Girona Travel Guide

The charming Catalan city of Girona lies 90km north of Barcelona. It serves as a gateway to the popular holiday resorts of the Costa Brava as well as being labelled as Barcelona’s secondary airport by some of the budget airlines (Barcelona-Girona) in spite its distance from the regional capital. Many people arrive at Girona airport then immediately rush off to Barcelona city without spending any time in the city which is a shame as Girona has a lot to offer visitors in its own right.

Girona airport lies just 12km from the city and is well served by flights from the UK. On arrival there’s a ‘Barcelonabus’ waiting to take passengers into Barcelona as well as local services operated by Sagalés which offer frequent services to Girona bus station. From the bus station you can walk to most of the city’s main sights and central hotels or take one of the waiting taxis. We tend to stay at the modern Hotel Carlemany on Placa Miquel Santalo which is only a five minute walk from the bus station and allows us to visit all of Girona’s main attractions on foot.

What to do in Girona

The River Onyar winds its way through the heart of the old city with multicoloured apartments looking down on it. Take a stroll across one of the many bridges into the labyrinth of streets that make up what is one of Spain’s best preserved Jewish Quarters. You can walk along the city walls which gives you a great view across the city and towards the Pyrenees mountains in the distance then visit the magnificent Catalan Gothic cathedral which was the site of a mosque under Moorish rule. The Arab baths near the cathedral are well worth a visit as is the Iglesia de San Félix and the fascinating Museum of Jewish History. Ask about the ‘Tiquet M5′ as you pay to enter your first museum you visit as it will give you reduced entrance fees in the others.

Girona

Visit the Jewish Quarter of Girona

There’s a tourist information office on the eastern bank of the river across the Pont de Pedra bridge at Rambla de la Llibertat,1. Pick up your maps and information there then take a stroll along La Rambla which is the social centre of the old town where you’ll find plenty stylish shops and some nice cafés from where to sit and watch the world go by. Wandering around the old streets of the ‘Call’ (Jewish Quarter) you’ll stumble upon a fine selection of stylish bars and restaurants offering fine evening dining and good value ‘menús del día’ at lunchtime. On the other side of the river Plaça Independència is a personal favourite where you’ll find numerous bars and restaurants with outside terraces. It is home to Casa Marieta whose origins can be traced back to 1892 making it the oldest restauarnt in Girona. Dedicated lovers of the finest restaurants should make bookings well in advance of their visit at the incredible El Celler de Can Roca (Can Sunyer 48) which holds three Michelin stars. Creative Catalan cuisine has led to its being voted the best restaurant in the world.

The other major cultural attraction of the region is the town of Figueres which lies 42km north of Girona. This was the birthplace of the much revered Catalan artist Salvador Dali and is home to the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí which houses many of his major works. Figueres is well connected to both Girona and Barcelona by road and rail.