Background: Neus is a 21-year-old local who loves her city Girona for all its historic, cultural and gastronomic pleasures. Currently she’s also spending her time in Zaragoza where she’s studying to become an equine veterinarian. When Neus comes back home, apart from hanging out with her friends and family, she likes to surf (when the sea allows it), horse ride and take long walks with her dog while discovering new places in the area.
Showaround: Why did you decide to become a Showaround Local?
Neus: When I started wandering around the beautiful old quarter of the city with my friends, I kept noticing many tourists walking around with their big maps and cameras hanging around their neck. And I always wished I could tell them where my favourite spots in the city are, making them fall in love with Girona the way I have. When I discovered Showaround, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to make my wishes come true!
Showaround: Name three super local things to do in the city?
Neus: If you feel like getting away from the typical touristic route and plunging right into the local life of Girona, I would recommend spending some time in our food market, where fresh vegetables, fruit, and meat are sold on a daily basis. And the best part is that everything is produced locally. There you can find many typical foods like charcuterie, seafood and pastries. Remember that it only opens from 7 AM to 3 PM and it closes on Sundays.
After this, you might want to walk up and down the streets where us locals like to go when we feel like shopping (especially to escape well-known brands like Zara, Mango, Bershka, etc.) These streets are Carrer de Santa Clara and La Rambla de la Llibertat. They are on opposing sides of the same river, so you can pass from one to another just by crossing one of the many bridges that connect them. Also, every bridge has its own story!
When the sun starts to fall, and businesses start to close, many locals meet with their friends to drink some cañas and chat. One of the main spots for this is Plaça Independencia (officially called Plaça Sant Agustí), which is filled with all kinds of bars and has a great atmosphere in the afternoons all year round.
Showaround: Favourite restaurant?
Neus: It’s certainly difficult to name only one restaurant, as Girona is renowned for being home to many fabulous chefs (Ferràn Adrià and the Roca brothers just to name a few). If your budget is limited, don’t worry because you can have a magnificent meal for only a few euro at König. König is a local ‘fast food’ restaurant but unlike McDonald's or Burger King, the ingredients that they use are fresh and great quality, and it also has a very convenient location. For those who feel like splurging a little, a restaurant called Arròs i Peix offers the famous paella, but they take it to a different level because they specialise in rice and fish. You can find fresh fish and seafood being exposed on display, so all you have to do is to pick and choose the pieces that you like, and they’ll cook it for you.
Showaround: Best place for a drink?
Neus: There is a secret garden hidden in the heart of the old quarter, and there’s a bar called Els Jardins de la Mercé which is ideal if you want to simply sit down and relax while enjoying a drink or two. If the weather is not inviting you to stay outside, then you can check out La Terra and get a glass of freshly squeezed juice. In case you’re more of a fan of liqueurs and cocktails, then visiting Nykteri’s Cocktail Bar is a must-do for you on a night out in Girona.
Showaround: What about the nightlife?
Neus: You can find crowds of people on the streets at night from Thursday to Saturday, as Girona has a college campus, and many young people just want to party non-stop. A typical night out in Girona consists of going out for a few drinks (you can have some good ones in La Boheme or Porta Bellini and then moving from one bar to another one, simply letting the night lead your way.
Showaround: How would you describe the local people of Girona?
Neus: As you may know, most Catalans (and especially in Girona) don’t feel like citizens of Spain, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t share the worldwide renowned hospitality and inclusive nature of our neighbours, as well as their loud way to talk. Also, Girona isn’t an overly touristy city in comparison to others, so many of the locals are more than happy to see foreign people. So if you have any questions or you’re looking for directions, don’t be shy and ask away!
Showaround: Thank you Neus for your answers!