Figueres is a city located about one hour and forty-five minutes away from Barcelona. It is the capital of Alta Empordà in the province of Girona. This city, whose name has its origins in the Visigoth word “Ficaris”, has a population of less than 50.000, with a large number of foreigners.
Figueres is mainly known as the birthplace of Catalan surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, but there is more to the city than just that. So what is there to do and see in Figueres?
Take a nostalgic trip to the Toys Museum
The Museu del Joguet de Catalunya or Catalonia’s Toy Museum is a place where visitors can discover an amazing vintage toy collection that will make adults feel nostalgic. Miniature puppet theaters, dolls, model trains, robots and many more items comprise the exhibit of over 5.000 pieces, some of which have belonged to famous Spanish personalities such as Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies. There is even a section dedicated exclusively to Dalí’s old toy collection.
Location: Carrer de Sant Pere, 1
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Visit the Museo de l’Empordá
The Empordá Museum first opened its doors over 50 years ago, and today it holds one of the most important art collections in the region. The museum features archaeology pieces, medieval sculptures, painting and sculptures from the nineteenth and the twentieth century, and art that was created in the region of Empordá.
Location: Carrer de la Rambla, 2
Feel like a queen or king at Castell Sant Ferran
The Sant Ferran Castle is one of the largest bastion fortresses in Europe and it has been declared a monument of cultural interest. Built in the eighteenth century, this military castle occupies an area of 32 acres and a perimeter of 3.120 m. It is considered to be the largest monument in all of Catalonia. The castle was open to the public in 1997 and can be visited today with a guided tour.
Location: Pujada del Castell
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Get blown away by the Dalí Theatre-Museum
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, Figueres is mainly known for its connection to Salvador Dalí. The most famous touristic site in the city is the artist’s Theatre-Museum. The museum started construction in 1969, where the city’s former museum used to stand before it was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Today, the museum attracts thousands of visitors each yer, who come not only to see the artist’s main works but also to admire the building, which is, in itself, a fantastic and ground-breaking work of art.
Location: Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5
Sit for a moment in a nice plaza
There are plenty of pleasant plazas in the city of Figueres where one can sit with an ice cream (if it’s warm) or a nice cup of coffee (if it’s cold) and just watch people go by. The plazas worth visiting are Plaça de l’Ajuntament, where the city council building is located, Plaça de les Patates, which features part of a medieval wall, Plaça del Gra, which has a beautiful market, Plaça Catalunya, which hosts weekly food markets, Plaça Josep Tarradellas, which has a monument in honour of Pep Ventura, Plaça Gala – Salvador Dalí, where the Dalí Theatre-Museum is located, Plaça de l’Estació, which has lots of trees and great shady spots to sit on, and Plaça de l’Eglésia, which has a beautiful church.
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* Main photo by Antonio De Lorenzo and Marina Ventayol via Wikimedia Commons