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Tourist Attractions in Cordoba

Journey Through Cordoba

Tourists can experience a variety of adventures in Cordoba, which is frequently described as Moorish Spain. The capital of Al-Andalus, the city was once the biggest in Europe and the center of learning and culture, it was referred to as the Mecca of the West. Anyone would be in for an unforgettable experience in the city, with all of its sights and attractions, nightlife, cuisine, and festivals.

Cordoba is one of the places that you should include in your “Must see cities in Spain.” You would never go wrong in deciding to visit the wonderful city. The city of Cordoba has a lot to offer to its visitors. It has a wide array of tourist spots for anyone to enjoy. From garden and parks for nature lovers, old churches and synagogues for those interested in religious architecture, to vibrant festivals and a dynamic nightlife for the party goers. Cordoba has all these.

Cordoba with a historical legacy of singular beauty

The city of Cordoba is the capital of the province of Cordoba. Its rich culture and architecture that is still evident today is proof of the city’s very rich culture. During the later part of the 10th century the city was inhabited by about 500,000 people and was the most populated city in the entire Europe and was thought to have also been the most populated city in the entire world. It has now decreased in population and as of 2008 had an estimated number of 325, 453 inhabitants.

Rich Culture Cordoba has been witness to a lot of changes and transformations throughout centuries. Originally the city was predominantly Catholic until the Islamic conquest it then was home to a number of Islamic rulers. Each occupation resulted to a different mark in the city’s history and the city’s culture.

The different changes that the city underwent resulted to a number of architectural marvels. One of this is the Great Mosque of Cordoba which is now known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption. There are a number of old churches that you can still see today. Among these are San Nicolás de la Villa, San Miguel, and Santa Marina church.

Things to do in Cordoba

Attractions and Sights in Cordoba

The architectural structures of the city that date hundreds of years ago are something that would really enthrall and fascinate visitors. Mezquita, the city’s Great Mosque and one of the world’s largest, should not be missed by anybody. 785 years old, the structure is by far the most beautiful and biggest construction of the Moors in Spain. For tourists, a visit to the place should be among the highlights.

Cordoba History

The city of Cordoba is the capital of the province of Cordoba. It is a city that is 2000 years old and it is a city that is packed with a very rich culture. The city was home to Moors at one time, then to Romans at another time. These settlers left their respective marks in the city of Cordoba which up to this day can still be very much seen around the area.

Roman Rule

In 206 BC, Cordoba was ruled by the Romans. During the time of Julius Caeser, it was the city of Cordoba that was named the capital city of Hispania Ulterior Baetica, a Roman province. At this time, there were a lot of notable people in history that were produced from the great Roman Cordoba. The poet Lucan and the great Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus were among those that originated from the Roman capital city of Southern Spain.

Islamic Rule

The Moors’ rule over the city of Cordoba began in the year 711. Cordoba was then witness to a lot of changes. First it was named as the provincial capital of the Damascus Caliphate. This happened in 716. Then 50 years after in 766, it became the provincial capital of Al-Andalus, an independent Muslim emirate. It finally became a Caliphate in 1000 AD.

It was said that during this time of the Islamic ruling over the city, Cordoba was considered as the biggest city, one that had the most developed administrative system and the city that had the most refined culture in the entire Europe.

The reason behind the city’s great progress and recognition during the earliest part of the tenth century was due to the three grand rulers Add-ar-rahman III, who was the first Caliph; Al-Hakam II, his son; and Al-Mansur-Ibn Abi-Amir, also known as Almansor.

The fall of the city began when the mini states surfaced. Their leaders lacked the leadership skills and this paved way for the city of Cordoba to be recaptured by the Christians in 1236. This happened after a several months of cordon. It was King Ferdinand III of Castile that led the capture. He then divided the city to 14 barrios and also added a number of churches all over the city.

After Renaissance

Cordoba declined after the renaissance period. During the 18th century its population dropped to 20,000, a huge difference from the time of the Islamic rule when it had up to 500,000 inhabitants. The economy also dropped after during this time.

It was only during the 20th century that the city’s economy as well as the population began to increase. Now, the city is a thriving tourist spot that gives its visitors a peek at its rich culture through the architecture and the various festivals that were left by their early settles.

Top Cordoba Attractions

Cordoba holds a lot of history, when you go on a site seeing tour on Cordoba’s top tourist spots, be captivated by its wonderful sceneries, great views and historical landmarks. Your Cordoba vacation would never be complete without a tour on Cordoba’s finest sites.

Mezquita / Cordoba Cathedral

Go down on a spiritual journey on Cordoba’s grandest and most beautiful mosque. The Mezquita was constructed by the late Moors during their occupation on Cordoba. You can easily find it for it is located upright at the heart of the city. Don’t be confused with the name; the Cordoba Cathedral is also a mosque. It was said so that after the Christians chased the Moors off the city, they were awestruck by the mosque’s elegance that they were reluctant to tear it down. So instead of destroying it, they built a cathedral within its walls.

Alcazár de los Reyes Cristianos

Christopher Columbus himself walked the gardens of this fine vicinity. It was here that he requested the funds for his voyage all over the world. The gardens of Alcazar serve as a memorabilia of this fine event. The building founded now were formerly where the Inquisition dwell. In the present time, it hosts Cordoba’s finest mosaic collection.

Gardens of the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos


Cordoba has a lot of spiritual quarters from the past history that is preserved until today. When you walk the length of the streets where the old Jewish quarters lie, it is where you will see a few of the remaining synagogues of Spain. Only three stand in the present and Cordoba is proud to own it.

Plaza del Potro

The old square of Cordoba is a special place, even now, it is still a preferred place to hang out and socialize. It is a pleasant place for afternoon strolls or even just for drinking coffee.

Plaza de la Corredera

The Ayuntamiento or the present town square is busy and always teeming with life. It has undergone a couple of reconstructions and now it hold a Roman amphitheater, a bullring for those who want to witness an actual bullfight and it is also the Time Square of Cordoba where people flock to celebrate important fiestas and occasions. It is also where they countdown the seconds to New Year. Amongst its quaint architecture it is also a shopping and bazaar site where you can make great deals and find souvenirs for your Cordoba expedition.

Architecture in Cordoba

Cordoba, a World Heritage site, is also a Mecca of great architectural finds. Because of its rich history it has a number of religious monuments and other structures that will surely leave you at awe.

Religious Structures

The Mosque-Cathedral with the buildings and streets that are surrounding it has been named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. In its different sections you will be able to see the Omeyan style of the building. While in other parts you will also see the different styles of Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque incorporated. The building served as a Mosque at one point in time and a Church in another time. The most notable feature about the Mosque-Cathedral is the huge arches that comprised of red and white columns. These were made up of marble, onyx, jasper and granite.

The Synagogue that was built by architect in 1315 Isaac Moheb follows the Mudejar style. This is another great architectural edifice in Cordoba that you shouldn’t miss. In the entire Spain, it is one of the most preserved Medieval Synagogues. Aside from the Mudejar-style plant patterns that are decorated all over its main hall, the Synagogue also has three arches that are filled with decorative plasterwork in the women’s tribune.

Other Monuments

The other monuments in Cordoba that you will be in awe of its architecture are the Royal Stables with its sandstone pillar-supported vaulted ceiling, the Castle of Christian Monarchs with its solid defensive walls and its fortress that is almost rectangular shaped, the Medina Azahara, and the Calahorra Tower.

Cordoba Has Something for Everyone

Cordoba is considered as one of the best places to visit in Southern Spain. From its rich history and architecture, to its abundance of tourist spots and festivals it surely would be a place that will make your trip a most memorable one.

A Place for Everyone You would never run out of places to see in Cordoba. If you like visiting historical sites, there are a lot to choose from. Among the many historical places in Cordoba, the Palacio de Viana is one that you shouldn’t miss. It is a National Monument that welcomes more than seventy thousand visitors to its doors every year.

For the nature lover, there are also a number of places where you could spend your time in when in the city. Alcazar Gardens is one of these places. Its lush garden includes a walkway adorned with tall green plants with a fish pond at the center, different varieties of botanical species and several water fountains that are spread all over the place.

The city also has a lot of places to go where you can witness its rich architecture. One of the best places to visit is the Great Mosque of Cordoba. Originally, the building was erected as a Christian Visigothic Church. When Cordoba was conquered by the Arabs, it was converted into a mosque and underwent a lot of restorations.

Now, it has been turned back again into a church and is known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption. The giant arches that which have columns that are made of marble, onyx, jasper and granite is what the structure is most known for.

Festive Celebrations Cordoba is also home to a lot of festivals that keep the town alive and busy all year round. The month of May though is the most visited time of the year as it is when three of the many festivals in Cordoba are celebrated.

The Crosses of May Festival which happens at the start of May lasts up to four days. It is a competition for best adorned and the best flower decorated cross. During this time tourists will be able to see beautifully decorated crosses placed in squares and streets of the city.

Busy Nightlife The city’s dynamic nightlife is another thing to any tourist can enjoy when in Cordoba. Nightspots that showcase Flamenco dance performances and bars that serve the local wine are some of the places to visit during nighttime.

Shopping in Cordoba

Whether you are a shopaholic, window shopper or hunting for bargains and memorabilia, then get ready for the Cordoba shopping spree.

Cordoba is a good shopping city for a spending spree, from cheap buys to posh signature items. At the suburban area of downtown Cordoba is the home of the shopping malls. The most active shopping district is at the Mercado Norte, here you will find bargain prices and cheaper goods.

There are also modern shopping malls which are huge and in fact offer you all the varieties of what you would which to find.

The Patio Olmos and Garden Shopping found at the center. The Dinosaurio Mall and Cordoba Shopping located at the northwest and the Nuevo Centro Shopping found westward. Here you will find all sorts of stuff from souvenirs, clothes, jewelry, bags; branded or not; you’ll find it here. You can roam around the malls for endless hours and always find something interesting that you would wish to buy.

If you’re the sophisticated type, there are boutiques that sell designer items from both local and international designers. For those who are more casual then there are shops also to fit your budget without compromising your style.

Here are some helpful Spanish words for shoppers: “liquidacion,” “traspaso,” and “rebajas”, simply means that they are on sale so watch out for these words on the store windows and glass.

Local arts and crafts are also made available and sold to the public at Paseo de Las Artes, recommended during Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re the one who appreciates the value of art and crafts, then the place to go is the Parque las Heras, especially on the weekends.

You will see here hand crafted accessories, decorations, vases and paintings; they make great souvenir items and are unique.

At Guemes District, you can do your food shopping for local delicacies like alfajores, sweet hams, honey and of course, tapas. That’s if you want to bring home some of Cordoba’s best foods or if you want to try and cook a delicacy yourself.

There are other shops and malls located at the city square and also the pedestrian malls even after 8 PM. Night markets and shopping is also made available, the prices are much cheaper and you can even bargain for the items that you wish to buy. This is especially true on weekends where the streets are oiled with shoppers going on a spree.

Cordoba Festivals

Cordoba, being a city that is rich in culture, has a lot of festivals that are celebrated all the year round. From the religious festivals that have become tradition to Cordoba to the modern festivals that attract a multitude of tourists, these festivals are truly a thing to experience.

Religious and Traditional Festivals

The Carnival. Singers dress up in comparsas and parade the city’s streets then go to the Grand Theatre to showcase their talent in singing comic pieces. There is also a parade that can be participated by the public and it too is done throughout the city’s streets. This is celebrated annually on the second fortnight of the month of February.

Holy Week. This is observed annually and a venue where Christian’s can publicly pronounce their faith. Processions are done in the city’s streets and during this time the city is unusually solemn.

The May Crosses. Celebrated at the start of May, this festival includes the competition on the best flower-adorned crosses and also the Battle of the Flowers which is for the best flower decorated floats.

Modern Festivals

The White Night of Flamenco. This is celebrated for one whole night every June. Different artists like Jose Merce, El Pele, and Miguel Poveda perform at the different streets and squares throughout the city. It is considered as the largest Flamenco event in the world with 200,00 people attending just in the firs year.

Nights of Charm. Every July and August, Cordoba holds this festival which is a celebration of the rich culture of the city. All the nights of these two months are filled with theatre, music and dance performances as well as other artistic events.

Cordoba Dining

You can never go wrong with dining in Cordoba, with their exotic and fresh food, spicy flavors and appealing taste and aroma which just fills your stomach and make you content without feeling guilty about your diet.

Savor the delicacies and scrumptious foods of the Cordobans and taste the grand flavors of Cordoba’s finest dishes. You can go to bars, restaurants and even simple cafeterias if you want to taste their local cuisine.

If you want a sunny luncheon with a pleasing atmosphere, then the Taberna Pepe de la Juderia is the perfect cozy place for you to dine out. It’s a delightful little café located at the old Jewish Quarter not far off Mezquita. The shops’ location at the corner of the sidewalk gives you a glimpse of the streets if you just want to observe the outside activity. The inside of the restaurant has that diner’s feel to it, complete with a Hall-of-Fame, photos and memorabilia of famous patrons lining it’s wall.

They pride themselves with great service, all smiles on customers and really prompt service whatever the weather. They offer the tastiest sandwiches with olives and Iberian Ham that just tingles your taste. They also have the favored Flamenquin, both loved by tourists and customers. If you’re the one to follow the guidebooks of the best restaurants in Cordoba, then this one will surely appear in the list.

The Hotel and Restaurant Vallina at the back of Mezquita, offers you fine dining at it’s best. It has a classic interior owing to the fact that the building is 1600-years-old but with some renovation and refurbished walls and décor, the place is just grand. The place is decorated with huge wine barrels, tile work and wine storage. As always, with Cordoban hospitality, the service is outstanding but the menu is even of greater significance to the diners. The house specialty is Salmorejo, an cold gazpacho soup with sliced ham and hard-boiled egg and they are always complimented for their great dessert selection.

If you want a comfortable place with a great view, then the Rincon Bar is the perfect place for you. If you want a hearty meal or just a light snack, then opt for this bar. Rincon means “corner” in Spanish. It’s a lovely place but with just enough space, they have comfortable chairs and low tables with couch-type seats along the sides. From their extensive menu, you cant try out for their “Menu del Dia”, a complete meal set to satisfy your hunger. If you just want some snacks or a quick place to stop by for some refreshments, then of course, they offer tapas with beer in their menu.

Nightlife in Cordoba

When in Cordoba, you wouldn’t want to miss out all the fun, day or night. During the day, you get to visit all the must see sights and photograph all the way. At night, it’s the time to unwind, socialize and just continue wit the fun, Cordoba style. Cordoba night outs are fun, colorful and just to put it simply, party till you drop.

There are a variety of bars, pubs and restaurants to choose from in Cordoba. You can choose from different locations, if you want it to be in the confines of the city where you can hop on bars and clubs. If you are more adventurous, there are also beach parties that you can go to. Then there are the classy bars that offer you fine dining, great wine selection, classical music; where you can just relax but still socialize with others.

They say, the real party starts at midnight. As most Cordobans tend to roam around the night, enjoying drinks and tapas, it is a golden opportunity for you to befriend them, it’s best to go out on weekends where there are day-offs for the locals.

Here are a few of Cordoba’s best night out locations:

The Taberna Casa Salinas, is one of the oldest and established pubs in Cordoba. Located at Puerto de Almodóvar, this pub has an air of nostalgia for both locals and tourists alike. They offer glasses of sherry’s, fresh tapas with spicy Andalusian sausages and buckets of olives for good measure. This pub has ran for a good four decades and still up and running. Sometimes, they stage flamenco shows and that’s something any tourist would want to see.

If you’re the type who wants to dance to the beat of independent music then you can go to Soul at Calle de Alfonso XIII, located near the city hall. Within the vicinity, there are also other clubs that you can go to such as Moloko (Alfaros 29) and la Communa (Calle Caño 1), they offer great food, great music and overall, you get to have a great night.

There is also Soho, located near the river of Calle San Fernando. They play modern and indie music too.

When you get to visit Cordoba during summertime, there is always a buzz around Vial Norte at El Brilliante. If you want to party till dawn then Chinales is the place to go. During summer, it’s the time where the bars and clubs get to be pretty crowded with all the after school parties, locals and tourists enjoying the food, drinks and social highlights brought about by the summertime heat.

Cordoba Transportation

Going around the city to visit its many tourist spots is not even difficult for any tourist. There are a number of transportations available for everyone which makes it very easy to travel for the non-locals. There are a lot of taxis available that can take you anywhere you want to go.

Just come prepared with a ready Spanish words or phrases or carry with you a Spanish-English dictionary as some of the drivers don’t speak English fluently. You can also use the coaches to get around the city. The city buses that are highly noticeable because of their vibrant hues is also another transportation option.

La Coruna Attractions and Activities

Why Travel to Coruna Galicia?

La Coruña, also known in the municipality of Galicia as A Coruña, has been the regional capital from 1833 to 1982 before Santiago de Compostela took its place. Its name is also the same as the province’s name, and is a provincial capital. It is part of Galicia which is an autonomous community in Spain.

Galicia is a region where one will marvel at its lush greenery and spectacular landscapes. On the east of La Coruña is Lugo, Pontevedra on the south, and the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean on the west and north.

The Nature Park islands of the Atlantic islands are also part of the province. It is a hectic port which serves as the point for distribution of agricultural goods coming from the region. “A Coruña”, the Galician name, is currently the official name of the city.

“La Coruña”, the Spanish name, is still known across Spain and is the traditional name approved by the Real Academia Española for texts published in Spanish. It is also the name used by speakers of Spanish in their conversations and in legal or official documents. La Coruña has a moderate temperature with occasional rainfall.

The climate can be compared to an Oceanic climate since it is moderated by the Atlantic Ocean. Autumn and winter, that go with strong winds and heavy rainfall, are erratic. Since the ocean allows the temperatures to remain mild, snow is hardly experienced.

It is sunny and dry during the summer, although it rains occasionally. Spring is calm and cool. With this climate, beach lovers would surely enjoy the province. It is also a perfect place for water sports such as diving, fishing, sailing, surfing and a lot more.

Nowadays, La Coruña is considered a modern city where fishing and agricultural industries coincide with renowned and successful industries in fashion. Shops from the city of La Coruña have been known across the globe. It also has an international airport that offers flights to neighboring Spanish and European cities.

Portugalia, Iberia and Spanair are some of the famous airlines in the city. Deportivo de la Coruña is the city’s football club included in the country’s top division.

Another city in La Coruña that will capture the hearts of many visitors is Santiago de Compostela. It is a town that warmly welcomes a multitude of pilgrims annually. “Camino de Santiago” or The Way of St. James served as a pilgrimage route during the medieval times and is famous for its cathedral.

Sights to see in La Coruna

Explore La Coruña City in Spain

The city of La Coruña being the provincial Capital of Galicia has a number of interesting things to offer a tourist. One of these would be a district of old churches and buildings which highlights different architectural designs. Another would be the alluring new promenade which actually runs the city’s seaside perimeter.

You can walk along the promenade and enjoy the view of the city at a different perspective or the view of the ocean while enjoying the cool sea breeze. The promenade also has allows you to walk through the different tourist spots of the city as the roads that lead to these tourist attractions are connected to the promenade.

If you’re not fond of walking it will not be a problem because you can take advantage of the tram system that runs along the sea front as well. It moves along the sea front center of the “Puerto de A Coruna” and to the middle of the “Ensenada del Orzan” and it passes several stops some of them are the city’s different attractions as well such as the Tower of Hercules, Domus and Castle de San Anton, the ride would cost one euro one way.

Coruna’s large harbor is also a marvelous sight if you pass by Marina Avenue you would be able to witness one of the highlights of Coruna architecture the galleria; a term for used for a balcony that is enclosed in a glass frame.

The best time to visit this side of the city would be during a clear day or on a clear evening because it is when you would be able to enjoy the beautiful reflection of light brought about by this architectural design. This is actually the reason why the city is also called “glass city” or “crystal city”.

The city also has its own medieval district just like other cities of Galicia. It is usually referred to as “the city”. The first noticeable thing would be the remnant of the Roman walls that used to protect and enclose the ancient Roman city in this place. It has old structures and buildings that you could also view as you walk along the area.

Aside from all those mentioned you could also visit the city’s main plaza The Maria Pita Square derives its name from the local town heroine. The main entrance of the square is located at the harbor’s side.

The plaza displays an attractive façade in all of its sides and you can also visit the Town Hall and Council building known as Palacio Municipal which in the area as well including some bars and restaurants.

History of La Coruna

La Coruna is believed to have been the dwelling of the Celtic tribe Artrabians prior to the Roman occupation o 2nd n century BC. It encompasses the Tower of Hercules and onto the mainland. The oldest part of which is the High City or the Cidade Alta which is built on an ancient Celtic castro.

As mentioned the Romans had this place as part of the great Roman Empire in 2nd century BC. The colonizers used this as a strategic position to control the maritime trade within the area during that period. Julius Caesar also visited this historic place in pursuit of metal trades of the region. Due to the increase in commercial activity the town began to grow. The Norman incursion caused the decline of population and commerce.

The subsequent demise of the Roman Empire did not abandon the trade routes which became the continuous source of commerce for people who took advantage of the strategic trade position of the country during that time.

After the rush and different attacks by the Norman raiders the local tribes which was what characterized the middle ages for this region. It was not clear if the whole region was also included in the short Muslim rule that occurred in the Iberian Peninsula in the latter part of the middle ages. This is of course notwithstanding the constant threats and raids by the Normans and the AL-Andalus to the south.

In the 9th century Vikings also began to attack the city. This led to the construction of several defense structures such as the fortress made in Faro.

In the 15th century the city became popular for its manufacture of textiles no other than Charles I of Spain visited La Coruna and due to this important commercial fact a port in the area was made and was also protected with the creation of the castle of San Anton.

A La Coruna was also the site of important battles during the Peninsula war the Battle of La Coruna on January 1809 was a war between the French and British troops to cover the embarkation of the Brtish troops after their retreat. This is the battle that killed Sir John Moore and in that particular war La Coruna was the only Galician city that achieved success against the French troops.

At the start of the 20th century La Coruna was greatly affected by several major events namely: The Great Depression , the Spanish Civil War and it shattered the economy of Coruna. Luckily during the 1960’s and 1970’s La Coruna became recipient of what they now call the Spanish miracle but the steady increase in the economy was disturbed by the international oil shocks.

Coruna Things To Do

La Coruna presents numerous destinations to see, adventures to experience and activities to do. The city is blessed with rich environment. Plus, the locals are friendly people who are always glad to welcome tourists and friends.

When you come for a visit, make sure to stay longer so you will experience more fascinating things the city has in store for you. If you are finished strolling around some of the best tourist destinations, here are more things to do to maximize your stay.


There are a lot of ways to learn about the culture of La Coruna but the best way if you’re travelling is to visit the nearest museums. Museums in the city contain a variety of information. It gives you the history of La Coruna as well as it narrates how its practices evolved from one period of time to another.

In La Coruña there are several museums that you could go to some of these are the Archaeological museum, Domus, House Museum Picasso, The Fine Arts Museum, Emilia Pardo Bazán Museum, Eugenio Granell Foundation and Contemporary Art Museum.


La Coruña is complete with fascinating architecture recognized throughout Spain. La Coruña architecture is marked by the excellence of their structural design, facade and functionality. Some of the known architecture in the city includes Tower of Hercules, Castillo de San Anton, galerias, Obelisk, Castro de Elviña, and The Dome of Coal. Visit Architecture in La Coruña .


Generally June to August is the occasions of the rich and colorful celebration and festival for the whole Galacian region. The fascinating La Coruña festivals include Hogueras de San Juan, Fuego del Apóstol, and Maria Pita. Visit La Coruña Festivals for more information.

Night Life

Other than eating and dining, the city also offers wide range of night activities that you surely don’t want to miss. This La Coruña Night Life, La Coruña Bars and La Coruña Clubs sections are committed in providing you the things you want to know about the A Coruna’s very active night life. Visit La Coruña Night Life for more information.


La Coruña will not be left behind with the latest technology, fashion and other commercial products found in the market today. You will be amazed with the wide selection of products found only in La Coruna. It will truly be a different shopping experience for you. Some of the shopping destinations in the city includes Marineda City Leisure, Shopping & Business Centre, Los Rosales Shopping Centre and Cuatro Caminos. Visit Shopping in La Coruña .

Top Attractions in A Coruna

La Coruña is a city that enables every visitor to reminisce the past, and enjoy the fabulous sceneries and festivities. The Battle of Coruña occurred in the city during the Peninsular War. In the 19th century, Coruña was the seat of anti-monarchist conviction.

The city also played a significant part in the “Rexurdimento”, where the Galician Royal Academy was founded in 1906 and the Brotherhoods of the Galician Language in 1916. In 1804, a workers’ movement was formed after the establishment of the National Cigarette Factory.

Tourists cannot miss the promenade which is one of the main attractions in the city. It measures 10 kilometers and considered as the longest in Europe.

The city is also the site of a lighthouse, the Roman Tower of Hercules, which has been declared a Human Heritage by the UNESCO. It has gallerias or balconies with glazed windows. During the summer, Orzan and Riazor beaches are famous destinations and are located opposite the city’s port.

After the daytime walk, visitors still have a lot to look forward to during the night. Nightlife in Coruña has been booming with bars and clubs located at Calle Orzan that is parallel to Paseo Maritimo. Most of the clubs at Orzan open at 11 pm and close at 3 or 4 am. Another famous destination is Los Jardines or The Gardens which is a park near El Puerto mall and Calle Real.

Tourists dare not miss the city of Santiago de Compostela, a World Heritage City and Galicia’s capital. It is also widely known for it is the last stage of St. James’ pilgrimage route or “El Camino de Santiago”. Pilgrims head straight to the cathedral then to the city center. The cathedral is a place for rites and traditions that visitors may love to witness.

Visitors will also notice how pilgrims manifest their faith by embracing the image of St. James the Apostle. There is also Botafumeiro, a big incense holder that is raised high enough in the ceilings of the cathedral while a mass is being held.

After visiting the marvelous St. James Cathedral, tourists can head towards the fascinating 12th century streets such as Rua Nova, Rua do Vilar, Rua Franco and the square Obradoiro. Extend one’s sightseeing activity and visit the region of Costa da Morte or the Coast of Death. It is the area of cliffs hanging over the Atlantic and lighthouses. This zone was once believed as “the end of the known world”. There is Cape Finisterre, a peninsula that is 5 km long.

The lighthouse was built on the cape’s end in 1853, and is now referred to as the “cow of Fisterra” since it is a siren warning the nearby ships. The peninsula ends at Mount Facho which is the best place to witness the sunset. If one wishes to go to fishing villages, head south to Rias Baixas where villages like Muros and Noia can be found.

Other destinations worth visiting are Rias Altas where you can visit Ferrol, Viveiro, Betanzos, Ribadeo and Pontedeume. Os Bergantiños and As Mariñas are also ideal destinations.

La Coruna Museums

There are a lot of ways to learn about foreign culture but the best way if you’re travelling is to visit the nearest museums. Museums contain a variety of information. It gives you the history of the place as well as it narrates how the practices of one place evolved from one period of time to another. In La Coruña there are several museums that you could go to.

Archaeological museum. The first is the archaeological museum which is located on what used to be an old fort The Castle of St. Anton. This is where you will find and learn about La Coruna’s history and prehistory. They have artifacts that would show you records of settlements by the early Celtics tribes.

Domus. The House of Mankind or Domus as it is popularly named is a museum fully dedicated to the study of man, his nature and his activities. It’s an interactive museum meaning you can participate in the different modules to help you learn and reflect on the different characteristics of men as a species.

For the art lovers, La Coruña would be the refuge you have longed for, because the place has five great art museums. They are dedicated to commemorate and display the works of famed and prestigious artists these are: House Museum Picasso, The Fine Arts Museum, Emilia Pardo Bazán Museum, Eugenio Granell Foundation and last but not the least The famous Contemporary Art Museum.

For the pure seekers of wisdom and knowledge La Coruna also offers the perfect spots for you the House of Sciences which is the first public owned interactive museum in Spain. It has a small planetarium and different exhibition halls devoted to Physics and of course the Aquarium Finisterrae which is a center for the Marine Sciences.

La Coruña Architecture

La Coruña is complete with fascinating architecture recognized throughout Spain. La Coruña architecture is marked by the excellence of their structural design, façade and functionality. If you want to be amazed with the city’s architectural heritage, you may visit the following venues.

The Tower of Hercules is perhaps the real symbol of A Coruna. It is a magnificent piece of architecture (a lighthouse) that predates to the second century and is in itself a source of many wonderful legends. It was built during the reign of Emperor Trajan and rebuilt throughout the years to withstand the challenges of time. It is now declared as a National Monument.

Another very interesting historical architectural work is the Castillo de San Anton. It is a fort but not of the ordinary kind it is one of the famed star forts, an architectural innovation which became popular in the sixteenth centuries. It is situated on a small island and is artificially joined to the mainland.

Other than that the city also boasts of its gallerias which are glazed window balconies a form of architecture derived from the naval practice. This was originally designed for the back of a war ship. Other famous architectural sites are The Obelisk, Castro de Elviña, and The Dome of Coal.

After marveling at the wonderful architecture and their different historical background you might want to visit the Edge of the Earth or what used to be believed by the Celtics as such where the Aquarium Finisterrae is located. It is a marine research center which studies the sea in general. However, If you want to skip the learning part and just stick to a worry-free stress free vacation you can work on your tan, read a book, surf, or swim at these famous beaches Orzán and Riazor.

Theaters in La Coruna

La Coruña has a rich custom with different cultural and artistic expressions most predominantly music. The city is also the home of renowned contemporary artist of the region. Consequently, contemporary theaters have mushroomed all over the place, giving the people of La Coruna another wonderful source of entertainment. Here’s an overview of the city’s theater and some venues.

The local music scene is vibrant and most of the genres are well represented by local artists. The place celebrates classical music which is very understandable because it is considered a place rich in culture and heritage and music is an integral part of a place’s heritage. Several orchestras have played in the city’s theaters.

One of the famous events that celebrate this type of Music is the Mozart festival. The festival is usually held between the months of May and July and usually features the Baroque opera or music played in the pre-romantic period basically dominated by Mozart and Rossini however, the festival also plays other classical music and artists.

Teatro Colón

This classicist aesthetic theater is situated at Avenida de la Marina. According to its history, the man who founded the building is the popular show master, Emilio Rey Romero. His idea was to provide optimal seating comfort and host a variety of stage performances and films.

Consequently, by the year 1945, Jacobo Rodríguez-Losada Trulock began with the architectural design of the building, projecting the set accurately described classicist aesthetic safe bet for a building so unique in size and position. From then on the building has under gone remodeling over the years which made it the beautiful structure that it is today.

Teatro Rosalia de Castro

This magnificent theater is located at Irrigation Water, 37 under. The building is now considered as a cultural institution owned by the municipality and managed by Instituto Municipal Coruña Shows of the Council of A Coruña. It has now been remodeled and can now fit about approximately 700 seats. Not to mention, the theater is now equipped to accommodate different variety of performing arts.

Festivals in La Coruña

June, July and August are the busiest months in A Coruna. Not only that these three are summer months and the best time to visit the city’s astounding beaches, it’s also the occasions of the rich and colorful celebration and festival for the whole region. In this segment, you will be given an overview fascinating La Coruña festivals that you might find interesting and helpful for your visit.

Hogueras de San Juan

The San Juan Bonfires is celebrated on the 23rd day of June. This feast is commemorated in all European countries but only in La Coruña that is it celebrated in a more traditional manner. It coincides with the Sardine festival so as the locals performs a rite by lighting bonfires with what they call aguardiente or firewater before spending the night jumping over the fire and eating sardine. It is said to ensure fertility as well.

Fuego del Apóstol

Apostle’s Fireworks is the highlight in the celebration of the feast of the patron saint of Spain, Saint James. At exactly 12 noon of the 24th day of July, the cathedral bells rings as a mark of the launching of the feast and Plaza del Obradoiro gets crowded by locals and tourists to witness the colorful fireworks display.

The locales and devotees also give tribute to the saint through their prayer processions and presentation of different exhibitions, theatre performances, street theatre and concerts. Another fascinating event during this feast is called “Botafumeiro”, large ceremonial incense burner that is swung vigorously over the smaller crossing, filling the cathedral with the smell of incense.

It is believed that the discovery of the remains of the first martyr led to the announcement of Santiago de Compostela as the capital of the Galician region. It is to be considered as the holy land next to Jerusalem and Rome. The city is recognized up to this date as a pilgrimage site and now gained its World Heritage status.

Maria Pita

La Coruña honors the greatest event in their history by commemorating the brave act of their heroine, Maria Pita and the people to save the port during the English attack led by Sir Francis Drake that took place in 1588.

The celebration includes the spectacular re-enactment of the English invasion, complete with parade of costumes throughout A Coruna. There’s also the re-creation of the medieval market place and the procession of the colorful floats at the sea.

La Coruña for Kids

La Coruña is not just a place for adults, the city offers your kid’s exciting adventures and experiences he surely doesn’t want to miss. Here are some activities your kid will surely enjoy during his stay in A Coruna.

Surf Camp

Your kid may wish to spend his holiday surfing. You can visit the sandy beach of Razo where waves are fit for surfing.

Your kid can join the surf camp, situated only 20 meters from the Razo Beach. While at the camp site, the campers will enjoy the beautiful view to the sea. On top of that, the house that accommodates campers is complete with facilities and wonderful amenities to ensure their comfortable stay.

After the surf sessions, the campers can also enjoy bonding through some extra activities like playing racket, beach volleyball, football, ping pong, body tonic and yoga.

Moreover, your kid can enroll to surf courses also available in A Coruna. The surf school offers fundamental to advance surfing teaching and techniques which fits all ages and surf levels, with the aim to help participants learn or improve their surfing prowess. It takes pride in achieving official titles in Galician Surf Federation.

English/ Spanish Language School

If you want your child to learn to begin speaking English in an early age, the city has a lot of good English schools suitable for all ages. They offer you quality short-term or long term language courses. The Spanish schools in La Coruña on the other hand, are the some of the best in the country. They provide basic to intensive courses as well as other activities to make learning enjoyable for you and your kid.

Football Camp

The city takes pride in its leading football team, Real Club Deportivo. The team was founded in 1906 and now playing in La Liga. Consequently, La Coruña offers football camp for kids who enjoys or love to play the sport.

Make your vacation fun not just for you but most importantly, for your kid as well. Engage him into activities that he will not just enjoy but would also develop his talent and skills. La Coruña is truly a placed to be, for you and your family.

Restaurants Coruña Cuisine

Your trip in the city of La Coruña wouldn’t be complete without trying its delectable Spanish cuisine. The following are some restaurant suggestions you may want to pay a visit.

100 Montaditos

It’s a Spanish fast-food getting popularity for the quality of food that it offers the famous of which is the Tapas a variety of Spanish sandwiches. You can easily find this establishment in the newly opened mall El Puerto.

Artabria Restaurant

This restaurant is situated at Fernando Macías street and close to the Riazor beach. It is especially popular for its exceptional traditional and international à la carte. The place is decorated with many beautiful paintings of some Galician artists, making its ambiance very cozy for dining.

Restaurante Domus

For a sample of the local and traditional cuisine, schedule your lunch while visiting this place. The Restaurante Domus offers a wide choice of local dishes which would entice your appetite. It’s a typical travelers choice greatly situated just in front of the House of Men museum and the cost for the good food they offer is very reasonable.

El Coral Restaurant

This venue is also a nice seafood place located just in the centre of the city their specialty includes seabass, turbot, hake, prawns, mussels and scallops and you can either have them cooked with thick, rich, creamy sauce or have them steamed or grilled.

Adega o Bebedeiro

This rustic restaurant is located at Ángel Rebollo street stands out because of its reasonably priced yet very delicious authentic Spanish Cuisine. The place resembles a local farm house. The interior is adorned with stones and attractive pine-made furniture, farming tools and antiques.

Casa Pardo

This place is the first in the city to be awarded with a star in Michelin Red Guide, a classic guide to oldest and best-known hotel and restaurants in Europe. It is a double-decker dining venues situated between the port and the commercial area of the city of A Coruna. This restaurant offers Galician cuisine with a twist. They serve variety of sea products mixed together in one delicious recipe. Their Rape a la Cazuela is also a must try food.

La Penela

This place is the best venue to feast on fresh sea foods and wine. The restaurant occupies a contemporary building on a corner of the lively Plaza de María Pita. The dining area has some tables facing the harbor to get a nice view and some in a glasses-in terrace on the square.


If you’re not into the exotic and experimental food you can pay a visit to a popular restaurant in Palavea and savor the familiar taste of pizza cooked in a traditional oven.

Cambalache Pizzerias

This is another good pizza place in Plaza de Maria Pita where you can enjoy a great quality of service and munch on their superb pepperoni.

Coruña Food

The Spanish cuisine is a product of a number of influences that has molded it through the years. The variety of dishes that form part of it has been affected by several factors such as geography, culture and climate not to mention the inputs brought about as a by-product of different conquests throughout history.

The composition of the Spanish cuisine is mainly composed of seafood which is primarily due to the abundance of the sea which actually surrounds the country. In addition to this since Spain was once part of the Roman Empire it has adapted a lot of food recipes from it. The prevalence of meat and bean products were said to be influences of the Empire to the contemporary popular recipes of the Spanish cuisine.

Here’s a list of recipes that are common in almost all the regions of Spain: Paella, Various stews, Potato omelet, migas , chorizos, embutidos, morcillas, jamon Serrano and cheeses. The geographical location of the different regions actually paved the way to different variations in the preparation. The variations are not so common among the well known Spanish desserts and cakes.

Other common recipes are: Arroz con leche, Calamares, Cocido, Chorizo, Chulletillas, Gazapacho, Salmorejo, Percebe, Merluza, Fabada Asturiana, Fideua, Butifarra, Lechazo , Shellfish, Marmita, Peladillas , Pescaito frito,Turron, Polvoron, Tortas de aceite, Olla podrida and Gofio

For the beverage the common Spanish beverage would be Sidra or cider which originates from its vast apple groves what makes the Spanish cider unique is that there is a larger proportion of acidic apples in it rather than the sweet ones as compared to the French’s manner of preparation.

Shopping in Coruna

La Coruña might be an old city but it will not be left behind with the latest technology, fashion and other commercial products found in the market today. Plus, you will be amazed with the wide selection of products found only in La Coruna. It will truly be a different shopping experience for you.

Marineda City Leisure, Shopping and Business Centre

This shopping centre is the largest complex in whole Spain and holds the title as 3rd largest in whole Europe. It is situated few minutes south from downtown the city. “The city” as it is usually called is the home of the most important financial, textile and distribution companies, which makes La Coruña one of the richest areas in Galicia.

It is also located in the most accessible part of the city where it is close to the international airport, bus terminals and one of the ports in Europe. Los Rosales Shopping Centre. This shopping mall is located only 5 minutes away from the heart of the city. It offers wide range of activities for all ages. Its main attractions include its contemporary movie theather, over 60 shops and restaurants.

Cuatro Caminos

Located near the bus station, this huge centre is one easily reached shopping destination. It accommodates around hundred boutiques and shops plus a lot of restaurants. There are more reason to shop in La Coruña because its region, Galacia is actually the home of World’s prominent clothing lines which includes Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Pull and Bear. You will never go wrong shopping here because you will surely be in style at great costs.

Moreover, if you want to have great finds that is truly only in La Coruna, Calle Real is the place to be. It offers the best luxury shops for antiques, fashion, jewelry and ceramics. This place is also the venue for some Galician artists to hold their exhibits for their paintings, handmade crafts and the like. Here you’ll surely find some souvenir surely worth keeping.

Weather in La Coruna

La Coruña is blessed with a mild climate that has relatively generous amount of rainfall. The city’s climate is not very diverse throughout the year. Basically, there are two noticeable weather condition namely the warmest average max/ high temperature is 23 °C (73 °F) in August and the coolest average min/ low temperature is 7 °C (45 °F) in January & February.

The best time to make a trip to La Coruña is during the summer months. The warm weather is a good opportunity to make a tour around the city and to enjoy its beautiful beaches. The average temperature during July and August is about 19º C however, the warmest average maximum or high temperatures ranges between 20º C and 25º C. Mornings are usually cloudy and misty, but afternoons normally have sunny and fair weather.

Meanwhile, there are months that travelers are advised to take caution. July and December are months that have the most unpredictable condition. The month with the driest weather is July when on balance 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain, sleet, hail or snow falls across 8 days. The month with the wettest weather, on the other hand, is December when on balance 135 mm (5.3 in) of rain, sleet, hail or snow falls across 19 days.

Moreover, it is important to learn that La Coruña is one of the European cities where the sun sets later. The city offers you long leisure time under the sun. Also, the hot month of August is the best time to visit the city if you want to experience colorful festivals, fiestas carnivals and processions.

During this month there is some sort of activity every day that you will surely enjoy. If you love to party under the summer heat, visiting La Coruña at this time of the year is the best way to spend your vacation.

Discover Costa Blanca Benidorm

Things To Do in Benidorm on the Costa Blanca

With its fine sandy beaches and rich in entertainment nightlife, Benidorm is one of the most sought after places by tourists of all ages. Its cultural activities, festivals, water sports activities and especially its quality of life is what makes Benidorm the perfect place to enjoy the holidays.

Benidorm has three major beaches: Levante, Poniente and Mal Pas, all having a blue flag since 1987, the highest quality standard recognized by the European Union.

Things to do in Benidorm, top attractions and destinations

Set on the Mediterranean coastal area called Costa Blanca, in the province of Alicante, Benidorm is the center of the bay that bears its name and thanks to this exquisite geographical position is provided with a special microclimate, which makes the winters mild and moderate and summers tempered by sea breezes.

In this way you can enjoy a nature that has been mixed with the emergence of a modern and pleasant city. It is surrounded by mountains: the Tossal de la Cala to the west, the Natural Park of Sierra Helada, on the east part, Sierra Cortina and Puig Campana, to the north, protecting the city from the cold north winds, which could alter its pleasant climate. As a result, Benidorm has 3400 hours of sunshine a year.

History of Benidorm

Benidorm was little more than a tiny village until the Moors (Arabian Muslims) arrived from the Iberian peninsular and North Africa in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Moors were dominant in Benidorm until King Jamie I conquered the area in 1245 and pushed the Moors out for good. Christians soon moved into the area and became the dominant population.

The following years were very tough on the village as the whole area was subjected to attach after attack from pirates and the Turkish in particular. A fort was built in order to repel these regular raids, however, it was destroyed more than once and in the end the locals abandoned it and the population soon dwindled.

The construction of an irrigation system vastly improved the area’s prosperity in 1666. The town became a very popular producer of lemons, oranges and olive oil. Work began in the church of St Jaime in the 18th century and the town prospered with the newly found trade. It was in the early 18th century that a boat was found on the sand of Playa Poniente by some of the locals.

People were wary of the plague at the time, so the town’s residents decided to set the ship alight. A statue of the Virgen del Sufragio was discovered in the burnt out remains of the ship and to the locals amazement, it was completely undamaged. The Virgen became a patron saint of the town and the event is still celebrated to this day.

Benidorm quickly became a huge fishing port with famous fisherman based there for many years. The catch of the time was tuna and the locals had perfected the art of ‘almadraba,’ a complicated maze of fishing nets placed to catch the tuna as they migrated across the Mediterranean. The local agriculture and fishing industry allowed the town to flourish during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

The dawn of the 19th century saw the start of the tourist boom in Benidorm. A railway was built to the town which brought tourists from Alcoy and Madrid. A road also linked Benidorm with Alicante. World War Two and the Civil War temporarily halted the growth of the town, however, that was soon to change in the 1950s.

The fishing industry was in decline and the town’s planners gave the go-ahead for development plans designed to make Benidorm the Spanish capital of tourism. Alicante Airport opened in 1967 and tourists from all over Europe made their way to Benidorm for their annual holidays.

The 1970s saw Benidorm become the biggest tourist resort In Europe. 12 million people visited Benidorm in 1977, which is still a European record!

Benidorm Population

Benidorm is easily the largest tourist destination anywhere on the Mediterranean coast, with 4 million visitors every year. There is a tourist trade all year round with many elderly people staying in the resort for several weeks in the cold winter months.

The exciting and vibrant nightlife attracts younger groups, families and couples. The autumn and winter months see a large influx of older couples from northern Europe. There are 70,000 permanent residents of Benidorm, of which a very high proportion are British.

Benidorm Playa del Mal Pas

Places to Visit in Benidorm

Benidorm enjoys fantastic weather all year round and one of the biggest attractions is the nightlife and entertainment found all over the area. However, Benidorm is much more than that and there are plenty of places to visit.

Parque de L’Aiguera

Used widely for concerts and festivals, the Parque de L’Aiguera consists of beautiful sea front promenades, lined with palm trees.

La Isla de Benidorm

This tiny, uninhabited island attracts swimmers and snorkelers to enjoy the clear, warm waters. The island can be reached by a regular glass bottomed boat service.

Castillo Mirador

Standing on the site of the former Benidorm Castle, this is now a picturesque square surrounding by fantastic coastal views and beaches.

Iglesia de San Jaime

The blue tiles used on the domes of St James’ church make it one of the most recognised symbols of Benidorm.


This water park is a great day out for families and is located just outside the town centre. There are plenty of scary water slides and more sedate attractions for mum and dad. There are also a number of shops, bars and restaurants meaning there is something for everyone.

Terra Mitica

Designed along the lines of the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean, this is a huge theme park, packed full of white knuckle roller coasters and attractions for all the family. This is a great way to spend a day as the park also includes more gentle rides, restaurants, bars and shops.

Mundomar Marine Animal Park

Just a short distance from the centre of Benidorm, Mundomar is well known for its dolphins and is a great way to see some of the Mediterranean sea-life close up.

There are also a number of other local attractions including the Terra Natura Safari Park. Hundreds of animals are housed in the park including elephants and python snakes!

Benidorm Monuments

Church of San Jaime – Plaza de San Jaime

It is situated at the top of the old part of the town, on the peak of Canfali hill. It was built between 1740 and 1780 after the discovery of the Virgen of the Suffrage, patron saint of Benidorm. The Church of San Jaime, patron of the city, is of a neoclassical style refined with a blue dome in the Mediterranean style. Inside lies another symbol – the Virgin of the Suffrage, the patron saint of Benidorm. The Virgin has a chapel there, where it can be visited the small sculpture that was found, as the story tells, in a boat adrift at sea.

Punta del Cavall Tower – Natural Park of Sierra Helada

Relic of the past declared good of Cultural Interest, Punta del Cavallo Tower is a watchtower from the 18th century, from where the guards were watching the horizon to avoid the numerous pirate raids. Located on the Punta de les Caletes or Punta del Cavall, the tower is also known as de les Caletes (Tower de les Caletes).

Tossal de la Cala – At the end of Poniente beach

At the end of the Poniente beach, is the Iberian settlement of Tossal de la Cala. Built between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC, is a late Iberian settlement that falls within the activity area of Benidorm as a commercial trading point and a dock used since ancient times. You can see the restored area by going up at the end of the Poniente beach and looking for the intersection of La Cala and from there you can follow the signs leading to the area.

Benidorm Balcony of the Mediterranean

El Mirador de la Punta del Canfali – El Castillo

On the big rock that divides the two beaches stood the fortress that was used to guard against invasions from the Algerian and Barbary pirates, between the 14th and the 16th centuries. After that, the castle was abandoned, currently remaining only a few ruins of the walls, which linger on the lookout rocks, also called by the name of “Balcony of the Mediterranean.”

Maritime Cultural Centre Paseo de Colón – next to the Port of Benidorm

The Maritime Cultural Centre of Benidorm is a permanent exhibition of model ships and other nautical motifs. It is also a memorandum to shipping companies carried out by the Benidorm people in the past.

City Council – Ayuntamiento Plaza SS.MM. los Reyes de España, s/n

The City Council is located at the entrance of L’Aigüera Park and is a very different building with its modern architecture. Its unusual structure has attracted the attention of architects and for that reason receives multiple visits. This bridge – building serves as a door to the green area of L’Aigüera. The construction is elevated and travelers can go under it. The atrium of the building was covered with thick blades in which are written the names and surnames of more than 60.000 citizens.

L’Aigüera Park – Avenida de L’Aigüera, Plaza de SS. MM. los Reyes de España

If you travel to Benidorm, you cannot miss a visit to the park L’Aigüera. It was designed by architect Ricardo Bofill and displays the purest neoclassical style. This park divides the extension of a recently built area. It has two amphitheaters, serving for cultural celebrations throughout the summer and also has an area that is specially prepared for the fairs that are held together with different parties. The long tour of the park serves to value the old valley and below ground are water pipes that channel the runoff water.

Benidorm Cuisine

There is a truly international flavor to the cuisine in Benidorm with so many choices, no one will feel left out. The Calle De La Palma has a number of fine dining restaurants together with many more ‘run of the mill’ restaurants, including several places serving traditional ‘pub grub.’ There are also Spanish, Italian and French restaurants all within a short walk.

As will all Spanish resorts, Spanish cuisine is alive and well and amongst the healthiest in the world. The use of fresh local seafood, locally grown fresh vegetables and the liberal use of olive oil provide a nutritious and very tasty cuisine. There are also Irish, Indian and Chinese restaurants in the town, making Benidorm the Spanish town for international cuisine.

Benidorm Accommodation

Benidorm sometimes suffers from an image problem with people making the assumption that the town only offers a cut-price holiday with no frills. The town isn’t just tower blocks and skyscrapers however; the old town offers a quaint and pretty alternative for accommodation – ideal if peace and quiet, away from the busy bars and parties is required. Whilst some people will revel in the party atmosphere of Benidorm, those looking for a more laid-back and quieter time should look no further than Playa Poniente.

Benidorm offers a huge selection of accommodation for absolutely every budget. While the tall tower block hotels offer the majority shelter, there are also a huge number of apartments and villas in the outlying areas of Benidorm. There are also a number of campsites for those on a budget holiday. The five star Hotel Don Pancho, surrounded by beautiful waterfalls, offers holiday-goers some real luxury.

Benidorm Weather

The weather in Benidorm is pleasant all year round. The Sierra Helada Mountains protect the town from the cool winds and rainfall is sporadic, consisting of mostly showers. The light breezes from the ocean provide a little relief from the heat of the summer months.

Summers in Benidorm are very hot with very little rain. With an average temperature of around 30C, temperatures go well beyond this at times and reach the high 30s regularly. Blue, cloudless skies are the norm with humidity peaking in the summer months.

The mild winter temperatures in Benidorm bring in many visitors during the off-season. It is rare that temperatures drop below 12C and there are usually still cloudless blue skies. Rainfall is highest in January during the winter, although any rainfall is usually only in the form of showers and blue skies follow closely behind. Visitors can expect around 5 hours of sunshine per day in the town.

Getting Around Benidorm

The best way to get around Benidorm is by taxi. If a holiday doesn’t include a bus transfer, there are plenty of taxis waiting at the airport and like most Spanish taxis, they are very competitively priced. There are a number of buses but the affordability of a cab in Benidorm, particularly for groups and families, mean the flexibility and convenience of grabbing a taxi make for a less stressful holiday. There are a number of car hire companies for those that want to venture further afield, all at very affordable prices.


A good place to visit on foot would be the old town of Benidorm. Also, if it comes to enjoying the beach, a visit to Benidorm is not complete without a stroll along the promenade of Avenue d’Alcoy, Playa de Levante, which is 2 km long and is the site where there are located the majority of large hotels, restaurants and bars of the city. This promenade is full all the time, being the place to see and be seen.

On the other side of the old town is the Parque de Elche beach and Poniente beach, the most secluded beach, ideal for those who want peace in their walks and enjoy the serene spectacle of the sea.

Urban bus – city bus

To reach any part of Benidorm is very easy to catch the bus. The bus service is provided by the company Llorente Bus. The bus network has 17 bus routes and a tram line that connects the entire city. A single ticket is 1.25 €, but you have the possibility of getting a card that is valid for 24 hours and has unlimited rides on all bus lines.

Visitors who use the bus service on a regular basis may find it useful to purchase a ‘Bonobus 20’, instead of paying for each individual journey. The bus transportation in Benidorm is reliable and there are timetables located at each bus stop. Tourist buses are also available.


Benidorm has a good taxi service at reasonable prices, although at night the price increases. Every taxi has a counter faced to the public that applies the exact fare in urban transportation. There are taxi stops throughout Benidorm and taxis are easy to spot because they are white with a blue stripe.


The train service runs between Alicante, Benidorm, Altea, Denia and many other stations. The trains are in the Benidorm Train Station and the journey between Benidorm and Alicante takes about an hour. This is a nice way to travel and discover new places of interest in the area, while enjoying panoramic views of the coast.

A great day out can be enjoyed on the tourist train “Lemon Express” which travels from Benidorm along the coast of the Costa Blanca all the way to Gata de Gorgos, visiting natural places that would not otherwise be reached. On arrival at Gata de Gordos, visitors can enjoy a visit to a guitar factory. On the return trip back to Benidorm, passengers are invited to a glass of wine. These trips are very popular and advance reservations are recommended.

The “Trensnochador” travels the coast but only on summer nights. The FGV “Trenet de la Marina” travels along the coast, from Altea to Alicante, with its attractive route, there are many transport options to move around comfortably and the frequency of trips is high.


The city has a number of boat trips leaving from the port to nearby destinations along the coast, including the island of Benidorm.

Airplanes and the airports

Alicante International Airport (ALC) is the nearest airport to Benidorm, about 10 km from the city of Alicante and 60 km from Benidorm. The airport offers a wide variety of services including ATMs, exchange office, post office, duty free shops, food and drinks establishments, newsagents, a pharmacy and emergency services.

There is a wide range of car hire companies at Alicante airport including Hertz, Europcar, Avis, Europe Car and Record Rent a Car. The taxis are located outside the arrivals hall. Bus transportation is also available at the airport, the buses departing from in front of the arrivals terminal and, also, there is a transport service to Benidorm from Alicante’s bus station.

Explore Bilbao Spain

Things To Do in Bilbao, Top Attractions and Destinations

The largest and liveliest city in the Basque Country is Bilbao, which is situated on Spain’s northern coast. This is one of the most exciting cities in Spain because of the numerous structures and historic sites, especially the Guggenheim Museum. The city of Bilbao is renowned for its stunning scenery, abundance of eateries and shops, exciting nightlife, and numerous sightseeing opportunities.

In Bilbao, there are many things to do. The Plaza Funicular, which is one of the attractions worth seeing, is accessible by taking the Funicular Railway up to Mount Artxanda. As you ascend above the city, the train, driven by a pulley system, soars up the steep hillside, revealing breathtaking views. It costs 85 cents one way and runs every 15 minutes.

Discover Architectural Bilbao through Amazing Art and Culture

From the recreation area at the top, you can see the entirety of Bilbao in breath-taking detail.There are many restaurants in the area where you can unwind and eat regional Basque food. Return through the lush hillside, either to the Abando neighborhood or Parque Extberri with its enormous chimneystack.

Additionally, visitors can use the elevator in Casco Viejo, which is located behind San Nicholas Church on Esperanza Street close to the sports center. Once you get to the top, proceed down the hallway and turn left into Park Extberri, where you can enjoy the view and the surrounding vegetation.

The Basilica de Begona, which has a lovely courtyard to sit in and unwind in under the shade of trees, is another location here worth a visit. You will arrive at the Plaza Unamundo in the Casco if you forgo the elevator and descend the stairs.

The Hanging Bridge, which connects Portugalete and Gexto, is another popular tourist attraction. The bridge is accessible by train from Aband or San Mames to Portugalete. A small ferry for cars and people hangs from this massive structure via cables. You board and are lifted above the river as the cables slide along to the other side. It is open every day of the year, twenty-four hours a day.

Bilbao's charming old town

History of Bilbao

The growth of Bilbao started in 1315 when King Alfonso included the town along the Camino de Santiago path. Bilbao was able to vastly improve its economic output and developed into a major trading port, trading heavily with northern Europe and the rest of the Mediterranean countries.

More and more shipyards were built in the following years and the town grew in both trading terms and cultural terms with the arrival of pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

During the 1400s, the town became a city and a network of new roads and the famous Cathedral de Santiago were built. Trading with the entire world opened up over the following two centuries.

Bilbao has an unfortunate military past over the years. Its strategic importance as a commercial and naval port made the city a prime target in the French occupation, the War of Independence, and the Spanish Civil War of 1936. Any civil or international conflicts always affected Bilbao significantly.

It was in the 19th century that industrial expansion in the city spiraled out of control and the whole area became choked with pollution. Bilbao was known as a city of industrial ugliness, despite its cultural past. Thankfully, Bilbao has long since shed this industrial image and is once again considered a cultural city, particularly for its artistic presence.

Bilbao Population

Bilbao lies within the autonomous community of the Basque Country, in the far north of Spain and has a population of around 360,000. Bilbao is very much an international city with around 10% of the population being foreigners, only a third of those living in Bilbao were actually born there.

127 different nationalities are represented in Bilbao with large Bolivian and Columbian communities and many Chinese, Moroccan and Romanians living in the city as well.

Attractions in Bilbao

Bilbao Attractions

Bilbao is bursting with places to visit and see. The city’s cultural and artistic heritage is evident in both the architecture and the many museums. Here are just a few of the places to visit.

Gran Via

This is the city’s main thoroughfare as well as a very important shopping and business area. The start of this beautiful promenade is marked by a statue of Don Diego Lopez de Haro, who founded the city. This is a great place for a stroll, to browse the stores or grab a quick bite to eat.

Plaza de Miguel de Unamuno

The plaza is name after the prominent Bilbao writer and philosopher, Unamuno. His statue sits atop a large column and the square in which it stands is a popular venue for concerts and festivals.

Plaza Nueva

Plaza Nueva

This is the city’s main meeting area and has a vibrant and exciting atmosphere, particularly in the evenings. There is a wide selection of bars, restaurants and cafes and the plaza is the venue for the annual Mercado Rural de Santo Tomas, a traditional market opened every December.

Casco Viejo

This is the place to be for nightclubs, bars and a vibrant nightlife. Situated on the banks of the River Nervion, Casco Viejo is sometimes referred to as the old quarter.

Saint James Cathedral

Catedral de Santiago

Built during the 16th century, this is truly the very epicentre of the city of Bilbao. It is situated within the narrow streets of Casco Viejo and surrounded by the shops and bars that make the area such a clash of the ages. From the cathedral, the original seven streets of Bilbao stretch down to the river.

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum

Architect, Frank Gehry designed this amazing looking structure in a free-form sculptural style that is the talk of architects all over the world. It was funded and constructed by the Basque government in collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim foundation and is visited by thousands of people from all over the world every year. The museum is the home to several modern artists including Picasso, Cezanne and Kandinsky. This is truly a world symbol on a par with the Sydney Opera House.

Bilbao Cuisine

One of the most famous Basque dining customs can be enjoyed all over Bilbao. The passion for food in the Basque Country is amongst the most vociferous anywhere in Spain and this is evident in the local’s love of pinxtos. Very much like tapas, pinxtos is a very small appetizer like food.

It is not uncommon to see the locals bar hop and try a traditional pinxto in every bar. The ritual of ‘tapeo’ is similar to the British ritual of a bar-crawl only instead of beer, it’s tapas or pinxtos

The cuisine of Bilbao and the wider Basque country is like all of Spain. The abundance of freshly caught local fish, the very best fresh vegetables and a love for olive oil make the cuisine amongst the tastiest and healthiest in the world. Cod is particularly popular in the area, locally called bacalao.

Cooked in a Biscayan style or ‘pil-pil’ this is as authentic a Basque dish as can be found anywhere. The fantastic restaurants of Amboto, Zortziko and Urrejola offer authentic Basque style cooking in a fantastic atmosphere. A must-see is the annual pinxto contest held every year between the bars and restaurants of Bilbao.

Accommodation in Bilbao

As in most areas of Spain, Bilbao has a selection of accommodation that will satisfy any budget. The Lopez de Haro hotel is at the very top end, offering five star surroundings, service and food. There are also a number of four star hotels to choose from including the Carlton which is the original Basque government building.

Albert Einstein and King Alfonso XIII have stayed at the Carlton giving it a very historical feeling. Other four star hotels include the Hotel Ercilla and the Abando.

For those on a budget, there are other options including the three star Barcelon Nervion, the Duesto and the Barcelo Avienda. All of these hotels are in the city and only a few minutes’ walk from most of Bilbao’s attractions. Budget travelers will find a selection of hostels and low cost accommodation in the Casco Viejo area, which is a great place to stay to soak up the history of this great old city.

Weather and climate in Bilbao

Bilbao Weather

Bilbao is one of the more temperate climates of Spain, offering a typical maritime climate which is consistent all year round. Situated on the north Atlantic coast, it is a city which rarely experiences extremes of temperature.

The winter months are generally cool while the summer months are rarely uncomfortable and the influence of the ocean having a cooling effect, make it a great destination for sunbathing.

The spring months in Bilbao are very pleasant with average temperatures of 14C in February and 16C in March. There are plenty of cloud free, sunny days in spring although it is the time of year where significant rain is most likely.

In April and May, average temperatures quickly rise to around 22C with the summer months of July and August averaging out at around the 30C mark. It can get humid at this time of year but the refreshing breeze from the mountains cools things down slightly.

A great time to visit Bilbao is the autumn as temperatures tend to hover around the 20C mark with lots of sunshine and clear skies. Rain is usually in the form of quick, sharp showers in the autumn months, but these showers are usually quick to clear.

Winter temperatures usually stick around 12C with the odd snow shower is not unheard of.

Transport in Bilbao

The relatively new Metro system in Bilbao is efficient, clean and very reliable. Metro fares can be purchased on a one way basis but there are also Creditrans which are tickets for multiple journeys and start from only €5. There is also a light rail service, a tram system and a bus service that stretches to every part of the city.

The Bilbao public transport system is as good as anywhere in Spain or the rest of Europe. There are also taxis available to hail down in all of the city’s busy thoroughfares.

the best things to see and do in Alicante Spain

Alicante City Travel Guide

Alicante History

It is thought that the area in and around present-day Alicante has been inhabited for over seven thousand years. Controlled by the Roman Empire for one thousand years, the area was the subject of many feuds and battles with Carthage.

Lucentum, as it was then known, was conquered by the Arabs in the 8th century and was eventually taken by the Castillian King, Alfonso in the 12th century.

best places to see in Alicante

It very quickly then passed to the Kingdom of Valencia in 1298 and ruled by King James of Aragon. Alicante developed into a major Mediterranean port, trading in rice, wine, fruit and wool.

Alicante then suffered years of decline until the early 20th century when it became a port of huge strategic importance during World War One. Spain’s neutrality in the Great War allowed it to trade with any country it wished, leading to a prolonged period of affluence. Alicante became the last Republican loyal city to fall to Dictator Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

Alicante Population

Alicante is the capital city of the province of Alicante and is the second largest city in the Valencian community with a population of 330,000 inhabitants. The city is one of the fastest growing in Spain and is currently a major economic port.

The wider conurbation of Alicante-Elche has a population of 770,000 with a large foreign population mostly made up of Argentinians, Ecuadorians and Columbians.

There are thought to be a large number of illegal immigrants from North Africa and eastern Europe currently living in the area. This area is also home to many retired British, French and German citizens.

Places to Visit in Alicante

Perched over the city of Alicante is the Castle of Santa Barbara on Mount Benacantil. The castle was originally built by the Arab occupiers of the 9th century and was constructed as a defensive fort. The Explanada de Espana is a very impressive promenade that is made from over six million individual marble stones.

Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante Spain

The promenade is a popular meeting place, concert venue and place to take a relaxing stroll. There is a Mark Hersch monument at the end of the promenade. The majestic San Nicholas Cathedral was built in the 1600s over the site of an ancient mosque and was only given cathedral status by Pope John Paul XXIII in 1959.

There are two fantastic parks in Alicante – El Palmeral Park and El Ereta Park. El Palmeral includes playgrounds, lakes, walking trails, picnic areas and a concert auditorium. There is also Tabarca Island, just of the Alicante coast. The island boasts a church, a lighthouse and a population of around one hundred.

The island is a very popular tourist attraction, with boats ferrying people from Alicante on a regular basis. The coves, rocky beaches, fishing locations and seafood restaurants prove very popular with holidaymakers from Alicante Santa Pola and Torrevieja.

Basilica of Santa Maria in Alicante Spain

The Basilica of Santa Maria was built in stages during the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Its gothic style and the high Rococo style altar make it a must-see attraction. The military and religious heritages of the Alicante are evident all over the city with tourist attractions such as Gravina Palace, the Castle of San Fernando and the Defence Towers of the Huerta de Alicante.

There are also many museums in Alicante, showcasing many local artefacts from the various wars, occupiers and rulers the city has known. The Archaeological Museum of Alicante houses local items dating as far back as 100,000 years ago. The museum also won the 2004 European Museum of the year.

Alicante Beaches

The city is a first rate tourist centre thanks to the splendid Alicante beaches, excellent climate and well known facilities. As one would expect of a sea-oriented city, the sea front (with its beaches, port and promenade) is the main characteristic of Alicante.

Beaches in Alicante

El Postiguet Beach

Playa del Postiguet is one of the classic Alicante beaches, envied by many other provinces, by its size, its fine and almost white sand, especially for where it is placed, in the middle of the city. The beach is 667 meters long and 40 meters wide and is bordered by a promenade with many palm trees.This beach is cleaned daily and it usually has visitors all year round due to Alicante excellent climate, however the summer months are the busiest.

If you ask people about Postiguet beach, they probably will tell you that it is not the best when compared to other Alicante beaches such as San Juan or El Campello beaches but it is obviously more comfortable for people who is staying in Alicante city and have no time or desire to leave the city to enjoy the sun and Mediterranean sea.

Playa del Postiguet in Alicante

The great thing of course about the location is you can stay very nearby, laze on the beach by day and explore the city at night. There are a wide range of hotel options in Alicante, and you can do some research on our accommodation sections or use websites such as Tripadvisor or Trivago. There are also plenty of rental properties available.

It has all the own infrastructures of a much visited beach and is a point of meeting for the free time in the summer nights. It is a beach adapted for handicapped persons. Playa del Postiguet has been awarded the Blue Flag for all its services and clean beach.

Equipment and services: this beach has bus station, red cross, lifeguards, parking, showers, beach umbrellas and hammocks, cleaning service, waste bins, public phones, promenade, chiringuitos and restaurants. You can practice here different beach sports like beach Volleyball.

San Juan Beach

Located 8kms to the north of Alicante, San Juan has a long, open beach of some 7kms in length and with an average width of 85m. The beach corresponds to the two municipalities of Alicante and El Campello. It is located in a residential area that is lively in the summer months and very peaceful during the rest of the year.

Playa de San Juan

Facilities available on the seafront include restaurants, bars, cafés and car parks, and services include access for the handicapped, toilets, watchtowers, a Red Cross post, tourist information and water sports on the beach.

This beach has been awarded the Blue Flag of the European Union. It can be reached by car, by bus (numbers 21 or 22) or by tram, offering a nice trip from Alicante.

El Saladar-Urbanova Beach

Urbanova Beach, out from the South, we come across a long and well-equipped beach. Little known to foreign tourists, it is therefore the quietest of them all.

Playa del Saladar Urbanova in Alicante

This beach, near to El Altet airport, is officially called Playa del Saladar due to the salt pans that used to exist nearby. However, it is popularly known as Playa de Urbanova, the name of the residential complex facing it.

Free from parking problems, bathers can stretch out comfortably on the sand, and enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the city and the bay of Alicante. This beach has been awarded the Blue Flag of the European Union.

La Albufereta Beach

Albufereta Beach, Alicante cheerful beach with lots of vegetation in the shape of palms, other trees and cactus plants. Located to the north of Alicante. A few tall buildings can be seen from the beach.

It is cut off by two cliffs on either side from which you can fish. Off the parking area there are steps onto the beach. This beach has been awarded the Blue Flag of the European Union.

Cabo de las Huertas Beach

Cabo de Huertas Beach in a residential, tranquil area lying between San Juan and Albufereta, the coves along this part of the coast of Alicante are outstandingly beautiful, combining as they do, rocks and sand.

Some of these beaches are nudist bathing areas, and diving is possible in almost all of them, but particularly in the rockier coves. Of particular note are Cala de los Judios and Cala Cantalares.

Cabo de Huertas Beach

The coves can be reached by car; alternatively, a bus (number 22) runs all round the Cabo de las Huertas as far as San Juan Beach.

The beaches and blue skies of the Costa Blanca are popular with families who take advantage of up to 330 days of sunshine a year. With endless entertainment options for people looking for cheap holidays in Spain, Alicante is an excellent holiday destination you should not miss.

Alicante Beaches are just a dream come true, miles of beaches along the province coupled with excellent weather, makes Alicante an ideal holiday destination.

Alicante Cuisine

Like any Spanish city, Paella is found everywhere and the abundance of locally caught, fresh seafood in Alicante makes the dish particularly popular in the area. There are several tapas bars in and around Alicante that serve selections of appertisers.

However, there are some dishes that have their roots in the region. A very popular local spin on Paella is called Rice a la Alicantina and is a combination of rice, chicken and seafood with red peppers.

Arroz a Banda is hugely popular all over Valencia and is best described as a fish based risotto. A very famous Alicante dessert is called Turron. This is nougat and is particularly popular with the locals at Christmas time.

However, many restaurants sell it all year round. Jijona is the soft form of Turron whilst the hard variety is called Alicante. A speciality found in many Alicante restaurants is the Turron a la Piedra which is stuffed full of almonds and flavoured with cinnamon and lemon.

No visit to any part of Spain would be complete without a jug of Sangria which is wine seasoned with honey, chopped fruit and wither triple sec or brandy.

Alicante Accommodation

As with all the main Spanish resorts, there is no shortage of places to stay in Alicante. There really is something for everyone, whether it’s a cheap hotel or a luxury villa. Hotels such as the Melia Hotel, Amerigo, Palmera Beach, Castilla and the Hesperia Spa Golf are amongst the best on offer in Alicante.

The locations of El Campello, San Juan and Muchavista are extremely popular with tourists as they offer a wide range of accommodation against the backdrop of the beautiful beaches of Alicante.

Alicante Weather

The average annual temperature in Alicante is around 18C but there are very large seasonal variations. The average temperature in July and August is 32C but temperatures can dip to just above zero in the winter months with the average January and February temperature currently at 6C.

The area in and around Alicante is generally very dry with the most rainfall occurring in October when an average of 48mm falls. The driest month on average is July when an average of only 5mm falls during the whole month. Humidity is relatively low with the peak occurring in October at 69%.

In the summer months there are around 11 hours of sunlight per day and around 6 hours in the winter months. Clearly, the best time to visit Alicante is June to August as the average temperature is in the 30’s, there is very little chance of significant rain and around 11 hours of sunshine can be enjoyed every day.

Transport in Alicante

Visitors to Alicante can fly straight into the city as the airport is amongst the biggest and busiest in Spain. There are regular internal flights to Barcelona and Madrid and Alicante is a popular destination from many European airports.

The railway station has regular services to all the major Spanish cities and there are regular ferry services to the Balearic Islands and Algeria.

For tourists staying within the old town, most tourist locations are within walking distance. There is a great transport infrastructure in Alicante with both buses and trams serving all of the major resorts and places of interest.

These services generally operate between the hours of 6am and 11pm although there are a number of night services available. One bus or tram ride costs around €1.20 and the bus drivers carry change.

A rechargeable travel card can be bought for €7 plus €2 for the card and can be used for 10 rides. These cards are available for purchase at the TAM office near the Mercado Station.

Taxis are in abundance in all the resort locations and tourist hot-spots. All Spanish taxis are generally very reliable, so long as they are properly licensed. Radio-Taxi and Tele-Taxi are the main operators in Alicante.

Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos

Other Places of Interest in Alicante

There are currently two football teams playing in Alicante. Hercules FC which competes in La Liga and Alicante CF which plays in Segunda Division B. Hercules CF often competes against the best teams in Spain and are based at Estadio Jose Rico Perez.

There are also a number of exciting and very popular festivals in Alicante. The Bonfires of Saint John is held during the summer solstice.

A week later, seven nights of firework contests between companies on the urban beach of Playa del Postiguet commence with various other forms of pyrotechnic wonder.

Another very popular Valencian festival is the Moros y Cristianos which commemorates many battles between the Muslims and the Christians over the villages, towns and cities of the Valencia area.

Explore Barcelona

Barcelona Travel Guide

Caught between azure sea and hills overgrown with juicy verdure, Barcelona is rightly considered to be a highlight of Spain and of the whole Mediterranean. It is a city with a centuries-old history, rich traditions, sandy beaches, impressive architectural heritage, open-hearted and well-wishing people.

All these aspects provide for constantly growing flow of tourists who come to see amazing natural, cultural and architectural riches of the Catalan capital with their own eyes.

Best things to do in Barcelona

Over more than two thousand years of its history Barcelona experienced many ups and downs, periods of prosperity and oblivion. Tough historical peripeteias formed its inimitable appearance and freedom-loving character, which is most vividly reflected in its variegated architecture that bears no resemblance to the rest of the world.

Imposing Gothic cathedrals tower over the narrow and twisting streets of the Old Town, and modernistic works by Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner adorn wide and straight streets of the new quarters. And the green slopes of the Montjuic hill, which hosted the Olympics of 1992, harmonically neighbor with ultra-modern skyscrapers that spring up all over Barcelona.

The token riches of the Catalan capital include the tender Mediterranean Sea and mild climate. Five kilometers of golden beaches with modern infrastructure are a perfect supplement, or rather an alternative, to informative tourism. A traveler will hardly stint oneself of an opportunity to luxuriate on a sandy beach and to bath in the warm sea water.

Barcelona’s geographical location is also reflected in its cuisine, which is a typical Mediterranean diet combining gifts of the sea, mountains and fertile valleys. It is based on seafood, meat, rice, vegetables and olive oil seasoning. Being combined in an unusual way, they create matchless dishes that strike city’s guests with amazing tastes and aromas. It is impossible to visit Barcelona and not to taste wonderful Spanish and Catalan wines, which have won the world fame.

To touch Barcelona’s rich culture and to visit at least one of the grandiose festivals that are celebrated in a big way by the locals must be also included in tourist’s obligatory itinerary. The January procession of the Magi, the September celebration of the National Day of Catalonia, and how castles of people are built are definitely worth seeing. And, of course, you should also dance the typical Catalan dance sardana.

Barcelona is a large stage for vivid shows, art and photo exhibitions, as well as for world stars’ concerts. All this will definitely add many bright emotions and sensations to the baggage of your tourist experience and will remain in your memory for a long time.

It is important to note that Barcelona’s locals take care of their guests. Thus, you can safely say that Barcelona is a city without borders, which offers all conditions for full-blown recreation for people with disabilities.

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Barcelona History

Barcelona is a city with a proud historical, political and cultural history and is the capital of the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia. Catalonia is a truly unique area of Spain and many of the locals still consider themselves as being Catalonian before being Spanish.

Until the late fifteenth century, when Ferdinand of Aragon married Isabel of Castile, Catalonia was an independent state. Before that, Catalonia was an extremely successful state in its own right – a fact that is demonstrated by the Gothic quarter and old port of Barcelona.

Catalonia was swallowed up by the imperialistic Spain, which was a true world power in the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries; however, the heritage and pride of the locals was never forgotten. During the second republic, the democratic government in place just before Franco’s revolution, Catalonia gained independence very briefly.

Once Franco had defeated the Republicans, nowhere in Spain was affected more by the change in government than Catalonia. Franco banned the Catalan language and changed area and street names from Catalan to Castilian. After Franco’s death, Catalonia and particularly Barcelona, has regained much of its identity and is very much a bilingual area.

Places to visit in Barcelona

Places to Visit in Barcelona

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without a visit to the world famous Sagrada Familia. This catholic Cathedral was started in 1882 and it still isn’t finished! The architect, Antoni Gaudi, is responsible for this massive structure, which divides opinion amongst residents and tourists alike. Many believe it detracts from the traditional Barcelona Cathedral, La Seu, which can be found in the Gothic quarter of the city.

The Barcelona Aquarium can be found in Port Vell, the Barcelona port area. This is a hugely popular attraction in the city and kids in particular love it.

Poble Espanyol, or the Spanish Village, is another of Barcelona’s great attractions and consists of different living quarters designed in styles from all over Spain.

There are also a number of workshops and craft stores to browse authentic Spanish goods and souvenirs. It is also the location of the famous Flamenco show at Tablao de Carmen.

Antoni Gaudi’s influence can be seen all over Europe and La Pedrera is one of his most popular creations. The English translation is ‘quarry’ and the multi-colored tiles with wavy brickwork make for a wacky, yet interesting building.

Mila House or La Pedrera

The Picasso museum is another of Barcelona’s gems, pulling in many thousands of visitors every year. The works of Pablo Picasso are arranged in chronological order which gives visitors an idea of how he developed as both a man and an artist over the years.

The Magic Fountain of Montjuic is one of the most fun attractions in Barcelona and consists of a water and light show played out to music. Performances take place in the evenings all through the year making it one of Barcelona’s most visited sites.

In many ways, the epicentre of Barcelona’s social scene is Las Ramblas. This is a promenade which is over a kilometre long! It is lined with fantastic shops, cafes, restaurants and attractions like the Wax Museaum and the Christopher Columbus monument.

This is a very busy area of Barcelona during both the day and night and is a great place to head to for an evening of dining and entertainment. People should be wary of the south end of Las Ramblas however, as this is considered a more seedy area of Barcelona during the evenings.

Barcelona’s Beaches

Situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona brags about many kilometers of sandy beaches, which receive up to seven million vacationers from all over the world per year. It is hard to imagine, but up until recently the city hardly had a beach zone. Now Barcelona’s coastline features modern infrastructure, necessary for full-blown beach recreation, including facilities for people with disabilities. Barcelona’s beaches have a good public transport connection to all parts of the city.

Best Barcelona beaches

Playa de St. Sebastian y de St. Miquel

These are ones of the oldest beaches in Barcelona. Thanks to the fortunate location in the center of the city, not far from its main sights, they enjoy popularity among Barcelona’s locals and guests.

Numerous cafes, restaurants and sports clubs work on the wide, more than 1.5-kilometer-long sand stripe. The beaches have cloak-rooms, showers, Wi-Fi zone, rental points of deck chairs and beach umbrellas.

Getting there. Take a metro train to the station Barceloneta (L4). The building of the Hotel W, shaped as a sail, serves as a good reference point.

Playa de la Barceloneta

Situated behind the namesake city quarter, Barceloneta is one of the most popular beaches in the Catalan capital. It has wonderful sporting infrastructure: volleyball ground, gymnastics area, children’s playgrounds are equipped there. Barceloneta features cafes and restaurants with a wide selection of seafood dishes.

Getting there. Take a metro train to the station Barceloneta (L4).

Playa de Somorrostro

Playa de la Barceloneta is followed by the half-kilometer-long beach zone of Somorrostro, which was also named after the namesake quarter. The beach is famous in the first place for its sporting and spa infrastructure. Catalonia’s first center, where therapeutic properties of the sea water and the Mediterranean climate are used for treatment, is situated there.

Getting there. Walk from the metro station Barceloneta or Ciutadella (L4).

Playa de la Nova Icària

Playa de la Nova Icària is situated to the north from Somorrostro. It is seen as the most tranquil one and therefore perfectly suits for family recreation. The same as all other beaches in Barcelona, it offers all conditions for comfortable recreation: shower, cloakrooms, sporting infrastructure, Wi-Fi zone, kiosks with food and ice-cream, numerous cafes and restaurants.

Getting there. Take a metro train to the station Ciutadella-Vila Olímpica or Bogatell (L4).

Playa del Bogatell

It is one of the youngest beaches in Barcelona. It appeared during coast’s upgrading within the framework of city’s preparation to the Olympic Games of 1992. Playa del Bogatell is quite crowded, but still less popular than Barceloneta. It has everything necessary for full-fledged recreation: shower stalls, cloakrooms, Wi-Fi zone, volleyball grounds and ping-pong tables.

Getting there. Take a metro train to the station Poblenou or Llacuna (L4).

Playa Mar Bella y Nova Mar Bella

Situated not far from the university buildings, they are reckoned among the most popular beaches among the youths. They feature volleyball, basketball and ping-pong grounds. A diving station works on the beaches’ territory.

Getting there. Take a metro train to the station Poblenou or Selva de Mar (L4).

Playa de Llevant

It is the youngest and the most distant from the downtown beach area of Barcelona. That’s why it is seen as the most tranquil and the least crowded one. Kiosks with food, drinks and ice-cream work there. The guests have an opportunity to rent deck chairs and beach umbrellas, take a shower.

Getting there. Take a metro train to the station Selva de Mar (L4).

Barcelona Cuisine

The cuisine of Barcelona is generally more varied than in other parts of Spain. This is due to the many international influences found in Catalonia. The Romans, Arabians, Jewish and French have all played a part in the city’s history and it was inevitable that some of their culinary tastes would have been left behind.

There is still a very Spanish feel to Barcelona cuisine, however, with the tastes of traditional Mediterranean cooking coming through very strongly. Fresh vegetables, freshly caught seafood and lots of olive oil can be found all over the city.

One delicacy specific to the region is Faves a la Catalana which consists of the typical vegetables of the Catalonian region cooked and served in a clay pot with various meats and bolets, which are a type of mushroom.

Butifarra con mongetes is a very popular Barcelona dish which consists of the Catalonian sausage, butifarra de pages and string beans and is prepared with fresh garlic and parsley.

The famous local dessert, Crema Catalana is made from egg, milk lemon rind, corn flour and burnt sugar. This dessert is served all over Barcelona. These dishes and many more specific to the region can be found in the restaurants of Las Ramblas.

Barcelona Accommodation

There are a wide range of options in Barcelona when it comes to accommodation. Ciutat Vella is in the medieval heart of the city and takes in the fantastic harbour at Port Vella. The amazing acrchitecture of Gaudi and many of the Barcelona visitor attractions are within walking distance.

Gracia is a more tranquil and sleepy option and is popular because of its quaint village feeling. The area’s attractive squares, bars and artisan workshops make this a very pleasant place to stay.

Les Corts is the university district of Barcelona and is overlooked by the Tibidabo mountain. The Camp Nou football stadium, many museums and gardens make this a popular choice to stay. There are a number of apartments in this area which offer tourist the chance to live like the locals. Barcelona has a number of fantastic hotels and apartments all over the city, with options for any budget.

Barcelona Weather

Barcelona is situated in the north east of Spain and as a result is slightly cooler than some southern parts of Spain. Nevertheless, it can get very hot in the summer months, with the most pleasant months to visit probably being May to July.

The average temperature in July is around 25C but it can get much hotter than this. The average temperature in August is around 30C and it becomes very humid, making it feel even hotter.

October and November are also very good months to visit as the temperature is still a very pleasant 16C-20C and will probably be a lot more comfortable for those who don’t like the heat. However, it is worth noting that October is significantly the wettest month of the year in Barcelona, with July being the driest.

Generally speaking, the Barcelona climate is hot and dry in the summer, warm and wet in the autumn and dry and chilly in the winter. During the spring months of March and April, the average temperature will quickly rise to a pleasant 16C-18C.

Transport in Barcelona

The transport system in Barcelona is considered one of the most reliable, efficient and affordable anywhere in Europe. The metro system will reach most parts of the city along with the comprehensive tram and gas powered bus network. A one way trip on a bus, metro or tram costs around €1.45 but a T10 ticket can be purchased for between and and can be used for ten bus, tram or metro journeys within the city.

As in most of the cities and resorts in Spain, the taxi system in Barcelona is generally very good. Journeys within the city shouldn’t cost more than €7 and a taxi is definitely the best option when arriving at Barcelona airport. Cabs in Barcelona are yellow or black and a green light on the top of the car means it is free for hire. A fare tariff should be found on the rear passenger window although tourists should be aware that there are additional charges for airport journeys and for baggage.

Malaga Vacation Guide

Malaga is the capital city of the province with the same name from Andalusia, in southern Spain and the coastline near Malaga is known as Costa del Sol, a great touristic destination with a pleasant climate and popular beaches.

Visit Malaga

Malaga forms a large metropolitan area, together with the villages around – Rincon de la Victoria, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Alhaurin de la Torre, Mijasand, Marbella, Málaga City and accommodated over one million inhabitants. The metropolis is surrounded by a spectacular natural setting – the mountains at the north of Malaga, the Mediterranean Sea in the south and it is framed by the rivers Guadalmedina and Guadalhorce.

The city was initially a Phoenician colony, conquered by the Greeks, then by Carthaginians, Visigoths, Arabs and, in the end, by Christians. Nowadays, Malaga is a very important Spanish port, and an important name on the touristic map of the country.

Until recently, the city was considered a touristic destination for young people in particular; however, it has become a powerful cultural city within the past years and has started to attract tourists of all ages and of all origins. The main incentive for the fresh touristic wave is Pablo Picasso’s legacy, profoundly connected with the city.

The city at the foot of Axarquía hills is Picasso’s place of birth; in 2003, in the old city center, Pablo Picasso Museum opened its gates and this event has stressed the cultural aspect of this touristic destination. Yet, this museum is only one of the many touristic attractions of the region.

Costa del Sol is known as one of the most profitable coastlines of the Mediterranean Sea and of the entire European territory. Within the past decade, the number of annual tourists visiting these sunny beaches has not gone under 7 million.

There is absolutely no chance to get bored in this cosmopolitan city. If you are not a great fan of beaches, you can always visit one of the historical destinations of the city, such as the Alcazaba Fortress, the Buenavista Palace, Plaza del Toros (the largest arena in the region), Castle Gibralfaro.

Things to See in Malaga

Best of Malaga

Malaga is a metropolis in southern Spain, located in a wonderful golf, with gentle temperatures, luxurious vegetation and superb beaches. Although the city has a modern general appearance, it is in fact a mixture of old and new, of history and innovation.

The buildings dating from the Islamic occupation, especially the palaces and the Alcazaba fortress, with its wonderful gardens, give birth to a special atmosphere, which reminds of the long and troubled history of these places.

There are many great touristic sightseeing spots, on any taste, from the generous beaches covered in fine sands, to the historical center of the city, the gardens and parks, museums and art galleries, open-air markets and shopping centers.

Gibralfaro Castle

Gibralfaro Castle dates from the XIVth century and was built by the order of Yusef the First from Granada on an old Phoenician foundation. Only its defense towers still stand today.

Malaga’s Cathedral

Malaga’s Cathedral architecture combines various styles: Gothic, Baroque, Izabelin and neoclassic with a predominant Renascent influence. The entry is via the three access gates decorated with marble of different colors, cut in the form of crosses.

Cathedral of Malaga

Bishop’s Palace

The Bishop’s Palace is located across the street from the Cathedral and dates since the eighteenth century. Today it houses the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art.

Alcazaba Fortress

Alcazaba Fortress dates from the eighteenth century, but most part of the structure was built one century later. Together with the defensive walls, the fortress was the main defense system of the city and today it is one of the best preserved Moorish museums in Spain.

Alcazaba Fortress

The Roman Theatre

The Roman Theatre can be found under Alcazaba and was discovered in 1951. It hasn’t been used since the third century A.C. and the Moors utilized pieces of this construction when they built the Alcazaba Fortress.

The Interactive Museum of Music

The Interactive Museum of Music is a building with a futuristic look, famous for its unique collection of musical instruments and it is made up of themed rooms such as “the origins of instruments”, “skull and bones musical instruments”, “Andalusian music” and many others.

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum was founded by the local administration with the help of Pablo Picasso’s heirs. This museum is located in the Palace Buenavista, which hosts over 200 of Picasso’s works.

Beaches of Malaga

There is much to enjoy on Malaga’s sixteen beaches. They extend to a total length of about fifteen kilometres and are divided by the harbour into East and West. The East side is popular with most tourists because it is within walking distance of the city centre.

The city’s beaches are well maintained, clean, fairly wide, and nearly all of them are awarded with the blue flag. This is an international environmental award, given annually to beaches that are safe and clean.

Some beaches are wider than others, and the sand ranges in color from light to dark brown. What makes the beaches a real treat is the casual atmosphere and the presence of the many ‘chiringuitos’, where you can sit down for a drink, some tapas, a serving of Malaga’s famous grilled sardines or a simple meal.

La Malagueta beach

Malaga’s Most Famous Beaches on the East Side of Malaga:

Beach – La Malagueta

The most famous beach on the East side of Malaga is the city beach ‘La Malagueta’. It is a bustling beach that is easily reachable from the city centre. Walking from the centre, you will come across the gorgeous shopping centre Muelle Uno at the harbour. The beach itself is frequented by both locals and tourists. It is is 2.5 kilometres in length and consists of fine sand.

Beach – La Caleta

This wide beach is right behind the beach of La Malagueta and is slightly less crowded. It has fewer facilities, but it is certainly a fun place to visit. It’s an easy walk down the boulevard.

Beach – Baños del Carmen

If you head a bit further East, you’ll get to the beach of Baños del Carmen. This is a relatively unspoilt and quiet beach, covered with coarse pebbles, gravel and boulders. From here you can catch a glimpse of the now dilapidated resort of Baños del Carmen

Beaches of Pedregalejo and El Palo

Walk further and you will reach Pedregalejo beach. It is five kilometers from the centre but everything is accessible on foot or with a rental bike via the boulevard. Of course, you can also use public transport to get here. Pedregalejo is best known and appreciated for its low rise buildings, the authentic atmosphere and it’s many language schools. The atmosphere is casual and international. It’s enjoyable to have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants to be found here.

The same goes for the El Palo district beach which is a bit further along. Here you’ll find the famous open-air seafood restaurant, El Tintero, located right on the beach.

The Most Famous Beaches on the West Side of Malaga

The most famous beaches on the West side are San Andres and La Misericordia. These beaches merge into one another and are local favourites. The beaches are wide, with good facilities including showers, toilets and small restaurants.

Food in Malaga

Aspiring at the statute of European Cultural Capital in 2016, Malaga is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Spain, and in Europe as well. Malaga is one of the large urban centers on Costa del Sol in southern Spain, with a rich cultural heritage, beautiful beaches and many entertainment areas and offers countless options for relaxation and leisure.

Flamenco dances, jazz music, shopping sessions, bright sun and wonderful beaches define Malaga as a captivating tourist destination. Not to mention that fun in Spain means tasting at least several of the seducing gastronomic Spanish creations.

If you want to intimately get accustomed to the area’s traditions, you need to try the local dishes. There are countless amazing chefs in Malaga, specialized on cooking seafood in particular – fish and sea shells, shellfish and squid.

However, once you arrive in Malaga, the first dish you simply have to order is Pescado Frito (well-fried fish), espeto (sardines cooked in a specific manner), cazon en adobo (tuna marinated in garlic and vinegar) and coquinas (mussels cooked in wine white).

Malaga Espetos

Moreover, all terraces located on the beach serve a great dish called chiringuitos, which are in fact fried sardines.

Malaga’s cuisine combines centuries old traditions of the people who wondered throughout these lands. A culinary specialty that defines the region is the traditional jamon, which is dry ham pork that is sold in special shops here, resembling those that offer jewelries.

Like in all respectable Spanish cities, most restaurants here serve tapas (appetizers, about two euros per serving – in other Spanish cities, tapas are offered for free, accompanying wine or other drinks) and paella.

Malaga is also the city where a great type of wine is produced – the Malaga wine. Its flavor and color have the purpose to mask the sweet taste of this wine. Malaga wines have a greater longevity and are very expensive, and Lagrima is the most expensive wine of this origin.

Best Shopping Streets in Malaga

In terms of tourism, Malaga is a complete destination for sure. The beaches are excellently arranged, the golf courses are beautiful, there are plenty of historical spots to visit and shopping is a routine activity.

The epicenter of entertainment is disposed around the city’s Cathedral and on the streets around Uncibay Square. The shops, souvenir boutiques, restaurants and cafes on Calle Larios, the most famous street in Malaga, are full at any time of day or night for tourists. Shops on Calle Larios offer a wide range of items for sale, from clothing, electronics, music and household products.

Larios Street Malaga

There are other streets in Malaga, smaller than Calle Larios but just as generous when it comes to shopping options, such as Almazul, Calle Beatas and Los Artisanos on Calle Cister. Among the multitude of shops on this street, the ones offering souvenirs and Andalusian crafts, like ceramics, traditional clothing, mugs and others alike are the most popular.

The famous supermarket chain El Corte Ingles is present in Malaga as well; yet, it is not the only such kind of large store you can visit. Other shopping malls, for instance Malaga Plaza Centro Commercial, on Armengual De La Mota Street, or La Trocha Centro Commercial, on Coin Cartama, close to the city center, are also important shopping places.

For those looking for bargains, San Julian area in the southwest of the city is the perfect place to visit. Here, a shopaholic can find just about anything, from sports articles at great discounts, to furniture and clothing items.

There are also various options for those who prefer fresh food bought from open-air markets such as La Canada, Marina Banus, and Plaza Major near the Malaga airport. On Sundays, there is another open-air market offering clothing items and shoes next to the Stadium La Rosaleda.

The discount seasons for shopping in Malaga lasts from July to August and from January to March.

Explore Seville

Explore the City of Seville

When it comes about Seville, arriving here is the easiest part of your journey. The dangers of having too much fun and being seduced by the magic of the city will make it extremely hard for you to leave. Most visitors who set step in the wonderful city are mainly attracted by its romantic past – the Moorish fortress, the magnificent cathedral, the palaces, fountains and gardens.

Plaza de Espana in Seville

Seville’s most famous buildings are concentrated on a distance you can cover by foot, in the city’s historical center, on the eastern shore of the river Guadalquivir. Horse-drawn carriages wait for clients next to the Cathedral, in Plaza de Triunfo, to offer them a tour of the city.

Touristic buses without roofs give the visitors another alternative to visit the city’s attractions, and their main starting point is on the opposite side of the river, called Torre del Oro. Torre del Oro is a very interesting tower, built in the 13th century, and it is one of the last buildings constructed in the Almohade period. The 12-facet tower houses the Maritime Museum – Museo Nautico – with exhibits from ancient times of the port of Seville.

If there is a building no tourist who comes here leaves without visiting at least once, Seville’s Cathedral would be it. The cathedral is a huge, impressive construction, 116 meters in length and 76 meters in height. It is the third largest Christian church in the world and it could have occupied the first spot. It is said that its initial plan would have ranked it the first largest cathedral in the world, but it was intentionally reduced in proportions so that Rome’s cathedral would occupy the first place. However, it still remains the largest gothic religious construction on the planet.

Even if you are not a fan of visiting old buildings, you can still have a great fun here in Seville. You have the chance of spending unforgettable moments together with the locals, as Seville is the Spanish city with the best bull fights, concerts and football games. Whenever you want to relax and spend pleasant moments with your friends or your date, you can attend a classical concert or see a play in one of the numerous theaters in Seville travel.

Sevilla bull fights

From a touristic perspective, Seville is a greatly appreciated city because of the locals who surely know how to make their lives fun and dynamic, and are proud with their city. Most of them feel the need to prove how wonderful their city is and make great efforts to show that to any visitor they meet.

Best of Seville

Seville is the capital of the Spanish region, Andalusia, and one of the oldest cities in Europe. In the past, during Spain’s Golden Age, it was said that riches brought back from the New World was carried on the river Guadalaquivir to Seville and people called the city “the Capital of the World”.

Guadalquivir Seville

Places you must see in Seville:

Gothic Cathedral

The gothic Seville Cathedral is the third largest cathedral in Europe after St Peter in Vatican and St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Formerly known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria from Sede, Seville Cathedral is currently the largest Roman Catholic cathedral in the world and the largest medieval place of worship. Its construction began in 1401 and lasted for many centuries; for its foundation, builders used stone from the ancient Roman monuments. Inside the cathedral, you can see an impressive shrine, many gold decorations, religious objects, sculptures, paintings, and the tomb of Christopher Columbus.

Giralda Tower

Giralda Tower hosts the bell of Seville Cathedral and is, without doubt, the most visited landmark of Seville. Like so many other constructions in this city, the tower was initially part of a Moorish building, built in the 12th century AC by the engineer Gever.

Giralda Tower

Alcazar Palace

Alcazar Palace, also known as the Royal Palace, was initially a Moorish fortress. The construction is a gorgeous result of several centuries of architecture, and successfully combines Islamic with Gothic elements. Its construction started in the first century AC, under the rule of Abd ar-Rahman II, the Emir of Cordoba.

Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts is the most visited museum in Seville and the second most important pinacoteca in Spain after the Prado Museum. Its construction was finished in 1835 and the museum was officially inaugurated in 1841.

Torre del Oro

Torre del Oro or the Gold Tower, built between 1221 – 1222, is one of the last buildings dating back to the Almohad period; it was part of the initial last wall of defense that made the connection between Alcazar and the river. Formerly the dome was covered with plates of gold, hence the name. Today, the Naval Museum is located here, and gold has become just a legend.

Real Alcazar

Real Alcazar is the Royal Palace of Seville, it is a magnificent complex of courtyards, terraces and large halls built in different architectural styles, from Mudejar (Moorish architectural style) to Gothic.

Real Alcázar in Seville

Archives of India

The construction called the Archives of India, built in the fifteenth century, hosts valuable documents that describe the relationship between Spain and the American colonies. The building was erected in 1572 and has 8 km of shelves containing over 80 million documents dating from 1492 until the end of empire in nineteenth-century.

Archivo de Indias, the Seville Cathedral and Real Alcazar were included in the UNESCO World Heritage in 1987.

Food in Seville

Spain’s rich history and cultural influences have led to the birth of a unique Spanish gastronomy, with thousands of recipes and flavors. Its roots are Mediterranean and fish and seafood are the basic ingredients for Spain food.

Daily meals are still traditionally prepared from fresh ingredients purchased from local open-air markets. This practice, however, is more common in rural areas than in cities, where supermarkets have replaced traditional markets.

Spanish traditional cooking often revolves around outdoor grill, in a brick or clay oven.

Tapas in Seville

Seville is a playground for lovers of gastronomy. There are restaurants, bars and cafes at every step, where they serve typical Andalusian dishes and drinks. Seville is a city where a genuine phenomenon was born and it crossed the borders of Spain itself: it is called tapas.

Tapas are small bites of snacks sold (or even offered for free) to go with the drinks in Spain’s restaurants and other eating places. They can be served either plain, as snacks, or combined, in order to form a complete menu, and in some parts of Spain they are included in the price of the drinks. In Seville, tapas are “upgraded” to larger rations, the equivalent of a “media ration”.

Other Andalusian Traditional Dishes

Another specific dish is Andalusian gapacho. Gapacho is a soup made of tomato puree, which is served cold, with ice.

Churro is a sweet pastry product, fried in oil and sometimes called Spanish donut. It is usually served together with a cup of thick, hot chocolate. Cinnamon is churro’s typical aroma; this donut is served with powdered sugar.

Paella are appetizer plates, accompanied by a glass of wine. In Seville you can find all types of paella, from the simplest variants, with ham, sausages, cheese, to the finest delicacies with fish, shrimp, octopus and seafood; paella is served with traditional sauces.

Seville Paella

Among the many recipes included in the Andalusian cuisine, we can also mention tortilla de patata (potato omlet), fabada asturiana (bean stew), migas (a day-old bread with garlic and pimento – smoked paprika and olive oil), mariscos (sea fruit), lechazo asado (fried lamb), and chuletillas (grilled lamb).

Eating out

The Seville restaurant scene is one of the finest in Spain with good eateries to enjoy just about everywhere.

There is fine Spanish dining to be found but don’t think about dinner before 8pm – the locals in Seville dine late. It’s also probably best to avoid the Cathedral and Giralda areas unless you want to splash out – menus there can be pricey.

Tapas is everywhere, so you can combine a tour of Seville’s character bars with delicious snacks along the way.

Seville tapas

Tapas originated in Seville to protect the local Fino or Manzanilla sherry. Wine glasses were supplied with small tops, or tapas, to keep the flies away. A food snack appeared and tapas were born.

Seville tapas is a fun, and generally inexpensive way to eat. Try the tapas at a series of bars or restaurants. They come in three sizes – tapas; raciones – large plates of the same food – and inbetween, ½ raciones. Tapas are displayed on the bar or with a menu, the ‘lista de las tapas’.

Typical Seville tapas dishes include anchovies, both salted (anchoas) and in vinegar (boquerones); meatballs (albóndigas); potato tortilla; peppers; slices of cheese, particularly aged Manchego, and of chorizo; vegetables in oil; chicken, possibly on a skewer, and much more. Raciones will also include dishes like mixed fried fish and chicken with potatoes.

The Spanish king and queen are said to enjoy tapas at the Casablanc (c. Adolf Rodriguez Jurado, 12) when staying in Seville. Other tapas favourites include Bar Estrella (c. Estrella) and the Vineria San Telmo (Catalina de Ribera, 4).

Seville restaurants

Restaurants in Seville are often graded (1 to 5 forks) and often have a menu of the day, or menú del día. Seville restaurants called Marisquerias specialise in fish and seafood. Many up-market restaurants offer tasting menus, or menú de degustación.

Wine from the Seville region is generally best value, with Montilla-Moriles the local white wine. Local reds are not so common so a safe choice may be reliable reds from Rioja, Penedes etc.

Barri Santa Cruz restaurants

The Barri Santa Cruz area is where most restaurants are concentrated. There’s a cluster next to the Cathedral exit where Robles is a favourite. It serves tapas downstairs and on tables in the street. Upstairs, there’s a very pleasant restaurant with an interesting menu and good presentation.

West of the Cathedral, another group of restaurants is focused on the lively Mateus Gago, although they mostly serve tapas. The popularity of Bodega Santa Cruz is clear from the crowds gathered outside an it has a wonderful range of bites. The Cervecería Giralda serves traditional dishes in what was once a Muslim bath house.

On Calle San Fernando, the long-established Egano Oriza has an excellent reputation with Basque-influenced dishes.

Extraverde, on the pleasant Plaza Dona Elvira, opened in 2009 and is proving popular for its tapas and sandwiches.

El Arenal restaurants

Between the Cathedral and the bullring, in El Arenal, Enrique Becerra is a smart family-run business offering hearty Andalucian dishes in a pleasant, intimate room. It’s very popular Seville restaurant so it is best to book ahead.

In the same area, try Mesón Cinco Jotas in c/Castelar for tapas, including fine Iberico ham. The Iberian pork sirloin in sweet wine is a superb dish and real favourite. Top quality fish can be found at Arenal Sevilla, in the Mercado del Arenal. It’s pricey but the fish is as fresh as you’ll find next to the sea.

El Centro restaurants

Plaza de la Alfalfa has a lively tapas scene – try La Trastienda or La Bodega while El Patio San Eloy has excellent ham and small filled rolls called burgillos. Students congregate at Bar Levies for the generous raciones.

Restaurants in the area include Habanita serving a variety of Andalucian and Cuban dishes plus a choice of vegetarian dishes.

Near to the Museo de Bellas Artes, the Casa Salva is hugely popular restaurant and offers traditional home-cooking. It’s only open from 1pm to 5pm on weekdays.

If you want a change of style from Spanish, try Porta Rossa in Calle Pastor y Landero. The decor is simple, the food Italian and it is a very popular Seville restaurant.


There’s a selection of restaurants across the river. Abades Triana at Calle Betis 69A offers traditional dishes with a modern twist.

Shopping in Seville

Seville is a city that oozes beauty and exuberance like the Andalusian sun that shines above it. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe, sprinkled with ancient vestiges of past civilizations. However, Seville mixes the old with new in a graceful manner; it is the cultural, financial, social and artistic center in southern Spain and a heaven for avid shoppers from all over the world.

Where can you shop in Seville?

Most of the shops in Seville open at 9 a.m. in the morning, so tourists have plenty of time to wonder and find small bargains. Beautiful, cheap souvenirs can be discovered especially in artisan shops around Seville Cathedral or shops that sell anything, from bracelets and other small, cheap jewelry to other types of tourist gifts and they are called “tienda de veinte duros” or “todo a cien”.

Mercados are open-air markets where you can also buy gifts and other small items. They are spread around the main district, Calles Tetuan Sierpes, and Nervión Plaza. Nervión Plaza is a large shopping mall, close to the city center, and houses a food court and many clothing and accessories stores that you would expect to find in a larger mall.

Plaza de Armas is placed in the Córdoba Train Station, also close to the center of the city. While in Plaza de Armas, you can eat from McDonald’s or other chain restaurants and do your shopping in Mercadona, a large supermarket.

Another shopping mall is built on the E1 road, just as you enter the city. There is a large offer of clothes and accessories, at extremely affordable prices. Across the street, a Mango outlet offers sales all year long, together with many other small stores nearby.

Calle Alcaicería de Laloza is another wonderful street filled with countless small shops, offering accessories and shoes in particular. Clothing stores on Calle Sierpe and Plaza San Francisco have fancier items and if you want to purchase a traditional flamenco outfit, expect to pay around 200 euro.

Seville nightlife

Seville has tons of nightlife to offer the city break visitor with a world-wide reputation both for its opera and for flamenco.

This was the home of Don Juan of Don Giovanni infamy, of Carmen and the ‘Barber’. Flamenco is always associated with the city and is worth searching out, but with care.

Seville flamenco

Seville is the home of flamenco, but care is needed in choosing where to enjoy it. There are many pale imitations on offer and it’s worth taking local advice. Many of the advertised Seville flamenco shows are expensive, tacky and often use recorded music.

Favourite Seville flamenco hotspots include Casa Anselma in c/Pagé del Corro. It’s decorated with colourful local tiles and features both professional flamenco dancers and more spontaneous performances by the public, perhaps less accomplished but often great fun. Flamenco goes on well into the night and really gets going around 3am.

La Carbonera at c/Levies is a converted coal yard and is a popular flamenco spot for both locals and visitors, always a good sign. It has two large bars and live flamenco from around 8pm until 4am.

Casa de la Memoria de l’Andalus, in c/Ximinez de Encisco 28, has nightly flamenco shows in a patio setting while Los Gallos, at Plaza de Santa Cruz is also well regarded.

Seville clubs

Seville is a very late-night city with partying starting between 2am and 4am. Be careful about dress code – always dress more smartly at weekends when casual wear can prevent you getting into many nightclubs.

Younger music fans will be drawn to La Sala Malandar in Calle Torneo, the most fashionable and sophisticated music nightclub venue in the city.

The Plaza Alfalfa and the Alameda de Hércules areas are also popular – try Bulebar, La Habanilla or the Fun Club – this nightclub has funk, latino and hip-hop in a warehouse and also features jazz nights. Naima offers live jazz and is well worth a visit.

Other popular nightclub venues include Weekend at c/del Torneo, with top-class live music and DJs; Aduana – a huge dance venue about a kilometre south of Maria Luisa park at Avenida de la San Antonio Raza s/n; and the Lisboa Music Club at c/Faustino Álvarez. La Imperdible stages contemporary dance and live music at Plaza San Antonio de Padua 9.

There’s a lively nightclub scene in Triana – try La Otra Orilla with a terrace overlooking the river.

Seville opera, theatre and jazz

The Seville opera season is nearly a year-long at the Teatro de la Maestranza, opened in 1992 and one of Spain’s finest stages. The Seville Symphonic Orchestra also plays almost every Thursday and Friday. There’s open-air opera at the Auditorium of la Cartuja.

The Seville Jazz Festival is held at Teatro de la Maestranza in early spring while the main theatre is the Teatro Lope de Vega, featuring Spanish national companies.

Seville rock concerts

The big Seville rock concerts tend to be at the two football stadiums or the Expo site. The official ticket agent is La Teatral in Calle Velázquez near the Plaza del Duque de la Victoria, or at the El Corte Inglés store.

Getting around

With the main attractions all within walking distance, Seville is an easy city to explore. Local public transport has improved dramatically with the construction of a new Metro system and, for the more romantic visitor, there are horse carriages for hire.

Seville walking

Walking is the best way to enjoy a Seville. Nearly all the major sights are close to each other and many of the streets in Barri Santa Cruz, including the main shopping streets, are pedestrian only or are so narrow that only a scooter can get through.

Walking tours for small groups (minimum four people) are available, Monday to Saturday (Monday, Wednesday and Friday in August). Tours of the Cathedral and Alcazar can also be arranged. Call 902 158 226 or 616 501 100 for information.

María Luisa Park

Seville buses

Seville has a good network of buses including services to the railway station and the airport. Buses are also a useful way of returning to the city centre after walks in the huge Maria Luisa Park and the Plaza de España, particularly in the tiring heat of summer.

Seville has a couple of open-top tour bus firms – SevillaTour (red) and Tour por Sevilla (green). They are based by the Torre del Oro on the riverside. The buses are hop-on and off, but with only a few stops and long distances between them, they are of limited value.

While buses are a great way to see the major parks, the narrow streets of Seville city centre mean they can only run along the main avenues – in effect the inner ring road. The bus tour across the river can also be disappointing.

Seville metro

Seville has been building a 19km tram system since 2003 and the first city centre service started in April 2009. Trams now connect Plaza Nueva, Avenida de la Constitución, Puerta Jerez, Calle San Fernando (the University) and the Prado de San Sebastian.

Trams connect with the airport bus arriving at Plaza Nueva. Eventually the tram will link up with the Santa Justa train station, but nothing seems to happen with a great deal of urgency.

A four line metro system is planned, most of it underground. Work on one line is well advanced and work on the other three is set to start in 2010.

Seville horse carriage

This is the romantic way to tour Seville. Horse carriages are widely available around the Cathedral at an official price of €30 an hour. They seat four with maybe a fifth sitting next to the driver.

Seville river cruise

The Guadalquivir is one of the great rivers of Spain and Seville is the only river port in the country. Historically, the port was the main link with the Americas until Cadiz took over much of the traffic.

Cruise boats run from near the Torre del Oro – with a reduced price if combined with a Tourist Bus ticket – and Seville cruises last an hour with departures every half hour. While the views are OK, this is more of a pleasant way to cool down on a sweltering summer’s day.

Seville taxis

Seville taxis are numerous and reasonably cheap. They can be hailed in the street if the light is illuminated. Tips are generally 10% of the taxi fare.

Valencia City

Valencia Travel Guide

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain, after Spain’s capital, Madrid, and Barcelona. The city is a pleasant surprise for anyone who chooses to visit it, but also to those who return or even decide to settle here for good. The city is located on the east coast of Spain, on the shores of Mediterranean Sea and it was an important harbor of the Iberian Peninsula and an economic power and a famous cultural center.

One of the greatest attractions in Valencia is Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas, a splendid baroque building, whose facade is adorned with extravagant sculptures, and its interiors successfully match the outside. This palace houses the Museo Nacional de Ceramica, which exhibits works from Manises, Paterna and Alcora.

Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas

Museo de Bellas Artes is another imposing building in Valencia and one of the most famous museums in the country. The world-renowned artists El Greco, Velasquez and Goya have many of their works exhibited here. Another famous touristic objective is Loja de Sela, a remarkable gothic building dating from the XV century.

Catedrala de Valencia is located in the heart of the city; as representatives from Vatican claim, it houses the famous Graal and the cup used at the Last Supper. Even if this might be just a legend, this does not prevent thousands of pilgrims from visiting the cathedral each year.

Bull fights have always been a strong symbol of Spain and this bloody tradition is well represented in Valencia in Museo Taurino, one of the oldest and most impressive such museums in Spain, displaying many items and documents, which tell the story of bull fights throughout the 18th-20th centuries.

One of the most important cultural events in Valencia is Las Fallas, a festival that lasts from 12 to 19th of March. During the festival, hundreds of huge statues made of papier-mache are risen in all squares of the city and most of them are critical or ironic messages.

Best of Valencia

Valencia is a large, beautiful city, which pulses with life and features some touristic sights unique in Europe. You can either visit Valencia by foot, by car or with a touristic guide to enjoy the best of Valencia.

Torres de Serranos

The tour of the city usually starts from the old historical center, where you can admire old parts of the old fortress, known as Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart. Valencia’s Cathedral can be visited free of charge and is one of the most important places for sightseeing in the city. It is an old construction, built in the 18th century, on the spot of a former mosque. It has a gothic design and houses holy treasures of Christianity (such as the Graal) and art masterpieces.

Torres de Quart and Torres de Serrano

La Lonja de la Seda

The building known as La Lonja de la Seda is the most famous building in Spain included in the UNESCO patrimony and considered the best-preserved example of late gothic architecture.

Plaza de la Virgen

The squares in the city, such as Plaza de la Virgen, are very beautiful places where you can admire the fountains and architecture of the buildings and you can have lunch at a terrace. Green areas of the city, and Turia gardens, are other free attractions, extremely beautiful.

Valencia’s museums

Museo Fallero

Museo Fallero is famous for its extensive exposition of items and documents related to the history of bull fighting in this region. Between 12 and 19th or March, the city hosts a celebration called Las Fallas (The Celebration of Fire) and the locals burn paper statues of politicians, characters in books or movies. As a remembrance of each year’s festival, only one of this statues in kept in Museo Fallero.

Museo Historico Municipal

Those who love history can visit the Museo Historico Municipal located in the building Ayuntamiento (City Hall). The museum has an impressive collection, including special items such as Senyera (Regional Flag), many very old books, documents and objects that belonged to various trade guilds.

Museo Maritimo Joaquin Saludes

Among the important museums we can also count the Museo Maritimo Joaquin Saludes, located in Torres de Serranos which hosts an impressive collection of amphorae and other archaeological objects recovered from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, and an exhibition of models of ships.

Instituto Valenciano Arte Moderno

Instituto Valenciano Arte Moderno focuses mainly on the modern and contemporary art and displays a permanent exhibition of sculpture by Julio Gonzalez and numerous exhibitions of some of the leading avant-garde artists of today.

Food in Valencia

The rich variety of the cuisine in Valencia successfully reflects the diversity and attractiveness of the products here, and offers a list of pleasant surprises to any foreign visitor.

Paella stands among the specialties of the place, with a long tradition. Paella is cooked over a wood fire and is one of the famous Valencian recipes based on rice. Other famous foods that contain rice are arros a banda (rice with seafood or fish), arros negre (rice with cuttlefish), arros amb fesols i naps (rice with beans and turnips) and many others.

Valencian Paella

In Valencia, you will be lucky to enjoy the famous local noodles, which resemble to paella, but are made of pasta instead of rice, all i pebre, eels in garlic sauce, suquet de peix, some sort of dish prepared with fish, esgarrat, salted cod with sweet peppers, and figatell, liver meatballs.

All these delights are excellent when combined with the local wines, from the white wines, called Alto Turia, or Serrania, to the red wines, such as Requena, Utiel or Campo de Lliria.

There are many local deserts served in Valencia’s restaurants. Most people prefer the fresh fruit that have an incredibly good taste among which oranges occupy the first place. Arnadi, a sweet potato pie, is a preferred cooked dessert.

Mercado de Colón

If you like to prepare your own meals, at extremely affordable prices, you can do your shopping for food in one of Valencia’s many open-air markets. The Central Market or Mercado Central is a place where you can find fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, seafood at a very low cost.

There are many restaurants in the city where promotions are made. For instance, a three-course meal may cost as little as 10 euros per person. Bars and clubs also serve the famous appetizers food known as tapas, which may be a good meal and very low prices.

Shopping in Valencia

Valencia is one of the few European cities where you can admire sunny beaches, surrounded by mountains and beautiful natural parks. In addition, the historical center of this wonderful settlement is guarded by old defense towers that offer a great view over the Mediterranean Sea.

Shopping Streets in Valencia

You can find many small stores on the streets that leave from the historical center, offering souvenirs and traditional items. If you are interested in jewelry and luxury stores, we recommend Calle Colon and its surroundings. On Calle Colon there are many other types of stores, including three different buildings from El Corte Ingles, the Spanish largest department store chain.

There are many other streets in Valencia, well-known for their various and attractive offers for shopping:

Poeta Querol is a street with fancy stores, famous for the brands they commercialize.

A street offering similar designer stores is Calle de Virués, also known as the Golden Mile. Barrior del Carmen is an attraction for those who don’t want to leave Valencia empty handed: small items, souvenirs, traditional clothing and art craft, antiquities – you name it, they offer.

La Calle de La Paz is mainly specialized on sports stores, and home items.

Barrio del Carmen

Shopping Malls in Valencia

Shopping stores are a convenient location to do your shopping when abroad. They gather together stores, which sell anything you might need or think of, from food courts, to clothing, shoes, souvenirs, cafes, electronics, music and film.

Galeria don Juan de Austria is a small shopping centre, attracting tourists and local population willing to spend high amounts of money on exquisite art items.

Centro Comercial el Saler is a tempting average-sized mall, with plenty of stores, a cinema, food court and a Carrefour supermarket on the ground floor.

Centro Comercial Nuevo Centro, another medium shopping center, includes over 30 shops and a Mercadona supermarket.

El Corte Ingles – Moda is a branch of the famous stores chains, that accommodates fancy clothing stores and can be found on Calle Pintor Sorolla.

Aqua Shopping Mall is a recently opened large mall, near the City of Arts and Sciences. Besides the regular stores attractions, it also offers leisure options, such as spa and beauty saloons.

Most shops open at 10 a.m. and close for lunch at 1-2 p.m.; they reopen their doors around 4-4:30 and close at 8:30 in the evening.

Is Madrid Worth Visiting

Is Madrid Worth Visiting

Is Madrid Worth Visiting? Absolutely! In the heart of Spain, Madrid is a unique city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or an escape from the ordinary, Madrid is a great destination. From its world-famous museums and galleries to its vibrant nightlife and outdoor activities, Madrid is sure to keep you entertained. Learn more about why Madrid is worth visiting!

Madrid is steeped in history, but it’s also a modern, vibrant city. Located in the center of Spain, it has been the country’s capital since 1561. With its rich cultural heritage and vibrant nightlife, Madrid is the perfect destination for travelers looking for an authentic experience. From its beautiful parks and gardens to its iconic buildings, Madrid offers plenty of attractions for visitors to explore.

Parterre Garden Madrid


Once you set step in Madrid, you immediately get absorbed into the flamenco atmosphere, which is not only a simple style of music, but a synthesis of traditions. You will find yourself surrounded by flamenco everywhere: in magazines, radio programs, hundreds of dance academies, bars and restaurants.


Bullfighting is another characteristic activity of this country. The most important arena for bull fighting is La Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas del Espritu Santo – a long name for a long appreciated occupation – and has with a capacity of 25,000 people and a very tempting program especially during the tourist season. The place is an impressive building of red bricks and pottery. In Madrid, the best time to watch bull fighting is in May and June, when there is the famous festival of San Isidro, the most famous festival that brings together combatants, both bulls and bullfighters.


Museums and Galleries

There are various museums and galleries for art lovers, but the main attraction of the capital of Spain is definitely the Royal Palace (or Palacio Real) which is partially open to the public. This wonderful architecture masterpiece was the royal residence of Carlos III and boasts the title of the largest palace in Western Europe. This is also the place where the King of Spain lives today, but the building is administered by the National Heritage and is one of the most striking symbols of Spain. It’s definitely worth visiting and photographing whenever you have a couple of hours to spare.

Royal Palace Madrid

Best Attraction of Madrid

A large economic and financial center, the heart of culture and art in Spain, capital of the monarchy, but of the fun as well, Madrid is the Spanish city that never sleeps, where the various rhythms overlap in a continuous fight. Tourism is highly developed, thus diversified, but the multiple possibilities give plenty of headaches to the uninitiated tourists. And that happens because, in a city like Madrid, this is the hardest thing to do: to make up your mind.

Prado Museum

Apparently founded by the Romans, but first attested in the ninth century, when it was already under Arab domination, Madrid today is synonymous with European art and culture. The Spanish Golden Triangle of Art is here and is composed of three museums with an unparalleled international reputation:

The Prado Museum certainly the most famous art center of the three ones mentioned, houses the largest collection of paintings of the world – over 8,500 works of art. Thyssen Bornemisza Museum is housed in the fascinating neoclassical building Villahermosa Palace and the National Center of Arts Reina Sofia is the perfect choice for those who thirst for contemporary art.

Prado Museum Madrid

The Royal Theatre

The Royal Theatre (Teatro Real or Teatro de la Ópera) can be visited in Plaza de Oriente, facing the Royal Palace. It is both a masterpiece of architecture and a historical place; here, almost every great opera singer of the nineteenth and twentieth century has set foot and performed live at least once in their lives.

Royal Theatre Madrid

El Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

One of the most famous football stadiums in the and has a capacity of 75.342 people. It was used for European Cup final on several occasions and 2010 UEFA Champions Leagure final. A sight not to be missed for football fans!

Gran Via

Gran Via is the heart of the city, its busiest and most crowded boulevard, where life mumbles day and night. It is the district of cinemas and theatres, business buildings, shopping centers, cafes and reflects the very essence of the modern Madrid. You will find lots of Spanish fashion brands here like Zara, Pull & bear etc. Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the majneficent sight of the lavishly decorated buildings while shopping.

Gran Vía Madrid

Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol is a place always crowded, always alive and welcoming. From here you can choose to walk on the streets, waste time enjoying a glass of Sangria in one of the many restaurants or cafes nearby or lose your head and your money in a fashion store. From downtown you can choose any path. Any road has plenty of surprises of the restless visitor. However, it would be a great idea if you kept your map at hand, as getting lost in Madrid is not only possible, but also highly probable.

Exploring the Unique Neighborhoods of Madrid

Madrid is full of unique neighborhoods to explore. Each one offers something different, from the traditional atmosphere of the Barrio de las Letras to the lively atmosphere of La Latina. Other popular neighborhoods to explore include Malasaña, Chueca, and Lavapies. Each one has its own distinct character, making it easy to find something to suit every traveler’s taste.

Best Time of Year to Visit Madrid

The best time to visit Madrid is between April and June, when the weather is mild and the city is in full bloom. The months of July and August can be hot, so if you’re looking for a more comfortable climate, plan your trip for the spring or fall. Winter can be cold, but there’s still plenty to do in the city, including Christmas markets and ice skating.

Food in Madrid

If you are a vegetarian, there are few survival chances for you in Spain. Luckily, Madrid has some vegetarian restaurants, but apart from this city, Spain is not ready for vegetarians.

Good news though for meat lovers: if you really want to eat something local then the first dish that you should order for lunch in winter, is the delicious Madrilenian steak called cocido madrileno which is traditionally cooked in an earthen pot on fire wood. This dish is served in two stages: you eat the soup first, where the noodles have been previously added, and then meat and vegetables. The dish goes best with a red spaniel wine, for example a bottle of La Mancha. For accuracy, it should be added that Madrid also has a less spectacular culinary specialty – beef or sheep (callos) tripe.

Eating and drinking in Madrid is more than a necessity, and they may become genuine revelations for the visitor’s taste buds. One of Madrid’s greatest charms is the possibility of visiting any of the countless bars, cafes and restaurants as a way to relax at dusk, after a tiring day of wandering through museums or galleries.

Madrid’s Eating Places

The city takes pride in its many restaurants, which offer services for all tastes and pockets. The eating places here are known under many names: asador (where meat is roasted a wood oven), meson and tasca (the old name for “inn”). One of the city’s specific eating places is the taberna, an old bar, often decorated with ceramic plates, which functions as a restaurant.

The Traditional Dishes

In all these places you will find a wide variety of Spanish dishes, including best Basque specialties (considered the tastiest in Spain) and the filling ones from Castile: suckling pig roast (cochinillo Asado) and lamb (Cordero). Surprisingly for a city located so far from the coast, Madrid has the best offer of fish dishes and seafood in the whole country.

In this multicultural city, breakfast begins late (at 9:30) with the customary coffee (which is great in all cafes from Madrid) seasoned with a healthy sandwich (half a stick filled with jamon and cheese) or a potato tortilla (omelet). The cost of breakfast is usually very low, under 10 EURO.

When it comes to lunch, Spaniards definitely know how to enjoy it. This meal never starts sooner than 1:30 p.m., but it sometimes lasts until 4 p.m. All locations prepare special menus for lunch, which usually costs over 9 EURO and includes appetizers, the main course, dessert and coffee, including a drink. A traditional inspired lunch menu may include gazpacho (cold vegetable soup), ox tail stew and flan cream for dessert.

A cold beer during summer or a glass of vermouth goes great before dinner, which usually starts at 9 p.m. Tapas (Spanish snacks) are famous throughout the world, and the bars (tapas bar) and breweries (cervezeria) compete to feed their customers with snacks in eager rivalry.

Shopping in Madrid

More and more people leave for a city break at least once a year, in large cities among which the capital of Spain often jumps off the “maybe someday” list and becomes a reality.

Maybe you cannot arrive in Madrid during summer time, but you will have even more fun at the beginning of autumn, when prices usually drop to 50% of what they used to be during the touristic season. Madrid seduces its tourists with an exceptionally tempting shopping offer, with shops on all tastes and budgets, especially during January (the winter sales) and July-August (the summer sales).

Shopping Malls

Calle Fuencarral is a small, bohemian street strategically positioned close to the city center, packed with famous brands stores and outlets. Mercado Fuencarral, built on the street with the same name, is a three-store-high commercial centre, selling nonconformist, colorful clothes and offers just about anything, from tattoos, house decorations, souvenirs, weird haircuts and others alike.

Principe Pio Shopping Mall can be found inside the historical train station Principe Pio. It is an impressive construction meant to accommodate an incredible array of shops with clothes, jewelry, cosmetics, gift shops, both foreign and local.

La Esquina del Bernabéu is most famous for hosting the official store of the Real Madrid team.

Shopping Areas

Grand Via is one of the most beautiful streets of Madrid, that also happens to accommodate the premises of some famous brands impossible to ignore like H&M, C&A, Zara, Mango, Stradivarius, Nike, Adidas, Punto Blanco.

If you have a low budget destined to shopping, you can definitely find something pretty on your taste in one of the small boutiques across the two pedestrian streets, Calle Preciados and Calle Carmen. Tourists never miss the FNAC shopping mall when visiting the area – it is one of the biggest malls in town, specializing in books and music.

The Chueca neighborhood is filled with non-traditional and avant-garde shops, offering their products at prices covering any range: from the most expensive, exquisite, chic clothing, to the cheapest, yet cute items. If you want to shop in the most famous fashion magazines in Madrid, you need to pay a visit to the Salamanca shopping area.

Entertainment Options for Visitors in Madrid

Madrid is filled with entertainment options for visitors. The city offers a wide range of cultural experiences, from live music venues to theater and dance performances. There are also plenty of bars and clubs to explore, as well as outdoor events in the city’s parks and plazas. Madrid is also home to some of the best museums and galleries in the world, so be sure to take some time to explore them.

Nightlife Scene of Madrid for the Young at Heart

Madrid is well-known for its vibrant nightlife scene. From traditional tapas bars to trendy clubs, there’s something for every taste. Some of the best areas for nightlife in Madrid include Malasaña, Chueca, and La Latina. On weekends, the city comes alive with street parties, live music, and more.

Outdoor Activities Around the City of Madird

Madrid is a great destination for outdoor activities. The city is surrounded by beautiful parks and gardens, perfect for strolling or picnicking. The Retiro Park is one of the most popular parks in the city, with its stunning lake and gardens. Other popular outdoor activities include cycling in the Casa de Campo, hiking in the Sierra de Guadarrama, and exploring the nearby towns of Segovia and Toledo.

Retiro Park Madrid

Getting Around in Madrid

Getting around in Madrid can be dazzling if you have not planned your trip carefully in advance. Before leaving for Madrid you should get informed on its public means of transportation, which are diverse and a lot cheaper than traveling with cabs. For instance, going from the Barajas airport to the center of the city by cab might cost you up to 25-30€, while taking the subway costs you 7.4€ for a 10-rides ticket.

The Subway in Madrid

Metro de Madrid is the subway system covering all the metropolitan area of Spain capital and it is among the most complex subway systems in the world. The subway covers the whole city; its lines intersect in many points, so there are always more options to customize your route, depending on your needs.

Moreover, you can find the Madrid subway map in any subway station, as well as inside the vehicles themselves. Unlike in some European countries, the subway always comes from the right side in Madrid, apart from one station, Nuevos Ministerios, where the subway going to the airport comes from the left side.

Buses in Madrid

When it comes to prices for bus tickets, Madrid is situated at the bottom of the most-expensive-tickets list. One can pay the cheapest bus fare in Europe in Romania’s capital (0.31€), Bucharest, while the most expensive one-travel ticket is in London – 2.99€.

Unlike the ticket validation system in Barcelona, where, for 1h or 1.5h you could switch buses using the same ticket, in Madrid you can use a ticket only for one travel. Once you get of the bus, you need to buy a second ticket if you anticipate you will be using the bus again.

The autonomous transportation company in Madrid is a pioneer in applying new technologies on public transportation lines. Starting from 2009, the company created Tempus, the first bus in the world equipped with both an electric traction motor, suitable for the city center, and a traditional diesel one. This type of bus can recover up to 30% of the energy normally required.

As a tourist, you can also use the touristic bus called Madrid Vision, which can take you anywhere around the city, and stops at any touristic attraction. The bus fare for a whole city tour is 17€.

Tips For Staying Safe While Visiting Madird

Madrid is a safe city, but it’s always important to take some precautions. Avoid walking alone late at night and be aware of your belongings. Pickpockets can be a problem in crowded areas, so be sure to keep your valuables close. It’s also a good idea to stay in well-lit, populated areas. Most importantly, remember to have fun and enjoy your time in Madrid.


As you can see, it is really worth it to visit Madrid. Madrid is a wonderful city with plenty to see and do. Whether you’re looking for museums, shopping, or nightlife, you’ll find it here! With so many options, it can be hard to know where to start.