All posts by Jorge

Plaza Mayor de Salamanca / Salamanca Main Square

plaza mayor salamanca

The Main Square (Plaza Mayor) of Salamanca is the hearth of the city. This square is located in the Old Town of Salamanca and it’s surrounded by the most important buildings of the town, as The University faculties, The Shells House (Casa de las Conchas) or The Cathedral.

Salamanca is one of the best maintained traditional cities of Spain. The Old Town of Salamanca is highly popular for its elegant stone-made buildings, monuments and squares.


The Main Square of Salamanca

plaza mayor salamanca 2Salamanca Main Square is one of the icons of the city. It was built from 1729 to 1756 by architect Alberto Churriguera. The square has a rectangular shape bordered by elegant stone-made Baroque buildings.

The main facade of the square is the Hall Town of Salamanca. Starting from this point and bordering the square, there is a beam corridor in where are medallions which have sculpted the faces of some important people of the last centuries: The kings of Spain (Carlos I, Felipe II…), conquerors (as Cristobal Colón or Hernán Cortés), or writers (Cervantes, Miguel de Unamuno…).

Although in the beginnings of the 20th century the Main Square has gardens in it. Nowadays it has been remodeled to leave more free space. However the square has benches and terraces for the people who want to rest or have a lunch.

Note: Don’t mistake Plaza Mayor of Salamanca with Plaza Mayor of Madrid. This second one was in 1580, but it’s not as spectacular as the Salamanca’s one.


Restaurants and bars in Salamanca near Plaza Mayor

To eat and drink in the Old Town of Salamanca is a pleasure: The bars and restaurants are merged with the traditional environment of the town, which will lead you into a medieval atmosphere in were Salamanca was one of the main cities of Spain.

The most visited bars and restaurants of Salamanca are placed in Plaza Mayor and its surroundings. Also, there are many pubs and discotheques in the area for young people.

Take into account that, as Plaza Mayor of Salamanca is the heart of the city, people are used to dating there with their friends to spend the free time in this zone. As a curiosity, it is said that the prices of the bars are cheaper than in other bigger cities of the country as Madrid.


Night Life in Salamanca

plaza mayor salamanca de nocheSalamanca is a high popular destination for young people. As it has the oldest university of Spain, many students (both Spaniards and Erasmus) live there during their studies. That means that, during the academic course, there are always a lot of activities for students and visitors.

The main bars and discotheques of Salamanca are placed in the Old Town, near the University buildings. In there, there is a lot of night life almost every day, from September to June (during the academic year).



Other remarkable places in Salamanca that you might like to visit

What to visit in Salamanca: Check here our article with the top buildings and monuments of Salamanca.

Castile and Leon (Castilla y León): By visiting Castile and Leon you will be in some of the most ancient cities of the centre of the Iberian Peninsula: Salamanca, Burgos, Segovia, Avila and more.

The best cities to visit in Spain: A list with the most touristic cities and destinations of Spain.

Tarifa: What to see in the most southerly town of Europe (Andalusia)

tarifa españa

tarifa estrecho gibraltar

Tarifa is the most southerly town of Spain (without counting Ceuta, Melilla nor Canary Islands) and Continental Europe. It is located in Cadiz Province, Andalusia region. Tarifa is 100km away from Cadiz city, 200km away from Seville and 160 km away from Malaga.

With around 20,000 inhabitants, currently Tarifa is a touristic small city, famous for its beaches, its castle, but above all because of the coast of the city from where you can reach the Strait of Gibraltar and see Africa, or cross it by boat.


What to visit in Tarifa (Andalusia)

tarifa beachAmong the tourists, in summer Tarifa is well known for its beaches, in where you can practice aquatic sports as surf.  However, if you are visiting Tarifa, don’t miss seeing these popular places about what we will talk now:

– Baelo Claudia Roman city.
– Guzman el Bueno’s Castle (Castillo de Guzmán el Bueno).
– Pigeons’ Island (Isla de las Palomas).
– The Strait of Gibraltar (Estrecho de Gibraltar).
– The Port of Tarifa.
– And of course the beaches, the sea and the Andalusian Gastronomy.

Other important sites are Puerta de Jerez (Jerez Gate), Sancho IV Monument and San Mateo Church.


Baelo Claudia: The ruins of a Roman city

The history of Tarifa began a lot of time ago, in the prehistory. From these times still remain some places, as the Albarbes necropolis or The Moorish Cave (La Cueva del Moro). However, the most important rests are in “Baelo Claudia”, a roman city which were founded in the third century B.C. and developed the next centuries, and whose ruins can been visited nowadays.


Guzman el Bueno’s Castle (Castillo de Guzmán el Bueno)

castle guzman el buenoThis castle is located in the south of the city, in the top of a hill, bordering the sea. It is said that it was built in the 10th century by Abderramán III. Some years later, in 1292, Tarifa was conquered by the Christians, commanded by Sancho IV.

Because of its strategic location, the castle was military point for many centuries. During this time it was improved and reconstructed many times.

Nowadays the castle is open to visitors. To visit the whole complex can last about 40 minutes. We recommend to visit it, and don’t miss your photos camera: From the towers of the castle you will see an amazing view of the Port , the sea and the Strait of Gibraltar.


Pigeons’ Island (Isla de las Palomas) and The Strait of Gibraltar (Estrecho de Gibraltar)

isla de las palomasThe Strait of Gibraltar is the piece of sea which separates Spain (Europe) and Morocco (Africa). It also separates the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. In its narrower point the strait measures 14 km, and it is one of the most transited sites of the world.

Pigeons’ Island (La Isla de las Palomas) is a small island located inside the Strait. Nowadays you can arrive at the island by foot following a path from the city. In the island you will find a 12th century fortress, which at first was a small military base, but which have been extended since then until the 20th century covered most of the island.

You can visit Pigeons’ Island for free. It is the officially the southernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula and of the continent of Europe. Also, from there you can see in the clear days the north of Africa.

cartel isla de las palomas


The Port of Tarifa

puerto de tarifaThe Port of Tarifa is the closest port near Europe and Africa. It can be seen from Guzman el Bueno’s Castle and also from Pigeons’ Island.

From this small port you can cross the The Strait of Gibraltar by boat and arrive in Tangier (Morocco).


Other places to visit in Andalusia and Spain

– Andalusia: Check here all our articles about this wonderful region of Spain.

Popular cities in Andalusia: Seville, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada.

The best places to visit in Spain: Read our post with the most popular places to visit.

Torre Agbar / Agbar Tower (Barcelona)

torre agbar

Agbar Tower (Torre Agbar) is an omnipresent skyscraper located in Barcelona city. Although it was built recently, its colorful surface (above all at night), its unique shape and its visibility from many points of the city have favored its fame among citizens and visitors.

The skyscraper was designed by Jean Nouvel architect and was inaugurated in 2005. Jean Nouvel said that the design of the building was inspirited in Antoni Gaudi’ style, very popular in Barcelona.

agbarAgbar Tower has more than 30 levels and measures 145 metres in height, which means being the third higher building of the city. The skyscraper is placed at Diagonal Avenue number 211, in front of Catalan Glories Square (Plaza de las Glorias Catalanas).

To arrive at Agbar Tower you can go by metro Line 1 to Glories Metro Station. You can also go by tram, taking the Line T5 to La Farinera station or Line T4 to Ca l’Aranyó tram station.


Visiting Agbar Tower (Torre Agbar) in Barcelona

Agbar Tower has more than 50000 square metres of rooms. Inside the tower there is space for offices, an auditorium room and a luxury hotel.

Nowadays, Agbar Tower is considered as one of the main icons of Barcelona. It is recommended to visiting it at night, when the crystal-surface of the skyscraper is illuminated by a vast variety of colors, creating amazing dynamic images and animations.



Other popular places to visit in Barcelona

– Church of the Holy Family (La Sagrada Familia): It is a must for tourists that arrive in the Condal City see its outstanding architecture, design and sculptures.

– Las Ramblas Avenue: Las Ramblas goes from Catalonia Square to the seaport, and it has a lot of cafes, terraces, pubs and discotheques. In the end of the street, there is the Cristobal Colon statue, one of the icons of Barcelona.

– Columbus Monument (Monumento a Colón): One of the most famous statues of Barcelona city. It was built in 1888 for a Universal Exposition and it represents a statue of Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon) above a pillar, pointing with his right hand to the sea.

– La Barceloneta beach: In summer, you can sunbathe or swim in the beach of La Barceloneta, which is 5 minutes walking from Las Ramblas – Columbus Statue.

– Casa MilaPopularly known as La Pedrera, Casa Mila is a unique modernist building located at Paseo de Gracia. The building was designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and built between 1906 and 1912.

– The Güell Park: People who visit the beautiful Güell Park can enjoy strolling in its area, sitting down on its decorated benches or admiring its fantastic architecture and the perfection the artwork.

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias / City of Arts and Sciences (Valencia)

valencia Arts and Sciences City

Located in Valencia, The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) is a complex of futuristic buildings in where visitors can discover one of the greatest aquariums of Europe, a science and technology museum, cinemas, a theater and many more cultural zones. It also has leisure areas with gardens, lakes and restaurants.

map ciudad artes ciencias valenciaIt was designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava and finished in 2002. The budget was initially of 600 million euros, but at the end it cost four times more, which generated a lot of polemic among the population because of its high cost. However, nowadays most people agree on considering the City of Arts and Sciences as the more important touristic attraction of Valencia, and one of the places that tourists must see when visiting Spain.

To arrive at Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias you can take the bus (Lines 1, 13, 15 35, 47 and 95). Also you can go by metro (Line 5) to Ayora or Maritim Serreria Stations (15 minutes away on foot).


What to visit in City of Arts and Sciences?

The City of Arts and Sciences consists in a wide zone in the center of Valencia, near the sea and the Port of Valencia, in where are located the followings cultural and leisure buildings and structures:

hemisferic valencia– The Hemisferic (3-D IMAX cinema): Inside this impressive building, which is one of the main icons of the city, you will find the bigger cinema hall of Spain. Its exterior shape of its white structure surrounded by water represents a human eye.

– The Oceanográfic: The biggest aquarium of Europe with more than 10,000 square metres and which has around 45,000 living beings. It is composed by several separated zones in where are represented these environments: The Mediterranean sea, The tropical zones, Ocean Environments, Antarctic and Arctic, Islands and Humid regions. Moreover, it includes a dolphin area and a submarine restaurant.

– Museo de ciencias Príncipe Felipe (Sciences Museum): A science museum in where young and older people can discover the principles of the 21th century science and technology by touching and doing interactive experiments.

oceanografic valencia– Sophie Queen Arts Palace (Theater): The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía has four big theater halls dedicated to classical music, opera and theater plays. It also includes an additional zone for expositions.

– The Agora (Square-Pavilion): A Pavilion for events, as concerts or similar activities.

– The Umbracle (gardens): A view point from where the people can observe the whole complex of buildings. The Umbracle include gardens and paths to walk and discover regional plants, statues and sculptures.

More places to visit in Valencia

The Turia Gardens: A public green park of more than 7,000 metres long with great variety of trees, plants ,flowers, herbs, grass, many fountains, several sports areas, some playgrounds, a lot of places to relax and rest, so on.

The Silk Market: A must for visitors who arrive in Valencia is the Silk Market (la Lonja de la Seda). It’s a masterwork of the 15th century declared a world Heritage site by UNESCO in 1996.

Read also our post with the best monuments and buildings to visit in Spain.

Plaza de España / Spain Square (Madrid)

plaza españa

Almost every city in Spain has its own “Plaza de España” (Spain Square). Probably, the most famous is Plaza España of Sevilla, but Madrid has also one of the most touristic ones: In this Plaza de España (Madrid) you will discover the first skyscrapers built in Spain, two beautiful fountains, gardens and in the middle of the square, a statue of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza (Cervantes’s Monument). There is also common to view organized activities in the square, as street markets with food or handicraft objects, or any kind of events.

plaza españa madridPlaza de España is located in a very privileged site. It is between these four zones:

1- In one corner starts Gran Via Avenue , the way to Cibeles Square, Puerta del Sol (Sun Square) and the center of Madrid.

2- In the second corner, there are placed The Royal Palace, El Senado building, Sabatini and Oriente Gardens and Almudena Cathedral.

3- In the third corner there is The West Park (Parque del Oeste) in where it is located The Debod Temple.

4- And finally, in the last corner starts Princesa Avenue, which ends in Moncloa neighborhood and the university zone.

To arrive at Plaza de España (Madrid) by metro, you can take Line 3 or Line 10 until Plaza España Station, or Line 1 until Noviciado Station.


What to see in Plaza de España (Madrid)

plaza españa madridThe main attractions to see in this square are the following:

– Don Quijote and Sancho Panza statues: These statues are on the middle of the square and they are a tribute to the famous writer, Miguel de Cervantes. The called Cervantes Monument was built at the beginning of the 20th century and consists in two statues of the fictional characters and an ornamented huge pillar behind them.

– The first skyscrapers of Spain: The Spain Building (Edificio España) was built in 1953 and measures 120 metres in height. Then, in 1954 was built Torre Madrid, with measures 142 metres. Finally, there are other relevant buildings bordering the square as Casa Gallardo.

fuente plaza españa– The fountains, gardens and the surroundings: In our Tour “What to visit in Madrid in one week” it’s explained all the monuments and touristic places that you can visit around Plaza España.


Eating at Plaza España

If you like Chinese food, it is said that below the fountain (in a commercial passage which leads to the underground parking) is placed one of the most famous Chinese restaurants of Madrid (but take into account that the real Chinese food is not the same food than the Chinese food of most European restaurants 😉 ) If not, you can find all kind of restaurants and cafes in Gran Via Avenue.



More touristic places to visit in Madrid near Plaza de España

 Gran via Avenue: Gran Via is one of the most famous streets of Spanish capital. It is situated in the center of Madrid and was built 100 years ago. The idea of the street was to join and improve the communication between the districts of the capital city.

– The Royal Palace: Nowadays, the Royal Palace is the official residence of the king of Spain Juan Carlos I, who uses it for important events because the King lives in a small palace called The Zarzuela. The palace was built between 1738 and 1755, and the king Felipe V (1683-1746) ordered its construction.

– Catedral de La Almudena (Almudena Cathedral): This is the main cathedral of Madrid. It is placed in front of Palacio Real.

– Jardines de Oriente (Oriente Gardens): A square with a beautiful gardens and two rows of statues on this sides. They are placed beside Palacio Real.

– Jardines de Sabatini (Sabatini Gardens): These gardens are placed by Real Palace, and also close to El Senado building.

The Debod Temple It is an old Egyptian temple which is located in Parque del Oeste. Although the temple was once in Egypt, it was disassembled in 1960 and translated to Spain ten years later to avoid its inundation because of the construction of a dam in Egypt.

Read also our post with What to visit in Madrid in one week and the Top destinations in Spain.

La Ciudadela de Jaca / The Jaca Citadel (The Pyrenees, Huesca)

ciudadela jaca

muralla ciudadela jacaLocated in Huesca province, Jaca is the biggest city of the Aragonese Pyrenees, and also the most touristic one. In Summer Jaca is always full of activity and people who want to camp nearby, make excursions through the valleys and mountains, or simply rest. In winter, Jaca is one of the capital cities of the sky in The Pyrenees.


The Jaca Citadel (La ciudadela de Jaca)

citadel jacaThe Citadel is the main icon of Jaca. Its pentagram-star shape and its location, in the center of the city has turned it in a clear distinctive of the region of La Jacetania.

Its constructions started in the last years of the 16th century, ordered by Felipe II to defend this strategical city against the French army. Once finished The Citadel the next century, it had never been damaged or attacked (only in 1809 was taken by France after the capitulation of the city because the lack of people to defend Jaca. Nevertheless the fortress was recovered five years later, in 1814).

citadel jaca 2The complex is formed by a fortification with a trench bordering its exterior walls and a drawbridge at its entrance. Inside its five pointed star walls there is a pentagonal construction, a church and a courtyard.

Currently you can visit exterior area of The Citadel for free (its highly recommended to visit it at night). You also can buy a ticket to have a guided visit of its interior. Inside the citadel there is also a military miniatures museum.

Other remarkable places to visit in Jaca city

The ice palace (Palacio de hielo): Jaca has two ice pavilions where people can do ice skating in its ice rinks all seasons of the year. Both pavilions are located together. The oldest one opened its gates in 1972; the newest one is an olimpic pabillion which was built in 2007 to improve and replace the older one.

view mountain from jaca– The pubs and restaurants area (Zona de restaurantes y bares): The restaurants and pubs zone of Jaca is located in the city centre, 4 minutes on foot from The Citadel. Thanks to the citizens and the visitors who come to Jaca to make excursions and enjoy the environment in Summer and ski in Winter, the zone is always full of activity.

– The surroundings of Jaca: Jaca is surrounded by many small towns, campings and mountains. Ideal for excursions!


More touristic destinations near Jaca

Ainsa: With almost 2300 inhabitants, nowadays Ainsa is a touristic village in where many people who enjoy being in nature can visit its old centre and its castle, try the gastronomy of the Pyrenees towns and observe its astonishing landscape.

ski pirineos aragonThe Pyrenees: In summer, many people camp in the Pyrenees for discovering its mountains, rivers and lakes, and for practicing sports in this environment. In winter, the Pyrenees ski stations are some of the most frequented places of Spain to ski (with Sierra Nevada at the south of the county).

The Pyrenees can be separated in five zones depending on what region are located: Aragon, Catalonia, Navarra, France and Andorra. The main sky stations of the Aragonese Pyrenees are these ones: Panticosa, Formigal, Candanchú, Cerler, Astún, Javalambre and Valderinares.

Barrio de San Martín (Cuenca) / St. Martin Neighborhood: The Old Town of Cuenca


Cuenca is a Spanish city located in the central zone of the country, between Madrid and Valencia. Founded on the 8th century, nowadays it has around 50,000 inhabitants and it is virtually divided in two zones: the old town (uptown the city) and the modern city beside it.

To walk from the modern part of the city to the Old Town can be described as an inexplicable sensation. Step by step, when you up the slopes and the streets becomes more and more narrow, you start to feel that the 21th century disappear and you come back to a medieval age where the traditional buildings and the nature is present everywhere.


St. Martin Neighborhood (Barrio de San Martín) and the Old Town of Cuenca

barrio de san martin cuencaSt. Martin Neighborhood is a popular zone of Cuenca where the time have been stopped long time ago. It is placed in the top of the city, and is full of narrow streets and traditional buildings. Probably, its most famous picture is the views of its balconies, from where you can see a sensational landscape of the city.

In St. Martin Neighborhood and its surroundings, you will find many interesting places to visit:

– Alfonso VII Street, with ends in the Main Square (Plaza Mayor), where is placed the The Cathedral of Cuenca.

– The cathedral (Catedral de Santa María y San Julián de Cuenca): The Cuenca’s Cathedral is in the Main Square, uptown the city. It was built between the 12th and 14th centuries.

– The hanged houses (Casas colgantes): The hanged houses are the most touristic monuments of Cuenca. They are placed at the beginning of the Old Town, in a slope called Hoz del Huécar. Long time ago all the ravine had houses hanged, but nowadays remains only three of them.  Don’t leave St. Martin Neighborhood without taking a photo of the Hanged Houses!

In the area are also placed some museums as The Abstract Art Museum (Museo de arte abstracto) or The Holy Week Museum.  Finally, leaving the neighborhood to the modern city, there is the Jucar river and its benches, in where are a lot of green zones.

More touristic sites to visit near Cuenca

Read our full list of cities and destinations to visit in Castilla La Mancha.

Other cities near Cuenca:  Toledo, Madrid, Valencia, Zaragoza.

Ainsa: A millenary town in the center of the Pyrenees


Ainsa (or L’Aínsa) is an historic town located in the Aragonese Pyrenees (Huesca province). It is placed in the Sobrarbe district, at the joining of the Cinca and Ara rivers, and near to The Ordesa and Monte Perdido Natural Park.

With almost 2300 inhabitants, nowadays Ainsa is a touristic village in where many people who enjoy being in nature can visit its old centre and its castle, try the gastronomy of the Pyrenees towns and observe its astonishing landscape. Also, it’s very common to travel to The Pyrenees (Los Pirineos) to make excursions in Summer, play sports, climb mountains, camp or to ski in Winter.


The old town of Ainsa

street 3The old town of Ainsa is located uptown the village.

It is all stone made, with a lot of narrow streets and slopes. In this zone you will find the historic monuments of Ainsa (the church, the castle, the main square, many traditional houses…), some view points, restaurants and touristic shops with traditional food and gifts of Sobrarbe.



The view points

river ainsaAinsa surely has some of the most impressive balconies of the Pyrenees. From them can be seen Cinca River and Ara River, which joins just near the village.

Also can be seen the mountains and hills that surround the town, as the famous Peña Montañesa.


viewer pirinees


Santa Maria Church and the Main Square

ainsa churchSt. Mary Church (Iglesia de Santa Maria) is a Roman church built between the 11th and 12th centuries. From its tower, the people who ascend it can discover a view of the whole village.


church tower ainsaBeside the church is located the Main Square, where is the city hall, and from where can be seen the castle.



Ainsa’s castle

ainsa castleLocated in the historic centre of Ainsa, this castle is dated from the eleventh century.

Nowadays from its ruins (the entrance is for free), at the top of Ainsa, you can see the whole area: The town, the Cinca and Ara rivers and the astonishing mountains that surround Ainsa.  It also has an eco-museum (Eco Museo).


castle inside


Ordesa and Monte Perdido Natural Park (Valle de Ordesa)

excursion en los pirineosThis natural park is one of the preferred natural parks chosen by the Spaniards to make excursions and enjoy the nature. Its routes through the mountains offers a wide variety of experiences for all ages. Its highest mountain is Monte Perdido (3,350 metres).

In summer, many people camp in the Pyrenees for discovering its mountains, rivers and lakes, and for practicing sports in this environment.

Skiing in the Pyrenees

formigalIn winter, the Pyrenees ski stations are some of the most frequented places of Spain to ski (with Sierra Nevada at the south of the county).  The Pyrenees can be separated in five zones depending on what region are located: Aragon, Catalonia, Navarra, France and Andorra.

The main sky stations of the Aragonese Pyrenees are these ones: Panticosa, Formigal, Candanchú, Cerler, Astún, Javalambre and Valderinares.


More Places to visit near Ainsa

boltaña– Boltaña: This town is placed only 6 km away from Ainsa. It is also an ancient village with a traditional Old Town and a castle in the top of a hill from where can be seen a very beautiful landscape.

Jaca: This is the biggest city in the Aragonese Pyrenees. In Summer is always plenty of activity and people who want to camp, make excursions on the area or simply rest. In winter, Jaca is one of the capital cities of the ski sport.

Aragon Region: Check here all our post about what to visit in Aragon.