Girona in the Costa Brava is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and is a great place to explore. What are the best things to do in Girona? You can read it in this article.
Why should you visit Girona?
Do you like old towns full of beautiful sights and narrow streets? Then Girona is a must-see for you! Girona (in Spanish the city is called Gerona) is located in the northeast of Spain, about a hundred kilometers above Barcelona in the Catalonia region.
Girona has a beautiful historic center that is partly located on a hill. Two rivers run right through the city: the Ter and the Onyar. As a result, you will see many narrow and steep streets full of stairs in the center. Girona is a wonderful place to get lost for a day and thus discover the most beautiful places.
Things to do in Girona
What are the best sights in Girona? These are the best places to visit:
La Catedral de Santa Maria
The most notable structure in the city is La Catedral de Santa Maria. A beautiful white church that may be very familiar to Game of Thrones fans. It was in fact the setting of the Sept of Baelor in season six.
The cathedral has a very interesting architectural style and inside the church, you will find the widest Gothic nave in the world. In the cathedral is a small museum where you can admire various art treasures, such as the enormous Tapestry of Creation.
Walk on the city walls (Passeig de la Muralla)
In the old town of Girona you will find remains of the old city walls. Part of it has been restored and therefore it is now a great place for a walk. From the wall, you also have a completely different view of the city. Be careful where you walk, because not every part of the wall is safely restored.
The colorful houses along the Riu Onyar
If you walk from the station to the old town of Girona, you will soon cross one of the bridges over the Riu Onyar. From here you have a beautiful view of the colorful houses, the cathedral, and the tower of Sant Feliu de Girona.
You can actually visit the white house in the photo above. That is Casa Maso and it was designed by the architect Rafael Maso. He was a big fan of Antonio Gaudí (the architect of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, among others) and that is reflected in his designs.
Placa del Independencia
The Placa del Independencia (Independence Square) is one of the most beautiful squares in Girona. It is quite large and surrounded by tall buildings with arches. Below you will find many restaurants with terraces, making this a very good place to relax with a bite and a drink during your city trip in Girona.
Discover El Call, the Jewish Quarter
El Call, the Jewish quarter, can be found near the cathedral of Girona. Many Jews lived in this district between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, who were then forced to leave. Initially, parts of the neighborhood were demolished, but it has now been restored to its former state.
You won’t find any cars here in El Call, because the streets are extremely narrow and you’ll have to climb many stairs. It’s a gorgeous part of town. You will find several cozy restaurants and small boutique shops here.
TIP: Various scenes for Game of Thrones were also recorded in El Call. Discover all the Game of Thrones filming locations in Girona with a special guided tour.
Pont de Pedra
The Pont de Pedra is a striking stone bridge from the nineteenth century and is one of the most important bridges in Girona. This bridge is probably one of the first interesting landmarks you’ll see when you walk from the station to the city. From here you have a beautiful view of the old town and the Riu Onyar.
Sant Feliu de Girona
In addition to La Catedral de Santa Maria, Girona has another striking building: the white tower of Sant Feliu de Girona. This basilica is worth a visit because it has different architectural styles. It was built between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries and in the church, you’ll notice the difference between the architectural styles in those centuries.
In addition, there are a few special sarcophagi from the third and fourth centuries and the chapel of Sant Narcís, the former patron saint of Girona, is also very beautiful to see.
The best day trips from Girona
Do you have some more time? Girona is in a beautiful location to discover other places in Catalonia. These three places are worth visiting as a day trip from Girona.
Figueres is located about 40 kilometers (half an hour by train) north of Girona. It is a small town that is amazing to explore and has a very important tourist attraction: Teatre-Museu Dalí.
Designed by the world-famous artist Salvador Dalí, this museum (or theater) is full of his surrealist works. You don’t necessarily have to love paintings, the whole museum is a sight to see and you constantly discover new crazy things.
TIP The line for Teatre-Museu Dalí can be very long. Buy your tickets in advance, so you can skip the line.
I myself visited Girona as a day trip from the town of Llançà, where I stayed for a week with my family. Llançà is a lovely town on the coast, with a beautiful old center full of nice restaurants. In addition, there is a large marina and many coves with beaches. There are also many great hiking trails in the vicinity of Llançà, for example in the Serra des Rodes (for the best views) or you can hike a section of the Camí de Ronda.
Casa-Museu Salvador Dalí in Port Lligat
The last tip on this list of the best things to do in Girona is once again connected by Salvador Dalí. In Port Lligat, a tiny village next to Cadaqués, there is one of the most special buildings in all of Spain: the house of Salvador Dalí.
Casa-Museu Salvador Dalí can only be visited with a guided tour, so make a reservation beforehand. Therefore it feels like a private visit. In the house, you immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Dalí, every item in the house is a bit strange. A unique place that you really must visit once in your life.
Book a trip to Girona
Would you like to book a trip to Girona and the Costa Brava?
- Reserveer je treintickets via Rail Europe.
- You can find the cheapest flights via Skyscanner. There is an airport south of Girona (Girona-Costa Brava), but you can also fly into Barcelona and then take the train to Girona.
- The best hotels and apartments can be found via Booking.com. For a more affordable stay, check Hostelworld for a bed in a hostel.
- For a good combination deal for airline tickets and hotels, check out Love Holidays.
- Discover Girona by bike with a tour from Baja Bikes.
More tips for a trip to the Costa Brava
Besides Girona, there are more beautiful places to be found in the Spanish Costa Brava and Catalonia. Read all about this beautiful area in these travel guides:
You can also find more information about a trip to Spain on this website. For example, also read these articles:
- 9 fun things to do in Barcelona
- 16 great things to do in Seville
- The best things to do in Gran Canaria
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