Picture: Valdepenas, Spain by Kyla Alexandre
*Writers Note: Welcome to the start of a new series where I take you into the highlights of some of the places I have visited. My intent is to help out with those of you who are planning trips and want my tips for the places to go. If you have questions or want more advice, feel free to contact any of our platforms*
During this time of unknown and uncertainty, I’ve spent a lot of time the past few months looking through pictures I’ve taken of the places I’ve been. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to travel a lot, and therefore I’ve seen some wonderful places in the beautiful world we live in. As things start to slowly get back to normal, travel will start to occur more frequently. Today I am going to share some of the places I’ve been and their highlights of places you must see when you visit. We are staring with my summer trip of 2018 to Spain and Portugal.
Spain is so vibrant and beautiful, and it’s most definitely a place I would happily go back to. On our trip to Spain, we visited Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, and Sevilla.
Barcelona was a great place to kick off our trip and our introduction to Spain.
- Ciutadella Park – Parks are some of my favorite places to find whenever we travel because they are so peaceful and allow you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. This park is huge. There’s a lake where people can use little boats in, a little greenhouse, and absolutely beautiful buildings and greenery throughout the entire park. We wandered this park for a few hours, falling madly in love with our surroundings.
- Barrio Gothic (Gothic Quarter) – One of the coolest parts of Barcelona was seeing all of the contributions on Antoni Gaudi. The quarter has a few buildings created by him that you can tour, such as La Pedrera and Casa Batllo. They kept the rooms of the houses the way they would have looked in the early 20th century. Gaudi took inspiration from nature and naturally occurring things to create his designs, giving his buildings an incredibly unique and beautiful look.
- Parc Guell – Another one of Gaudi’s magnificent creations intended to be a gated community for wealthy residence, but its production was delayed, and later canceled, from the occurrence of the first world war. Even though it was not completed, the area is absolutely magnificent. The entire area is covered in colorful mosaics that make the park look as if it were an area taken straight out of a fairytale.
- Segrada Familia – I’ve seen A LOT of churches in my travels, but this is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever been in. Again, nature inspired the details of the church. The interior looks as if you were stepping into a rain forest. Bugs and leaves cover the door and the columns inside look like palm trees. The stained glass windows add to the warmth and joy provided by the church. Its surroundings were so inviting. If there is one thing you must see in Barcelona, it is this church.
We spent a very short time in Madrid, but what we saw was absolutely stunning.
*Travelers note: the hop on hop off bus throughout Madrid is a great way to start off the trip. You get to sit back and relax while taking in the sights and getting oriented to the city*
- The Royal Palace – We toured the palace and learned about how things were done at the time. Touring places like the palace allow tourists to learn more about the city you are in. The palace is absolutely stunning and I highly recommend visiting.
- The Prado – I do not know a lot about art, but I know when art should be appreciated and this is one of those places that expands your appreciation of art. It holds some of Europe’s finest art spanning from the 12th to the 20th century. Spend a few hours looking at the art and observing the absolute beauty of this museum.
- Retiro Park – See, I told you I like parks. This park is full of lush green nature, a lake, and beautiful surroundings that go on for what feels like miles. My family and I spent a lot of time here, sitting and people watching. I highly recommend taking your time and walking around.
Before we journey to Granada, we made a pit stop in a little city called Valdepenas, where we wandered for a little bit to stretch our legs. This is one of the cities famous for its umbrella covering over the street. It’s absolutely beautiful.
Granada quickly became one of my family’s favorite places in Spain, this is one of those places where I will tell you to simply wander the alleyways and streets of the city. Don’t be worried about getting lost, just let yourself explore. It’s worth it, I promise.
- Alhambra – An Islamic palace/fortress on a hill towering over the city. Not only is Alhambra absolutely stunning but it holds a lot of Spanish history. It has a stunning rose garden and magnificently detailed rooms that leave your jaw dropped. The grounds are tremendous and I highly recommend exploring it.
Like Granada, this is a place where you should purposefully get lost. Let yourself wander the beautiful streets of Sevilla. There is so much to see, so explore.
- Plaza de Espana – We sat and people watched here. It is absolutely beautiful, especially as the sun starts to set. You can go row boating around the border of the plaza.
I hope this helped give you guidance on what to see in Spain. Stay tuned for more articles in this series. Stay vibin!