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Name: Sagrada Família
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Gaudí's work on the building is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1882, construction of Sagrada Família started under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. In 1883, when Villar resigned, Gaudí took over as chief architect, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted the remainder of his life to the project, and he is buried in the crypt. At the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, when he was run down by a tram, less than a quarter of the project was complete.

Relying solely on private donations, Sagrada Familia's construction progressed slowly and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. In July 1936, revolutionaries set fire to the crypt and broke their way into the workshop, partially destroying Gaudí's original plans, drawings and plaster models, which led to 16 years work to piece together the fragments of the master model. Construction resumed to intermittent progress in the 1950s.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia
Name: Park Güell
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The Park Güell is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements located on Carmel Hill, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Park Güell is located in La Salut, a neighborhood in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. With urbanization in mind, Eusebi Güell assigned the design of the park to Antoni Gaudí, a renowned architect and the face of Catalan modernism.

The park was built from 1900 to 1914 and was officially opened as a public park in 1926. In 1984, UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site under "Works of Antoni Gaudí".

Park Güell is the reflection of Gaudí's artistic plenitude, which belongs to his naturalist phase (first decade of the 20th century). During this period, the architect perfected his personal style through inspiration from organic shapes. He put into practice a series of new structural solutions rooted in the analysis of geometry. To that, the Catalan artist adds creative liberty and an imaginative, ornamental creation. Starting from a sort of baroquism, his works acquire a structural richness of forms and volumes, free of the rational rigidity or any sort of classic premises.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Güell
Name: Alhambra
Location: Granada, Spain
The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada.

After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered in the Renaissance style. In 1526 Charles I & V commissioned a new Renaissance palace better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary Mannerist style influenced by humanist philosophy in direct juxtaposition with the Nasrid Andalusian architecture, but it was ultimately never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada. Alhambra's last flowering of Islamic palaces was built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain during the decline of the Nasrid dynasty, who were increasingly subject to the Christian Kings of Castile.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhambra
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO SPAIN.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Spanish
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time zone: WET (UTC) and CET (UTC+1) / WEST (UTC+1) and CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +34
Local / up-to-date weather in Madrid (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Spain travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Spain, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO SPAIN.

Spain uses the euro, like several other European countries. One euro is divided into 100 cents. The official symbol for the euro is €, and its ISO code is EUR. There is no official symbol for the cent.

All banknotes and coins of this common currency are legal tender within all the countries, except that low-denomination coins (one and two cent) are phased out in some of them. The banknotes look the same across countries, while coins have a standard common design on one side and a national country-specific design on the other. The latter side is also used for different designs of commemorative coins. The design on the national side does not affect the use of the coin.

Cash euro: €500 banknotes are not accepted in many stores–always have alternative banknotes.

Other currencies: Do not expect anybody to accept other types of currency, or to be willing to exchange currency. Exceptions are shops and restaurants at airports. These will generally accept at least U.S. dollars at a slightly worse exchange rate.

If you wish to exchange money, you can do so at any bank (some may require that you have an account there before they will exchange your money), where you can also cash in your traveller’s cheques. Currency exchanges, once a common sight, have all but disappeared since the introduction of the euro. Again, international airports are an exception to this rule; other exception is tourist districts in the large cities (Barcelona, Madrid).

Credit cards: Credit cards are well accepted: even in a stall at La Boqueria market in Barcelona, on an average highway gas station in the middle of the country, or in small towns like Alquezar. It’s more difficult to find a place where credit card is not accepted in Spain.

Most ATMs will allow you to withdraw money with your credit card, but you’ll need to know your card’s PIN for that. Most Spanish stores will ask for ID before accepting your credit card. Some stores may not accept a foreign driving license or ID card and you will need to show your passport. This measure is designed to help avoid credit card fraud.

BY TRAIN:

  • Renfe is the Spanish national rail carrier. Long-distance trains always run on time, but be aware that short-distance trains (called Cercanías) can bear long delays, from ten to twenty minutes, and especially in the Barcelona area, where delays up to 30 minutes are not uncommon. To be safe, always take the train before the one you need. It also manages FEVE narrow-gauge trains which mainly run near the northern atlantic coast (from Ferrol to Bilbao). Buying tickets online with a foreign credit card may be difficult, however, those with a PayPal account may find it easier to pay using the website. Renfe also operates the AVE high speed trains, whose network radiates out of Madrid to the major cities along the coasts – Spain boasts the second-longest high speed network (behind China) and has constructed a lot of new lines until the economic downturn at the end of the 2000s. The AVE is easily the fastest option wherever it goes (faster even than flying in most cases) but can be on the expensive side. Tickets don’t go on sale until 30 days before departure, and few discount tickets are available.
  • FGC operates several local routes near Barcelona. On these places where both Renfe and FGC operate, usually FGC provides more trains per hour, has better punctuality records and stations are closer to the city centers; on the other side, trains are slower and single fares are more expensive.
  • FGV provides local services in Valencia area uncovered by Renfe and a tram service in Alicante.
  • Euskotren operates affordable services from Bilbao to Gernika, Bermeo and San Sebastian plus a line connecting San Sebastian with Irun and Hendaye (France). The Bilbao – San Sebastian trip is about 2hr 40min while buses connect the cities in around just an hour, although bus tickets cost about twice as the train. All but the whole Bilbao – San Sebastian line run twice an hour with extra trains on peak hours.

BY BUS:

The least expensive way to get around most parts of Spain is by bus. Most major routes are point to point, and very high frequency. There are many companies serving within certain autonomous communities or provinces of the country on multiple routes or on a single route going from a major city to several surrounding villages and towns. The following operators serve more than a single region:

  • ALSA (formerly Continental Auto), +34 902 422242. Largest bus company with point to point routes across the country and alliances with various other regional companies and/or subsidiary brands.
  • Grupo Avanza, +34 902 020999. Operates buses between Madrid and the surrounding autonomous communities of Extremadura, Castile-Leon, Valencia (via Castile-Leon). In some areas they operate through their subsidiary brands of Alosa, Tusza, Vitrasa, Suroeste and Auto Res.
  • Socibus and Secorbus, +34 902 229292. These companies jointly operate buses between Madrid and western Andalucia including Cadiz, Cordoba, Huelva and Seville.

At the bus station, each operator has its own ticket counter or window and usually a single operator from here to a particular destination. Therefore, the easiest is to ask the staff who will be happy to tell you who operates which route and point you to a specific desk or window. You can also see what is all available on Movelia.es or see “By bus” under “Getting in” or “Getting Around” in the article for a particular autonomous community region, province or locale. It is usually not necessary or more advantageous to book tickets in advance as one can show up and get on the next available bus. Most bus companies can be booked in advance online. however English translation on their websites is patchy at best.

BY BOAT:

Wherever you are in Spain, from your private yacht you can enjoy gorgeous scenery and distance yourself from the inevitable crowds of tourists that flock to these destinations. May is a particularly pleasant time to charter in the regions of Costa Brava, Costa Blanca and the Balearic Islands as the weather is good and the crowds have yet to descend. The summer months of July and August are the hottest and tend to have lighter winds. There is no low season for the Canary Islands, as the weather resembles springtime all year round.

If you would like to bareboat anywhere in Spain, including the Balearic or Canary Islands, a US Coast Guard License is the only acceptable certification needed by Americans to bareboat. For everyone else, a RYA Yacht Master Certification or International Certificate of Competence will normally do.

Although a skipper may be required, a hostess/chef may or may not be necessary. Dining out is strong part of Spanish custom and tradition. If you are planning on docking in a port and exploring fabulous bars and restaurants a hostess/cook may just be useful for serving drinks and making beds. Extra crew can take up valuable room on a tight ship.

BY CAR:

In major cities like Madrid or Barcelona and in mid-sized ones like San Sebastian, moving around by car is expensive and nerve-wracking. Fines for improper parking are uncompromising (€85 and up). Access by car has been made more difficult by municipal policies in Barcelona and Madrid in the 2010s. The positive effects on the urban fabric of those policies have proven widely popular, so expect more of this.

Having a driving map is essential – many streets are one-way; left turns are more rare than rights (and are unpredictable).

Getting around by car makes sense if you plan to move from one city to another every other day, ideally if you don’t plan to park overnight in large cities. It also doesn’t hurt that the scenery is beautiful and well worth a drive. With a good public transport network that connects to (almost) all points of interest for travellers, you might ask yourself whether driving is really worth the cost and the hassle, as you are often much faster by train than by car.

There are two types of highway in Spain: autopistas, or motorways, and autovías, which are more akin to expressways. Most autopistas are toll roads while autovías are generally free of charge. In some autonomous communities whether a highway is tolled depends on whether the central or regional government built and operates them. Tolls often work out to “odd” Euro amounts leading you with a lot of copper coins if you pay cash. Speed limits range from 50 km/h (30 mph) in towns to 90 km/h on rural roads, 100 km/h on roads and 120 km/h (75 mph) on autopistas and autovías.

Intersections of two highways typically have a roundabout under the higher one–so you can choose any turn and to start driving in an opposite direction there.

Green light for cars about to turn is frequently on at the same time as green light for pedestrians: every time you turn, check if the pedestrians pass you cross doesn’t also have green light for them.

Gasoline/petrol costs in the range of €1.32/L in Jan 2020, and diesel costs €1.25/L. Filling procedure for gas stations varies from brand to brand. At Agip, you first fill the tank yourself, and then pay inside the shop.

RENTING A CAR:

If you plan to move around large cities or explore further afield you will find many companies that offer car hire at affordable prices because of the high competition between car rental agencies, consider renting a car with GPS navigation — it will be even easier to drive than having an automobile map.

Spanish drivers can be unpredictable and some of the roads on the Southern area of Malaga and the Costa Del Sol are notoriously dangerous. Other drivers are not always careful parking near other cars, especially when parking space on a street is limited. Therefore you should consider a fully comprehensive insurance package with includes a collision damage waiver (CDW) and a vehicle theft waiver, as well as liability cover. Many of the car hire companies offer an insurance option where you can choose to reduce your vehicle excess. This means that if you are in an accident you would not be financially liable for the whole excess fee. Check your travel insurance and other insurance to ensure you aren’t paying twice for the same coverage.

Child seats are also available with all vehicles so that any children in your party can travel safely and in comfort.

Air conditioning is a must in the hot Spanish summer months. Nevertheless you should make sure to take water with you at all times.

If you break down while on holiday you will want a car hire company that gives you the free roadside assistance of trained mechanics. Cars often overheat in Spain while the tires are vulnerable on the hot roads.

Car hire companies may accept payment in foreign currency when you pay by a credit card. Beware the normal costs associated with dynamic currency conversion.

BY BICYCLE:

Spain is a suitable country for cycling, and it is possible to see many cyclists in some of the cities. Cycling lanes are available in most of mid-sized and large cities, although they are not comparable in number to what you can find in other countries in central Europe, for example. It must be taken into account that depending on where you are in Spain, you could face a very mountainous area. Central Spain is characterized by being very flat, but towards the coast the landscape is often very hilly, especially in the north.

There are several options for touring in Spain by bicycle: guided or supported tours, rent bicycles in Spain or bring your own bike, or any combination. Supported tours are ubiquitous on the web. For unsupported tours a little Spanish helps a lot. Shoulder seasons avoid extremes of temperature and ensure hotel availability in non-tourist areas. Good hotels are €35-45 in the interior, breakfast usually included. Menu del dia meals are €8-10 eating where the locals eat. Secondary roads are usually well paved, good shoulders and as a rule Spanish drivers are careful and courteous around touring cyclists. Road signs are usually very good and easy to follow.

Most municipalities in Spain, towns and cities are modernizing their streets to introduce special lanes for bicycles. Bike share systems with usually quite reasonable prices are also being installed in cities throughout the country.

BY TAXI:

All the major cities in Spain are served by taxis, which are a convenient, if somewhat expensive way to get around. That being said, taxis in Spain are more reasonably priced than those in say, the United Kingdom or Japan. Most taxi drivers do not speak English or any other foreign languages, so it would be necessary to have the names and/or addresses of your destinations written in Spanish to show your taxi driver. Likewise, get your hotel’s business card to show your taxi driver in case you get lost.

EAT:

The Spanish are very passionate about their food and wine and Spanish cuisine. Spanish food can be described as quite light with a lot of vegetables and a huge variety of meat and fish. Perhaps owing to the inquisition trying to “find out” lapsed conversos pork (religiously prohibited in both Judaism and Islam) is easily the most consumed meat and features prominently in many dishes. Spanish cuisine does not use many spices; it relies only on the use of high quality ingredients to give a good taste. As such, you may find Spanish food bland at times but there are usually a variety of restaurants in most cities (Italian, Chinese, American fast food) if you would like to experience a variety of flavors. If you are familiar with Latin American cuisines, keep in mind that many Spanish dishes may have the same name as several Latin American dishes, but actually refer to completely different dishes (e.g. tortilla and horchata refer to completely different things in Spain and Mexico).

Like much of Europe, Spain’s top tourism destinations are full of tourist-trap restaurants that serve overpriced and mediocre food. If you want a good and reasonably-priced meal, it’s generally best to go restaurants with a primarily local clientele. However, as it is rare to find English-speaking waiters in such establishments, be prepared to have to speak some Spanish.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner times:

Spaniards have a different eating timetable than many people are used to.

The key thing to remember for a traveller is:

  • breakfast (desayuno) for most Spaniards is light and consists of just coffee and perhaps a galleta (like a graham cracker) or magdalena (sweet muffin-like bread). Later, some will go to a cafe for a pastry midmorning, but not too close to lunchtime.
  • “el aperitivo” is a light snack eaten around 12:00. However, this could include a couple of glasses of beer and a large filled baguette or a “pincho de tortilla”.
  • lunch (comida) starts at 13:30-14:30 (though often not until 15:00) and was once typically followed by a short siesta, usually at summer when temperatures can be quite hot in the afternoon. This is the main meal of the day with two courses (el primer plato and el segundo plato followed by dessert. La comida and siesta are usually over by 16:00 at the latest. However, since life has become busier, there is no opportunity for a siesta.
  • dinner (cena) starts at 20:30 or 21:00, with most clientèle coming after 21:00. It is a lighter meal than lunch. In Madrid restaurants rarely open before 21:00 and most customers do not appear before 23:00.
  • there is also an afternoon snack that some take between la comida and la cena called merienda. It is similar to a tea time in England and is taken around 18:00 or so.
  • between the lunch and dinner times, most restaurants and cafes are closed, and it takes extra effort to find a place to eat if you missed lunch time. Despite this, you can always look for a bar and ask for a bocadillo, a baguette sandwich. There are bocadillos fríos, cold sandwiches, which can be filled with ham, cheese or any kind of embutido, and bocadillos calientes, hot sandwiches, filled with pork loin, tortilla, bacon, sausage and similar options with cheese. This can be a really cheap and tasty option if you find a good place.

Normally, restaurants in big cities don’t close until midnight during the week and 02:00-03:00 during the weekend.

Breakfast:

Breakfast is eaten by most Spaniards. Traditional Spanish breakfast includes coffee or orange juice, and pastries or a small sandwich. In Madrid, it is also common to have hot chocolate with “churros” or “porras”. In cafes, you can expect varieties of tortilla de patatas (see the Spanish dishes section), sometimes tapas (either breakfast variety or same kind as served in the evenings with alcohol).

Tapas:

The entry level to Spanish food is found in bars as tapas, which are a bit like “starters” or “appetizers”, but are instead considered side orders to accompany your drink; in some parts of Spain, a drink is still accompanied automatically by a free tapa, but in places where it’s not, ask for tapa y caña to order a beer and a tapa. Some bars will offer a wide variety of different tapas; others specialize on a specific kind (like seafood-based). A Spanish custom is to have one tapa and one small drink at a bar, then go to the next bar and do the same. A group of two or more individuals may order two or more tapas or order raciones instead, which are a bit larger in order to share.

Fast food:

Fast food has not yet established a strong grip on the Spaniards and you will find McDonalds and Burger King only in bigger towns in the usual places. That said, Madrid and other large Spanish cities are often the first place for north American chains to dip their toe into the European market and you’ll find Taco Bell, TGI Friday’s or Five Guys there but not or only rarely in central European cities. The menu can be a surprise since it has been customized to appeal to the locals and beer, salads, yogurt (primarily Danone), and wine are prominent. Pizza is increasingly popular and you will find some outlets in bigger towns but it can be their own homegrown franchises, such as TelePizza. In spite of beer and wine on the menu, fast food is often seen as “kiddie food.” American franchises generally charge higher prices than in the United States, and fast food is not necessarily the cheapest alternative for eating out.

Restaurants:

Seafood (mariscos): on the coast, fresh seafood is widely available and quite affordable. In the inner regions, frozen (and poor quality) seafood can be frequently encountered outside few highly reputed (and expensive) restaurants. In coastal areas seafood deserves some attention, especially on the north Atlantic coast.

Quality seafood in Spain comes from Spain’s northwestern region of Galicia. So restaurants with the words Gallego (Galician) will generally specialize in seafood. If you are feeling adventurous, you might want to try the Galician regional specialty Pulpo a la Gallega, which is boiled octopus served with paprika, rock salt and olive oil. Another adventurous option is Sepia which is cuttlefish, a relative of squid, or the various forms of Calamares (squid) that you can find in most seafood restaurants. If that isn’t your style you can always order Gambas Ajillo (garlic shrimp), Pescado Frito (fried fish), Buñuelos de Bacalao (breaded and deep fried cod) or the ever-present Paella dishes.

Meat products are usually of very good quality, because Spain has maintained quite a high percentage of free range animals.

Ordering beef steaks is highly recommended, since most comes from free range cows from the mountains north of the city.

Pork cuts which are also highly coveted are those known as presa ibérica and secreto ibérico, an absolute must if found in the menu of any restaurant.

Soups: choice of soups beyond gazpacho is very limited in Spanish restaurants.

Water is frequently served without a specific request, and is normally charged for–unless it’s included in your menu del dia. If you would like free tap water instead of bottled water, request “agua del grifo” (water from the tap). However, not all restaurants will offer this and you may be forced to order bottled water.

Appetizers such as bread, cheese, and other items may be brought to your table even if you didn’t order them. You will may still be charged for them. If you do not want these appetizers, politely inform the waiter that you do not want them.

World-famous restaurants: There are several restaurants in Spain which are destinations in itself, becoming a sole reason to travel to a specific city. One of them is El Bulli in Roses.

Menú del día:

Many restaurants offer a complete lunch meal for a fixed price – menú del día – and this often works out as a bargain. Water or wine is commonly included in the price.

Non-Spanish cuisine:

Things like schnitzel, full English breakfast, pizza, döner, and frozen fish are largely available in tourist destinations. In most cities you can also find international cuisine such as Italian, Chinese, French, Thai, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, and Argentinian. The bigger the city, the more variety you can find.

There has been a surge in the number of Irish pubs and Japanese restaurants to be found in most cities.

Specialties to buy:

  • Cheese: Spain offers a wide variety of regional cheeses.
    • Queso manchego is the most famous one.
    • Cabrales,tetilla and mahón are also popular.
  • Chorizo: Spain’s most popular sausage is spice cured, made from pork, ham, salt, garlic and pepper and is produced in multitude of varieties, in different sizes, shapes, short and long, spicy, in all different shades of red, soft, air dried and hard or smoked. Frequently contains emulgators and conservatives, so check ingredients if you feel sensitive.
  • Jamón (air dried ham): Jamón serrano (Serrano ham): obtained from the salt meat of the back legs of the pig and air dried. This same product is given the name of paletilla (“trowel”) when it is obtained from the front legs. Other names to look out for are jamón ibérico (Iberian ham) and jamón de bellota (acorn-fed ham). There are famous jamones that are made in Huelva, in Guijuelo (Salamanca province), in the Pedroches (Cordova province) and in Trevélez (province of Granada). jamón ibérico is made from free range pigs. One well known chain in Spain is Mesón Cinco Jotas, which is known by locals for their expensive, but good quality ham.
  • Visiting Spain without trying jamon ibérico would be considered a crime by most Spaniards. Spaniards treat their ham very seriously and types and qualities of ham vary in a similar way to wine. Quality ham is generally expensive but has little to do with the many cheaper versions available. The diet of the pig is the most important factor in determining the quality of the ham. The least expensive ham comes from pigs fed on normal grains whereas medium grade pigs are raised on a combination of acorns and grains. The top tier pigs are fed exclusively on acorns and their hams are not considered to be the best grade without an “acorn fed” stamp. These top grade hams have a rich flavor and an oily texture but to non-connoisseurs, glossiness and the presence of white lines of fat crisscrossing a slice of ham is generally a good indicator of its quality.
  • Morcilla: black sausages made from pig blood, generally made with rice or onion. Sometimes flavoured with anise, it comes as a fresh, smoked or air dried variety.

Spanish dishes:

Typical Spanish dishes include:

  • Aceitunas / olivas: olives, often served for nibbling.
  • Bocadillo de calamares: fried battered squid served in a ciabatta sandwich with lemon juice.
  • Boquerones en vinagre: anchovies marinated in vinegar with garlic and parsley.
  • Caracoles: snails in a hot sauce.
  • Calamares en su tinta: squid in its ink.
  • Chipirones a la plancha: grilled little squids.
  • Churros: a fried horn-shaped snack, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut. Typical for a Spanish breakfast or for tea time. Served with hot chocolate drink.
  • Empanadas gallegas: meat or tuna pies are also very popular in Madrid. Originally from region of Galicia.
  • Ensaladilla rusa (Russian salad): this potato salad dish of Russian origin, widely consumed in parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, is also extremely popular in Spain.
  • Fabada asturiana: bean stew from Asturias.
  • Gambas al ajillo: prawns with garlic and chili. Fantastic hot stuff.
  • Gazpacho andaluz: cold tomato soup. Best during the hot weather.
  • Lentejas: a dish made from lentils with chorizo sausage and/or serrano ham.
  • Mariscos: shellfish
  • Merluza a la vizcaina: the Spanish are not very fond of sauces. One of the few exceptions is merluza a la Vasca. The dish contains hake (fish of the cod family) prepared with white asparagus and green peas.
  • Potajes or pucheros: garbanzo bean stew at its best
  • Paella or paella valenciana: This is a rice dish from Valencia. Rice is grown locally in what look like wheat fields, and this is the variety used in paella. The original paella used chicken and rabbit, and saffron (el azafran). Nowadays varieties of paella can be found all over Spain, many containing seafood. Locals suggest to find true paella in large parties like a wedding in a village, but few restaurants still can compete with it.
  • Patatas bravas: Fried potatoes which have been boiled, served with a patented spicy sauce. They are potatoes cut in form of dices or prism, of one to two centimeters of size approximately and that they are fried in oil and accompanied by a sharp sauce that spills on potatoes using hot spices. The name of this plate comes from its sharp flavor, indicating that it has fire or temperament, recalling the first operation of I goad in which a goad nails to him so that he is brave in the bullfight.
  • Pescaíto frito: Delicious fried fish that can be found mainly in southern Spain
  • Pimientos rellenos: Peppers stuffed with minced meat or seafood. The peppers in Spain taste different than all other peppers in Europe.
  • Potaje de espinacas y garbanzos: Chick pea stew with spinach. Typical of Seville.
  • Revuelto de ajetes con setas: Scrambled eggs with fresh garlic sprouts and wild mushrooms. Also commonly contains shrimps.
  • Setas al ajillo / gambas al ajillo: Shrimps or wild mushrooms fried in garlic.
  • Sepia con alioli: Fried cuttlefish with garlic mayonnaise. Very popular among tourists.
  • Tortilla de patatas: Spanish egg omelette with fried potato. Probably the most popular dish in Spain. You can easily assess how good a restaurant is by having a small piece of its potato tortillas. Frequently it is made also with onion, depending on the zone or the pleasure. The potatoes must be fried in oil (preferably of olive), and they are left soaking with the scrambled egg for more than 10 minutes, although better if it is average hour so that they are soaked and they acquire the suitable consistency.

DRINK:

Tea and coffee:

Spanish people are very passionate about the quality, intensity and taste of their coffee and good freshly brewed coffee is available almost everywhere.

The usual choices are solo, the milk-less espresso version; cortado, solo with a dash of milk; con leche, solo with milk added; and manchado, coffee with lots of milk (sort of like the French cafe au lait). Asking for caffee latte will likely result in less milk than you are used to–it’s always OK to ask for extra milk.

Regional variants can be found, such as bombón in Eastern Spain, solo with condensed milk.

Starbucks is the only national chain operating in Spain. Locals argue that it cannot compete with small local cafes in quality of coffee and visited only by tourists. It is not present in smaller cities.

If you eat for €20 per dinner, you will never be served a good tea; expect Pompadour or Lipton. It takes some effort to find a good tea if you spend most time of the day in touristy places.

Alcohol:

The drinking age in Spain is 18. People under this age are forbidden to drink and buy alcoholic drinks, although enforcement in tourist and clubbing areas is lax. Drinking in the streets has been banned (although it is still a common practice in most nightlife areas). A “dry law” bans supermarkets from selling alcohol after 22:00.

Try an absinthe cocktail (the fabled liquor was never outlawed here, but it is not a popular drink in Spain).

Bars:

Probably one of the best places to meet people in Spain is in bars. Everyone visits them and they are always busy and sometimes bursting with people. There is no age restriction imposed to enter these premises. but children and teenagers often will not be served alcoholic drinks. Age restrictions for the consumption of alcohol are clearly posted at bars but are enforced only intermittently. It is common to see an entire family at a bar.

It’s important to know the difference between a pub (which closes at 3-03:30) and a club (which opens until 06:00-08:00 but is usually deserted early in the night).

On weekends, the time to go out for copas (drinks) usually starts at about 23:00-01:00 which is somewhat later than in North and Central Europe. Before that, people usually do any number of things, have some tapas (raciones, algo para picar), eat a “real” dinner in a restaurant, stay at home with family, or go to cultural events. If you want to go dancing, you will find that most of the clubs in Madrid are relatively empty before midnight (some do not even open until 01:00) and most won’t get crowded until 03:00. People usually go to pubs, then go to the clubs until 06:00-08:00.

For a true Spanish experience, after a night of dancing and drinking it is common to have a breakfast of chocolate con churros with your friends before going home. (CcC is a small cup of thick, melted chocolate served with freshly fried sweet fritters used for dipping in the chocolate and should be tried, if only for the great taste.)

Bars are mainly to have drink and a small tapa while socializing and decompressing from work or studies. Usually Spaniards can control their alcohol consumption better than their northern European neighbors and drunken people are rarely seen at bars or on the streets. A drink, if ordered without an accompanying tapa, is often served with a “minor” or inexpensive tapa as a courtesy.

Size and price of tapas changes a lot throughout Spain. For instance, it’s almost impossible to get free tapas in big cities like Valencia or Barcelona, excluding Madrid where there are several Tapa Bars although some are a bit expensive. You can eat for free (just paying for the drinks), with huge tapas and cheap prices at cities like Granada, Badajoz or Salamanca.

The tapa, and the related pincho, trace their existence in Spain to both acting as a cover (“Tapa”) on top of a cup of wine to prevent flies from accessing it, and as a requirement of law when serving wine at an establishment during the Middle Ages.

Beer:

The Spanish beer is well worth a try. Most popular local brands include San Miguel, Cruzcampo, Mahou, Ámbar, Estrella Galicia, Keller and many others, including local brands at most cities; import beers are also available. A great beer is ‘Mezquita’ (Cervezas Alhambra), try to find it! Also “Legado de Yuste” is one of the best beer made in Spain, and is quite extended, but more expensive than a normal ‘caña’. In Spain, beer is often served from a tap in 25 cl (“caña”) or 33 cl (“tubo”) tube glasses. Bigger servings are rare, but you can also ask for a “corto”, “zurito” (round the Basque country) or simply “una cerveza” or “tanque” (south of the country) to get a half size beer, perfect to drink in one go and get quickly to the next bar while having tapas.

If you’re in Zaragoza (or Aragon, in general), the Pilsner-type Ambar (5.2% alc.) and the stronger Export (double malt, 7.0% alc.) are available. Ambar 1900: Its production began in 1996. The system of fermentation to room temperature is used. Marlen is a beer of traditional manufacture using malted barley and hops.

Spaniards often add lemon juice (Fanta limón, or lemon Fanta) to their beer. Particularly on hot summer days people will drink a refreshing “clara” which is a light beer mixed with lemon/lemonade.

Cava:

Cava is Spanish sparkling wine and the name went from Spanish Champagne to Cava was after a long lasting dispute with the French. The Spanish called it for a long time champan, but the French argued that champagne can be made only from grapes grown in the Champagne region in France. Nevertheless, Cava is a quite successful sparkling wine and 99% of the production comes from the area around Barcelona.

Cider (Sidra):

Can be found in the Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and País Vasco.

Horchata (Orxata):

A milky non-alcoholic drink made of tiger nuts and sugar, and very different from drinks of the same name found in Latin America. Alboraia, a small town close to Valencia, is regarded as a best place where horchata is produced.

Sangria:

Sangria is drink made of wine and fruits and usually is made from simple wines. You will find sangria in areas frequented by tourists. Spanish prepare sangria for fiestas and hot summer, and not every day as seen in touristic regions like Mallorca.

Sangria in restaurants aimed for foreigners are best avoided, but it is a very good drink to try if a Spaniard prepares it for a fiesta!

Sherry (fino):

The pale sherry wine around Jerez called “fino” is fortified with alcohol to 15 percent. If you would like to have one in a bar you have to order a fino. Manzanilla is bit salty, good as an appetizer. Amontillado and Oloroso are a different types of sherry where the oxidative aging process has taken the lead.

Wine:

Spain is a country with great wine-making and drinking traditions: 22% of Europe’s wine growing area is in Spain, however the production is about half of what the French produce.

Regions: most famous wines come from Rioja region, less known but also important come from Ribera del Duero, Priorato, Toro and Jumilla . The latter are becoming more and more popular and are slightly less expensive than Rioja wines. White, rose and red wines are produced, but the red wines are certainly the most important ones.

Grapes: main red grapes are Tempranillo, Garnacha, Monastrell and Mencia. Primary white grape used is Albarino, and the grapes used in Jerez are: ‘Pedro Ximenez and Palomino.

Specific names: Valdepenas is good value for money. Whites: Belondrade Y Lurton is regarded as greatest white wine in Spain. Vina Sol is good as a mass product, with fruity taste.

Grades: Spanish quality wines are produced using an aging process and they have been in an oak barrel for at least one year before they can be labeled Crianza and then spend another two years in a bottle before been sold. Reservas are aged for five years and Gran Reservas are aged for 10 years.

Prices: Spain has seen a tremendous rise in wine prices over the last decade and Spanish wines are not as much of a bargain as they used to be. However you will still find 5-, 10- and 20-year-old wines at affordable prices especially when compared with similar quality wines from Australia, Chile, France, and the US.

Wine bars: they are more and more popular. In short, a wine bar is a sophisticated tapas bar where you can order wine by the glass. You will immediately see a blackboard with the wines that are available and the price per glass.

In a bar: for red wine in a bar, ask “un tinto por favor”, for white wine “un blanco por favor”, for rose: “un rosado por favor”.

Wine-based drinks: young people in Spain have developed their own way to have wine. When having botellones (big outdoor parties with drink and lots of people), most of them mix some red wine with Coke and drink it straight from the Coke bottle. The name of this drink is calimocho or kalimotxo (in the Basque Country and Navarre) and is really very popular. But don’t ask for it while in an upper class bar or among adults, since they will most certainly not approve of the idea! As a general rule, any wine that comes in a glass bottle is considered “too good” to make kalimotxo. Another wine based drink is “Tinto de Verano” which can be bought pre mixed in supermarkets for cheap prices.

There are many types of tourist accommodation, ranging from hotels, pensions and rented villas, to camping and even monasteries.

“7% VAT is not included” is a common trick for mid-range guesthouses and hotels: always check the small print when you choose your place to stay. VAT is IVA in Spanish.

Small villages:

Besides the coasts, Spain is rich in small tourist-friendly inland villages, like Alquezar: with narrow medieval streets, charming silence and isolation, still good selection of affordable restaurants and accommodation.

Casa rural, the bed and breakfast of Spain:

For a more homely sort of accommodation consider the casa rural. A casa rural is the rough equivalent to a bed and breakfast or a gîte. Not all houses are situated in the countryside, as the name implies. Some are situated in the smaller towns, and they are in virtually every province.

Casas rurales vary in quality and price throughout Spain. In some regions, like Galicia, they are strictly controlled and inspected. Other regions are not so thorough in applying their regulations.

Hotels:

Many foreign visitors stay in hotels that have been organised by tour operators who offer package holidays to the popular resorts on the costas and islands. However, for the independent traveller, there are hotels all over the country in all categories and to suit every budget. In fact, due to the well developed internal and foreign tourism markets Spain may well be one of the best served European countries in terms of numbers and quality of hotels.

Paradores:

A parador is a state-owned hotel in Spain (rating from 3 to 5 stars). This chain of inns was founded in 1928 by the Spanish King Alfonso XIII. The unique aspects of paradores are their location and their history. Found mostly in historical buildings, such as convents, Moorish castles (like La Alhambra), or haciendas, paradores are the exact opposite of the uncontrolled development found in coastal regions like the Costa del Sol. Hospitality has been harmoniously integrated with the restoration of castles, palaces and convents, rescuing from ruin and abandonment monuments representative of Spain’s historical and cultural heritage.

For example the parador in Santiago de Compostela is located next to the Cathedral in a former royal hospital built in the year 1499. Rooms are decorated in an old-fashioned way, but nevertheless have modern facilities. Other notable paradores are in Arcos de la Frontera, Ronda, Santillana del Mar (Altamira cave) as well as more than one hundred other destination all over Spain.

Paradores serve breakfast (about €10) and often have very good local cuisine typical of their region (about €25).

Accommodation prices are good value, when you consider that the hotels are often found in the heart of scenic areas, varying from €85 for a double room to €245 for a twin room (like in Granada). Two of the most beautiful paradors are in Léon and Santiago de Compostela.

Hostels:

There are plenty of hostels. Prices vary from €15 to €25 per night. Spanish “hostales” are not really hostels, but more like unclassified small hotels (with generally no more than a dozen rooms). They can vary in quality from very rudimentary to reasonably smart.

Apartment rental:

  • Independent-hotels.info Spain. includes a fair number of good value independent hostales among the hotel listings.
  • Xanascat. The Regional Network of Youth Hostels of Catalonia if you are visiting Barcelona, Girona, Taragona or other locations in the region.

Short-term, self-catering apartment rental is an option for travellers who want to stay in one place for a week or more. Accommodations range from small apartments to villas.

The number of holiday rentals available depends on the area of Spain you are planning to visit. Although they are common in coastal areas, big capitals and other popular tourist cities, if you plan to visit small inland towns, you will find casas rurales more easily.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Spain
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Name: Sagrada Família
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Gaudí's work on the building is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1882, construction of Sagrada Família started under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. In 1883, when Villar resigned, Gaudí took over as chief architect, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted the remainder of his life to the project, and he is buried in the crypt. At the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, when he was run down by a tram, less than a quarter of the project was complete.

Relying solely on private donations, Sagrada Familia's construction progressed slowly and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. In July 1936, revolutionaries set fire to the crypt and broke their way into the workshop, partially destroying Gaudí's original plans, drawings and plaster models, which led to 16 years work to piece together the fragments of the master model. Construction resumed to intermittent progress in the 1950s.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia
Name: Park Güell
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The Park Güell is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements located on Carmel Hill, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Park Güell is located in La Salut, a neighborhood in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. With urbanization in mind, Eusebi Güell assigned the design of the park to Antoni Gaudí, a renowned architect and the face of Catalan modernism.

The park was built from 1900 to 1914 and was officially opened as a public park in 1926. In 1984, UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site under "Works of Antoni Gaudí".

Park Güell is the reflection of Gaudí's artistic plenitude, which belongs to his naturalist phase (first decade of the 20th century). During this period, the architect perfected his personal style through inspiration from organic shapes. He put into practice a series of new structural solutions rooted in the analysis of geometry. To that, the Catalan artist adds creative liberty and an imaginative, ornamental creation. Starting from a sort of baroquism, his works acquire a structural richness of forms and volumes, free of the rational rigidity or any sort of classic premises.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Güell
Name: Alhambra
Location: Granada, Spain
The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada.

After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered in the Renaissance style. In 1526 Charles I & V commissioned a new Renaissance palace better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary Mannerist style influenced by humanist philosophy in direct juxtaposition with the Nasrid Andalusian architecture, but it was ultimately never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada. Alhambra's last flowering of Islamic palaces was built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain during the decline of the Nasrid dynasty, who were increasingly subject to the Christian Kings of Castile.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhambra
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My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

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