Discover the best places to visit in Girona
What Girona attractions are included in your tour? That’s what Allison M. wrote to me asking more information before she booked her Girona day trip with us. Girona Catalonia is actually one of my favorite destinations outside of Barcelona.
I love taking my guests there, but it’s also easy to do on your own. This is why I thought that now that the weather is good and the days are longer, it’d be interesting to write a post about the best places to visit in Girona, so everyone can enjoy it as much as I do.
Here are MY favorite things to do in girona:
Tapestry of Creation. A mysterious 1000yo piece of cloth, that according to the latest analysis was probably more of a carpet than a tapestry. Almost hidden in a dark room at the end of the Museum of the Cathedral, it displays in a fascinating way the story of the Genesis, as well as more mundane things such as the months of the year represented by different agriculture tasks. And since you are there, it’s worth taking a look at the rest of the Cathedral and its cloister.
Walls Promenade. Lovely walk along the nicely restored medieval walls (actually, if you pay attention you might still identify bits of the original Roman wall from I BC). The promenade starts with a stroll along some quiet gardens planted along the wall, but soon you are allowed to actually get “inside” and on top of them, using here the medieval parapet path, and there some metal stairs and walkways added modernly to make the visit easier. If you are interested in the Jewish Girona attractions, take a short detour to visit the ruins of Torre Gironella, where the Jewish community was besieged over 17 weeks in 1391.
Museum of History of the Jewish. Talking about Jewish sights, this museum is the most important of all the Jewish places to visit in Girona. Located in the same location where one of the medieval synagogues once stood, the first floor explains the basics about Judaism, while the second floor goes more in depth about the life of the Jewish of Girona in the middle ages, the pogroms and the later expulsion (my favorite part). Check out too their collection of medieval Hebrew tombstones, one of the most important in Europe. By the way, if you are interested in other Jewish places to visit in Girona, make sure to check out our Jewish Girona attractions tour.
Arab Baths. They’re not really Arabic, but for years locals thought that it could have been part of some medieval Muslim mansion. Now we know that it was a Romanesque structure, but that doesn’t make it less beautiful. My favorite part is the Apodyterium (the old dressing room), with its gorgeous water bassin and the subdued light coming in from the geometric skylights.
Onyar River. One of my favorite things to do in Girona is taking pictures of this river separating the Old Town from modern Girona. I love the way the colorful buildings of the riverside reflect in the water, and the cool perspectives of the belltowers of the Cathedral and St. Feliu Church. The bridges add some extra charm to my shots, specially the Eiffel bridge (yes! designed by the same guy that did the tower in Paris!) that allows for quite interesting frames.
But there is one thing you absolutely need to do in Girona… Share this post and we’ll tell you what!
Kiss the Lioness butt. As you cross the Onyar River through the bridge closest to the Girona Tourism Office that takes you in front of St. Feliu Church, you’ll notice a stand-alone column with a sculpture of an animal on top, and some metal steps next to it. It has become a tradition to climb the steps and kiss its butt. Any local will in fact tell you that:
You can’t say you’ve been to Girona unless, you’ve kissed the butt of the Lioness!