A small city in the Catalonia region of Spain, Girona is often used as a gateway to the coastal beaches, or for budget travellers to Barcelona. Dig a little deeper beneath the surface, however, and Girona has a lot of attractions in its own right! With thousands of years of history, this is a great place to dive deep into Catalan culture.
As quite a recent addition to tourist itineraries, it can be difficult to figure out where to stay whilst in Girona. Information across the internet is conflicting, and it really depends on what you are wanting to experience in the city.
That’s where we come in! We’ve built this guide to the seven best areas in Girona to help you plan your upcoming trip to the city. They have also been categorised into who they are best for, making it easy for you to fit our advice around your itinerary.
So let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Girona
- Barri Vell – Best neighborhood in Girona for your first time
- Eixample – Where to stay in Girona close to everything
- Mercadal – Where to stay in Girona for nightlife
- Devesa-Güell – Best neighborhood in Girona for families
- El Call – Where to stay in Girona on a budget
- Lloret de Mar – Best neighborhood in Girona for couples
- Figueres – Best neighborhood in Girona for culture
Where to Stay in Girona
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Girona.
Best Hostel in Girona
As the best rated hostel in the city, Can Cocollona had to take our top pick for backpacker accommodation in Girona! It comes with fantastic communal facilities and great levels of service, helping you to feel welcome throughout your stay. It’s also well located next to the main train station.
Best Budget Hotel in Girona
This beautiful hotel might be budget friendly, but it nevertheless comes with fantastic facilities! Rooms are decorated in a modern style that creates a spacious and welcoming atmosphere for guests. They also provide an excellent buffet breakfast that comes with great reviews from previous guests.
Best Luxury Hotel in Girona
As the only five star hotel in the city itself, AC Hotel Palau de Bellavista is a cut above the rest of the splurge choices in Girona! Their amazing rooftop pool gives you fantastic views across the city, as well as a great place to unwind after a day of exploring.
Girona 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the seven best neighbourhoods in Girona. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighborhood in Girona for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Barri Vell – take a boat cruise down the River Onyar, an easy going way to gather your bearings in the city
- BEST place to visit in Barri Vell – visit Rambla de la Libertad, a major thoroughfare in the area lined with historic architecture
Barri Vell, or the Old Town in English, is the historic heart of the city and where you will find most of the major attractions! Divided into two areas, this segment refers to the southern half of the Old Town as this is one of the most convenient neighborhoods for first time visitors. This is where you can learn about the city’s culture and turbulent past.
As with most historic centres, Barri Vell is also packed with great restaurants showcasing regional cuisine! Though they are somewhat touristy these days, they still offer great prices and a relatively authentic experience. There are also plenty of excellent shopping destinations.
- Take a walk along the Passeig de la Muralla – the ancient city wall that surrounds the Barri Vell
- Check out Girona Town Hall, an old building that showcases some of the grandest architecture you will find in the city
- The Eiffel Bridge gives you an excellent viewpoint across the Barri Vell, as well as over surrounding neighborhoods
- Artusi is a fantastic restaurant offering a wide range of Mediterranean dishes at great prices – perfect for your first night in the city
- For something a little more casual, head to La Fabrica Girona – a small cafe with a communal atmosphere and great selection of Catalan food
Best Hotel for Backpackers Barri Vell
Whilst there aren’t any hostels in this part of the city, Bells Oficis is a great two star accommodation offering a budget friendly place to stay! As the name says, they offer a complimentary breakfast every morning that is included in your rate. Rooms are fully air conditioned, ensuring a comfortable stay.
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Best Budget Hotel in Barri Vell
This is a family run guest house that is also a great option for those visiting the city on a strict budget! Pensions are typically run out of regular housing blocks, giving you a more authentic experience whilst staying in the city. This small pension has complimentary WiFi throughout, as well as a tourism desk.
Editor’s Recommendation! These are the staff pick for the top hostels in Seville (for all budgets!)
Best Luxury Hotel in Barri Vell
Though located just outside of Barri Vell, AC Hotel Palau de Bellavista is the most centrally located five star hotel in the area! It truly is the pinnacle of luxury, with excellent recreational facilities including an outdoor pool, roof terrace and fitness suite. The buffet breakfast comes with gluten free and vegetarian options.
(Where to stay in Girona close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Eixample – see the city on two wheels with Center Biker Girona, located in Eixample next to the river
- BEST place to visit in Eixample – Parque del Mediodia is a major public park in the city with a large lake and plenty of recreational facilities
Eixample is likely the first part of the city you will see – whether you are arriving by train or plane. As the location of the main station, Eixample is the best base for getting around the city as well as exploring further afield in Catalonia! This makes it a great spot if you are only visiting for a short period of time, or are arriving late in the night.
Whilst not as historically significant as Barri Vell, Eixample has some great attractions in its own right! It is one of the greenest areas in the city, surrounded by lush parks and excellent recreational facilities. There are also plenty of fantastic tour operators based out of Eixample, allowing you to explore further in the region.
- Head to Mercat del Lleo to grab some fresh local produce as well as souvenirs, clothing and vintage goods to take home
- Biblioteca Publica de Girona Carles Rahola is the largest library in the city and hosts a variety of creative and educational events throughout the year
- Fietsen in Girona offer a great selection of tours of the city, as well as further afield in the Costa Blanca and Catalonia
- Espit Chupitos Girona is a popular nightlife venue in the area with modern cocktails, a laid back atmosphere and great music selection
- If you want to sample local cuisine whilst in the area, Thot is one of the best rated restaurants in Eixample
Best Hostel Eixample
This is a fantastic hostel for backpackers that want to stay close to the city centre, but still want the social atmosphere that comes along with staying in a hostel! There are two private patios, giving you a great place to mingle in the sun. Dorms are limited to six guests.
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Best Budget Hotel in Eixample
If you want something with a little more privacy, this two star hotel is perfect for staying near the train station on a budget! They offer a large buffet breakfast every morning that comes with vegetarian and vegan option. Rooms have their own well equipped en-suite bathrooms, as well as telephone and WiFi access.
Best Luxury Hotel in Eixample
Offering both rooms and luxury suites, Carlemany is an elegant four star hotel located a short walk away from the main train station! This makes it the perfect choice for those willing to splurge on a short stay in the city. Rooms are equipped with modern conveniences, and there is private parking on-site.
(Where to stay in Girona for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Mercadal – start your night off with innovative cocktails and a creative atmosphere at El Secret
- BEST place to visit in Mercadal – head to the Museo del Cinema to learn about Catalan and Spanish film history
Mercadal is the area located just across the river from the Old Town. Whilst most of the best known nightlife venues are in the Old Town, Mercadal gives you a good insight into how the locals party! If you want a unique nightlife experience, this is your best bet – with luxury cocktail houses, dive bars and vibrant nightclubs available around every corner.
During the day, Mercadal might not have as many historical attractions as its neighbor across the river – but it still has some fantastic entertainment facilities! It also provides easy access to all the major neighborhoods in the city, allowing you to easily walk around the main attractions with ease.
- BLOW Girona might not have the best reviews of nightlife venues – but this is where you can enjoy cheap drinks and meet local partygoers
- Latin Gossip is located right on the waterfront, and aside from cheap drinks they also play Latin American and Spanish music
- Place de la Independencia, the main square in Mercadal, has some of the best cafes and restaurants to nurse your hangover – we suggest Konig 2
- Galerie d’Arte El Claustre is an independently owned art gallery showcasing work from local up and coming creatives
Best Hostel Mercadal
Beds in Girona is a contemporary hostel located just across the river from the Old Town in the vibrant Mercadal district! They provide a complimentary breakfast every morning – helping you to get set up for the day ahead. There are also excellent communal facilities, including a well equipped kitchen.
Editor’s Tip: make friends by staying at a cool hostel in Valencia!
Best Budget Hotel in Mercadal
Located on the boundary between Mercadal and Eixample, Peninsular is perfect for those that want to stay close to the train station whilst also experiencing the upbeat nightlife of the city centre! A complimentary buffet breakfast is provided, and there are private parking facilities on-site.
Best Luxury Hotel in Mercadal
This is a great four star hotel if you want to splash out on luxury accommodation in a more authentic area than the touristy Old Town! There is a fantastic bar on-site where you can mingle with locals and visitors alike, and they offer a large breakfast buffet every morning. Free WiFi can be accessed throughout.
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(Best neighborhood in Girona for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Devesa-Güell – sample the flavours of Girona and Catalonia with a tour from Foodie&Tours Girona
- BEST place to visit in Devesa-Güell – La Devesa Park is the largest park in the city, with plenty of recreational facilities for all the family
Neighboring Mercadal to the west, Devesa-Güell is a quiet suburb of Girona that is perfect for families that want peace away from the bustling crowds whilst still being near all of the main attractions in the centre! The calm streets have a much more local atmosphere, allowing you to see a truly authentic side of the city.
With the largest park in the city to the north, there are plenty of excellent entertainment facilities in the area to enjoy during your stay! Whilst there aren’t as many restaurants in Devesa-Güell as the more central neighborhoods, there is still a great selection of local cuisine available to sample.
- Catch a show at Audiencia Provincial de Girona – a small theatre showcasing talent from across the province
- Gluki is a fantastic shopping destination for those interested in locally produced goods from native artisans
- Running Costa Brava is a highly rated tour company, based just below the park, with excursions across Catalonia such as kayaking, hiking and jogging
- Ham Session by Don Jamon is one of the best places in Catalonia to sample iberico ham and other charcuteries
Best Hotel for Backpackers Devesa-Güell
Located on the boundary between Devesa-Güell and Mercadal, Hotel Ultonia is perfect for backpackers on an extreme budget that want a peaceful getaway that is still within walking distance of all the main attractions! They offer a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning, as well as private parking.
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Best Budget Hotel in Devesa-Güell
For families, this is one of the best budget options in the city! La Devesa de Girona offer a collection of fully serviced apartments – giving you a little extra privacy during your stay. There is a large dining area on-site, and most rooms come with either a terrace or a balcony.
Best Luxury Hotel in Devesa-Güell
DoubleTree by Hilton are known for their family friendly luxury, making this well worth the extra cost if you are wanting a comfortable stay for your family! There is a pool area on-site where you can relax and enjoy the sun, or engage in some recreational activities with the kids. An American breakfast is provided.
Editor’s Note: Get to know the city from these great hostels near Barcelona Airport!
(Where to stay in Girona on a budget!)
- COOLEST thing to do in El Call – simply wandering around the beautiful Jewish neighborhood is a rewarding activity that transports you back in time
- BEST place to visit in El Call – head to the Museum of Jewish History to learn about the turbulent history of the area
Whilst officially part of the Barri Vell, El Call is more budget friendly – making it the perfect choice for those that want to save some cash whilst still staying centrally! Whilst El Call is quite a small area, for this guide we have included the entire northern half of Barri Vell as this is generally cheaper than the southern half.
El Call proper is a tourist attraction in its own right, with winding cobbled streets and intriguing architecture around every corner! Surrounding this neighborhood you will find restaurants with a local vibe, as well as heaps of historic attractions. Whether you want to engage with local culture, or simply save some cash, you need to visit El Call.
- Head to Girona Art Museum where you can enjoy an eclectic mix of classical and contemporary art pieces from across the world
- Museu d’Historia de Girona is another interesting exhibit that is dedicated to the vibrant past of the city itself
- For an insight into the history of the region during the Moorish period, check out the Arab Baths just a short walk north from El Call
- For a cheap and cheerful brunch, head to Federal Cafe where you can enjoy hipster classics such as avocado toast
- El Pou del Call is a great restaurant to visit in the evenings, offering luxurious courses for surprisingly low prices
Best Hotel for Backpackers El Call
This small guesthouse is a great choice for backpackers that want some privacy but still want to save money on their trip to Girona! Located within walking distance of all the main attractions, it is also a good base to explore the rest of the city from.
Best Budget Hotel in El Call
Apartments are a great option for large groups visiting the city on a budget, and these are some of the best rated apartments in the centre of Girona! Free high speed WiFi can be accessed throughout, and the rooms are well equipped with modern conveniences. There are large kitchen areas – perfect for self-catering.
Editor’s Tip: Beat the crowds by booking a hostel near Madrid Airport and getting out for a morning tour!
Best Luxury Hotel in El Call
Located within a historic building, this four star hotel is an attraction in its own right. The interiors elegantly combine this classical setting with modern conveniences to give you a truly luxurious stay right in the heart of the city! A continental breakfast is provided every morning, with vegetarian options available.
(Best neighborhood in Girona for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Lloret de Mar – if you truly want to splurge, hire a luxury yacht to explore the Costa Brava coastline
- BEST place to visit in Lloret de Mar – visit Lloret Beach, the most popular attraction in the town with fantastic facilities
About an hour south of Girona, Lloret de Mar is one of the closest coastal towns to the city. This makes it a great option for those looking to experience the beautiful Costa Blanca beaches! Known as a destination for the young crowd, there are still some peaceful spots on the outskirts that make the perfect destination for young couples visiting the region.
Despite being a separate town, Lloret de Mar is nevertheless well connected with Girona – as well as Barcelona – allowing you to easily explore further afield in Catalonia! During the off-season it has an easy going, coastal vibe that can become incredibly infectious. In the summer, it becomes a major party town.
- There are plenty of sea kayaking hire stores along the beachfront – you can also pick up some snorkelling equipment from most of these outlets
- Guitart Monterrey is a fantastic casino if you want to enjoy a high-class night out in the small beachside town
- Giorgio is by far the best restaurant in town serving high quality Italian cuisine, as well as a budget friendly lunchtime offering
- Wander along St Pere to pick up goods from various luxury brands, as well as typical Spanish high street stores
Best Hostel Lloret de Mar
This brand new hostel might be the only one available in Lloret de Mar, but it nevertheless keeps high standards that make it an attractive offering for backpackers! It has excellent guest reviews thanks to great service and unbeatable communal spaces. High speed WiFi can be accessed from anywhere in the property.
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Best Budget Hotel in Lloret de Mar
For more of a typical resort experience, Hotel la Palmera & Spa has a great offering that will appeal to any budget! The outdoor pool has excellent facilities, including a large sun lounging area and a bar. Breakfast is provided every morning – with continental, full English and buffet options available.
Best Luxury Hotel in Lloret de Mar
This five star hotel truly epitomises luxury on the Costa Blanca! With a large private beach area and excellent pools, it has everything you need for a relaxing stay on the Catalan coast. A large buffet breakfast is provided every morning – with vegetarian and gluten free options all available.
(Best neighborhood in Girona for culture!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Figueres – Figueres has multiple cultural festivals throughout the year, so be sure to check the local event calendars before you plan your stay
- BEST place to visit in Figueres – Theatre Museu Gala Salvador Dalí is the largest museum dedicated to the work of the iconic artist
Also located outside of Girona City, Figueres is still situated well within the province and can be accessed within a short public transport journey. This is the home of the Salvador Dalí Museum – the most prominent attraction in the town and an example of the creative flair that permeates every street!
Aside from the museum, Figueres also hosts some great festivals throughout the year! This is the place to be if you want to dive deep into Catalan culture and the icons that have shaped the region’s history.
- Castell de Sant Ferran is often regarded as the largest castle in Europe – wander along its walls to take in great views of the town
- Figueres Old Town is a pleasant area with some historic architecture – however it is most notable for its public art displays throughout the year
- Plaça del Sol is the most popular square in the evenings to soak up the nightlife – however Plaça de les Patates is also great if you want something more laid back
- Art Surrealista is a small store dedicated to surrealist art – not just the works of Dalí, but also of contemporary local artisans
- L’ou d’Or is the place to be if you want to sample Catalan and Spanish cuisine without the tourist crowds – the menu changes regularly
Best Hostel Figueres
Founded by two backpackers, Hostelfigueres has the traveller in mind making it a very welcoming accommodation choice in the town of Figueres! They provide free high speed WiFi throughout, as well as a large terrace area where you can unwind and mingle with other guests.
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Best Budget Hotel in Figueres
Only a short walk away from the Dalí Museum, Duran Hotel & Restaurant is the perfect budget choice if you want to be located close to all the main attractions in the town! They provide a complimentary buffet breakfast, as well as high speed WiFi access and private parking spaces.
Best Luxury Hotel in Figueres
This four star hotel is the best rated luxury pick in Figueres – and it’s easy to see why! Rooms are designed with guest comfort in mind, and the service levels are phenomenal. There is a fantastic restaurant on-site which serves a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning. High speed WiFi is also available.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Girona?
Girona is a vibrant city that has a lot to offer those that want to dive deeper into Catalan culture! With great art galleries, intriguing historic attractions and an eclectic dining and nightlife scene, there’s something for everyone in this Spanish gem.
For best area, we’re going to have to go with El Call! Whilst technically part of the Barri Vell, it comes with more budget friendly options and is well placed for exploring further afield in the region.
Nevertheless, everywhere on this list has its charms and the best area for you depends on your own needs. We hope this guide has helped you to whittle down your options and find the perfect place to stay in Girona.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!
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