The largest country in southern Europe, Spain has several autonomous regions with distinct cultures and traditions ripe for exploring. It’s hard not to be seduced by this country’s passions, whether savoring a meal of tapas and wine or enjoying an evening of flamenco or guitar. After all, you can of course pair your Spanish fiesta with a well-earned siesta.
BASICS /// Flag: ?? // Capital: Madrid // Currency: euro // Languages: Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Galician
The last stronghold of the Moors in western Europe, now a mix of modern cafe culture and medieval splendor.
EATBodegas Castañeda: Traditional tapas bar which is inevitably busy but worth the chaos to get your hands on some fresh and simple bites. Gran Cafe Bib Rambla: An over 100-year-old cafe on Plaza Bib Rambla; a perfect place to while away the day. Be sure to try the churros - they're a specialty. LaSeda: Lovely bistro on Plaza Bib Rambla with fresh dishes and, if you sit inside, stylish interiors.
DOMirador San Nicolás: A viewpoint in Albaicín with spectacular views of the Alhambra complex across the way. Alhambra: Stunning Moorish complex of palaces, gardens and ramparts. Make sure to plan your ticket-procuring strategy in advance!
SEEStreet art by El Niño de las Pinturas (aka Raúl Ruiz): Keep your eyes peeled around the city for murals by this famed graffiti artist; for one beautiful example, check out the exterior of Bar Izaro.
The capital of Andalucia, a vibrant city famed for flamenco.
SEEPlaza de España: A fantastical fairy-tale plaza built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and currently housing government buildings.
EATVinería San Telmo: Tapas bar with creative, delicious dishes.
DOHospital de los Venerables: A former hospice for priests, this Baroque building now houses a small collection of masterpieces, including an exquisite Velázquez.