The distance between the capital of Spain's Catalonia region Barcelona and the medieval city of Girona is just 53 miles (85 km) traveling northeast. The easiest and quickest way to make the trip is actually by direct high-speed train, which takes just 40 minutes. However, driving is another viable option, taking about 1.5 hours, and offers lots of opportunities for stopping points. If you plan to take a private transfer or rental car, you could easily make a fun road trip out of this route.

Another option is to take a bus, as buses going directly from Barcelona to Girona are the most affordable option. Just know they take longer than the train (1 hour 40 minutes) and sometimes cost more.

Once in Girona, consider continuing onto the Costa Brava in this 7-day itinerary.

By Rental Car or Private Transfer

Duration: 1.5 hours (standard highway route), 2.5 hours (recommended road trip route)

Hiring a private transfer or having a car gives you the freedom to explore the route between Barcelona and Girona and perhaps take a few side trips. Rental car companies abound in Barcelona, with Alamo, Budget, and Europcar being the highest rated. 

The most direct route takes you northeast along the AP-7 highway. This trip takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes, but doesn't take you along the coast. To make the most out of your drive, you can stop in two of Catalonia's most beautiful coastal towns, Tossa de Mar and Canyet de Mar. This increases your driving time to about 2.5 hours, and you'll want to plan for at least 30 minutes in each village. 

Tossa de Mar

To start, you'll drive a little over one hour along AP-7 and turn toward the coast, cutting across the Massís de les Cadiretes nature preserve until you reach Tossa de Mar, an adorable seaside village known for its beaches, fishing ports, and medieval walled town. You'll find plenty of street parking and a few public lots/garages along Avinguda de sa Palma. Once you've parked your car, enjoy exploring this charming little hamlet.

Tossa de Mar is perfect for strolling along the beach and swimming in the sea at Platja Gran, though the smaller Platja Mar Menuda is just as sandy and nice, plus it has beautiful rock formations. You can also hire a boat to cruise along the coast or try water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. But the town's big draw is its walled castle with panoramic views and charming cobbled streets. On the path leading up to the castle, you'll find a lighthouse, Gothic church remnants, a stone tower, and a hidden beach perfect for swimming.

Canyet de Mar

Next, drive about 30 minutes along the twisty, curvy coastal road, stopping at a viewpoint or two as you make your way to Canyet de Mar, a small fishing village on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Here you'll find a collection of quaint restaurants and cafés, a beautiful beach, and plenty of opportunities to participate in activities like kayaking by the coves, hiking along the cliffs, or standup paddleboarding. You can find parking right by the beach at Platja de Canyerets.

From Canyet de Mar, we will make our way north via C-65 for about one hour until you reach Girona.

By Train

Duration: 40 minutes

Renfe's high-speed AVANT/AVE trains are by far the easiest, quickest, most logical way to make the journey from Barcelona's Barcelona-Sants, the city's main train station, to Girona. The high-speed route takes just 38 minutes, and runs roughly every hour. The earliest trip leaves Barcelona at 7 am, and the latest departs at 9:40 pm.

There are slower MD/Regional trains that take a bit longer (1.5 hours), so make sure to opt for the AVANT or AVE option if time is of the essence. However, the slower trains make more stops in Barcelona, so it can be helpful if you're staying far from Sants. The slower trains are often cheaper as well. All trains should be taken in the direction of Figueres Vilafant, Portbou, or Cerbere.

Because of the frequent trains, tickets can be purchased at the station. However, trains do occasionally sell out, and booking through Renfe's website is easy if you prefer the peace of mind.

By Bus

Duration: 1hour 40 minutes

Another viable option is to take the bus directly from Barcelona's Barcelona Nord bus station near the Arco de Triunfo to the Girona Estació, Girona's bus stop right next to the main train station. Sagalés runs seven busses daily, the earliest leaving Barcelona at 7:40 am and the latest departing at 11:00 pm. 

While the bus is at times cheaper than the train, the difference is not significant (sometimes the train is even less), and the train takes less than half the time.


Map of How To Get From Barcelona to Girona
Map of How To Get From Barcelona to Girona