If you’re visiting the Costa Brava and a fan of Game of Thrones, Girona should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
The cast and crew of HBO’s sword and sorcery epic descended on the city during early September 2015 to film scenes for Season 6. After finishing in Girona they also went to a number of other locations in Spain, including Castell de Santa Florentina in Canet de Mar on the Costa Maresme.
In Girona filming started on 3rd September and continued at various locations throughout the old town until the 18th.
The locations were used in the series to represent Braavos, as well as parts of King’s Landing and Oldtown. Previously the Croatian city of Split had been used for Braavos, while scenes set in King’s Landing had been filmed in Malta during season 1, and later Dubrovnik.
Spoiler alert: Don’t read on unless you’ve already seen season 6. There’s a serious risk I’ll ruin it for you otherwise.
Still here? You do know the dragons in Game of Thrones aren’t real, don’t you…?
The Game of Thrones self-guided tour of Girona
You can easily tour all of Game of Thrones Girona locations in a couple of hours or so. Instead of list the locations by episode you can follow the itinerary below to easily walk between them. Obviously if you’d prefer to do it in reverse that also makes sense, but this way round you see the main locations earlier while you’re still feeling energetic. Or you can take an organised tour and have the locations explained.
Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants
Girona becomes Oldtown in episode 10 when Sant Pere de Galligants appears as the Citadel interiors when Samwell Tarley arrives.
If you go inside you’ll find, like many religious buildings in Catalonia, it’s pretty barren but it is easily recognisable from the series. Next to the monastery you’ll see some steps leading to a small square on the banks of a dry river. In the far left hand corner you’ll see a bridge.
Bridge over Riu Galligants
In episode 7 Arya Stark throws herself from a bridge into the canal to escape the waif.
Don’t expect the same view you see in Game of Thrones though. The riverbed is usually dry and the shot was radically enhanced using CGI effects. Continue across the bridge and through the gate that leads into an arcade. You’re at the next location.
Square next to music school
This small square next to the music school appears as an outdoor theatre in Braavos in episode 5.
Arya is tasked with killing the actress Lady Crane and goes to watch a play in which she portrays Cersei Lannister. As Arya watches she realises it portrays the death of her father, Ned. When she eventually has the opportunity she instead warns Crane of her mission. Later she is stabbed by the waif and Crane nurses her back to health.
When you’re finished here leave the square on the opposite side of the music school from the bridge. Follow the steps up just outside.
The Arab Baths (Banys Àrabs in Catalan) appear briefly in episode 8 when Arya tries to evade the waif though the these baths.
Despite the name, the Arab Baths are in fact a 12th century Romanesque building. The distinctive cupola covers the central pool of the changing room, shown in the photo above. In the Roman tradition that inspired it the baths are divided into a number of different rooms. From the changing room visitors can move into areas with hot or cold water.
From the Arab Baths walk down Carrer de Ferran el Catòlic until you reach an archway between two circular towers. Go though the arch and you’ll reach the steps leading up to the cathedral.
One of Girona’s most recognisable buildings is the cathedral, which towers above the city and is reached by 91 stone steps.
The cathedral appears in episode 6 when Jaime Lannister and Mace Tyrell confront the High Sparrow outside the Great Sept of Baelor, with Jaime riding his horse up the cathedral’s steps. If you look back at the archway you just walked though you’ll recognise it from this scene.
In episode 10 the Great Sept is destroyed by Cersei in a massive explosion. The cathedral was still standing last time I looked though. While the footage is largely CGI – including the great bell crashing to the ground – it looks like shots of the cathedral were used here too.
Even though the interiors of the cathedral don’t appear to have been used, it is still worthwhile visiting. The current Gothic design dates from the 14th and 15th centuries and features, at nearly 23 metres, the world’s widest Gothic nave. It is also the second widest nave of any style, beaten only by St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
As you walk out of the front of the cathedral walk left until you come to a square. Walk towards the buildings at the back of the cathedral and you’ll come to an archway through which you should walk.
Carrer de Bisbe Josep Cartañà
The curved street is Carrer Bisbe Cartañà. Keep walking until just before you reach a right hand exit near the Jardins de la Francesa. Photo coming as soon as I can!
It was on these steps that Arya is seen begging in the streets of Braavos in episodes 1 and 2 and where the stick fights with the waif take place.
Afterwards head back down the cathedral steps and turn left and follow the narrow Carrer de la Força. It’s a one way street and you’ll be walking against the traffic. About 100 metres along on your left you’ll see the steps of Pujada de la Catedral and then, a few steps on after a restaurant, an archway into a narrow passageway with steps. You can enter!
Carrer de Sant Llorenç
Although filming took place here, it’s hard to place the scenes. Probably it appears in the waif’s pursuit of Arya in episode 8. It all happens so fast!
So far, so good. Now is the tricky bit. The easiest way is to exit back onto Carrer de la Força and continue walking away from the cathedral. You’ll find the street widens a little and after around 150 metres you’ll find yourself in the small Plaça de l’Oli. On the left you’ll see about 20 metres of cobblestones and then steps leading up to a building. You’re at today’s final location!
Pujada de Sant Domènec
It’s here, at the top of the street while escaping the waif in episode 8, where Arya leaps onto the steps scattering baskets of oranges as she tumbles.
Badly stunned, she takes a few moments to recover then continues down a narrow passageway and through an open gate. The waif follows at a distance with a dagger in her hand…
So far I haven’t yet identified this passageway, nor where the market is prior to Arya entering the Arab Baths. I will update this page when/if I find them. If you’ve got any more suggestions then please get in contact. Also, if you’d prefer a guided tour of the Game of Thrones locations in Girona you can book online here.
OK, so you’ve now completed the Game of Thrones tour of Girona. It’s now time to find a restaurant or bar and spend some time recovering a little. I hope you enjoyed your day in Girona.