Girona is a Catalan classic with plenty of personality. Get ready to explore hidden treasures within its medieval walls, and prepare yourself for a feast of a lifetime as you gorge on gourmet treats around every corner. This Spanish paradise has various historic and artistic links, so grab your map and get going.
Walk this way
The best way to see this city? High upon the stone walls surrounding it. Head up first thing to have this walkway all to yourself or opt for sunset if you want amazing snaps. Check the ochre-coloured buildings by the river, and traverse the warren of cobbled lanes in the Jewish Quarter.
A region with gastronomic bragging rights, you’ll find fresh fish and meaty mountain fare, so expect stews and shellfish to pop up plenty in your tapas. For a delicious morsel, satisfy your sweet tooth with custard-filled xuixo pastry. Why not do dinner on a tree-shaded terrace followed by a cold one in a shabby-chic bar?
40 minutes from Girona is Figueres, the birthplace of surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and home to a theatre and museum opened as a tribute. Prepare for a mind-boggling time as you walk through a world where mirrored walls and topsy-turvy sculptures bring Dalí’s eccentric vision to life.
Climb stunning stone steps and wander through ramshackle arches and you’ll get to Girona’s main attraction – its church. You’ll find a scattering of other religious buildings, as well as museums and galleries, in typical Spanish form. Pack a picnic and clear your mind as you explore the gorgeous green oasis of the local gardens.
From cool and casual cafés serving simple pintxo to splash-the-cash fine dining marvels, this city buzzes around its food. Voted third in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017, Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca adds a playful twist to Catalan classics using the latest in molecular gastronomy and cutting-edge techniques.
Spend an afternoon down Rambla de la Llibertat, an attractive stretch of smart arcade shops. On Saturdays, a splash of colour appears at the weekly flower market. Follow the scent of herbs to El Lleó – a buzzing and popular foodie hang-out. Local oils, wine and spicy butifarra sausages are all too good to pass up.
On foot, you won’t miss a thing – that little bakery you stumble across, an interesting backstreet or a pretty church to nose round. A regular bus service connects Girona to nearby towns and spots along the Costa Brava, plus there’s a train station. Hop on a bike and you can ride round the city, too.