Things to Do in Costa Brava: Table of Contents
Costa Brava on C&C
Best Time To Visit Costa Brava
Where to Sleep
Let’s Go For a Drink
What to See and Do
Tipping in Costa Brava
Common Scams & What to Avoid
C&C’s Google Map of the City
Things to Do in Costa Brava: Where, How?
Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain, Southern Europe, Europe
Currency: Euro (€)
Airport Notes: The Girona-Costa Brava Airport is located 12.5 km southwest from Girona and served 1.6 million passengers in 2016 out of its two-level one terminal building. The major airline is Ryanair and it operates flights to the airport from several destinations in Europe and Morocco year round. Other seasonal airlines include Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways, and transavia.com.
Transportation to-and-from the airport: There are several bus lines traveling to Costa Brava (one every hour), Andorra, France, and Barcelona. There currently is not a train but there are plans to build a station extension to the airport. The closest station is 4 km away in Girona. More information on buses run by both Ryanair and Sagales bus company is available on the Ryanair website.
The best way to see the city of Costa Brava is to rent a car and drive yourself around – you get to experience the scenery along the coast and stop wherever and whenever you like!
A Note on Taxis:
Taxis are considered safe. The typical taxi warnings apply.
Just like anywhere, Uber is cheaper and safer. If you don’t already have an account, use this link and get 15 dollars off your first ride!
- Blanes — southernmost resort with two botanical gardens
- Cadaqués i Portlligat
- Calella de Palafrugell – scenic fishing town
- Lloret de Mar – a beach resort with a reputation for its nightlife
- Tossa de Mar — a lovely seaside resort
Navigation tips: How to know where you are. (Is there a way at all?) Are streets built on a 90-degree angle? Exceptions? Is there a river, or mountain, to help know where you are?
More About Spain on C&C
- COSTA BRAVA: SIX REASONS TO HEAD THERE RIGHT NOW
- TIGER TEMPLE AND ANIMAL CRUELTY: WHEN ABROAD, AVOID THESE TOURIST TRAPS
- THE BEST HOTEL RESTAURANTS IN EUROPE ARE ALL HERE
- BARCELONA TAPAS BARS: SEVEN PLACES NOT TO MISS
- TOP 10 TRAVEL SCAMS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Best Time To Visit Costa Brava
Average Monthly Minimum And Maximum Temperatures
Average Monthly Hours Of Sunshine
Average Monthly Rainfall Or Snowfall
Things to Do in Costa Brava: Personal Notes
What’s This Place About?
Costa Brava isn’t a city, it is a region of Spain that borders France in the province of Catalonia. Costa Brava is known for being the home of El Bulli, considered to be one of the best restaurants in the world for nearly the past two decades, which closed in 2011.
Costa Brava is filled with wine, beaches, beautiful coastal towns, and huge resort cities. There are a lot of fancy hotels as well as not-so-fancy places. Rich tourists go there to vacation from everywhere in the world as it has direct access to the sea.
The city of Figueres is the hometown of Salvador Dali. The Dali Theatre Museum, designed by Dali himself, is located there and it is one of the top attractions of the Costa Brava.
What’s Great and Fun?
The Costa Brava is a regular vacation spot not only for everyone in Europe, but the rest of the world as well. The top three activities are sampling wines, tasting local foods, and soaking up the sun on the beach. There are very high-end, luxury hotels and low-key hostels for visitors to choose from.
I was in Switzerland and told a Swiss friend of mine that I was headed to the Costa Brava and the city of Lloret de Mar in particular. He told me that this was where he had one of his class trips at the end of high school and that everybody went there to party. They all got completely drunk and misbehaved badly. Lloret de Mar’s reputation is that of a gigantic party city with EDM clubs, cheap alcohol and everything that it entails.
Things to Do in Costa Brava: Where to Stay
Park Hotel San Jorge & Spa and Hotel Trias are both located right next to the beach with a great view. In particular, Arrels d’Emporda is an aparthotel for a reasonable price if you’re looking for a home-away-from-home experience.
Things to Do in Costa Brava: Let’s Eat!
Famous Foods and Specialties
- Escudella I Carn D’olla, vegetable broth with pork, veal and chicken.
- Pa Amb Tomàquet – bread rubbed with tomato pulp and dressed with oil and salt.
- Coca – very thin dough baked with onions, peppers and other vegetables, this is served with meats or fish (especially sardines)
The Best Drunk Food
- Deep-fried whole smelts or sardines
Our Suggestions – Dishes And Restaurants
Costa Brava used to be the home of El Bulli, known as the best restaurant in the world. It closed in 2011.
Today, what’s considered to be the best restaurant in Spain is located in Girona, which is a very short trip away from the Costa Brava. It’s called El Celler de Can Roca.
Restaurant Miramar, located in Llançà, is a great spot to have an idea of what used to be served at El Bulli. Chef Paco Perez was a disciple of the Adria brothers and his food facinating!
There are many more very-high-end fine-dining restaurants in the region. That being said, there are plenty of laid back – and not as excruciatingly expensive – dining experiences everywhere on the Costa. Here are a few quick suggestions.
In Lloret de Mar, Restaurant El Romaní is always a good bet.
Another one? Es Balconet, in Cadaqués.
Mas dels Arcs is a family-run joint with a simple but delicious menu. It’s in Palamos.
Things to Do in Costa Brava: Let’s Go For a Drink
What Do the Locals Drink?
The locals drink wine or beer.
Drinking in Public
In all of Spain, the law on purchasing and drinking alcohol is 16, if you are under 16 and accompanied by your parents you can buy beer or wine.
Our Suggestions – Bars and Pubs
Here are a few places to have a drink, if not anything else;
- La Lluna, Begur, Calle Concepció Pi i Tató, Begur. Telephone 972 622023
- C-roak, Begur, Avinguda Onze de Setembre 7, Begur. Telephone 972 614572
- Bar Restaurant El Portal, Carrer Costa Brava, 67, 17411 Vidreres, Girona, Telephone +34 972 85 11 82
- Passarel·la Empuriabrava, Aeroclub, 67, 17487 Empuriabrava, Girona,
As regular readers of this column know, I don’t know anything about clubs. Sorry!
Things to Do in Costa Brava: What to See and Do
Costa Brava, as you know, is right on the northern coast of Spain, so without a doubt there will be some fishing going on. If you like the laid back vibe, there is a lovely fishing village with “quaint cobble stone streets, white houses and beautiful coastline” called Tossa de Mar. Take a drive to the castle built in 1187, however, do not drive up the castle walls as they are narrow and no parking is available at the top.
In contrast, if you are all about luxury and cannot live without it for a day or two, there is always Lloret de Mar, best known its nightlife.
The Dalí Theatre-Museum houses a significant art collection from one of Spain’s most iconic artist – Salvador Dali. His life was dedicated to the construction of the museum which also holds his tomb.
Europeans and international tourists do not flock to Costa Brava solely to relive medieval times; many visit this picturesque Mediterranean coast in Spain for the coastal area. Visit either the Rose or the Empuriabrava for splendid views of the sea – it is truly stunning.
For you wine lovers and those of you just developing a taste for wine, a visit to the Celler Archy-Pages and indulge your palate. There is a total of five vineyards to choose from, or why choose, visit them all!
Tipping in Costa Brava
Just like in most of Europe, it is not expected to tip but it is always a nice gesture. If you have received good service and would like to tip, 7-10% of the total cost of the bill is good.
Things to Do in Costa Brava: Common Scams & What to Avoid
In Lloret de Mar there are a lot of hotels that claim to be four or five stars that would probably be quoted as two stars in other countries. Late at night, there are certain characters that roam the center of the city that you would rather not meet. It is a safe Spanish city, however, as is the rest of the Costa Brava.
I have not heard of any.
There are no problematic neighborhoods as far as I know.
How to Stay Safe: Tips and Tricks
READ MORE: Travel Canada Advisory for the Spain.