On the face of it, Girona city is like a clash of personalities – in a good way. It’s a melting pot of history and culture from the ages, with some thoroughly modern spins, too. The medley of awesome artwork and architecture will have you spellbound in no time. Not sure where to start? That’s where we come in.
Jot down these ten essential things to do in Girona:
1) Girona Cathedral
2) Museu d'Art de Girona
3) La Devesa Park
4) Film Museum
5) Arab Baths
6) Patronat Call de Girona
7) Eiffel Bridge
8) Onyar River
9) Basilica de Sant Feliu
10) Passeig Arqueològic
1. Girona Cathedral
Climb your way up 86 steps to reach Girona Cathedral and its Baroque façade. From the 5th century onwards, the religious building was erected and adorned in styling from the ages as centuries passed. It takes centre stage within the Força Vella and boasts one of the world’s largest Gothic naves. This Catholic place of worship is yours to explore at your leisure
2. Museu d'Art de Girona
Welcome to a hub that shows off some of the most wonderful works in the region. The Museu d’Art de Girona displays paintings and pieces from the Romanesque, Renaissance and Gothic periods, plus some stone features as well. There are various rooms you can browse at your leisure, including intriguing prison and hospital rooms to make things a bit eerier. For an experience that’ll turn back the clock, get a visit to the Museu d’Art de Girona on the books.
3. La Devesa Park
Roughly 40 hectares of lusciousness make up La Devesa Park. These historic gardens are rumoured to date back to the 15th century and promote an environment of total peace and tranquillity. You’ll find various different types of flora growing here, including some 2,500 banana plants! These mighty trees are dotted all around, so they won’t be hard to spy. Enjoy strolling around the pretty ponds and the central promenade, then on to the fountains and area with majestic peacocks. It’s utterly enchanting. Sports games, fairs and markets are often on throughout the year here.
4. Film Museum
Cinematography is at its finest here at Girona’s Film Museum. Tomàs Mallol’s collection is on show to the public and features a portfolio of the first moving images to be captured from shadow theatres to aspects of modern cinema. So, whether you’re a silver screen buff or just a casual film fan, you can get stuck into the magic of the movies here. Various exhibitions rotate, including ones dedicated to actresses and light effects. The aim of this museum is to really inspire its visitors.
5. Arab Baths
The beguiling Arab Baths rank highly on the list of things to do in Girona. Every detail of the complex is intricate, and the baths themselves were influenced by the Roman equivalent. The grandiose entrance packs in the wow-factor, while a barrel vault, slim columns and the main, central pool are among the standout elements of the building. It’s certainly a dazzling display of craftsmanship and architecture.
6. Patronat Call de Girona
Girona celebrates its strong Jewish heritage through its fine old quarter, but drop into the Patronat Call de Girona and you’ll find yourself within a museum all about Jewish culture from medieval times onwards. There are various documents and archaeological pieces that you can scour during your visit, with 11 well-presented galleries outlining different integral parts of the community in Girona. You can wander around the designated ‘Origins’ area, then go on to learn about family life, the synagogue, daily bread and the remarkable Jewish Quarter itself.
7. Eiffel Bridge
Thought you were reading about things to do in Girona, but there’s a mention of ‘Eiffel’? That’s right, the French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel might be better known for his iconic, globally-recognised Parisian tower, but Girona lays claim to a striking red structure of thick metal that connects both sides of the river. Eiffel Bridge is great for Instagramming some of the far-spanning views, but you’ll have to get the right shot through the gaps in the metalwork.
8. Onyar River
When you see photos of Girona, the rows of pastel-coloured houses that line the Onyar River are typically the most commonly caught on camera. The banks of this waterway are brimming with potential as pavements and green spaces also sit within the surroundings. When you cross over the bridges from one side to another, you’ll be blessed with dreamy views of the city and its kaleidoscopic scenery.
9. Basilica de Sant Feliu
Second in line after Girona Cathedral, the Basilica de Sant Feliu is among the city’s most impressive churches and stands proud with a bell tower that’s recognisable among the skyline. But it’s not just its castle-esque looks that makes it interesting – pop inside to spy the works of ecclesiastical art, including pagan sarcophagi and other sculptures. There are even some intricate tapestries exhibited.
10. Passeig Arqueològic
Last but not least on our roundup of top things to do in Girona, the old city walls are pretty impressive. Whether you go morning, noon or early evening before a slap-up tapas feast, the city’s marvellous medieval walls are a great way to see the landscape span out around you. Enter by the Arab Baths and you’ll be instantly in awe of the glowing gardens and the flourishing flowers and plants within. Use the Torre de Sant Domènec as a vantage point for your photos and drink in all the scenery. While you’re there, you’ll be able to pinpoint various churches, arches and even the archaeological museum.
You can explore Girona’s tapestry of cultural, urban gems with Jet2CityBreaks and see all the fantastic features for yourself.
Posted: 12th Sept 2023.