Girona has a genuine spirit, quiet atmosphere, beautiful city centre, with a distintive ‘soul’, typical of this area of Spain, with a peculiar mix of mediterranean and pireneus influences.
The compact old town can be visited in one day, but spending few days here is a pleasure and it will let you discover the original catalonia region, far away from the massive number of tourists that you will meet in Barcelona.
Girona has an international airport wih many low-costs flights. From the airport there is a bus every hour (ticket costs 2,30Euro), in 20 minutes you will arrive at the main train/bus station, not far from the city centre.
My first suggestion is to stay at Equity point hostel.
This is the best and cheapest accomodation available in town.
Location is perfect, in the big and central Placa Catalunya, directly in the city centre and not far from the train/bus station.
The hostel has a friendly staff, clean rooms and nice common areas, with a wonderful roof terrace, where you can enjoy the view of the city.
Breakfast is included in the price.
Girona has a well preserved city walls, in the northern part of the city.
A walk along the walls will give you a perfect view and understanding of the city, you can also appreciate the natural environment that surround the city, green land and mountains.
The old town has a medioeval architecture, with narrow streets and houses built with stones. The Cathedral of Santa Maria de Girona is also a beautiful landmark and symbol of the city.
Girona has a small river and many bridges with scenic and coloured houses along it.
If you are staying more days there is also a beautiful city park, on monday with a vegetables and fruits market.
Despite being packed by tourists and travellers (especially during summer) Malaga is well organized, safe and nice to visit. There aren’t many sights, compared to other andalusian and spanish cities, and historically is not that interesting, however the pleasant weather, a city beach at walking distance from the centre and a big number of bars, restaurants and shops, make the time spent here as enjoyable.
Malaga is the birthplace of the famous painter and artist, Pablo Picasso. Museum and other attractions are related to him.
-Where to stay? Oasis Hostel is the house of all party animals gathered in Malaga! Centrally located, all bars and clubs are very close, not far from the beach. Several activities available to have fun and socialize with other travellers
-Beach. Malaga has a long beach not far from the centre, it’s called Malagueta. It’s not that nice like the ones in Valencia, Cadiz, Tarifa, Barcelona … however it offers a pleasent benefit for tourists and travellers visiting the city. WC and showers are available for free. Restaurants, bar, shops are in a good number
-When you arrive at the airport, the cheapest and fastest option is to catch a metro train (C1 line) to the centre-Alameda (it’s the last stop). It costs 1,70€ (keep the ticket until you get out the station) and the ride takes only 10 minutes, while the city bus would cost 3€
-Always prefer blablacar rather than a bus or a train. A ride with blablacar will save you money (from Seville I paid 10€, by train it would have been 23€…) and time (a car doesn’t make stops), plus it’s a funny experience to meet local and nice people. Try it!
-Roman theatre and Alcazaba are free on sunday
-If you want to save some money during your stay, my advise is to prepare your meals at the hostel. There is a nice and picturesque city market where you can buy veggies, fruits, meat and fresh fish. Supermarkets (Dia, Supersol, Mercadona, while ‘el corte ingles‘ is a bit more expensive) are also available in a good number. There are many bakery shops that offer special deals. Also, due to the high number of restaurants and bars, it’s very possible to find special prices for meals. Avoid tourist traps!
–Beer (cerveza) is served in small glass, called caña, I rather prefer to order a small bottle (bottellin) as the draft beer quality is, usually, poor and I have the impression that it’s mixed with water …
-Ready to have ‘fiesta‘?! Spanishs are great party animals and the spanish nightlife satisfies everyone. Start your long night by buying beer, alcool and soft drinks at the supermarket, then bring your bag and friends in an open space (park, big square, river, seaside). There is where everyone starts the night. It’s called bottellòn and you are going to love it! Clubs will be empty before 1am
–Free walking tour. Twice a day, at 11 and 18. In front of Teatro Cervantes (calle Ramos Marín)
If you want to see how much they are ‘commited’ you shouldn’t miss the ‘feria’.
‘Feria‘, in andalusian region, is the city fair. It’s an event that involve the whole city and it keeps the traditions.
You will see the ladies wearing traditional ‘gitana‘ dresses and men riding horses with traditional and fancy spanish countryside dresses.
‘Feria‘ falls usually few weeks after the ‘semana santa’, it is celebrated in the biggest andalusians cities and towns.
Sevilla has the biggest and most famous one (however over crowded and touristy).
What’s happening during ‘feria‘? Party, party, party and…party!
In Sevilla it starts, with fireworks, on monday at midnight and it lasts until sunday midnight, when, again, a fireworks show will end the event.
Sevilla has a specific zone of the city dedicated to the feria, don’t worry you can’t miss it, just follow the pictoresque crowd and you will find yourself in a space with small ‘caseta‘ – stands decorated in andalusian style, where is possible to drink, eat, sing and dance flamenco and sevillana for almost 24 hours per day.
Unfortunately most of the ‘casetas‘ are private and you need to know someone to get in, several public ‘casetas’ are available too, but, according to locals, the fun and atmosphere are not the same.