Spain

Spain and I have such a love affair; it’s warm, the people are friendly, and the food, well the food is just cosmic. With so many different regions and cultures in just one country, which are the best cities to travel to? Here’s a quick city guide.

Barcelona

The picturesque city of Barcelona is no stranger to this blog, but it has to be mentioned again, because it offers so much to do and see for not just the first-time visitor, but also second and third-time visitors, too.

Great places to visit incoude the Plaza Catalunya, a square in the centre of the city that is the starting point for tours, nights out and great food, basically, anything that’s worth going to starts in this little hub.

Now, when it comes to food and drink, you’ve got to try traditional paella and sangria, especially the pineapple sangria, which is sooo delicious. If you have a sweet tooth, head to downtown Plaza Catalunya for sweets, chocolate and lots of lovely, glorious sugar.

Bilbao

Located in the North West of Spain, on the Bay of Biscay, Bilbao is perhaps best known for its Guggenheim Museum, which houses an incredible collection of modern art.

In fact, art and architecture lie at the very heart of this amazing city; from Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim to Norman Foster’s underground to Santiago Calatrava’s airport, it’s a picturesque place and a tribute to some of the greatest artists of our times. I certainly love art!

When you get hungry, go on a local wine tour, known as a ‘Chiqueteo’ and have a plate of pintxos, a series of appetizers that are skewered on a toothpick. These are great for snacking and are designed to make people socialize when they drink together.

If you want a main meal, and you love seafood, then you’ll find cod on every single menu, as Bilbao is famous for this type of fish.

Spain

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

If you want to move away from mainland Spain, jump on a flight, which is home to lots of wonderful sights, sounds, and yes very tasty local cuisine too. Santa Cruz de Tenerife — which is also just known as Santa Cruz —  is the joint capital of the islands with Las Palmas and has lots for visitors to do.

Santa Cruz also features the world of Santiago Calatrava, who designed the Auditorio de Tenerife, which is the venue for many cultural events, such as the Tenerife International Film and Music Festival and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife.

Light dinner and drinks dominate the nightlife in Santa Cruz, but there are nightclubs to be found in the Parque Marítimo César Manrique and La Noria Streest Residencial Anaga. Unsurprisingly, food choices on this island center around fish, but there are lots of local treats to try, including papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) which are boiled in salted water, as well as the delicious mojo sauces, mojo verde (green sauce) and mojo picón (spicy sauce).

Spain is an incredible destination for food and really, everything. Have you been? Where would you recommend?

Photos by Andy Hay and Saeed D.