Welcome to part two of my Spain highlights! If you missed part one, I talked about Madrid, Segovia, and Granada so be sure to check it out! Today I will focus on three different cities in Spain.
Seville is a marvelous city to visit and the birthplace of flamenco dancing. Be wary of the time of year you visit because it can easily get over a hundred degrees in the summertime. I remember almost melting in the heat while walking around the Plaza de España, a plaza known for its tiled walls. Seville is best known for the Alcázar of Seville and it is still used by the royal family whenever they visit the city. One fun fact is that it’s the oldest palace in Europe that is still in use and is a World Heritage Site. There are many rooms with tiles and arches, which is a popular theme in southern Spain.
Of all the places we visited in Seville, my favorite was the Metropol Parasol. It’s a wooden structure located in La Encarnación Square and one of the more modern sites (built in 2011) and it’s mostly used as a viewpoint for visitors. We went during sunset, so I was able to admire Seville at the golden hour, favorite time of the day. Honestly, I would have enjoyed Seville more if it weren’t for the heat. Nonetheless it’s still a city you can’t skip over if you go to Spain.
MUST SEES: Real Alcázar de Sevilla, Metropol Parasol, Plaza de España, Seville Cathedral
PALMA DE MALLORCA
This is the capital city of the Balearic Islands in Spain. I only went to Palma for a day because of my cruise schedule, but it quickly became one of my favorite cities in Spain. The first site we visited was the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma. We weren’t able to go inside since it was closed, but from the outside it looked enormous. The cathedral also has an amazing view of the Mediterranean Sea. After seeing the Cathedral, we walked around the rest of the day. It was relaxing to explore without an itinerary. While walking back to the ship, we walked along the Marina and saw tons of yachts. If you thought there were a lot of boats along the marina in Sausalito, there are twice as many in Palma.
MUST SEES: Palma Cathedral, Passeig des Born, Marina Port de Mallorca
The cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona was super overwhelming for me; there was so much to see in so little time. The first place we visited was Barceloneta, which is the beach. I didn’t visit many beaches on my trip, so being by the sea made me miss California. Other than the beach, Barcelona is full of landmarks created by the famous architect, Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí used curved lines and colorful tiles to depict the neo-gothic art style. He used stained glass and other art elements to create Park Güell, Sagrada Família and Casa Batlló. Each landmark had an entrance fee, but it was worth the money to see his amazing artwork.
I wasn’t expecting the Sagrada Família to be so gigantic. Even when we were standing across the street, we still weren’t able to take a full picture of the church. The inside itself took my breath away. The stained glass windows were all different colors and casted light all around the church. Other than visiting all these famous sites, I really enjoyed shopping. The best place there is at Plaça de Catalunya, which is Barcelona’s city center. Everything is accessible by their metro system. We barely used taxis when we were there since we figured out their metro system which is much more convenient. Even though it wasn’t my favorite city, there were still many things to enjoy about Barcelona!
MUST SEES: Barceloneta, Park Güell, Sagrada Família, La Boqueria, Plaça de Catalunya