Spain: A Traveller's Paradise
Spain has something to offer just about everyone. If you are looking for the ideal place to spend your next holiday, Spain is well worth considering. With the amazing nightlife, pastoral villages and beautiful beaches, there is plenty to see and do.
There are those who say that unless one spends time in Barcelona, one has not actually been to Spain. Considered one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and one of the world's best romantic destinations, there is something for just about everyone to enjoy here.
A good place to begin in Barcelona is by making time for the many historical sites. The city is rich with architecture that is closely interwoven with all the history of the nation. One example is the Sagrada Familia, a magnificent church designed by Antoni Gaudi. Begun in the latter part of the 19th century, the edifice is still under construction today and is one of the most popular tourist stops in the city.
For quiet and meditation, one of Barcelona's many hidden gems is Parc Guell, an ideal place to spend an afternoon. The combination of winding paths and breathtaking sculpture make the park an ideal place to sit, just to clear the mind and reflect. When in the park, don't forget to stop by Casa Mila and enjoy the stunning and unique design.
No trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to the Picasso Museum. A number of the Master's paintings and other artwork are gathered in this impressive building located in the Gothic District. Within excess of 3500 works of art under one roof, anyone who loves the work of Picasso can spend their entire holiday enjoying all the pieces on display.
From the moment you arrive at the Barcelona Airport there are opportunities to enjoy the fantastic shopping, rich dining and upbeat nightlife. One excellent area is La Rambla, which offers great choice in the way of food, entertainment and interesting shops. Try local cuisine or go for your favourite foods from home; there is a good chance that at least one establishment will have what you desire.
A must for art lovers and history buffs alike is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Considered one of the most prestigious museums in the world, the Guggenheim offers exhibits that will appeal to travellers of any age. Check in advance for any special lectures or exhibits that may be available during your stay in the country. Even if your plan was to spend more time in cities like Alicante, Barcelona, or Madrid, making the trip to Bilbao and the Guggenheim will be well worth your time.
Without a doubt, the Alhambra in Granada is a must for anyone who plans on spending some holiday time in Spain. Considered to be one of the top five attractions in Europe, the Alhambra was home to the Moorish kings and dates from the ninth century. Sometimes described as a city that is encased in a palace, this significant attraction is found at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, providing a backdrop that must be experienced in order to be fully appreciated.
While not on the beaten path of many tourists, the town of Seville offers several attractions of note. Fans of architecture will delight in the design of the Seville Cathedral, which was erected during the 15th century. The Giralda Bell Tower is also a sight worth seeing, as is the Alcazar.
Anyone with an interest in Roman engineering will be interested in visiting the Aqueduct in Segovia. Dating from the first century, the Aqueduct is composed of over twenty thousand granite blocks - all perfectly fitted without the aid of any type of mortar. Visitors marvel at the intricate design and the effort that went into its creation.
An ideal stag and hen party destination, the capital city of Spain has something for everyone. For people who love open air markets and the chance to look for all sorts of treasures, the El Rastro is the ideal place to head for as soon as you arrive at the Barajas Airport. Here you can find just about any type of exhibit, entertainment and shopping that you could desire.
There are vendors selling all sorts of local foods, bullfighters to delight and amuse the entire family, along with dancers and musicians of all types found throughout the El Rastro. This flea market is at its best on Sundays when all the vendors tend to open shop. Smaller offerings are found on Saturdays and other days of the week.
Madrid is also the site of many beautiful museums. Spend some time visiting exhibits at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum or the Prado Museum. You will also find plenty to enjoy at the Queen Sofia Arts Centre, including exhibits and other types of presentations.
Flamenco shows are found in many areas of the city with some of them taking place at what is known as tablaos; these sites are set up especially for tourists and are not often visited by the local citizens. Some of these tablaos are set up near other major attractions, while others are situated near hotels and other areas where tourists are likely to spend their time.
Don't leave Madrid without visiting the Palacio Real, or the Royal Palace. Roughly 50 of the rooms in this 2800 room palace are open to the public. Loaded with history as well as many interesting items that have been received as gifts to the royals over the years, it is even possible to see a 2000 year old Egyptian temple at the palace. Donated by Egypt in the latter part of the 1960s, the temple was reconstructed at the palace in 1972 and gives visitors a glimpse of the temples built in ancient times to honour the gods of the day.
Whether you have a few days or a few weeks to spend in Spain, there is always plenty to enjoy. Take some time to find out what attractions are found in the city or cities you plan on visiting. There is a good chance you can fill your days and nights with all sorts of things to do or just relax and enjoy the food, shopping, and the chance to relax in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.