A trip to the medieval town of Girona is ideal for those seeking a little Spanish history; this picturesque walled city has a variety of architectural styles spanning centuries, from Roman ruins to a Gothic cathedral and a footbridge designed by Eiffel.
In Girona the modern and the old are divided by the river Onyar; whilst the modern half is pleasant enough it is the old part of town with its cobbled streets, painted houses and red rooftops that is really worth visiting. One of the main historical attractions is the old Jewish quarter, known as the Call, a picturesque maze of steep cobbled streets filled with shops and restaurants. One of the best preserved Jewish quarters in Spain, buildings in the Call date back to the 14th century.
Another lovely walk in Girona is along the Ramblas, a pedestrian street that runs along the river, similar to the Ramblas in Barcelona but significantly less touristy and more peaceful! Set up on a hill and looking down over the city below, Girona´s cathedral is considered one of the most impressive buildings in Europe. Built over hundreds of years it is inevitably a mixture of architectural styles, but is most famous for its Gothic nave, the widest in the world.
The cathedral is reached by climbing 90 steps up a 17th century Baroque staircase; aside from admiring the architecture, visitors can also enjoy the cathedral’s museum which displays an 11th century tapestry of The Creation amongst other treasures. Finally, visitors to Girona may also wish to visit the Arab Baths which were built in 1194, or stroll across the Eiffel Bridge, built by the same architect as the famous Paris tower at a point where 4 rivers meet.
Cathedral: open daily 9am-1pm and during museum opening hours. The entry to the Cathedral is free but no to the Museum.
Cathedral Museum: July-Sept Tues-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-2pm, Oct-Feb Tues-Sat 10am-2pm and 4-6pm, Sun 10am-2pm, Mar-June Tues-Sat 10am-2pm and 4-7pm, Sun 10am-2pm, closed Mondays.
Museu d´Art: Opening times – Mar-Sept 10am-7pm, Oct-Feb 10am-6pm, Sundays 10am-2pm, closed Mondays.
Arab Baths: April-Sept, Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun and hols 10am-2pm, Oct-March Mon-Sun 10am-2pm. Closed Christmas, New Year and Easter. Audio guides available.
TRAVEL TO GIRONA
Trains depart regularly from Sants, the journey takes 1hr 20min.