Girona attractions include El Call & Old Town district, Girona Cathedral, Banys Arabs spas, Museum of Archaeology, and Carrer Santa Clara street.
El Call and the Old Town of Girona form a labyrinthine historic center of the city, featuring narrow, long alleys and streets that follow the Onyar river (which flows through the city).
District of El Call (www.girona.cat/call/cat/) is an picturesque area within the Old Town, which, from 890-1492, contained the city’s Jewish Quarter.
Today, you can find from El Call the Museu d’Història dels Jueus, a museum which tells the history of the Jews in the city.
As a whole, the Old Town is a collection of Medieval buildings, and to see most of the significant of these buildings, its a good idea to start touring the district from the ancient stone bridge that crosses the Onyar river.
Many of the major Girona attractions are, in fact, located within the hillside Old Town, whereas the modern parts of the city of Girona have been built on a much flatter area.
Girona Cathedral (www.catedraldegirona.org) is a Romanesque architecture style church, construction of which commenced in 1040, with the building efforts continuing for several centuries, up to the 18th century.
One of the highlights in the building is its Gothic Revival style central corridor (leading to the main altar), the second widest of its kind — at 22.98 meters (75 ft) — after Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica.
Another highlight of the church is its bell tower, Torre de Carlemany, decorated with great religious sculptures and from where you’ll have spectacular views to the surrounding Old Town areas of Girona.
The cathedral also contains a superb collection of artworks, including religious illustrated manuscripts from the 10th century, such as the famous “Codex del Beatus“, which contains an illustrated commentary.
Banys Arabs spas (www.banysarabs.org), located in Girona’s old town, meanwhile, date back to 1194.
The spas were built using inspiration from traditional Muslim spas, which was a popular way to build spas at the time of the building’s construction.
Of these historic baths, you can explore the caldarium (hot baths) and frigidarium (cold baths) sections, the latter of which has magnificent central octagonal swimming pool, surrounded by majestic columns.
La seu de Girona – Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya, Girona’s Museum of Archaeology (www.mac.cat/cat/Seus/Girona), is a collection of antiquities found in excavations done in Girona and the surrounding areas.
The museum’s collection includes artifacts from prehistoric period up to the Middle Ages…
…with the collection being part of a network of archaeological museums in the Catalonia region (www.mac.cat).
The museum building is a major attraction in by itself, and offers one of the finest examples of a Catalan Romanesque style building from the 12th century.
Finally, Carrer Santa Clara street is the most attractive shopping street in Girona, a Spanish city famous for its shopping opportunities.
Along the street, you’ll find…
- a number of local shops and boutiques, and
- a good selection of restaurants and nightlife, for later in the day.
A good place to begin your shopping is from the Girona stone bridge, where Carrer Nou and Carrer Santa Clara streets meet.