10 things you didn’t know about travelling in Barcelona and Spain
Travelling in Barcelona Spain advice
1. There are all kinds of places to stay in when in Spain, depending on budget and also on the quality of accommodation. Firstly there are the pensiones which are family-owned places akin to paying guest accommodation. These places are usually inexpensive, with facilities accordingly provided. Hostels or hostales are mainly for travelling students, but families can book too sometimes. Hotels are a good option as well, and it would be sensible to book well in advance for a decent room.
2. Paradores de turismo are also a great option for a stay in Spain. They are a chain of elite hotels, usually refurbished and converted palaces, monasteries and mansions.
3. Driving on Spanish roads is not an experience a first time traveller should undertake. The cities have congested roads and the traffic is extremely difficult to negotiate.
4. Tourists attract a great deal of unwanted attention from small time scam artists and petty thieves. When travelling in Spain, avoid people who ‘accidentally’ brush against people or a hawker who insists on performing any kind of service for free. Pickpockets are the worst kind; they can relieve a person of their wallet within seconds of their attention being diverted.
5. Spain isn’t just a beach destination – the interior of the country is beautiful with fields and architectural wonders. The city of Barcelona was home to the great artist, Gaudi, and still has a lot of samples of his signature architecture in various parts of the city.
6. Spain is also the homeland of the celebrated writer, Cervantes, whose book El Quijote, better known as Don Quixote, is the second most translated book in the world, the Bible being the first. Much of his colourful, eventful life is visible in Madrid, the city where he rose to fame as a writer.
7. Bullfights are a great attraction in Spain, despite the animal rights activists trying to put an end to the traditional sport. Although bullfights are rather barbaric by nature, the élan with which the matadors conduct themselves has a great deal of ceremony and pomp, which is well worth a watch.
8. The running of the bulls in Pamplona is also a spectacle that should not be missed by any means. The adrenaline pumping in the runners’ veins is quite palpable, the crowds getting more frenzied with each passing minute; the excitement is impossible to resist.
9. Since Spain is a part of the European Union, the visa difficulties are further simplified allowing travellers from around the globe to access the country without additional trouble.
10. Train stations in Spain are confusing places especially for a traveller with limited Spanish skills. It is a wiser decision not to leave the reconnaissance of the station to the time of actual travelling. Being fore warned about the chaos that ensues at the train station gives one the opportunity to prepare for it.
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