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Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 12, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
"Aquí, Se Guisa" is the motto at Borda Berri, one of the Old Town's best pintxo bars. The star of every pintxo is a braised critter: beef, octopus, rabbit, you name it. There's no pintxos on the bar at this spot, but don't let that keep you from...
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Okendo Kalea, 1, 20004 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Let's say you only have a day or two in San Sebastián and no time to research your trip. Who you gonna call? Jon Warren and his team at San Sebastián Food. They offer shortcuts to the heart of the San Sebastián food scene, and the truth is, they...
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Calle Mayor, 18, 20013 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
Everyone knows a pintxo hop is a must-do in San Sebastián. What everyone doesn't know is that Atari Gastroteka, located in the shadows of the old town's beautiful Santa Maria church, is the perfect last stop on the tour. Their artisan foie is...
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San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain
When someone tells me they're traveling to Spain and looking for recommendations, San Sebastian (Donostia, in Basque) is my first thought for city destinations in the northern part of the country. It's charming, beautiful, and steeped in history....
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Calle de Ijentea, 2, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Turning down that last gin-tonic has its benefits. The Old Part of San Sebastián is at its most peaceful in the morning. Head to Pastelería Oyarzun, grab a hot piece of what the locals call "brioche," but is actually a croissant with raisins, off...
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Zurriola Ibilbidea, s/n, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Zurriola beach is slightly off the radar, or at least as much off the radar as one of a city's three beaches can be. The only tourists that typically venture over are of the surfing persuasion, and sitting to watch the sunset on the wall that...
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Sànchez Toca Kalea, 1, 20006 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Pokhara, located in the center of the city, has one of the best ambiences around. The quintessential European café, with a touch of Paris and a touch of Spain, it attracts a younger, hip crowd. Don't expect food beyond the obligatory croissants...
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Malkorbe Kalea, 5, 20808 Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Arriving to Getaria can be done by bus, but one of the most unforgettable parts of visiting this village is approaching (or exiting) it by the sidewalk that winds along the sea. Depending on the time of year, you will have endless views of a calm...
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Aldamar Parkea Parkea, 6, 20808 Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Few names in fashion have the caché of Balenciaga. That's why it may come as a surprise that he is from the tiny village of Getaria. After years of contention and fighting over precious pieces, the Balenciaga Museum finally became a reality. It's...
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Elkano, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Elkano is world-famous for its grilled seafood. From clams to tuna, this spot grills it all and sells it by the kilo. They specialize, like Kai Kaipe, in grilled fish. Locals who prefer Elkano, and even those who prefer Kai Kaipe, say that the...
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San Salvador Church, located in the middle of Getaria's central quarter, dates back to the 1400s. It has a curiously naval vibe to it, with a sloping floor and blue stained glass that gives the illusion of being on a vessel. A crypt nearby hides a...
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General Arnao Kalea, 4, 20808 Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain
“A poorly grilled turbot is a turbot that has died in vain." This is the motto that hangs in Kai Kaipe, one of the two stars in a village that really shouldn't have any. They specialize, like Elkano, in grilled fish. Locals who prefer Kai Kaipe do...
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Andalusia, Spain
Andalucia, Spain, is located in the southern Iberian peninsula. The vast area consists of eight provinces. Among them are Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, and Seville. I sampled the hams, paellas, wines, and olive oils and enjoyed the tastes and smells of...
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Navarre, Spain
Imagine 100,000 acres of dry, clay desert landscape. Whoever said that Europe doesn’t have the great outdoors has never been to Las Bárdenas Reales Desert. Likened to Nevada or a Utah landscape, wind and water is acting architect, forming...
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Plaça de la Catedral, 07760 Ciutadella de Menorca, Illes Balears, Spain
An early morning walk before the day begins for other visitors is usually the best time for me. Usually thronged areas are empty but for residents going about their morning routines.
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Just far enough away from the city center that there is usually no one around. A tranquil river, bridge and small sand “beach” are yours to explore. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the walk back to town just in time for sunset tapas. Photo by ...
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Praza do Obradoiro, s/n, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
After mysterious lights led a 9th-century hermit to St. James’s remains, King Alfonso II ordered that a chapel be built on the site. Since the Middle Ages, the magnificent cathedral has been the destination of pilgrims walking the Camino de...
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Calle Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, 11, 11688 Zahara, Cádiz, Spain
While on a road-trip through Andalusia, we spent a day exploring the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. The twisting mountain roads took our breath away at regular intervals. The region is famous for its Peublos Blancos (or white villages). One was...
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Muntanya de Sant Sebastià, 17211 Llafranc, Girona, Spain
In Costa Brava, Spain, you may hear someone say, "ir a hacer el vermut," which can have dual meanings. Literally it means, let's go drink vermouth, but in Spain the term vermut is also a more general term for let's have an aperitif (a drink to...
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Cala Salada, Spain
Likely the most stunning cove on Ibiza, a short trek to the side of the bay that is not directly accessible by car is worth it for a swim in the crystalline water of Cala Salada. It's devoid of commercial establishments, so bring all you need for...
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After visiting a sherry bodega, we drove on in pursuit of the scenic white villages of Andalucía's mountains. The drive itself was gorgeous as we passed seemingly endless fields of sunflowers. Eventually the road climbs and becomes deserted save...
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Along the Grand Via in downtown Madrid, you look up at the buildings, and one will make you feel like you're in Paris, then another like you're in New York. The architects were given a lot of freedom when it came to designing the buildings along...
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A wonderful walled city, Cadiz has a marvelous atmosphere. Beautiful landscaping adorns the streets, and the crashing of the waves is the perfect background music as you take in the walk along the seaside. Start near the cathedral to get the full...
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San Sebastian is the home of surfing, amazing tapas and one of the most pristine stretches of Spanish coast, not to mention full of beautiful, friendly people bustling about. Like any seaside city, San Sebastian is best enjoyed in the Summer...
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Carrer d'Isabel de Villena, 155, 46011 València, Valencia, Spain
Spain is known for their paella, but as anyone in the city will tell you - it was born in Valencia! As the real home of paella nearly every other restaurant is touting their version and there is no shortage of high quality options. Listen for the...
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Plaça Atlàntic, 2, 17210 Palafrugell, Girona, Spain
I realize that this is a highlight that may not even need words, since the image is so very convincing. If you find yourself exploring the Costa Brava ('Rugged Coast') of Spain, be sure not to miss the beach town of Calella and have lunch at the...
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17320 Tossa de Mar, Girona, Spain
Tossa de Mar, along the Costa Brava, is just under two hours away from Barcelona by bus, but it feels worlds away. Even on an overcast evening, the quaint little town still manages to shine. Hotel Cap d'Or, on the edge of the main strip, is a...
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Baixada del Monestir, 9, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
This Gothic monastery houses collections from Barcelona's City History Museum, but if you've got only an hour or so, skip the exhibits in favor of a walk around. Founded by King James II of Aragon in 1326, the monastery (or monestir in...
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Av. Extremadura, 2, 41970 Santiponce, Sevilla, Spain
Located a short cab or bus ride (roughly 9km) outside Seville, the Roman city of Italica is well worth a visit for any and all interested in classical civilizations. Not only does it have a remarkable amphitheater in an excellent state of...
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Monasterio de Montserrat, Plaza del Monasterio, s/n, 08199 Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain
There's so much to see at Montserrat, the picturesque mountain located a few hours outside of Barcelona. Nature lovers will enjoy the wide range of hikes while, non-sporty types can bask in the breathtaking views available from almost any vantage...
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Coastal views, beaches, and hidden coves await you on the Camino Ronda, a 220 km hiking trail in Costa Brava Spain. It runs from Blanes to the northern city of Collioure near the border of France. This extensive and well marked trail goes by many...
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Ctra. les Feixes, 31, 17800 Olot, Girona, Spain
There once was a railway line in Catalonia that stretched from Olot to Girona and then finally toward the sea. The railway shuttled villagers, some of whom had never had access to the ocean, from deep within the region to the Costa Brava. But as ...
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c/ pescadería, 5, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
When Christopher Hall reported his "57 Small Bites of Spain" story about tapas in four Spanish cities, he visited Bar Txepetxa in San Sebastian's old quarter. We brought the December/January 2010 issue of AFAR with us and shared it with the pintxo...
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Santa Korda Kalea, 4, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
At La Cuchara de San Telmo, on the corner of the plaza Valle Lersundi in San Sebastian, the specialties were hot pintxos, quickly prepared to order--from the menu or the specials board, or by pointing to what your neighbor was eating. This was one...
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General García Escamez 5, local, 11008 Cádiz, Spain
Modern decor, modern packaging, modern chocolate in an ancient seaside town. Cadiz based Pancracio Chocolates is a forerunner in Spain; products now available at such specialty stores such as Bergdorf Goodman in NYC.
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Abandoibarra Etorb., 2, 48009 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain
Modern, mind bending, and mentally interactive, the Guggenheim Museum is one of the must-do experiences of Spain. You could easily spend an hour getting lost in the beauty of the facade, with the monstrous tarantula, the skyscraper of a flowered...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
A visit to Granada, Spain isn't complete without a stop at the Alhambra. The Moorish architecture, robust gardens, and stunning views of Granada combine to make a truly memorable experience. Start your day with a tour of the Generalife Gardens....
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Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba, Spain
Cordoba, once the heartland and homeland of the Moors, now is a traditional Spanish city with a slightly different beat. The Great Mosque oozes Islamic culture from the outside, having been the lifeblood of the city since the 8th century. With a...
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Eleven centuries into its existence, the elegant and sophisticated Alcázar is testament to the idea that good design transcends time. The palace, still the residence of the royal family when in Seville, invites wandering. You'll find...
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Carrer Portella, 9, 07001 Palma de Mallorca, Islas Baleares, Spain
Another of Spain's most famous 20th-century artists is well represented by the Museo Can Morey de Santmarti which opened in the summer of 2012. Housed in a 16th-century palace near Palma's cathedral, 200 works by the surrealist artist's drawings...
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Carrer Joan de Saridakis, 29, 07015 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
One of Spain's most influential artists, Joan Miró had a long love affair with Mallorca where he moved at age 63 in 1956. His focus was on recurring themes, like landscapes, birds, stars, and the sun and moon. In his later works, his style...
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Calle Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Stone by stone, second-century BC Debod Temple was reconstructed in Spain in an effort, called to action by UNESCO, to save its demise when the site was threatened by the construction of the Great Dam of Aswan. As a sign of gratitude for the help...
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Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Life reflects art? The Reina Sofia museum in Madrid is home to Picasso's famous Guernica, and many works by other Spanish artists, including Miro and Dali. A fabulous place to discover the art, artists, and ideas of the 20th century.
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Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Don't miss Parque del Retiro—a stunning area complete with a lake, playgrounds, gardens, and fountains. It's the perfect public space where anyone can enjoy the day by taking a walk, playing a game, going on a boat ride, or exploring to your...
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Toledo, Spain
The historic hilltop area of Toledo was as touristy as you can get but full of beautiful details. Every trace of local life I found seemed to revolve around tourism but hey, I was a tourist so I can't exactly complain. In any case the day trip out...
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Plaza del Azoguejo, 1, 40001 Segovia, Spain
The ancient city of Segovia is charming in every sense of the word. Wooden and stone houses line impossibly narrow winding streets, up the hills to the heart of the Roman Aqueduct. On your quest to see the Alcázar of Segovia and its spatial...
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Plaza Reina Victoria Eugenia, s/n, 40003 Segovia, Spain
An hour outside of Madrid sits el Alcazar de Segovia, the castle that is rumored to have inspired Cinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World. Coming upon it at sunrise, this majestic hilltop fortress does not fail to impress. Many visitors head to...
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Calle de Santa Teresa, 05290 Sanchidrián, Ávila, Spain
Robert Louis Stevenson once said, "I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." I snapped this picture while passing through the Plaza de Santa Teresa in Avila, Spain. While traveling, wherever...
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Does La Giralda, the bell tower of the cathedral, look familiar? The Almohad design of the tower, a minaret repurposed when the Christians took Seville back from the Moors, inspired the designs of Chicago’s Wrigley Building, the Biltmore Hotel in...
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I read about the Sevilla Walking Tours group in a Rick Steves travel book, and I am so glad we checked them out! The three knowledgeable tour guides are so friendly, and they gave us an intimate tour of their hometown. The group offers three tours...
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Calle Gran Vía de Colón, 5, 18001 Granada, Spain
Granada's Cathedral of the Incarnation is a lovely must. The cost for entrance is 4 euros, and the structure is striking from within. It was meant to be the royal mausoleum (before Phillip II of Spain decided that the El Escorial, outside of ...
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Carretera Nacional, 232, 26330 Briones, La Rioja, Spain
To tour a fully state of the art winery is an unforgettable experience. Understanding the journey that happens from grape to glass is one of the key steps to enjoying every last drop and Vivanco winery does just that. This is one of my favorite...
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Carretera Nacional, 232, 26330 Briones, La Rioja, Spain
For wine connoisseurs and amateurs alike, Vivanco has created one of the greatest privately owned homages to the culture of wine ever. You are submerged into the world of wine: vines, barrels, presses, bottles and corks. No detail is left out, and...
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Carrer de la Diputació, 249, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
This ultramodern space—part wine bar, part restaurant—has a daunting wine list with more than 3,000 labels, plus a rotating list of 50 that you can try by the glass before committing to a full bottle. Skip the iPad and put yourself...
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Lugar de El Grifo, 35550 San Bartolomé, Las Palmas, Spain
The setting: a Mars like landscape. The people: friendly islanders. The protagonist: great wines produced locally from volcanic soil - mineral-y, crisp and flavorful. The wind and condensation from the sea, floats over the grapes for a unique and...
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08024 Barcelona, Spain
A pilgrimage to this enchanting park is a must for any Antoni Gaudí fan. Located atop Carmel Hill to the north of the city, the park was inspired by English landscape gardens, but its fantastical elements make sure you know it was...
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La Rambla, 58, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Learn to cook traditional dishes, and modern twists on old favorites, with the chefs at Barcelona Cooking. Sign up for an evening cooking class and learn to prepare dishes like seafood paella and Crema Catalana (the Catalan version of Creme...
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La Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain
The city’s old fishing quarter, Barceloneta, is a warren of narrow residential streets dotted with classic family-owned seafood restaurants. The neighborhood is charming, if a bit scruffy, but its biggest asset is its proximity to Barcelona...
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La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
As you enter Barcelona's famous Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria from La Rambla, one of the first stalls you encounter is Tocineria Marcos, purveyors of Iberico ham and a stunning array of other cured, cooked, and fresh meats. It's just one of...
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Carrer de les Caputxes, 10, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
This place looks more like a jewelry place than a cake shop. When I finish my tours in the Born district, I can't hardly stop myself from heading there to reward me for a good job done (and when I'm with clients and we pass by, they NEED to see...
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La Rambla, 65, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....
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Monte Igueldo, 20008, Gipuzkoa, Spain
The view of La Concha Bay must be the most photographed and recognisable of San Sebastian. What you may not realise is that one way to ascend the spectacular Monte Igueldo from where you can capture this unforgettable shot, is by a rickety old...
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Okendo Kalea, 1, 20004 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
San Sebastián, or Donostia in the Basque language, is a Belle Époque resort town built around the Bay of La Concha. Stroll the cobblestone Old Town streets in search of cozy shops, the city’s oldest church (San Vicente) and celebrated restaurants...
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Familia Santua Kalea, 1, 20010 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
The Astoria7 hotel is one of the few spots in town with character. With Hollywood stars as its leitmotif (in homage to the San Sebastián Film Festival), each room is dedicated to a different actor. Comfortable, modern and clean, and with a lovely...
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Plaza del Corrillo, 20, 37002 Salamanca, Spain
Encircled by authentic Spanish cafés, bakeries, and shops, the Plaza Mayor is one of the most wonderful spots to people watch. Also where I spent much of my time throughout my time studying in Salamanca. Each night, the lights would go on at 10...
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Benedicto XVI, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
The Cathedral in Salamanca stands tall and proud, and rightly so. When you enter you will find yourself arching your head back as far as you can to marvel at the impressive paintings and architecture of its vaulted ceilings. A special secret, in...
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Calle Gran Vía, 11, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Extremely nice people at the front desk. Amazingly helpful. The room I had was enormous. Great views. Very quiet. Nice bathrooms. Perfect location, easy to get everywhere walking, Gran Via metro stop just a block away. Retiro just a few blocks...
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Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Madrid's Prado Museum, home to Goya, Velazquez, Murillo, El Greco, and numerous other greats, has so much to see that just one visit isn't enough! If you have a few days in Madrid, drop into the museum in the afternoons (after 5pm) when there is...
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Plaza Cánovas del Castillo, 4, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Renowned chef Paco Roncero re-interprets everyday Spanish food without crossing the line into pretentiousness at Estado Puro; here, flavor matters more than presentation and dishes are perfectly portioned. Patatas bravas, fried potatoes spiked...
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Paseo del Prado, 36, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Anyone with an iota of interest in art will certainly visit the Prado while in Madrid. But be sure to save some time to visit another nearby museum, where there's something wonderful to see before you even get inside. Just a 5-minute walk down...
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Paseo de la Sabica, 18009 Granada, Spain
While in Granada, Spain, I chose to stay at the Hotel Guadalupe, a lovely hotel just minutes from the main entrance to the Alhambra. This was the view from my balcony. The hotel is about a 20-minute walk to the main part of town, but the wooded...
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Palacio de Buenavista, Calle San Agustín, 8, 29015 Málaga, Spain
A trip to Pablo Picasso's hometown wouldn't be complete without touring the artist's namesake museum. Housed in the stunning Palacio de Buenavista, the career-spanning collection boasts more than 200 permanent pieces, in addition to a roster of...
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After a mid-morning, 2-hour drive from the Spanish coastal town of Cadiz, I was having a pub lunch of fish, chips and a pint of beer in the shade of palm trees and the Rock. The roads of Gibraltar are named Trafalgar, Queensway, Prince Edwards and...
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Sir Herbert Miles Rd, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar
The Mediterranean lies below the sheer faces of the rock, where cargo ships look like bathtub toys and streets and buildings that hug the base of the rock look like scale models of seaside resorts.