This historic Catalan city of Girona is famous for its beautiful old town, riverside views and Costa Brava coast, but it’s also known as the City of Festivals. Girona is a great place to experience the Catalan culture and they love to party! Find out the best things to see and do with our recommendations of what to do in Girona this summer.
The ancient city of Girona is worth visiting for its historic medieval buildings, winding alleys, and emblematic colourful houses that adorn the River Onyar, but this city also has a vibrant youthful scene with plenty of fiestas all summer long. Here are our recommendations of what’s hot.
Sant Joan Festival – Saint John’s Eve – June 23rd
Known as Midsummer’s Eve or ‘Nit del Foc’ (Night of Fire), this is a crazy night in Catalonia as they celebrate the Summer Solstice on June 23rd. Expect firecrackers, bonfires, sweet bread with candies, firework displays, plenty of celebrating in the street, and the party to go on all night long. It’s a traditional festival held all over Catalonia and the bonfires are lit with a special torch that symbolises the continuation of Catalan culture. In Girona you should try to join in the celebration at the arrival of the Flama del Canigó (the Canigó Flame) that has represented bringing Catalans together for many years. Celebrated throughout the region, nearby Barcelona also hosts a spectacular party with thousands of people celebrating on the beach.
Art and Cultural Festivals in Girona
This is a festival which celebrates Girona’s culture, so expect everything from music to dancing in the streets, traditional folklore and workshops, and gastronomic celebrations of Girona’s famous food. It takes place at the beginning of July in various locations around town.
The Milestone Project seeks to promote Urban and Street Art and a great use of Mobile Installations, this festival of art attempts to show people an ‘alternative reality’. It kicks off this July 15th-18th.
Live Music Festivals
June 21st is International Music Day, with free performances taking place all over the city from 4pm until late.
The Festival of The Guitar in Girona begins 14th-16th July this year with an exciting programme of artists. They also have music workshops for classical Spanish Guitar and flamenco that you can join in.
Festival of Havaneres – July 3rd
If you’re in Girona the first weekend in July (4th and 5th), it’s the time of year for the traditional Havaneres – old sea shanties. It’s worth making your way over to the harbour town of Calella de Palafrugell for the most popular and traditional Singing of Havaneres in the harbour, an event anticipated all year.
The II International Mapping Festival of Girona (IMFG) – 30th July to 2nd August
The Mapping Festival of Girona takes place over 4 days when the city will have buildings and facades lit with lights and art installations to make it a mapping reference point. It’s a free festival and entrants to the competitions will have their audiovisual artwork projected onto the city’s historic buildings, as well as professional artists melding their work with outstanding architecture. The whole city will be a sight to see!
Girona Film Festival – 30th September – 3rd October
The 27th year of this festival celebrating up-coming cinema takes place from 30th September to 3rd October and showcases local film talent.
Equity Point Girona is in the centre of historic Girona where the Old Quarter meets the Jewish Quarter in a late 19th century building. The well equipped hostel has a range of private and shared rooms and a great view of the river and Cathedral from the terrace. Book your bed in our Girona hostel here