10 Best Things to Do in Girona, Spain

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If you’re planning a trip to Catalonia, make sure to add Girona to your itinerary. This charming city in northeastern Spain is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, or outdoor enthusiast, you’re going to enjoy Girona.

With so much to see and do, Girona is a must-visit destination in Spain. We’ve been there many times and even spent 3 weeks “living there” in 2016. It’s a quieter version of Barcelona, where you can still stroll around the streets and enjoy the medieval architecture without all the crowds.

Girona city

One of the top things to do in Girona is to take a stroll along the ancient city walls. The Passeig de la Muralla offers breathtaking views of the Old Town and the surrounding countryside. Another must-see attraction is the Girona Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture that dates back to the 11th century. Make sure to climb the 90 steps to the top of the bell tower for panoramic views of the city.

If you’re interested in Jewish history, don’t miss the El Call neighborhood, one of the best-preserved Jewish quarters in Europe. Visit the Museum of Jewish History to learn more about the Jewish community that lived in Girona from the 9th to the 15th century. For a more contemporary experience, explore the vibrant street art scene in the city’s hipster district.

Getting to Girona

If you’re staying in Barcelona, Girona makes for an excellent day trip. The city is only 103 km away from Barcelona, making it easy to reach by car or train.

The best way to get to Girona from Barcelona is by train. Trains run regularly from Barcelona Sants station to Girona, and the journey takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can also catch a train from the Passeig de Gracia station. Trains run throughout the day, so you can easily plan a day trip to Girona.

If you’re driving, take the AP-7 motorway from Barcelona to Girona. The journey takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes, but you should be aware that traffic can be heavy, especially during peak times.

Once you arrive in Girona, you can explore the city on foot. The historic center of Girona is compact and easy to navigate, so you don’t need a car to get around.

Historical Landmarks

If you’re interested in history and architecture, Girona is the perfect destination for you. The city is home to several historical landmarks that are worth visiting during your trip. Here are some of the top landmarks to check out:

Girona Cathedral

Girona cathedral

One of the most iconic landmarks in Girona is the Girona Cathedral. This Gothic cathedral dates back to the 14th century and is located in the heart of the old town. The cathedral’s stunning architecture and intricate details are a testament to the city’s rich history. Be sure to take a stroll around the cloister, which features beautiful columns and arches.

Arab Baths

The Arab Baths are another must-see historical landmark in Girona. These Roman-style baths date back to the 12th century and are a prime example of the city’s Roman heritage. The baths feature a series of rooms with vaulted ceilings and a central pool. The intricate details and beautiful architecture make the Arab Baths a must-visit destination.

Sant Pere De Galligants

Sant Pere De Galligants

Sant Pere De Galligants is a Benedictine monastery that dates back to the 12th century. The monastery features beautiful Gothic architecture and is home to a museum that showcases the history of Girona. The museum is home to a collection of artifacts and exhibits that provide insight into the city’s rich history.

Benedictine Monastery

Benedictine Monastery

The Benedictine Monastery is another historical landmark that is worth visiting during your trip to Girona. The monastery dates back to the 10th century and features beautiful Romanesque architecture. The monastery is home to a collection of artifacts and exhibits that provide insight into the city’s religious history.

Eiffel Bridge

Eiffel Bridge

The Eiffel Bridge is a beautiful metal bridge that spans the Onyar River. The bridge was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the same engineer who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The bridge is a prime example of the city’s modern architecture and is a must-see destination for anyone interested in engineering and design.

Exploring the Jewish Quarter

If you are interested in history, you should definitely visit the Jewish Quarter, also known as El Call, in Girona. This area was inhabited by the Jewish community of the city from the 12th to the 15th century. It is one of the most iconic areas of Girona and is shrouded in history.

The Jewish Quarter is a maze of narrow streets and alleys, and it is easy to get lost in its charming and historic atmosphere. You can find both the Jewish History Museum and the City History Museum on Força street, which lies at the heart of the Jewish Quarter. In the Jewish History Museum, you can learn about the life, culture, and traditions of the Jewish population that once lived in Girona.

As you walk through the Jewish Quarter, you will see ancient doorways and old Jewish houses, as well as some cute little boutiques and restaurants. Plaça Jurats is a great starting point for exploring the Jewish Quarter.

From this point, you can see the mountain called Montjuïc, where the Jewish were buried during medieval times. Another interesting place to visit is the Arab Baths. These public baths were used as a mikva when the Gironinian Jewish community didn’t have their own.

Game of Thrones in Girona

Laura begging on the same corner
Laura begging on the same corner as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones Season 6 (Photo by Savored Journeys)

If you’re a fan of the popular TV series Game of Thrones, you’ll be excited to know that Girona was a filming location for the show. The city’s medieval architecture and historic landmarks made it the perfect setting for several scenes in the show.

One of the most recognizable locations is the staircase of Sant Martí Sacosta, which was used as the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor in King’s Landing. The staircase is located in the heart of the city and is a popular spot for tourists to take photos.

Another notable location is the large plaza to the side of Girona Cathedral, Plaça dels Jurats. This plaza was used as a filming location for a scene in Braavos, where Arya Stark watches an outdoor theatre and sees her family being mocked by the actors.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you can take a guided tour of Girona to see all of the filming locations in the city. The tour will take you to all of the major locations, including the Cathedral, the Arab Baths, and the Jewish Quarter.

Museums in Girona

Girona is a city rich in history and culture, and its museums are a testament to that. Here are a few museums you should check out during your visit to Girona:

  • Museum of Jewish History: Located in the heart of Girona’s Jewish Quarter, this museum is dedicated to the history and culture of the Jewish community in Girona. The museum’s exhibits include artifacts, documents, and multimedia displays that tell the story of the Jewish community’s life in Girona from the Middle Ages to the present day.
  • Archaeology Museum: This museum is located in the former convent of Sant Pere de Galligants, a beautiful Romanesque building that dates back to the 12th century. The museum’s exhibits include artifacts from the prehistoric, Roman, and medieval periods, as well as a collection of Gothic and Romanesque art.
  • Dalí Museum: While not technically located in Girona, the Dalí Museum is a must-visit for art lovers. Located in the nearby town of Figueres, the museum is dedicated to the life and work of the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. The museum’s exhibits include paintings, sculptures, and other works of art by Dalí.
  • Museums: In addition to the above-mentioned museums, Girona has many other museums worth checking out. These include the Cinema Museum, the Museum of Art, and the Museum of History. Each of these museums offers a unique perspective on Girona’s rich history and culture.

Walking Tours

Girona

One of the best ways to explore Girona is on foot. Walking tours are a great way to get to know the city and its history while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

There are several walking tours available in Girona, ranging from historical tours to food tours. One of the most popular walking tours is the Passeig de la Muralla, which is a walk along the medieval walls of Girona. This tour offers stunning views of the city and its surroundings and is a must-do for anyone visiting Girona.

Another popular walking tour is the Jewish Quarter tour, which takes you through the narrow streets of the Jewish Quarter and gives you a glimpse into the history of the Jewish community in Girona. The tour includes a visit to the Jewish Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts documenting the history of the Jewish community in Girona.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you might enjoy the Game of Thrones walking tour, which takes you to the filming locations used in the show. The tour includes a visit to the Cathedral of Girona, which was used as the Great Sept of Baelor in the show.

Most walking tours in Girona are led by knowledgeable and friendly local guides who are passionate about the city and its history. Tours typically last between 1-3 hours, and prices vary depending on the tour and the tour operator.

Where to Stay in Girona

If you’re planning a trip to Girona, finding the right accommodations is key to having an enjoyable stay. Luckily, Girona has a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference.

One of the most popular choices for accommodations in Girona is hotels. There are many hotels in the area, ranging from luxury properties to budget-friendly options. Some of the top-rated hotels in Girona include Hotel Nord 1901, Hotel Costabella, and Hotel Camiral. You can easily book your stay at these hotels and many others through popular booking sites like Booking.com.

If you’re looking for a more unique or personalized experience, you may want to consider staying at a bed and breakfast or a vacation rental. There are several bed and breakfasts located in the heart of Girona, offering a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Vacation rentals are also a popular choice, with many properties available throughout the city.

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10 Best Things to Do in Girona, Spain

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