigate on foot.
Have you been on a day trip to Figueres from Barcelona? If so, what did you enjoy the most? I’d love to hear from you.