Figueres is a busy rural village, best known as the hometown of Salvador Dalí. Most visitors head straight for Dalí-related attractions providing compelling insight into the artist’s bizarre and creative mind. Save time to explore this traditional town, one of the only developed places in the region.
It’s impossible to miss the strange and enigmatic Teatre-Museu Dalí. The artist renovated this grand former theater, crowning its red exterior with an enormous geodesic dome and his signature egg shapes. Look for one of Dalí’s lesser-known works here: Gala Nude Looking at the Sea Which at 18 Metres Appears the President Lincoln. As the title indicates, when you stand close, this image depicts Dali’s wife and muse, Gala, but it appears to be a portrait of Abraham Lincoln when viewed from afar.
A ticket for Teatre-Museu Dalí also grants admission to Dalí Joies, which features 39 jewels designed by the artist. Casa Museu Dalí, the home of Dali and Gala is also worth investigating. In addition to serving as Gala’s final resting place, the medieval castle contains her haute couture dresses and furniture and interesting paintings, sculptures and drawings that once belonged to the couple.
Stroll down La Rambla de Figueres, a lovely pedestrian street bordered by outdoor cafés and greenery. Thursdays are some of the best times to visit, when the local market takes place and farmers from around the region gather to socialize and sell.
Walk around the enormous grounds of 18th-century Castell de Sant Ferran. One of the largest fortified castles in Europe, this building was once able to hold more than 6,000 men, while its stables once housed 500 horses. Pick up an audio guide and listen as you explore or call ahead to book a guided tour, which includes a visit to the castle’s subterranean water system.
Figueres is located in the heart of Catalonia, 136 miles (219 kilometers) north of Barcelona. Reach the town from Barcelona via an hourly train service.