The petite and charming city of Girona is photogenic at any of time of the year, but wait ‘til you visit during its annual festival, the Temps de Flors. Each spring, during the second week of May, people flock from all over Spain to Girona’s Barri Vell neighbourhood to admire its colourful streets lined with spectacular floral displays.
Monuments and courtyards are transformed into remarkable ornamental gardens, so you can enjoy the wonderful ensemble of vibrant colours and glorious aromas which perfectly accompany the fascinating cultural and historical heritage of this city. This unique way to explore the city often includes free entry and access to sights that would normally be closed to the public. And what’s more, the Girona Temps de Flors can be enjoyed all for free!
This year, from the 12th-20th May, Girona’s internationally famous flower festival will be celebrating its 63rd anniversary, after its many years of success and unbelievable creativity. There will be over 100 flower and plant exhibitions, with the most impressive exhibitions held at the Cathedral Steps, the Arab baths, Saint Nicholas’ Chapel and Les Sarraïnes.
In addition to this, there will be several other exciting events taking place throughout the city in name of the festival, such as the Gastroflors. Each year, a range of restaurants in the city offer themed menus with a floral twist where certain flowers will feature as an ingredient in their dishes; so let your taste buds ‘blossom’ by trying something new! There will also be flower, photography and film competitions and plenty of other things worth getting involved in.
Girona is the ideal spot if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Catalan capital, especially with it being a short 100km from Barcelona. With all the charm and qualities of a larger city, thanks to its cultural richness and the myriad of things to do here, it’d be foolish not to make time for this glorious medieval city during your visit to Barcelona.
The Temps de Flors only enhances the beauty of the quaint and quirky Barri Vell, Girona’s old quarter. Its rustic and French vibe has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ with its riverside flanked by multicoloured houses and its winding alleyways that open out onto enchanting squares. It truly is one of the most picturesque areas of the city, especially when it’s bedecked with an exquisite selection of flowers.
- The best way to travel from Barcelona to Girona is from Passeig de Gràcia via one of the Renfe trains. During Temps de Flors, the train company Renfe usually offers a discount on return tickets; last year it was 35% so it’s well worth downloading a voucher which can be found online. Check timetables online beforehand for train times. Trains to Girona usually run every 20-30 minutes.
- Avoid heading to the festival at weekends if possible. The Temps de Flors is extremely popular with both locals and tourists and towards the end of the week, the narrow streets of the Barri Vell are often heaving which can be particularly unpleasant with the warm weather as well.
- Be prepared to queue, especially for the most popular displays so perhaps bring a book or something else to occupy yourself during the long periods of time spent hanging around waiting.
- If you’re there just for the day, it might be a good idea to bring a packed lunch with you. Restaurants get very crowded at lunchtime with queues of up to an hour just to get into some of the most central restaurants.
- If you’re able to, stay overnight in Girona to avoid an early start and late finish to your day and the stress of travelling twice in one day. You also want to make the most of the exhibits and see them at night, as the exhibits on the River Onyar are at their best at this time.
- Pick up a free A3-sized map at one of the participating venues so you can get your bearings and make sure not to miss any of Girona’s hotspots.