Mini Travel Guide: Spain

Mini Travel Guide: Spain
This travel guide to Spain comes to us from Monica! Spain is a country of great contrasts. It may seem that it’s just beaches, sun, and people dancing flamenco, but there is so much more!  The weather, the people, the food and the landscapes are completely different in each area and that’s what makes the country so interesting: no matter what you are looking for, you can find it in Spain. There’s lots and lots of history, nice beaches, great mountains, cold sangria and awesome parties every night.

Must go places in Spain

Must go in Spain

Beach

Spain is known for its great weather and nice beaches. You can lay down in the sun in the Mediterranean, enjoy great landscapes on the Atlantic, or even practice surfing. Spain has 605 Blue Flag beaches – that means we have tons of clean, safe beaches for you!

Granada

Granada is my favorite city: it has mountains, sea, lots of history and the best tapas I’ve ever eaten. Located in Andalucía (the south of Spain), Granada is a place to have fun, relax and enjoy all the little pleasures of Spanish life. The Alhambra is probably my favorite building, so don’t miss it. You may want to make reservations though, since only a limited number of visitors are allowed each day.

El Pirineo

If you want to take a break from beaches, sun and people, I strongly recommend a trip to the North. The Pirineo, in the border with France, is the perfect spot to enjoy clean air, great landscapes and the peace and quiet that can’t be found in a city. This is my favorite vacation spot; the mountains really charge my batteries. It also shows a different side of Spain and its people. And the hiking here is amazing!

Must do in Spain

Must do in Spain

Party

Spain is an open country. People are loud, eat too many tapas and tend to sleep more during the day than the night. It’s easy to start the night with every intention of going to bed early and not getting home before 6:00 am! Obviously, it’s not possible to do this every day, but once in a while, enjoy it!  That way you’ll have the perfect excuse to take a siesta (nap). You always know when the night starts, but never when will it end!

Walk

I think this is one of the things that applies to every country in the world: if you really want to get the feeling of a place, you have to walk it. Unless you are extremely tired, or the weather is crappy, forget those tour buses and just walk the city. Of course it’s important to visit monuments and famous places, but don’t forget to take a little detour every once in a while. You never know if the next bar you enter has the best tortilla ever!

Must eat foods in Spain

Must Eat in Spain

Sangría & Tapas

There is nothing better in the world than a cold sangría in a hot summer day. Let me rephrase that: there is nothing better in the world than a cold sangria with yummy tapas in a hot summer day. My advice when ordering tapas is simple: just ask for what the locals are eating. Oh, and don’t be afraid to try anything: I guess some foods may seem gross (octopus! pig’s ear!) but really, you’d be surprised by how good they are.

Tortilla

I’ve tried “Spanish tortillas” in other countries and I’ve yet to find a good one. Really, it’s nothing fancy: egg, fried potatoes and onion (always ask for the onion one, it’s 10 times better!) but, really,  it’s so good. If you can get your hands on a homemade one, you’ll never want anything else in your life (there are a lot of difference from the ones to try in bars and restaurants.)

Churros with Chocolate

This is the most Spanish breakfast I can think of. Churros con chocolate are the best thing to eat when you are coming home after a long night of partying, when you wake up ready to face a full day of walking or in a cold winter afternoon. If you’ve already tried churros, go for the porras. Those are longer and thicker, and taste even better!

Travelling tips in Spain

Cultural tips for Traveling in Spain

Lunch is usually taken between 2 and 4 pm and dinner starts at 9 pm (at the earliest), although some hotels and restaurants open earlier for tourists. When going out, people usually meet for drinks at 11 pm, meaning the night starts much later than in other countries. Language is not usually a problem if you go to touristic spots, but when traveling to lesser known places, be sure you know at least basic sentences –  just in case.

Travel tips in Spain

Travel on the Cheap in Spain

Spain is not an expensive country if you stay away from all the tourist-y places. There are lots of bars and restaurants in the main streets and squares charging sky high prices for normal food; sometimes you just have to walk down the street to find cheaper and better alternatives. The rule of thumb is to check the people: if there aren’t many locals in the restaurant, avoid it.

Related: Airbnb is always an affordable option and if you’ve never used it before, here’s a $40 credit towards your first booking!

Any Spanish travel tips to share?  Questions for Monica?

P.S. This mini travel guide to Çuracao + 7 travel tools I will not shut up about until you buy them!

photos by nick kenrick // chris //  camelliatwu // chris brown // michael foley // dylan passmore // cc

6 Comments

cassmwarren

Another must do: The Camino de Santiago. I did it a couple years ago and it was the most incredible thing I have ever done in my life.

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Julie

I can't wait to go back to Spain! My favourite place is the Alcázar of Segovia. I loved walkig all over that city and the castle. It was breathtaking n_n. I also loved the Chiquitren tour in Aranjuez, it was really cool!

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Sophia

Everyone (justifiably) raves about Barcelona, but I absolutely love Madrid – it has an amazing atmosphere, especially in the gay district. And churros are amazingamazingamazing. Oh and San Sebastian in the North is beautiful. And oh I miss Spain!

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M

cassnwarren: I absolutely agree, the Camino is something really special. I haven't done it myself yet but I'm training and want to do it in a near future.

Liz: I'm glad you liked it! It's always nice to hear that people have enjoyed your country 🙂

Julie: the Alcazar is sure amazing and I love Segovia. It was difficult not to include it on the list, but there are so many things!

Sophia: I'm so glad you love Madrid!! I live here and love to take random walks, always discovering new streets. And San Sebastian is awesome, no doubt about it!

Thanks everybody for your words, it has been an awesome experience to be able to write in this amazing blog! Thanks Sarah!

If anyone has any more questions, I'll be glad to answer them 🙂

Hugs,

Mónica

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