Girona, whose origins date back to the Roman Empire, is a very interesting city from a historical and cultural point of view. That is why one of the best things to do in Girona is to visit its museums, among which are some of the most interesting in Catalonia.
In Girona's museums you can see ancient works of art, important film collections, the wonderful works of Salvador Dalí, ancient archaeological remains, and toy collections, among others. Here is a list of the most important museums in Girona, so you can visit your favorites, or all of them, during your visit to the city.
1. Girona Film Museum
The Cinema Museum was inaugurated in 1998 and is located in an old building from the 19th century. This museum stands out for the famous collection of the photographer and collector Tomás Mallol, which was acquired by the City Council of Girona in 1994 and includes an important amount of cinematographic objects.
It isone of the most important film museums in Europe, where you can take a tour through the history of the moving image, see visual projections and perform various interactive activities. There you will see how the first moving images were transmitted on a screen and how this art evolved.
The huge structure of the building covers 2500 square meters and has 3 floors and a mezzanine. It contains more than 20,000 objects from the Mallol collection that were created between the 18th and 20th centuries. You will be able to see photographs, drawings, paintings, posters, engravings and a library with more than 700 books and magazines.
- Admission fee: about 6€, children under 14 years old are free. The first Sunday of each month is free for everyone.
- Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm. Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. From June to September it opens on Mondays from 10 am to 2 pm.
- Location: Carrer de la Sèquia, 1, 17001 Girona, Spain.
- How to get there: by car or bus lines 152, 207, 41, 42, 5, E2 or E4.
2. Girona Art Museum
The D'Art Museum was founded in 1976 and is located in the old Episcopal Palace built around the tenth century, where also functioned a prison and the Ecclesiastical Court that condemned the clergy for their crimes and sins. Works from the Bishopric and Girona from the Romanesque period to the 20th century are exhibited there, and the works of Catalan art stand out.
Inside the building there are special rooms dedicated to ceramics, glass and liturgical art, such as the Martirologo de Usuardo, a book from the 15th century. There are also beautiful Renaissance and Baroque works and many works by painters such as Urgell, Vayreda, Rusiñol and Berga, among others.
I recommend that you visit the prison of the former Episcopal Palace, where prisoners left writings on the walls. It is located on the fourth floor of the main tower and has a beautiful view of the city. These prisons were not dungeons, they were comfortable and even had a fireplace to keep the prisoners warm. I also recommend that you visit the charming garden.
In the museum you will also see the spaces of the old hospital of Santa Caterina and a pharmacy of the seventeenth century. There you will be able to see the old chapel, the magnolia courtyard, the wainscot hall and a collection of about 300 white glazed ceramic jars. Don't forget to visit the medieval medical library.
- Admission fee: about 6€, children under 16 are free. The first Sunday of each month the entrance is free.
- Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Closed on Mondays.
- Location: Pujada de la Catedral, 12, 17004 Girona, Spain.
- How to get there: by car, with the R11 train or by bus with lines 152, 41, 663, E2 and L6.
3. Girona City History Museum
The Girona History Museum was inaugurated in 1960 and is located in an old building that was a convent of the Capuchin friars of San Antonio in the 18th century. The museum presents a journey through the history of the city from Roman times to contemporary times.
The building is located in the Old Quarter of the city and is interesting to know for its architecture, as it retains some spaces of the old convent as the Capuchin cemetery desiccator, which contains 18 niches where the deceased were placed sitting on the benches for desiccation. In addition, the museum will also be able to see the most characteristic works of Baroque art in the city of Girona.
In addition, the museum has a space dedicated to the French wars of the second half of the seventeenth century, which highlighted the battalion of military women who were part of the companies of Santa Barbara, who defended the city in 1809 and wore a red scarf tied on his arm.
The Museum extends into other spaces such as the Jardin de la Infancia air raid shelter, the provincial prison and the mass grave in the cemetery, which make up the Network of Democratic Memory Spaces. These spaces cannot be visited every day, so if you are particularly interested in them you should check their website.
- Admission fee: about 4€, children under 16 years old are free. On the first Sunday of each month the entrance is free.
- Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm. From May to September from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. Sundays from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and closed on Mondays.
- Location: Carrer de la Força, 27, 17004 Girona, Spain.
- How to get there: by car or bus with lines L1, L2 L5, L6, L7, L11 and L12.
4. Dalí Theatre-Museum and the Portlligat House-Museum
One of the best things to do in Girona is to visit the Dalí Theater Museum and the Dalí House Museum in Port Lligat, especially if you like the works of the painter. It is best to visit both the Museum and the House to get a more complete idea of his work.
The Dalí Theater-Museum building is located in the former Municipal Theater of Figueras, which was built between 1848 and 1850, and was founded in 1974. It is one of three museums in Girona dedicated to a single theme, in this case the wonderful works of the painter Salvador Dalí.
Some of the most outstanding works are the Self-Portrait with I'Humanité, the Spectre of Sex Appeal, the Portrait of Gala and Port Alguer, among many others.
As for the House Museum, it was a fisherman's home where Salvador Dalí lived from 1930 to 1982 and left his labyrinthine mark. This house was declared of cultural interest in 1997 and is a 40-minute drive from the Dali Theater-Museum, or an hour and a half by bus. To visit it, you must book your ticket in advance on their website and look for it half an hour before the visit.
- Entrance fee: around 15€, this includes a visit to Dalí jewels.
- Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 5:45 pm. Closed on Mondays.
- Location of the Dali Theater Museum: Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5, 17600 Figueres, Girona, Spain.
- How to get there: by car or bus with lines MD, Regional and 602.
- Location of the Dali House Museum: Platja de 17488 Port Lligat.
- How to get there: From Figueres station you must take the bus line 12.
5. Museum of Jewish History of Girona
The Museum of Jewish History was founded in 2000 and is located in the Bonastruc ça Porta center, the place where the old synagogue had functioned in the fifteenth century in the Jewish quarter of Girona. This museum presents the history of the Jewish communities of Catalonia that settled in the region during the Middle Ages.
It has 11 rooms in which the life of the Jews and their culture is represented, from the origin of the community, the persecution they suffered during the Roman Empire to how their daily life was, and much more.
One of the main works you will see is the Arch of Titus, from the 1st century AD, Forum of Rome, which is a symbol of the Jewish Diaspora around the Mediterranean. It is a panel depicting the sacking following the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by the Roman armies in 70 AD.
- Admission fee: about 4€, children under 14 are free. On the first Sunday of each month the entrance is free.
- Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Mondays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.
- Location: Carrer de la Força, 8, 17004 Girona, Spain.
- How to get there: by car and bus lines L1, L2 and L5.
6. Museum of Archaeology of Catalonia in Girona
The Archaeology Museum of Catalonia was founded in 1870 and is located in the old monastery of San Pedro de Galligans. This site contains archaeological objects from Paleolithic to medieval times that tell the story of the communities that inhabited the Girona region.
Of the monastery, whose current construction began in the 12th century, only the church and the cloister can be seen, although there are also remains of an earlier construction. The museum houses many prehistoric objects from Girona, such as the collection of ceramic cinerary urns.
The earliest archaeological remains come from Ampurias. It also highlights the section of Iberian culture with specimens such as pottery, votive offerings and epigraphs. In this museum you can also see in the Natural Sciences section an important collection of minerals and malacology (science that studies mollusks), donated by the teacher Macau Teixidor.
- Admission fee: about 6€, children under 16 are free. The first Sunday of each month the entrance is free.
- Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Closed on Mondays.
- Location: Carrer de Santa Llúcia, 8, 17007 Girona, Spain.
- How to get there: by car, by bus with the Sarfa line, Barcelona - Girona. By train with the Renfe line, Barcelona - Girona - Portbou.
7. Girona Cathedral Treasure Museum
The Treasure Museum of the Cathedral of Girona, also known as the Chapter Museum, houses numerous works of religious art from the tenth century, preserved by the Diocese of Girona.
In this museum you can see beautiful works such as the codex of the Beatus of the tenth century and the Tapestry of Creation of the twelfth century, which measures 4, 15 by 3.65 meters. There is also the 17th century Renaissance altarpiece of Santa Helena.
Other of the most important works are the Arab Chest of Hixem II, which is a box with very beautiful goldsmith art and the Beatus or Book of the Apocalypse, by Beato de Liébana. In addition, the site has many works of sculpture, painting, Gothic, liturgical and textile goldsmiths.
- Admission fee: about 7€, free for children under 7 years old.
- Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sundays from 12 pm to 6 pm.
- Location: Carrer del Bisbe Josep Cartañà, 3, 17004 Girona, Spain.
- How to get there: by car or bus line L1.
8. Exile Memorial Museum (MUME)
The Exile Memorial Museum was founded in 2008 and is located in the municipality of La Jonquera. It was built in memory of the exile caused by the Spanish Civil War of 1936 and is located in the same border area where this exile took place.
The museum is a tribute to the victims and tells several stories of the Republican exile in Catalonia, which was a huge tragedy for the city. In the museum you can see permanent exhibitions and, in addition, you can visit the routes that the exiles had to take.
Within the activities offered by the museum, you can learn many individual stories of the exiles in 1939, those who resisted for their freedom and others who were sent to Nazi concentration camps.
- Admission fee: about 4€, free for children under 17 years old.
- Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm. Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Mondays it is closed.
- Location: Carrer Major, 43, 47, 17700 La Jonquera, Girona, Spain.
- How to get there: by car via Avenida del Presidente Josep Tarradellas and AP7.
9. Museum of Empúries Ruins
The Empúries Ruins Museum is a set of ruins belonging to an ancient city founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC. The city was occupied by the Romans and, during the 3rd century AD, disappeared after the invasion of the Franks. It is the most important archaeological site in Catalonia and one of the best tours you can do in Girona.
What is left of this city, such as the remains of small houses, squares and temples, can be seen in this museum. Highlights include the white marble mosaic pavement, the foundations of the square, the temples of Aesculapius and Zeus Serapis, and the Roman cisterns.
Several excavations were also carried out in this area, thanks to which bronze specimens, ceramics and Greek sculptures were recovered. I recommend that you take a guided tour of the ruins to learn more about their history and significance.
Useful information about the ruins
- Admission fee: about 6€, children under 16 years old are free.
- Hours: every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
- Location: C/ Puig i Cadafalch, s/n, 17130 L'Escala, Girona, Spain.
- How to get there: by car via Avenida Presidente Josep Tarradellas i Joan, AP 7 and GI623. By bus with line 11.
10. Toy History Museum
The Toy History Museum was founded in the year 2000 and is located in the municipality of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, on the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. There are documents that place the construction of the building in 1810.
The museum houses a collection of toys belonging to the collector Tomás Pla, an amateur who began with the construction of an electric model train in 1982. Currently, the collection has more than 10,000 toys that were manufactured between 1870 and 1985, of which about 2,000 are on display.
Among the most outstanding toys are the tin can of the Spanish firms of Payá and Rico de Ibi, the board games of the house of Borrás, the wooden toys and pepas of the post-war period, and many interesting plastic toys made in 1952.
- Location: La Rbla, 50, 17220 Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Girona, Spain.
- Admission: about 6€, children under 9 years old free.
- Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 7 pm. On Sundays from 11 am to 2 pm and on Mondays it is closed.
- How to get there: by car by C A65 and by bus with line 59.