Ripoll, the cradle of Catalonia

We arrived with a clear idea about what to do in Ripoll. It was a sunny morning of a still cold March. Our plan was to move a bit from Costa Daurada to something different. We have taken for that the first occasion. It was the first weekend of the new period when we could move all around Catalonia after more than two months locked down in our village in the beginning and inside the county after. Once again. We discovered there a town with a nice center, two rivers that cross in town and some memorable touristic spots, a nice local vibe, and a strong character.

The town is cosy, full with all the services a visitor may need, like bars, restaurants and shops. In addition, you will be able to discover a very important town for the history and identity of Catalonia. Because of that, Ripoll is claimed to be and actually called the cradle of Catalonia.

For more routes in Catalonia check out our series of Let’s get lost in Catalonia.

If you ever hesitate about what to do in Ripoll, just let me say all there is walking distance. In addition, you can do like us and discover the town on an electric scooter.

What to visit in Ripoll?    

Monestir Santa Maria de Ripoll

Santa Maria de Ripoll is one of the most beautiful Romanesque buildings in Catalonia. It has three main points to visit: The Romanesque gate, the basilica and the cloister. The monastery is the location of the tombs of Count Guifré el Pelós and Ramon Berenguer IV.

  • Obvious must
  • Ideal plan for 1 day visit
  • Adults regular entrance fee is 6,80 €
  • There are some discounts you can check on the official website of the monastery
  • 30 minutes to visit
  • Summers (From April 1 to September 30): Everyday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sundays and bank holidays: from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
  • Winters (From October 1 to March 30): Everyday from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 3.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and bank holidays: From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

Scriptorium

The Benedictine community dedicated long time to its library and the desk room called Scriptorium, where the monks copied manuscripts. An important part of these manuscripts have been lost over time and the conserved books are mostly in the Archives of the Crown of Aragon. Also in some other important documentation centres like the National Library of Paris or the Vatican Apostolic Library. Ripoll Scriptorium, is currently a permanent an interactive and didactic exhibition, to get the importance of the Monastery of Ripoll in the production and copying of manuscripts. The Scriptorium of Ripoll is also a medieval culture and handwriting school, where to take courses of calligraphy and palaeography, and listen to conferences or join workshops about medieval matters.

  • Cultural visit
  • Ideal plan for a 2 day visit
  • Adults: 4 Euros
  • Reduced entrance fee: 3 Euros
  • Last sunday of the month free entrance
  • 30 minutes visit
  • Tuesday to Saturday: from 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday and holidays: from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fragua Palau

Forge Palau de Ripoll worked since the seventeenth century and maintained its iron, and steel works after, for five centuries until it closed in 1978. Currently, it is possible to see there some of the original elements of this industry and learn more about all the procedure during the guided visits. The Forge building will officially become one of the MNACTEC museum’s headquarters, considering that it is the most outstanding example of Catalan Forge and the only complete and accepting visitors in the Catalan territory.

  • Cultural visit
  • Ideal plan for 2 day visit.
  • Adults: 4 Euros
  • Reduced entrance fee: 3 Euros
  • Last sunday of the month free entrance
  • 30 minutes visit
  • Tuesday to Saturday: from 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday and holidays: from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ripoll Old Town

The Centre of Ripoll is a bunch of nice streets with some terraces and shops. There are some spread old buildings and hidden squares nice to spot. The Town Hall has prepared recently a walking tour to discover the old town of Ripoll. You can get here the map of the tour. In this old quarter we can admire the Church of Sant Pere and the Raval Bridge, both renovated heritage samples of the Medieval Ripoll. A longer stroll in the old town will offer a set of Neoclassical houses, with Catalan Modernist influences, mainly from the late 19th Century and the early XX.

  • Ideal plan for 1 day visit.
  • Free!
  • 1 hour and 30 minutes visit
  • Either on an electric scooter or walking you may take some time admiring buildings and having a drink in a terrace.

Ripoll Ethnographic Museum

The Ripoll Ethnographic Museum is a small collection about the rural life in the area of Ripoll (Comarca Ripollès) the agriculture economy and the iron industry. Displays are only in Catalan, which can be a pity for Spanish and foreigner visitors.

  • Cultural visit
  • Ideal plan for 3 day visit.
  • Adults: 4 Euros
  • Reduced entrance fee: 3 Euros
  • Last sunday of the month free entrance
  • 30 minutes visit
  • Tuesday to Saturday: from 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday and holidays: from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

How to get to Ripoll?

By car:

  • From Barcelona (110 km / 1h 30h), take C-17 Road to Granollers – Vic – Ripoll.
  • From France, take A-9 /E-15 Highway to Figueres, take N-260 to Olot and catch C-26 in Sant Joan de les Abadeses to Ripoll.

By bus:

  • Teisa: Line Barcelona – Ripoll – Camprodon
  • Autocars Mir: Line Ripoll – Baga and Line Ripoll – Llívia

By train:

  • RENFE: Line R3 Barcelona – Ripoll – Puigderdà – La Tour de Querol

By plane:  

Is Ripoll electric scooter friendly?

The town of Ripoll is flat, even being in the Pyrenees and surrounded by visibly high mountains. There are not good bike lanes in Ripoll but the traffic in town is respectful and not enough dense to dissuade an electric scooter experience around. Unfortunately, there are no adapted places to park or keep an electric scooter, neither public places to charge it. If you plan to have an electric scooter experience in Ripoll you should consider to bring your own electric scooters since there is not a rental service in town yet.

Check here our route to Sant Joan de les Abadesses on electric scooter.

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