15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (2023)

The capital of its own province in northeast Catalonia, Girona is a sublime medieval city with one of Spain’s last surviving Jewish quarters.

From Napoleon to the Moors 800 years earlier, a lot of people have wanted to get their hands on Girona.

The city has faced 25 sieges in its history, which explains why it is completely surrounded by high fortifications that are still standing today.

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones you’ll have seen Girona’s dignified grey stone streets in Season Six when it appears as Braavos.

Lets explore the best things to do in Girona:

1. Wall Walk

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (1)Source: flickr

Girona’s imperious walls were first built by the Romans but were expanded in the time of Charlemagne in the early 800s and then enlarged again in the 14th century.

They are in a good state today following restoration work, and you can set off on a walk along the ramparts around nearly the whole of the old quarter.

There are regular watchtowers with stairways up to the best vantage points to see Girona’s skyline.

Where the walkway tapers it may feel a bit precarious at times, but you’ll be perfectly safe with good walking shoes, and at intervals you can head back down to street level and take a break in a shaded garden.

2. Girona Cathedral

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (2)Source: flickr

One of the most majestic scenes in the city is the view from the bottom of the stairway at Plaça de la Catedral up to this almost-monolithic building and its baroque facade.

The cathedral combines architectural styles from several periods: The main layout is gothic; in fact it has the widest gothic nave of any church in the world, and the second largest of all behind St.

Peter’s Basilica.

There are also earlier romanesque flourishes, like the original bell-tower with its narrow twin-arches and the cloister, both of which are from the 1100s.

(Video) Girona Travel Vlog 🇪🇸 BEST Barcelona Day Trip in Catalonia, Spain (Game of Thrones was filmed here)

You have to stop by the museum to see the Tapestry of Creation, dating to the 1000s and comparable to the Bayeux Tapestry for historical importance.

3. El Call

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (3)Source: flickr

When you consider that Spain’s Jews were expelled by the Catholic Monarchs way back at the end of the 15th century it’s remarkable that so much of Girona’s Jewish Quarter should still be here.

This ghetto took shape around the 1100s and was developed over the next 300 years, becoming one of the largest in Spain.

At its peak Girona had one of medieval Europe’s most important Kabbalistic schools, where a host of important Jewish thinkers and poets lived.

It’s a very photogenic area, with stone walls and crevasse-like alleys with stairways and secret gardens.

Stop at the Museum of Jewish History to get some context about Girona’s historic Jewish community.

4. Museum of Jewish History

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (4)Source: gotosefarad

This attraction in El Call sheds more light on what life was like in the Girona’s Jewish quarter, and you’ll also find out about the role the Jewish community had in the city’s medieval development.

This is done with the help of contemporary documents and with artefacts discovered during excavations in El Call.

The museum has eleven galleries in all, including the Synagogue where there’s a 14th-century stone etching in Hebrew invoking the Psalm of David.

There’s also a section devoted to Jewish burial rites, with two preserved tombstones recovered from a site to the north of the city.

5. Church of Sant Feliu

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (5)Source: flickr

Set on a Roman road, there has been a Christian building here since the 500s and Sant Feliu was also the city’s cathedral up to the 900s.

The design now is gothic but with a romanesque layout.

The church’s gothic tower is especially striking as you cross the Onyar on the Pont de Sant Feliu: It culminates with a flat edge instead of a point.

(Video) BARCELONA, SPAIN (2023) | 15 Awesome Things To Do In & Around Barcelona

Inside you’ve got to check out the eight Roman and early-Christian sarcophagi, dating to between the years 200 and 400. Also in the church is the Chapel of San Narcisco where the remains of this 4th-century martyr persecuted by Emperor Diocletian are kept.

His tomb, made in the middle ages, is a marvellous work of gothic art.

6. Arab Baths

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (6)Source: flickr

Found not far from the cathedral, these baths would have been outside the city walls until Girona developed around them.

Despite the name this bathing complex actually has medieval, romanesque origins and follows the Moorish and Greco-Roman traditions, with a frigidarium (cold room), tepidarium (warm bath) and caldarium (steam room). The most beautiful section is the apodyterium (changing room), where there’s an octagonal pool surrounded by eight columns topped with ornately carved capitals supporting horseshoe arches.

7. Rambla de la Llibertat

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (7)Source: flickr

A marked change from the sense of confinement on the corridor-like streets of the old quarter, Girona’s Rambla de la Llibertat is a wide and elegant pedestrian boulevard parallel to the Onyar, a place for locals and visitors to shop, meet up and go for a coffee.

You can also pay a visit to the flower market held here on Saturdays.

Its current layout dates to 1885 when the trees were planted and the path broadened by demolishing a few buildings.

Today there are still gothic, baroque and some neoclassical buildings surviving, and a long arcade to help you hide from the sun in summer.

8. Plaça de la Independència

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (8)Source: wikimedia

Also the nerve centre of everyday life in Girona is this 19th-century square in the Mercadal district.

It’s almost completely enclosed by arcades and the outdoor tables of restaurants and bars where friends meet up to chat.

You can acquaint yourself with the city’s history by inspecting the arches of these neoclassical apartment buildings: They are dedicated to the people who helped defend Girona during the sieges by the French in 1808 and 1809. Also in their honour is the monument at the centre of the plaza erected in 1896.

9. Archaeology Museum

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (9)Source: girona

Girona’s branch of the Museum of Catalonia has an atmospheric home in the 12th-century Benedictine monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants.

So it goes without saying that you’ll lose plenty of time investigating all the historic details here, like the beautifully carved capitals on the arches in the cloister.

(Video) 11 Things You Should NOT Do in Spain!

The monastery was confiscated by the state in 1835 and the museum was founded here in 1846, harmonising neatly with its solemn location.

There are pieces from prehistory up to the arrival of the Visigoths, and a host of thrilling finds made at the Roman and Ancient Greek site at Empúries, including tableware, glassware and mosaics.

10. Film Museum

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (10)Source: wikipedia

This enthralling museum is concerned less with the movie business today and more about the evolution of moving photography.

You’ll start way back in medieval times with magic lanterns and camera obscura, and the pace picks up in the 19th-century with the arrival of photography and the inventions made by the likes of the Lumière brothers.

Many of these objects are on display, either as preserved artefacts or faithful reproductions.

So you’ll browse a payload of historic filmmaking and screening equipment, and find out about the ingenious minds that created them.

There are also some great bits of movie memorabilia, like James Dean’s boots in Rebel Without a Cause and a lamp from Rick’s Bar in Casablanca.

11. Modernist and Noucentist Architecture

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (11)Source: flickr

Another period that gave Girona beautiful architecture was the early 20th century.

The best expression of this time is the colourful apartment buildings that crowd the waterfront on the Onyar River.

Your tour of Girona’s turn-of-the-century works should include the Farinera Teixidor on Carrer Santa Eugènia, a palatial home built by the feted local architect Rafael Masó in 1910 and inspired by Antoni Gaudí and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Casa Masó, the architect’s riverfront birthplace that he renovated as an adult, is also a delight and is open to the public for tours.

12. Gastronomy

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (12)Source: flickr

You can’t talk about Girona’s food scene without mentioning El Celler de Can Roca, rated as one of best restaurants in the world every year since 2011. Run by the three Roca brothers it has picked up the mantle from elBulli, Ferran Adrià’s restaurant, which was in nearby Roses until it closed in 2011. Girona is also on the edge of the D.O. Empordà wine region, with an abundance of wineries open for tours, and several villages producing cava.

Closer to home is the city’s El Lleó market, where food-lovers will be in heaven shopping at the same meat and fish stalls that many local restaurants use.

(Video) 5 places to visit in Barcelona

13. Costa Brava

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (13)Source: flickr

The coast of the Girona Province is the much-loved Costa Brava.

It’s a holiday region that differs from many on Spain’s Mediterranean: Instead of cabaret bars and tacky tourist strips you’ll discover chic little resorts and fishing villages clinging to the rocky seascape.

Many of the beaches are small, pine-edged coves with transparent waters for invigorating swims.

La Fosca at Palamós is one such beach, 45 minutes in the car from Girona and divided by a large rock with tufts of pine scrub growing on it.

Slightly closer is Platja d’Aro, where there’s a long sweep of fine shale in front a walkway with tall pine trees and a long line of restaurants and bars.

14. Banyoles Lake

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (14)Source: flickr

Half an hour up from Girona is the largest freshwater lake in Catalonia.

You could also come for a swim in the summer, when the outdoor seating at the lakeside bars also fills up.

These waters were used for the rowing events at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and the Rowing World Championships in 2004. Boat trips are available from the shore and take around 45 minutes.

If you’d prefer to stay on dry land then there’s a gorgeous perimeter trail with boulevards between plane trees and lots of places to stop and admire the lake and the Pyrenean foothills in the background.

15. Barcelona

15 Best Things to Do in Girona (Spain) - The Crazy Tourist (15)Source: Jan Meeuwesen

You could board the train and be in this thrilling and stylish city within the hour.

If Girona has given you a taste for modernist architecture then Barcelona has an entire UNESCO site devoted to this movement, including the whimsical and incomparable works of Antoni Gaudí.

The city has some world-class art and history museums, celebrating cultural figures like Joan Miró, and if you’re making the journey for a shopping expedition then you won’t be disappointed either.

There are all sorts of one-off boutiques and independent shops around the Ciutat Vella and the Gràcia neighbourhood bordered by Gaudí’s emblematic Park Güell.

(Video) Things to do in GIRONA and COSTA BRAVA


What is Girona Spain known for? ›

Girona is known for its Ciutat Antiga (Old City) and especially its 13th-century Jewish Quarter. Known as the Call, the district is considered to be one of Europe's largest and best-preserved Jewish quarters. Built on a hill, the Old City is also known for its charming stone stairways.

Was Game of Thrones filmed in Girona? ›

We discover each and every one of the scenarios of the city of Girona where Game of Thrones was filmed. The filming of Game of Thrones in Girona ended on September 16, 2015. Since then to the present day, the city has become a true cult destination for fans of the HBO series.

How do you explore Girona? ›

10 top things to do in Girona to discover the city like a local
  1. Explore the Jewish Quarter (El Call)
  2. Feel like you're in a GoT scene at the Girona Cathedral.
  3. Admire the views from the Onyar River.
  4. Visit the ancient Arab baths and the Sant Pere de Galligants monastery.
  5. Walk across the Eiffel bridge.

What is a fun fact about Girona? ›

Girona was bombed during the Spanish Civil War, many times in fact. In April 1938, then again in late January 1939 and once more in February. The civilian authorities built three shelters in Girona, of which just one still survives. Situated just off Placa Catalunya and next to a childrens' playground.

How do you spend a day in Girona Spain? ›

Top 10 Things to do/see around Girona
  1. Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant. ...
  2. Enjoy a traditional drink. ...
  3. Visit Placa de Sant Felix. ...
  4. River views. ...
  5. Pont de les Peixateries Velles. ...
  6. Girona Old Quarter. ...
  7. Walk the Girona Wall. ...
  8. Sant Pere de Galligants.

What does Girona mean in English? ›

(Spanish xeˈrona ) noun. a city in NE Spain: city walls and 14th-century cathedral; often besieged, in particular by the French (1809).

What TV series was filmed in Girona? ›

Filming Location Matching "Girona, Girona, Catalonia, Spain" (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)
  • House of the Dragon (2022– ) TV-MA | Action, Adventure, Drama. ...
  • Killing Eve (2018–2022) ...
  • Mrs. ...
  • The Invisible Guest (2016) ...
  • Daliland (2022) ...
  • The Spanish Gardener (1956) ...
  • Three Steps Above Heaven (2010) ...
  • The Passenger (1975)

What series was filmed in Girona Spain? ›

Filming in Girona's Old Town made up a large part of Game of Thrones and turned the place into a true cult destination for fans of the HBO series. Since then, 'Thronies' from all over the world have flocked here to follow in the footsteps of their beloved Game of Thrones characters.

What scenes were filmed in Girona? ›

Most of the scenes that were shot in Girona were of Arya Stark fleeing from the Waif, through streets such as Claveria, Sant Llorenç, Escola Pia and the Arab Baths. Not that far away, behind the Catedal Arya is blind and begs for money, and Jaqen H'ghar appears.

Why is Girona popular? ›

Girona is well-known for its medieval history, being one of the many medieval towns and cities in Costa Brava. However, it also has a rich Roman past.

How many days do you need in Girona Spain? ›

With three days to spend in Girona, you have more than enough time to explore the medieval streets and the greater region, including Dalí's stomping grounds and the beautiful Costa Brava. Read on for some suggestions for how to spend three days in Girona.

How many days should you spend in Girona? ›

Five to seven days in the Costa Brava gives you enough time to enjoy what the region offers. With five days, you could spend two in Girona and three in Begur, allowing for some coastal time on the beaches of Begur, or two in Girona, two in Begur, and one on the coast.

How many hours should I spend in Girona? ›

How much time do you need in Girona. Plan on spending a minimum of 4 hours in Girona. This will give you enough time to see the main sights and have a coffee break. 6 hours is ideal if you want time to wander, revisit some of your favorite streets a few times, and have a lunch break.

Is Girona worth going? ›

It's a gorgeous place to visit, with medieval walls, narrow winding city streets, and one of the best preserved Jewish Quarters in Europe. All you need is one day to see the best of Girona, making it a great destination on even the quickest itineraries through Spain. Here are 9 great things to do in Girona…

Do they speak English in Girona? ›

The official language is Catalan

Everyone does speak Spanish, and most people in the business and tourism industry speaks English, so you'll be able to get by without any issue.

Is it worth visiting Girona Spain? ›

It's a gorgeous place to visit, with medieval walls, narrow winding city streets, and one of the best preserved Jewish Quarters in Europe. All you need is one day to see the best of Girona, making it a great destination on even the quickest itineraries through Spain. Here are 9 great things to do in Girona…

Is Girona a party town? ›

Girona offers a wide range of options for enjoying the local nightlife all year round, ranging from friendly bars for a quiet evening drink to pubs, terraces, music bars and discotheques where the fun goes on until the small hours of the morning.

What is the main industry in Girona? ›

The City of Girona's economy is primarily based on services (49,96 %), commerce (38,57 %), and equipment (6,52 %) – three sectors that altogether represented 95,05 % of the activity types for the year 2015.

Is it worth going to Girona from Barcelona? ›

While Girona makes for a great day trip from Barcelona, you can spend longer than one day in this lovely Catalonian city. With more time, you can take in more of the sights at leisure, enjoy the river views at quieter times of day, eat more of the great food, and bask in the medieval ambience.


2. 10 things you should know BEFORE visiting Barcelona
(Patrick Guide Barcelona)
3. Barcelona TOP 10 | Things to do in Barcelona
(Hungry Passport)
4. 5 Must Knows Before Going To Spain 🇪🇸
(Christian Grossi)
5. 10 Beautiful Places to Visit in Barcelona Spain 🇪🇸 | Best things to See in Barcelona
(Lifestyle Hal)
6. Insider Tips BARCELONA | Don't miss these... | Travel Guide Spain 🇪🇸
(The Urban Jungle)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Laurine Ryan

Last Updated: 31/07/2023

Views: 6011

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Laurine Ryan

Birthday: 1994-12-23

Address: Suite 751 871 Lissette Throughway, West Kittie, NH 41603

Phone: +2366831109631

Job: Sales Producer

Hobby: Creative writing, Motor sports, Do it yourself, Skateboarding, Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Stand-up comedy

Introduction: My name is Laurine Ryan, I am a adorable, fair, graceful, spotless, gorgeous, homely, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.