Girona Travel Guide

Welcome to our Girona travel guide, the ultimate resource for exploring this charming city. Nestled in the heart of Catalonia, Girona offers a host of activities and attractions for all travellers. From strolling through the medieval streets of the medieval Jewish quarter to admiring the breathtaking views from the city walls, Girona promises a memorable experience.

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Things to do in Girona

Girona, a charming city in Catalonia, Spain, is a place rich in history, culture, and stunning architecture. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, Girona has something to offer. Here are some of the best things to do when visiting this beautiful city.

Dive into the rich history and culture of the city as you explore iconic landmarks like the Girona Cathedral and the Arab Baths. Indulge in the vibrant culinary scene, savoring traditional Catalan dishes at charming local restaurants. And don’t miss the opportunity to relax and unwind on the stunning beaches along the Costa Brava, such as Playa de Aiguablava and Cala Sa Boadella. With its captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, Girona invites you to embark on an unforgettable journey.

Explore the Girona Cathedral

The Girona Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona, is a must-visit landmark. This stunning cathedral, perched atop a grand staircase, offers breathtaking views of the city. Its unique blend of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architectural styles makes it a fascinating site for history and architecture enthusiasts.

Inside, you’ll find the widest Gothic nave in the world, along with beautiful chapels, a magnificent altar, and the famous Tapestry of Creation. Don’t forget to climb the bell tower for a panoramic view of Girona’s old town and surrounding countryside.

Wander Through the Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter, or El Call, is one of the best-preserved medieval Jewish quarters in Europe. Its narrow, winding streets and charming courtyards offer a glimpse into Girona’s rich history. Stroll through the labyrinthine alleys and discover hidden gems, including historic buildings and small artisan shops.

Visit the Museum of Jewish History to learn about the Jewish community that thrived in Girona during the Middle Ages. The museum’s exhibits include artifacts, documents, and reconstructions that provide a fascinating insight into the lives of Girona’s Jewish residents.

Walk the City Walls

For spectacular views of Girona and a dose of medieval history, take a walk along the city walls. These ancient walls date back to Roman times and were expanded during the medieval period. The well-preserved paths offer stunning vistas of the old town, the cathedral, and the surrounding landscape. Visit Barcelona!

The walls are accessible from several points in the city, and the walk is relatively easy, making it a great activity for visitors of all ages. Along the way, you’ll find several towers and viewpoints where you can stop and take in the scenery.

Discover the Arab Baths

The Arab Baths, or Banys Àrabs, are another fascinating historical site in Girona. These well-preserved baths date back to the 12th century and are inspired by Roman and Moorish designs. The baths were used for public bathing and socializing and offer a unique glimpse into medieval life in Girona.

Explore the different rooms, including the frigidarium (cold room), tepidarium (warm room), and caldarium (hot room). The central domed room, supported by slender columns, is particularly striking and makes for great photo opportunities.

Visit the Cinema Museum

Film buffs will love the Cinema Museum, also known as the Museum of Cinema – Tomàs Mallol Collection. This unique museum showcases the history of cinema through an extensive collection of film-related artifacts, including early cameras, projectors, posters, and movie memorabilia.

The museum’s interactive exhibits and displays make it an engaging experience for visitors of all ages. Learn about the evolution of film technology, the pioneers of cinema, and the art of filmmaking. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and film screenings.

Stroll Along the Onyar River

The Onyar River runs through the heart of Girona, and its picturesque riverside is perfect for a leisurely stroll. The colorful houses lining the riverbanks, known as the Casas Colgadas, are one of the city’s most iconic sights. These vibrant buildings create a beautiful contrast with the clear blue waters of the river.

Cross one of the many charming bridges, such as the Eiffel Bridge, designed by Gustave Eiffel before he built the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. The river area is also home to numerous cafes and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy the view.

Enjoy Local Cuisine

No visit to Girona would be complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Girona is a culinary hotspot, home to numerous excellent restaurants in Barcelona, including the world-renowned El Celler de Can Roca. Whether you’re looking for fine dining or casual eateries, Girona has something to satisfy every palate.

Try traditional Catalan dishes like escudella (a hearty stew), suquet de peix (fish stew), and crema catalana (a creamy dessert). Visit the local markets, such as the Mercat del Lleó, to sample fresh produce, cheeses, and cured meats.

Girona is a city that effortlessly blends history, culture, and modernity. With its rich heritage, stunning architecture, and vibrant culinary scene, there’s no shortage of things to do and see. Whether you’re exploring ancient landmarks or enjoying a meal by the river, Girona is sure to captivate and enchant you.

Best places to visit in Girona

The 7 best Girona Beaches

Girona, nestled in the Catalonia region of Spain, is not only known for its rich history and stunning architecture but also for its breathtaking beaches. Whether you’re looking for a serene escape or a vibrant seaside adventure, Girona’s coastline has something for everyone. Here are some of the best beaches you shouldn’t miss on your visit.

Playa de Aiguablava

Playa de Aiguablava is on the Costa Brava. Known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and fine golden sand, this beach is perfect for a relaxing day in the sun. The shallow waters make it ideal for families with children, while the surrounding cliffs provide a picturesque backdrop.

The beach is equipped with all necessary amenities, including restaurants, showers, and sunbed rentals. Don’t miss dining at one of the beachfront restaurants where you can savor fresh seafood with a view of the bay. The calm waters are also perfect for snorkeling, allowing you to explore the underwater world filled with colorful fish.

Cala Sa Boadella

Cala Sa Boadella is one of those beaches that offer a perfect blend of natural beauty and tranquility. It’s a small cove surrounded by pine forests and rugged cliffs, giving it a secluded feel. The beach’s natural charm is enhanced by its clear waters and soft sand, making it a favorite among locals and tourists seeking a peaceful retreat.

Due to its somewhat hidden location, Cala Sa Boadella is less crowded than other beaches, providing a more intimate beach experience. It’s an excellent spot for sunbathing, swimming, and even a bit of nudism, as part of the beach is designated for naturists.

Playa de Pals

Playa de Pals is a long, sandy beach that stretches over three and a half kilometers, offering plenty of space for everyone. The beach is characterized by its fine, golden sand and clear, shallow waters, making it ideal for families and water sports enthusiasts.

On windy days, Playa de Pals is a popular spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The beach is also equipped with several facilities, including bars, restaurants, and rental shops for beach equipment. The nearby dunes and pine forests add to the scenic beauty of the area, providing excellent opportunities for hiking and exploring.

Cala Montjoi

Cala Montjoi is famously known as the former home of El Bulli, one of the world’s most famous restaurants. This beautiful cove is surrounded by rocky cliffs and lush greenery, creating a stunning natural landscape. The beach itself is composed of pebbles and sand, with crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Cala Montjoi is relatively quiet and uncrowded, offering a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle. There are picnic areas and a small beach bar where you can enjoy refreshments while taking in the beautiful surroundings. The underwater landscape is particularly fascinating, making it a popular spot for diving enthusiasts.

Playa de Tamariu

Playa de Tamariu is a picturesque beach located in a charming fishing village. The beach is known for its clear blue waters and fine, white sand. It’s a great spot for families due to its calm waters and the availability of various amenities, including restaurants, showers, and sunbeds.

The village of Tamariu adds to the beach’s charm, with its whitewashed houses and quaint streets. After a day at the beach, take a stroll through the village and enjoy a meal at one of the local seafood restaurants. The beach is also a great starting point for coastal walks, offering stunning views of the rugged coastline.

Playa de Sant Pol

Playa de Sant Pol, located in the town of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, is a beautiful crescent-shaped beach with golden sand and calm waters. The beach is backed by a lovely promenade lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, making it a lively spot for both relaxation and entertainment.

The shallow waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, while the beach itself is ideal for sunbathing and beach sports. The area is well-equipped with amenities, including showers, toilets, and sunbed rentals. For a unique experience, try one of the pedal boats or kayaks available for rent.

Cala s’Alguer

Cala s’Alguer is a small, secluded cove that feels like a hidden paradise. Surrounded by pine trees and traditional fishermen’s huts, this beach offers a unique and tranquil setting. The beach is made up of pebbles and sand, with clear waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

This cove is less commercialized, providing a more authentic and serene beach experience. It’s an excellent spot for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy nature. The area is also great for hiking, with several trails leading to other nearby coves and scenic viewpoints.

Each of these beaches offers something unique, making Girona a fantastic destination for beach lovers. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a bit of both, Girona’s coastline won’t disappoint. So pack your beach gear and get ready to explore some of the best beaches in Catalonia!

Faqs about the trip to Girona

Girona has a variety of accommodations to suit your needs. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay in a boutique hotel, a cozy bed and breakfast in the old town, or a budget-friendly hostel, Girona has it all. If you want to be close to the action, I recommend staying in the historic city center.

You can see the main attractions of Girona in a day, but to really soak up the atmosphere, I’d suggest spending 2-3 days. This way, you can explore the historic sites, enjoy the local cuisine, and take some leisurely walks along the city walls and the Onyar River.

Girona is a foodie’s paradise! For traditional Catalan cuisine, try “El Celler de Can Roca,” which is often ranked among the best restaurants in the world. For something more casual, head to “La Fabrica” for great coffee and brunch. Don’t forget to try the local pastries at “Casa Moner.”

The best time to visit Girona is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October). The weather is pleasant, and there are fewer tourists compared to the summer months. Plus, if you visit in May, you can enjoy the Temps de Flors, Girona’s famous flower festival.

Girona is great for outdoor enthusiasts! You can cycle along the Via Verde, a scenic route perfect for biking. If you enjoy hiking, the Sant Miquel Castle offers stunning views of the city. Kayaking on the Ter River is also a fun way to see the area from a different perspective.

Getting to Girona from Barcelona is super easy. You can take a high-speed train from Barcelona Sants station, and you’ll be in Girona in about 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can drive, which takes around 1.5 hours, or catch a bus if you prefer a more budget-friendly option.