Girona Old Town

Girona Old Town

Girona Old Town, also known as Barri Vell, is a charming and historic neighborhood located in the city of Girona, Spain. The old town is surrounded by medieval walls, and its narrow streets are filled with beautifully preserved buildings and landmarks from different historical periods, including Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque.

Some of the must-see sights in Girona Old Town include the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Arab Baths, the Jewish Quarter, and the colorful houses along the Onyar River.

Girona Old Town has also gained popularity in recent years as a filming location for the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” with scenes shot in various locations throughout the neighborhood.

Where is Girona Old Town?

Girona Old Town is located in the city of Girona, which is in the northeastern region of Catalonia, Spain. The old town is situated on the eastern bank of the Onyar River, and it is surrounded by medieval walls that date back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Girona is located approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Barcelona and is easily accessible by train or car. The old town is a popular tourist destination and attracts visitors from all over the world who come to explore its rich history, culture, and architecture.

    Exploring Girona Old Town in Catalonia Spain

    Girona old town Cathedral-of-Girona

    Cathedral of Girona

    The Cathedral of Girona, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona, is a Gothic-style cathedral located at the highest point of Girona old town. It is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city and is renowned for its impressive architecture and rich history.

    Construction of the Cathedral of Girona began in the 11th century, but the current building dates mainly from the 14th and 15th centuries. The cathedral features a mix of architectural styles, with a Gothic nave, Romanesque cloister, and Baroque façade. The interior of the cathedral is equally stunning, with a high vaulted ceiling, beautiful stained glass windows, and intricate carvings and sculptures.

    One of the most notable features of the Cathedral of Girona is its large bell tower, which stands at 74 meters tall and offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside. Visitors can climb the tower to enjoy the views, or explore the cathedral’s many chapels and altarpieces.

    The Cathedral of Girona is a popular tourist attraction and is also used for religious services and cultural events throughout the year. This Cathedral was also filmed in Game of Thrones. 

    Girona Old town Pont de Pedra

    Pont de Pedra

    Pont de Pedra is a historic bridge that spans the Onyar River and connects Girona old town with the newer part of the city. The Pont de Pedra was built in the mid-19th century and is considered one of the most important bridges in Girona due to its historical and cultural significance. It is made of stone and has several arches, with a central arch that is larger than the others.

    The bridge is a popular spot for visitors to enjoy the views of the river and the surrounding buildings. It is also an important symbol of the city that is often featured in local artwork and postcards.

    Girona Old town City wall of Girona

    The City Wall of Girona

    The city wall of Girona is a medieval defensive wall that surrounds the historic center of Girona. The wall dates back to the Roman period but was mostly built during the 14th and 15th centuries. The wall is about 3 kilometers long and includes several towers and gates. The towers were built at strategic points along the wall, such as the highest points and corners, and were used for observation and defense. The gates were the main entrances to the city and were heavily guarded.

    You can see the value in history by strolling on the city wall. The city walls offer excellent views of the city and surrounding area. 

    Girona Old town the arab baths

    The Arab Baths

    The Arab Baths in Girona, also known as the Banys Àrabs, are a set of Romanesque baths located in the heart of Girona old town. Despite their name, the Arab Baths were actually built in the 12th century by Christian rulers who were inspired by the architecture of Islamic baths.

    The Arab Baths are one of the best-preserved examples of Romanesque architecture in Catalonia. The building consists of several rooms, including a dressing room, a cold water room, a warm water room, and a hot water room. Today, visitors can tour the Arab Baths and learn about their history. The baths are also used for cultural events and concerts throughout the year.

    Girona old town El Pont de les Peixateries Velles

    El Pont de les Peixateries Velles

    El Pont de les Peixateries Velles was designed by the renowned architect Gustave Eiffel, who is also known for designing the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

    The bridge spans the Onyar River and connects the historic quarter of Girona with the Mercadal district. It is a pedestrian bridge famous for its distinctive metallic structure and its red color.

    El Pont de les Peixateries Velles was built in 1877 as part of a larger project to revitalize the city and improve its infrastructure. The bridge was originally used for transportation of goods and people, but today it is mainly used by pedestrians.

    Girona Old town

    Sant Domènec

    Sant Domenec is a church in Girona old town and is one of the most prominent landmarks in the area.

    The church of Sant Domenec was originally built in the 13th century in the Gothic style, and it was later expanded and renovated in the 17th and 18th centuries. The church has a beautiful façade with a large rose window and a bell tower that stands out among the surrounding buildings.

    Sant Domenec is a popular destination for tourists visiting Girona, as well as for locals who come to attend religious services and events. It is also sometimes used as a venue for concerts and other cultural events.

    The Pujada de Sant Domènec is one of the most symbolic spot of the city, its magnificent baroque staircase leads to the Església de Sant Martí Sacosta. As for GOT fans should be known as Braavos Market. It’s here where Arya jumps and falls down the stairs knocking over the baskets of oranges. 

    Girona old town Placa dels jurats

    Plaça dels Jurats

    “Plaça dels Jurats” is a public square. In the center of the square, there is a large stone monument known as the “Plaça dels Jurats Monument.” The monument dated back to the 14th century and was erected to honor the city’s leaders, who were known as “jurats” (in Catalan), during the medieval period.

    Today, the Plaça dels Jurats is a popular gathering place for cultural events, concerts, and festivals throughout the year. Game of Thrones fans may recognize this location as where Arya watches actors play out the scenes of her family’s story and the Lannisters. 

    Girona flower festival

    Girona Temps de Flors – The Flower Festival

    “Girona Temps de Flors” (Girona Flower Festival) is an annual event that takes place in the city of Girona. The festival is a celebration of spring and nature, it transforms the city into a stunning floral exhibition.

    During the festival, which usually takes place in May, various locations throughout the city are decorated with flowers, creating a colorful and fragrant environment. The festival includes flower displays in public spaces, such as courtyards, gardens, and historical buildings, as well as in private homes and shops that open their doors to visitors.

    In addition to the floral displays, there are also various cultural activities, concerts, exhibitions, and guided tours offering visitors a chance to learn more about the history and culture of Girona.

    The festival has been held annually since 1955 and has become one of the most popular events in Catalonia, attracting visitors from all over the world. It is a unique, vibrant and joyful way to experience the city of Girona and its rich cultural heritage.

    General Information

    How to Get There?

    There are several ways to get to Girona’s old town, depending on your starting point and preferred mode of transportation:

    By Train: Girona is well-connected by train, and the train station is located just outside the old town. From Barcelona, take the high-speed AVE train or the regional trains to Girona. From the train station, it’s a short 10-15 minute walk to the old town.

    By Bus: There are several bus companies that operate between Girona and other cities in Spain. The bus station is located just outside the old town, so it’s a short walk to the city center.

    By Car: If you have a car, you can easily drive to Girona and park in one of the many public parking lots near the old town. However, driving in the old town itself can be challenging, so it’s best to park and walk around.

    By Plane: The nearest airport to Girona is Girona-Costa Brava Airport, which is located about 12 km from the city center. From the airport, you can take a taxi, bus, or train to the old town. The bus takes about 25 minutes and costs around 2-3 euros.

    Green Hotels in Girona Old Town

    Choose a sustainable hotel that is designed to respect the environment, and which takes extra measures to implement their facilities with efficient lighting systems, and low-pressure water installations; it also generates its own energy. In addition to the environment, eco-friendly hotels try to help the local community through their service. 

    Related Article: 5 Reasons Why Responsible Travel Matters

    Luckily, there are quite a few eco-friendly hotels in Girona to choose from. They make for an amazing low-impact stay in the medieval historical town. Below are a few sustainable properties for you to consider: 

    Girona old town Ciutat de Girona

    Hotel Ciutat de Girona

    Hotel Ciutat de Girona is a four-star hotel in Girona old town. The hotel is housed in a restored 19th-century building that combines traditional architecture with modern amenities. The hotel’s central location makes it an ideal base for exploring the city’s many attractions, including the Cathedral of Girona, the Jewish Quarter, and the Arab Baths. Additionally, Ciutat de Girona is just a short drive from the Costa Brava, a beautiful stretch of Mediterranean coastline known for its sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters.

    Citat de Girona is Biosphere certified; the hotel is committed to making significant efforts towards sustainability. Some of the measures are prioritizing using renewable energy and sourcing from local suppliers.

    Ciutat de Girona offers 44 rooms, all elegantly decorated and equipped with modern amenities. The hotel also has a rooftop terrace with stunning views of Girona old town, a cozy bar, and a restaurant serving traditional Catalan cuisine.

    Hotel Ultonia

    Hotel Ultonia Girona

    Hotel Ultonia Girona is situated in a modern building that is just a short walk from the city’s main attractions, including the Cathedral of Girona, the Jewish Quarter, and the Arab Baths. According to the hotel’s website, the management team is committed to being sensitive to environmental issues. The hotel takes further steps to implement the environmental policy to align with its mission and encourage actions in the area of sustainability through communication with all staff, suppliers, collaborators, and clients.

    The hotel offers 71 guest rooms, which are all equipped with modern amenities. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with plenty of natural light and tasteful decor.

    Hotel Photos Credit: All hotels images courtesy of Nananai World’s affiliate partner

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