Are you planning to visit this beautiful city and you’re wondering what are the best things to do in Girona? This medieval city in the heart of Catalonia has so much to offer, for all tastes and interests. Whether you’re interested in history, gastronomy, relaxation, city life or nature, a weekend getaway or a day trip to Girona makes the perfect trip from Barcelona.
Get lost in its labyrinth of streets, enjoy a walk by the river, make a stop at its amazing Cathedral and be delighted by quality local cuisine, in a city between the mountains and the sea, between tradition and modernity. Are you ready to visit Girona? Then let’s take a look at the top things to do in Girona.
How To Get From Barcelona To Girona
The best way to go from Barcelona to Girona is definitely by train: you leave from Barcelona’s city center and arrive at the heart of Girona, without having to worry about driving, parking, and highway tolls. You’re not gonna need the car much if you’re only planning to see the city of Girona anyway! The journey on the high speed train (AVE), departing from Barcelona Sants train station, takes 38 minutes and return tickets start at 25 EUR.
Another option to get from Barcelona to Girona is by car. The drive to Girona takes about and hour and ten minutes and it’s very easy to reach with the AP-7 highway. The advantage of visiting Girona by car is that you can explore the surrounding area, and it’s especially useful if you would also like to discover the beautiful beaches of the Costa Brava!
With a tour
There are also organized trips from Barcelona, which is a good option if you don’t want to stress over the organization and finding your way around. Tihis way, you’ll be able to make the most of your visit to Girona, and explore as much as possible. Click here to book your tour to Girona from Barcelona.
Top Things To See In Girona
This is definitely Girona’s most visited landmark, so make sure to make a stop! Built on the highest point of the city, Saint Mary’s Cathedral shows a mix of romanic and gothic styles. Girona’s Cathedral was built between the 11th and 18th century, and it features the world’s widest nave. The cathedral can be visited daily, tickets cost 7€, and opening times vary depending on the season. Click here to check opening times and tickets.
Girona’s Old Wall
For the best views of the city and the Pyrenees climb up this ancient wall, which is 3 km long and takes you on a scenic walk surrounded by beautiful gardens. It’s a great way to explore the city from a different point of view! Girona’s wall was built throughout many centuries, starting with a roman wall built here in the first century B.C. There are different itineraries that you can take to visit Girona’s old wall, and the walk along the whole wall takes around two hours.
El Call, the Jewish Quarter
A labyrinth of cobblestone alleys, Girona’s El Call is one of the world’s best preserved jewish quarters. Girona’s Jewish Quarter is definitely worth a visit, as it offers a lot of history and insights into past life in Girona and the life of the jewish community here. In this area you’ll also find many pretty little restaurants and cafes, so it’s the perfect place to make a lunch stop before you continue exploring Girona.
Jewish History Museum
In the heart of Girona’s Jewish Quarter you’ll find the Jewish History museum, located in the city’s old synagogue dating back to the 15th century. In this museum you’ll learn about not only the history of Girona’s jewish population, but that of all of Catalonia, where Jewish populations made big contributions during the Middle Ages. The museum is open every day and entrance costs 4€.
The first thing you should do when you arrive to Girona is head for a walk by the Onyar river, which divides the city in half and is crossed by many bridges. The colorful houses on the sides, with the cathedral rising above them all, make a beautiful frame to this city and are the most famous postcard of Girona.
Sant Pere de Galligants
Sant Pere de Galligants is an old benedictine monastery, dating back to at least the 10th century. The monastery is one of the best examples of Catalan romanic style. The main nave, the cloister, and the elaborate details at Sant Pere de Galligants are truly beautiful.
Nowadays, Sant Pere de Galligants is home to Girona’s archaeology museum, another good reason to visit this interesting landmark in Girona. The museum is open to the public every day from Tuesday to Sunday, and tickets cost 6€ (free entrance the first Sunday of the month).
Girona’s Arab Baths
Don’t be confused by their name: Girona’s “arab” baths were actually built by christians in the 12th century, imitating the style of traditional arab and roman baths. They only started to be called “arab baths” during the 19th century, and they indeed resemble northern African baths.
The baths are divided in five chambers: the changing room, the cold water room, the warm room, the hot room, and the oven room. You can visit Girona’s Arab Baths every day, and the entrance fee is 2€.
Temps de Flors Flower Festival
Every year in May the city celebrates spring and flowers, and it is possible to admire beautiful installations and events all around the city. The event is called Temps de Flors, and it attracts big crowds who come to marvel at the city’s streets full of flowers and art.
Apart from flowers and art installations, during Temps de Flors there are many special activities going on such as markets and concerts. Some of the must-see spaces during Temps de Flors include the city’s Arab Baths, the cathedral, Sant Feliu, Sant Nicolau, and Plaça dels Jurats.
Basilica of Sant Feliu
Sant Feliu is a basilica which functioned as Girona’s cathedral until the 10th century. It’s Girona’s oldest church, and as such, a really interesting landmark to visit during your trip to Girona. This gothic church also houses eight roman and paleochristian sarcophagi, which were found when the church was being built. The Basilica of Sant Feliu is open to visitors every day, and the entrance fee is 7€.
Top Things To Do In Girona
Game of Thrones tour
Did you know that part of Game of Thrones’ sixth season was shot in Girona? In fact, if you pay attention you’ll find Girona’s streets and cathedral on 8 out of 10 episodes of that season. If you’re a fan of the show, then you definitely shouldn’t miss doing a tour of Game of Thrones shooting locations around Girona: click here to book your tickets!
Join a walking tour
Would you like to explore as much as possible from Girona, but without getting lost and making sure you tick off the best places to see in Girona? Then you should consider joining a walking tour! Walking tours are my favorite way to explore cities, this way you make sure you don’t miss any important landmarks, plus you’ll get the chance to ask your guide any questions and get lots of invaluable tips.
Visit Figueres and the Dali Museum from Girona
If you’re visiting Girona for more than a day, then you should consider visiting Figueres, a small city 45 minutes away from Girona, home to Dali’s Museum. The visit to the museum is a fascinating experience, since, of course, there’s no way that anyone could ever find the surreal artist’s museum and work to be a boring museum at all. The museum is open every day (except for Mondays during low season), and tickets cost 15€.
Combine your trip to Girona with a visit to Costa Brava
The province of Girona is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Catalonia and Spain (and, why not—in the whole world!) This is why, if you’re visiting Girona in the summer, you should combine it with a trip to the beautiful beaches on the Costa Brava. If you’d like to know more, here’s my list of the 20 best beaches in the Costa Brava, including all the details you know to choose your perfect beach destination this summer!
If you’re interested in learning more about Girona’s old Jewish Quarter, then this tour is will be perfect for you! Wandering around the little streets of the Jewish Quarter is one thing, but it’s a completely different experience to walk around with a knowledgeable guide who will tell you all the details about this special area of the city and make you travel back in time! Click here to learn more about the Jewish Heritage guided city tour and book your spot!
Join a “witches and ghosts” tour
If the idea of a conventional tour bores you, then why not join a different tour where you’ll get to see the city from a different angle—and have lots of fun! This witches and ghosts tour of Girona will take you around the city’s secret spots surrounded by mystery and legends.
Best Restaurants In Girona
The cuisine of Girona reflects the convergence of mountain and sea. Savory delights include anchovies, botifarra sausage, mashed cabbage and potatoes and a series of dishes that will surprise many by its combination of ingredients called mar i muntanya, normally a stew made with seafood and meat such as sausage, chicken or pork. For a sweet treat, you should definitely try xuxos, a fried pastry filled with cream.
El Celler de Can Roca
A must for food enthusiasts is the acclaimed Michelin-star restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, which has been declared the world’s best restaurant in more than one occasion.
Address: Carrer de Can Sunyer, 48, 17007 Girona
Price: €€€ / €€€
This Michelin-star restaurant is a little bit closer to the city center, and also an amazing choice for those looking for the best cuisine in Girona. At Massana everything is made with local ingredients, and traditional catalan dishes are given a contemporary twist.
Address: Carrer Bonastruc de Porta, 10, 17006 Girona
Price: €€€ / €€€
Bionbo Cafe Gastrobar
Bionbo Cafe Gastrobar is located next to the river and serves healthy, colorful, and original dishes made mostly with local and organic products.
Address: Carrer del Carme, 75, 17004 Girona
Price: €€ / €€€
In the heart of Girona’s old center you’ll find Divinum, an excellent restaurant serving Catalan cuisine made with top-quality ingredients and beautifully presented.
Address: Carrer de l’Albereda, 7, 17004 Girona España
Price: €€€€ / €€€€€
For a really laid-back experience head to El Vermutet, the ideal place to indulge in tapas in Girona’s old city center. If you haven’t tried vermouth yet, make sure to order a glass of this typical Catalan drink made with wine and herbs—it’s the perfect aperitif!
Address: Carrer Bonaventura Carreras I Peralta, 9, 17004 Girona
Price: € / €€€€€
Why Not Stay? Best Hotels In Girona
A day trip to Girona from Barcelona is a great idea, but one day may not be enough to really get to experience this fascinating city. If you would like to take more time to explore Girona, these are some of the best hotels in Girona which have caught my eye—and my heart.
Offering self-catered apartments in a traditional stone building, AS Palau dels Alemanys is the perfect place to stay and enjoy the medieval atmosphere of Girona. Click here for more information and to book your stay.
Located on the hills surrounding the city, this bed & breakfast has a lot of charm and is the perfect choice for a relaxing stay close both to the city and the surrounding natural landscape. Click here to book your stay now.
Nord 1901 is a 4-star boutique hotel located in the heart of Girona’s old center, surrounded by the city’s most beautiful and oldest buildings. The rooms are modern and comfortable, and the hotel features a peaceful garden with a pool. Click here to book your room.
Liked this post? Pin it and save it for later!