Gerona (Girona in Catalán) is a city in northern Catalonia. It’s known for its medieval architecture, impressive castles, and beautiful beach coast. Additionally, parts of the Game of Thrones were filmed in Gerona, which makes it such a popular destination for GoT fans!
How to arrive in Gerona from Barcelona
Gerona is located in the north of Catalonia, around 100 km from Barcelona and 65 km from the French border. There is a speed train available from Barcelona Saints to Gerona, taking only 40 minutes.
Driving from Barcelona to Gerona takes approximately 1.5-2 hours. There are also buses available, but they are not recommended since it takes more than 2 hours.
Where to stay in Gerona
If you’re traveling by car, a good option is to stay in the nearby towns by the coast, such as Llançà. Airbnb is a good option here.
There are many hotels available from low to high prices in Gerona, between 50-120 USD. For the most authentic experience, stay in the old town.
What to do in Gerona
Gerona has many tourist attractions. Visit the historical Cathedral of Gerona, The Jewish Museum, the Walls of Gerona (Muralles de Girona), Basílica de Sant Feliu, Arabic Baths, and Sant Pere de Gallingants.
Cathedral of Gerona (Catedral de Girona)
The Cathedral of Gerona is most likely the most famous attraction of the city. It is also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Gerona. The construction of the building began in the 11th century and continued over several centuries. As a result, it is a combination of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles.
The price for visiting the Cathedral is 5 € for adults and 3 € for people aged more than 65 years.
The Arabic Baths (Banys Àrabs)
The Arabic Baths are the Arabic remains of Gerona when the city was under Islamic rule in the 12th century. The style is a combination of Romanesque and Islamic architecture. There are several rooms and a central courtyard. The ticket price is 3 € and 1 € for pensioners and children.
Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants
The monastery of the Sant Pere de Galligants is one of the most important landmarks of Gerona. It was built during the Middle Ages in the 10th century. It served as an important Benedictine monastery and educational center.
Church of Saint Feliu (Sant Feliu de Girona)
The church of Saint Feliu is a significant religious attraction of the city. It has been constructed over several periods, but the construction originally began in Roman times. The church is dedicated to the Christian martyr Saint Felix, who was believed to be executed in the 3rd century.
The Jewish Museum (Museu d’Història dels Jueus)
The Jewish Museum presents the Jewish heritage and history in the region. The museum is located in the Jewish Quarter (El Call), one of the best preserved and important Jewish quarters in Europe. The history of the museum began in the 12th century when it served as the home for the Jewish people. As a part of the museum, there is a synagogue left from the medieval times. It is one of the few synagogues in the region.
The Red Bridge (Eiffel Bridge)
Also visit the famous red bridge of Gerona, which is one of the most famous landmarks of the city. The bridge is also known as ”Pont de les Peixateries Velles” in Catalán. It’s recognized for its red color and use of metal. It was built in 1876. The Red Bridge was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the same person who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The bridge is the symbol of the attempt to modernize Gerona in the 19th century.
The Independence Square (Plaça de la Independència)
The Independence Square is located in the center of Gerona. It offers a variety of restaurants, cafes, and boutique stores. The Square played a significant role during the Peninsular War in the 19th century between Spain and France. Gerona was besieged by the French army in 1809 and the square served as the main defense of the city. These events are commemorated and the citizens are honored for protecting the city with the monument in the square known as the ”El Cul de la Lleona” (The Lioness’s bottom).
Gerona is an interesting destination in the north of Catalonia. It is easily accessible from Barcelona. The city offers interesting architecture, religious landmarks, history, and a peaceful atmosphere. Apart from that, near Gerona there are several towns by the coast if you want to combine it with a beach holiday.