Enjoy Girona

So, here I am in one of my favourite Spanish cities: Girona…

Welcome

This is my first real post to my new “In My Shoes” travel site. Here the journey begins and I would love it if you would spend a few minutes every day in my shoes; let’s see what we discover together.

It is quite fitting that our journey together would start in Girona as this is the place where my annual travels always begin, now in October, on my birthday. Each year my boyfriend and I travel the 45 minutes by air from Palma de Mallorca where we live, to Girona.

Girona

The reason why we choose Girona every October is because we have our annual birthday dinner at Spain’s current number 1 restaurant: El Celler de Can Roca. And this is part of the reason for Girona’s being one of my favourite Spanish cities.

But Girona has much more to offer in its own right: it has a beautiful old town with tiny streets, winding steps and delightful hidden corners to get lost in; it has an amazing cathedral, fantastic restaurants and a very pleasing shopping scene with wide, pedestrianised boulevards and avenues.

girona old town

Girona is very easy to reach from the airport by a reliable bus service running every hour, making the short journey between the airport and the city stress-free (timetables here)

Part of Girona’s charm is in its easy-to-negotiate size: it is big enough to be a city, small enough to get around and has a wonderful green belt with an amazing walk up a hill where there are awesome views overlooking the city.

Not to mention the numerous bars and restaurants in the centre, making this a great place for a “tapeo”.

The bus station and train station are together in the city centre just outside the old quarter, meaning that you will normally alight close to where you want to be. In the area connecting the bus and train stations there is a nice café area that does menu deals throughout the day and has plenty of seating.

Each time we visit Girona we stay somewhere different; sometimes in a tiny boutique hotel in the old town, sometimes in a larger more modern chain. Today when my boyfriend Toni and I arrived, we checked in at the Melia Girona: 4 star, all the usual amenities, very nice classic-style rooms, a little out of town but close enough for a pleasant walk…

The Rain in Girona

As always, we enjoyed strolling around the old town, through the tiny alleyways, over the bridges that cross the River Onyar which slices the city down the centre, and then under the covered walkways hiding from the rain. It ALWAYS rains when we visit Girona. Every year without fail! Every year I make sure I have packed an umbrella in my tiny Ryanair-proof suitcase and every year Toni does not! I always urge him to get under mine with me but this usually means we both get soaked!

This little rain-tussle we have always reminds me of how the Japanese people act in the rain, how obsessed they are with not getting wet and in particular of an episode in Kanazawa when the tour guide that was showing us the city insisted that Toni take his umbrella. Anyway, I digress, that will be a story for the next day…

Discovering Girona

Then we headed straight out towards the old town for a stroll to work up our appetite for the meal that we most look forward to each year…

Ice Cream

In Girona on this particular day, we were heading for a brand new ice cream shop. Now, there is a remarkably large number of ice cream shops in Girona (I have no idea why) but none are quite like Rocambolesc


rocambolesc girona

This ice cream shop belongs to the Roca brothers of the very Cellar de Can Roca restaurant and they take ice cream to another level.

Rocambolesc is like stepping back into the 1950s with an old bicycle in the entranceway, specials chalked on the board and a candy-floss maker spinning around and throwing cotton candy everywhere. The array of toppings is incredible and the choices endless.

There were people of all ages in there; couples like us, groups of teenagers and a few older women who had clearly met for a chat and an ice cream rather than the typical gossip over a coffee. Once people had their ice creams they were spilling out onto the wet street trying not to dribble them everywhere, much to the amusement of passers by!


rocambolesc girona

 

City Views

An absolute must in Girona is quite simply a stroll in the grounds beyond the cathedral and on the old walls. This green area boasts the most picturesque views of the city. Stunning.

Many people haven’t heard of Girona because it is often eclipsed by the other large cities of Barcelona and Valencia or the beach resorts in the area but I guarantee a visit to this charming city will not disappoint.

Girona Atmosphere

One of the most fun things to do in Girona is to go round the bars and restaurants in the centre that serve tapas and wine and ooze atmosphere. Just go into the centre and you are spoilt for choice for tapas.

Where to Stay

Some other hotels where I have stayed in Girona and for which I have found good deals are at the hotels Llegendes, Carlemany and Nord 1901:

But there are plenty of charming places to stay in Girona and you can find great places just by searching online.

Hope you enjoy my favourite city…

To discover another of my favourite cities in Europe click here.

 

Filed Under: featuredgironaspainWhere I Am Right Now

About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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  1. susan sykes says:

    Loving Girona I’ve never thought of visiting there but I really fancy going, the bars and the walking sounds like just the type of holiday I like, thanks for your 1st proper post looking forward to the next.

    • Lisa says:

      You definitely should; there’s loads to do and it’s a gorgeous city. Hope you like the next post – I’m afraid it’s a long one so you might need a cup of tea!

  2. Joane Barlow says:

    Girona sounds a really lovely place,your info very informative.I would certainly refer back to your blog,If i get the opportunity to visit.good post .

  3. Ben says:

    Great article … To my embarrassment I have never heard of Girona before. You make it sound so lovely!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks so much for reading Ben; even many people in Spain have not heard of Girona, it’s a reasonably sized city but gets over shadowed by Barcelona and Valencia. Hope you can visit some day 🙂

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