Girona is 100km north of Barcelona city in the Costa Brava region of Catalunya, Spain. I heard great things about this small city when I was living in Barcelona. It seemed like a wasted opportunity if I didn’t go!
Girona doesn’t push tourism in your face, the architecture is phenomenal, the bars are really casual, and the area is safe. I couldn’t find any negatives!
You can buy a train ticket on the Renfe website or at the ticket booth in Barcelona Sants station. The ticket costs around €26 return, and the journey lasts 40 minutes. This what makes it so perfect for a day trip.
Alternatively, you can take the bus from Barcelona Nord bus station to Girona for €25 return. The journey takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Or why not make a road trip trip out of it? My two friends and I rented a car in the centre of Barcelona and drove north along Costa Brava. We stopped at a few places along the way like Aiguablava, and made Girona our final stop. It cost around €25 each for the day rental.
La Cathedral de Girona
I was happy enough admiring the outside without paying €7 for entry. It all depends on your budget.
Fun Fact: This stunning 11th century church as well as other spots in Girona have appeared in Game of Thrones as Braavos. Look out for it in season 6!
Passeig de la Muralla
Girona has experienced 25 sieges, so it makes sense why they built these huge medieval walls.
Did you bring walking shoes? There’s a really long path along the old walls where you can marvel at the beautiful view of the city and the surrounding mountains. It’s the number one attraction to visit on Tripadvisor, and free!
Tip: Find the staircase at the back of the Cathedral.
Stroll through the cobbled streets of the Jewish quarter for historic ambience. Many scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed here, at locations such as Carrer de la Claveria and the steps of Sant Martí.
You can also find the Jewish museum which displays the morbid history and remnants of the Jewish community. Entry to the museum costs €4 but it’s free on the first Sunday of each month.
If you’re looking for a pinturesque photo opportunity, walk across the bridge which leads into Girona’s old city. The bridge crosses over the
trickle river Onyar with dull pale autumn-shade houses on either side. I genuinely did like this part, but expectations vs. reality may be a let down for some. Visit on a sunny day if you can.
Other Simple Ideas
Like every city in Spain, Girona has a lot of plazas. Take a caña (beer), enjoy authentic tapas and relax.
Chill out in Devesa Park, which is on the side of the bridge opposite to the old city.
Try some gelato in Rocambolesc Gelateria. The three Roca brothers are some of the top chefs in the world, who run El Celler de Can Roca, the world’s second-best
sell-your-kidney-to-pay-for-a-meal-kinda restaurant. The ice cream shop is run by one of the brothers, Jordi Roca, the Willy Wonka of ice cream.
Day Trip or Long Break?
Girona is a small city which means you will probably be able to see the main sites within a day. Once you cross the bridge into the old city, there isn’t much to see apart from the architecture. But if you want to take it slow and relax, it’s worth staying for a night or two!