Northeastern Spain’s Girona, or Catalonia as the locals call it, is a vibrant city with a magnificently maintained medieval Old Town. If you enjoy cycling, utilise the town as a base to explore the nearby countryside and the town’s cobblestone streets. It is a terrific city break for a long weekend or might be part of a longer journey to Catalonia because it has its own airport and isn’t too distant from either Barcelona or the Costa Brava.
Below we have listed down a few sites and cafes to help you make the best out of your trip.
Historical Sites and Museums
When visiting Girona, one thing you must do is stroll through the City Walls (Passeig de la Muralla), ideally at dusk with a camera in hand. The greatest views of the spectacular cathedrals, rooftops, and spires of the city may be seen from these open-access walls. From the Jardins de les Pedresres to the ruins of the Torre Gironella, you can stroll along an uninterrupted section of the border for about fifteen minutes.
Sant Pere de Gallagants has a second, smaller section of walls that are as worthwhile of a visit.
Fans of Game of Thrones will recognise the famous Girona Cathedral as the “Great Sept of Baelor.” Visitors swarm to this location to take pictures on the stairs.
The remarkably well-preserved Jewish Quarter (also known as the “Call”) is the most beautiful area in the Old Town. Before the Jews were expelled from Spain, generations of Jews resided here for hundreds of years, possibly as far back as the Roman era.
We suggest spending an hour or two in the Jewish History Museum‘s gorgeously preserved leafy courtyard if you have the time.
Visitors can visit Girona’s ancient Arab Baths as a historical attraction. The structure, which was also used to film Game of Thrones, was divided into bathing areas with various temperatures. Despite being a little structured, it is definitely worth the three euros required for admittance.
Roman Thermal Baths
After visiting the Arab Baths, you might be interested to know that the Aqva Gerunda Roman Baths are an alternative if you want to take a lovely, long dip. You can access soothing saunas (dry and wet) and baths of various degrees in one of the Old Town buildings.
It costs €40 to enter the hot bath circuit, and there are additional fees for massages.
Ancient remains of History
Girona’s close-by Sant Daniel Monastery, an 11th-century nunnery that is still in use today, is accessible on foot.
It’s not exactly a tourist destination per se, as you might expect from a working religious complex, but on Wednesday mornings, a tiny area of the edifice is open for visits and a quick tour (suggested donation, three euros per person). It feels like one has been transported back in time.
The history of moving pictures is the focus of the Cinema Museum. Be aware that the structure is significantly biased in favour of the very early days of cinema, with a brief mention of contemporary films near the end.
Hikes, Bikes and Climbs
With numerous excellent hiking and biking trails leading to and from the city, Girona is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The ascents to Castell de Sant Miquel and Castell de Campdorà are tourist favourite hikes in Girona.
The Cal Mico indoor climbing gym is a must-see for serious climbers. The climbing gym is a short, easy stroll from Girona’s ancient centre. It has many challenging boulder problems and is in excellent shape. After your trek, stop by the cafe inside for an Estrella and some olives.
Best Cafes in Girona’s Old Town
Federal Cafe is a well-liked cafe with a sizable lunch and breakfast menu in Girona’s old town. They have a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options, which is unusual for the area. The pricing are a tad pricey, as is typical of Girona’s old town, but it’s a wonderful alternative for a leisurely brunch.
La Fabrica Girona is a hip, bicycle-themed café with comfortable outside seating and potent coffee. There is a sizable lunch menu with traditional hipster fare and more; examples include pulled pork bagels and avocado toast, all of which are served in stunning Instagram-worthy fashion.
Espresso Mafia is your best bet if you want to be energised immediately. This wonderful bistro is concealed beneath one of the recognisable arches seen throughout Girona’s old town. The helpful and courteous staff will be happy to speak with you about the various coffee beans they have available if you show any interest.
La Communa Cafe is a high-end hipster hangout located close to Girona’s renowned thermal springs. Here, the food tends to be healthier; They serve a delicious breakfast burrito with halloumi and avocado, and they also offer a “green bowl,” and you can ask for your coffee to be served with plant milk.
As you might imagine, we’ve written a great deal of content to help you plan your own trip to the area. And that’s it for our guide to our favourite things to do in Girona! As always, we’re happy to hear your feedback and answer any questions. Just pop them in the comments below.