Things to do in Girona: a perfect day trip from Barcelona

Things to do in Girona: a perfect day trip from Barcelona

There are several reasons why Girona should be on your list of places to visit in Spain. Firstly, Ryanair advertises it as Barcelona Girona Airport (even though Barcelona is 100 kilometers south of Girona), so you might get stuck in Girona when you thought you were flying to Barcelona! Then it’s best to make the most of it, right? Secondly, Girona has been a filming location for Game of Thrones. It was used to film parts of King’s Landing and Braavos, so it’s a must visit for every Game of Thrones fan. And, last but not least, Girona is a very pretty city, one of the hidden gems in Europe, where you definitely should spent a day. It has culture, colour and is very lively! This post will cover my recommendations for things to do in Girona.

Pont de les Peixateries Velles in Girona
Pont de les Peixateries Velles

Things to do in Girona

We had an early morning flight from Eindhoven (the Netherlands) to Girona, and had booked accommodation for Barcelona for that night, so we had almost one full day in Girona. The first stop on our visit was the Pont de les Peixateries Velles, where you can take the best picture of Girona. You can see the river Onyar, with its reflection of the colourful houses, the cathedral of Girona and the Basílica de Sant Feliu.

Which one is prettier: the Basílica de Sant Feliu or the cathedral of Girona?

One of the churches in Girona that you should visit is the Basílica de Sant Feliu was the main church of Girona before the cathedral was finished. It was built from the 12th until the 18th century. You can see its bell tower on almost any picture of the city. The church houses some early Christian sarcophagi from the fourth century AD as well.

View of Girona: the church left is the cathedral of Girona, in the middle you can see the Basílica de Sant Feliu.

The Cathedral of Girona (left picture below), or actually to be more precise: the steps in front of the cathedral have been used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. It was built between the 11th and 18th centuries and exhibits various architectural styles: Gothic, Romanesque, baroque etc. It also has a cloister. I’m still not sure which church I found more impressing, so visit both the basilica and the cathedral. Next to the cathedral is the Carrer la Força (middle picture below). This narrow alley with some old houses is certainly worth a visit.

Arabs, Jews, and Romans: several different cultures have left their mark on Girona

We also visited the Arab Baths (right picture above), again a filming location for Game of Thrones. It is a Romanesque construction from the 12th century, inspired by Roman baths. The lighting was terrible for photos, unfortunately. Nevertheless, I found it a very elegant structure and worth a quick visit.

We had lunch on one of Girona’s central (shopping) streets and explored the Jewish quarter afterwards. However, I think my favourite activity of things to do in Girona was walking on the city walls. In the medieval ages, they extended the Roman walls and today you can stroll along these walls that are centuries old. The mediterranean city looks at its best when viewed from above.

View of Girona from the city walls

Other highlights include visiting The Força Vella, a fortress dating back to Roman times, and the Plaça del Vi. Moreover, it is less crowded than Barcelona. In hindsight, I think I would have liked to spend one night in Girona as well, instead of heading straight for Barcelona.

So, what are you waiting for? There are lots of things to in Girona!

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Girona is a city in Spain north of Barcelona. There are many things to do in Girona, certainly enough for a day trip.Girona is a city in Spain north of Barcelona. There are many things to do in Girona, certainly enough for a day trip.

9 Replies to “Things to do in Girona: a perfect day trip from Barcelona”

  1. It’s too bad I missed seeing and exploring Girona when I was in Spain a few months ago, Sanne. There is obviously lots to see and do there. How many days would be enough to see all the highlights there?

    1. Ahhh, that’s a shame! I think Girona is often overlooked, sadly. I think one day would be sufficient if you want to see all the highlights, but I think 2 days would be best to explore everything.

  2. It’s funny that you mention Ryan air because I actually did end up there by accident one time! I didn’t know there we so many things to do or I would’ve stuck around longer.

  3. I have not visited Girona yet but it seems like a great place to spend a day and night at. I prefer smaller cities anyway so I might give it a try next time when I’m in Spain.

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