Are you a GoT fan coming to Girona, Spain?
I was touring Barcelona at that time, when I had a geek out moment, as I found out one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones was just 30-minutes away from me! Braavos, Oldtown, and Kings Landing! If these places are familiar, then the historic medieval city of Girona might be worth a quick train ride away!
Girona, Spain is located 98 km from Barcelona near the border of France. You’ll see why the well-preserved historical city with its winding alleys, arches, towers and city walls makes it a perfect location for the HBO hit series.
Here’s my DIY travel guide from Barcelona to Girona…
GY TRAVEL & TOURS
Calle Parlanet 33, 3-1 Barcelona Spain
How to Get There:
Take a train from Barcelona Sants railway to Girona Railway Station. (Train tickets are more or less €16.20 one way)
Tip: Take the first train (6:30 am ), you’ll be amazed to have the streets of Girona all to yourself, as tourists flock in around 9 am.
From the station, take a leisurely 10-15 minute walk, until you’ve reached the bridges connecting the riverbanks along which the row of colorfully painted buildings that reflected in the water.
Tip: The GoT shooting sites are conveniently walking distance apart, make sure to get a free map, to explore the area better.
Say hello, to my local English-speaking guide, Michael Martinez from the Philippines, who’s now a resident of Barcelona. Michael is an excellent tour guide, we planned this special DIY tour of Girona. I recommend him because he’ll be happy to tour you from day to night and even show you the best value for money tapas restaurants.
***Spoilers Ahead!*** Read at your own discretion!
Cathedral of Girona (Great Sept of Baelor)
The first site you can’t miss is the iconic Cathedral of Girona. The Neo-classical and Romanesque style cathedral built between the 11th and 18th century features 91 stone steps and the world’s widest Gothic nave.
In episode 6 of season 6, the Girona Cathedral transforms into Black Sparrow’s Great Sept of Baelor, where you see Queen Margaery as she begins her walk of atonement. Later on, Jamie Lannister arrived with his troops including House Tyrell to stop it but it was too late.
The cathedral appears once again in one of GoT most epic scenes when Cersei Lannister wanted revenge and blows up the Sept of Baelor.
The streets and houses were changed during post-production. (View from the top of the cathedral.)
Although a lot of CGI (computer graphics) was added, we can clearly see that it’s the same cathedral.
Plaça dels Jurats
In episode 5 of season 6, we can see Girona’s Plaça dels Jurats as the adorned outdoor theater of Braavos. Where Arya got a glimpse of a stage play about the Lannister Family, portraying a scene on Joffrey and Sansa’s wedding. But the play, later on, shifted telling a story about her father Ned and it becomes awkward for her.
Bisbe Josep Cartaña
Does this picture of me begging look familiar?
Bisbe Josep Cartaña is one of the streets in Braavos where Arya learn how to become one of the Faceless Men. Arya, later on, becomes blind and is seen begging numerous times in the streets of Braavos. There’s even a scene where she is attacked by the Waif and must learn to fight her despite being blind.
You’ll find this spot behind the Cathedral on Bisbe Cartaña street.
Found behind the cathedral, you’ll find the medieval style Muslim baths built in the 12th century.
During episode 8 of season 6, the Arab Baths appear and where Arya hides behind the Romanesque columns to avoid the Waif.
Pujada Sant Domenec (Braavos Market)
From the baths, you’ll see the chase continues in the market as Arya tumbles down the stairs and bumps into a crate of oranges.
Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants
Another spot you shouldn’t miss is the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya, that is inside the “Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants” of Girona. The monastery was used as the Citadel in Oldtown, where Samwell wanted to train as a maester.
After the tour of Girona, we got a train back to Barcelona and had dinner at the touristy Plaza Reial located in the Gothic area of Barcelona where you can find many restaurants.
When you visit Spain, paella is a must! You’d be surprised that restaurants in Spain charge paella per person with a minimum of two people for a plate. Which can be quite pricey. That’s why Michael recommends Les Quinze Nits for authentic Spanish dishes at very reasonable prices. The resto is easily spottable by the long queue in front of the entrance.
The line takes around 20-minutes before you can get a sit on the terrace or in the restaurant. I recommend sitting outside, overlooking the always lively, Plaza Reial, you can enjoy dinner while feasting your eyes upon the performers who are there to entertain during dinner. (Beware of your belongings.)
For starters, I recommend the Andalusian-style calamari with ink mayonnaise (€7.65).
I love the tender and mouthwatering freshness in each bite! Best to dip it in their yummy ink mayonnaise.
For the mains, we ordered the Roast Lamb with rosemary potatoes. (€16.50)
The lamb was very tender, but the flavors were just ok for me.
Knowing Barcelona has excellent seafood for its seaside location. I recommend the mixed paella (min. 2 pers) (€11.45/p.p.) or the black rice with cuttlefish in its ink (min. 2 pers) (€11.95/p.p.)
My favorite is the Paella Negra. It’s made with squid ink which is added to the rice that gives color to the dish and its name. I was lucky to have a generous serving of squid.
I like pairing it with aioli sauce on the side for that extra kick!
For the drinks order the Sangria. A fruity and boozy drink to end our tour. Cheers!
Overall, I like it! I don’t know if it’s my GoT fandom or the historic old quarter that feels like I’ve stepped back in time.
If you’re a GoT fan who has the spare time in Barcelona, I recommend a day trip to the well-preserved city of Girona. It’s easily accessible through public transport, plus the locations are near, where you can leisurely explore by foot.
After being here, how can one wait for season 8 of Game of Thrones in 2019?!
GY TRAVEL & TOURS
Calle Parlanet 33, 3-1 Barcelona Spain
Live an Awesome Life,
ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: We paid for our tours and meals in Spain. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.