Girona is a small city in north eastern Spain, between Barcelona and the French border. It is a culture clash of Spanish, French and Catalan influences and is perfect for a short break.
Whilst there is an airport, it is serviced by low cost carriers so a more civilised way to travel is to fly into Barcelona and take the train. There is a twice daily high-speed TGV service up to Paris that stops in the city, and for €16 each, a ticket can be had for the 35 minute journey.
Where to stay
There are a number of options, but the DoubleTree by Hilton is well-located for the train station. Twin rooms (which were not very ‘twin’) were available for €80 a night and, as a Diamond, this included an upgrade to a balcony room and breakfast. Unfortunately the rooftop pool and bar were not open at the end of October.
Where to eat
There are many places to eat across the city, and tapas is probably going to be high on the list. Zapanzar is worth going to – get a plate from the bar staff and fill up with snacks from the bar staff. A tally of cocktail sticks on your plate at the end is how you settle your bill.
For something more substantial, Cafe le Bistro is the place to be if you can get a table outside on the steps. Inside is also great – packed at lunch time on Sundays with families enjoying good food in a beautifully authentic Art Deco environment.
What to do
There is plenty to do and see in the city – it provided the backdrop to some Game of Thrones scenes, and there is a plethora of civic are on display.
You can hire bikes and get out of the city very easily. We hired 2 bikes and a GPS from Girona Cycle Centre for €100 – booking in advance is recommended. 110km is perfectly doable in the stunning countryside.
We came across some stunning scenery on the way and stopped at Banyoles for a late lakeside lunch.
Girona was surprisingly fantastic – I wasn’t expecting much, but it was a great place to spend a couple of days. I would certainly go back and spend some more time exploring the Old Town and cycling around some other parts of the surrounding countryside.