Wander around the city’s Old Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter is one of Girona’s most symbolic neighbourhoods. Located in the Força Vella, a mighty fortress built by the Romans in the 1st century BC, it comprises narrow cobbled streets, secret archways and tunnels, as well as secluded patios. One of the best preserved Jewish quarters in the world, it shouldn’t be missed.
Look up in amazement at Girona Cathedral
Sitting atop a throne of 91 stone steps, Girona Cathedral towers over the city and sits within the centre of the Força Vella. It was built between the 11th and 18th centuries, and today features a variety of architectural styles including a Romanesque cloister and an elegant Baroque façade. The cathedral is also home to the widest Gothic nave in the world at 23 metres.
Catedral de Girona, Plaça de la Catedral, Girona, Spain +34 972 42 71 89
Visit the Ancient Arab Baths
An imitation of the Medieval Moslem baths, the Romanesque Banys Àrabs in Girona date all the way back to the 12th century. Visitors can still go inside and visit the various rooms, which include a changing room with octagonal pool, cold room, warm room and caladium or steam bath.
Banys Àrabs, Carrer de Ferran el Catòlic, Girona, Spain +34 972 19 07 97
Marvel at the colourful houses along the River Onyar
There’s no view more photogenic in Girona, than the multi-coloured houses lining the sides of the River Onyar. Think mustard and sunflower yellows, crimsons, Seville oranges and burnt tangerines; intersected by bridges, one of which, the Vermelles Bridge, was built by the Eiffel company in 1827.
‘Take Action’ at the Cinema Museum
Dedicated to the world of the moving image, the Girona Cinema Museum was the first of its kind in Spain when it opened in 1998. The majority of objects belonged to the Tomàs Mallol collection of pre-cinema and cinema objects, comprising approximately 20,000 pieces. The objects date from the mid-seventeenth century to 1970 and include Chinese theatrical lanterns and shadow puppetry, optical boxes, 98 cameras plus images from children’s films.
Take a wander around the Girona Art Museum
Housed in the old Episcopal Palace, the museum features one of the most important collections of Romanesque and Gothic art in Catalonia. As well as these two styles, visitors will be able to see Roman, Renaissance, Baroque, Realism and Modernisme. Don’t forget to take your eyes off the art to look around at the palace too – your tour will take you through the throne room, the Episcopal prison, and the Bishop’s Chapel.
Walk the Passeig Arqueològic
The Passeig Arqueològic follows the city’s ancient medieval walls, some of which are the longest sections of Carolingian walls in Europe, built during the 9th century. Along the way visitors will be able to enjoy spectacular city views, the old Arabic Baths and tranquil leafy gardens.
Dine in one of the world’s best restaurants – El Celler De Can Roca
Winner of ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ in 2013 and 2015, El Celler de Can Roca is still top of its game and has three Michelin stars. Currently at number two on the list, it’s run by the Roca brothers and serves up creative and innovative dishes, but always with classic Catalan home cooking at its core. If you plan on going to Girona and want to dine here, be prepared to put your name on the waiting list up to 11 months in advance.
Learn all about the origins of the city at the Girona History Museum
The Girona History Museum takes visitors on a journey from the city’s beginnings to its modern day, tracing its history back from the first human remains found in the area, to the founding by the Romans, the medieval period and through to the 19th century, the Civil War, the Franco dictatorship and beyond. There is a room dedicated to the Spanish Civil War, as well as one that looks at Girona’s culture such as the traditional sardana dances and cobla bands. The building itself is also worth a look, containing remnants of a late 2nd century or early 3rd century Roman wall.