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
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.