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20 things to do in Girona in autumn 2016

Enjoy concerts, festivals, exhibitions and lots more in Girona and the Costa Brava region this season
La Rambla de la Llibertat
© funkyfrogstock - ShutterStock La Rambla de la Llibertat

Are you missing summer? Feeling the need to get out and about even if the weather's not the best? Then you've come to the right place. Up to the end of November, across Girona city and the Costa Brava, there's numerous activities taking place to keep everybody entertained. We've chosen 20 of our favourites, which include film and music festivals, theatre, art shows, circus and all types of fairs. 

© Syda Productions
Things to do, Film events

Festa del Cine

Following the success of its previous editions, the Fiesta del Cine (Cinema Festival) returns to Spain for three days, from October 24 to 26. Once more, tickets will cost just €2.90 at participating cinemas. To get yours, register at the website (unless you're under 14 or over 60) for an accreditation, and then take this to the box office. Alternatively, buy your tickets online and avoid some of the inevitable queuing.

De tapes per Palamós
Things to do, Food and drink events

De tapes per Palamós 2016

A 'tapa' and small Estrella Damm for just €2.50! That's what you'll find throughout the month of October if you head to some of the bars and restaurants of Palamós. The tapas on offer include cuttlefish noodles ('fideuà de sípia'), tuna or wild salmon tartare ('tàrtar de tonyina o de salmó salvatge'), rice stew with Palamós prawn ('arròs a la cassola amb gamba de Palamós'); there are around 13 different options. Find them all on the 'De tapes per Palamós' app (available for Apple and Android), as well as timetables, addresses, etc.

Hospital de Santa Caterina

350 anys al teu costat. Memòria de l’antic Hospital de Santa Caterina

Innumerable people worked, suffered, recovered, been born or died at Girona's Hospital de Santa Caterina during its 350 years of existence. This exhibition looks back at the significance of this local institution with old photos, recreations and objects that show what the hospital was like. It's historical memory made up of experiences, emotions and memories from an indispensable city building.

Museu del Cinema
Things to do, Festivals

Fires de Girona 2016: Open days

During the Fires de Girona, which run from October 28 to November 6 and mark the feast day of the city's patron saint, Sant Narcís, there are numerous activities on offer throughout the city, such as free entry to most museums and some of Girona's most emblematic buildings. Here's our selection of the ones you shouldn't miss, along with the times that entrance is free. Enjoy!

© Nikolay Dimitrov - ecobo
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Fira d'alimentació

Cheeses from around the country and France, a wide range of breads, honey, olives, anchovies... This food fair returns once more to the Fires de Girona, providing just one more reason to head to the city's big annual festival, especially if you're any kind of foodie. And if you try the cheeses, get your wallet ready, because you won't be able to go home without at least some of them!

Soldados de Salamina

Girona Plató

'Game of Thrones' hasn't just injected a certain energy into Girona, it's also widened its international profile as a location for films and television shows. However, in reality, the city has been the backdrop for numerous productions on both the large and small screen for more than a century already. In the exhibition 'Girona Plató' ('plató' means 'set' in Catalan), curated by Pep Prieto and Laura Merino, that history of filming is put under the spotlight; it features a tour of the different roles that the city has played in both national and international productions. The show is divided up into three parts (which coincide with the general evolution of the city): 'The city revealed', where Girona plays herself; 'The city dressed up', where it actually portrays other places both real and imagined; and 'The city in construction', where the process of disguising it to appear on screen is revealed.

© Daniel Seiffert
Theatre, Drama

Temporada Alta 2016: Mitleid

With the magnificent and shocking production of 'The civil wars', which was part of the programme of Barcelona's summer 'Grec' arts festival in 2015, Swiss director Milo Rau stepped onto the podium of the bravest and most audacious figures on the contemporary European scene. In this new work, he delves into one of the most controversial, pertinent issues of the moment: refugee routes. It's a semi-documentary based on interviews with NGO workers and war victims in Africa and Europe, which questions the limits of commitment, compassion and humanism.

Fires de Girona
© Beth Pujol
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Fires de Girona for €1

We all know how expensive a fair can be: you can spend a small fortune for one ride on the Ferris wheel and a go on the dodgems. So the good news is that on November 3, from 5pm, all the attractions at the Fires de Girona will cost just €1 each. Time for some serious fun!

© marco mayer
Things to do, Food and drink events

Cuina del bolet de Llagostera

Are you a fan of wild mushrooms? Then you'll love the variety of Catalan 'bolets' on offer in different dishes being served up in restaurants in the town of Llagostera from October 6 to November 6. Dishes such as squid with onion and 'rossinyol' mushrooms, cod and mushroom mousse with pine nut and rosemary honey caramel, and pork meatballs with 'botifarra' sausage and 'trompeta' mushrooms. The eight set menus cost between €23 and €70. The participating restaurants in the 'Cuina del Bolet' event are: Ca la Maria, Can Cassoles, Els Tinars, Hostal El Carril, Cal Degollat, Taverna de Can Pou, Ca l'Artau and Mas Roure.

Ebri Knight

Fires de Girona 2016: Ebri Knight

The group Ebri Knight was created in the Catalan coastal area of Maresme, and has its musical roots in local melodies, using traditional instruments and popular tunes that have been heard for centuries around Catalonia. In this concert they present their third album, 'Foc!', where they consolidate their festive musical sounds.

Jorge Drexler

Temporada Alta 2016: Jorge Drexler

Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler is one of the protagonists of this edition of the Temporada Alta festival.  Drexler is, without doubt, one of the most important and established Latin American singer-songwriters of recent times. He has some 15 albums under his arm, a pile of awards (including an Oscar for the song 'Al otro lado del río' from the film 'The Motorcycle Diaries' and various Grammys), and an almost endless list of artists who have recorded his songs: Mercedes Sosa, Caetano Veloso, Joaquín Sabina and Shakira, to name but a few. At the festival he'll perform a selection of music from across his career, including songs from his latest record ('Bailar en la cueva') plus classics such as 'Todo se transforma' and 'La trama y el desenlace'. This show will include musical and theatrical experimentation with Drexler seeking to form a relationship with the audience through a lot of improvisation.


Fires de Girona 2016: La Raíz

Valencia is home to many musicians who have found success in Catalonia, such as Obrint Pas and other similar bands. Now, a new generation of Valencian musicians have identified La Raíz as the leaders of a fresh wave that moves between ska, rock, reggae and hip hop. Their fusion sounds are featured on a new album out this year, entitled 'Entre poetas y presos' ('Between poets and prisoners'). Winners of a local Enderrock prize for the best song in a language other than Catalan, they're definitely the group of the moment and are bound to perform an energetic concert that will make a fitting end to this year's musical programme at the Fires de Girona, as well as be one of the concerts of the year in Catalonia.

Circ Raluy
Theatre, Circuses

Circ Raluy

The Circ Raluy returns to set up its tent in Girona once more, as the family circus presents its new show, 'Legacy'. Raluy is much more than a circus: it's a dynasty, made up of the artistic background and experience of the Raluy family, which for 80 years has taken its entertaining shows around the world. The Circ Raluy is also a travelling museum with perfectly maintained carriages from the 19th and 20th centuries. Their show combines classic and family circus acts, which is their particular forte, and features innovative, highly artistic acts that have won international renown. Their new tent, inaugurated in 2014, takes audiences on a trip through time and space to be submerged in a captivating universe.

Things to do, Food and drink events

Ganxotapes de tardor 2016

Once the summer crowds have left and autumn's arrived, the residents of Sant Feliu de Guíxols spend a month devouring tapas. Twenty-nine of the town's restaurants compete to create the most creative, delicious tapas as part of the Ganxotapes festival, a gastronomic event that focuses on small dishes and 'pintxos' (tapas served on thin slices of bread). A tapa and beer will set you back just €2.50. If you want, you can also take part in the public vote for best tapas and best photo, and try to win the prize for the person who's eaten the most pintxos. Ask at any participating restaurant for the booklet.

Film, Drama

Classic film of the month 2016: Wings

The Cinema Truffaut's classic film of the month ('El Clàssic del Mes') for November is 'Wings' ('Alas' in Catalan), by William A. Wellman. The movie didn't only win the Oscar for best film and best special effects (in the first year these awards were handed out), it also set a box-office record and, on its release in 1927, caused quite a stir with its air battle scenes. The romantic drama tells the story of the contest between two young men, Jack and the much richer Harry, to win the hand of the woman they both love, and how their lives are affected when they both sign up to be pilots in World War I. Shown in English with subtitles.

Music, Rock and indie

Burning + Los Zigarros

One of the most anticipated concerts in Girona this autumn features Burning and Los Zigarros. It promises to be a night full of rock 'n' roll. Madrid band Burning are veterans of their art, one of the earliest Spanish rock groups to form and responsible for local anthems such as 'Qué hace una chica como tu en un sitio como este' ('What's a girl like you doing in a place like this'). Their music is pure-blooded, tough and nostalgic, and without them Spanish rock would not be what it is today. The warm-up act is Los Zigarros, one of the most interesting rock bands around today.

Sweet Fever

Temporada Alta 2016: Sweet Fever

A world of coloured lights, mirrored balls and music by the Bee Gees. 'Night Fever' specifically. This is 'Saturday Night Fever'. Choreographer and dancer Pere Faura has been inspired by the John Travolta movie to re-create the famous moves seen on-screen but in a live context, celebrating the freeing pleasure of dancing, whether it be in a disco or on stage. Faura, as he proved in 'Sin baile no hay paraíso' (a work presented at Temporada Alta two years ago; the name means 'Without dance there's no heaven') likes exploring dance that's contained in the popular memory. Here he reflects on the glorious decade of disco music, repeating almost ad infinitum the steps of his icon.

© Olena Kaminetska
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Fira del pa i la xocolata de Sant Gregori

This is by far the sweetest fair in the Girona region. It's a day full of activities, chocolate and other tastings, workshops where children can make chocolate lollipops, bread-making workshops, a show of classic cars, exhibitions and stalls selling different craft items. If you have any kind of sweet tooth, make straight for the Fira del Pa i la Xocolata!


Temporada Alta 2016: Battlefield

Veteran British theatre director Peter Brook is a regular at Girona's autumn Temporada Alta festival, and this year he returns with a revival of one of his most mythical works. Thirty years ago, Brook staged a nine-hour version of the epic Indian poem 'Mahabharata' (it was the inaugural performance at what is now Barcelona's main dance venue, Mercat de les Flors, in 1985), and an icon of 20th-century theatre was created. Here the director has imagined a more essential and intense version (it lasts just over an hour) that responds to questions about our existence. Don't miss your chance to see how a theatre great re-creates one of his most emblematic productions.

Andrea Motis
Music, Jazz

Temporada Alta 2016: Andrea Motis and Joan Chamorro

These up-and-comers on the Catalan jazz scene are fearless. Three years after uniting the sound of the traditional Catalan 'cobla' sound with swing and the words of some of Catalonia's most prestigious poets, Andrea Motis and Joan Chamorro return to Temporada Alta. Accompanied by the musicians Josep Traver, Ignasi Terraza and Esteve Pi, they are presenting their new album, recorded on the Impulse! label, the same record company as the iconic John Coltrane. Don't miss your opportunity to enjoy the explosive combination of Motis's talent, youth and hypnotic voice with the experience of the maestro Chamorro. This will be a night of jazz, swing and bossa nova.

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