The post is way overdue! December of 2016 I visited my best friend Laura in Spain. She has been living in Madrid for over a year working with kids, teaching English. I always wanted to travel to Spain, and getting visit Laura for the holidays was perfect timing.
Madrid is a beautiful city with stunning architecture. We woke up early Christmas day to see Plaza Mayor at sunrise. The city was empty and we had the Plaza all to ourselves. After a few pictures, we walked over to Puerto del Sol which was decorated beautifully for the holidays. Then we took a walking tour of the city and saw the Royal Palace of Madrid. Later that day, Laura surprised Michael and I with the cutest holiday light bus tour of the city.
We really enjoyed the sites of Madrid, however many locals did not speak English and were not very friendly to tourists. I would recommend traveling here with at least one Spanish speaking person.
- Plaza de Cibeles
- Plaza Mayor
- Puerta del Sol
- Royal Palace of Madrid
- Byzantine Dome
- Buen Retiro Park
Seville is a very small city. Our first day we tried to take a bus tour of the city, which I would not recommend. The landmarks that were shown on the bus tour were less than exciting. Luckily Laura found a private Segway tour through the city that was absolutely perfect. Seville has small streets and cobble stone roads which gives it that old European feel. Overall, the food in Seville was much better than the food in Madrid.
- The Grand Alcazar- make sure to buy tickets in advance!
- Plaza de Espana- this site closes at sundown, make sure to get see it before then
- Seville Cathedral
- Maria Luisa Park
Barcelona was by far my favorite city. The city is very tourist friendly, lively and walkable. Barcelona is dominated by architecture by Gaudi. The Sagrada Familia’s architecture is unusual and beautiful. We went on a self guided audio tour of the Sagrada Familia which was much better than I was expecting. The interior of the building is stunning. The sunlight fills the room through the stained glass windows. We went up to the top of the Nativity facade to see the view of the city. I would not recommend going all the up to the top if you are claustrophobic.
Park Guell reminded me of the board game Candyland. It was much smaller than I was expecting but very cute. The day we went was a bit crowded. We went right at sunset and it closed shortly after. I would recommend going earlier than sunset to get plenty of time to explore.
- Sagrada Familia
- Park Guell
- Las Rambla- so fun a lively!
- La Boqueria- the food is AMAZING
- Montserrat- a short bus ride from the city, and a great day trip to a tranquil place