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Calle del Conde de Miranda, 1, 28005 Madrid, Spain
If you're in Madrid and in the mood for tapas, you might not know exactly where to go or what to taste. The Mercado San Miguel (metro Sol) takes away all that decision-making by providing you with a taste experience all under one roof. The old,...
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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 Echegaray, 7, 28014 Madrid, Spain
They say Hemingway used to drink at La Venencia. If that’s true, you wouldn’t know it: there are no photos of Don Ernesto on its walls, no placards identifying Papa’s favorite table. La Venencia isn’t the kind of establishment to talk about its...
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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 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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Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Founded in 1894 and set in the center of Madrid, not far from Puerta del Sol, San Ginés is a local favorite and a don’t-miss stop during any visit to the capital. No excuses; it never closes. Pasadizo de San Ginés 5, Madrid, 34/91-365- 6546 This...
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Calle de la Palma, 49, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Though toma means "Take it" in Spanish, this cafe offers more than takeaway service. With a very intimate lounge, Toma's staff are able to interact with customers while showing off their impressive coffee knowledge as well as English. Homemade...
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Calle Torija, 7, 28013 Madrid, Spain
The best flamenco show of my life, without a doubt! Cafe Chinitas is a small venue with incredibly spirited and talented dancers. Come for the first show of the evening when the musicians and dancers are fresh. Heads Up: don’t bother with dinner,...
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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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Toledo, Spain
The history of Toledo dates back to Roman occupation circa 192 BC. The ruins of the Roman circus are still visible just outside the walls of the city. Roman occupation was followed by Visigoth rule, Muslim rule, and finally the Reconquest of...
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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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Plaza del Marqués de Lozoya, 3, 40160 Torrecaballeros, Segovia, Spain
Hotel El Rancho is a popular destination for day trippers from Madrid. You can stop for a nice lunch and enjoy the pool and gardens, or stay for a few days. The 4 star hotel is very romantic and somewhat secluded. Outdoor infinity pool has a...
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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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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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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 Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
Well not exactly, but pretty darn close. Paradors are government-run hotels in Spain, many located within historic buildings like monasteries and castles. The Granada Parador is the old monastery of the Alhambra Palace and is located within the...
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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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Estrada do Bom Jesus, 4715-056 Tenões, Portugal
Only the a local would have known to take us to Bom Jesus. While staying with a host through Airbnb, two friends and I had the opportunity to spend the day with her and explore Braga. She told us, in her broken but sufficient English, of a church...
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R. Me. Deus 4, 1900-312 Lisboa, Portugal
Azulejos (glazed tiles) are a ubiquitous decoration throughout Portugal. They cover the facades and interiors of many houses in Lisbon, and are even used as historical markers. The Museu Nacional do Azulejo, located in a 16th-century convent,...
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R. dos Sapateiros 230, 1100-581 Lisboa, Portugal
A Merendinha do Arco by the Rossio Arch is just that place and it has become one my favourite “Tascas” – Portuguese local eateries - that serves the best char grilled cutlass fish (peixe espada) and red bean rice that I have ever eaten. It’s a...
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1200-161 Lisbon, Portugal
Across the street from the Cais do Sodre train station, the “river market” is Lisbon’s preeminent food bazaar. Beneath the building’s 1930s dome, vendors sell fresh seafood, meat, fruit, piri-piri peppers, and flowers. The second floor houses a...
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Largo do Carmo, 1200-092 Lisboa, Portugal
In 1755, Lisbon was all but devoured by an earthquake so strong that it still ranks as one of the most destructive in recorded history. One of the few structures to survive somewhat intact was the Carmo Convent—an impressive feat,...
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Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal
Located west of central Lisbon, Torre de Belém is a trip best done by metro or taxi. Once there, climb the steps that date back to the 16th century and get a bird’s-eye view of the Portuguese capital. Some of its neighbors will make venturing into...
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Open since 1905, A Brasileira was once the choice of Fernando Pessoa, the great Portuguese poet. You can sit beside him just outside, next to his bronze statue. Back in the day, this place was a hangout for writers, artists, and journalists. The...
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R. Duque de Palmela 34, 1250-098 Lisboa, Portugal
It's not top of most people's travel itinerary for Lisbon but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed São Vicente da Fora Monastery. I only went there for the views but got more than I bargained for in the form of stunning azulejos (handpainted...
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Praça da Figueira 18B, 1100-241 Lisboa, Portugal
You will feast with your eyes as soon you enter here. Founded in 1829, this confectionery store is considered one of the best in Lisbon, having won international prizes and serving, in the old days, as the official confectioner of the royal...
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83, R. do Diário de Notícias 73, 1200-365 Lisboa, Portugal
Who doesn’t need a pain killer once in a while? Take it in the form of a glass of wine from a pharmacy that is more than 100 years old, where the drugs were replaced by wine bottles in the glass-door cabinets. To accompany the wine, you can taste...
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R. das Portas de Santo Antão 58, 1150-043 Lisboa, Portugal
Situated in a former 17th century Moorish palace, Restaurant Casa do Alentjo is popular simply because of the atmosphere and surroundings. Once a palace, it’s since been used as a school, casino and now a restaurant. Locals come to relax here,...
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1200-445 Lisbon, Portugal
On August 25, 1988, tragedy fell upon Lisbon: A huge fire turned Chiado to ruins, destroying 18 secular buildings. However, Chiado has come back to become the most elegant and trendy neighborhood in Lisbon. Fortunately, some buildings from the...
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R. do Vigário, 1100-502 Lisboa, Portugal
To get to know the neighborhood and its daily life, nothing beats a stroll through Alfama's streets. It is the oldest and one of the most typical neighborhoods in Lisbon. Here you might see two women chatting at the window (well, screaming) while...
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Largo Monte, 1170-107 Lisboa, Portugal
One of the less-visited viewing spots in Lisbon, maybe because it’s the highest point in the city and nobody wants to climb so high, has great conditions for observing and picture-taking, due to its half-moon shape and wonderful light. You will be...
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Largo São Domingos 8, 1100-201 Lisboa, Portugal
A Ginjinha was the first establishment in Lisbon to commercialize the drink called Ginjinha. Ginjinha is a liqueur made with ginja berries, aguardiente (Portuguese brandy), sugar, water, and cinnamon. Francisco Espinheira, a Galician friar of the...
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R. 1º de Dezembro, 1249-970 Lisboa, Portugal
The Rossio railway station was designed between 1886 and 1887 by Portuguese architect José Luís Monteiro. It makes connections with the village of Sintra, and the 2,600-meter tunnel was excavated under the city. It is considered one of...
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R. Barbosa du Bocage 5, 2710-567 Sintra, Portugal
It wouldn't be hard to spend an entire day wandering Quinta da Regaleira, a fairytale-like estate in Sintra. Built in the early 1900s, the property belonged to the Viscondessa da Regaleira and was later acquired by Antonio Augusto Carvalho...
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Douro, 3260 Figueiró dos Vinhos, Portugal
I have visited Napa and Sonoma, and have been to Tuscany, and Bordeaux, but no wine region of the world has surprised me with its beauty as much as the Douro. If your find yourself in Porto, it is well worth renting a car (or better yet, hiring a...
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R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal
A blend of neo-Gothic and art nouveau, the enchanting Livraria Lello bookshop dates to 1906 and is rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts in Harry Potter
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703, Rua da Boavista, 4050-110 Porto, Portugal
I thought Lisbon was the most beautiful city in Portugal, till I got to Porto. If you are looking for a weekend destination in Europe, Porto is a great option. It had all the right ingredients for a perfect long weekend or a short vacation in...
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Rua Santa Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto, Portugal
The Rua Santa Caterina is the most important shopping street in Oporto. It is a pedestrian street which is closed to traffic. Along the Rua Caterina you will find the Mercado Bolhao which is a lively market with many shops to delight the market...