Located within sight of the Pyrenees in the northeast of Catalonia, Girona is a great place from which to start a journey to some really exotic locations. This is due to Girona’s proximity to Barcelona – a main Spanish hub from where many flights depart in the direction of South America, Latin America and beyond. Luckily, Girona transfers from airport and onward to Barcelona are straightforward enough if you do some planning in advance.
In our case, we were looking for an inexpensive way to travel to the Canary Islands. We also quite liked the idea of a stopover in Spain. When we found Ryanair flights to Girona for €27, and ongoing flights from Barcelona to the Canaries for €71, we had the makings of a perfect trip.
Barcelona is 99 kms south of Girona, so we just needed to find the easiest connection between the 2 locations.
In the meantime, we planned to enjoy a 36-hour stopover in Girona, to see what the city had to offer.
Girona transfers from airport city center
On arrival at Girona airport, our first task was to find the best way into Girona city. There are no train connections between the airport and the center of Girona, and a taxi costs around €25.
By far the cheapest way of getting into Girona city center from Girona airport is by bus. There are regular bus services from the airport to both Girona and Barcelona. On exiting the arrivals hall, we turned right and walked around 100 meters to the bus station. The bus destinations are clearly marked: Girona city on the left and Barcelona city on the right.
The buses to Girona run every 30 minutes between 6 am and 10 pm, Monday to Saturday. The fare is just €2.25 one-way, and the bus takes you to Girona’s central bus/train station. The buses are modern and comfortable, and the journey takes around 25 minutes.
Travelling between Girona City Center and Barcelona Airport
If you are flying in or out of Barcelona airport (Barcelona-El Prat), the easiest and most reliable way to travel to or from Girona city center is by train, This avoids traffic congestion and delays when travelling by bus, taxi or rented car.
Barcelona-El Prat airport is 13 kms south-west of Barcelona city center.
If you are travelling by train between Girona city center and Barcelona airport, you need to choose a train going to Barcelona Sants (aka Estacio de Sants – most of the trains stop here). At Barcelona Sants you need to change trains. There is an Airport train which runs regularly between Barcelona Sants and Barcelona airport (Terminal 2). The journey takes 20 minutes and costs €4.
The price you pay to travel between Girona and Barcelona Sants depends on the time it takes to arrive. This can be anything from 30 minutes to over 2 hours. You pay more for the Express trains. We chose a Regional train with around 8 stops that took 1 hour 20 minutes. The price was €12 per person.
The trains are modern, fast and smooth with clean toilets and individual power sockets for your electronic gadgets.
On arrival at the Airport train terminal, there is just a 10-minute walk to Terminal 2. However, if you need to get to Terminal 1 you will have to take a shuttle. This will add another 20 minutes or so to your journey.
Of course, all the above applies in reverse when travelling from Barcelona airport to Girona.
Save time – Book your train tickets in advance
If you know your travel plans in advance, you can book your train tickets online. The official Spanish online portal is Renfe. If your Spanish language skills are a little rusty, you can also make your booking in English from the Loco2 website.
After booking and payment, you receive a PDF ticket which you can print out and use directly on the train.
After enjoying our short break in Girona, the onward journey by train to Barcelona-El Prat airport went smoothly. We arrived at Terminal 2 in good time for our evening flight to the Canary Islands. We were scheduled to arrive in Tenerife South just after midnight. Accordingly, we had booked an Aparthotel located not too far from the airport.
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