Europe,  Spain,  Travel

Day Trip to Girona and Figueres, Spain

I always recommend visiting local Tourist Offices when traveling.  They offer a lot of great resources, including (free!) maps and advice.  I like to take a look at the available tours to nearby destinations for ideas and suggestions.  Sometimes I book day-trips through tourist offices, but a lot of times I use the tours as an idea to plan a trip myself!
 
At the Barcelona Tourist Office, I noticed tours for day-trips to Girona and Figueres.  I took a pamphlet with me, did a little research myself, and I found it was easy to book train tickets and visit the cities by myself.  Figueres is a popular destination due to the Teatre-Museu Dali and Girona is a charming city that’s conveniently en route from Barcelona!  They are both a quick trainride from Barcelona and both cities fit comfortably into a single day trip.  

Girona, Spain

Girona, Spain - Adventures with Shelby

 

Though still within Catalonia, Girona has different architecture than Barcelona.  There is a more medieval feel to the city.  In fact, Girona was established as one of the fourteen original counties of Catalonia in 785 (though the city changed hands numerous times).  

Pont de les Peixateries Velles is a pedestrian bridge in Girona designed by Gustave Eiffel (recognize the name?).  Typically, the squares are empty, but the bridge was decorated while I visited for Temps de Flor (more on this later!).  The red bridge is especially scenic with the surrounding colorful buildings and is a nice starting point for a scenic walk along the Riu Onyar.

The Jewish Quarter is one of the most iconic areas of the city and an absolute must-see!  Fun fact: Girona was used in several scenes in Game of Thrones!!  Girona was used in sets for Braavos, OldTown, and even Kings Landing.  The walk of atonement scenes start right in front of the Catedral de Girona!

Girona Spain - Adventures with Shelby

 

Passeig de la Muralla was one of the top highlights of my visit.  This walkway along the old (partially reconstructed) city walls and towers from the 14th century spreads around the perimeter of Girona.  The walkway offers great views of the city and surrounding area.  Some visitors choose to skip the towers, but I personally enjoy the higher viewpoint at the top.  I started my walk on the Passeig at the Jardins de la Francesca, just behind Catedral de Girona.

Temps de Flor

While I was visiting, it happened to be Temps de Flor (Flower Festival) in Girona!  This festival occurs annually and features exhibits all throughout the town.  Festival maps are available at the tourist office, or from festival volunteers, with suggested itineraries and an outline of all the exhibit locations.  Some areas which are not typically open to the public have exhibits during the festival!

Figueres, Spain

Figueres is the birthplace of Salvador Dalí and home to Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí, a museum designed by Dalí himself.
 
From the train station, Teatre-Museu Dalí is an easy 15 minute walk with signs directing which way to go.  The museum is hard to miss, with bright red paint and eggs adorning the roof.  Teatre-Museu Dali contains the largest collection of art by Dalí.  

I want my museum to be a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object. It will be [a] totally theatrical museum. The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream.

— Salvador Dalí

Figueres near Girona Spain - Adventures with Shelby
 
 
As described in Dali’s quote, the museum itself is a work of art.  The pamphlet at the entrance provides a suggested pathway to take to ensure nothing is skipped, however it’s fun to explore the museum in any order.  The museum is quirky and engaging, so unbelieve-ably Dalí-esque. 
 

I didn’t have trouble buying tickets on-site, but most online blogs and TripAdvisor suggest buying tickets in advance.  Better safe than sorry!

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