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one of the many perks of living in spain are the endless options for eating out and enjoying the spanish food. fresh seafood, tasty wines, delicious cured meats and of course the world famous tapas are among the options one has when opting for a taste of the real spanish food. this time we will give you some tips to find the nicest tapas bars in sevilla and to discover its best food markets.

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the city of seville

first of all, one should know that people from sevilla love to be outside on the streets and meet their friends, family or just walk around town watching people and enjoy some sun. even at night the streets are very lively and for many people being out of the house means socializing over dinner or enjoying a nice wine out on the many terraces in town. all streets are buzzing with a mix of young people ready to go out, families having dinner together or tourist trying to find the best place to enjoy some real spanish food. the latter is the perfect reason to inform you on all the great food places that sevilla has to offer.

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locals enjoying tapas in seville

the real way to enjoy a tapas “meal” is to get a glass of wine or beer and to have a small tapa with it, after finishing you head on to the next bar and start the session again. in spain this kind of bar-hopping is called “ir de tapas”, so here we go:

  • los coloniales – this place serve big portions at a very low price. all tapas dishes they offer are huge and of a very good quality. make sure to come early and expect to wait a little since this place is very popular. most dishes (raciones) and tapas cost around 2,50€. address: plaza cristo de burgos, 19 and calle fernández y garcía, 36 y 38. the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily.
  • bar alfalfa – this nice and charming place is situated in a building between two streets. it offers simple yet delicious tapas dishes and is a very popular spot among both locals and tourists. the bar is located on a lively plaza which truly reflects the ambiance of the bar. address: calle candilejo, 1. open all day.
  • duo tapas – is a place missed by many people and less touristy than many other bars. this restaurant is located on the charming alameda de hércules square and offers ‘new school’ kind of tapas, an inventive alternative to el rinconcillo’s ‘old school’ ones. most tapas have an asian twist which makes this venue a good options for those looking for something different. we recommended to order the green chicken with rice and spicy noodles. address: calle calatrava 10. open all day.
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the beautiful facade of bar alfalfa

if you are more into food markets sevilla has a lot of options too. below some of our recommendations and tips to get the best and most fresh food in town:

  • mercado lonja del barranco – is a venue that opened recently and has yet proven to be a successful formula appealing to many foodies from sevilla. this market is housed in an old building that served as a fish market 40 years ago, now it looks more like an open loft space with loads of glass and light coming from outside. the market features many stands that all offer goodies that come from the surrounding region, meaning a stand that sells acorn-fed ham, one specialized in salmorejo or one that focuses on the creation of the perfect spanish omelette. of course all of these delicious foods can be washed down with a cocktail or a glass of wine or beer as there are some bars available as well. address: calle arjona s/n. open from 10am all day.
  • mercado de la calle feria – is one of sevilla´s oldest markets which is specialized in fresh fish. you can find some small bars around the market where you can enjoy a beer and a small tapa. one of the nicest ones is la cantina, which is popular among locals. address: calle feria. open monday – saturday from 8am to 2:30pm.
  • mercado de la encarnación – this market can easily be found as it is located right under the famous metropol parasol. this market is also quite new (it opened in 2012) and offer plenty of options for grocery shopping and basis tapas. moreover, the place serves as a cultural centre which makes a trip here a nice options for those willing to combine good food with some spanish culture. this area offers nice bars and restaurants so after visiting the market foodies can continue the food trail in the close neighbourhood! plaza de la encarnación, s/n. open all day.
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the lofty interior of mercado lonja del barranco

the following delicacies come from the andalucian region and one can taste them all over town in the many bars, restaurants and on the food markets:

  • serrano ham. serrano ham is regional delicacy. the andalusian highlands have low humidity and cold winters ideal for curing this famous spanish meat. you can eat this ham as it is or combined with tapas, cheese or melon.
  • manzanilla olives. seville is famous for its manzanilla olives. this greenish-brown olive grows in the region’s fertile soil and warm climate. locals enjoy these olives with tapas or in salads and numerous other dishes.
  • gazpacho. this is one of the best-known foods in andalusia. gazpacho is a cold tomato soup with bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, raw cucumbers and peppers. the people of andalusia often serve this refreshing dish in the spring and summer as a lunch starter before the main entree.
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tapas andalusian style

as many know, andalusia embodies the classic image of spain, from the flamenco dancing and bullfighting to the intense nightlife and ancient architecture. but as shown above, andalusia also boasts many delicious foods, offering travellers a chance to try out all the best this region has to offer.

when you are staying in seville we would recommend you to visit one of the places above and enjoy some good food spanish style! we think that a stay in andalucía is not complete without a tapas and food market tour. for more recommendations or places to visit please contact us, we would be happy to give you more advice.

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is there a spot where you can enjoy the wide variety of spanish architecture all in one place? the answer is yes, at the poble espanyol in barcelona. this emblematic village houses 117 buildings reflecting the typical spanish architecture coming from all fifteen autonomous communities in spain. this special town was built in 1929 by the modernist architect puig I cadafalch for that year´s Barcelona international exposition (as was the national palace of montjuïc that was mentioned in one of our earlier posts). the poble is located close to the fontana magica on the montjuïc mountain.

hearing a conversation that goes like ´´pardon me but how do I get to andalucia?´´ and ´´that is easy, you just go to mallorca and that it is the first street on the left!´´ is not unusual when visiting el poble espanyol. entertainment is key in the 5th most popular tourist attraction in barcelona because there is something to do for everybody.

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el poble espanyol from a bird´s-eye view

lovers of modern art & nature can enjoy the fundación fran daurel, which is a permanent collection of over 300 artefacts from spain´s most famous artists among which picasso, dalí, miró and barceló. moreover, visitors can see the famous sculpture Entorn-Contorn from josep guinovart and the beautiful sculptural gardens that offer stunning views over barcelona. this green oasis on the high up the hill is large enough (5000m2) to spend a whole afternoon strolling around and enjoying nature.

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the sculpture gardens on the montjuïc mountain

shopping & craft lovers can enjoy themselves in el poble espanyol as well since there are 22 shops that are open every day, some of them offer workshops while others sell ceramics, paintings or jewellery. other activities include, music instrument building, espadrille making and glass crafts. consequently, you can spend a whole day strolling around the village visiting all the different shops and trying out different typical spanish activities.

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traditional shopping street in el poble

families can spend the day doing a treasure hunt, which is available in english, spanish, french and catalan. this activity is perfect for kids that are between 3 and 12 who are in for a little game. while unveiling the mysteries of el poble espanyol kids can walk around the ´´town´´ and get to know the most significant spanish monuments in one afternoon. additionally, on sunday a special programme for families is offered and even though it is in catelan, the experience is supposed to be nice due to the many visual aspects, including puppets, music and even magic.

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activities for kids at the main square of the village

flamenco lovers can eat their heart out at tablao de carmen which is located in the andaluz area of the village because this type of dancing originally comes from the south of spain, from andalucia. some say that the best flamenco show in town is performed here so that would be another reason to make the trip uphill to enjoy music, dance and spanish songs. shows are performed two times a night, there is one show at 19.30pm and other one at 21.30pm. there is a possibility to enjoy some tapas while watching the show. finally, a ticket for this show includes a short visit to el poble espanyol so visitors can experience both attractions.

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a tablao del carmen show

as stated before there is something for everybody this statement also relates to the many options visitors have to eat out in the ´´village´´ because there are plenty of restaurants and bars.  all restaurants offer a range of regional specialties in a very rustic admosphere. in summer visitors can sit outside on one terraces on plazas while eating a delicious paella accompanied by a glas of nice catalunian wine.

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terrace on one of the plazas in el poble

then, to fully capture the spanish experience, there is a possibility to rent an audio guide, which is available in english, catalan, french, italian and german. walking around with the audio guide will make this visit a very informative one when walking around plaza mayor, the nerve center of poble espanyol, approaching a magical andalusian patio, visiting a typical spanish house, resting up in a “pazo gallego” (galician country house) or when discovering a catalan monastery.

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el poble´s church

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the national museum of catalan art (mnac of barcelona) is, along with the museu d’art contemporani de barcelona (macba), one of the most important museums of the city of barcelona. it is a museum with an extensive collection of romanesque artefacts. this collection is considered to be the most complete one in the world.  it is therefore, seen as the biggest attraction of this beautiful museum.

if one looks at the history of the museum itself, one will find out that it was solely established in 1990. the current state is a result of the merge of the collections from the former museum of modern art, of which the establishment dates back to 1945, and the museum of catalan art, built in 1934. the building of the mnac consists of several separate buildings however, most famous is the stunning main building, the national palace of montjuïc, that was built for the international expo of 1929.

palace of montjuïc and oval hall

palace of montjuïc and oval hall

exhibition-wise, the mnac the museum shows the general history of catalan art from the romanesque period up until the mid-twentieth century. the owner´s discourse of the romaneque as well as the gothic collections stands out particularly since their provenance (the chronological line of previous owners) has been mostly catelan, which is unusual when compared to the other artefacts exhibited in the museum. the renaissance and the baroque collections are indeed, mostly characterized by a more international discourse of owners as the most famous painters in this field are e.g. el greco, velázquez and rubens.

without a doubt, the most famous artefact exhibited at the national museum of catalan art is the pantocrator climent de taüll, stemming from the romantic era. this painting attracts many visitors. of all the works displayed in the mnac romanesque works of art are the most prominent.

mnac dome and the pantocrator climent de taüll

mnac dome and the pantocrator climent de taüll

when planning your visit to the mnac in barcelona, we suggest to take the following aspects into account:

opening hours
• summer opening hours (may 2 to september 30): tuesday to saturday 10 am to 8 pm sundays and holidays from 10 to 3 pm.

• winter opening hours (october 1 to april 20): tuesday to saturday 10 am to 6 pm sundays and holidays from 10 to 3 pm.

• on monday the national art museum of catalunya remains closed. the same goes for january 1, may 1 and january 25.

interior of the mnac

dome and interior of the mnac

tours and special events
to fully explore the notable works of the museum different audio tours are offered. moreover, previous to your visit you can do a virtual tour on the museum´s website in order to have an idea of what to expect and plan your trip.

we recommend the exhibitions:

the graphic work of a forerunner by the painter antoni viladomat i manalt (1678-1755). this exhibition runs from 10/05/2014 until 02/11/2014.

this exhibition is an ambitious project that is simultaneously held in various venues around the country. it relates to the year 1714 with regards to the artistic activity of that time. the project consists of a total of five exhibitions and shows, for the first time in history, the complete oeuvre of this artist.

pearl oysters-maker and oval-maker. baroque avant-garde and agrarian. based on works from inter alia: joan brossa, salvador dalí, pablo picasso, antoni tàpies and jacint verdaguer. this exhibition runs from: 09/10/2014 until 11/01/2015.

This exhibition will be set up in the context of the celebration of the tricentenary of 1714. the artist, perejaume, has prepared a project for the museu nacional that focusses on the connections between artistic tradition and avant-gardism in catalan art. it takes a cross-cutting look at catalan artistic creation.

works from the 2 featured exhibitions

works from the 2 featured exhibitions

a very nice event to attend is the special dance event ´´come to dance?´´ that takes place once a month on a saturday afternoon and is combined with free admission to the museum. on those days everybody is invited for some jazz dancing in the beautiful oval room of the museum. the upcoming dates for an afternoon out are:

• 13th september , from 17 to 19 pm. on stage: flat floot floogie boys

• 4th october, from 16 t0 17.45 pm. on stage: stradixie’s

• 15th november, from 16 t0 17.45 pm. on stage: juli aymi’swing

• 13 december, from 16 to 17.45 pm. on stage: saphie wells & swing cats

during and after the visit
if you are tired, we suggest to have a bite to eat or enjoy a nice glass of wine on the rooftop of the museum or in its café/restaurant. the rooftop charge is 3€ but definitely worth the money because of the stunning views over the city that can be enjoyed from here.

outside
if you are visiting the museum during the weekend, consider to go see the beautiful fontana magica in front of the mnac after your visit. at night a spectacular water show accompanied by beautiful music is presented and many tourists make the trip uphill to enjoy this magical happening.

as part of your trip to barcelona, we definitely recommend to visit this special museum with afterwards some time to relax and enjoy the beautiful watershow and the stunning views from the top of the montjuïc mountain!

fontana magica and the come to dance event

fontana magica and the come to dance event

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now that the sun is back on track it is time to enjoy a well-deserved break by the sea. and where better to hit the beach than in the charming town of sitges, located 35 km southwest of barcelona. this worldwide renowned city is most famous for its many beaches (there are 17!) and its vibrant nightlife. especially the waterfront with the numerous ´playas´ (beaches) is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious paella, play some volleyball with your friends or have a picnic while watching the magnificent sunset.

however, if working on your tan is not captivating enough, there is always the possibility to go and check out the fashionable crowd that strolls over Sitges´ endless boulevard. no doubt that you will encounter some interesting characters as many of Sitges´ visitors and inhabitants are gay. this aspect gives the city a special touch and contributes to the great variety of people and activities that create the open and friendly atmosphere. all caracteristic for this small town.

Sitges Boulevard

sitges´ boulevard

Sitges beach

sitges´ beach 

many people say that sitges has something for everyone and that is hard to deny! with its many festivals and local fiestas during the whole year, the cultural heritage of the city is celebrated and everybody is welcome to join the festivities. this past weekend was dedicated to the celebration of festa major and next in line is the international movie festival in october. 

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sitges´s old town

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festa major 

sitges is the perfect destination for a weekend break or a short getaway from busy barcelona. trains take you from barcelona to sitges in approximately 35 minutes and run every 20 min from barcelona’s main stations. below some more pictures of the stunning beaches, the beautiful old town and the endless boulevard of sitges. 

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catedral de sitges

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sitges´ harbour and boulevard

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in case you find yourself in the capital of spain, overwhelmed by the increasing heat, you may want to find interesting and exciting places where you can spend your days and prepare for even hotter madrid nightlife.. there is certainly a number of great options for any taste, however, in this artice we have prepared a little insight into what the city can offer to travellers interested in culture and art.

first of all we want to encourage you to explore the so-called the golden triangle of art which consists of three art museums that are among the most important museums in the world: the prado museum (museo del prado), the reina sofía museum (museo nacional centro de arte reina sofía) and the thyssen-bornemisza museum (museo thyssen-bornemisza).

 

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the prado museum,
is among the most prestigious art museums in the world, storing more than 8000 masterpieces from the spanish, flemish and italian schools, starting from the middle ages to the 19th century.

the accent is put on spanish artists, including the magnificent “las
meninas
” by velázquez which happens to bealso the best-known work displayed at the museum.

in addition to permanent exhibitions this summer you can also enjoy two temporary exhibitions: “el greco and modern painting” and “evil vanishes. egusquiza and wagner´s parsifal in the museo del prado”.

the museum is located on paseo de prado, with the nearest metro stations being banco de españa and atocha.

the opening hours from monday to saturday are from 10am to 8pm; on sundays and holidays from 10am to 7pm.

prado

 

the next museum on the “art walk” list is the reina sofía museumsofiacol2.jpg, which is the house for around 20´000 masterpieces, dating from late 19th century to today.

once there you must definitely see the masterpiece “el guernica” by pablo picasso. museum also has an extensive collection of other spanish artists, such as as joan miró and salvador dalí.

nevertheless, if you are more interested in international artists,. the collections also include works by artists like francis bacon, damien hirst, max ernst, lucio fontana, etc.sofia.jpg

 

the programme of museum includes all types of artistic disciplines, divided into three collections: “the irruption of the 20th century, utopia and conflicto (1900-1945)”, “is the war over? art in a divided world (1945-1968)” and “from revolt to postmodernity (1962-1982)”.

this summer we recommend you to visit also the temporary exhibitions that include works by richard ham
ilton
and kerry james marshall.

the museum is located on street santa isabel, 52 with the closest metro station being atocha.

opening hours from monday to saturday are 10am – 9pm, on sunday 10am – 7 pm. the museum is closed on tuesdays.

 

 

 

 

 

last but not the least important museum in the golden triangle of art is the thyssen – bornemisza museum which housesaround 1000 arthyssencol1.jpgtworks from the 13th to 20th century.

it is interesting to note that the museum initially started of as a personal collection by baron hans heinrich thyssen-bornemisza and his father, baron heinrich.

thyssen supplements the madrid´s art temple with unique works of such underrepresented areas as the early italian school, impressionism, german expressionism, russian constructivism, , pop art, etc.

if you visit thyssen this summer, you have the opportunity to see two temporary exhibitions, a mixture of conventional and contextual exhibitions. these are – “pop art myths” and “alma-tadema and victorian painting in the pérez-simón collection”.

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thyssen is located in palacio de villahermosa, paseo del prado, 8 which is near the metro station banco de españa.

until september 14 the temporary exhibitions are open from 10am to 10pm on tuesdays to saturdays and from 10am to 7pm on sundays and mondays.

 

 

although the three aforementioned museums are the very cornerstones of madrid´s art collections there are even more interesting cultural places to see, e.g. the arts centre matadero or caixaforum – the live space for old, modern and contemporary art, music and poetry .matcaixa.jpg

across spain would like to invite you to be our guest and explore the never-ending artistic and cultural opportunities the city has to offer, be it either by yourself or by choosing any of our several guided tours and art gallery routes.

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