Blog post by the guest traveler and blogger: Martin, from Madrid Discovery.
Discover Spain. Although, travel is still on hold in most parts of the world, it doesn’t stop us from virtual journeys. And – what is important – we can use this homecation time for future planning! Surely, most of us can’t wait to travel again, go on holidays and explore the world.
So, let’s discover together, virtually for now, top 3 cities to visit in Spain. Places to see, attractions to live and what is important: local people suggestions! Markedly, take a note of this post, bookmark it for upcoming months!
Spain is a unique country to visit both for its varied landscapes and its rich heritage. Each region has a very strong culture that will make your stay in Spain unforgettable. Certainly, a single trip will not be enough to discover all the aspects of this beautiful country.
The good thing about traveling in Spain is that it can be done all year round. Temperatures are mild almost all year round, but July and August can be very hot especially in the capital. We suggest you to visit the cities next to the sea during this period such as Barcelona, Ibiza or Valencia.
MADRID – THE CAPITAL
The capital of Spain, Madrid is a city rich in culture where you can travel back in time through the centuries. Especially thanks to monuments such as the royal palace, the cathedral of the Almudena or the plaza Mayor. The cultural offer is very large, therefore, we recommend you visit this city accompanied by a private guide.
VISIT THE MUSEUMS
You will find in Madrid one of the largest art galleries in the world. All of them are on the Paseo del Prado in the center of the city. Here is the list of them:
- The Prado Museum, a must for a first visit to Madrid. Here you will discover works commissioned by kings to the famous painters Goya and Velasquez.
- The Reina Sofia Museum, a museum that retraces Spanish history with many works by Picasso, Dali and Miro. A really nice museum to visit, the paintings are stunning.
- The Thyssen & Bornemisza Museum, an impressive collection awaits you with unique works of art of estimated value. The royal palace is of course one of the monumental things to visit. We advise you to visit it early in the morning when the crowd has not yet arrived. If you want to know more about the Royal Palace and how to visit it in the best way then check this article: Visit the Royal Palace of Madrid.
ATTRACTION: GO TO TOLEDO
The former Spanish capital Toledo is 30 mins by the speed train from Madrid (cost less than 30€ per person). We advise you to spend the day there to take the time to visit the different monuments, to taste traditional Spanish dishes (cocido, migas and paella) and to take advantage of the panoramic view to take beautiful pictures.
LOCAL SUGGESTIONS IN MADRID
To live like a local and not miss out on the Spanish way of life here is a list of restaurants where you can eat quality food:
- ‘San Miguel Market’, a must for tapas and sangria!
- ‘Lateral’ restaurant if you want to eat tapas in a quieter place
- ‘Hotel RIU Plaza España’ Sky-bar 360°, to make your stay unique go upstairs and enjoy a 360 view of the city!
SEVILLE – THE MOST AUTHENTIC
Most travelers visit Seville last during their stay in Spain because it is further south than Madrid and Barcelona. Situated in Andalusia, you will literally fall under its charm between old and modern districts and discover a unique city rich in history.
VISIT THE OLD CITY
Seville is one of the oldest cities in Spain, you will find a particularly rich architecture. The Moorish-style citadel of Seville is a place rich in history that you must visit. You will also find a beautiful Plaza de España made up of ceramic walls and a small canal. Finally, don’t forget to visit the imposing cathedral in Gothic style.
La vida está hecha de pequeños momentos.
[Life is made of small moments]
ATTRACTION: GO TO A FLAMENCO SHOW
In Seville you will find the best flamenco shows, the most famous artists are present there. Usually you will have the opportunity to eat before the show and then watch the show. In this case, we advise you to book at the ‘Tablao los Gallos’. They offer a quality show, hence, will not leave you indifferent. You will also find many flamencos shows in Madrid, we recommend ‘Cardamomo’.
LOCAL SUGGESTIONS IN SEVILLE
You will find many bars and restaurants in Seville. Here are our favorite establishments to enjoy good tapas:
- ‘Bar Alfalfa’ where you can enjoy very good tapas
- ‘Bodega Santa Cruz Las Columnas’ a bar where the locals gather
- ‘Vineria San Telmo’ very nice restaurant with a varied menu
BARCELONA – THE MOST COSMOPOLITAN
If you love the beach, then Barcelona is for you! Located on the Mediterranean coast Barcelona offers a mild climate all year round. The winter is mild, and the summer is warm, but the beachfront is a great place to spend some time. Very different from Madrid, the capital of Catalonia offers a total change of scenery with its unique monuments, for example the world-famous architecture of Antoni Gaudí.
VISIT THE GAUDÍ WORLD
Antoni Gaudí is a Catalan architect of Spanish nationality. He is the main representative of Catalan modernism and Barcelona has many of his monuments. For a complete visit of all his works we suggest you allow at least two or three days. The easiest to visit is the Güell Park, the wait is not very long, and you can enjoy a park with fantastic sculptures. Not far away you will find Gaudí’s house. Surely, you will be amazed by the view towards la Pedrera and Casa Batlló, two of the main houses created by Gaudí, their futuristic and abstract architecture will not leave you indifferent. To finish with Gaudí’s main works, you will have to go through the Sagrada Familia, a century-old and masterful cathedral. In this case, check the service of Catalonia Discovery, they will make you pass the best visit ever!
ATTRACTION: ENJOY A TAPA
A visit that we recommend is a visit to the old quarter of Barcelona. Stroll through its narrow streets and relive the Middle Ages. You will find in this area some quite old tapas bars where locals like to get together with friends. If you want a more modern atmosphere, you can go to the Ramblas where you will find many delicious tapas bars.
LOCAL SUGGESTIONS IN BARCELONA
Barcelona is a very big city with a great cultural and gastronomic offer. Here is a list of activities and restaurants for a successful visit:
- Güell Park
- La Pedrera and Casa Batlló + tour of the Gaudi district
- The Ramblas
- To eat good tapas: ‘Quimet & Quimet’
- Another tapas address: ‘La Pepita’ (very good restaurant!)
discover spain – useful links
- Train to Toledo: https://www.renfe.com/
- Mercado San Miguel : https://mercadodesanmiguel.es/
- Lateral restaurant : https://www.lateral.com/
- Hotel RIU Sky-bar 360° : https://www.riu.com/es/hotel/espana/madrid/hotel-riu-plaza-espana/#hotel-details
- Flamenco Madrid: https://cardamomo.com/en/
- Bodega Santa Cruz Las Columnas : https://www.facebook.com/BodegaSantaCruzSevilla
- Vineria San Telmo : https://vineriasantelmo.com/
- Flamenco Seville : http://www.tablaolosgallos.com/en/
- Bar Alfalfa : https://baralfalfa.negocio.site/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=referral
- La Pedrera Barcelona : https://www.lapedrera.com/es
- Casa Batlló : https://www.casabatllo.es/
- Quimet Quimet Barcelona : https://www.quimetquimet.com/
Moments that matter, no matter the city.