Visit Figueres: what are the best things to do and see in this pretty Catalan city so dear to Salvador Dalí?
Figueres is a typical Catalan town located in the heart of the Alt Empordà territory, near the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees mountain range. It is world famous for its cultural and artistic sites. To visit Figueres is also to discover the city of Salvador Dalí, the famous surrealist painter who was born, resided and died there.
Dynamic as you wish whatever the season, it is full of activities to do as a couple, with friends or family. Generation Voyage offers you its list of the best of them, not to be missed when you come to visit Figueres. Choose what you like, we’ll meet you there!
1. The Dalí Theatre-Museum
Visit Figueres without going through the Dali Theatre-Museum ? You do not belive it ! This cultural space of national importance is dedicated to the Spanish painter who made the great hours of the surrealist movement.
In 1974, he opened his own museum and spent the rest of his life decorating it with spectacular creations. The artist is still there today since he is buried there: he rests in a crypt topped with a glass dome.
The building is built on the remains of the old municipal theater of Figueres destroyed at the end of the civil war. Many works by this prolific painter are housed there: you can discover his early period (1917-1928), surrealist (1929-1940), and classical (1941-1983). Of a period of two hours on average, the visit is quite exciting. feel free to book in high seasonthe seats are limited !
2. A walk through the streets
Figueres is one of the friendliest towns in which to stroll. The typical Catalan architecture of the alleys is sublimated by a consequent sunshine all year round. Many buildings of interest punctuate your route: Sant Pere church of the 10th century rebuilt in a neogothic style, the Casa Puig (Dalí’s birthplace), and the picturesque houses on the Rambla side, the real heart of the city.
To know everything about this city of character, do not hesitate to book a guided tour at the Tourist Office. You will find it in Place de l’Escorxador, surrounded by many bars and restaurants. Well, by the way, a plate of tapas on the terrace is a must!
3. San Ferran Castle
This huge military complex built in the 18th century is located at the end of Pujada del Castell street. He keeps busy 32 hectares making it the largest monument in Catalonia and the largest modern fortress in Europe ! The place could accommodate up to 4,000 soldiers ready to defend the Catalan territory.
Today, it lends itself more readily to guided tours to the delight of tourists. If you are looking for an activity to do in Figueres that combines walks and heritage, this is a great plan!
You will be able to discover the secrets of this exceptionally well-preserved fortified castle, and learn all about its complex architecture. We particularly recommend it to families with children : they will be the first delighted to storm this legendary behemoth.
4. The Toy Museum of Catalonia
Children are definitely spoiled in this top of the best activities to do in Figueres. the Catalonia Toy Museum is specially dedicated to them: a veritable machine to go back in time, this cultural space retraces the history of toys. Puppet theatres, toy soldiers, cardboard horses, balls, board games, stuffed animals, tricycles and robots will make the eyes of young and old alike shine.
Located in the heart of the Casa Terradas built in 1767, the museum includes 10,000 coins half of which are on display to the general public. Inaugurated in 1982, it also houses precious period documents including photographs of Dalí… with his toys, of course. You will contemplate priceless objects such as this figurine of the baker dated from the 6th century BC. It was unearthed in a child’s tomb in the Greek necropolis of Emporion.
5. Wine tourism
The Empordà region is crossed by a wine route, a gourmet itinerary showcasing Catalan winemaking know-how. The DO Empordà is a world famous appellation concerning vineyards distributed between sea and hills. Along the route, you will have the opportunity to discover exquisite beverages in the heart of period cellars.
This road connects the three main Romanesque monasteries which initiated the cultivation of the vine and the production of wines. Going through it will also be an opportunity to cross the superb Cap de Creus natural park and reach the Peralada Castle which houses the Wine Museum. On the Roses side, the Oenological Center offers interactive activities… and tastings. In moderation, anyway!
6. The Empordà Museum
the Empordà Museum is an institution entirely dedicated to ensuring the conservation and promotion of regional heritage. If you are looking for a cultural activity to do in Figueres, you have come to the right place.
This museum opened in the 19th century offers various exhibitions and events as well as Catalan artistic collections. If, of course, the works of Dalí are in the spotlight, you will have the pleasure of admiring the creations of other local artists.
The archaeological space of the museum highlights the history of Catalonia, from prehistory to the modern period, passing through Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
7. Els Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park
The Aiguamolls de l´Empordà Natural Park is the second largest wetland in Catalonia. It is a marsh of nearly 5,000 hectares became a natural park in 1987 in order to save it from the horrors of urbanization. The park is divided into three areas of integral nature reserve: the island of Caramany, the coastal lagoons of Llaunes and the ponds.
It is home to a variety of endemic flora and fauna. Salicornia, tamarind trees, sea rushes are the playgrounds of many reptiles, amphibians and mammals. You can see turtles freely. Educational trails punctuated with explanatory signs delight walkers, who can admire the waltz of migratory birds. A beautiful walk in the fresh air to enjoy as a couple, with family or friends!
8. Figueres Market
Yum ! Each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Figueres market gives pride of place to local products. Finally, the markets rather: the old one with its hall (Placa del Gra) and the new one (Placa Catalunya). Good mood, good colors, good flavors, good smells: all the ingredients are there to awaken your five senses.
You can taste emblematic Iberian specialties such as chorizo, sobrassada, serrano ham, succulent seafood and organic fruit packed with vitamins. Besides, your loved ones would no doubt be delighted to receive a nice bottle of olive oil or wine as soon as you return, what do you think?
When you come to visit Figueres in summer, it is fashionable to take advantage of the beautiful stretches of sand on the Costa Brava. They are only a few minutes by car from the city center: the beaches of Portbou, the Cap de Creus, the cove of Cala del Tres Platgetesthe beaches of Llança… You are spoiled for choice!
We also recommend that you leave for Empuriabrava, the “Venice of Spain”. This seaside resort has seven kilometers of coastline and is full of tourist and leisure attractions. By the way, are you more into water sports, parasailing, swimming or lazing around?
10. St. Peter’s Church in Figueres
The Church of Saint-Pierre in Figueres is located on the square of the same name, in the heart of the city. Built in the 10th century in the Romanesque style, it was embellished with Gothic elements throughout history. Its cupola was rebuilt in 1895 according to the plans of the architect Josep Azemar i Pont… but the building suffered significant damage during the Spanish Civil War.
A spectacular octagonal lantern tower was added later. This listed historical monument was the scene of Salvador Dalí’s baptism, first communion and funeral.
To come and visit Figueres from the air, only one solution: theBarcelona airportwhich is only found at 1h30 drive. To find a flight at the best price, take advantage of the expertise of Skyscanner, an intelligent flight comparator. It is ideal for selecting the most suitable offer for your stay: practical!
By train or bus
Figueres station is served by regional trains from the line R11 and the trains of the RG1 line. This makes it easy to reach other cities throughout Catalonia and the entire Spanish territory.
You can also take advantage of the bus station which is a few dozen meters from the station. Buses serve the major cities of Spain.
Visiting Figueres by car is very practical for getting around once there. Moreover, the Catalan city is easily accessible by road. It is only about twenty kilometers from the French border at Le Perthus.
L’A9 motorway will take you there directly from Perpignan, Montpellier, Nîmes or Orange.
On the Spanish side, it is theAP-7, also called “Mediterranean highway”, which acts as the main axis to get there. It connects Figueres to the metropolis of Barcelona and its wonders, for example.
On a boat
Ferries run to the Costa Brava ports closest to Figueres. You can access the marina of Empuriabrava or Cadaques easily from the Spanish coastal towns.
Your boat, if you are lucky enough to own one, will appreciate the many mooring possibilities in the area. On the other hand, the berths in the port will be at book well in advanceespecially in high season!
Where to stay in Figueres?
Whether you come to visit Figueres for a weekend or a long stay, you will be pleasantly surprised by the vast choice of accommodation in the city. As far as hotels are concerned, there are about fifty in the town.
Use this great hotel comparator to find the establishment best suited to your desires, needs and of course your budget. Apart-hotels, boarding houses and inns are scattered on both sides of the region.
Of course, private rental accommodation, numerous and varied, is a practical and affordable solution. Choose the pied-à-terre of your dreams on the Airbnb platform, for example, to feel at home. We recommend that you book well in advancethey are in high demand in high season.
All that remains is to choose… and decide on the date of your visit. When are you expecting that?