August 15, 2023


Catedral de Santa María de Gerona

Girona is located 100 kilometers north-east of Barcelona. It has its own Airport but you can reach this beautiful city by train from major stations in Barcelona in an hour and a half. As it is located in between Barcelona and the French border, visitors not just from Spain and Catalunya but also from France make this a popular destination.

In my case, I rode the earliest train from Barcelona Sants that took me straight to the French border city of Cerbère. All of it in another post but the bottomline is, I went to Girona just as a side trip on my way back from France.

Estació de Girona

I arrived 2 hours late than intended because our train got stranded just a good 20 kilometers before Girona due an accident with the train that went first than us. But it was not that bad because I was able to have time to read my book and also it was still a bit early. But upon arriving, I was greeted by the nice (and cooled) Girona train station. So I tried to purchase my tickets back to Barcelona and then moved forward

Pro Tip: When doing a spontaneous weekend trip, upon arriving to your destination without yet an outgoing ticket to your next destination or in my case, home - best to buy your tickets in advance before leaving the train station if possible. This will save you time and anxiety as you can plan when you need to be at the station for your outgoing train.

My room for a night at Girona

I was supposed to do just a day trip but hearing a number of people telling how nice Girona is, I thought I'd stay a night. I booked the cheapest thing in and I saw Residència Universitaria Pare Claret. It looks simple and clean, as long as it has a private bathroom and an AC in this hot Spanish Summer, it's a deal for me. And I was happy with my booking, especially mentioning again the AC!

Rda. Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 28
17002 Girona

So after a shower because it was an extremely humid August afternoon, I set foot to the old city. This "modern" part of the city is separated from the historic quarters by the river Onyar.

Riu Onyar

Even from here I can see the medieval buildings already which excited me so much. It was a Saturday afternoon and there were quite a crowd but not Barcelona afternoon level. I wanted to go to the Cathedral as it is one of the filming locations of the Game of Thrones Series which I followed since it aired its second season.

The Facade of the Cathedral of Girona

This beautiful cathedral was really enormous! It is so beautiful that it was the chosen location to depict the Great Sept of Baelor on HBO's The Game of Thrones series. I had to use my phone's 0.5 lens just to capture it from bottom to top thus the distortion but still I love the photo that I shared it with you. 

It is also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona and is a Roman Catholic church that was and completed in the early 18th century. But it has a long traced history dating back to the 6th century before it was transformed into a mosque by the Islamic conquest of Iberia. 

Sant Martí de Girona

Another place on my list was Sant Marti de Girona. Honestly, this is my favorite place in Girona. The reason is that one of my favorite Filipino Movies had scenes filmed in Girona and one of those iconic locations was this one. I mean, it's both grand and romantic at the same time right? And to be able to see it in my eyes was very touching for me.

Just like on the movie, the base of the dividing staircase is a busy café with summer chairs and tables and I wanted to see it without all the other tourists (which I successfully achieved the next morning when I decided to visit it again).


But of course, what summer getaway would ever be complete without some ice cream! There's a lot of ice cream shops around the city but I chose this cute shop Roli Gelateria not just because it has a high rating in Google Maps, but because the interiors were cute. Good thing I did because the crew were very nice (as you can see I did not feel shy to ask my photo to be taken) and I felt a bit adventurous that day to try new flavors. I opted for a scoop of Speculoos and another of Lime. I never had Lime ice cream and I tell you, Roli's lime flavor is amazing! I highly recommend Roli when you visit Girona!

Carrer de Santa Clara, 3
17001 Girona

Catalan Architecture

Overall, my trip to Girona was a very good one! I can confidently say that it is my favorite place in the region of Catalunya, well of course next to my Barcelona. People are nice and chill and there's a lot of things to see, flavors to taste, and memories to make! These are moments when a side-trip became a very good destination which you are sure to visit again in the future.

Never Sleep on Sidetrips,


  1. I had no idea parts of GOT were filmed in Spain. The architecture is amazing! The ice cream looks delicious, too! :)

    1. That is right Rita! Went there and also in Dubrovnik last June where some scenes of King's Landing were shot. It was beautiful!

  2. What a great introductory tour you posted of Girona, Stevenson. That cathedral was very impressive as were the other buildings. GOod advice to get your return ticket once you have arrived someplace. I would do this when traveling to NYC. If you spend (or lose) your money, you always have a way home. That ice cream (gelato?) looked so good too😋 Did you decide to really cut back on your hair style due to the heat? Just wondered.

    1. You said it perfectly Beatrice! I got tired of the heat and also seeing a lot of hair fall in the tub every time I shower gives me trauma! So I just thought to chop them all off :)

  3. What a fascinating city Stephenson - I can understand you wanting to go back there!!

    1. Thank you so much Maxine! Oh definitely one of these days I will :)

  4. Wow what a beautiful place, Girona is definitely on the list if I have a chance visiting Barcelona, thanks for the pretty pictures you posted. If that is the cheap accommodation in Girona, I do not mind. It reminds me of my room back in college. You said that you went to France for a trip, care to elabore more stories on your France trip?

    1. Hello there Cipu! Oh you said it perfectly, it was perfect for me even if it was small and simple because it has a private bathroom which is the most important thing for me haha Oh sure! I can write that on my next blog about my 2 hours in France trip haha :) It was short but fun! (And I took nice photos there as well)


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