Spain

When

  • September 2011 for ten days
    • Barcelona again in October 2012 for a weekend with mates

Places

Madrid

  • So many parks!! Chill out in one of them in the sun;
  • The most amazing frozen yoghurt places;
  • The food markets called Mercado de San Miguel is divine and close to Plaza Mayor;
  • The Museo Nacional Del Prado is impressive (one of the biggest in Europe) and the Royal Palace of Madrid are also worth checking out.

San Sebastian

  • Walk around the entire bay and climb up the hill at either end for a great view;
  • In the Old Quarter the cobbled streets are full of little bars to pull up a chair for some pintxos and sangria.
San Sebastian
San Sebastian

Barcelona

  • Hire a bike and grab a good map to get yourself around town and see Gaudi’s work including:
  • Sagrada Familia, Güell Pavilions, Palau Güell, Casa Calvet, Park Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló.
  • Park Güell is a bit more of a trek to get too, best to catch the metro here – worth it though;
  • The Parc de la Ciutadella is lovely (opposite Barcelona Zoo) with a huge elephant was cool to walk around (or ride a bicycle);
  • The La Boqueria Market here are my favourite European markets hands down – they are off of La Rambla (about halfway down) on the left hand side facing the ocean;
  • Just walking down La Rambla is entertaining enough but be very careful of your belongings here;
  • We found an amazing shot bar which had every type of shot you could think of – all starting from as little as 1EUR, it was up near Plaça Catalunya;
  • The second time I went to Barcelona with friends we did a cooking class of paella and sangria which we got to enjoy afterwards!

Ibiza

  • Figueretas Beach
    • Beautiful beach to sunbake and go for a swim;
    • Only 15 minutes walk to Ibiza Town and the connecting beach (the other way) is Playa D’en Bossa.
  • San Antonio
    • Great for an evening sunset and chilled out vibes at Café Mambo where hundreds of people hang around to watch the sun go down with great tunes in the background;
    • Easy to get there and back via the bus from Figueretas Beach.
  • Ses Salines
    • Stunning beach with crystal clear blue waters and I just hopped on a bus to get here – little did I know that I ended up walking to a full nudist beach too!
    • I wish I went to Formentera Island but I simply ran out of time – please go!
Swedish House Mafia at Pacha!
Swedish House Mafia at Pacha!

Accommodation

  • Accommodation was organised on the tour for most of Spain;
  • I stayed at Be Sound Hostel in Barcelona for a few nights which was fine;
  • Hotel Rachel at Figuretas Beach in Ibiza worked a treat – in between Ibiza town and Playa Den Bossa and had a bus stop nearby.

Language

  • Spanish but English is widely spoken and you will not have any issues
  • Hello: Hola
  • Thank you: Gracias
  • Good bye: despedida / hasta luego (goodbye / see you later)
  • Yes / No: Sí / no

Visa

  • Visas not required for Australians and a stay of up to 90 days is allowed (no working)

Money

  • Euros (0.73 EUR = $1 USD)

Food

  • Paella (seafood, vegetable, chorizo or even mixed – so many choices!)
  • Sangria
  • Chocolate con churros
  • Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette)
  • Crème brûlée
Chocolate churros!
Chocolate churros!

Tips and tricks

  • Siesta galore here – be prepared for afternoon naps and late nights – especially late dinners.
  • Be very weary of your belongings in Barcelona, especially down La Rambla. There are scam artists everywhere. I personally was lucky but know many people who were not. Walking down the main street always have one hand on your bag as people will try to talk to you and scam you at the same time – they work in groups here.
  • Drinks are not cheap in Ibiza, of course. A round of three Redbull and vodka set us back 50EUR and a small bottle of water was a whopping 10EUR (and all taps in the clubs were salt water taps except for Pacha!).

Spain blog posts

Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona
Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona

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