A day out in Girona city
If you are staying in this region of Catalonia, visiting Girona´s historical city is a must. This beautiful city has an interesting and plentiful historical heritage all concentrated in a relatively small area, making it a perfect place for a rewarding day-out.
Exploring its full charm by foot is easy and also the best way of really discovering all its nooks and crannies.
Whilst you will be spoilt for choice during a whole day visit, you may only have time for half a day. In that case, we recommend visiting the city in the afternoon, when the different shades of yellow and orange reflect over the buildings making it even more impressive before sunset.
When arriving by car, its best to park in one of the public parking lots that are just outside the centre and then enjoy a carefree stroll around the historical quarters.
After making your way around and discovering the abundance of historical structures, you soon come to understand why the producers of Games of Thrones chose this city as the location for a number of scenes from the sixth season- fans out there will be pleased to recognize the cathedral from a popular scene!
And although some may find cathedrals more or less exciting, the imposing, endless stairs of Girona´s St. Mary´s makes it truly impressive; it is hard to feel indifferent before such grandeur. Unfortunately, we didn´t have enough time for a visit to its interior, but that only gives us a reason to come back…
We heard very positive comments of the visit and the price (10€ per person as of 2018), is likely worth it.
A stopover at the arab baths (banys arabs in Catalan) is also worthwhile; it takes less than one hour and the entrance costs merely 2€. We were fascinated by the history behind this 800 year-old spa.
The interior with its beautifully embellished columns are spectacular on their own, but if you immerse yourself with the cultural and historical value of the place, it is even more fulfilling.
Banys Arabs: (photo from Wikipedia)
The Jewish quarters (la judería) are a whole different story… here simply wander up and down the labyrinthine-like streets and allow yourself to be absorbed in the undeniable medieval atmosphere that they create. We loved this barrio.
Walking the Girona wall is another remarkable cost-free experience. You may need to climb a number of stairs in certain places, but the views from the wall and towers make the effort worthwhile.
Get an uninterrupted view of the city, its hidden gardens, the iconic Cathedral and the Pyrenees against the backdrop. Photography aficionados behold!
Views from the Wall
Another great spot for a perfect picture is from the iron bridge designed by Eiffel. From here, capture the colourful houses that lie along the Onyar river, an iconic image of the city.
Girona is not all about historical heritage; the city also reflects a high quality of life, which happens to be known as the highest in Spain. Clean air, interesting cafes, good shops and excellent restaurants everywhere.
You can sense that food is taken quite seriously in this region, concentrating some of the best restaurants in Spain, some even considered among the best in the world (like the famous El Celler de Can Roca).
We did our research and took our time on the lookout for a place to eat out with good food and reasonable prices… happily, we were very pleased with what we found!
The restaurant is called Probocador (Address: Calle Hortes, 7). Out-of-the-box dishes mixed with a clear inclination towards local cuisine. The plates were all nicely presented and the prices were slightly below what you would expect for this quality of food in Girona city. A Rustical recommendation.
One of the dishes we tasted at El Probocador restaurant (excellent quality at reasonable prices).