Spain — By on January 31, 2012 at 11:59 pm

By Will Jones 

Special to The Lost Girls

Spain. A country rich in colorful and diverse history; of incredibly varied regions; and warm, welcoming people. First-time visitors often expect bullfights, sangria, and sombreros, and while these are vital and traditional aspects of Spanish culture, there’s much more to modern Spain as a progressive, diverse, and unique society.

Cities to Visit

The three top cities in Spain to visit are Madrid, Barcelona, and Granada. Madrid is a big city, and most travelers find excitement in the fast pace and extreme size of the city. Barcelona is known for its beautiful architecture and its vibrant city life. Granada, the smaller of these three cities and known for its historical fortresses, is quickly making a name for itself as an extreme sports and bungee jumping destination.

Things to Do

In Madrid there are various activities and shops you can visit. Most shops have the most up to date styles in Spain; also Madrid has a lot of architecture and a very popular museum in the airport terminal which exhibits over 150 children’s artwork and their creative views of flight. Also, they opened another museum in 2008 called the CaxiaForum. The museum shows various pieces of architecture and has had award winning pieces inside it. In Barcelona a building named the Sagrada Familia is the biggest temple which has been under construction since 1882. The architecture of the building is incredibly unique. Also, the Barcelona Aquarium is a very popular attraction for kids.  In Granada, the most popular monument the Red Palace it holds historical value, and is also one of the most popular sights to see throughout the world.

Where to Eat

The most popular restaurant in Madrid is the Alboroque which has a star chef who has a wine cellar of more than 3,000 different wines; also he has various dishes which contain several of his famous spices which are to die for in Madrid. In Barcelona Drolma has a popular Mediterranean and Catalina cuisine. In Granada Vinotinto Parrilla is known for its casual feast, and cozy pub.

Safety While Traveling

When traveling make sure to keep your i.d. on you and a small amount of cash in case of emergencies. Also, make sure to lock up any valuables you may have in the hotel. In any country pick pocketing is very popular, so make sure to keep your wallet in your front pocket and for ladies to have their purses in front where you can see them. Also, make sure to keep a map on you at all times, because you don’t want to get lost in a country that you are unfamiliar with. Try traveling with friends especially at night time so you can avoid any confrontation possible with strangers.

Saving Money

When traveling a smart way to save money is planning a budget ahead of time. The sooner you plan the trip the more money you’ll save in the long run. Make sure to find cheap airline tickets in advance. If you look for tickets in advance the more choices you’ll have and the better prices will be available. Check out the hostels in cities that you plan to visit, most are very cheap, but you can find cheaper prices if you search in advance. Make sure to take in the cost of traveling and living in a city for a certain amount of time. You may not want to go over your budget or spend all of your time in one city, because it’s very expensive in certain cities.

Don’t Leave Without…

Don’t miss the city’s beautiful architecture, and amazing terraces on all rooftops in Spain. Also, Picasso’s piece Guernica has historical meaning behind it. The piece was celebrated for its antiwar view and is one of the most popular monuments in Spanish history. Lastly, the restaurant La Latina is a great experience, because you eat your entire meal standing up

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