Places to visit in Spain
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This page updated:
May 2017




Iberian peninsula at night



North

Santander

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  • Cathedral (Iglesia Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion).
  • Mercado del Este (bars and cafes, tourist info).
  • Pereda Gardens (Jardines de Pereda).
  • Peninsula de la Magdalena: includes Palacio de la Magdalena and a small maritime museum.
  • Municipal Museum of Arts (Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes).
  • Biblioteca Menedez Pelayo.
  • Museo Oceanografico.
  • Museo Maritimo del Cantabrico (aquarium). Closed Mondays.
  • Museo de Arte Moderno y Contemporaneo.
VirtualTourist's "Santander Things to Do"
Wikitravel's "Santander"
TripAdvisor's "Things to do in Santander"


Basque country:

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Bilbao

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  • Map
  • Guggenheim Musem (Museo Guggenheim Bilbao); 1000-2000; closed Mondays in winter; €8 admission.
  • Museo de Bellas Artes; 1000-2000; closed Tuesdays; free on Wednesdays; €7 admission.
  • Museo Arqueologico, Etnografico e Historico Vasco.
  • Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro; free Thursdays; €2 admission.
  • Museo de Reproducciones Artisticas: full-scale reproductions of some of the world's most famous works of art.
  • Ria de Bilbao Maritime Museum; closed Mondays; free on Tuesdays during the school year; €6 admission.
  • Euskal Museoa Bilbao Museo Vasco; €3 admission.
  • Cathedral de Santiago (Catedral de Bilbao; St James Cathedral); Mon-Sat 1100-1300 and 1700-1930, Sun 1100-1200; €6 admission.
  • Basilica de Begona.
  • Iglesia de San Vicente Martir.
  • Iglesia de San Anton.
  • Ayuntamiento de Bilbao (Bilbao Town Hall): free, but only by non-English guided tour MTWRF 0900, 0930 or 1000.
  • Palacio de Olabarri (Palacete del Puerto Autonomo de Bilbao).
  • Palacio Foral.
  • Palacio de la Diputacion de Bizkaia: free, but only by guided tour MTWRF 1030, 1130, 1230, 1700 or 1800.
  • Euskalduna Palace; 1000-2000.
  • Deusto University: interesting old building.
  • Estacion de Atxuri (train station), and Museo Montren (model train museum) inside it.
  • Estacion de Santander (train station): outside is Art Nouveau style.
  • Casa Consistorial (old town hall).
  • Teatro Arriaga opera house.
  • Pasarela Zubizuri (White Bridge). Slippery when wet.
  • Vizcaya bridge: hanging bridge.
  • Puente Principes de Espana (La Salve Bridge).
  • Kiosko del Arenal; in a park across the street from San Nicolas Cathedral in Casco Viejo (old town).
  • Metro Moyua: Metro station with interesting design.
  • Sagrado Corazon Column: huge monument at the end of Gran via Don Diego Lopezde Haro, on the Plaza de Sagrado Corazon.
  • Mercado de la Ribera: huge indoor market in an impressive building; MTWRF 0800-1400 and 1630-1900; Sat 1130-1430.
  • La Alhondiga arts center.
  • Artxanda Funicular: ride to top of mountain.
  • Concert at Palacio de Congresos y de la Musica Euskalduna.
  • Bilbao Symphony Orchestra
  • Football game at Estadio San Mames.
  • Jai alai or pelote game at Fronton Bizkaia.
  • Riverside walks.
  • Semana Grande festival: last week in August.
  • BilbaoCard: transit/museum/shopping discount card, 1-3 days.
  • How to get there:
    • Bus. Socibus at Plaza Garellano 14 Bajo 48013.
    • Train.
    • Plane.
10Best's "Things to do in Bilbao"
VirtualTourist's "Bilbao Things to Do"
TripAdvisor's "Things to do in Bilbao"
World Travel Guide's "Things to see in Bilbao"
Wikitravel's "Bilbao"
Hitch-Hikers Handbook's "Bilbao"
Hitch-Hikers Handbook's "Bilbao hitchhiking and transport tips"


San Sebastian

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  • La Catedral del Buen Pastor.
  • Basilica of Santa Maria del Coro.
  • El Monte Igueldo: cable car to top of mountain, and amusement park.
  • El Monte Urgull: trails and views.
  • El Aquarium.
  • El Museo de San Telmo.
  • Palacio Miramar.
  • Eureka! Zientzia Museoa (science museum).
  • Kursaal palace.
Wikitravel's "San Sebastian"


reddit's /r/CaminoDeSantiago
Francis Tapon's "10 Reasons Why El Camino Santiago Sucks"
At least four Facebook Groups about Camino de Santiago.







Central

Madrid

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  • Museums:
    • Maybe buy the Abono Paseo del Arte: grants access to the three major art museums - Thyssen, Prado and Reina Sofia. But usually only access to the permanent collections, not any special temporary exhibits. About €28.
    • There is an "Annual Membership Card for National Museums" available for about €36. It covers about 10 museums in Madrid, and a few in other cities; see Reina Sofia page. I think you buy it at ticket offices of the museums. You will have to show Spanish ID to get it; not sure if that means only a DNI, or also could use a residency card. "To obtain it you must present 2 passport-size photographs and a photocopy of your identity document." Not sure if it allows multiple visits to each museum, or just one. I think you can't use this card to reserve an individual museum entrance ticket in advance, which means you'd be stuck in a queue to get your "free" ticket.
    • Prado Museum
      Calle Ruiz de Alarcon 23.
      Open MTWRFS 1000-2000, Sun 1000-1900.
      Admission €15. Buy ticket online to avoid queue. Crowded during free times.
      Free to visit Monday-Saturday after 6 pm, and Sunday after 5 pm, but expect a line (which goes fairly fast).
      First-floor religious art left me bored, but upper floors were terrific. Strict no-photography policy.
    • Museo Arqueologico Nacional (M.A.N.)
      Calle Serrano 13.
      Open TWRFS 0930-2000, Sun 0930-1500, closed Mondays.
      Admission €3.
      Free admission on Saturdays after 1400, and Sunday mornings.
    • Museo del Romanticismo
      Travesia San Mateo 13.
      Admission €3.
      Free to visit on Saturdays after 2 pm and all day on Sundays.
      Pleasant but not great.
    • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza): mostly Impressionist art.
      Paseo del Prado 8.
      Admission €12
      Open TWRFSS 1000-1900; M 1200-1600 free admission. Photography allowed.
      Start from level 2 and work your way down in chronological order.
      Overwhelming amount of art, a fair amount of it great.
    • Museo de America: art and artifacts from N and central and S America, pre-Columbian and Colonial etc.
      Avenida Reyes Catolicos 6.
      Open TW 0930-1500, R 0900-1900, FS 0930-1500.
      Free on Sundays.
    • Sorolla Museum: art
      Paseo General Martinez Campos 37. Well N on Paseo de la Castellana, then L onto PGMC. Metro station Ruben Dario or Iglesia or Gregorio Maranon or another. But it's a real pain to get to: it's well off the N edge of the Tourist Info map, and about equidistant from the 4 Metro stations, and 11/2016 two of the main Metro lines and nearby stations were closed for repairs or something, and had been for a while.
      Open TWRFS 0930-2000, Sun 1000-1500. Admission €3.
    • Museo Cerralbo: palace and art. Very cluttered; paintings often dark.
      Calle Ventura Rodriguez 17; Metro station Plaza de Espana.
      Open TWRFS 0930-1500, Thurs 1700-2000, Sun 1000-1500.
      Admission €3. Free on Thurs afternoon and Sun morning.
    • Queen Sofia Arts Center (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia): modern art.
      Calle Santa Isabel 52; Metro station Atocha.
      Open MWRFS 1000-2100, Sun 1000-1900, closed Tuesdays. Go on Monday when every other museum is closed ?
      Admission €8. Buy ticket online to avoid queue.
      Focus on level 2 and 4 with permanent exhibits. Second building surrounds a nice garden.
      Strict no-photography policy.
      Art very disappointing; I'd say skip this museum.
    • Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande
      Calle San Buenaventura 1.
      Open TWRFS 1000-1230 and 1600-1800, summer TWRFSS 1030-1230 and 1700-1900.
      Admission ??? No photography allowed.
    • CaixaForum: Temporary exhibits. Includes a vertical garden.
      Paseo Prado 36.
      Open MTWRFSS 1000-2000.
    • Fundacion Lozaro Galdiano: art.
    • Goya Museum: frescoes.
    • Naval Museum.
    • The Local's "Off the beaten track: Eight Madrid museums you've probably never heard of"
  • Buildings:
    • Royal Palace (Palacio Real de Madrid): art, historic texts, etc.
      Also contains military museum, towards the Cathedral.
      Calle Bailen.
      Open MTWRFSS 1000-1800 in winter, 1000-2000 in summer.
      Maybe best to get there right at opening time.
      Admission €11. Buy tickets online to avoid queue. Free MTWR 1600-1800 in winter, 1800-2000 in summer.
    • Catedral de Sta Maria la Real de la Almudena.
      Calle Bailen 10 (near Royal Palace).
      Open MTWRFSS 0930-2030.
      Free admission, or €1 donation.
    • Pantheon (next door to Cathedral).
    • Espacio Conde Duque: contains various things, including a contemporary art museum.
      Calle del Conde Duque 9-11.
  • Parks and Plazas and streets:
    • Retiro Park (El Parque del Buen Retiro) and Crystal Palace (Palacio De Cristal).
      Crystal Palace: often has art exhibits. Free admission.
    • Puerta de Alcala: at main entrance to Retiro Park.
    • Mercado San Miguel: crowded, a bit touristy, nice building.
    • Puerta del Sol
    • Plaza Mayor: restaurants a bit overpriced ?
    • Plaza de la Villa
    • Gran Via: lots of shopping and restaurants and big buildings.
    • Plaza de Cibeles
      Palacio de Cibeles: free entry, but elevator to top costs €2. Take elevator to top and then work your way down through the building.
      Also go into Post Office building, and CentroCentro cultural center.
    • From someone on reddit: "Go down to the river and wander along its banks until you get to the Matadero. Then you can get the metro back into town. The banks of the river are a really nice park with little cafes and architecturally interesting bridges, lots of madrilenos walking up and down the river-side. The Matadero is an exhibition centre in an old slaughterhouse - the buildings are incredible and the exhibitions are interesting. It also has numerous cafes and occasionally a street food market so it's well worth a visit!"
  • Activities:
    • El Rastro outdoor flea market.
      Calle Ribera de Curtidores.
      Sundays and holidays 0900-1500.
    • High-end shopping: areas N of Retiro Park.
    • Football: Real Madrid in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
  • Facilities:
    • Tourist Info offices: main office in Plaza Mayor under the Casa de la Panaderia on the north side.
    • Metro: single ride €1.50, ten-trip ticket €12. Map
    • City buses: Map
    • Train stations: Madrid-Atocha (AVE, and trains generally going south) and Madrid-Chamartan (trains generally going north).
    • From someone on "Expats in Spain" Facebook group:
      "The train drops you in the very centre of Madrid. Getting from the airport on the outskirts of Madrid to the centre can be a nightmare and take forever!"
      But: if you have an AVE ticket, you can take the local train for free.
      Trains between airport and Atocha, sometimes you connect in Charmartin station, other times you go direct.
      There is a direct "airport express" bus between Atocha and the airport for about €5.
  • English-language books: AIDA Books & More, Calle Claudio Coello 112 (nearest Metro: Nunez de Balboa, L5 and L9), MTWRF 1100-1400 and 1700-2000, Sat 1100-1400.


GoMadrid's "Top 10"
WhereToMadrid's "Discounts on entry to the most popular museums of Madrid"
TripAdvisor's "Best Sights of Madrid"
TripAdvisor's "Things to do in Madrid"
TripAdvisor's "Madrid Travel Forum"
Hitch-Hikers Handbook's "Madrid"
ShawnCanDo's "Metros, Trains and 'Abonos'"


Merida

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(Went to a concert there.)

  • Train to/from Sevilla runs only once or twice a week.
  • Concert venue (Albergue) is well outside town to WSW, but special buses are run from Rotunda Lusitania (at N end of Punte Lusitania bridge).



Toledo



Segovia

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  • Aqueduct.
  • Alcazar.
  • ???



Zaragoza

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  • Hot in summer, cold in winter. Best April through mid-June, and Sept and Oct.
  • "El Pilar" festival: week of Oct 12 (in 2016, runs 8th to 16th). Population triples. Huge crowds on the 12th. Municipal museums are free on that day, too.
    article
    site
  • Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Pilar.
    Wonderful, and free admission. No-photography policy.
  • Catedral de la Seo (La Seo del Salvador).
    Wikipedia's "Cathedral of the Savior of Zaragoza"
    €4 admission. Wonderful, but no photography.
  • Museo De Tapices Y Capitular De La Seo: tapestries museum, inside La Seo.
    Spain.info's "La Seo Chapterhouse Tapestry Museum"
    Open MTWRFS 1000-1330 and 1600-1800, Sun 1000-1130 and 1600-1800. Admission €4.
    Admission included in ticket to enter La Seo.
  • Caesaraugusta route: four municipal archaeological museums with a joint ticket. The four are: Foro, Fluvia, Termas, Teatro.
    I found all except Teatro quite unimpressive, and you can see Teatro well enough from the street for free (go to the fence at the outdoor cafe terrace).
  • Museo del Teatro Romano de Caesaraugusta: Roman ruins and ampitheatre.
    Wikipedia's "Museo del Teatro de Caesaraugusta"
    Govt site
    Calle San Jorge 12.
    Open TWRFS 1000-1400 and 1700-2100, Sun 1000-1430, closed Mondays.
  • La Lonja (old currency exchange; now an exhibition hall).
    Govt site
    Open TWRFS 1000-1400 and 1700-2100, Sun 1000-1430, closed Mondays. Admission free. Art exhibit when I was there was not interesting.
  • Palacio de la Aljaferia (al-hah-feh-REE-a). Fortified Moorish palace, now Parliament.
    Wikipedia's "Aljaferia"
    Govt site
    Calle Diputados (most buses go near there, Av Madrid stop). Open daily 1000-1400 and 1630-2000. Go at opening to avoid tour groups. Get audioguide. Admission €5.
    Disappointing: absolutely no contents: no art, no furniture, no mosaics, etc. Look at it from outside and don't bother entering.
    But: if you join a tour, you might get to see the "modern" part of it, the part used by Parliament ?
  • Museo Zaragoza.
    Museum site
    Four sections/locations:
    • Secciones de Antiguedad y Bellas Artes (AKA Museum of Fine Arts Zaragoza). Plaza de Los Sitios 6. Pretty nice, worth seeing.
    • Seccion de Etnologia. Casa Pirenaica in Parque Grande J.A. Labordeta. Closed 10/2016.
    • Seccion de Ceramica. Casa de Albarracin in Parque Grande J.A. Labordeta (take tram). Open mostly just Tues and Sat 0900-1400.
    • Seccion Colonia Celsa. Eras de Velilla de Ebro in Velilla de Ebro.
    Free admission.
  • Alma Mater museum. Next to Seo Cathedral. €3 admission.
    Reasonably interesting. Religious art, some ruins, old building.
  • Museo Goya Coleccion Ibercaja (formerly Museo Ibercaja Camon Aznar): Goya, and other exhibits.
    Museum site
    Calle de Espoz Mina 23. Hours vary; generally MTWRFS 1000-1400 and 1600-2000, Sun 1000-1400.
    Combined ticket with la Basilica del Pilar and the Museo Diocesano for €7. Audioguide €4. Free second Sunday of each month.
    Museum is nice but not great. No photography allowed in the most interesting areas.
  • Museo de los Faroles y Rosario de Cristal: religious stained glass, and lighted "floats" that are used in the festival.
    site
    Plaza de San Pedro Nolasco. Admission €2.
    Special experience: go at night on Oct 12 or 13 in middle of fiesta week ? But expect huge crowds.
  • Museum of Natural Sciences.
    Plaza de Paraiso 4, inside Universidad Zaragoza.
    Open MTWRFS 1100-1400 and 1700-2100. Free.
    Quite nice.
  • EMOZ origami museum. Plaza de San Agustin 2. Open TWRFS 1000-1400 and 1700-2100; Sun 1000-1430. Admission €3. Pleasant but not great. Free temporary exhibits in same building.
  • Expo 2008.
  • River Aquarium.
  • Parque Grande.
  • Patio de la Infanta: patio was part of a mansion built in 1546; art, sculpture, etc. Now inside a bank.
    Wikipedia's "Patio de la Infanta"
    Calle San Ignacio de Loyola 16.
    Patio is not very interesting, but downstairs there is a small collection of art and furnishings.
  • Museo Pablo Serrano (IAACC). Modern art.
    Museum site
    Paseo Maria Agustin 20. Open TWRFS 1000-1400 and 1700-2100, Sun 1000-1400, closed Mondays. Free admission.
  • Cartuja Aula Dei: monastery, 20 minutes out of town on bus 28. Goya art and more. Free admission.
  • Museo del Fuego y de los Bomberos.
  • Museo Pablo Gargallo: sculpture.
    site
    Plaza de San Felipe 3. MTWRFS 1000-1400 and 1700-2100, Sun 1000-1430. Admission about €3.
    Unimpressive.
  • The churches of San Pablo, Santa Maria Magdalena and San Gil Abad.
  • Puente de Piedra (Stone Bridge; Bridge of Lions).
  • Auditorio de Zaragoza (concerts).
    Calle Eduardo Ibarra 3. Take tram from Plaza Espana toward Valdespartera to stop "Emperador Carlos V".
  • Several football teams: see Wikipedia.
    Wikipedia's "Real Zaragoza", Real Zaragoza club site
    Wikipedia's "CD Ebro", C. D. Ebro club site
  • Local buses:
    Normal cash fare is €1.35.
    Bus card: €2 for the card, €5 for 5 trips. Allows you to do transfers; no way to do a transfer when you're paying cash on the bus.
    Urbanos de Zaragoza bus routes
    Tranvia Zaragoza
  • Arrive by AVE or regional train, or ALSA bus. All trains and buses arrive to Delicias station. Tourist Info office inside the station; get city map and bus route map. Take 34 or 51 bus to center. Single fare is €1.35.
  • Well outside Zaragoza:
    • Monasterio de Piedra Park. 60-80 miles outside Zaragoza, near Calatayud ? Waterfalls, caves, lake, fisheries, etc.
    • Daroca. Town maybe 50 miles south of Zaragoza ? Historic.
    • Belchite. Ruined town somewhere outside of Zaragoza. Was bombed-out in the civil war. Accessible only by car ? Guided tours only.

Wikitravel's "Zaragoza"
Wikipedia's "Zaragoza"
TripAdvisor's "Zaragoza, Spain"
EatStayLoveLife's "Zaragoza, a city full of surprises!"


Lloret de Mar



Benicassim

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(Friend has an apartment there.)

Wikipedia's "Benicassim"
Bus to/from Castellon (Autos Mediterraneo)
Todo Benicassim
TripAdvisor's "Benicasim Travel Forum"
Can take RENFE train to/from Benicassim ? EuroMed does not stop there. And the train station is far from my friend's apartment.
Tourist Info at seafront, Torre Sant Vicent, Carrer Bernat Artola 0. Also another near EuroSol bus stop.


Castellon de la Plana

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  • Main square and City Hall.
  • Santa Maria de la Asuncion Church / Concatedral de Santa Maria / Basilica of Santa Maria del Lledo.
  • Tourist Info in the center, Plaza Mayor, right across from the cathedral.
  • Central market.
  • Fine Arts Museum of Castellon.
    Spain.info site
    Free admission. Lovely museum, lots of religious and secular paintings, ceramics, some temporary exhibits.
  • Espai d'Art Contemporani de Castello (Museum for Modern Art; EACC).
    12/2014, free admission but only one big artwork, which was moderately interesting.
    EACC site
  • Llotja del Canem (Hemp Exchange Market): now cultural events and temporary exhibitions.
  • Bishop's Palace.
  • Theatre de Castellon de la Plana.
  • Municipal Museum of Ethnology. In the Sant Jaume de Fadrell Hermitage ? Closed for repairs 11/2014 ?
    Spainisculture site
    Free admission.
  • Torres dels Alcaments Museum (fragments left of the walls that fortified the city).
  • Beaches (take busses out of town).
  • La Magdalena festival: a week long, three weeks before Easter.
Wikipedia's "Castellon de la Plana"
Bus to/from Valencia (Hife)
Bus to/from Valencia (AVSA) ???

Arriving at Castellon train station: no Tourist Info, no maps, no bus route map, etc. Bus to Benicassim to my friend's apartment: line 9 from NW corner of station, get off at Plaza Juez Borrull, get bus "Grau: Benicassim por los Villas", get off at "EuroSol" stop on Ave Ferrandis Salvador near "Pinguins" and Consum mercado.


Valencia

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  • Third-largest city in Spain.
  • Cathedral (The Seu). Very nice. Open for free in morning and evening, I think.
  • Basilica De La Virgen De Los Desamparados. Fabulous. Open for free maybe mornings and after 1630, I think.
  • Silk Exchange market (La Llotja de la Seda).
    on Wikipedia
    on VLC
    Fairly empty building, no art or anything, but nice gargoyles.
  • Saints John church: frescoes.
  • Central Market. Gorgeous building.
  • City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciencies):
    • Opera house
    • Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe (Prince Felipe Museum of Science): €8, open 1000-1900 (2100 in summer). Only an additional €2 if you're also buying a ticket to Oceanografic, and worth that much. Probably not worth the full €8.
    • IMAX cinema
    • Oceanografic (aquarium, marine park): €28, open 1000-1800 (later in summer). Nice, but well overpriced.
    • No Metro stops near the science city. Take the 35 bus from near the North train station.
  • Palau De La Musica.
  • Museo de Prehistoria y de las Culturas de Valencia (La Beneficencia) (Museum of Valencia's Cultures) and Museu Valencia d'Etnologia (Valencian Museum of Ethnology): €2, open 1000-2000, closed Mondays. Located together in "Cultura" building on Calle Corona at intersection with Guillem de Castro, near Benificienca. Lots of stuff, a bit boring.
  • IVAM Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (Valencian Institute of Modern Art; museum's site): €6 (free on Sunday), open TWRFSS 1100-1930 (more in summer), closed Mondays. I found the art disappointing; go only on a free day.
  • Museu de Belles Arts San Pio V (Museum of Fine Arts): free, open 1000-2000, closed Mondays. Quite nice.
  • Museo Nacional de Ceramica Gonzalez Marti (National Ceramics Museum): €3 (free on Sat afternoon and on Sunday), open TWRFS 1000-1400 and 1600-2000, Sun 1000-1400, closed Mondays. Very nice; great building, terrific contents except for the more modern stuff.
  • Museo de la Ciudad (Palacio de Berbedel) (City Museum Berbedel Palace): €2 (free on Sat and Sun), open TWRFS 1000-1400 and 1630-2030, Sun 1000-1500, closed Mondays.
    Don't miss ! Terrific building, lots of great art.
  • Real Colegio Seminario Corpus Christi El Patriarca (Patriarch College; art): guided tours MTWRFS 1030, 1130, 1230, 1630, 1730, 1830.
  • Museo de La Almoina (archaeology): €2 (free Sat and Sun), open TWRFS 1000-1400 and 1630-2030, Sun 1000-1500, closed Mondays. Not too exciting. And lots of half-lit steps up and down; be careful.
  • Museo Valenciano de la Ilustracion y la Modernidad (MUVIM; Valencian Museum of Enlightenment and Modernity): €2 admission, open TWRFS 1000-1400 and 1600-2000, Sun 1000-1400, closed Mondays. I found the art disappointing, and the building is weird and disjointed, but you can't beat the price.
  • Museo Convento del Carmen (Convent of Carmen Museum; various temporary exhibits): free, open TWRFSS 1000-2000, closed Mondays.
  • Casa Museo Jose Benlliure (Benlliure Museum House): €2 (free Sat and Sun), open TWRFS 1000-1400 and 1630-2030, Sun 1000-1500, closed Mondays.
  • Museo Fallero (Fallas Museum; statues used in Las Fallas festival): €2 (free Sat and Sun), open TWRFS 1000-1400 and 1630-2030, Sun 1000-1500, closed Mondays.
  • Museo de Historia de Valencia (Valencian History Museum): €2 (free Sunday), open TWRFS 0930-1900, Sun 0930-1500, closed Mondays.
  • Jardins del Turia riverbed park: 5.5 miles long, walking paths, playing fields, fountains, playgrounds, etc. Maybe rent a bike.
  • Valencia C.F. football club.
    Season starts in late August, runs to mid-May.
  • Bioparc (zoo, wildlife park): €24, open approx 1000-1800.
    Metro stop "9 De Octubre" on lines 3/5/9 (walk up 9 De Octubre / Av. Pio Baroja), or take the 95 bus.
    Bioparc is nice, layout a little confusing. Most species in separate pens, not freely mixing on a "savannah". Lots of kids groups getting in the way.
  • Beaches. I found the harbor area pretty uninteresting, so maybe skip it unless you're actually going to the beach.
  • Las Fallas festival, mid-March. site
  • Corpus Christi festival, end of May. site
    Saw one of the parades, and it was disappointing. But the wagons are worth seeing.
  • Current events: ValenciaBonita.es
  • Valencia City Maps
  • Metro (map1, map2) and EMT bus.
    Tricky: in the Metro stations, the ticket machines dispense paper cards which are Metro-only passes. If you want a Metro-plus-bus pass, you need to buy a plastic card at the ticket counter.
    Metro Zone A includes everything you want except the airport.
    You can buy bus passes (tarjeta bonobus) in small shops (estanco's). It's a plastic card, maybe the same one you buy at the Metro counter ? €2 for the card, €8 to charge it with 10 bus-only trips.
  • Two train stations, fairly close together, and near Metro stations and near old town.
    Valencia Railway Stations
A Texan in Spain's "Valencia, Spain: A Pretty, Tasty City Worth Visiting"
Wikipedia's "Valencia"
Wikitravel's "Valencia"
TripAdvisor's "Valencia"
reddit's /r/valencia
Mike Leznoff's "Valencia Dreams"
Telegraph's "The best things to do in Valencia"




Portugal

Algarve Bus.Info's "Travel by plane, bus or train between the Algarve and Spain"

See Portugal section of my Places in Europe page





Balearics





Canaries



Las Palmas, Gran Canaria: Airport is on east coast, about halfway between Las Palmas and Maspalomas.
In winter, often weather is much better on south coast than on north coast.
AirMundo's "Gran Canaria Airport"
TripAdvisor's "Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain"





General



Hitch-Hikers Handbook's "Spain"

HTBIS's map showing all coasts and regions

Transport in Spain

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Trains

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RENFE
Ave map (2016?)

A Texan in Spain's "How to Ride the Train in Spain"
Cheap tickets ? Trenhub, Truecalia

For those over 60 years old: RENFE's "Tarjeta Dorada Card" (but someone said "beware of the card because i found that travelling during the day there were cheaper fares than the card fare").

The RENFE web site is notorious for not working. I find it works for seeing train schedules and prices, but sometimes not for actually buying tickets (whether I'm a logged-in user or not). And each time buying a ticket fails and you start again, you have to re-type ALL of the information. [I sent an email complaint to RENFE 11/2014 and got a response that included: "We are having some troubles with some foreign credit and debit cards payments ... there is an error produced when Renfe's server try to connect with some of the overseas Bank's servers". This may well be the problem I was seeing. But the RENFE site should handle that better.]

Buying an AVE ticket at the machines in Barcelona Sants Estacio worked. But if you get the PIN on your credit card wrong, it makes you start all over from the beginning; no second try at the PIN, no opportunity to try a different card.

Finally managed to buy tickets through the RENFE web site ! Bought Euromed tickets. I think the trick to make it work was that I paid with PayPal, instead of US credit card. [1/2020, found that virtual credit cards from privacy.com work too.]

Buying tickets at the machines in Barcelona San Andreu Estacio never works for me. Various mysterious errors, and I end up going to the counter.

There is a RENFE frequent-flyer card called TEMPO. I don't know how it works. It is free; you can apply for it through the web site. Someone says the "basic" level has very little pay-off.

For European residents: Interrail Spain Pass

For tourists: Eurail Spain Pass

From /u/Dr_Gage on reddit's /r/spain:
The worst dates to travel [in summer] are the beginning, middle and end of July and August, so reserving would be a very good idea. Most Spaniards take fortnight vacations that start the 1st or 15th of the month.

From people on TripAdvisor's "Barcelona Travel Forum":
> I'll be travelling on the AVE. I'm staying near
> the X station, do I have to pay to take the train
> from X station to Y station where the AVE leaves,
> or is the ride inclusive in my AVE ticket?

With every ticket to the AVE or long distance trains you get a free ride with the commuter trains (Cercanias/Rodalies/Feve). You can use it up to 3h before your trip in the origin area and up to 3h after your arrival to the destination. To get your ticket you need to go to the automatic machines and display the bar code on your ticket or, if there are no automatic machines (or ones without a bar code reader) you can go to the cashier. Of course, if you still have local rides on your public transport card (like the T-10) you can also use it to get to Y from X with the commuter trains (it's quicker then taking the metro).

...

Your AVE ticket allows you to use the commuter trains from X to Y (commuter train, not metro).

You must get your free ticket at the station ATMs with a combinados cercanias number printed in your AVE ticket.

At the tickets ATM you must look for an option called Combinados Cercanias.

...

In your AVE train you have a "Combinado Cercanias" number that allows you to get a free commuter train ticket. Get it at the tickets ATMs (they are orange for the commuter trains and it says Rodalies on them).

If your AVE train arrives late, you may be eligible for a partial refund; RENFE's "Punctuality Commitment". But often they will deny a refund, saying they were late because of factors out of their control (such as people cutting wires). It seems you have to wait 24 hours after arrival to find out if they will give refunds, then you have 30 days to file request for refund. Maybe you can look up the status and file request at RENFE's "Indemnities" (login before clicking this link), or do the request via paper form (if in Barcelona, at Sants Estacio).

Long-Distance Busses

+/-
Alsa (NE and N Spain)
Socibus
Avanza (S and E Spain)
Autocares Valenzuela
Flixbus (to France)

Cabify (only in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Seville and Valencia as of 9/2017)
BlaBlaCar



50 Unbelievable Facts About Spain
Wikipedia's "Supranational European Bodies"

See Africa section of my Places in Europe page