España, parte primero (Spain part one) is out! Plan your trip to Spain with the following destinations 🙂
Spain has a lot of different sides to explore and none of them are alike. With every new city you visit, you will get a new picture of Spain. So here are a few destinations from all areas to get an authentic picture of the diverse country:
Bilbao is a typical Spanish city. The tourism was not present in the city until the 1990s, when a 28km long metro was built and the city centre was newly structured. Now, people visit Bilbao, but only for a fay or two – so to encounter the authentic Spanish life, Bilbao is a great choice. Definitely worthwhile is the Guggenheim museum, which hosts modern and contemporary art.
Madrid is Spain’s capital. If you want to visit a classy city, Madrid is the one. You will be able to sense the beauty while standing in ‘Parque del Buen Retiro’. Some compare it to the Central Park in NYC because it is a beautiful, quiet oasis in the middle of a bustling city. You might get lost among the park’s paths, fountains and monuments, but it will give you a calming feeling you will never forget. To dive right into the city life in the evening, you will want to spend some time at the main square, Plaza Mayor. And what is Spain without its famous dance, deeply rooted in their culture, Flamenco? There are plenty of venues that offer Flamenco shows with a traditional Spanish dinner.
Barcelona is the most authentic city I have ever traveled to. It is a young, vivant city being rich in history, culture, art, architecture and much more. I thought that Barcelona is a city which is still growing. Unlike other cities, Barcelona is different than it was yesterday and than it will be tomorrow. The city is changing every day and is gaining popularity with every hour. When you are in Spain’s second largest city, you have to visit Sagrada Familia. I know, it is a huge tourist attraction and, well, we do not really want to be tourists, but travelers, but you just cannot miss out on this. I personally am not much of a church-goer and whenever I entered a church it was cold and numb. Yet, Sagrada Familia is… breathtaking. Its architect Gaudì, who also built Casa Batllò and Casa Milà, was a mastermind and created masterpieces. Not only its facade is breathtaking but as soon as you enter the basilica, warmth and peace greets you and there is a rich play of colours, you think you are in a forest. But seriously, if you have the chance to visit any of Gaudì’s buildings, please do so. It is a new world which will open to you.
Sevilla is the heart of Andalusia and the typical Spain you dream of: flamenco, old town, warm weather with hot winds, everything. Sevilla is colourful and bright and everything one loves about Spain. And because of its beauty, it is popular. That is why I would recommend to avoid the hot summer months because Sevilla is the Florence of Spain, and you do not want to be in Florence when the tourist season has arrived. Yet, due to the fact that Spaniards live slow, what is 6 am in the rest of the world is 8 am in Spain. If you walk through Sevilla the morning, you will have it all to yourself. This city, as well as a lot in Europe in general, is easy walkable. You can walk wherever whenever you need to. You will not be thinking ‘Great, how am I now supposed to get to the beach?’ when standing in the city centre as in e.g. Los Angeles. So, ‘¡Olé!’, Sevilla here we come!
The most popular Spanish islands are Ibiza and Mallorca. Maybe Gran Canaria and even Menorca ring a bell as well. There are the Balearic Islands, which consist of Menorca, Mallorca and Ibiza and are located right on the east coast of Spain. The other big island group is called Canary Islands, which include Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. This large group lays western of the Moroccan coast. The Balearic Islands are known for clubbing, drinking and a lot of teenagers choose these spots for their holidays. The Canary Islands, on the other hand, are popular among adults because they are perfect spots for a relaxed beach holiday, exploring the untouched nature and letting the soul drift away. But there is much more to see: Spain has over 60 islands to discover – so what are we still doing here?