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Seville (AKA Sevilla), Spain

As I promised before in my South of Spain Itinerary post, this post will be about Seville pronounced in Spanish (sevi”y”a). One of the most beautiful cities i’ve seen in the South.

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A lot of people gave me good feedback on my Cape Town post, so i’ll follow more or less the same layout? Please ask if you have any questions, more than happy to help through sharing my experience 🙂

1. Sleep.

SO, when it comes to Sevilla, following recommendations are work for a group of friends, family or a couple. For those who know & like my taste, you will love the hotels. For those who don’t know my taste, please do do your own due diligence on the hotels and how they’re designed etc.

  • EME Hotel. A nice hotel recommended by locals, and in front of the cathedral. (*****)
  • Hotel Casas de la Judería. In the historic city center. Lots of patios and nice views. (hearts)
  • Hostal Callejon del Agua. A very small hotel but convenient and cute.
  • YH Giralda. Near the EME hotel, very good  location. (****)

PS. Honeymooners, what I read is good/romantic for a honey moon in Sevilla are those hotels:

  • Hotel Casa 1800 Sevilla
  • Hotel Palacio De Villapanes – AlmaSevilla

2. Walk around & Discover.

During the day, go and walk around Plaza Nueva, Plaza de San Francisco and Plaza del Salvador. These are the main three squares and each is next to the other. There, you can find many tapas bars, and terraces if the weather is good. Also, go walk around Barrio de Santa Cruz which is the old city centre. This area is probably a bit touristic (as most city centers) but is worth visiting.
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In the afternoon/evening you could go to to the Arenal area. In this area you can see the bullfighting ring (called “Maestranza”) which has an interesting museum about bullfighting history in Sevilla. Around the Maestranza there are many bars and restaurants. A restaurant I tried and recommend BIG TIME is called “Bulla” located in calle Dos de Mayo.

3. Touristy stuff.

Must seesAlcazar, Catedral and Archivo de Indias.Ofcourse, there is always the Hop-On Hop-Off bus/tour where you could by a ticket and use it to go around the city. I believe the ticket is valid for two days or such and you could easily get the ticket from either your hotel or the station of the bus.

Try to also see;

-Barrio Santa Cruz

– Plaza de España

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– Maria Luisa’s Park (there are old bulding from the Universal Exposure in 1929)

– Puente de Triana (Bridge) & walk around Triana

There are a few nice terraces and cafes to enjoy the view in the Plaza de America. If you’re into Flamence; Flamenco was born in Sevilla. You could arrange to learn & take Flamenco lessons.  Otherwise, you could arrange with your concierge to book a Flamenco show with a dinner if you prefer. If you’ve never seen a flamenco show in your life, I highly recommend its fun and loud!!

4. Food.

For restaurants, what I did was rely almost 100% on trip advisor. As we walked, we had internet access on our phones, and Trip Advisor installed. We’d just search for places near by and walk in. We were never disappointed!

Other than the delicious “Bulla” that I mentioned earlier, the one other restaurant that I still remember my friends and myself liked is called Carmela .. Spanish cuisine, amazing tapas. (in Calle Santa Maria La Blanca)

– Checkout EME Catedral Hotel Rooftop Terrace for sunsets.

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PC: CNN

– Check out Red House Art & Food: known as a creative art space, this cafe and performance venue is unique in Seville.

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5. Ronda

An option is to do a day trip to Ronda. You rent a car and drive there. Ronda is absolutely BREATH-TAKING. It was one of my favorites parts about Andalucia. If you don’t feel comfortable driving, there is an option where it could be arranged via a day tour that includes watching a bull-fight. For more information on this feel free to ask me and i shall provide you with the details.

6. Final words.

Get lost, walk around, explore Sevilla at your own pace 😉 Spain is generally safe and people stay up late so enjoy!!

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Salud,

Toomzie

Menorca, Spain

Minorca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. Its name derives from its size, contrasting it with nearby Majorca. Menorca has a population of approximately 94,383.

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How to get there.

  • Menorca’s Airport is located just 20 minutes from the centre of Maó; there are buses from the town and back, as well as a taxi stand (the journey costs around €15)
  • By plane from Madrid
  • By boat from Mallorca
  • By sea is about eight hours from Barcelona to Maó

Season.

Menorca’s beaches get crowded in peak season (July and August) – Many of the island’s hotels and restaurants close for the winter months.

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Sleep.

Barcelo Hamilton Hotel (5 minutes walk from Mahor Harbor where all the restaurants and coffee shops are)

– Paradise Club & Spa ApartHotel

– Insotel Punta Prima Resort

 

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 Food.

– You can find as many restaurants as you want in Maó Harbor

– Margarita Cafe (Nice cafe right on the harbor – try their carrot cake)

– Nou Sizoco (Great sea food)

– Bracafé (for pastries in mahon port)

– Dinkums  (amazing sea food – try their sole fish, octopus, squid & the lemon icecream)

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Things to do/beaches to see.

  • Platja des Banyul
  • Cala tarqueta
  • Check out Maó Harbor market of hand made goods
  • Explore Menorca on horseback
  • Watch sunset in Cova d’en Xoroi at Cala’n Porter, which is a spectacular bar with outside terraces is set within natural caves 25 metres above sea level

Menorca

Highlights.

– You can’t reach most of the beaches by car, kayak or a small speed boat only

– You won’t find anything in the beach area, no coffee shops, no bars, no restaurants so you have to bring your own stuff with you; Towels beverages etc.

 

“Get a tan, fall in love..”

Hello965

Madrid’s Barrios (Districts)

Moving to Madrid or spending a long time there but don’t know where’s what? Well here’s a start.. These are the “Barrios” or the area names in Madrid:

 

Sol and Centro

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The commercial, or most touristy area in Madrid is Sol. This area is home to many bars, restaurants, and hotels. The famous Gran Via street (shopping) is in Sol as well as Plaza Mayor (coffee & drinks).

La Latina

La Latina

One of my favorite areas, which is next door to Sol is La Latina. La Latina neighborhood is full of narrow little streets, great tapa bars and many spaniards enjoy their drinks there too. Usually, people start from Calle de la Cava Baja, finishing on Plaza de la Paja.

 

Paseo Del Prado & Retiro

Down the hill is Madrid’s greenest corner. Where Parque del Retiro is which is one of the biggest parks in Madrid.

Salamanca

Salamanca is where you’d want to live. Beautiful area where I was proud to call home. It is known to be the upmarket and Madrid’s home of old money.

Malasaña and Chueca

The two inner-city barrios with all the nightlife, shopping and outstanding eating options are. It is also known to be the heart of Madrid’s gay community. I absolutely enjoy walking, eating and shopping in Malasaña and Chueca.

Chamberi & Arguelles

Chamberi & Arguelles are another Barrios where you could consider to live in. They are both the residential barrios with a glimpse of Madrid away from the tourist crowds.

 

We have posted before in details about things to do in Madrid here as well as our restaurant recommendations here.

 

Generally about going to Madrid:

  • February:Five days of Spain’s best flamenco during the Festival Flamenco Caja Madrid
  • May: Two of Madrid’s biggest fiestas: Fiesta de la Comunidad de Madrid and Fiesta de San Isidro.
  • Sept: Beautiful autumn weather.
  • Peak visit months: March, April, May, and October.

 

Cheers,

Hello965 Team

Explore Madrid

Home

Beautiful Madrid is Spain’s Capital.

To Be in Madrid Is to Feel at Home

Welcome home! Throughout the centuries, this melting pot of different cultures has welcomed wave after wave of migrants. Throughout the 20th century Madrid welcomed people from all over Spain; today it welcomes people from all over Europe and the rest of the world with open arms.

If you have just arrived, start thinking of yourself as a “madrileño”, it won’t take you more than a couple of hours to feel like you are one. Go for a stroll and put away your camera and map for a while. Walk around like one of the locals, pop into a bar and order something: soon you’ll find yourself talking to someone – it may well be someone who also came to Madrid for a couple of days and is still living here years later. That’s Madrid, a city for the people.

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Let’s start off this post with the best parks and gardens in Madrid. If it’s summer, forget it and stay indoors!

  • Parque del Retiro
  • Casa De Campo – “The Casa de Campo is the largest urban park situated west of central Madrid,. It was formerly a royal hunting estate. Its area is more than 1,700 hectares”
  • Parque del Oeste – One of my favorties. Huge, very calm and extremely nice for a relaxing walk or a picnic. 
  • Campo Del Moro
  • Las Vistillas
  • Alameda de Osuna – El Capricho gardens

Parque del Oeste

Out and About

It’s amazing that there can be so many people in so many places at ALL TIMES. they love being outside. The weather is wonderful (not when it’s boiling hot..) and there are places for everybody’s tastes. Madrid’s wide range of open spaces is one of the city’s main assets, and we love enjoying them to the maximum.

You don’t need a plan. Get out and take a walk, wandering the streets without a set destination. You will be surprised to see that there always seems to be something even more interesting on the next block. And you can walk everywhere; it is never very far from one place to the next. Around the next corner you will probably find a place that will become one of your favorite little haunts.

It is very easy also to use the metro if you’re not a big fan of walking long distances; Download the Madrid Metro application for both iPhoners and Androids (Available in English), and just follow the lines. You could also use Google maps to direct you with metro lines uses. If you’re staying for a long stay, get the 10 passes metro ticket, otherwise 1 way ticket should suffice.

Madrid Fiestas

There are dozens of fiestas in Madrid. Here are some:
February: Madrid Carnaval – Week before Lent
March-April: Semana Santa (Holy week)
June-July: La Semana del Orgullo Gay (Gay Pride Week)
August: Fiestas in La Latina and Lavapies barrios – dancing and live music
December: Navidad & NocheVieja (New Years Eve) – Plaza mayor during xmas
Shopping
  • Madrid Shop: The Plaza Mayor Tourist Center sells items related to the city under the brand ¡Madrid!.
  • EL RASTRO FLEA MARKET: Every Sunday
  • CALLE DE SERRANO (SALAMANCA DISTRICT)
  • CALLE JORGE JUAN
  • Gran Via 
  • Chueca District
  • ELCORTE INGLES
  • FUENCARRAL Market
  • Calle Ortega y Gasset
  • Puerta Del Sol
  • Calle Goya
General Information
Addresses: Addresses written as: c/Picasso 2 4izda. , means Picasso street number 2 4th floor, left. (Izquierda).
Pronunciations: Anything with double L is pronounced a Y. For example: Calle is pronounced “Cayye”. Alot of people in Madrid don’t speak English, try to learn some basic words before you head there for example: “No Hablo Espaniol” – I don’t speak Spanish or “Hablas Ingles?” – Do you speak English? and so on.. (The H is silent fyi)
Crime and Personal Safety:  The police in Spain usually come in green uniform-roads, boarders etc., there is also blue uniform police-crime, drugs, crowd control, etc. In the unlikely event that you are robbed (which could happen- becareful!), go to the police where you’ll have to make a statement known as a “denuncia” you can also do it online via policia.es .. If your passport is stolen, contact immediately the embassy or consulate. (Kuwait nationals, you could contact the embassy in Madrid or the consulate office in Paris)
Pickpocketing and bag-snatching is very common in Spain, particularly in Madrid. Never put your mobile phone on the table and forget about it. Never keep it visible from your pockets on your bag.
Spain’s Currency is EURO (€)
OPENING HOURS: almost EVERYTHING in Spain closes for “Siesta” of atleast two hours in the middle of the day. So basically its something like this – Monday to Friday 9.30 AM to 2 PM and 5 PM to 8 PM.
Internet/WI-FI is widely spread in cafes, bars, hotels and other public hotspots. WiFi in Spanish is pronounced (Wee-Fee).
For Restaurants, you could refer to our previous post here.
SIGHT-SEEING & Touristy Stuff
  • Paseo Real (where The Royal Palace of Madrid is, very nice area to walk around))
  • Bernabeu Stadium  
  • Puerta de El Cala
  • Plaza Colon
  • Plaza Santa Ana (very nice plaza with restaurants and cafes outdoors)
  • Plaza Mayor (same, plaza with restaurants and cafes outdoor, must go)
  • Templo De Debod
  • Hop on hop off bus will take you to whatever you need to see.
Museums
Reina Sofia – Modern (20th Century) art.
Museo del Prado – Large collection of 12th ro 19th Century Spanish art.
Thyssen – If you like Impressionist paintings this museum is a must. (more or less similar to Prado) 

 

Cheers!

Toomzie

Running with the Bulls – Pamplona Spain

Running with the bulls festival takes place in Pamplona, Spain. It is a process which involves running in front of a small group of bulls that have been let loose.. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.

Imagine this thing running behind you? MAMA. Festival takes place every year from July 6th till July 14th.

Fun.. ;p