The Capital of the Costa Brava
Girona - the city of four rivers, lies in the Ter valley where the rivers of the Ter, Guells, Galligants and the Onyar converge.
When my mum first moved to the Costa Brava over 20 years ago she came to Girona.
I fell in love with the place the first time I went out to visit. I have been back so many times since and still I find something new to see or somewhere new to eat in the winding streets of the historic old quarter.
The appeal of this ancient Gothic city is obvious…
83 km south to Barcelona
77 km to north the French border
54 km east to the coastline of the Costa Brava
35 km west to the foothills of the Pyrenees, which are clearly visible from the city
easy to get to by air (it has its own airport and is also easily accessible from Barcelona Airport) and rail (Renfe)
but that's not all...
The old city stands on an old walled hill (Forca Vella)...
a cobblestoned labyrinth of narrow hilly streets flanked by tall grey stone buildings, many still lived in to this day (evidenced by potted plants and washing drying on crumbling balconies)...
whilst some now house museums, boutiques or bustling cafes and tapas bars...
making up Girona's culturally rich historic district.
The old city is home to Europe’s most well-preserved medieval Jewish quarter (Call Jueu), the centre of which is the Carrer de la Forca.
The heart of the old town is its stunning cathedral with its imposing flight of steps and the broadest gothic nave ever built (22.98 metres across).
Inside you can find the tomb of Ramon Berenguer II, the Charlemagne throne, as well as the 11-12th century Romanesque Tapis de la Creacio (The Tapestry Of The Creation).
The cathedral also has a beautiful shaded garden (a wonderful place for a picnic).
Much of the old fortified wall of the old city is intact, making for a great viewpoint to admire the cathedral, jewish quarter and the rest of the old city and countryside beyond.
The best people watching in this lovely Costa Brava city takes place in the porticoed Rambla, lined with many cafes and shops.
Take a stroll down the Carrer dels Ciutadans, flanked by old mansions, which runs parallel to the Rambla and leads to the lovely porticoed Placa del Vi and the Casa de la Ciutat (town hall).
Cross the river Onyar by walking over the wrought iron footbridge designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Apart from the cathedral, the most characteristic feature of this city is the colourful facades of red, orange, yellow and blue of the residences along the River Onyar.
The grand Placa de la Independencia makes a wonderful location to while away an afternoon eating delicious tapas in one of its many restaurants.
Also worth a visit are...
- The monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants (home of the Archaeological Museum),
- The churches of Sant Nicolau and Sant Feliu,
- The 12th century Arab baths,
- The city museum and
- The La Devesa Park (the lovely 40 ha park full of plane trees that is a favourite walk for the locals).
There is some great shopping in this lovely city - from designer clothes to speciality catalan food (of particular note is the Colmado Moriscot speciality food store at 4, Ciutadans) - from little boutiques to big stores like El Corte Ingles and Decathlon.
There are also many fabulous cosmopolitan restaurants to suit every pallet and wallet.
It also has a well respected university.
For a fantastic day out with kids in Girona (well, just outside Girona) visit the Mona Monkey Sanctuary. It's great fun for adults too.
Girona Festivals (festas)
Girona, Costa Brava - How To Get Here
Zoom in on the map below to see the numbers and names of the roads. The nearest motorway is the AP7.
If you need car hire in the Costa Brava please click on this link.
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You can get here by bus from Barcelona. There are also buses from Girona to many places on the Costa Brava coast. Please see
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