When I talk to a tourist, the only cities he knows in Spain are Madrid and Barcelona. Rarely Sevilla is included on his list. I stayed in Spain about six months and I visited as much as I could. Almost every weekend was about a different city. So, dear tourist, let me introduce you five incredibly beautiful places you must know about now and add them to your list!
For me, Cordoba remained in my mind as the city of flowers. I’ll never forget those patios (indoor garden) full of pots hung on the walls. Between so many colours and designs, in the center of the garden there usually was a pretty fountain. Obviously, there is a Moorish inspiration embellishing those places. And gives the city a different and unique style. You can see it in detail at Mezquita.
Because everyone loves the flowers, Cordoba has a contest of the most beautiful patios. So, the locals are seriously competing for the first place every year. The best part is that you don’t need to come here that date (middle of May). You can visit anytime in the summer the participant patios for a few euros. Believe me, if you love the pelargonium flowers, you’ll leave from here in tears…of happiness!
Here, they say the purest Spanish language is spoken! Salamanca is a city with a very rich cultural history. Now, the University is the heart of the City. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988, along with other buildings in the city. The University of Salamanca is the oldest of all Spain. Alfonso IX of León and founded it in 1218! Here was created the first grammar of Spanish, in 1492.
When you arrive at the University, look after the Lucky Frog!
Also, you must visit all UNESCO’s objectives: Irish College, San Marcos Church, Holy Spirit Church, House of Mother Teresa, the Church of San Juan de Barbalos, San Cristóbal Church, Monastery of Saint Clare.
Don’t forget to:
- pass through Plaza Mayor,
- see the new and old cathedrals – they are stuck together
- visit Shell House, one of the most popular buildings in Salamanca
- cross the Roman Bridge, that stands at the entrance to the city. Built by the Romans led by Trajan in the first century, offers a beautiful view of the city.
Jerez de la Frontera
You must come in Jerez de la Frontera especially if you like wine. Yes, here it is a very famous bodega, El Tio Pepe. I came here just for that, but then I realized it is a beautiful city, with a nice central plaza and an impressive cathedral.
When we arrived, we took the bodega tour with a little train for tourists. We saw how they make the wine and cognac. And we admired all those huge wineries. After the tour, of course, we had a wine tasting. So fine quality! Just 3-4 sips and Bacchus was standing at the table with us! 🙂
I spent Las Fallas here, a kind of fire-party where some huge dolls representing important figures – including politicians – are burned on the last day of fair, under a breathtaking show with fireworks, music, flowers, traditional costumes and a lot of fun. I’ve written about this celebration HERE.
After seeing the city center in full celebration, I went to the famous City of Arts and Sciences. The complex is new, being inaugurated in 1998. That year, they opened the first spectacular building: L’Hemisfèric. It contains the planetarium and the laserium. Extra, you have here an IMAX Cinema!
After 2000, the City of Science was completed with:
- El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe – is an interactive museum of science. I let you discover what’s in there! It’s a wow!
- L’Umbracle – it is a kind of botanical garden, that arrived from the future! Do you like palm trees?
- L’Oceanogràfic – is the largest oceanographic aquarium in Europe and has many buildings, each different aquatic environments from the world.
- El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia – is the opera house!
- El Pont de l’Assut de l’Or – it is a very cool bridge.
- L’Àgora – it serves for different events such as concerts, exhibitions, sports etc.
Bilbao is a unique city in the North of Spain, in Pais Vasco. So I recommend you to get lost and enjoy the positive vibration it can give you. Without a map, surely you’ll find the most important places to see. Only if you take a walk by the river you’ll find the University, Arriaga Theatre, San Antón Church and Zubizuri Bridge. Then finally you’ll get to the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, the most strange building I’ve ever seen!
Thanks to all those futurist buildings, UNESCO named Bilbao the Capital of Design – (Creative Cities), in 2014.