Here are some places where I have visited during my exchange period....
Barcelona | Sitges| Malaga
Spain's second city is now the country's hippest town. Summer gives way to periodic lapses in sanity with week-long festa fun. But year-round the city cooks - it's always on the biting edge of fashion, architecture, food, style, music and good times.
The buildings, many of which feature the work of an eccentric genius named Gaudí, will blow you away. The art, with significant collections by Picasso and Miró, will make you clammy all over. The people, with their exuberance, their duende, their persistent egalitarianism and clamour for a separate identity, will fascinate you.
Barcelona is one of the most dynamic and exciting cities on the western Mediterranean seaboard, sedulously promoting itself as a European metropolis, a link between the sub-Pyrenean peninsula and the heartland of Western Europe. It is a city that is inconceivable until you get there, unbelievable while you walk its streets and unforgettable after you've gone.
Population: 1.5 million
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +1, +2 during daylight-saving time (last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October)
Telephone Area Code: none, though all Barcelona numbers start with 93
Barcelona's coastline runs roughly northeast to southwest and many streets are parallel or perpendicular to this. Two major hills - Montjuïc and Tibidabo - provide good landmarks for orientation. The focal point of town is La Rambla, a 1.25km (0.77mi) boulevard running northwest and slightly uphill from Port Vell (Old Harbour) to Plaça de Catalunya. The Plaça is the boundary between Ciutat Vella (Old Town) and the more recent additions further inland. L'Eixample, the city's 19th-century answer to overcrowding in the city's confines, stretches 1.5km (1mi) north, east and west of Plaça de Catalunya. Montjuïc begins about 700m (763yd) southwest of the southeastern end of La Rambla, and Tibidabo, with a landmark television tower and golden Christ statue, is 6km (3.8mi) northwest of the city.
The Ciutat Vella, a warren of narrow streets, centuries-old buildings and budget accommodation, spreads on both sides of La Rambla. Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) is at its heart, on the lower half of the eastern section of the boulevard. West is El Raval, where travellers need to be alert; its southern part forms a seedy red-light district called Barri Xinès (Chinese Quarter).
Port Vell has an excellent modern aquarium and two marinas, and at its northeastern end is La Barceloneta, the old sailors' quarter. Beaches and a pedestrian promenade stretch northeast from there to Port Olímpic, a harbour built for the 1992 Olympics and now home to lively bars and restaurants.
Some sights of Barcelona
Arc de Triomf Barcelona city
Sagrada Familia- Gaudi’s cathedral Terrace at Plaça Reila
Barcelona | Sitges| Malaga
The municipality of Sitges is located overlooking the sea on the Garraf massif; in fact, most of the township actually lies within the Garraf Natural Park. The landscape here is original, different and unique in the entire region. Sitges is crossed by the C-31 and C-32 highways, the Barcelona-Valls train line, and the local Sant Pere de Ribes - Canyelles highway. The township of Sitges comprises the villages of Sitges, Garraf, Vallcarca, Botigues de Sitges and Campdàsens, as well as the hermitages of the Trinitat and Mare de Déu and the Vinyet sanctuary.Services
The beautiful landscapes blended with the cultural polish given to the town by Santiago Rusiñol and the Catalan art nouveau movement created a favorable environment in which the phenomenon of tourism could take root. Sitges has approximately 500 hotel beds and 4,500 camping places, along with numerous restaurants, cafés and discos. It is especially notable for its extraordinary number of apartments, vacation houses and second homes, both within the town and in housing developments and associated villages. Sitges also boasts services oriented toward tourism, such as sports and fishing facilities, a golf club, swimming clubs, three soccer fields, numerous tennis courts, six sports centers, one outdoor and one indoor swimming pool, sports marinas, and a nautical and sailing school.
Sitges is a veritable Fifth Avenue. Its excellent shopping is an attractive feature for any visitor who might be captivated by the enticing goods offered by the town's shops. Its more than 400 shops offer a wide variety of shopping opportunities. Among its festivals and cultural traditions are the Sitges Marathon; the Mardi Gras celebration; the International Barcelona-Sitges antique car rally, which has taken place since 1858; Corpus Christi, during which Sitges carpets itself in flowers; and other festivals which in 1965 were declared to be of particular interest to tourists, such as the National Carnation Exhibition, which has taken place since 1918; the main town festival for Saint Bartholomew; and the Grape Harvest Festival. Within its cultural activities, Sitges hosts the Sitges International Theater Festival; the International Film Festival of Catalonia; the University Menéndez y Pelayo; the food sampling festival called "Menjar de Tast;" and the Sitges
Barcelona | Sitges| Malaga
Capital city of the Costa Del Sol and second largest port in Spain, Malaga is a cosmopolitan city of some 550,000 plus inhabitants. As you would expect from the region it has fantastic beaches, but this extraordinarily lively town has far more to offer than just sea and sunshine. With its wide leafy boulevards and often striking architecture, Malaga has many places of historic interest along with a vibrant nightlife, excellent arts and entertainments and several world class golf courses.
Like most major ports in the world, Malaga has a vibrant nightlife and is famous throughout Spain for its ‘locos veranos’ or ‘crazy summers’ when the beaches become a focal point for parties and dancing. In town there is an abundance of entertainment to be enjoyed. The Zona el Paulo, a stretch of beautiful promenade lined with lively seafood restaurants and fashionable bars, is the ideal starting point for a night out. Zona La Malgueta is a more modern area favoured by trendy locals and young holidaymakers. Zona Pedragalejo is a mixture of modern and traditional bars and restaurants and is the best place to find places serving authentic Andalusian cuisine. There are also 5 main theatres presenting world class acts from both the drama and music world and several very popular nightclubs where you can drink and dance until dawn.
Malaga is often overlooked by visitors to the Costa del Sol and in many ways that has been to its favour. The lack of hardcore tourism has meant that this intriguing city has retained much of its charm and thus a strong personality that is reflected in the local inhabitants. All this ensures that a stay in Malaga will not only be immensely fulfilling but that you will also experience, first hand, the very best of Spanish hospitality.