From lively Barcelona to island paradises like Mallorca and the Grand Canaries to the cities of Andalusia, Spain is awesome. It’s one of my favorite countries in the world and one of the most budget friendly in Europe.
But there is one city that captures my love of the country the most: Girona.
Home to just over 100,000 people and only 45 minutes from Barcelona, Girona is home to a well-preserved Jewish quarter, winding streets, and a walkable medieval city wall. Throw in lots of green space, colorful buildings, and perfect weather, Girona is one of my favorite places in Spain
Girona is more famous today thanks to being filmed there but this tiny city only 30 minutes from Barcelona remains somewhat off the beaten track and free of the crowds that make Barcelona unbearable sometimes. There’s good food, lots to do, and lovely people. I can’t sing the city’s praises enough.
To help you make the most of your trip, here are my top things to see and do in Girona.
Girona’s Old Quarter (Barri Vell) sits beside the River Onyar. This neighborhood is home to some of Girona’s most popular and well-preserved. Filled with medieval architecture, colorful old homes, and picturesque bridges but without the crowds of Barcelona, this is my favorite area to wander around.
You can explore it yourself and enjoy getting lost, but before also check out the tours Girona Walks offers, so you can learn more about this section of town and how it has evolved over the centuries.
Built between the early centuries, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona towers over the city. It’s the second widest in the world, almost 23m (75 feet) across — only St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is wider. (It was also featured in )
The interior isn’t particularly ornate and has a bit of an austere feel to it, but it’s peaceful, and there’s a lot of information and a good audio guide available
These preserved public baths were built in early age. Their Romanesque style was inspired by similar and was built in response to Girona’s growing population and the need to improve hygiene.While you can’t actually use the baths, you can take a self-guided tour to see what bathing was like in the Middle Ages. The building is covered by a large vaulted ceiling and includes a cold-water bath, a hot-water bath, and changing rooms.
The Palanques Vermelles Bridge, also known as the Eiffel Bridge, was built by just before the construction of his most famous work, the Eiffel Tower. Located over the Onyar River, it’s a great place to get some pics of the Old Town’s colorful buildings. I try to cross this bridge often, simply because the view is so nice!
Lined by gorgeous neoclassical, baroque, and Gothic buildings, this is the main pedestrian street in town. The street dates back and is full of shops. There’s also a flower market on Saturdays.
Girona’s unique and rich culture, so much delicious food, and stunning architecture. A lot of people make it a day trip from Barcelona but I’d recommend spending at least one night here. There’s plenty to keep you busy.