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Spain Hostels, Eurail Passes, and Backpacking Tips

Spaniards just downright enjoy life with such exuberance that most visitors have to stop and stare.

In almost every town in the country, the nighlife will outlast us travelers. I've been up till 8 a.m. partying and they're still throw'n the party down.

 

They enjoy life to the fullest celebrating every holiday you can think of including celebrating you name (saint) days.

And, saying that family is everything to them is a gross understatement. Surely, we can all learn something special from our Spanish friends.


Spain also has a wealth of history and architecture, from Roman aqueducts and Moorish palaces to medieval castles and modern Art Nouveau churches. From April to October the sun shines with it's famous Spanish style heat on the Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands.


Spain is home to some of the finest art galleries in the world. The Prado in Madrid is a world renowned museum, and there are outstanding art museums in Bilbao, Seville, Barcelona, Valencia and Cordoba. Fascinating smaller galleries include the Dali museum in Figueres and the abstract art museum in Cuenca.

Try not to miss the Muslim-era gems of Andalucia - the Alhambra in Granada, the alcazar in Seville and the mezquita in Codoba - as well as Barcelona's extraordinary La Sagrada Familia church by Antoni Gaudi.

There's outstanding mountain scenery - often coupled with extremely picturesque villages - in the Pyrenees, Picos de Europa, and in parts of Andalucfa (such as the Alpu-jarras). On the coasts, the rugged inlets of Galicia and stark, hilly Cabo de Gata in Andalucfa stand out.

The ideal months to visit are May, June and September (plus April and October in the south). And for fair warning, July and August, all of the popular Spanish cities and beaches on the Mediterranean packed to the tee with tourists as well as Spaniards on their own summer vacation.


Dangers


Don't leave belongings unattended in youth hostels - there is a high incidence of theft. Be highly on guard for pickpockets in cities and tourist resorts (Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville are highly populated with them). There is also a relatively high incidence of muggings in these places, so keep your cover yo ass!

 

it is not legal to smoke dope in public bars, hotel rooms or guesthouses. You'll see dope sellers everywhere, especially hanging out in parks and public attractions, but no matter what they tell you, again- IT IS ILLEGAL TO SMOKE DOPE IN PUBLIC. 

 

Time

One hour ahead GMT/UTC.

Business Hours

Generally, people work weekdays from 9 am to 2 pm and then from 4.30 or 5 to 8 pm. Shops and travel agencies are usually open on Saturday, though some may skip the evening session. Museums all have their own unique opening hours.

Public Holidays & Special Events

 

1 January (New Year's Day),

6 January (Epiphany or Three Kings' Day),

(various) Good Friday,

1 May (Labour Day),

15 August (Feast of the Assumption),

12 October (National Day),

1 November (All Saints' Day),

8 December (Feast of the Im¬maculate Conception) and

25 December (Christmas Day).

When a holiday falls close to a weekend, Spaniards like to make a puente (bridge) - meaning they also take the intervening day off.

 

La Tamborada in San Sebastian on 20 January.

Carnaval (wildest in Cadiz and Sitges).

Las Fallas in Valencia in mid-March

Semana Santa festival (the week leading up to Easter Sunday) in Seville

Feria de Abril in Seville

San fermines- Running of the Bulls in Pamplona in July

Festes de la Merce in Barcelona in September.


Emergency

There is one emergency number for all services. If you need help, call 112.

Foreign Embassies

Some 70 countries have embassies in Madrid, including:

Canada (91 431 45 56), Calle de Nunez de Balboa 35
UK (91 308 06 18), Calle de Fernando el Santo 16
USA (91 577 40 00), Calle de Serrano 75




 

 

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