Spain in the Nutshell
Spain is hands down one of my favourite countries in Europe and Barcelona is the quickest answer to the ‘What is the best place to visit in Europe?’ question. After a year of living in Barcelona I fell in love with it a little more and here’s my quick break down of this magical country.
Every part of Spain differs in its people and how you get treated. Of course, I’m generialising big time but you if you’ve been to Spain, you will understand. After a year in Barcelona, I pretty much hated Spaniards but when I visited Valencia, Malaga and other cities on that side of the coast, my mind has changed. People were generally nicer and more approachable. Just a quick example: in Barcelona, walls are covered in graffiti with phrases like “Tourists go home” so you don’t feel very welcome, to say the least.
All the tapas for your late-night dinners
Lots of different types of tapas and it’s a great option for big groups or if you want to try a little bit of everything. It is not so great for your cholesterol levels tho, with so much oil in almost every dish. But also, you shouldn’t really count your calories while vacaying.
Barcelona has so many food markets happening almost every weekend and every each one of them is worth your time. Mercado de La Boqueria is the most famous one and the busiest so keep an eye out for more alternative options if you have time.
All Those Food Market
Barcelona always feels different from any other place I’ve been to and I don’t know how to explain why. First and foremost, Barcelona provides everything you might need. Beach? Check. Museums and galleries? Check. Good food? Check. Festivals? Check. Parties? Check.
Maybe it’s the architecture but the city always feels so special; with its wide streets slicing Barcelona into quadrants that are then filled with narrow paths. So many boutiques are local and unique while sunny weather with palm trees makes life bearable every day.
Another great advantage of this city is that every tourist trap is a place you wish you got trapped in. Every spot is so worth your time and money so don’t ignore all the ‘basic’ suggestions and do it diligently.
1.1 Tibidabo Park
You can spot this ferry wheel everywhere you go in Barcelona so take a train up to check it out closely. The amusement park itself is almost non-existent but the views are so beautiful! There’s also a church, the Temple de Sagrat Cor, with very impressive décor.
1.2 Bunker Views
Everyone’s favourite place to watch sunsets and drink cervezas. It’s a small hike away from downtown Barcelona but it’s definitely worth it! I highly recommend to everyone who likes doing something more than bars and cafes.
1.3 Monsterrat an Hour Away
Just a train ride away from Plaça d’Espanya, Montserrat is a beautiful place. The space is good for a hike in the mountains and checking out the main Monastery. Monserrat serves as a Benedictine monk mountain retreat and is of religious importance to many. Although it allows you to enjoy the most spectacular views of Catalan mountains, I wouldn’t make it a priority, Barca has so much to offer. And if you decide to go, check train times in advance as they don’t go to often, courtesy of Spanish public transport.
This small town is just an hour or so away from Barcelona and has a really cool medieval atmosphere. Old town’s architecture transforms you to another era and you can picture knights and princesses living there. You can definitely spend one afternoon here if you got time and thus explore more of Catalonia, it’s so different from Barcelona.
One of many Costa Brava’s small towns or even villages, Cadaqués earned its fame for it’s ‘all white’ look. Cadaqués was built for couples and romantic walks with nice cafes by the seaside.
Alhambra Alhambra Alhambra. Can’t tell you anything else about this town apart from Alhambra. But even if for a day, Alhambra is huge and you can spend most of your time there. It’s beautiful.
Beautiful seaside walk with locals selling clothes, accessories and snacks. Malaga got the best vibe for chilling out with friends as you stroll down narrow streets.
Capital of Andalusia region, you might have seen Seville in one of the episodes of GoT. This city got amazing architecture that’s worth checking out with lots of the free walking tours available.
“In Spain, the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world.” – Federico Garcia Lorca
Alcázar of Seville is like a mini version of Alhambra but you should still definitely see it. No excuses.
The capital of paella and Spanish dancing that you witness on every street. It’s breathtaking! The city got it all: beaches, nightlife and lots of history. Definitely worth visiting and it’s just a train ride away from Barcelona.
Overall, Spain is a country of so many different cultures that beautifully blend together to give us one of the hottest destinations in Europe.
There’re also hundred other places in Spain that are great and worth exploring. This is a very quick run down but I hope it helps. Stay traveling, amigos.
Photos all my own.