Barcelona gets all the attention and it's simply not fair. Less than an hour from the Catalan capital is a stunning small town punching way above its weight. If you ever need a more relaxed pace, views for days and easy access to the Costa Brava, consider Girona. Here are my recommendations if you go.
Owned and operated by a Canadian couple, La Fabrica Girona is tucked away on a quiet street and usually packed with coffee lovers. Popular with fit road bikers, it's also a fantastic people watching spot. Oh, and the food is delicious too (of course they have avocado toasts).
Spain offers some of the most generous tax-free shopping in Europe. So, if you've ever considered purchasing a quality timepiece or unique jewellery, consider stopping by the family-owned Quera 1887. Ask for Cristina or Joan for attentive service and say François sent you.
If you enjoy fish (and I do), Restaurant l'Escabetx (no website) at Carrer d'Anselm Clavé i Camps 24 will wow you. The owner and head chef is 25 and spent a few years in South America. The result is a unique blend of flavours and cuisines that you won't find anywhere else. Oh, and the prices are so affordable too.
The old Jewish quarters were featured in a few episodes of the HBO show Game of Thrones... and so were the Cathedral steps (shame, shame, shame). So, start walking from Placa de la Independencia, across the pedestrian bridges and marvel at the narrow streets mostly free of hordes of tourists (unlike Barcelona).
Casa Cacao's rooftop deck offers you the best views of Girona (see first picture). While you came for drinks, you should stay for tapas. The hand-crafted cocktails are as delicious as they are reasonably priced.
Eat with the locals
What would a trip to Spain be without sampling a delicious serving of Churros? Head to La Xurreria de la Cort Reial for a box of freshly fried pastries sprinkled with sugar and dipped in chocolate sauce so delicious, you will drink whatever's left. Find the small restaurant at Carrer de la Cort Reial 9.