Surely you know that there is much to see in Girona, a city quite unknown to the rest of Spaniards.
But visiting Girona is a unique experience that will take you back to other centuries thanks to its spectacular monuments and an old town that you should not miss.
Girona is known as ” the city of the 4 rivers ” and from it you can make numerous excursions to the beautiful villages that are around it, also visiting evocative landscapes.
The best places to see in Girona in one day
Before starting to read we will tell you that if you want to know the most important things to see in Girona without worrying about anything, the best thing you can do is this free tour of Girona, which will take you to the essential places and in which they will also tell you the secrets best kept in town.
The Old Quarter
El Barri Vell is the Old Town of Girona, that network of labyrinthine and historic streets where the history of this city began. And in the Barri Vell there are also the main monuments to visit in Girona, such as the Cathedral or the Basilica of Sant Feliú, the main religious temples of the city.
Also in this neighborhood we can find the Wall of Girona and numerous Gothic and Renaissance buildings that you can only discover if you walk through this wonderful neighborhood.
In the Barri Vell there is also another of the essential points, the Arab Baths, and next to it, the Jewish Quarter, another dream place. Don’t miss the Iglesia de San Martín either, located at the bottom of some steep stairs.
Nor should you miss the Sant Pere de Galligants Monastery, a former abbey that today houses one of the headquarters of the Archeology Museum of Catalonia.
The Cathedral of Girona is the most interesting monument in the city and one of its symbols since, being built in the highest part, it stands out over its adjoining buildings and can be seen from afar.
It is a temple in different architectural styles because its construction took between the 11th and 18th centuries with a Romanesque cloister that will leave you speechless.
The façade of the Cathedral of Girona seems unfinished but it is a great baroque masterpiece whose beauty also lies in the ensemble it forms with the 17th century staircase at its feet.
Girona Cathedral consists of a single nave, the widest in Europe, second only to Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. The choir and the stained glass windows are other elements of the Cathedral of Girona that you should not miss.
The Basilica of Sant Feliu
The Basilica of Sant Feliu is another of the symbols of Girona. It is very close to the Cathedral, but at a lower level. Even so, they form a dream ensemble that you do not forget if you visit Girona.
The Game of Thrones free tour that is so successful in this city starts from its doors.
Many people confuse it with the Cathedral because its shape resembles that of one. In fact, it was the old cathedral of Girona until the 10th century when the current one was built. It stands out for its tall bell tower, from the 16th century, and its Gothic façade is also accessed via steep stairs.
Its interior is very interesting with a Romanesque altarpiece and numerous works of art, including Paleo-Christian and Roman sarcophagi from the 4th century.
The Arab Baths
Among so much beauty that we can find in the Barri Vell we have the Arab Baths, a Romanesque construction from the 12th century that was built following the scheme of the old Roman baths.
Of the Arab Baths you have to admire its entrance, which served as changing rooms, the rest room and its vault, and the central pool crowned with a large dome to which you cannot stop directing your eyes.
Do not be fooled by its name, since it was a Christian construction that, in addition to adopting a typical Roman layout, was inspired by the Muslim baths that existed at the time. In fact, it was not until the 19th century that this term was popularized to refer to them.
The Call. the jewish quarter
As a continuation of the Barri Vell, but different from it because at this point the streets become narrow and labyrinthine, is the Jewish Quarter of Girona, called El Call.
Along its alleys we find buildings where patios abound and form one of the best preserved Jewish quarters in the world. The Jews lived in this neighborhood until they were expelled in the 15th century.
In this neighborhood there is an old synagogue that currently houses the Museum of the History of the Jews and which is very interesting to learn about the Jewish past of the city.
To discover this wonderful corner of Girona, we recommend you take this Tour of the Jewish Quarter.
The Houses of the Onyar River and its bridges
The Casas del Río Onyar are also an icon of Girona and a unique sample of this type of houses that overlook a river that we can find in Spain, more typical of other European countries.
There are several bridges that cross the river and from each of them you have a different image of the colors of the hanging houses that overlook the river.
All of them are painted in some color, except one, Casa Masó, painted white. It is the birthplace of Rafael Masó, one of the most important architects of the 20th century and the greatest exponent of Noucentisme. the alternative to modernism.
We invite you to cross each of the bridges and admire this authentic architectural genius, unique in Spain. The Pont de Ferro, the work of Gustave Eiffel, or the Pont de Pedra, the oldest, stand out.
The Rambla de la Libertad and the Plaza de la Independencia
These two points of Girona are separated by the River Onyar but they constitute the center of the social life of Girona residents and visitors.
Attached to the Barri Vell is the Rambla de la Libertad, a pedestrian street full of shops, restaurants and bars where there is always life. Nearby is the Plaza del Vi, where there are buildings such as the Town Hall, the Municipal Theater or the Palacio del General.
Crossing the river by one of its bridges, and once again admiring the houses that overlook it, you come to a more modern commercial area whose most important point is the Plaza de la Independencia, a Renaissance arcaded square with numerous restaurants and bars. presided over by a statue dedicated to the defenders of the city in 1809 in the War of Spanish Independence.
This Tour of Girona also starts from the Plaza de la Indepencia with tickets that you should not miss.
More days in Girona? What to see in Girona in 2 days
Very close to Plaza de la Independencia is the Post Office Building, built in 1922 and with a characteristic façade crowned by a cylindrical dome.
Much further from the city center is the Old Hospital of Santa Caterina, which is currently the headquarters of the Generalitat de Catalunya in Girona, and whose main point of interest is the Pharmacy, from the 17th century.
Also noteworthy is the Parque de la Devesa, the main green area in Girona and where you can relax and unwind from a very special visit to this city.
A little further north is the Monastery of San Daniel, also surrounded by green areas and a great Romanesque and Gothic jewel.
You can find more information on the official Girona tourism page.