From lively Barcelona to island paradises like Mallorca and the Grand Canaries to the historic cities of Andalusia, Spain rocks !. It’s one of the best countries on the globe and just about the most affordable in Europe.
But there is one city that captures my love of the united states the most: Girona.
Home to just over 100,000 people and only 45 minutes from Barcelona, Girona houses a well-preserved Jewish quarter, ancient winding streets, and a walkable medieval city wall. Throw in a large amount green space, colorful buildings, and perfect weather, Girona is among the best places in Spain.
Girona is more famous today because of Game of Thrones being filmed there but this tiny city only thirty minutes from Barcelona remains somewhat off the beaten track and free from the crowds that produce Barcelona unbearable sometimes. There’s good food, lots to accomplish, and lovely people. I can’t sing the city’s praises enough.
That will help you take full advantage of your trip, listed below are my top what to see and do in Girona:
1. Explore the Old Quarter
Girona’s Old Quarter (Barri Vell) sits next to the River Onyar. This neighborhood houses a few of Girona’s most popular and well-preserved historical sites. Filled up with medieval architecture, colorful old homes, and picturesque bridges but without the crowds of Barcelona, that is the best area to wander around.
You can explore it yourself and revel in getting lost, but before also browse the tours Girona Walks offers, so that you can find out more on this portion of town and how it has evolved over the centuries.
2. Marvel at the Cathedral of Girona
Built between your 11th and 13th centuries, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona towers over the town. It’s the next widest church on the planet, almost 23m (75 feet) across – only St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is wider. (It had been also featured in Game of Thrones!)
The inside isn’t particularly ornate and includes a little bit of an austere feel to it, but it’s peaceful, and there’s a whole lot of information and an excellent audio guide available.
Plaça de la Catedral, +34 972 42 71 89, catedraldegirona.cat. Open 10am-6:30pm, April-June; 10am-7:30pm, July-August; 10am-6:30pm, September-October; 10am-5:30pm, November-March. Admission is 7 EUR ($7.70 USD). Dress respectfully, since it is a location of worship.
3. Tour the Arab Baths
These preserved public baths were built-in 1194. Their Romanesque style was inspired by similar Roman and Arab baths and was built-in response to ancient Girona’s growing population and the necessity to improve hygiene.
When you can’t actually utilize the baths, you may take a self-guided tour to see what bathing was like in the centre Ages. The building is included in a big vaulted ceiling and carries a cold-water bath, a hot-water bath, and changing rooms.
Carrer del Rei Ferran el Catòlic, +34 972 21 32 62, banysarabs.org. Open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm and Sundays 10am-2pm. Admission is 2 EUR ($2.20 USD).
4. Stroll Along the Eiffel Bridge
The Palanques Vermelles Bridge, generally known as the Eiffel Bridge, was built-in 1827 by Gustave Eiffel right before the construction of his most well-known work, the Eiffel Tower. Located over the Onyar River, it’s an excellent place to get some good pics of the Old Town’s colorful buildings. I make an effort to cross this bridge often, due to the fact the view is indeed nice!
5. Learn Something New at Among Girona’s Many Museums
For a little city, Girona houses several museums and free galleries. Here some I believe you shouldn’t miss:
- The Jewish History Museum – The museum comprises of 11 exhibitions that explore the annals and culture of the region’s Jewish community, that was one of the primary in the region. Admission is 4 EUR ($4.40 USD).
- Girona’s Art Museum – It has the region’s largest assortment of Romanesque and Gothic art (over 8,000 items). It’s huge! Admission is 6 EUR ($6.60 USD).
- The Cinema Museum – This museum covers the annals of cinema and is filled up with old posters, films, and movie equipment. In addition, it hosts regular events and movie screenings. Essential for movie buffs! Admission is 5 EUR ($5.50 USD).
- The Girona Archaeology Museum – That is among the oldest museums in your community and boasts a assortment of archeological finds from pre-history completely to the center Ages. Though small, it switches into the right detail about the region. Admission is 6 EUR ($6.60 USD).
6. Tour the Basilica de Sant Feliu
This historic Gothic cathedral is eye-catching and hard to miss. It almost appears like a castle. Its bell tower is seen from most spots around Girona, so it’s never definately not view.
It had been the first cathedral in Girona and remained the only person before 10th century. Beyond the impressive architecture, the cathedral houses historic artwork, including a 14th-century sculpture of Christ, along with Christian and non-Christian sarcophagi that date back again to the fourth century.
Plaça de la Catedral, +34 972 427 189, catedraldegirona.org. Open Monday-Saturday 10am-5:30pm, Sunday and holidays 1pm-5:30pm. Admission is 7 EUR ($7.70 USD).
7. Go to the Monastery of Saint Daniel
Founded in the 11th century, this monastery on the outskirts of town was made with the intention of establishing a nunnery in your community. As the abbey is no more used, you can still go to the church and the cloister. Inside, you’ll find Saint Daniel’s sepulcher, rumored to accommodate the remains of the saint himself. The architecture is a variety of Romanesque and Gothic, with additions from the 12th and 15th centuries.
The monastery is surrounded by the Valley of Sant Daniel, a lush green space with plenty of shade and picturesque natural springs.
8. Walk Atop Girona’s Ancient City Wall
Dating to Girona’s medieval past, these ancient walls were partially destroyed in the 1800s to create method for city expansion. Fortunately, a lot of the missing pieces have already been recovered or reconstructed recently. Going for a stroll atop them provides an unbeatable view of both city and the countryside’s rolling hills. Plus, they’re free!
9. Stroll La Rambla de la Llibertat
Lined by gorgeous neoclassical, baroque, and Gothic buildings, this can be the main pedestrian street around. The street goes back to 1885 and is filled with shops, cafés, and restaurants. There’s also a flower market on Saturdays.
10. Indulge at Rocambolesc
That is among the best gelaterias I’ve ever gone to! Owned by world-class chef Jordi Roca, it’s an excellent spot to (over)enjoy delicious ice cream and gelato topped with berries, cotton candy, fruits, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, fudge, therefore a lot more. I go there each and every time I visit (usually multiple times). It’s amazing and worth every euro!
50 Carrer de Santa Clara, +34 972 41 66 67, rocambolesc.com. Open Sunday-Tuesday from 11am-9pm and Friday-Saturday from 11am-10:30pm.
Girona’s long history, a distinctive and rich culture, so much delicious food, and stunning architecture. Many people make it a excursion from Barcelona but I’d recommend spending at least one night here. There’s plenty to keep you busy. I first visited within 2012 and also have been back a complete of four times. I really like Girona. A lot of people