Girona is doable as a day trip
If you are visiting Girona as a day trip avoid Sunday as not everything in Girona will be open on Sunday, most shops are closed all day.
What are the best things to do at Girona ?
Walking through the lanes of old town, visiting the much photographed Girona Cathedral. You will also enjoy the riverside, the old walls, the Jewish quarter, the university atmosphere with a young crowd and numerous dining options from casual cafes to Michelin stars.
Staying overnight in Girona
With an overnight in Girona you can do even more. Arrive in Girona on the fast train AVE from Barcelona. Spend all of Day 1 in Girona town and on Day 2 visit the sights outside the city. You will be spoilt for choice within an hour’s drive time from Girona: Lake Banyoles, Cadaques, Figueres, Besalu...whatever you pick, the best option is to rent a car at Girona train station and drop it back before you catch the AVE to Barcelona later in the evening.
Stay as close to the old town as possible and avoid the area towards the north because it tends to lose the charm of historical Girona pretty fast. Of course closer to the historic centre the hotels will be more expensive and the streets will be pretty steep and hilly. But it is worth it and you are staying only for a night.
Check out one of my favourites Hotel Ciutat de Girona, just across the famous Eiffel bridge and priced at under 100 euros most times of the year. Or if you want to be in the thick of ancient Girona go with the boutique hostel Bellmirall , cosy and rustic and historic all at the same time, priced around slightly lower than Ciutat de Girona.