Barcelona is my favourite city in Spain and definitely the most popular amongst foreign tourists. In a nutshell, Barcelona has it all:
• Fantastic beaches.
• Great shopping; from antique stores in the Barrio Gótico, to elegant designer boutiques on the Gran de Gràcia.
• Impressive Gaudi architecture – the most famous being the Sagrada Familia cathedral and attractions designed by him can be seen within the Parc Guell; water fountains, a serpentine ceramic bench and Hansel-and-Gretel-style houses.
• A wide variety of art museums dedicated to artists such as Picasso, Miró as well as Europe’s most cutting-edge contemporary art museum, MACBA in El Raval.
• The lively Las Ramblas, a bustling pedestrianised street featuring street artists, live attractions and a multitude of cafés, bars and restaurants.
• A lively nightlife catering for all tastes of music and atmospheres.
• Day trips from Barcelona include; Port Aventura Theme Park, Montserrat mountain and the region’s best beaches around Sitges.
Granada is most famous for the Alhambra, a set of moorish palaces and beautiful gardens built in the 14th century on a hilltop overlooking the city. This was the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492. The hill opposite the Alhambra is an interesting labyrinth of cobbled streets and picturesque whitewashed houses. The city is full of fine Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical churches, monasteries, convents, palaces and mansions. It is well worth a visit to this beautiful city.
Valencia, Spain’s third most important city is full of traditions and festivals. The most famous is Las Fallas, a 24-hour celebration featuring firework shows, paella-making competitions, live concerts and bullfights which lasts for four days in March in honour of St. Joseph’s Day (19th March). They create huge papier mache figures which they eventually set fire to during the grand finale night. Valencia is also famous for its nightlife and its remarkable architecture of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. (Science and Art City).
Madrid is a mixture of old and new. It is a city which offers modern nightclubs and bars alongside high culture and class.
The Royal Palace: Wander through the many rooms, enjoy its architecture and amazing art collection.
Monuments: Puerta de Alcalá gate, the Fuente de Cibeles fountain and Las Ventas bullring.
Nightlife: An abundance of tapas bars, fine restaurants cocktail bars, nightclubs, jazz bars to suit all tastes and ages.
Shopping: El Rastro is Europe’s largest flea market has been an open-air market on a Sunday morning for half a millennium. The biggest stores can be found around Gran Vía and Sol. The most classy boutiques can be found in the districts of Ortega y Gasset. Watch out for the large shopping centres, such as Xanadu in the south of the city and Plaza Norte 2 in the north of the city.
This is Andalucía’s capital and largest city. Seville is most famous for having the most passionate Easter celebrations (Semana Santa), the best nightlife and the most stylishly dressed people in Andalucía. It is home of the two most traditional Spanish customs; flamenco and bull-fighting. Its heritage of Roman, Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance architecture cannot be matched within Andalucía. The downsides of Seville are that it is expensive compared to a lot of other cities in Spain, especially during Easter (Semana Santa) and the April Fair (Feria de Abril) and that it is unbearably hot during July and August.