There are many cities in Catalonia that remain unknown for many people due to the big shadow that Barcelona projects on them. We all know that it’s a great city, but travelling around to smaller towns can also be worth it. Today, we’d like to talk about one of the four main cities in our region: Girona!

Girona is located in the northern region of Catalonia, and it borders with France and Andorra. It has 100,000 inhabitants, which makes it the 10th most populated Catalan city. The city was founded next to the river Onyar, which has become one of the most appealing locations of Girona! If you pay a visit, don’t miss the colorful buildings next to it. Did you know that Gustave Eiffel built a bridge over that river? Its shape sort of looks like the Eiffel Tower.


In the Middle Ages, Girona was one of the biggest Jewish centers in Europe. That’s why nowadays one can find in Girona the best-preserved Jewish quarters in the whole continent, called Call jueu. If you’re interested in this field, you’ll find there a really interesting museum dedicated to Jewish traditions and how they coexisted in Girona back in time.

Legend has it that if you go to Girona, you must kiss a lion’s butt. Yes, you’re reading properly. There’s a statue called Cul de la Lleona, a little female lion hanging from a column, and if you kiss its butt, you’ll be back to Girona sooner or later. Don’t forget to do it next time!


When spring arrives, Girona becomes the capital of flowers. One of their main festivities is Temps de Flors: people decorate the streets of Girona with huge carpets made of flowers, and some streets choose their own type of flower, like roses, cactus or orchids. And if you get hungry while walking around the city, you can have a traditional sweet: xuxos. Xuxos are deep-fried, sugar-coated cylindrical pastries filled with crema catalana, and they’re delicious!


Are you a big fan of Game of Thrones? Or you’re not, but you’re interested in TV sets? Then, Girona is your place! This city hosted GoT sets for their 6th season, and many of its citizens acted as extra actors. If you have already seen those episodes, we’re sure you’ll be able to find this place in Girona!


All in all, Girona is an amazing city full of history, architecture, gastronomy and activity. It’s 60km away from Barcelona, so we’re convinced it’s really worth visiting and you will enjoy a different city in Catalonia.  


ESN Barcelona UPF team
Photo 1 by Lena Serditova on TimeOut 
Photo 2 by ACN on
Photo 3 by Verónica Andreu on Momentos Dulces de Verónica
Photo 4 by Game of Thrones