5 things to do in Girona

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The historic city of Girona is the largest city northern Catalonia. Churches, cobbled lanes, medieval walls and only an hour and half drive from Barcelona, Girona is the perfect day trip for history and culture lovers. The river Onyar divides Girona into two parts – the old and the new. The old town -‘Barri Vell’ lies on the east bank and the newer part on the west bank. If you are a Game of Thrones fan like us, you need to visit Girona to see some of the locales from season 6.

Here are 5 things that you must do, when in Girona:

1. Explore the Girona Cathedral

Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Girona. It’s large Gothic nave is 23 metres wide which is the second largest in the world, the largest being the St. Peter’s in the Vatican. The architecture is a mix of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic styles. The museum’s main attraction is the Tapestry of Creation which is an 11th or early 12th-century piece.


Jaime Lannister having a face off with the Faith Militant on the steps of the Sept of Baelor in Season 6 was shot on the steps of the Girona Cathedral. The inside of the cathedral can be seen in the finale. (Photo Credit: HBO)

Visiting Hours: July & august: 10.00 to 19.30. November to March: 10.00 to 17.30. Rest of the year: 10.00 to 18.30.

Normal entrance: 7 € (includes audio guide) Reduced entrance: 5 € pensioners and students with ID (includes audio guide) Free entrance: children under 7, members of religious orders and natives/residents in Girona.

2. Take a dip at the Arab Baths – Banys Àrabs

If you are over at the Girona Cathedral, walk down towards the dome like structure and you will reach the Arab Baths. It is inspired by Roman baths and is over 800 years old. Once upon a time, it was used as a changing room and relaxation area.  The entrance covers the central pool, which is supported by ornate columns. Until the 14th century, the building maintained its activity as public baths. Arya’s chase with the Waif was shot here.

Photo Credit: Amruta Prabhu

girona

Visiting Hours: April to September: Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 19.00; Sundays and bank holidays from 10.00 to 14.00. October to March: Monday to Sunday from 10.00 to 14.00.

Normal entrance is 2 € and reduced entrance is 1 €  for students, pensioners and children under 16.

3. Walk across the city

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Girona is a city best explored on foot. Whether you decide to explore this city with a leisurely stroll or go on a hiking trail, remember to wear comfortable shoes. Cross the Onyar River on the Pont de Pedra. On your left, you will see the colourful Cases de d’Onyar, the city’s most famous view. Head over to Placa de la Independencia on the other side of the river for the cafés and restaurants.

Another part of the city to explore on foot is the old town. Walkways, arches, alleys, towers and hidden gardens await. For the best view, climb the wall of Girona. Be warned that there are around 90 steps.

Some of the Arya scenes in Braavos in Season 6 was filmed in and around the jewish quarter and old town.

4. Kiss The Lioness Of Girona

At the foot of the Sant Feliu church, look for an ancient-looking pillar with a lioness. Kissing the bottom of this statue means the visitor will come to Girona again at least once in his lifetime. Legends say that in reality this lioness, La Lleona was a tamed wolf, which protected residents in the Middle Ages.

5. Visit the Jewish Museum

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The multi-storey museum provides an overview of Jewish life from the 9th Century until Jews were banished in 1492.  Most displays have an English translation. Inside the museum, you can see the micvé, a ritual bath; hanukià, a metal lamp of 8 arms that were used in the Janucà, and an incredible world map called l’Atles de Cresques from 1373, the original is in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Have you been to this charming city? Would you revisit?

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35 Comment

  1. Kelly says: Reply

    I love Game of Thrones! This is so cool, I want to do a little Game of Thrones tour and I’ll have to add this to the list.

  2. Tamara says: Reply

    I haven’t been before (or watch Game of Thrones!) but I love the charming, historic architecture. Definitely on my list!

  3. Games of Thrones is one of our favorite shows we would love a visit to Girona. I’m adding it to our must-visit list.
    Sue Reddel recently posted…Feels Like Home At TownePlace SuitesMy Profile

  4. This city looks like it’s so full of culture! The cathedral looks gorgeous.

  5. Nicole says: Reply

    This place looks absolutely beautiful, and you guys are adorable! Great post! 🙂

    -Nicole
    myuninspiredblog.com

  6. Thanks for this timely post. We are planning to overland Europe in 2018, Spain is already on the list, and this post really inspired me to add Girona to the ‘must-see-list’ in Andalusia.
    Juergen | dare2go recently posted…Karajia Cliff Tombs: Remains of the Mysterious ChachapoyaMy Profile

  7. Tom says: Reply

    I love the idea of the baths. I’ve only been to Spain twice and I well realize how many other parts of the country there are to see. Never heard of this town and yet it seems like a undervisited gem.

  8. Oh this just came at the right time! I’m headed to Girona in August and this will be perfect. Thank you! Great post!!

  9. Sona says: Reply

    Love it! I am a great Game of Thrones fan and would love to see the Cathedral too! Haven’t heard of this place and would to add this to my list.

  10. Garth says: Reply

    Recently saw some Arab Baths in Ronda, Spain. Thanks for all the tips and your guide, Girona looks like a great place to visit, will pin for future reference.
    Garth recently posted…KeukenhofMy Profile

  11. I’ve never been to Girona, but I’d love to go! And I also like how you included photos from Game of Thrones to show where scenes were shot in Girona. I had no idea that Girona was in GoT! Spain is such a gorgeous country with such rich history.
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  12. OK, I’m sold! I won’t lie, it was the Game of Thrones references … not one but two! I’ve just started watching the series again from the beginning and love it even more now and I really do want to visit filming locations … and it’s certainly not a bad place to visit at all, in fact, it looks quite beautiful! Thanks for bringing this place to my attention, pinned for future reference. #feetdotravel

  13. Leah says: Reply

    It’s been about five years since I’ve been to Girona, but I really enjoyed my two trips there. I’d add seeing Eiffel’s bridge. It has the architect’s distinct touch.
    Leah recently posted…America’s Most Diverse City: A (Former) Local’s Guide to Visiting HoustonMy Profile

  14. Punita says: Reply

    Girona has a lot of shades of Italy. I like the photographs of the architectural details of the cathedral. Would love to visit this when we visit Spain again.

  15. Haha, yes the Game of Thrones references have got me too! I’ve never visited Girona, but I love this region of the World so seems like it is time to visit. The architecture is exactly what I like, that Cathedral is beautiful!

  16. Annie says: Reply

    The Cases de d’Onyar is absolutely lovely, so many beautiful colors. I had no idea that this spot was less than two hours from Barcelona. I can’t wait to get back to Spain!

  17. Can you actually still swim int he Arab Baths here? My friend is moving to Spain soon and we’re planning a trip to Barcelona so I definitely want to take a day trip to Girona!

  18. Bhusha says: Reply

    Espana has so much heritage and is such a gorgeous country! I haven’t been to Girona! Whoa! Being a GoT fan, looks like its a must visit! The cathedral looks so majestic!
    Bhusha recently posted…David by Michelangelo at Galleria dell’Accademia (Florence (Firenze) – Italy)My Profile

  19. Krista says: Reply

    Wow, this city truly looks charming! I love the look of the buildings built along the river. Definitely will have to add Girona to my bucket list.
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  20. I really would love to visit Gerona because of its church, architecture and of course it was once a scene of GOT. Thank you for sharing the kiss for the lioness. I would definitely do that.
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  21. Shona says: Reply

    I had only 1 reason to visit Girona and that was to eat at El Cellar De Can Roca but now I have another. I’m doing your GoT tour. Season 6 was fantastic (as they all have been).
    Shona recently posted…Hatta, UAE: Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Exploring!My Profile

  22. I have never been here, but this place looks like a blend of Venice, Bath and probably Lucerne. Hahah i’m not sure if I made any sense, but it does feel that way to me.

    http://thiscache.blogspot.com
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  23. WOW! the city is seeped in history. What a stunning architecture. Especially the door of the cathedral. Love the baths too. Quite interesting. The walk on cobbled streets with such interesting buildings sounds like my kind of travel! 🙂

  24. I didn’t know that Girona has so many amazing things to offer! The architectures of the Girona Cathedral and Arab Bath look quite fascinating! Must be an amazing experience to explore the city!

  25. amanda says: Reply

    Girona is so cute – i went there gulp 20 years ago! I particularly like the inclusion of the kissing #4! lots of great photos too thanks

  26. Im a big fan of GoT and I love Arya! Wish I could do a GoT themed travel soon and Girona will definitely on of the places I will visit. Loved your photos, they are really stunning!

  27. Nisha says: Reply

    This post has brought back beautiful memories of the place. Frankly I never knew parts of GoT was shot here. I am one of those odd ones who did not enjoy watching it. NIce post though.

  28. Nancy says: Reply

    Excellent suggestions! I have been to Girona, but missed kissing the Lioness and seeing Banys Àrabs. I rented a road bike and spent quite a bit of time riding around the region. I would love to revisit Catalunya – the people, food, and beautiful setting make it an easy place to spend a week or longer.
    Nancy recently posted…Five Awesome Things to Do on Lanai, HawaiiMy Profile

  29. Wow so cool – absolutely love all the Game of Thrones locations and that would be a reason alone for me to visit! Beautiful city in its own right too and definitely one to add to my Spain bucket list!
    Travel Lexx recently posted…20 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Travel To JapanMy Profile

  30. Looks like a great place to explore architecture. In love with the Jewish museum. I would love to explore the places through walking, great experience!! There is always a special history about the places we get to discover architecture too.
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  31. I like this place. The ancient baths are quite fascinating. And that door knocker…wow! It is so elaborate and beautiful.
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  32. I’ll be passing through Northern Spain this fall, Girona looks like the perfect alternative to Barcelona. I love reflection photography so snapping the colourful buildings by the river would be perfect for me. The Arab Baths and Cathedral will be interesting to photograph too.
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  33. I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan! I love seeing where all of the scenes have been shot. Pinned this for later!
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  34. Kreete says: Reply

    Im a huge fan of GoT! I had no idea so many scenes were filmed in Girona! Where did you find out about these? Id love to snoop around if there is a website for that! Looks like I have to go back to Spain! I love this country as I used to live there!

  35. Sina says: Reply

    I’m thinking of going to Barcelona for a second time and this seems like the perfect day trip. The Old town looks beautiful and I didn’t know that they shot some of the GoT scenes there. Girona is definitely on my list now. Thanks for sharing!

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