Tag Archives: Girona

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Girona City Stopover

Girona City Stopover: Where to stay & eat

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Our Girona city stopover allowed us just one night in Girona, before heading south to Barcelona-El Prat airport later the following day.

We therefore needed a hotel that was close to the bus and train stations, and still within easy reach of the attractions and restaurants that the city has to offer. We were also on a budget, so we wanted to keep the price down to around €50.

Girona City Stopover – Where to stay & eat

Girona City Stopover – Lazy afternoon on the High Street

After making a shortlist of 3 or 4 hotels that fit our bill, we finally settled on the Hotel Margarit. This small hotel is centrally located in Girona, next to the Onyar river, and close to the steps leading up to the old city walls.

After arriving at the central bus/train station, we reached the hotel with just a 10-15 minute walk.

Hotel Margarit – Ideal for a short Girona city stopover

Hotel Margarit was very reasonably-priced at €51 per night (including the €1 city tax). Breakfast was extra at €8.50 per person.

Our room was clean and comfortable, with a bright and spacious bathroom. To save time, we took our breakfast in the hotel and we were not disappointed. They offered us a buffet of cheeses, hams, fresh crispy bread and sweet pastries, with fruit, yoghurts and cerials.

Everything we needed to set us up for a day in the city.

Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
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During our Girona city stopover, we checked out 3 restaurants we had earmarked before the trip. Unfortunately, the Restaurant l’Alqueria – which came highly recommended – was closed for refurbishment.

In Girona, many restaurants do not open till late evening

Towards the evening, we located the other 2 restaurants and checked their opening times. This being Spain, people tend to eat late and its not always easy to find a restaurant that opens before 8pm. We arrived at the 8de7 restaurant at precisely 8pm, but it was still closed, with not even a sign of activity inside.

This made our restaurant choice easy – we would try the Curcuma restaurant (if they were open…)

Curcuma Restaurant – Small pretensions, Big delivery

The Curcuma restaurant is a little gem of a place, hidden away in the backstreets of the Barri Vell (old quarter) of Girona.

It took us a while to find it, but at least it was open for business at 8:30pm. We were given a table in a very modern and stylish room, and introduced to their menu.

This is one of those restaurants where the menu descriptions are so tantalizing you just want to try everything. In our attempt to do this, we selected a good variety of offerings from the menu, and shared everything between us.

Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
Girona Stopover – Where to stay & eat
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This included Xupa xups de formatge (goatcheese lollipops), Croqueta XL CurcumaLlonganissa organya (organic catalan sausages), Patatas bravas, Vedella teriyaki (veal), and Magret d’anec xocolata cervesa (duck breast in chocolate beer).

We finished off our meal with a “tasting” assortment of deserts, and a local digestif offered to us on the house. Our bill for 2 came to €53, including a bottle of local wine and sparkling water.

Rambla Restaurant

On our second day in the city, before leaving Girona by train, we checked around the main high street for somewhere to eat.

Again, the 8de7 restaurant was late opening, so we went in search of other eating options around Llibertat street.

After a short wander around, we chose a table outdoors at the Rambla restaurant. There, we enjoyed their daily selection of tapas accompanied by a few glasses of red wine: Very good value, at around €10 per head for the food.

Girona City Stopover – Where to stay & eat

Girona city stopover and yet another food pic – we like the Spanish tapas

This would be the last meal of our Girona city stopover. From here we were heading to Barcelona El Prat airport, for a flight to the Canary Islands, where our main vacation would begin.

Girona was nevertheless a great start to our trip: A picturesque, charming and inexpensive city, well-worth a longer visit. Even though we didn’t actually kiss Lleona’s bottom, we will be back…


If you enjoyed Girona city stopover, check out our Short Breaks & City Stops. You may also like:

Girona City Stopover Girona City Stopover[/caption]

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Girona in Giro

Girona in Giro – What to see & do in Springtime

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What can you do in Girona if you have just 5 or 6 hours to spare?

Actually, quite a lot.

Our hotel was located in the center of Girona, next to the Onyar river. We started out early after breakfast and followed the river northwards – passed the brightly painted façades of the houses – heading closer and closer to the unmissable Girona Cathedral.

Along the way we passed several bridges decorated with vibrant red hanging geraniums. Everywhere we looked, it seemed the locals were busy working on intricate and colourful street decorations. A common theme was chopped tree branches, which were painted in various colours and then arranged into interesting and surprising pieces of artwork. The whole town seemed to be alive with creative activity.

Springtime in Girona

In fact, this was all in preparation for Girona Flower Time – the main event of the spring (from 7 to 15 May), with 179 floral projects spread throughout the city.

Bridge decorated for 'Girona Flower Time'

Bridge decorated for ‘Girona Flower Time’

Heading up into the old and narrow alleyways of the Jewish Quarter, the path becomes progressively steeper. This area is atmospheric and steeped in history: No wonder they chose this and other locations in Girona for filming parts of Season 6 of A Game of Thrones.

It would have been nice to spend more time discovering these old streets and antiquated shopfronts, but we were keen to reach the Cathedral and the City Walls.

The Jewish Quarter - Isn't that Arya Stark standing at the top?

The Jewish Quarter – Isn’t that Arya Stark standing at the top?

Girona Cathedral

Eventually, we emerged into the sunshine of the a large piazza, and entrance to the cathedral. Entrance tickets cost €7 (or €5 for the over 60s).

The cathedral itself is interesting enough, housing an enormous central organ. Ranged around the interior walls are dozens of chapels dedicated to (and housing) the remains of prominent clergy. Some of these date back as far as the 10th century.

Girona Cathedral

Girona Cathedral

Included in the entry price are multi-language headphones that provide useful background and interesting anecdotes concerning the interred celebrities, as well as details on the construction of their chapels.

You can also visit a beautifully maintained interior courtyard centred on a giant well and decorated with coloured flowers.

Cathedral Courtyard

Cathedral Courtyard

For myself, the most interesting area was the Cathedral Treasury and Museum – a series of five antechambers containing a variety of artefacts dating back over a thousand years.

These include a bible originally belonging to King Henry II, as well as the Gerona Beatus – a 10th-century illustrated manuscript. Here, you can also find the oldest and best maintained tapestry in Europe – The Tapestry of Creation – dating back incredibly to the 10th century.

The City Walls

On exiting the Cathedral, we walked around the back of the buildings where we could follow a path that rose progressively higher. This leads to the ancient walls of the city of Girona.

Girona in Giro

We walked the length of the walls, this time heading south back towards the city center. Along the walls are a number of observation towers which you can mount for terrific views over the city and across to the snow-capped Pyrenees.

Girona in Giro

Along the battlements we came across what I can only describe as a medieval stone loo built into a recessed section of the wall. This was basically a stone seat with a hole cut through the center, leading to the outer wall. No doubt handy in the heat of battle, or if you just wanted to show the enemy what you thought of them.

Tempted as I was, we decided to give it a miss.

A walk along the entire length of the walls took around 45 minutes, and brought us back almost directly to our hotel in the city center.

Lleona Statue

Another fun attraction in town is the Lleona, an odd-looking limestone statue in the Plaça de Sant Fèlix. The legend is that if you mount the steps and kiss his shiny bottom, you will return to Girona.

Girona in Giro

“Whoever kisses the bottom of Lleona, will return to Girona”

There is a Konig beer terrace just alongside where you can take a beer and watch the antics of tourists checking out the statue.

Enjoy a drink while you're watching the fun

Springtime in Girona – Enjoy a drink while watching the fun

After spending the day visiting the Cathedral, the old town, city walls, and checking out the shops, we were ready to eat. We had earmarked 3 promising restaurants, but the one we chose provided a truly gastronomique end to our day.


If you enjoyed Springtime in Girona, check out our other Short Breaks & City Stops. You may also like:

Girona in-giro

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