Category Archives: Spain

Barcelona experience: The best activities, accommodation, and food

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In the center of the city there is a stone statue which says “Barcelona – inspira!”, something which is of course, very true. For most visitors, Barcelona inspires living to the full and trying all the best it has to offer. Within its 101 km² you can find everything you need for a vacation, from architecture and gourmet restaurants to sun, natural parks, sea, beaches and a vibrant nightlife. Of course you want to try everything, right? So, here are some tips on how to fit it all in during your trip if you are in Barcelona for only few days. Don’t miss them!

The activitiesbarcelona-activities

 Barcelona is a Catalan city that has a history spanning millennia, but as the city we know today it was founded by the Romans around 1 BC as Barcino. Today, Barcelona is the second largest city by number of inhabitants in Spain and the 10th of the European Union.

Like most European cities, Barcelona includes an old town that’s full of history with medieval gothic (and neo-gothic) style structures, in addition ancient buildings of Roman antiquity. Outside this area Art Nouveau monuments flooded in after the turn of the century, especially along Passeig de Gracia where you’ll find masterpieces from Gaudí – like La Pedrera and Casa Batlló – and beautiful street lamps designed by Per Falkesa. If you walk down Carrer de Provença from La Pedrera, you’ll end up at the Sagrada Familia, said by many to be Gaudí’s piece de resistance.

The Sagrada Familia deserves to be mentioned in it’s own right. All the work on this building is paid for by private donations and ticket profits. It’s possible that the construction will be finished within 10 years, despite being started in 1882! A stunning building, both outside and inside. If you plan to visit the cathedral, then it’s highly recommended that you to buy a ticket in advance online to avoid large queues.

barcelona-accommodationAnd if you want to know a little bit more about Catalan Art Nouveau, you should visit Palau de la Musica Catalana, a concert hall in Barcelona that is located in the center. You can visit all these monuments in a day if you plan well! The best way to end this cultural day out is to see the Magic Fountain in the Plaça d’Espanya area. Make sure to check the schedule in advance here because some nights it does not run. In this same area you can visit “Las Arenas” shopping mall, converted from a bullfighting ring (a practice banned in Catalonia). On the roof you can enjoy an observation deck and get some drinks.

There are of course many other monuments you could see in Barcelona, but you’ll need more than 1 or 2 days to do it!

 

The accommodation

If you are in Barcelona only for few days, you’ll definitely want to get a feel for the authentic city spirit. The easiest way is to book a vacation apartment in Barcelona, a cheaper and more comfortable type of accommodation – not to mention you will have an entire apartment to yourself with a kitchen and a salon where you can to chill-out after a long day. In Barcelona, it’s also pretty easy to find vacation rentals that include a nice terrace too. There are a lot of options in the center, but if you search even slightly outside of the city centre you can easily find cheaper accommodation in Barcelona, for example on this page.

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The food

The Spanish know how to eat well! You’ll find a strong love for bread here. From bocattas and bocadillos to magdalenas, croissants and thousands types of pastries for all times in the day! You can go to any “Panaderia” see for yourself. In Catalonia, one bread dish you should try is ‘pa amb tomàquet‘ – it’s a lightly toasted baguette sliced in half, scrapped with tomato and complimented with olive oil. Simple but delicious.

For lunch, you might also visit one of Barcelona’s markets: La Boqueria, Santa Caterina, Mercat de la Llibertat or the market of Sagrada Familia. Here you can try products from different regions of Spain and of course ‘tapas‘. If you want to try something special, you can go to a little known place hidden from eyes – El Nacional Barcelona on Passeig de Gracia, 24 Bis, where you can enjoy the authentic atmosphere and tasty tapas, as well as small sandwiches with different fillings like squid, octopus, chorizo, and many other things.

For a strong Spanish vibe you may want to dine at a restaurant that offers authentic tapas, like Flauta for example. It’s a place with 25 years of history and there is always a line for entry, so it’s highly recommended to book your visit. Here you’ll enjoy some seafood tapas dishes that are almost legendary amongst residents. You could also try their famous fried Camembert with raspberry jam. For more seafood, you can visit ‘La Paradeta‘, a seafood restaurant where you can choose what kind of fish you want and the way it’s prepared. But you must like a seafood very much, because you will have to adjust to their timetable. This restaurant is closed for siesta.

Barcelona has a good choice of places for vegans too. The hip and vibrant Raval district is where you will find multiple places to grab dishes like vegan hamburgers and fresh juices. Oh… Traveling from one bar to another is a kind of a tradition here in Barcelona, so be ready to get around a few bars per night…

And remember, no matter, how long you are going to stay at the city, don’t panic if you don’t get to see everything! There’s just too much! Simply enjoy the city at your own pace and no matter how much you see -even if you think you’ve seen it all – you’ll always leave Barcelona wanting to come back…

Holidays in Ibiza: Make use of your summer… The Party way!

Beach Ibiza

As the year is coming to a close and raindrops hit the windows, most people are thinking back to the fading memories of the wonderful summer days spent somewhere around the Mediterranean shores. However there is an island that has not been forsaken, an island that keeps the party on, an island that whoever visited will want to go back!

This experience comes in the form of a single phrase… holidays in IBIZA !!! Through the passing of years, Ibiza has always been a famous destination for party goers and water sports enthusiasts alike! The entertainments on offer are always varied and engaging. From the sunny Mediterranean shores and palm trees to the glamorous and vivid nightclubs, Ibiza has it all!

Watersports

Are you a fan of surfing? You can try the Surf House Ibiza in San Antonio beach. What about flying like a spaceman on the water? You can try renting a flyboard in Playa d’en Bossa. However those are not the only available activities during the day. Fans of exploring can always apply for a scuba diving course and have an in depth look of the underwater life in the reefs surrounding the numerous beaches around the island. As for those who would like to take a boat tour and see the island from another perspective, boat rentals are widely available in decent prices. As always the sunny beaches are welcoming and offering a wide spectrum of experiences ranging from beach bars, to restaurants, to nightclubs for the lifestyle inclined party goers.

sunset IbizaNightlife

One of the most famous aspects of Ibiza is the thriving nightlife. From prestigious mega-clubs hosting the most successful DJs to pubs for the ones who would like a taste of home on a sunny setting! You can always enjoy music and drinks under the warm Mediterranean sun and when the sun goes down… That’s when the party’s on! Some of the most well-known nightclubs include Amnesia, space Ibiza and of course Pacha! That’s where the making of musical legends and epic nights have been taking place during the past 30 years! Do you want to be a part of their history?

IbizaSightseeing

Want to take a break from partying during your holidays in Ibiza? Ibiza Town is a sight to behold in itself. The setting of a cosy and cosmopolitan Mediterranean island and the amazing views promise not to disappoint. In case you want to get in touch with your hippy side, you can always visit the Hippy markets where selling and trading of the most imaginative clothing, jewelry and decorative ornaments takes place on a daily basis! Lastly, the Can Marça Caves offer the experience of entering an ancient smuggling route in which stalagmites and stalactites have taken the place of the former illegal contraband. Why not explore them?

All in all, having holidays in Ibiza is an experience that has to be lived to be understood! So, are you going to join the party?

Holidaying in Majorca

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Finances were getting tight but I needed to get away for a while. I browsed the net for days looking for a cheap holiday. The best deal that I found was a holiday in Majorca, Spain. I hadn’t been to Spain yet and the idea really piqued my interest. It took me a while to work out the details. I even asked around through my friends circles, yet no one wanted to join me. So I ended up traveling to Majorca on my own.

I have to admit that I was skeptical at first. I always got that way when traveling alone. I kept wondering whether I would get bored. The plane touched down, and I made my way to my hotel… The HSM Lago Park in Alcudia. I had an entire week booked at the place. The specialty of the hotel was that it provided their customers with quiet relaxation. Something that I was looking forward to.

Majorca beachThe hotel was great. I made my way to my room and unpacked. I was lucky. My room overlooked the pool. Since the pool looked so inviting I immediately changed into my swimsuit, grabbed my kindle, and set off. The weather was perfect. The cool water of the pool helped me take my mind off things. After exhausting myself in the water, I climbed out of the pool and rested on one of the beach chairs nearby.

The rest of the trip passed by in a blur. I visited numerous restaurants and the shops in the vicinity of the hotel. I didn’t want to go too far. It was not that I was scared but I didn’t want to get to exhausted as I was here to relax. The locals were cheerful and though their English was limited, they tried to communicate with the few words that they knew.

The beach was only 300 meters away from where I was staying. There I met some amazing people. It turns out that almost everyone from the hotel made their way down to the beach in the evenings. It was not long before I had set up a routine, beach volleyball, swimming, sunbathing and reading. The night however was meant to party. The group of friends that I had met really knew how to enjoy themselves. It was not long before I found myself enjoying their company too!

Majorca buildingsThe week flew by and soon it was time say goodbye to all my new friends. A few were continuing their stay and some had already left. We exchanged phone numbers and addresses and vowed to stay in touch. They said that they would be planning a vacation again soon and that they would let me know. I was thrilled. I have always found it so difficult to find good company on my holidays, and this bit of news really excited me.

With the final pleasantries exchanged, I bid everyone goodbye, and it was time to return home. Luckily I had a bunch of good memories to keep me company on my journey home.