Girona is a charming city located in northeastern Catalonia. Known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant atmosphere, Girona offers visitors a unique and truly Catalan experience. The city is often referred to as the “City of Four Rivers” due to its picturesque location where the rivers Ter, Onyar, Güell, and Galligants meet. With its medieval walls, narrow streets, and beautiful bridges, Girona exudes an old-world charm that transports you back in time. If you’re looking for the best areas to stay in Girona, you’ve come to the right place.
Accommodation Options in Girona, Spain
Girona’s history dates back to the time of the Romans, who established a fortress on the site of the current Old Town. Over the centuries, the city has been under the rule of various empires and cultures, each leaving its mark on its architecture and cultural heritage. The city’s main attractions can be found in the Ciutat Vella district. The Cathedral of Girona, with its imposing Gothic nave and 90 steps, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. The Jewish Quarter, one of the best-preserved in Europe, offers a glimpse into the city’s Jewish heritage. Girona is also home to the Museu d’Art, which houses an extensive collection of art ranging from medieval to contemporary pieces.
Besides its historical landmarks, Girona boasts several other attractions. The Arab Baths, dating back to the 12th century, provide a unique insight into the city’s Moorish past. The Girona City Walls, which encircle the Old Town, offer panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. For nature lovers, the Parc de la Devesa is a vast green space perfect for leisurely walks or picnics. Girona is also famous among cycling enthusiasts as it serves as a base for exploring the surrounding countryside and as the main gateway to the Costa Brava region.
Girona has a lively and vibrant atmosphere. While it may not be as touristy as Barcelona, it still offers a wide range of activities and experiences. The city’s nightlife scene is thriving, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues. Girona is also a hub for gastronomy, with a wealth of traditional Catalan restaurants and trendy eateries offering a blend of local and international cuisines. The city hosts various festivals and cultural events throughout the year, adding to its allure.
This is just the beginning of your journey to this Catalan town! Keep reading this guide to discover the best areas to stay in Girona and find your ideal accommodation to make the most of your visit to the city.
What’s the Best Area to Stay in Girona, Catalonia?
The best area to stay in Girona is Ciutat Vella. This central district, with its well-preserved medieval character, offers several attractions for history lovers. With numerous quaint shops and boutiques, excellent restaurants serving traditional Catalan cuisine, and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, Ciutat Vella is the perfect location for a trip to Girona.
Best Hotels in Girona’s Old Town (Ciutat Vella)
- Best 4-star hotel: Hotel Nord 1901
- Best 3-star hotel: Peninsular
- Best budget hotel: Casa Cundaro
- Best B&B: Bed & Breakfast Bells Oficis
- Best serviced apartments: Apartaments Catedral – Baltack Homes
Where to Stay in Girona for Sightseeing
- Ciutat Vella, or the Old City, is a maze of narrow, winding streets rich in medieval charm and home to ancient city walls, museums, galleries, and Gothic-style churches. Our favorite hotels in the area include the Hotel Museu Llegendes de Girona and Hotel Nord 1901.
- The AVE railway station area provides convenient access to the high-speed train network to explore the region further. It offers both efficient connectivity and proximity to parks and shopping centers. One of the best-rated properties here is Carlemany Girona.
The Best Areas to Stay in Girona
1. Ciutat Vella
The best area to stay in Girona, Spain
Why is Ciutat Vella the best area to stay in Girona:
- Central location in the city
- Vibrant nightlife scene
- Girona Cathedral and Arab Baths as main attractions
- Luxury shopping options
- High-end hotel accommodations
- Excellent transport links
- Variety of dining options
Ciutat Vella, or the Old Town, is the historic nucleus of Girona. It is situated on the eastern bank of the River Onyar and features a maze of narrow cobblestone streets surrounded by medieval walls. The area is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and cultural heritage, making it an ideal base for those interested in exploring the city.
One of the most significant landmarks in Ciutat Vella is the Girona Cathedral. Its construction began in the 11th century and continued over several centuries, resulting in a mix of architectural styles such as Gothic and Romanesque elements. The cathedral is famous for its impressive nave, which features 22 meter-high columns – the widest Gothic nave in the world.
Another remarkable historical site within Ciutat Vella is the well-preserved Jewish Quarter, El Call. This area was home to a thriving Jewish community between the 12th and 15th centuries and offers a glimpse into their daily life. You can explore the narrow streets and courtyards as well as visit several important sites, such as the Museum of History of Girona and Bonastruc ça Porta Center, which houses the Museum of Jewish History.
The Arab Baths are another notable attraction in Ciutat Vella. While not actually built by Arabs but rather Girona’s Christian rulers in the 12th century, the baths still offer a fascinating insight into ancient bathing rituals and display unique Moorish-influenced architectural elements.
In terms of nightlife, Ciutat Vella offers a relaxed atmosphere with cozy restaurants serving traditional Catalan cuisine as well as some bars that feature live music performances.
Ciutat Vella’s transportation consists mainly of bus lines. The nearby Girona Railway Station provides connections to Barcelona, Madrid, and international destinations via high-speed trains.
Accommodation options within Ciutat Vella are diverse, ranging from small boutique hotels to more luxurious establishments.
Best Hotels in Girona’s Old Town
2. Girona Railway Station
Best-connected area in Girona, Spain
Why is this the best area to stay in Girona:
- Central location
- Best area for business travelers
- Connections to Barcelona, Madrid and France
- Modern hotels
- Excellent transport links
Girona Railway Station is a transportation hub located approximately one kilometer (0.6 miles) south of the historic city center. It connects the region to various domestic and international destinations. As such, it’s a convenient area to stay to access the rest of Girona and beyond.
The area surrounding Girona Railway Station is modern. There are numerous hotels to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly options to business-style accommodations, all within walking distance of the station. The neighborhood provides a selection of restaurants, bars, and shops for travelers.
Girona Railway Station itself functions as an essential hub for regional train services. Passengers can access Rodalies de Catalunya and Media Distancia Regional commuter rail lines for local connections within Catalonia, including Barcelona, Lleida, Figueres, Portbou and the French Border. For longer journeys, Girona Railway Station also serves as a stop on international high-speed train routes connecting major cities like Barcelona and Madrid in Spain and Lyon and Marseille in France through Renfe and SNCF high-speed train services.
Best Hotels near Girona Railway Station
3. Girona Costa Brava International Airport
Best area for a stopover in Girona
Girona-Costa Brava Airport, located approximately 13 kilometers southwest of Girona city and 92 kilometers northeast of Barcelona, serves as a convenient gateway to the Costa Brava region. This airport serves mainly short-haul international flights to European destinations such as Dublin, London, Munich, and Paris. Low-cost airlines, alongside some charter and seasonal flights, also operate here.
There are public buses connecting the airport with key cities like Girona and Barcelona, as well as other parts of the Costa Brava region. Furthermore, taxis and car rentals are available.