Spain is a country known for its beaches, its many varieties of tapas and its nightlife.
Many of those who visit this Mediterranean country flock to the seaside resorts and the coastal towns, missing out the culture of the larger cities.
Barcelona is the city of Gaudi’s architecture, of chic cafés in the Gothic Quarter and of strolls by the beach. Neat blocks of houses line the city streets, with the Diagonal avenue, a diagonal street, crossing the city.
Visitors can enjoy one of the many tours around the city, such as tours by bus and by bike. During these tours they will be able to visit Gaudi’s unfinished Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia, take a tour around Casa Batllo and the Pedrera, both designed by Gaudi, and explore the Raval, a reformed neighbourhood filled with art galleries and shops.
Those who want to taste traditional Catalan cuisine can visit the Boqueria Market. This centric market has many stalls selling fresh produce and local ingredients.
The centric capital city is known for its many bars, museums and parks. The Golden Triangle of museums is formed by the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza museums, located near the center of the city. A short walk away is the Retiro Park, which has a pond where visitors can rent boats.
Many of those who visit the city are attracted by its shopping and tapas opportunities. The Serrano area is known for its boutique stores, and most larger firms are located on the centric Gran Vía. The Malasana district has many chic, local designer stores and retro vintage shops. During the afternoons, the city is filled with groups of locals who meet to enjoy a cana beer, with one of the many local tapas.
A southern city with a very Andalusian character, the city is known for its historical buildings. The Feria de Abril, a large fair celebrated after Holy Week, is the city’s main event. During the duration of the fair the city fills up with large marquee tents, the casetas.
Some are private and many are public, allowing visitors to enjoy the food and flamenco music. During the Feria many locals dress in traditional suits, long flamenco dresses for the women and short jackets for the men.
The city’s main attractions are the Cathedral and its Giralda Tower. The Giralda used to be a minaret that was transformed into the cathedral’s bell tower with an observation platform at the top.
Near the cathedral is the Royal Alcazar, a large ancient palace. In the Maria Luisa Park visitors can rent boats and visit the Plaza de Espana, a large square with small tiled alcoves representing each one of the country’s regions.