Delicious Drives Spain
A road trip to remember for life, check it out here.

The birthplace of Salvador Dalí, and the capital of the Alt Emporda region, Figueres, is famous because of the Dalí Theatre-Museum, which is the second most visited museum in all of Spain, after the Prado Museum in Madrid. However the town of Figueres makes a good base for a night or two, to enjoy a number of fine buildings, apart from the famous Dalí museum, plus some other great museums –  the Toy Museum of Catalonia, The Emporda Region Museum and the Technical Museum.

Of course there’s the castle, very good food and shopping as well. Only recently I read an article about how its castle – Castell de Sant Ferran – is becoming more famous around the world, thanks to the effects of Instagram. It was this castle that played a vital role in Figueres becoming an important commercial base within the region.

Eat, Drink And Be Merry

If you like the finer things in life, the town and region have plenty to offer in terms of great food and wine. The town of Figueres, that is named after fig trees, is 15 minutes or so drive from some of the Costa Brava’s wonderful beaches and coves. Of course like other towns in Catalonia, if you want to experience Figueres at its liveliest, then you should consider visiting during one of the festivals. These are:

3rd May – Festa Major (Main Festival) de la Santa Creu
20th May – Festa de Santa Baldiri
29th June – Festa Major (Main Festival) de Sant Pere

 

About

The Funny Thing About Figueres..

The funny thing about Figueres is that you don’t have to be a Dalí fan to enjoy visiting the town. I know people who have been and enjoyed the town itself, the castle, the architecture, the food and wine, without going purely because they love Dalí’s work. That said, when they visited the amazing, surrealistic theatre-museum, they couldn’t help being sucked into its magic and, what some may consider to be madness, and others believe to be genius!

A Quick (Or Not So Quick) Trip To Cadaques

Once you go to Figueres, you really should make the 40km journey to Cadaques, for at least a day trip. Cadaques is the perfect, dreamy town where Dalí originally spent his summer holidays, and lived and worked from 1930 until 1982. In the Dalí House-Museum there, you’ll experience the strongest essence of the painter. However Cadaques itself is full of colour and light, and an idyllic fisherman’s village, to while away a few days or more, by the sea.

Shopping In Figueres

Back in Figueres, the old town streets that run to the south and north of the fine Rambla, are very pleasant to walk about. From a shopper’s perspective, Figueres is a tempting location, with an interesting blend of the old and new. On one hand you can find some of the bigger brands there like Zara, Pull & Bear and Benetton, but on the other hand, Figueres also has its fair share of old-style locally owned shops. Lots of people from the south of France go shopping in Figueres because of lower taxes, plus of course it is “the” place to buy Dalí souvenirs.

Things To Do

Castles

Castell de Sant Ferran Figueres – Saint Ferran Castle Figueres

Pujada del Castell, Figueres 17600 – Phone: 972 506 094

You can walk from the Dalí Theatre-Museum to the castle in around 10 minutes. The pleasant walk that takes you to the castle can be continued around the perimeter of the Castell de Sant Ferran, which is a little over 3km. Built in the 18th century, the castle is extremely well preserved. You can walk around the exterior for free, and go on a tour of the interior for €3, which includes an audio guide that is available in English, Spanish, Catalan, French, German , Russian, Dutch and Italian. Its length is around 45 minutes or so, and it follows a marked route of some 14 points of interest. There’s also a conventional tour, that you can reserve.

Churches

Esglesia de Sant Pere – St. Peter’s Church Figueres

Carrer de l’Esglesia, 8

If churches aren’t your thing, but Salvador Dalí is, then you may want to make an exception and visit this church – this is where the amazing artist was baptised. During the Civil War the church suffered really major destruction, but work was carried out from 1941 to 1948 to restore it. However the oldest remains which have been preserved can be traced back to the 11th/12th centuries. Actually the square (plaza) where the church stands is a really pleasant place to while away a bit of time, and just watch the world go by.

Museums

Teatre Museu Dalí – Dalí Theatre Museum Figueres

Gala-Salvador Dalí Square 5, Figueres 17600, Phone: 972 677 500

This museum is featured in the Artists Routes section below. If you are considering doing the Dalí Triangle, you may find our guide useful, just click on Dalí Triangle.

Museu del Joguet de Catalunya – Toy Museum of Catalonia

Hotel Paris, Carrer de Sant Pere 1 – Phone: 972 504 585 Website: www.mjc.cat

There are more than 4000 items to be found in this museum, which opened in 1982. From teddies to tricycles, from scooters to soldiers, from spinning tops to steam engines – you get the idea, the list is immense. This museum really honours the art of play and entertainment, and includes toys of famous personalities, including Dalí, Joan Miró, Lorca and many more. It is a wonderful reminder of how to play the way our grandparents did, and is a rather nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Museu de l’Empòrda – Museum of Emporda Region

Rambla 2 – Phone: 972 502 305 Website: www.museuemporda.org

Explore the art, archaeology and history of the region, at the museum where there are Roman and Greek remains, sacred art and frescoes. One of Spain’s most important art collections can be seen at this museum, which originally opened in 1946, although the collections can be traced back to the 19th century. However the building that is there today was built in 1971 as a museum of art, archaeology and history.

Visitors are offered an historical reading of the development of the museum and its objects. There are wonderful objects such as Iberian pottery, medieval sculpture, baroque painting, and of course art from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Museu de la Tecnica de l’Emporda – Emporda Technical Museum

Carrer dels Fossos 12

From the purchase of a typewriter around 30 years ago, Pere Padrosa planted the seed that sprouted into the museum you can visit today. The collection shows how technology and science has affected our lives, and there are some beautiful items on show.

Artist Routes

Teatre Museu Dalí – Dalí Theatre Museum Figueres

Gala-Salvador Dalí Square 5, Figueres 17600, Phone: 972 677 500

Details of opening hours and ticket prices are here: http://www.salvador-dali.org/museus/figueres/en_index.html

In Figueres you can see the surrealist collection and Dalí Jewels. The theatre museum is where you’ll see the broadest selection of Dalí’s work, with pieces that span his entire career. The Dalí Theatre Museum was inaugurated in 1974, and needs to be appreciated as a whole. The artist conceived the world’s biggest surrealist object in order to give you, the visitor, a tangible experience of being inside his unique, captivating world. The museum is still run, in 2014, by Dalí’s friend and co-painter Antoni Pitxot i Soler, who helped him to set it up.

When the mayor of Figueres, in 1961, proposed this to him, Dalí said:

“Where, if not in my own town, should the most extravagant and solid of my work endure, where if not here? The Municipal Theatre, or what remained of it, struck me as very appropriate, and for three reasons: first, because I am an eminently theatrical painter; second, because the theatre stands right opposite the church where I was baptised; and third, because it was precisely in the hall of the vestibule of the theatre where I gave my first exhibition of painting.”

Apart from the large variety of works that you can see of Dalí’s there, you can also lose yourself in the wonder of the works that he created specifically for the museum, such as Mae West room. Additionally there are pieces from a good selection of other notable artists housed there, including works of El Greco, Antoni Pixot and Marcel Duchamp amongst others. He is buried in the theatre museum’s crypt.

If you are considering doing the Dalí Triangle, you may find our guide useful, just click on Dalí Triangle.

Where to Sleep

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Where to Eat

Restaurants

Restaurant L'Ou d'Or Figueres1

Photo: Restaurant L’Ou d’Or Figueres

Restaurants In Figueres

When eating in Figueres, however, avoid the restaurants which run along the stretch that is quite close to the Dalí Theatre-Musuem, on the Carrrer de Jonquera. Whilst the food is acceptable in these restaurants, they are more typical of restaurants one sometimes finds at popular beach resorts, that don’t excel in their offerings, as they feel the location is enough to do the job for them!

Restaurant L’Ou d’Or

Carrer de Sant Llatzer 16 – Phone: 972 503 765 – Website: http://www.loudor.com/

Enjoy great food in a lovely setting, that might remind you of a Tardis! Open since 1981, this restaurant has a classic but modern touch and the owner, Flora Moncanut, is known for her charm. The food offerings use traditional Catalan recipes with a dash of Italian flavour. This authentic restaurant is good value for money, with house wine starting at only €5 per bottle. You can check their daily menu on their website. Please note that it is closed on Sundays and holidays, and shuts down from the 23rd December to the 14th January.

More Restaurants

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Map

Other Travel Ideas

CITIES

Parc Guell Barcelona

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OUR BEACH FAVES

Sa Tuna Begur Costa Brava

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SPECIAL SPOTS

Cadaques Costa Brava Fishing Boats and View At Night

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BUZZING BEACH TOWNS

Lloret de Mar boat at beach

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FAMILY HOLIDAYS

Cambrils Catalonia beaches

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MEDIEVAL VILLAGES

Pals Girona Catalonia Picturesque medieval village

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INLAND VILLAGES

Chert Spain arch in old quarter-1

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FISHING VILLAGES

Mantis Shrimp Gastronomic Festival Alcanar Catalonia

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SEASIDE TOWNS

Vinaros Spain Cala Puntal

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ARTIST ROUTES

Figueres Dali Theatre Museum Catalonia ed2

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WINE ROUTES

Wine routes Catalonia Penedes-1

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NATURAL PARKS

Beach at Delta de l'Ebre Natural Park

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12 Responses to Figueres Travel Guide

  1. Lee Briggs May 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    Once again, another all encompassing review of a destination in Spain. I look forward to these reviews because of the detail and especially the information about festivals.
    If it were just for the Dali Museum, I wouldn’t have been much interested, even though the museum is probably an interesting place to visit.
    But the castle, the other museums, the shopping (especially the local shops) and the food all combine to make this a destination to look forward to.

    • Jackie De Burca May 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

      Thanks so much Lee. Eventually all festivals will be on, this is a question of time and work.

  2. noel May 19, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    Wonderful write up, I wished I had more time to visit Costa Brava, this was one I put on my wish list but really had no time – will have to really visit some day.

    • Jackie De Burca May 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      Thanks Noel. The Costa Brava has so much to offer, hopefully you’ll manage to find the time to visit.

  3. Paul (@luxury__travel) May 19, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    The castle is huge, isn’t it? Something like almost 4 miles to walk around it, I think. Interesting to hear that it’s getting famous thanks to Instagram. Funny how these things happen…

    • Jackie De Burca May 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      It is very funny how these things happen 🙂

  4. Chris Boothman May 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    I really appreciate the fine details that you go into for these reviews. I have to agree with Lee that had this location just offered the Dali history and museum, I probably wouldn’t be too inclined to visit here but when you combine all the other local offerings and the beautiful castle, this is certainly a spot that I would love to explore further.

    It’s also interesting to see how these types of locations have such contrasting options in terms of shopping. You mentioned that some of the leading fashion brands have outlets here but at the same time there are still thriving local establishments which is always good to see. The attraction of the leading brands can also have a positive impact on local spots as folks are attracted to both which should be a boost for the local economy.

    • Jackie De Burca May 22, 2014 at 6:58 am #

      Your two observations, Chris, are spot on. There are lots of folks who wouldn’t have an interest in Dalí, therefore it’s good to know if there are other places of interest. The shopping offerings, of the old and new, is something very appealing in my opinion also. I personally far prefer the old curiousity character type shops, and also I love indoor and outdoor markets, but I do appreciate that lots of other people love the brands and high street labels that are well known here in Spain (and some elsewhere also).

  5. alison May 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    Jackie, I look forward to reading your coverage as it is always so thorough and detailed. What a great source you will be when I finally make it to Spain.

    • Jackie De Burca May 22, 2014 at 6:59 am #

      Many thanks Alison, that’s great feedback to get. There’s so much more to do!! 🙂

  6. Dan July 6, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    Hi Jackie,

    We were on holiday just outside Banyoles and went to Figueres for a day. On the way in, we had a flat tyre, and realised that to save money, cheap car hire companies won’t give you a spare tyre. So we are stuck. We were parked in an underground park on Passeig Nou, and found the tourist info. They directed us to a very small garage on Carrer Imporda, just up from La Pansa.

    After 5 minutes of sign language, he said come back in an hour after he had dealt with another customer. We went for a coffee, and I went back to the car to get the details of the tyre in case we needed a new one. When I got there, the car was up on a jack, with the wheel removed. The guy had gone and found the car, taken the wheel off and repaired it. I walked to his garage, and 5 minutes later, he came down and put it back on.

    Now in the UK, parking garages would not allow this (for ‘Health and Safety reasons’), and the whole process would have taken a minimum of 2 hours, plenty of walking and been a real pain. This guy charged me 20 Euros. I doubled it and thanked him massively. I am a grumpy git and he saved my wife from about 4 hours of sulking and irritation!

    What a great guy. Cannot tell you how much we appreciate his efforts. What a great town to have a flat tyre in!

    • Jackie De Burca July 7, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      Hi Dan,

      Your story has brought a big grin to my face this morning! This is so cool to hear. I really appreciate you taking the time to let others know about it.

      I also noticed on your DP Fitness Facebook page that you’ve been hill training in Northern Spain, and your comments about the old tracks the Resistance used in the Spanish Civil War. If you have any more information or photos relating to this, I will happily include them in the most relevant guide in the future – of course with a reference to you & your Facebook page. I will do a guide for Banyoles over the coming months, it’s on the editorial plan, so maybe there?

      Thanks again Dan 🙂

      Take care,
      Jackie

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