Just a short journey from Barcelona lies a picturesque destination with its quaint cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and stunning views. Strategically located between the bustling metropolis, the French border, and the sun-kissed shores of Costa Brava, this charming city is easily accessible via the AVE high-speed train network, allowing you to immerse yourself in its rich history and remarkable beauty.
Indeed, we’re talking about Girona! This gem possesses must-see sights such as the imposing Girona Cathedral, the well-preserved Arab Baths, the enigmatic El Call – Girona’s Jewish Quarter, the vibrant Plaça de la Independència, the tranquil River Onyar with its colorful façades of hanging houses, and lastly, the sprawling city walls awaiting your discovery. With so much culture and history to explore in Girona, you won’t want to miss it!
If you’re still not convinced, consider this: Girona was a major filming location for Game of Thrones! The ancient landmarks and atmospheric settings transformed into key areas within the show’s vast universe – think King’s Landing and Braavos. But whether you’re a fan of this iconic series or not, there’s no denying that Girona holds a magical appeal. Excited yet? Keep on reading to learn more about this beautiful destination.
Girona’s Old Town boasts remarkable sites that unveil its rich past, with five main attractions not to miss. First, walk atop the ancient City Walls for unparalleled views of the city. Next, make a stop at Girona Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture. Don’t miss the Arab Baths, reminiscent of Roman thermal baths, and explore the colorful houses along the River Onyar, known as Cases de l’Onyar. Lastly, stroll through Plaça de la Independencia, an emblematic square teeming with history.
The Jewish Quarter (El Call) brings to light Girona’s vibrant Jewish past. This well-preserved medieval neighborhood is characterized by narrow streets and stone houses. The Museum of Jewish History serves as a focal point in understanding this important aspect of the city’s heritage. Moreover, exploring El Call offers access to several hidden courtyards, secret passageways, and historical landmarks.
Girona hosts several notable museums for those interested in immersing themselves in art and culture. The Art Museum (Museu d’Art de Girona) displays works by renowned Catalan artists from different periods. Explore archaeological treasures at the Archaeological Museum (Museu Arqueologic de Girona) in the former Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants. Discover one-of-a-kind artifacts in the Museum of Cinema (Casa del Cinema), which traces cinema’s history through an extensive collection. Lastly, examine contemporary art exhibits at Fundació Rafael Masó or delve into local history at the History Museum (Museu d’Història de Girona).
Girona is a haven for food lovers, offering countless delicious options that perfectly complement a one-day trip from Barcelona. One restaurant to consider is El Celler de Can Roca (Carrer de Can Sunyer, 46). This restaurant holds three Michelin stars and is known for its innovative and remarkably presented dishes. Other eateries worth trying are Bionbo Café Gastrobar (Carrer del Carme 75) and Massana (Bonastruc de Porta, 10).
If you need a day trip from your day trip, Girona is surrounded by remarkable places. Besalú, a well-preserved medieval town, features cobblestone streets and a striking 12th-century bridge, making it an ideal destination for history enthusiasts. Another interesting spot is the coastal town of Cadaqués, which attracts art lovers with its Salvador Dalí connections and beautiful white houses. Additionally, the stunning volcanic landscapes of La Garrotxa Natural Park offer numerous hiking trails and picturesque views for nature lovers to enjoy while exploring the region.
Getting to Girona
By train: Girona’s main train station is located at Plaça Espanya. This station is an important hub for high-speed trains, including AVE and AVANT services connecting Girona to major destinations like Barcelona and Madrid. From Barcelona, the travel time is approximately 38 minutes on the AVE train, while from Madrid, it takes around 3 hours and 15 minutes. Find cheap train tickets to Girona.
By bus: The primary bus station in Girona is located at Carrer de Joan Maragall, next to the train station. It offers connections to destinations such as Barcelona, the Costa Brava, and the Pyrenees. Travel time from Barcelona to Girona by bus is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
By air: Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRO) serves the city of Girona and is situated about 12 kilometers south of the city center. Several airlines operate flights to and from this airport, including Ryanair, which offers European routes. To reach the city center from the airport, travelers can use the airport bus that connects to Girona’s main bus station or taxis.
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