Category Archives: Guide

Spanish nights

Nightlife in Spain is very attractive to both tourists and locals. After the hour of ten o’clock in the evening, after the sunset everybody goes out. The most typical time to have dinner is ten o’clock in the evening. And at midnight the famous “Marcha” begins, when people have fun in different bars and discos, going there one after another to relax after a hard working day, to dance and to have a glass of good Spanish wine! Our review includes traditional elite casinos, nightclubs and disco bars in Madrid and Barcelona.

A world of emotions and experiences. Casino Barcelona (Barcelona)

Enjoy an entertainment hotspot where you’re guaranteed a unique experience. Taste Mediterranean, international and fusion cuisine paired with the best wines and cavas at the Exquisit, Buffet del Casino, Ají and Vinoteca restaurants and discover the taste of Casino Barcelona.

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And what would be a casino without live music? Shake your body on nights like Thursday Dancing and La Milonga del Casino and see top national artists while you enjoy dinner and a show at the new Cotton Club Barcelona.

To top off a great night you can have fun playing in one of the most innovative slot-machine rooms in the business and the Casino’s flagship game room. Come and enjoy an experience you’ll never forget!

Address:
C/ Marina, 19-21 (Port Olimpic)
www.casino-barcelona.com

Eclipse Barсelona

Gorgeous nightclub Eclipse Barсelona is located on the 26th floor of the architectural masterpiece of the Catalan capital W Hotel Barcelona.

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Here, almost in the sky through the round window you can see the charming night city panorama. Here in the club the most famous DJs prepare their mixes for you; and you can try creative cocktails, that are really incomparable! Watermelon martini, martini with passion fruit and Venezuelan mojitos are specialty drinks. Eclipse bar concept has been developed by Isabel López Vilalta to attract the most fashionable people of Barcelona. But remember, that Eclipse nightclub has a dress code.

Address: Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1, 26th Floor
www.eclipse-barcelona.com

Rhythm of the blues. Charada (Madrid)

It’s a place where there are no noisy young companies. It is a place where solid, quiet people with the status meet.

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They want to relax in a quiet natural atmosphere and listen to a good music in the style of blues with some notes of house (one of the most modern sound systems Funktion One is used). Waiters wearing bow ties serve delicious cocktails mixed by professional bartenders. The interior of the club is made in the style of retro-futurism. Particularly interesting is the roof of the building, which is represented by a LED-screen, developed and patented by military engineers. Charada is classic and at the same time modern place.

Address:
Calle de la Bola, 13
www.charada.es

Conceptual disco-pub. Nxt Club / Sala Studio 42 (Madrid)

Studio 42 is a new fashionable concept in nightclubs and bars by the creators of the cult Pachá and Alegoria. It has two floors with ample space intended for a mature audience with high income.

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On the first floor there is a dance floor and two bars and on the second floor you can find another bar and a comfortable sitting area with white leather sofas to enjoy the evening. The music here is in the style of house, funk, as well as dance and Spanish music.

Address:
Villanueva Street, 2
www.madrid.salir.com

Lost in the Pyrenees

In Spain there are many wonderful areas, where traditional agriculture coexists perfectly with modern world. To these areas run old route of pilgrims and it seems, that nothing had changed since the Middle Ages. We are talking about the Catalan Pyrenees. The charm of these places is that most of the villages are lost in the mountains, surrounded by wild nature and beautiful landscapes, and, of course, historical heritage. For now we intends to introduce you 5 magnificent villages, that are ‘lost’ in the Pyrenees.

Pyrenees

Rupit 

Also known as the town of witches, this town is not exactly in the Pyrenees, but rather in its foothills, situated on the place of volcanic eruption and it is without a doubt one of the most picturesque places in Spain.

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At first glance this mountain village may seem very cozy with its beautiful and long stairs, made with remnants of volcanic lava, its narrow streets, stone houses, some of which are dated back to the XI-XII centuries, balconies with flowers and the smell of firewood for heating in winter… But like all ancient settlements do, this town also hides some secrets. It is no coincidence that Rupit is known as the town of witches. According to legend, at the times of Spanish Inquisition in the Middle Ages, witches lived here in the village, and later on were burned. Who knows what have they conjured? Among the main attractions of the village we can note the Romanesque churches of San Juan de Fábregas and San Miguel de Rupit As for the food, Rupit will offer you excellent homemade bread, goat cheese La Garrocha and variety of homemade smoked and cured meats.

Besalú

This historic town is situated at the confluence of two rivers: Fluviá in the south and Capellades in the north.

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This is the place, where once lived in harmony Christians and Jews, and today on its streets is hovering the spirit of the Middle Ages. Besalú Jewish baths are the only ones found in the Iberian peninsula. To access the city you will have to go through the old bridge of fortress, which looks like a true gateway to the past. This town has witnessed many historic moments related to peaks and declines of the Catalan nation; and its streets keep many memories. The main attractions of this place are the old stone bridge, dated from the twelfth century, the impressive castle of Besalú, stone houses and the seats of two meters high, where according to the legend evil spirits take rest. Gastronomy also has a great importance in Besalú. In the local restaurants you can try such dishes as duck with pear sauce, lamb with peas, sweet and sour rabbit, wild boar stew and cod with garlic and mint.

Viella 

Truly lost in the Pyrenees town, surrounded by mountain peaks of 2000 meters height. A town, that looks like a post-card, Viella is located in the valley of the river Garonne.

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Here wide avenues contrast with narrow streets and medieval houses, giving Viella the modern charm and, at the same time, without depriving the city of authenticity. XII century buildings, manors, museums and churches of Viella, with its picturesque scenery, make this town a place, that you can not miss. Moreover, here starts a chain of routes of great beauty through the Pyrenees. The main attractions are San Miguel church and paintings of Gothic and Baroque periods in the parish church. Viella is well known for its superb cuisine. Here the famous cheese Bargergue is produced. One of the most typical dishes, that is served in the restaurants here is the traditional wild boar stew or soup with peas in Aranese style.

Valle de Bohí

There is no need to close your eyes to imagine what was life like in Valle de Bohí a few decades ago.

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It is as if the valley is frozen in times and its landscapes refuse to change. The village forms eponymous route, which brings together nine Romanesque churches built between the XI and XII centuries, that are as UNESCO World Heritage sites. For landowners, artisans, farmers and vassals, who once have inhabited this earth, the church had not only been a meeting place to pray, but also a symbol of protection. The traditional cuisine of Valle de Bohí is a mixture of the authentic recipes of the area and mountain cuisine. The most typical dishes of this town are rabbit baked with rice, homemade soup with thyme, snails and traditional Spanish tortilla.

Esterri de Aneu

It is a small village where time goes slowly and the beautiful landscapes relieve the stress of travelers from big cities.

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Knowing Esterri de Aneu should you should start with medieval bridge of Romanesque style, dated from the twelfth century, and to end up in the shops and restaurants of the village, because if there’s something that the town is known for is its excellent cuisine: cured pork and lamb, smoked meat, cheeses and homemade soups, and delicious desserts, prepared according the recipes passed down from generation to generation. All these dishes are so popular among gastronomy lovers. The main attractions of the town are the Church of San Vicente de Esterri de Aneu, the medieval bridge and the Ecomuseum Valls d’Àneu.

Whichever destination you choose, immersion in the culture of the Catalan Pyrenees and time travel are assured! It is essential, at least once in life, get ‘lost’ in the beautiful scenery of the Spanish Pyrenees. And that’s not all! Remember, that if you still want for more, you have to discover the French Pyrenees and Andorra!

The lifeblood of Spanish springs

This year is supposed to be perfect for health tourism, claimed Secretary of State for Tourism Isabel Borrego during the exhibition Fitur 2015. The Government is actively implementing programs aimed at attracting tourists wishing to improve their health to the country’s spas.

It is estimated that in Spain there are about two thousand mineral and thermal springs and many of them have Spa centers. In addition, in the Spanish resorts thalassotherapy techniques are used actively. Groundwater and seawater, the healing mud, salt and algae, combined with pure air, are capable of doing real miracles.

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The spas of the country are mainly concentrated in Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia and Andalucia, since springs have different chemical structure, or are situated just near the sea all of them have different types of treatments. Some of them already exist for over 100 years. In Andalucia are offered excellent treatments for all types of cystitis and urinary infections, kidney stones, etc. People come to Murcia searching for treatments for musculoskeletal; and salinity of local waters is especially beneficial for people suffering from skin diseases. The purification and detoxification of the body is offered in Valencia. The doctors here will help you to lose weight, offering guidance for a proper diet.

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Catalonia is perhaps the most comprehensive region in terms of healing waters: there is a wide variety of spas that treat diseases of the respiratory, digestive, nervous system, circulatory system, and musculoskeletal problems or skin irritations. Therefore, while naming a few of the leading resorts in the country, we should particularly note that there are 16 resorts with spas. Six of which are located in the central part of the region, three on Costa Brava, two on the Costa Dorada, three on Costa del Maresme and two in the Pyrenees.

Vichy Catalan

The region has 49 springs; water in some of them is recommended for intake and is sold in almost any store. One of the best known brands is Vichy Catalán, which is being marketed since 1881! With its mineral structure it is similar to the hot spring water of the famous French spa Vichy. In total in the country there are more than one hundred brands of bottled water. But the main supplier of mineral water in Spain is Catalonia, and more specifically — foothills in northeastern area. National Bottled Water Association (ANEABE – Asociación Nacional de Empresas de Aguas de Bebida Envasadas) is in charge of preparing water for selling.

The municipality of Caldes de Montbui is the oldest spa region in Catalonia, which is situated just outside Barcelona. It was founded by Romans, although Iberian tribes have used these thermal waters long before the arrival of Romans.

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The water temperature in the local spring – the hottest in Spain – reach the mark of 74 degrees Celsius. The city has excellent Spa-hotels, as for example, Balneari Termes Victòria, Balneari Broquetas or Balneari Vila de Caldes. Here you can find such procedures as respiratory disease prevention or anti aging programs. This spa also offers treatments for rheumatism.

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La Garriga is considered to be the most privileged resort in the region, located in 35 kilometers far from Barcelona. This province is known for its hot springs (temperature: 56 degrees) since the times of the Roman Empire. The first clinic was opened here in the mid-fifteenth century. Representatives of the Catalan bourgeoisie went there for treatment. Today, as in antiquity, jet set regularly visit La Garriga to improve health. Their favorite place to stay is the Gran Hotel Balneario Blancafort 4 * (which was founded in 1840), opened in 2002, after the total reconstruction. In this hotel once have stayed the King Philip VI. The guests of this resort are treated with the best care possible, ensuring the harmony of body and soul. Center specializes in the treatment and prevention of depression, dermatitis, insomnia, migraine, diseases of the musculoskeletal system, kidney, stomach. Furthermore, there is a possibility to have a weight normalization program.

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If we talk about other areas of Spain, Archena spa deserves special attention, it is located northwest of Murcia, in the valley of the River Segura. Known since 1869, this resort is one of the most popular in the coastal area of the country. In Spain hotels and local welfare centers perform treatments of neurosis, depression and skin diseases. The water temperature of some local springs reaches 52 degrees. And the spa waters are rich with sulfur, sulfate, chloride, sodium and calcium.

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Also we would like to note some wellness centers that deserve special attention, historical balneological hotels such as Hotel Balneario Villa de Olmedo in Castilla y León, Balneario de Solares in Cantabria, Gran Hotel Las Calda in Asturias, Hotel Balneario Guitiriz in Galicia and the Gran Hotel Cascada in Aragón, among many others.

Las Rozas Village. Dedicated to those who can appreciate good prices

Do you go on holiday with one suitcase and come back with two or three, even though you are no a robber, tomb raider or a speculator? Well, it’s a very common story if one of your destinations is a town outlet of Chic Outlet Shopping® chain.

Those are great outlet malls; each of them has about 100 boutiques of the most famous brands. These malls can be found in eleven cities, two of which are in China and the other nine are in Europe. At once two malls are here in Spain  to satisfy the most demanding needs of shopping lovers: La Roca Village in Barcelona (www.larocavillage.com) and Las Rozas Village in Madrid (www.lasrozasvillage.com).

Las Rozas Village

With the example of the mall in Madrid we will try to show off all the advantages of the outlet villages Chic Outlet Shopping® (www.chicoutletshopping.com), although, they are all different, so each should be treated separately. The outlet town Las Rozas Village, which is situated on a vast territory just half an hour driving from the Spanish capital, is an oasis of shopping, home to boutiques of fashionable clothes and accessories, perfume and cosmetics stores, electronics, optics, and home accessories. In total there are about 100 shops, where you can find more than 430 major international brands and items created by the best local manufacturers. In Las Rozas Village you will find incredible discounts up to 60% off the recommended retail price throughout the year. And in some boutiques it is offered TAX FREE shopping.

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First of all, fashionistas from all around the world come here to find new outfits. Here are presented garments and accessories (jewelry, handbags and sunglasses), past seasons collections of the most prestigious brands such as Adolfo Dominguez, Armand Basi, Bally, Belstaff, Bimba & Lola, Bulgari, Burberry, Camper, Custo Barcelona, Calvin Klein Jeans, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada Sport, Gant, Hackett, Hoss Intropia, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, La Perla, Sita Murt, Spazio, Roberto Verino, Furla, Ray-Ban, Tous, and many others.

Since Las Rozas Village is a small town, its infrastructure looks similar to a real town. In addition to boutiques, you’ll find all kinds of cafes and restaurants. We should say that the superb two-starred Michelin restaurant Sant Celoni (Paseo de la Castellana No. 57) is situated very close to the village. Since shopping is a responsible activity that does not support hurry, and you can spend the whole day in the mall (and the next day go again and find something new), for that reason here are situated boutique-hotels. And the younger visitors will also be pleased, as here for them are prepared wonderful playgrounds.

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When you arrive at Las Rozas Village at the entrance there is a tourist information desk, where you can get detailed maps of the town, we advise you to use it to orient easily in the town.

And if you come with your baby, don’t worry, here you can rent a great baby carriage for him. Also, near the village outlet you will find some incredible monuments protected by UNESCO, as well as some amazing golf courses.

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You can reach Las Rozas Village by car or by premium class bus called Shopping Express, which has three trips daily from the center of Madrid. The opening hours of Las Rozas Village are: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 21:00 and on Saturday you can enjoy shopping until 22:00. And remember that May 1 is a holiday, so all the shops are closed.

It is almost certain that you will get home with all kinds of new purchases! And the outlet Las Rozas Village is definitely very important shopping destination. But it is important not to forget about the relevant customs regulations.

To Spain for health

For tourists Spain is more than bullfights, flamenco and exotic beaches. In recent years Spain has made a huge investment for the development of a strong health system, which has turned this country into a popular European destination for medical tourism. Perhaps medical tourism is as old as the history of medicine. In ancient times, hoping to improve health, patients went to the most renowned doctors and healers; traveled to the healing springs. Currently, health tourism has increasingly become more popular. Medical tourism has created a new concept of modern healthcare. If there is no possibility of solving the medical problem in the native country, the patient chooses another one, as well as the doctor and the clinic, where he can get high skilled examination and treatment.

The motto of medicine of ХХI century is ‘Patients beyond Borders’. Spain is on the top of the list of the countries where doctors and health improvement services have a very high level of quality.

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 GO, MEDICINE!

For now the medical services market in Spain has been already established, and has its own infrastructure (health administration, relevant agencies, medical tourism agencies, tour operators, specialists in the health tourism). Even in situation of financial crisis, medical tourism is being developed and has an increasing influence on the national health system and as well as on the activity of insurance companies, which increasingly prefer to pay for treatment of their clients. In conditions of global economic competition, the phenomenon of medical tourism requires medicine to evolve at a frantic pace through the modern technology and improvement of patient care.

According to reports of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Spanish medicine is the on the 7th place in the world. Today, the country has nearly 800 well-equipped hospitals, where about half a million highly skilled doctors and nurses work. All the clinics in Spain are under control of the Ministry of Health.

Quirófano-1 In Spain doctors go through a rigorous training, therefore, with their professional level they are able to compete with doctors in more developed countries of Europe. In Spain it is considered to be common to send doctors to other countries of the European Union or to the United States to carry out the practices. Very many Spanish physicians and researchers are well known in Britain, USA, UK, France, Germany and other countries.

LOWER PRICE, BETTER QUALITY

Spain is a wonderful choice for medical tourism. There is a variety of excellent hospitals and clinics, which offer the best care. Clinics of very high level are situated in almost all the Spanish provinces, but the main health centers are traditionally considered to be clinics of Andalusia and Catalonia. Annually to Barcelona arrive about 15-16 thousand foreign citizens to get treatment. Most health tourists come to Spain from USA, UK, France, Holland and Sweden. The costs of medical services in Spain are relatively lower than in other European countries and the level of services is higher.

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Spain has all the necessary resources for medical tourism market and it seems that in the nearest future it will grow in geometric progression: a favorable climate, a developed city infrastructure, and the most important is the high quality of medicine : Spanish doctors are considered to be the best in Europe. Over 20 Spanish medical institutions already have JCI accreditation (Joint Commission International, USA).

ALL INCLUSIVE!

Patients who come to Spain to improve their health not only to get an excellent treatment, but also to enjoy Spanish cuisine and magnificent destinations. You can not find sanatoriums in the conventional sense of the word in Spain, but instead you can get the accommodation in luxurious hotels, which combine the functions of clinics and spas. The most of health centers related to spa therapy offer treatment with thermal waters. Thus, Valencia specializes in the rehabilitation of patients who suffer from diseases of the musculoskeletal system and the gastrointestinal tract, gorgeous Costa del Sol successfully treat diseases of the respiratory system and skin, and resorts on Costa Brava are renowned for wellness programs aimed at restoring cardiovascular system, metabolism and fight obesity. Spain has in its magnificent islands for holidays: the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. All the medical centers of Spain, without exception, specialize in cosmetology services.

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Thermal water enriched with beneficial trace elements has an excellent anti-aging effect.The only condition that all spas in Spain without exception comply with is the obligatory medical examination of all patients. Only after that the patients can receive the relevant experts’ recommendations for health-care and cosmetic treatments to undergo.

But the concept of medical tourism in Spain is much wider than just a spa resort. The Spanish medicine can offer to the visitors any type of treatment: from bariatric treatments to cancer disease healing. The Spanish oncology is considered to be one of the best in the world; oncologists from Madrid and Barcelona are invited to manage the centers in the USA. The most popular among foreign patients in Spain are dental services and certain types of surgery (plastic, orthopedic, ophthalmologic). Reproductive technologies are presented here in a very high level, and giving birth in Spain is the dream of every woman! The new Spanish clinics have everything necessary for the toughest surgical and multidisciplinary cases.

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During a tourist trip to Spain it is becoming increasingly fashionable undergo a diagnosis program, called ‘check-up’: passing a comprehensive examination in only 1-2 days. Because, as you know, better safe than sorry.

BY THE WAY

Spanish nation is one of the healthiest nations in the world. The average life expectancy in Spain is 85 years for women and 79.3 years for men, the best result throughout the European Union. Spain has the lowest rate of heart disease in the world, which many relate to the famous Mediterranean diet.

 

Andorra. Hunting for brands and discounts

The Principality of Andorra is located in the Pyrenees between Spain and France. This small country of just 468 square kilometers, can be crossed by car in less than an hour. During the coldest season of the year the mountains attract many skiers. The country also has interesting sights, good museums, hotels, restaurants, etc. But if we talk about the main attraction of Andorra, for which the country stands out from many other European countries, it is the possibility of tax free shopping.

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Andorra is a kind of duty-free zone, where goods are sold for lower prices than in neighboring countries: the average difference in prices is between 20 and 60 percent. The winter sale is also a good opportunity; this season usually starts late December. During this period the prices in outlets further decrease, reaching its minimum by the end of February. And this year, you can enjoy these wonderful discounts up to 21 March.

As Andorra does not have its own airport, tourists come here from the airports Toulouse-Blagnac (France) and Barcelona-El Prat (Spain). These airports have regular bus lines that go directly to Andorra. Talking about the neighbors, Spanish and French citizens, they prefer to come here with family on weekends. For them this is very ordinary, because it takes only 10-15 minutes driving from the Spanish boarder to this small country.

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 Andorra has more than 2000 stores across the country.

Most of them are situated in the capital, Andorra La Vella, and the rest are spread out among Escaldes-Engordany and San Julián de Loria. We should note that you won’t find “outlet cities” here in the principality. However, if you don’t want to waste time looking for shops, you can go to one of the largest malls in the country, such as Illa Carlemany, Andorra 2000, Escale, El Punt de Trobada, etc. The largest mall is concidered to be Pyrenees, which is located in the capital, on Avinguda Meritxell. On the first floor you can find clothes, shoes and accessories for men; and the second floor of the mall was created to satisfy the most demanding buyers — women and children.

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In Andorra you can find such famous brands as Gucci, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, DKNY, Hugo Boss and many others. There are more than 60 jewelry boutiques of premium class in the country, where you can buy exclusive accessories made by the best designers in the jewelry world. Rolex, Cartier, Hublot, Vasari, Bvlgari, Montblanc, Dupont and Hermès are among them. Watches can be purchased here with very good discounts. In Andorra about 70 shops of luxury cosmetics and perfumery are presented, a great advantage for women. And it is not surprising, here famous fragrances will literally cost half a price. Furthermore, in Escaldes-Engordany there is the Museum of Perfume, where visitors are offered to enjoy the fascinating journey into the world of fragrances and learn more about the creating process of perfume. And what’s even more interesting, that here everyone will have the opportunity to become a creator of his own fragrance.

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The outlets of sports equipment can be found in the numerous ski resorts. Talking about ski equipment, in Andorra you can find clothes not only of well-known brands, but also items made by local manufacturers. Local garments are not worse at all than ones of famous brands, but the price is much lower. Some particularly thrifty citizens come to Andorra to buy a car. Also not deprived of attention the narrowly targeted buyers such as numismatists, collectors of stamps and postcards. For them in the capital is organized Fórum Filatélico.

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Leaving shopping aside, you can also enjoy exquisite dishes in local restaurants or relax in a coffee house with a cup of hot chocolate. Almost all stores are open from Monday to Saturday from 9.30 to 20.00 and close for lunch from 13.00 to 16.00. On Sundays stores have the same schedule, but the workday ends an hour earlier, at 19.00. Large supermarkets do not close at noon and stay open daily from 9.30 to 20.00 and on Sundays are open until 21.00. However, shops are closed on public holidays: New Year, January 1; Constitution Day, March 14; Our Lady of Meritxell Day – patroness of the country, on 8th of September; and Christmas, December 25th.

Clothing and footwear, perfume and cosmetics, jewelery, watches, home furnishings, gastronomic delights, electronics and home appliances — here in Andorra’s duty-free shops there is almost everything.

New Year in Spain: places to celebrate

There is a week left before the New Year and most of you are probably already thinking about where, how and with whom to celebrate it. Here we present 5 places  to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain.

New Year in Spain, places to celebrate

 Barcelona: the light show

Barcelona offers a huge variety of options for celebrating New Year’s Eve. One of them is in front of the famous Agbar Tower. At night, the facade of the tower is illuminated in a dazzling array of thousands of multi-coloured LED lights. On December 31st, the panels of the tower gradualy illuminate, accompanied with the chime of bells accentuating  the rhythm to which  the 12 cherished grapes are eaten (it is the Spanish tradition). New Year’s Eve in Barcelona is really spectacular!

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 Madrid, Puerta del Sol: joyous hustle and bustle

The central square of Madrid, Puerta del Sol (“Gate of the Sun”) is one of the most popular and traditional places to celebrate the New Year. On December 31st, thousands of people gather around the clock tower, and after the bells chime, a great and majestic festival begins: everybody opens their  bottles of cava (Spanish champagne), then the sound of glasses clinking, laughter, joking, and congratulations can be heard all around.

New Year's Eve

 Toledo: a taste of history

During the Christmas holidays, Toledo shines with multi-coloured lights. The smell of burning wood, roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate invade the streets, and you have the impression of being in the world of a fairy tale. In the historic center of the city, a small touristic train circulates that takes you from the stone entrance gate of the city to the palace-fortress, called El Alcazar (in the Middle Ages it was the residence of the Spanish kings), which is situated at the top of the hill. On New Years Eve, you can enjoy a delicious dinner in an old restaurant of Toledo, and then you can eat the 12 grapes in one of the squares whilst toasting with a glass of cava or wine.

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Alvarado Castle, Burgos: the royal festival

If you prefer the medieval times, splendid views and fine cuisine, you should spend the night in an old Spanish castle. It will definitely be your most vivid memory worthy of  remembering your whole life. The Alvarado Palace (Posada Torre) is an ancient castle, which in former times was the residence and the meeting place for the kings and court nobility. The price of two nights at the castle (from December 30th to January 1st) is 200 euros per  person. It includes breakfast, a delicious New Year’s Eve dinner with musical accompaniment and drinks at the bar.

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Cruise: for seafaring enthusiasts

You can celebrate the New Year in a completely different and special way.If you are on board a cruiseship., you will be offered a delicious menu, as well as a varied festive programme and wonderful performances. There is a large choice of destinations: the Canary Islands, Portugal, Italy, France, as well as some other exotic destinations such as Argentina, Brazil and Hawaii. The cruises´ points of departure are the following: Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and Malaga. The New Year’s Eve festive mood is guaranteed on board a glamorous liner.

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The best shopping centers in Barcelona 2

In this article, we continue to tell you about the best shopping centers in Barcelona and  locations where the most renowned world’s and Spanish brands and restaurants are presented.

Glòries

Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 208,
Phone: +34 934 860 404

The facade of this modern shopping center has a stylish urban design. Here shoppers from all over the world will certainly find something interesting. Stradivarius, Springfield, C & A, Pepe Jeans, Levi’S Store, Casa Viva, Flexa and many other famous boutiques offer their customers stylish and modern goods. Preparing for holidays administration of Glòries organizes workshops of cooking, decorations etc. The square in front of the shopping center, which in winter comes into a ice rink, now holds real traditional fair of Spanish and Catalonian food with degustation and other activities.

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 L’illa

Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 545-565
Phone: +34 934 440 000

The modern building of L’illa Shopping Centre is located in the important business district of Barcelona. More than 170 famous boutiques can be found in the mall, such as Marks & Spencer, Fnac, Bang & Oluffsen, Mandarina Duck, Agatha, Disney Store, Zara etc. You will certainly find a lot of useful items for sports and active lifestyle in Decathlon store. In L’illa there are also supermarket Caprabo and a small market where you can buy fresh foodstuffs. The infrastructure of the shopping center includes the hotel, several restaurants, hairdressers, and important offices.

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 Pedralbes Centre

Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 609-615
Phone: +34 934 106 821

Pedralbes Centre is a unique mall in Barcelona, there is everything for a great shopping: Tous, Be, Zara Home, Furest, Nespresso, Tascón, Timberland Store, Javier Simorra, Clarks, Verde Esmeralda, Sune By Sueños Negros, New Look etc. In Pedralbes Centre constantly take place art exhibitions, children’s activities, fashion shows. In winter, the area near the mall turns into a skating rink, where you can have a great time with your friends and family. The shopping center offers a wide selection of restaurants and cafes with high quality of service. You can also relax in the well equipped terrace with a free Wi-Fi coverage.

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El Corte Ingles

Address: Plaça de Catalunya, 14
Phone: +34 933 063 800

El Corte Ingles is the largest department store chain in Spain and Europe, and the fourth in the world. Department stores of this brand are spread throughout the country. The huge popularity of El Corte Ingles is not a surprise, here in the same place you can find fashion boutiques of high quality clothing and accessories for men, women and children, appliances stores, book and perfume shops, supermarkets, travel agencies etc. Adolfo Domínguez, Easy Wear, Hilfiger Denim, Moschino Cheap and Chic, Naf Naf, Only, Zendra El Corte Inglés — this is only a small part of the list of boutiques presented in this mall. Here you can buy everything you need. In supermarkets, El Corte Ingles offers a wide selection of traditional products, sweets, alcohol drinks and souvenirs. While shopping in Barcelona is impossible to skip El Corte Ingles.

El Corte Ingles

The best shopping centers in Barcelona

Shopping in Barcelona is an integral part of a holiday, it helps to elevate mood. To go shopping in Barcelona is a double pleasure, because this city, along with Paris and Milan is the center of the international fashion industry. In this article we will tell you about the biggest and the most famous shopping centers in Barcelona, where the famous world and traditional Spanish brands are presented.

shopping-barcelona

Maremagnum
Address: Edificio Maremagnum, Moll d’Espanya, 5,
Phone: +34 932 258 100 

Walking along the beach on Sunday, sometimes you have a desire to please yourself with a new purchase, but as you may have noticed, almost all the stores are closed on that day. In this case, don’t worry — the large shopping center Maremagnum is here for you. Here 7 days a week from 10:00 to 22:00 stores of clothes, shoes and accessories are opened: Lacoste, Antony Morato, Bershka, Blanco, Calzedonia, Desigual, Diesel, Jack & Jones, Inside, Parfois, Natura etc. Moreover, the shopping center’s infrastructure includes restaurants and bars where you can get a fast food or or have a gastronomic pleasure, tasting traditional Spanish dishes. All points of public catering in the mall are opened until 01:00. In Maremagnum cinema you can enjoy famous movies in 3D and 2D formats.

The shopping center is equipped with special devices, where anyone can charge his mobile: here are cables for each smartphone model. There is a free Wifi coverage in Maremagnum. You can also enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the sea and the city in the well equipped recreation area. 

Maremagnum

Diagonal Mar
Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 3
Phone: +34 935 677 600

Also on the coast, but in a completely different part of the city, at the end of symbolic for Barcelona Diagonal Avenue, another large shopping center Diagonal Mar is situated. Levi’s, H & M, Mango, Massimo Dutti, Nike, Pepe Jeans and other clothing and accessories stores are opened here from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 22:00. Furthermore, Diagonal Mar is a great place to purchase goods for children. Orchestra, Toys “R” Us, Imaginarium, Petit Casanovas, Chicco — in these and many other stores you can find clothes, shoes, accessories and toys for kids.

In Diagonal Mar the famous hypermarket Alcampo can be found, where you can buy food, household supplies, electronics, sports and recreation goods at a low price. About 50 restaurants, cafes and bars offer their guests a huge selection of Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, vegetarian dishes, desserts and snacks.

diagonal-mar

Arenas
Address: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 373-385
Phone: +34 932 890 244

Near the famous attractions of Barcelona: Plaza Espana and Montjuic the well known shopping center Arenas is located. This gorgeous mall has a big architectural and historical value. In the building, where today thousands of people go shopping to such stores as: 7 Camicie, Calzedonia, Punto Roma, United Colors Of Benetton, Calvin Klein, Mango, previously bullfights and bullfighting took place. The last performance was held here in 1977, and then in March 2011 Arenas was re-opened as a shopping center. The building was completely renovated according to the project of 1900. A stunning viewpoint is located on the sixth’ floor. Shops, restaurants, a beauty salon, spa and fitness club are onened here for you 6 days per week.

las arenas barcelona

La Maquinista
Address: Paseo de Potosí, 2
Phone: + 34 933 608 971

La Maquinista is the only open air shopping center in Barcelona and moreover, one of the biggest malls of Catalonia. In the plot area of 31,000 square meters  are situated such famous boutiques as: Diesel, Vans, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Aldo, as well as restaurants, cafes and small bars. There is a huge store Leroy Merlin, where goods for construction, decoration and interior design are presented. In the cinema La Maquinista you can enjoy a great movie together with your family and to relax after a shopping day in Barcelona. Professional nail salon is situated in the shopping center, where high-level professionals will take care of your nails and hands skin.

la-maquinista-shopping-centre

Gràcia district: Interesting places and shopping in Barcelona

We continue to tell our readers about the most interesting districts of the capital of Catalonia, where you can easily combine leisure and shopping.

We are happy to introduce you a new article about distinctive and charming district of Barcelona with the short name Gràcia. Gracia is situated between the districts of Eixample, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi and Horta-Guinardó.

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This district hasthe smallest area(4.19 square kilometers), but is densely populated(about124thousand inhabitants). Gràcia district includes: Vallcarca i els Penitents, El Coll, La Salut, Vila de Gràcia, Camp d’en Grassot i Gràcia Nova.

More than a hundred years ago here was a town with the same name, which was annexed to Barcelona in 1897. Gràcia is known for its cultural traditions, its own unique charm, bohemian atmosphere of creativity andnon-conformism. Historically, the area was a center of Barcelona‘s subcultures.

There are many small and cozy squares in Gràcia, where you can often see different concerts and find original‘alternative’s tores. Area Plaça del Sol is a popular place where citizens meet in the evenings. It is also a pleasure to visit to the square Plaça de Rius i Tauletand see its famous clock tower.

Plaça del Sol

Gràcia is very popular among the people of creative professions. Here a large number of workshops take place and you can find many art studios, which employ local and foreign artists. You will be interested to learn more about the culture and traditions of the inhabitants, who live here in the same place from generation to generation.

There are not so many tourists; and narrow streets has a comfortable layout, what makes walking through the district a great pleasure.

Every year in mid-August in the area a colorful festival La Festa Major de Gràcia takes place. Entertainment includes live music, fire performances – correfocs, parades, dancing and fireworks.

gracia The most famous cinema in Barcelona called Verdi is also situated in Gràcia. Here the original versions offilms withSpanish subtitles are always showen.

But the main sight of the area, attracting millions of tourists from all over the world, isa fantastic Parc Güell, one of the latest Gaudi creations, which has the plot area more than17hectares. It seems that you are entering a fairy tale with magical houses,unusual bench in the form of a sea serpent, and where you meet the famous mosaic lizard.

In the district of Gràcia you will get acquainted with the masterpieces of architectural modernism.The most famous building is Casa Fuster — a 5-star hotel which looks like a castle.Casa Viçens is the famous Gaudi creation. It is a private house; the Spanish-Arabic architectural elements were usedin the construction of the house.

casa_vicens_gaudi Talking about shopping in Gràcia we can say that the local shops are for fastidious buyer who appreciates original, elegant and vintage style. The main shopping street is Gran de Gràcia and the adjacent small segment of Paseo de Gracia. The shop Lupo is situated here, where ladies can find handbags and other designer’s luxury leather goods. Recently opened Italian brand boutique Kiton specializes in luxury men’s, women’s clothing and accessories.

Well designed and fashionable clothes can also be found in the shops located in Carrer de Verdi street.  We should also mention the store and studio Camisería Pon sin the street Gran de Gràcia,which shows off the latest trends in the world of fashion. And those who like jewelry can totreat themselves in the luxury jewelry store F. Roca, located in the Paseo de Gracia. 

Casa_Fuster_Barcelona

The area is also full of bookshops, art galleries, as well as institutions offering traditional local products. For example, in the authentic store Oli Sal you will find different sorts of high-quality olive oil and cosmetic products made of it. Also worth visiting vintage bakeries, small supermarkets, coffee shops and wine stores.

In Gràcia there is a wide choice of different tipe cuisine restaurants – from traditional Mediterranean to international food. Here you will see a huge number of bars where you can drink a cup of coffee or enjoy a local snack. The best restaurants are located in the streets of Gran de Gràcia and Paseo de Gracia. Restaurant Fernandez is a perfect place to celebrate a special date; here also you will find a classic seafood restaurant Botafumeiro, Japanese restaurant Nomo, and the interesting bar L’Eggs. Amelie is famous for its relaxing atmosphere and good prices for delicious food. Ferrum is restaurant with a perfect service, that makes you feel like home.

fbotafumeiro

Nightlifein Gràcia takes place in bars and open-air terraces. Bar Canigó with wel coming atmosphere, offer cheap drinks and tasty snacks. In the baryou can taste original Rour ever mouth and best in the areas nacks‘tapas’.

caligarias rabat Swarovski