Ten great city breaks

Enjoying walks rediscovering the cities where we live but which we have never had time to get to know in depth, or visiting new places where there is a great deal to appreciate, is an excellent option for our free time. Choose one of these ten cities filled with attractions to discover, learn about and enjoy!

Barcelona modernista

Modernist Barcelona 

From the time when Ildefons Cerdà planned and organised the town planning of the central streets, Barcelona became the home of Modernism.

With the excuse of the “Año Cerdà” year, which commemorates him, Barcelona invites you to discover the Gothic Quarter, the Paseo de Gracia, La Rambla de Catalunya, the Hospital Sant Pau or the Palau de la Música. And of course, the prolific work of Antoni Gaudí such as the Sagrada Familia, El Palau Güell, La Pedrera, la Casa Batlló and the Parc Güell. 

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Bilbao vanguardista

Avant-Garde Bilbao           

Bilbao is a city which has kept on becoming more attractive in recent years. An example of this is the Guggenheim Museum, whose building constitutes a magnificent example of the most avant-garde architecture of the 20th century.

More examples in this line are the Museo de Reproducciones Artísticas  (Museum of Artistic Reproductions) in the Corazón church or Bilbaoarte. When you holiday in this city you are guaranteed to discover new things. 

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Girona medieval

The Jewish-Medieval District of Girona     

The Jewish district or call is one of the largest and best preserved in Europe. It is located around the street called Calle de la Força, in a beautiful old area, with tortuous town planning. It was one of the most notable Jewish quarters of the old Sefarad. 

Losing yourself in its cool streets and soaking up history by visiting some of its buildings is an ideal plan for any day this summer

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Granada arábiga

Moorish Granada 

The city, which was the last Muslim redoubt, offers us endless places where we can admire this rich culture. 

In addition to the impressive Alhambra and the Generalife, we should not miss the Albaicín district, a faithful reflection of the Al Andalus heritage, the San Nicolás viewpoint or the Ciudad Amurallada (Walled City). It is also worthwhile visiting the Arab baths to reminisce about how life passed in these important meeting places.

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Cosmopolitan Madrid 

For a new and attractive route to rediscover the Spanish capital, set out in search of the changes that it has gone through over the last years

100 years later, the Gran Vía has been modernised and the capital continues to surprise both new and returning visitors. The city is modern and cosmopolitan, but at the same time full of art and tradition. 

The highlight of the project was the remodelling of the Olympic Stadium, which would have hosted the athletics events and the opening and closing ceremonies. The project also planned to build a canoeing and rowing circuit and an Olympic velodrome, among other facilities. 

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Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela 

Although we identify it with the Way of St. James, this city of stone nesting among the green forests and the nearby Galician estuaries has a street life and culture that can allow us to enjoy a summer filled with emotions. 

You cannot miss the cathedral if you want to understand the city's soul. The University of Santiago de Compostela, with its more than 500 years on its shoulders, is another incredible place to discover. So, too, are the lively bars surrounding it. 

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Sevilla desde el Guadalquivir

Seville from the Guadalquivir River 

A fascinating city crossed by the only navigable river in Spain. Enjoying the outdoors and the hustle and bustle in the Plaza España square, with its central fountain and the mosaic with all the country's provinces, or the Reales Alcázares and its gardens, can be an excellent plan for a summer day. The Giralda, its tower, the museum and the Archivo de Indias  cannot be missed. 

Crossing the Guadalquivir, Triana district is the ideal place to enjoy tapas, flamenco and glimpse the Torre del Oro (Golden Tower).  

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Tarragona romana

Roman Tarragona           

Lose yourself in the narrow streets of the old Tarraco and discover the Roman influence that has lasted over 2200 years. It is an adventure well worth experiencing. 

You cannot miss the Santa Tecla Cathedral with its Gothic façade, located in what was the ancient forum. In many of its streets we can admire how Roman stones with their typical inscriptions and bas-reliefs or sarcophagi with Jewish-Medieval inscriptions arise from restored walls or from the original wall. 

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Toledo medieval

Medieval Toledo           

An ancient imperial city which you can make out from among the plains and the clouds until we enter through the Bisagra Gate towards multicultural and Medieval Toledo.  

The Tránsito synagogue and Santa María la Blanca keep the memory of the Sephardis alive. Muslim Spain is well represented in the Mosques and the city wall. The Medieval period is present in the Gothic architecture of El Alcázar Cathedral. And especially, in the figure of El Greco and his impressive work. 

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“Third Millennium” Valencia            

A city which has undergone a transformation until taking on an incomparable distinction in its architecture.  

The best example is the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias  (City of Arts and Sciences) which houses the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, the Hemisfèric, the Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe  (Science Museum), the Oceanogràfic, the Umbracle and the Àgora (under construction). The Palau de la Música, one of the most emblematic buildings in the city, also stands out. Other milestones are the Puente del ángel custodio  bridge, the Pont del Regne  bridge and the Museo Fallero  museum, where a specimen of the "ninot"  Falla figure saved from the San José fire is kept.

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Acknowledgements: © www.madrid2016.es, Direcció General de Turisme del Departament d’Innovació, Universitats i Empresa de Barcelona, Toni Vidal, Turismo de Granada Patronato Provincial, Fondo Ayuntamiento de Girona, J.A. Sanguinetti and Ariadna Álvarez, Bilbao Turismo, SantiagoTurismo.com, Turismo Andaluz, Patronat Municipal de Turisme de Tarragona, Instituto de Promoción Turística de Castilla-La Mancha, Turismo de la Comunidad Valenciana.  

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