Getaways: Girona & Figueres (Part 2)


Part 1: Attractions in Figueres

Last time, I talked about Teatre-Museu Dalí and Castell de Sant Ferran in Figueres. You can easily spend one whole day there and “tomar algo” in the sun. After that, why not ride the Rodalies de Catalunya line R11 back to Girona in the evening and stay at a hostel there for a night?

Here is a quick recap of the suggested itinerary:

  • Day 1: FIGUERES
    • (Morning) Barcelona – Figueres
    • (Day) Figueres
    • (Night) Figueres – Girona
  • Day 2: GIRONA
    • (Day) Girona
    • (Night) Girona – Barcelona

Attractions in Girona

  1. Catedral de Santa Maria de Girona (Girona Cathedral)

Girona Cathedral is the one of the iconic buildings in town. Sitting high up on the hill of the old town on the east side of River Onyar, it displays the widest and the most spacious Gothic nave in the world. One may feel the breeze there in the nave even when it’s forty-something degrees Celsius in the street! When you are there, don’t forget to get an audio guide (for free) at the entrance, so that you may have a more thorough understanding about how it has transformed over time.

The blueprint of the current building can be traced back in the 11th century, where the construction project started off in Romanesque style. As the project proceeded, Gothic style was employed instead in the 13th century. If you look at the main façade of the Cathedral from outside, you may notice that it is built in Baroque style (in the 17th century). In terms of the various architectural style, Girona Cathedral definitely aced it :-)

PS – An entrance ticket to the Cathedral grants you free access to Basílica de Sant Feliu (Collegiate Church of St. Felix) as well. It’s another spot for learning more about architectural styles. Moreover, Sant Pere de Galligants is just a minute away from the Cathedral. You may wonder why the premise was built with a defensive shape. Well (spoiler alert!) – it’s all about its historical location and that of the city wall ;-)

  1. Les muralles (Roman walls)

The old fortifications played an essential role over hundred of years’ time, protecting the town from invasion. At the end of 19th century, the walls were demolished for the sake of urban development. Take a pleasant walk along Passeig de la Muralla/Passeig Arqueològic (Archaeological passage; Roman walls remains) and enjoy the spectacular panorama views at Força Vella (Old fortress)!

  1. Barri Vell (Jewish Quarter)

Girona’s Jewish Quarter is absolutely gorgeous – high stonewalls, narrow pebble-stone passages, and small, narrow windows… You’ll find yourself walking back in time. To learn more about Girona’s rich Jewish history, go to Museu d’Història dels Jueus (Museum of Jewish History).

  1. Riu Onyar (River Onyar)

Take a stroll around the river area and enjoy the magnificent view of Onyar decorated with colourful houses. The best spots for taking photos are on the different bridges (built in various styles). Moreover, you may see lots of snacks shops selling crêpes topped with Nutella in those streets nearby. It’s nibbles time ;-)

Colourful buildings along River Onyar (with the Catheral and Sant Feliu at the back)

Hmm… :-/

Banys Àrabs (Arab Baths)

This museum is located in the old town. You can easily reach there especially when you are on the way from the Cathedral to one of the Roman wall walks. Though the baths are very well preserved, it was a wee bit disappointing to see the excess number of luminaires, metal boards, and pins that ruined the entire atmosphere of ancientness. Anyway, entrance was very cheap so if you are a big fan of ancient baths or if you have never seen any of them before, this place is still worth visiting.

Useful links


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