I’ve always wanted to travel alone, but I was never brave enough to do it. But when an opportunity came up for a free solo trip to Spain and Portugal, I took it. And even though I got sick on the last day and missed my flight home, this trip changed the way I see travel forever.
Barcelona: Casa Batlló
We consider the home a masterpiece of modernist architecture, and it’s easy to see why. Built in the shape of a dragon, they painted Casa Batlló in a variety of different colors; from yellow to red to green and even blue, the house looks more like something out of Disneyland than a building that actually exists. That’s because it’s only open to the public for six months out of every year (the other half year it serves as an exhibition space), so if you happen upon it during one of those months and get inside, consider yourself lucky!
The building is also is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list—and not just because it looks pretty cool. Antoni Gaudí built casa Batlló after he was commissioned by business person Eusebi Güell back in 1905. Nowadays, this landmark has become one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions—not just because people can enjoy walking through this amazing house but because they can also see how much work goes into maintaining such an important piece history while keeping everything else around them running smoothly at all times (which isn’t easy).
Madrid: the Prado Museum
The Prado Museum is a great place to visit in Madrid. It has a wide variety of art, but the most famous piece is Las Meninas by Velázquez. It’s free to enter, so it’s an easy way to spend your morning or afternoon if you’re in Madrid.
If you’re into art, then this is definitely something that I would recommend doing while there!
Sevilla: the Real Alcázar de Sevilla
When I arrived in Sevilla and saw the Real Alcázar de Sevilla (Royal Palace of Seville) for the first time, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The structure is so vast and beautiful, it looked like something out of a fairytale.
I was there to visit one of Spain’s most famous landmarks: the Royal Alcázar de Seville. It’s a palace complex built for King Peter of Castile who ruled from 1276 to 1325. The original building was a fortified alcazar or citadel built by Muslims during their 800-year rule in Andalusia from 712 until 1492 when they were expelled from Spain by King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I from Castile & León after defeating them at Granada in 1492 – but that’s another story!
The current Royal Alcázar de Sevilla was built on top of where this fortress once stood, with construction starting in 1415 under Enrique IV (also known as Enrique “the Impotent”) who ruled between 1454 until 1474 after being crowned king following his father Juan II’s death two years earlier
Granada: The Alhambra palace
The Alhambra Palace is a Moorish palace and fortress complex in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many other Moorish palaces throughout the Mediterranean region.
While you’re there: the Generalife Gardens are next to the Alhambra Palace grounds and make for an excellent outing if you’re staying nearby; islamic garden designer Nasr designed them ibn Ahmad al-Maghribi in 13th century Granada.
If you love architectural landmarks, this will be right up your alley!
Valencia: Turia Gardens and the city of arts and sciences
It was a long day of sightseeing, but we were finally in Valencia. The city center was a beautiful place to be because there were many things to do and see. We spent the evening at the City of Arts and Sciences (CAS), which is an amazing cultural complex that comprises the Oceanografic aquarium, the Science Museum, Hemisfèric planetarium, L’Hemisfèric IMAX theater and L’Oceanogràfic restaurant. It’s right next to Turia Garden which is another great place to spend your time if you’re into relaxing after a full day of sightseeing. There are also many restaurants, bars and cafes surrounding this area making it really convenient for dinner plans or drinks with friends.”
Make sure you include as many sights to see in your itinerary as possible.
In planning your itinerary and deciding where to go, it’s important to remember that you can’t see everything in one trip. So, the next time you’re considering a solo trip to Spain, consider prioritizing which sights are most important for your vacation:
- Can I visit this place again?
- Can I visit another city or town nearby?
- Should I take a break from sightseeing at some point so that I’m able to relax on my own terms?
If this is something that interests you, include as many sights as possible in your itinerary.
I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to explore and experience the beauty of Spain. The scenery, the culture, the people, it is all worth the trip. Changing your environment is necessary to enjoy and explore new places. A solo trip to Spain is definitely one to consider.