Spain is a wonderful place to visit! Traveling in Spain is not as cheap as it once was, but it is quite affordable, the culture is incredible and amazing adventures can be had by just enjoying the simple life, strolling around and eating fantastic food.
The everyday cuisine in Spain is incredible and there is a huge variety. The art, culture, parks, public transportation and general lifestyle make it a great place for tourists. Just wandering around you are bound to discover unique public spaces and it seems that anywhere you go there is a plaza to relax in, or a café to grab a snack. You can get by without knowing Spanish because there is always someone around who can help and people are very patient. Still it is not like some countries like Germany where everyone speaks English, so travel is still a bit of an adventure.
Planning travel to Spain has sure changed in just the last few years. Spain is a very wired country. You can now book online with many smaller hotels, apartments and hostales. And you can dialog quickly and easily by email. You can instantly get advice through Yahoo Answers or Trip Advisor. And you can even view your travel plans by satellite on Google maps, displaying local restaurants and shops and planning travel routes. Almost takes the fun and excitement out of travel, except that you can extend your vacation by reveling in the planning ahead of time!
Spain is composed of many regions, each with its own culture and, sometimes, its own language. For someone wishing to get an overview of Spain, Madrid is a great start. It is in the center of the country and you can visit just about any other region in less than 8 hours – much less if you take the new high speed trains. Barcelona offers beautiful architecture, Catalan culture and a physical and cultural proximity to Europe. The green pastoral landscape and culture of Galicia and Asturias in the north share surprising connections to Celtic countries. Bilbao and the Basque country have been undergoing a modern resurgence while boldly maintaining their ancient culture. And in Sevilla and the south you’ll find spectacular Moorish architecture and what some may consider a more traditional view of Spain. While you are at it you might bop over to Portugal for a another Iberian culture, and, for a complete cultural shift, you can take a ferry to Morocco. And, yea, in Spain you can find beautiful beaches and late night partying.
This guide is my personal opinion and celebration of Spain. I hope to offer some inspiration, fun facts and helpful tips. I focus a bit more on Madrid where I have lived and traveled most, and I have some tips for traveling with kids. Let me know if you have any suggestions or corrections. Or just say hi!
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