Figueres: Quick Essential Tourist Guide From Locals…

Enjoy our quick guide to Figueres, a small city situated in Catalonia, Spain and the last major town before the border between Spain and France. With a population of 40,000, the town of Figueres is also known for being a very safe town overall.

Below we feature an expat interview with John O’Reilly of Different2 who covers the Figueres area.

Specifically, we asked John on the advantages of choosing Figueres as a place to live and the value for money that one can get if you decide to stay permanently in the area.


Church of St. Peter, Figueres – Photo by Hullie, Wikimedia Commons

John, thanks for helping our readers. I guess we should start off by asking what would you say would be the advantages to living in Figueres compared to other Costa Brava towns?

Figueres offers culture, from museums, e.g. S. Dali, to theatre, street festivals, e.g. wine in the autumn; close to two excellent golf courses; high-speed train links to Barcelona and beyond and France/Europe. It also has great hospitals.

The town is a 20-minute drive to excellent beaches. There is easy access to the AP7 motorway network.


The Rambla of Figueres – Photo by Publica, Wikimedia Commons

Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?

Figueres is very supportive to Catalan independence. Catalan is spoken by the majority of residents, over Spanish. Recreation facilities and shopping is really good by any standards. If it’s beaches and the sea, maybe consider a location closer to the coast.

What proportion of the local population are Spanish?

Not sure of the percentage but most are Catalan.

What are your favourite things to do in the area?

Golf at either Peralada or Torremirona. Both are no more than a 15-minute drive. Also, great shopping.

Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?

Sorry not my forte. There are many good restaurants and also many sidewalk cafes.


Figueres Theatre – Photo by Hullie, Wikimedia Commons

Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?

Doctors, dentists, of course the Figueres Hospital which I can personally endorse!

Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?

My favourites are:

Castello Empuries – steeped in history including the Basilica that often holds concerts, festivals, etc.

Peralada – historic; known for its music concerts in the summer months; casino, wines and of course the Peralada Golf Course and Spa.

Torremirona – great golf course, hotel and sport centre.

Empuriabrava – the venice of the Costa Brava; boat moorings at the bottom of the garden; direct access to the sea; night clubs, restaurants, markets, etc.

What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?

No personal experience. I understand the International School of St. George in Girona has an excellent reputation and I am told there is a school bus service to transport pupils from outside of Girona.

Is crime an issue for expats?

No personal experience. But as any town today, all the necessary precautions need to be followed.


View of the wall and the moat of Sant Ferran’s Castle in Figueres – Photo by Francesc Vernet Lopez, Wikimedia Commons

Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?

Prices fell dramatically as in most Costa Brava areas. Figueres had an oversupply of apartment buildings, many of which were not completed and reverted back to banks. The majority are now completed and being sold via banks own mortgages or rented. There are still bargains to be had but these will be few in time and hopefully better times continue.

Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?

It is a good time to buy especially via one of the banks.

What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?

Urbanisations are more outside of Figueres. Again, Peralada Golf and Torremirona Golf being at the exclusive end. Empuriabrava is an urbanisation of Castello d’Empuries and has many exclusive villas as well as more reasonably-priced apartments.


Figueres Square at Night – Photo by Hullie, Wikimedia Commons

How much are the typical property prices in Figueres for apartments, villas etc?

It all depends on location. Apartments can be found for 100,000 euros and higher; villas from 250,000 up to the millions.

Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Figueres or surrounding area?

Research the area that suits you best. Closer to the town centre or the railway station, maybe motorway access for that daily commute. Once the area is decided, check out the area at different times of the day and different days of the week, including weekends.

Our company, Different2, is a founder member of the Meeting Point group.

This is a group of established estate agents that together cover all the areas mentioned above. Working with one of the members, gives a vendor or buyer, the benefits and support of all the members.

We speak Spanish and Catalan, English, French, German and most Scandinavian languages. We are able to cover all legal and admin roles and help with financing advice, etc.

John, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact him, you can find his details below.

different2 Different2

C/Burriana 15
17491 Peralada
Tel. +34 872 222 240;
+34 606 720 226

Here is an interesting tourist video on Figueres.

Contact us to be featured – we want more expat interviews for our newsletter and website. You don’t need to be an estate agent, we want to hear from anyone who lives in Spain whether you are working or retired.

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