Five Catalan Cities I love visiting that are not Barcelona

Doug Keating
4 min readOct 16, 2021


Two years ago I was able to spend time in Catalonia Spain on a solo trip. I went all over this region, exploring many sites and cities.

Here are five Catalan cities I love visiting that are not Barcelona.

The capital of Catalonia is awesome, but there are so many other cities worth seeing in this unique region of Spain.

If you are a Game of Thrones fan — be sure to keep reading for a hint of why you should take a trip to this region.

Catalan City #1 — Girona

This city is only about an hour north of Barcelona. You can drive there, or take the train.

Girona is a medieval marvel. Plenty of sites to see in its walkable old town to include several cathedrals, the city gates, and well-preserved city walls.

Girona is near the French border so it has a fascinating history because it was fought over for centuries.

There is a reason I am listing Girona as the #1 city on this list. I was blown away while there.

It is well worth spending the night in this city.

Catalan City #2 — Besalu

One main reason to visit Besalu — the old bridge. It is amazing architecture.

There are several other sites to see while here to include a microbrewery. I visited this city without knowing much about it at all and loved it.

The old bridge makes Besalu worth a visit.

City #3 — Vic

Let’s get obscure. Most of you have never heard of Vic.

The only reason I visited was that it was on the way to somewhere else.

I was surprised by what I discovered. Vic has ancient Roman buildings, a cool market square, and I ate the best patatas bravas during the entire trip here.

Go to Vic, walk around, fill your belly, and enjoy it.

Vic was way better than I expected.

City #4 — Tarragona

This city is south of Barcelona on the Med.

Tarragona is full of sites to see including a huge cathedral, an ancient Roman amphitheater, and other Roman sites. This city contains several beaches since it is on the sea.

A cool thing I witnessed while here was a human pyramid. It is part of Catalan culture. I watched them build it and still don’t know how they do it without it tumbling down.

Tarragona was an awesome surprise — definitely worth visiting.

Tarragona is full of sites to see.

City #5 — Sitges

This city is located about an hour south of Barcelona.

Sitges is a beach town known for its wild nightlife. Located on the Med, this city is surrounded by beaches.

Great place to dip your toes in the sand and sea. The food here is excellent.

Sitges was a great place for me to finish my Catalan adventure. I hope to return soon.

Sitges is home to several beautiful beaches.

Bonus reason — Game of Thrones

GoT fans pay attention. You should visit the city of Girona.

Game of Thrones filmed several scenes here. The city gives special tours and embraces GoT as part of its identity. My tour guide knew a ton about GoT.

She showed us where the filming occurred and shared what the city was like when GoT was there. It was a lot of fun.

You can see why Game of Thrones was filmed here.

Three quick questions about Catalan cities that are not Barcelona

  1. What is the place I want to visit the most — Girona city walls. Great place to get some killer photos.
  2. What is my favorite site — the Dali museum in Figueres. Skip the town, but be sure to visit the city.
  3. What is the best-hidden gem I know — Montblanc. Eat lunch here and explore the city walls.
Two years ago I explored all over Catalonia Spain. Here are five Catalan cities I love that are not Barcelona.
Dali designed the museum himself. It is totally weird like he was.

I am Doug Keating and this is my letter to sons.



Doug Keating

Leader and learner. husband and father. Novice blogger,, Founder of All The Way Leadership!