When I planned for our trip to Girona earlier this year, there wasn’t much expectations other than the beautiful houses right next to the Onyar River. After spending 2 days in the small city, it is now easily one of my favourite cities in Spain.
Girona is 1 hour away from Barcelona by train so it makes for a good daytrip. However, the 3 of us decided to rent a car even though it cost us about €50 more in total.
Barcelona to Girona – €16.20 x 3 pax = 48.60
Girona to Figueres – €5.45 x 3 pax = 16.35
Figueres to Barcelona – €16 x 3 pax = 48
Leaving luggage at Barcelona train station – say €3 x 3 luggage = 9
Total = €121.95
Car rental (with Sixt Rent-a-car):
VW Polo (auto) – €117.98
Upgraded to: Audi A3 (auto) – €145.05
Diesel – €26.53
Total = €171.58
We had more flexibility with the car and also managed to grab a really nice meal along the way from Girona to Figueres at La Barretina 🙂
We arrived in Girona in the late afternoon and headed straight to the old town for the ice-cream joint Rocambolesc. It is opened by the Roca brothers who own the 3-Michelin stars, best restaurant in the world “El Celler de Can Roca”, which is also in Girona.
They were opened until 8.30pm so we went for a second round after touring around the area 🙂
To me, Girona is quiet, clean and we felt safe wandering around, even along the narrow streets after nightfall. When we were exploring the Old Town, there were only a handful people walking around wherever we were.
Also, because the buildings in the Old Town are so old, it literally felt like we were walking along the streets in the medieval times!
Did I also mention Girona is one of the shooting locations of Games of Thrones? I have no doubt why they chose this place, it is so charming!
We were the last visitors of the day to the Banys Àrabs but we were not rushed at all. It cost €2 for adult or €1 for students, children and people over age of 65. The baths were modelled on earlier Muslim and Roman bathhouses and are well preserved. The architecture clearly shows Arabic and Christianity influences.
One other famous structure here is the Eiffel Bridge (Pont Eiffel). This is constructed by Gustave Eiffel just before the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The old Jewish Quarter in Girona or Call is one of the best preserved in Europe. The narrow, steep and windy streets are so old it’s beautiful!
There is a Museum of Jewish History here which allows one to get an insight of the history of the Jewish community of Catalonia. Girona is probably the most important place for the Jews because their population and power expanded when they were here during the 12th and 13th centuries.
The Cathedral of Girona is the province’s, and perhaps one of the world’s, most important Gothic monument. It includes the widest Gothic nave in the world and the second widest of any church after that of St. Peter’s Basilica (in the Vatican).
A small bonus for Games of Thrones fans – can you spot the Cathedral of Girona from the season 6 trailer?
If you are in Barcelona or in the Costa Brava area, I would recommend a trip to Girona. I spent 2 days there and it wasn’t quite enough to take it all in. I would really love to go back!
Would you put Girona on your travel list now?