Spain is a country best known for its flamenco dancing, paella dishes and soccer-mad citizens. Its southern location makes it one of the warmer countries in Europe, but the northern areas can still see snowfall in the winter.
Where to go in Spain
Home to footballing heroes like Messi and revered artists such as Gaudi, Barcelona has a wide range of offerings. Be sure to see Gaudi's famous Sagrada Familia (book your ticket online to jump the corner-wrapped queue) and try to line up your visit when the Nou Camp hosts a home fixture. A day trip to Montserrat adds another item to your Barcelona itinerary.
Spain's capital is home to a number of grand buildings and wide open squares. Walking tours take you to the major spots, including Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace and San Miguel's Market. Be sure to stroll past Botin's, the world's longest operating restaurant, and buy cookies from the silent nuns. Real Madrid also has a famous rivalry in football with Barcelona, and a trip to the Bernabeu will be rewarded by seeing some of the world's best players in action.
For a long time, Spain was one of the most advanced countries in the world thanks to its Moorish population. Examples of Arabic architecture from this era can still be found in southern Spain, in the Andalusian region. Granada is a hotspot of these buildings, including Alhambra and the Arc of Elvira.
Where to go after Spain
Just a short flight from Madrid is Amsterdam. The Dutch city has a mix of entertainment options, from the debaucherous to the cultural. Be sure to check out the world-famous Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank's hiding place and the museums of Rembrandt and Van Gogh.
On the eastern fringes of Europe is Russia, and its capital Moscow. The Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral have an immediately identifiable architecture, and the Red Square is another famous landmark. Be sure to also see a show at the Bolshoi Theatre, enjoy the rides at Gorky Park and sample some of the local vodkas.
Spain has a long history with South America and the Caribbean, and its influence (and language) is still evident in many of these countries. Direct flights connect Madrid with the Dominican Republic, a nation famed for its numerous beaches with white powder sand and turquoise waters.
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Please note: all information is correct as of November, 2016.
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