For my college graduation gift from my hubby, we went on a trip to Spain!
It was my first international trip abroad in Europe, so I did not know what to expect or really how to prepare.
I wanted to recap on everything I learned so that it could help you, if you are ever planning a Euro trip.
Before the trip:
Look up the exchange rate, and convert your money before you leave.
I found that for me, Wells Fargo and Bank of America offered the best exchange rates. If you go to their website, the have a exchange calculator and its a pretty good estimate of what you will get if you go convert inside one of their branch. Note: Not all branches convert, most of the time its at their biggest branch.
Download a map of the place you will go to on Google Maps.
Most of the time, your service will not be great. It’s better to have it downloaded so you can access it offline.
If you are planning on traveling between cities, I recommend trying to fit everything into a carry on! It sounds crazy right? 10 days worth of clothes in one carry on?! It’s do-able! Trust me.
The key to packing smart is planning out your outfits. Be smart about your packing by planning outfits around the same few pairs of pants and shoes, that will really help. And if you are a shopper, plan to take 2 less outfits because you will end up buying something and wearing it there. And Spain is really trendy so you won’t have trouble finding something to buy! Shoes, it’s important to have extremely comfortable shoes, you will walk about 10 miles a day. My favorite shoes were the adidas ultra boost- we could walk forever in those.
Also, before you head out for your trip- I highly suggest you investing in TSA Travel Locks. We had these on our suitcases, backpacks, and purse. You’re in a foreign country, it’s busy there, and there’s a lot of pick pocketer (especially in Barcelona).
We had a travel agent plan most of our trip, we went the @innercompass.travel
We started in Seville (2 days)-
Things to do:
-Go to a flamenco show and have dinner!
-Cathedral of Seville
-Royal Alcazar of Seville (Buy tickets in advance or book a tour to skip line)
-Walk around a shop at the cutest stores for the best fashion trends!
Eslava– Make reservations in advance for this place, they have a separate area for reservations where it’s indoors and nice and quiet, if you make reservations- you will be confused as to wear to go, you will see a door that doesn’t open-you will ring the door bell and the waiter will come let you in. If you didn’t make resi, you can go to the bar and put your name on the waitlist.
Getting around: download the mytaxi app- we found that was the cheapest way to get around, it’s basically like their version of uber except they’re actual taxis.
After that we flew to Barcelona (4 days)-
Our favorite city, hands down!
Getting around: Start by going to buy a metro pass for the days you will be there. The metro is pretty easy to get around there, and is super inexpensive! We actually quite enjoyed using the metro there. We felt like locals.
*I recommend booking a hotel close to a metro station.
Things to do:
-If you want to venture out of the city and see more of Spain, I highly recommend booking a Monserrat Winery Tour + the lunch package. This was by far our most favorite thing that we did! The views were amazing and the food and wine were great.
-Shop at El Corte Ingles, La Rambla, or Carrer de Montcada, Gran Via
-Check out Park Guell (Buy tickets online in advance)
-Go see Gaudi works- La Segrada Familia & Casa Batllo
MUST EATS: I’m screaming at you because these places are seriously some must eat places.
Arume– Seriously, the duck paella is where it’s at. It’s in a more sketchy part of town so be weary, but I promise, it won’t disappoint. Call to make reservations in advance! (you can ask your hotel concierge to do it for you.)
Cera 23– Everything here on the menu was pretty good. I feel like you won’t go wrong with anything from here. Call to make reservations in advance! (you can ask your hotel concierge to do it for you.)
El Pinxto De Petritxol– Pinxto is a thing in Barcelona, it’s basically tapas except they use toothpicks to hold the food in place (hahaha so.. toothpick tapas, creative right?) But their food here was pretty amazing! Don’t miss out on getting a pitcher of sangria too!
Lastly, off to Madrid! (3 Days here)
We took a train there, it was so fun. We wished they had trains like that in Houston to get to different cities. It was about a 3 hour train ride- Arrive at the train station a little early, you have to go through security. It’s not as extensive as going through airport security but nonetheless, plan your time accordingly.
Things to do:
-Take a paella cooking class
-Go to the Market of San Miguel (Mercade de San Miguel)- Fun to checkout, foods over priced here though.
-Get churros con chocolate @ Chocolateria
-Try Calamari Baguette
-See the Royal Palace of Madrid (free entry from 4- 6 PM Monday- Thursday, I’m not sure if it changes during different seasons)
-Book a day trip tour to Segovia & Avila
We did a whole lot this trip so once we got to Madrid, we kinda just wanted to slow down and relax since we would have to go back to work in a few days, but that is everything we did in Spain! Richard speaks Spanish so it was fairly easy for us to get around the city, I would definitely recommend learning some Spanish before going.
Let me know if you are planning a trip to Spain or have and questions, I’d be happy to answer, just comment down below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy traveling my jetset bugs!