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Girona, Barcelona and the Costa Brava-19 questions people ask

I get asked so many different types of questions about the Costa Brava, Barcelona and Girona. I thought I might lump a random lot of them into this one post. A lot of this information can also be found across the pages of my site. If you’re wondering why it’s 19, I simply prefer odd numbers!

How far is the Costa Brava from Barcelona? 

About 70 km north of the city.

Is the Costa Brava a good holiday destination?

Absolutely, the number of good beaches will leave you spoilt for choice. Sun, sand and sea-an unbeatable combination. Other Spanish Costas are just as popular but don’t always have the same cache.

Is Barcelona on the Costa Brava? 

Not really, it’s commonly accepted that it extends from Blanes in the south, all the way up to the French border.

How many days do I need in Girona? 

For a small city you could easily get a real feel for the place in one day. Walk around the old town, nip into one of the museums and enjoy an evening meal. If you have more time then taking a more leisurely stay allows time for additional pleasures. For example, Girona’s week long St Narcis festival in late October or the 9-day long flower festival (Temps de Flors) in May.

What’s the best airport to fly into for the Costa Brava? 

That’ll be Girona-Costa Brava Airport-the official name. Used by many low-cost and budget airlines like Ryanair and Jet2.

How do I get from Barcelona to Girona? 

Apart from a 90 minute drive, the best and quickest way is by taking the TGV/AVE fast train, just 40 min. Non stop. Catch it from Barcelona’s Sant station.

Is Girona a safe city? 

While I personally haven’t encountered any problems, I have heard of a few instances of low-level street crimes. For example, look after your belongings at the main train/bus station. Never leave any bags hanging off the backs of chairs-just common sense stuff. Girona’s old town maze of alleyways is a very lonely place in the early hours. One friend who lives there was walking home very late and got asked by a passer-by for the time. As he pulled out his phone to check, the guy ripped the phone out of his hand and legged it. Feeling slightly inebriated he felt helpless-result, one lost phone!

Is the Costa Brava hot in May? 

The average is about 20°C at the beginning of the month, going up to 24°C by the end. Daytime averages are about 18°C,  but night time drops to about 10°C, so a light jacket or layers would be a good idea.

What are some good day trips from Barcelona? 

You can catch a fast train to Girona for its medieval charm, or Figueres which has the famous Dali Museum. There’s Montserrat if you’re into monasteries, or lively Sitges with nice beaches, just a 30 minutes train ride away.

Is Girona expensive to live in? 

There are sites and various metrics experts used to determine these costs, but I consider it’s not a cheap place to live. As someone who rents, being the main expense, I think they’re still high, but maybe slightly less than Barcelona for comparison sake when we talk about identical flat sizes.

Where should I live in the Costa Brava? 

Depends on what you’re looking for and how deep your pockets are. Plenty of pretty coastal locations like Cadaques, Calella de Palafrugell and S’Agaró, but many are very quiet off-season. Bigger working towns have a bit more activity and not so desolate, like Palamos, St Feliu de Guixols and Blanes, 

What’s the best month to visit Barcelona? 

Good all year round in my opinion, but as far as the climate goes then May to June could be ideal as it’s around the mid 70’s.

What are some good day trips from Girona? 

We’re assuming you have a car, but local buses go to these following towns too. Banyoles for its superb lake-a 2 hour walk all the way round.Further out, Besalu has an impressive stone bridge and medieval centre. Figueres (by train also) has the popular Dali Museum (booking advised). Nearest beach is St Feliu de Guixols, go on a Sunday to catch its weekly market.

Does Girona have a beach? 

No, but it’s only about 30 km to the coast.

How far is Girona from Barcelona? 

Not as near as some think, about 90 km north. That equates to about 90 minutes by car or just 38 minutes by fast train.

How hot is the Costa Brava in October? 

Mostly mild, with the average daily minimum at 13°C, maximum at 21°C  it’s wise to bring a light jacket or jumper, especially at night.

How different is Catalan from Spanish? 

Let’s clear up one thing- Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish, it’s a separate language. In truth, the Catalan grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary has more in common with French.

Where should I live in Girona?

Lots of decent residential areas, hard to list all of the ones I consider worthwhile. For anyone interested I’ve already written a seperate blog post about my own opinions.

What language do they speak in Girona?

Put simply, Catalan. It’s very strong here and I try to use it for day to day stuff, but there’s no problem if I have to resort to Spanish. If you’re here for some time it’d be worth picking up some basics, it’ll always go down well with the locals.

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