Spain is the most incredible country, diverse and full of beauty. There's so much to see, it's the second most mountainous country in Europe and has had the the most diverse settler's leading to an interesting mix of people. The influences of all these settler's can be seen across the country, and attracts visitors from around the world. Gaudi's architecture in Barcelona, and the Alhambra in Granada, showing exactly how diverse this country is. Never mind the different dialects and languages spoken (Basque is much more difficult to understand than Catalan, but even Catalan is different than Castilian Spanish). Here are five cities you should visit in Spain.
|Plaza de España, Seville|
Spain's third largest city, and not necessarily one people tend to think to visit. Founded by the Roman military, Valencia has one of the best preserved city centre's in Spain. Two of the city's original gates still stand today, though the city has expanded. I was excited to see my first real life bull ring walking through the city. Valencia Cathedral is also worth a visit, claiming to be the home of the Holy Grail! We spent time meandering around the arts and science complex. The complex is built in the former river bed of the river Turia (the river was rerouted in 1957 after a terrible flood) & now the entire area is a sunken park.
|The bull ring, Valencia|
Absolutely full of history. Seville was the economic centre of the Spanish empire, with trade routes being monopolised along it's river. The city centre is full of tiny lanes and it's easy to get lost walking around. The heat in the summer is kept out of the street's by big white sheets being hung between buildings to create shade, but we stayed in a hostel with a roof top pool - the best way to keep cool was to sit in that and drink tons of Sangria! You should visit the historic Alcazar, still a Royal Spanish palace (and apparently Game of Thrones is to be filmed there). La Giralda is also a famous sight, worth climbing to get views across the city (and a pretty easy climb since it only has 17 steps). Also you should take a walking tour with Pancho Tours, they do one in the evenings and one in the morning- and each tour is different so if you've got time, take both! Don't forget to visit Plaza de España, it's bigger than you think and gives the world a cuddle!
Home to the beautiful architecture of Antoni Gaudi, one of the best party scenes I've seen (I went in November, during the off- season and still managed to get home at 4am each night), and, of course, FC Barcelona. A city with something for everyone, and incredibly easy to get around. There's the pretty Barceloneta beach. Or you can stroll along Las Ramblas, or Barri Gotic. If you want to get out of the city centre you can climb up Montjuic, or Tibidabo to look over it, or enjoy the fresh air and views of the pyrenees.
|Parc Guell, Barcelona|
2. San Sebastian
The setting for Ernest Hemingway's famous novel, The Sun Also Rises, a gorgeous city to visit. San Sebastian has not one, but two stunning beaches, on either side of the river. It also has the highest amount of restaurants per capita in the world, and boasts loads of Michelin stars. You can walk down street upon street full of restaurants, and pintxos crawls are entirely acceptable, and encouraged. Entirely different than the rest of Spain, not only in language, the city is fairly small in comparison to other Spanish cities, and we stayed minutes from La Concha beach. Overlooking the beach, and the city, it has it's own Jesus statue which makes a great short walk and a great view of La Concha.
My favourite place in Spain, I stayed for 3 days in the Albaicin, the Arabic quarter, and whilst I ventured out into the rest of Granada, it was my favourite place to stay. Food smelt amazing, constantly, there was a real mixture of Arabic food and tapas style lunches. I spent a full morning exploring the Alhambra, it's exhausting and you should definitely get there early to avoid the crowds. Nestled between the Sierra Nevada's, the climate is much cooler in this part of Spain, but it just makes it easier to wander around and take in the beautiful parts of the city. Be sure to take time to visit the Hammam whilst you're there, and pay the extra for a massage it's sooo worth it!
|Looking over La Alhambra complex|
Have you visited Spain, where was your favourite place?
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