Covering over 125 hectares and comprising more than 15,000 trees, El Retiro Park is a green oasis in the heart of the city. In it you’ll find all kinds of interesting monuments and gardens, including the Jardín de Vivaces, the Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez (Andalusian-inspired classicistic gardens), the Jardines del Arquitecto Herrero Palacios, the Rosaleda rose garden and the Parterre Francés, which holds a Mexican conifer that is nearly 400 years old and is believed to be Madrid’s oldest tree. https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-retiro
This gallery in Madrid has the most complete collection of Spanish painting from 11th-18th centuries, and numerous masterpieces by great universal artists such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Bosch, Titian, Van Dyck and Rembrandt.
The quality and variety of its collection makes the Prado one of the world's best-endowed museums. It combines a first-class collection of Spanish painting, the most important works of the Flemish and Italian schools, and various fine examples of the German, French and English schools. It is home to numerous masterpieces of universal art such as Las Meninas by Velázquez, the two Majas by Goya, Nobleman with his hand on his chest by El Greco, the Garden of Delights by Bosch, and The Three Graces by Rubens, among other priceless pieces. Although the museum was created to house primarily works of painting and sculpture, it also contains major collections of drawings, engravings, coins and medals, as well as items of clothing and decorative art. http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/arte/museos/madrid/museo_nacional_del_prado.html
Madrid's Royal Palace was built in the 18th century by order of Philip V on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, a former Moorish castle. Sachetti began the works in 1738, and the building was completed in 1764. Sabatini designed the southeast wing and the great staircase, or staircase of honour. It has a square floor plan with a large central courtyard. The Puerta del Príncipe gateway on the east side gives access to the central courtyard. The Sabatini and Campo del Moro Gardens are among the Palace's other attractions, as well as its several different façades. There is some debate as to its artistic style; it is thought by some experts to belong more to the Baroque, and by others to the Neo-classical style. Of particular note among its numerous rooms are the Royal Guards' Room, the Columns Room, the Hall of Mirrors and King Charles III's room. It also contains paintings by Velázquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco and Caravaggio. http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/arte/monumentos/madrid/palacio_real.html
This portico lined square is situated at the heart of Hapsburg Madrid, the old part of the city and one of the capital’s most charming districts.
Before Madrid became a capital city, with its wide avenues and boulevards, its footprint consisted of narrow streets, alleys and passageways, which today take us back to the times of swashbuckling swordsmen and medieval rogues.
The foundations of Plaza Mayor were laid, when Philip II's court moved to Madrid, on the site of the former Plaza del Arrabal, where the town's most popular market was located towards the end of the 15th century. In 1617, architect Juan Gómez de Mora was commissioned to create a greater uniformity amongst the buildings in this location, which for centuries had hosted popular entertainments, bullfights, beatifications, coronations and the occasional auto de fe. https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/plaza-mayor-madrid
This is one of the most well-known monuments in Madrid. Built between 1769 and 1778 under the orders of King Carlos III, it was designed by Francisco Sabatini and erected as a triumphal arch to celebrate the arrival of the monarch at the capital. The granite gate is 19.5 metres tall and is elegant and well-proportioned. The façade features a number of decorative elements with groups of sculptures, capitals, reliefs and masks, among others. http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/arte/monumentos/madrid/puerta_de_alcala.html
This bustling square located bang in the centre of Madrid is one of the city’s most famous sites. With its semi-circular shape, it is a junction for many of the city’s historical and busiest streets such as Mayor, Arenal, Alcalá and Preciados, as well as the starting point for all major radial roads in Spain.
Originally the site of one of the city’s gates, Puerta del Sol should be at the top of your list of places to visit. Sitting atop the Casa de Correos building, the current headquarters of the Madrid regional government, you’ll find the famous clock that all eyes turn to on the last day of the year. For over a century now tradition has it that people across the country usher in the New Year by eating 12 lucky grapes to the twelve chimes of midnight struck by this clock.
A stone slab on the pavement in front of the main entrance to the Casa de Correos marks Spain’s Kilometre 0, the starting point for all major radial roads in Spain. Across the square, at the beginning of Calle Alcalá, Madrid’s longest street, you’ll find the famous Oso y Madroño. The official symbol of the city, the statue of a bear nuzzling a strawberry tree is a popular meeting spot for Madrileños. https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/puerta-del-sol
Built in 1782, the Cibeles Fountain has been standing in this emblematic square since 1895. One of the city’s most famous landmarks, it depicts Cybele, the Great Mother and Roman goddess of fertility, atop a chariot drawn by two lions.
It stands in the centre of the Plaza de Cibeles, the square to which it has lent its name and which marks the start of Madrid’s avenue of art, the Paseo del Arte. The fountain is flanked by four magnificent buildings: Buenavista Palace (the Army’s General Headquarters), Linares Palace (which accommodates the Casa de América cultural institution), Cibeles Palace (previously the main Post Office, it now houses Madrid City Hall and CentroCentro cultural centre), and the Bank of Spain. Commissioned by King Charles III it was designed by renowned Spanish architect Ventura Rodriguez. All three figures were made with purple marble from the town of Montesclaros, in Toledo, and the rest of the monument was carved from stone from Redueña, an area 53km to the north of Madrid, close to the La Cabrera mountain range. https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/fuente-de-la-cibeles
The stunning Palacio de Cibeles is not only the headquarters of Madrid City Council, it is also home to CentroCentro. A recent addition to the renowned Paseo del Arte, the cultural centre boasts a packed programme of activities that revolve around the city and includes exhibitions, workshops, conferences and concerts.
Next to the entrance hall, where you’ll find interactive information screens, there is a colourful lounge where visitors can sit back and read, connect to WiFi or enjoy some people-watching through the large windows that look out onto Plaza de Cibeles. The building has two restaurants: Colección Cibeles on the ground floor and Palacio de Cibeles on the 6th. Both are open Monday to Sunday. Also on the sixth floor is Terraza Cibeles, a great rooftop bar where you can relax with a pre-dinner drink or mid-afternoon snack as you take in the wonderful views of the Plaza de Cibeles and the Madrid skyline.
For even more breathtaking vistas, head up to the Mirador observation deck on the 8th floor. https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/centrocentro-palacio-de-cibeles
In 1968, Manuel Herrero Palacios designed these 8 hectares of gardens so that one could sit and admire the magnificence of the Temple of Debod, which had been donated to Spain by the Government of Egypt. The Debod Mausoleum, which is more than 2,000 years old, was rescued from the waters of Aswan Dam by a group of Spanish archaeologists. They brought back every stone and rebuilt it in its present location, after the Government of Egypt donated it to Spain. It was set on the remains of Cuartel de la Montaña, retaining the orientation to the sun it had at its place of origin.
From here, the famous Manzanares cornice, with the Royal Palace, Casa de Campo and, possibly, the most beautiful sunsets in Madrid, can be seen. The garden’s parterres on both sides are merely a vegetation frame. They are enclosed with squares, banana trees for alignment and groups of palm trees and Mediterranean plants on the meadows. https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/jardines-del-templo-de-debod
Opened in May 1916 as a food market, this centenary establishment (one of the city’s few and best examples of iron architecture) became Madrid’s first gastronomy market in May 2009. Throughout 2018, the market will undergo a period of consolidation of much of its gastronomy contents.
Located in the centre of Los Austrias Madrid and with over 10 million visitors a year, the San Miguel Market is the city’s gastronomic temple, the contemporary essence of all the corners of Spanish cuisine. From the best Iberian ham to fresh seafood brought from Galicia each day, the Mediterranean rice or the special cheese from Castile, Asturias or the Basque Country. The finest products and wine from the length and breadth of Spain are divided among 30 permanent stands and 3 in a portable format. https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/mercado-de-san-miguel
The Sagrada Familia is definitely the most famous building in Barcelona. Considered one of Gaudi’s masterpieces, it’s a key attraction in Barcelona and one of the most striking monuments ever built in the world.
In fact, there is absolutely no other building in the world featuring such a genius mixture between Gothic and Art Nouveau styles. Antoni Gaudí took over the project in 1883, a year after construction had begun, and completely reshaped the project to fit his unique style.
Unfortunately, Gaudí died in 1926 when only a quarter of the project had been constructed. Sadly, most of the blueprints left were burned in a fire, therefore, all that’s been built ever since has been a wide interpretation of Gaudi’s architecture.
Stopping over the Sagrada Familia should be top priority if you’re in Barcelona for the first time.
Visiting the basilica it’s an enjoyable experience and a great way to be introduced into Gaudí’s architecture. Besides, it offers the best possible views of the surrounding Eixample District, Barcelona’s own Big Apple. https://barcelonando.com/sagrada-familia
Park Guell is one of the most fantastic designs ever built by Gaudi. A landmark on its own, it features amazing views of Barcelona and plenty of modernist works. Needless to say, as soon you pass the entrance, you’ll notice right away that this isn’t an ordinary park.
Curiously, Park Güell wasn’t originally intended to be a park, but rather a project for luxurious homes. In 1900, the site was just a rocky hill with nothing but vegetation around, in the vicinity of some isolated upper class country houses. The result was one of the most fascinating works by Gaudí.
The intention of the project was to take advantage of the breathtaking views of Barcelona and the clean fresh air, away from the factories, in order to build a top of the line housing complex.
In Park Guell, there are plenty of paths and vegetation to enjoy, but the architectural structures are the glue that holds the whole place together. https://barcelonando.com/parc-guell
Casa Batllo is one of Barcelona’s biggest landmarks. If buildings could be celebrities, there would be a perpetual red carpet in front of it. The remarkable facade it’s the most prominent feature and it has been subject to many interpretations.
Originally, Gaudí didn’t build Casa Batlló. He was hired to redesign the late 1800’s building in 1904, and the result was one of his most emblematic works in Barcelona along the Sagrada Familia. The building was transformed into one that hardly resembles the original. Animal and nature forms inspired the facade of Casa Batlló. For example, the skull shape of the balconies.
As beautiful as is the outside, you must schedule a visit to the interior to witness the most original and jaw-dropping architecture.
To begin with, a good part of the outside is covered with bits and pieces of broken and multicolored ceramic tiles, a technique called Trencadís, which was used massively by Gaudi in most of his works, visible for example in the Park Güell benches. An interesting effect is created when direct sunlight hits the building, as the tiles shift through different shades of colors along with the stained glass windows. https://barcelonando.com/casa-batllo
The Gothic Quarter is one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona. Located in the heart of the old city, this neighborhood features a fusion of buildings dating from Roman times to the 20th century.
The main attribute of the Gothic Quarter is the antique aspect of its buildings, narrow streets and the near absence of traffic. In fact, many areas are for pedestrians only and built like a labyrinth of winding streets and hidden squares. https://barcelonando.com/barri-gotic-gothic-quarter
El Palau de la Musica Catalana is the most famous concert halls in Barcelona. Squeezed between the narrow streets of La Ribera neighborhood, is one of the most fantastic buildings of the Modernista movement. https://barcelonando.com/palau-de-la-musica-catalana
This amazing building, the Casa Amatller by Puig i Cadafalch, a contemporary of Gaudí, which combines the neo-Gothic style with a ridged façade inspired by houses in the Netherlands, is part of the block known as the "mansana de la discòrdia" of Barcelona. http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/page/1197/casa-amatller.html
It isnt surprising that the Barcelona locals nicknamed Tibidabo "the magic mountain". Standing 515 metres high, it's the tallest point on the Collserola Ridge and its distinctive outline features on many postcards of the city. Don't forget your camera if you decide to go to the top and explore; you'll be able to take shots of Barcelona at your feet and enjoy a bird's-eye view of its landmark buildings. http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/enjoy/15/tibidabo-the-magic-mountain.html?nom=&categoria=3&tag=&ids=[57,50,55,63,45,24,23,35,26,43,46,16,52,17,25,27,5,34]
The park covers a surface area of 17 hectares and gives Nou Barris a pleasant, modern appearance in keeping with the residential area where it is located. It blends in perfectly with the site and its undulating landform has a lot of surprises in store. http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/page/524/parc-central-de-nou-barris.html
Together with Barceloneta beach, these are the city's oldest and most traditional beaches. They were the first to have amenities for bathing, an activity that was the exclusive domain of the city's well-to-do classes at the time. The recent building of a hotel has created a small, peaceful cove where you'll find a number of restaurants. http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/page/1113/sant-sebastia-beach.html
The most visited market in Barcelona is without a doubt La Boqueria, the first market to open in the city.
If you’re looking to experiment the daily life of locals, nothing comes as close as visiting the Barcelona city markets. They’re bright, colorful, busy and noisy places, and in most of them you can find practically any product you can imagine.
Located next to La Rambla in the Gothic Quarter District, it has become one of the city’s milestones, an essential piece into Barcelona’s biggest attractions.La Boqueria is not just a regular market, but a social and gastronomical experience. Beside the market stalls, there is a lot more going on, and you can find every possible option to eat and drink.
As you start walking to the entrance, get ready to experiment a feast for the senses. When planning your visit, better do it before lunchtime, when the market is in fully alive. https://barcelonando.com/la-boqueria-market
The Salvador is a religious temple for Roman Catholic worship under the patronage of Our Lord San Salvador, located in the Plaza del Salvador in Seville and is the largest church in the city, after the Cathedral. Deprived of its parish ranking after the latest restoration work, it currently functions as an exempt church, within the parish jurisdiction of San Isidro. https://www.visitasevilla.es/en/church-of-the-divine-salvador
The Archaeological Museum of Seville has its origins at the end of the 19th century, when a public collection of antiquities was created, most of it taken from the Roman city Italica. https://www.visitasevilla.es/en/museo-arqueologico
The Casa de Pilatos is a combination of Italian Renaissance styles and the Spanish Mudejar style. It is considered a prototype Andalusian palace. Construction of the palace began in 1483, at the initiative and desire of Pedro Enríquez de Quiñones (IV Adelantado Mayor of Andalusia) and his second wife, Catherine de Ribera, the founders of the Casa de Alcalá. https://www.visitasevilla.es/en/la-casa-pilatos
The most important temple in the Region is a magnificent merge of styles, a catalogue of stone which summarizes more than six centuries of art and history.
Its construction began in 1394 over the remains of an old Arabic mosque and in 1462 its vaults were finished. The oldest entrance is La Puerta de Los Apóstoles (the door of the Apostles). Its only storefront is flanked by pointed archivolts with statues of the apostles on it. La Puerta de las Cadenas( the door of the Chains) dates from 1513 and has original pilasters and archivolts.
From the 15th century dates the Capilla de Los Vélez covered by a ten-pointed star vault and profusely decorated. Another famous chapel is that of Junterón, whose oval ground plan is covered by an extremely original vault.
Its baroque main façade (Imafronte), Jaime Bort¿s work, is an exaltation of Levantine art (the 18th century eastern Spain art). It is divided as an altarpiece into two parts and three vertical sections. The tower, divided into five parts, is 92 meters high. Its construction started in 1511 and the fifth body hosts twenty-five church bells https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/monument/catedral-de-murcia-327/
ARQUA Museo Nacional de Arqueología Subacuática is the institution in charge of studying, valuing, investigating, preserving, disseminating and protecting the Spanish underwater cultural heritage. It is also home to the Permanent Observatory for the National Plan for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage.
These tasks are carried out in collaboration with the different regional governments and its research centres and in cooperation with the States who partner with the UNESCO Convention.
Furthermore, the ARQUA has recently taken charge of the Odyssey’s treasure. The Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes frigate collection, which consists of more than 570,000 gold and silver coins from the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/museum/arqua-museo-nacional-de-arqueologia-subacuatica-132/
Anyone who loves nature and places untouched by the human hand will find the Almadenes Canyon a landscape of singular beauty. On the other hand, there is a rich biodiversity of flora including poplars, ashes and willows and wildlife such as the eagle owl, the short-toed Eagle and the otter. In this attractive touristic enclave, you can pursue adventure sports such as trekking, canyoning, and of course, the river descent by inflatable boat or kayak which offers every visitor the opportunity to travel down the river irrespective of their age or physical fitness. https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/natural_area/ca%c3%b1on-de-almadenes-4508/
You can access there through the Urbanization El Fraile Resort in the highroad Calabardina, where you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of Bahía and Isla del Fraile. The southern area of the beach is open and the eastern area is protected by the island, both, the beach and the island, separated by a 50m width and 1.5 deep narrow canals, dangerous for a swim in stormy days. The predominant eastern current increases its intensity when it arrives at the strait between island and beach, resulting in high quality, extraordinary transparent waters. During the whole summer is a meeting point of sports boats. Its surroundings are very rich in archaeological remains. https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/beach/playa-amarilla-615/
Protected natural beach of high landscape value. This beach is located within the regional park Parque Regional de Calblanque, one of the best preserved unspoilt natural landscapes on the coast. Its enormous natural wealth is based on its arid mountains, its long, ocher and golden-colored beaches as well as its lonely coves, the formation of its fossil dunes, its white salt lakes and its mountain massifs, which contrast with the blue sea. https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/beach/playa-de-calblanque-590/
In 1990 the first remains of what would be one of the most interesting monuments of the city of Cartagena were discovered accidentally. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive theatres throughout Spain.
It was built in 44 BC when Octavian Augustus was emperor and Cartagena was a Roman colony (Colonia Urbs Nova Carthago) going through a period of high population and economic development; at that time it was called Carthago Nova. From its location, the theatre has witnessed different periods of the history of Cartagena, since the Roman Empire, up to the present, overlapping constructions of each of the historical periods. The Roman Theatre faithfully followed the theatre model proposed by Vitruvius. It was built almost entirely in the rock on a hill. https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/monument/teatro-romano-349/
The underground cavity has the longest horizontal run of the Region of Murcia and its more than 700 meters long. It has different astonishing rooms and spectacular rock formations with
three fantastic audiovisual shows.
Locution and synchronized lighting with LED technology and exciting walkways all provided. Also specialized guides for excursions.
The Cueva del Puerto Reception Centre of Calasparra has a cafeteria, a multipurpose hall also used for conferences, interpretative room, terraces for activities, parking lots, cave tourism centre, etc. https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/monument/cueva-del-puerto-5270/
Protected natural beach with sand dunes and salt lakes. It is located in the regional park Parque Regional de las Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar, between the beaches Playa de Las Salinas and Punta de Algas. This is the first one of the beaches that can be found in La Llana, as well as the only place where some shaded areas can be found, in the shelter of a group of palm trees. https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/beach/playa-de-la-llana-(playa-de-la-barraca-quemada)-545/
On the Islamic-Mudejar palace of the Emir of Murcia, Ibn Hud, the monastery of Santa Clara was founded, which since 1365 houses the Clarisas nuns. In this building come several centuries of history and different cultures such as Islamic, Gothic and Baroque. The museum space and the nuns coexist in total harmony.
It conserves one of the oldest Arabic pools in Spain. https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/museum/museo-de-santa-clara-102/
With more than 150 years of history, the eclectic building of the Romea Theater is one of the most important cultural references of the city. Built after an earlier one that suffered two fires, the current theater was inaugurated in 1900 thanks to the architect Justo Millán. https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/monument/teatro-romea-955/