Hotels in Porto
Places similar to Porto to visit
Madrid is a modern capital city that dances to its own rhythm, often until the sun comes up. If you’re looking for people-watching opportunities, find them at one of many scenic pavement cafes. Along the Paseo del Arte, discover more collections of fine and modern art than you can squeeze into one visit. Wander stylish shopping streets, and visit the home ground of one of Europe’s most famous football teams.
Things to do
There are lots of fantastic things to do in Madrid. Visit one of Europe's most famous football grounds, spend an afternoon among beautiful nature in one of the hidden gardens and explore the beautiful designed buildings, iconic artwork and spectacular churches. You're bound to find something interesting to see and do in this vibrant city.
World class art
Madrid is famous for its arts scene, and if this is the reason for your visit then the only place to start is at the Museo del Prado. This historic museum is one of the world’s foremost art galleries, and you can excitedly browse both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Continue discovering the other components of the Golden Triangle of Art and head to the Museo Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Great for exploring
Dip into another aspect of Madrid’s culture and make for the famous El Rastro flea market. You might want to leave some space in your suitcase for the fantastic buys you can pick up from the myriad of stalls, especially as the Mercado de San Miguel is another must-see. If all that shopping leaves you needing a dose of peace and quiet then head to the alluring El Retiro Park, and lose yourself in the pretty gardens as you stroll between historic statues and towering trees.
Madrid has an excellent dining scene that’s perfect if you love eating out. There are countless restaurants to choose from, and you can spend a leisurely evening trying local delicacies or taking your time over some tapas as you sip on Spanish wine. Dance away your meal with a night at a salsa club, before heading to a discoteca to party until the early hours.
More travel guides
We also have travel guides available for destinations, including: Balearic Islands | Barcelona | Canary Islands | Costa Almeria | Costa Blanca | Costa Brava | Costa Dorada | Costa del Sol | Fuerteventura | Gran Canaria | Lanzarote | Tenerife | Ibiza | Malaga | Majorca | Menorca
Barcelona holidays are a fusion of laid-back beach days and vibrant city life. Set on Spain’s northeast coast with a balmy Mediterranean climate, it's the perfect setting for sightseeing or relaxing on its golden sands. It’s also home to centuries of history, so when you’re not exploring Gaudi’s modernist spectacles you could be getting lost in the medieval streets of the Gothic Quarter. Now throw in tasty Catalan dishes, one of the world’s most famous football stadiums and amazing green spaces, and you’ve got a city that ticks all the boxes.
6 reasons to visit Barcelona
- Food glorious food: Start your day with freshly baked bread drizzled in olive oil and smeared with tomatoes (pan tumaca), before digging into vegetable stew (escudella) for lunch. As for dinner, it has to be coca! Think of it as a Catalan mini pizza, this flatbread is usually topped with roasted vegetables and sausage.
- The perfect beach & city combo: If you want the best of both worlds, Barcelona holidays won’t disappoint. Think cutting-edge architecture, trendy fashion stores and narrow cobbled streets fronted by three miles of sun-soaked coastline.
- Awe-inspiring Gaudi architecture: No trip to Barcelona is complete without admiring the world-renowned Sagrada Familia (let’s face it, you can’t miss it!), quirky Casa Batllo and Park Guell, just some of Antoni Gaudi’s stand-out creations.
- Historic city centre: It’s easy to lose yourself in Barcelona’s Gothic quarter, and trust us, you want to! These maze-like streets hide some of the city’s oldest restaurants such as Can Culleretes, as well as cocktail lounges, a jaw-dropping 13th century cathedral and one of Gaudi’s first projects (the street lamps decorating Plaça Reial, one of Spain’s grandest squares).
- An epic art scene: Whether you’re searching for Picasso masterpieces, murals by Miro or contemporary pieces by independent artists, you’re not short of exhibits to visit. From the Centre of Contemporary Culture to the National Art Museum of Catalonia.
- Football famous: The largest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 100,000, the atmosphere at Camp Nou is electrifying. Catch FC Barcelona in action or bag yourself an exclusive tour. But for trophies, memorabilia and football shirts worn by sports legends, be sure to make a pitstop at its museum. Some stadium tours include an immersive VR experience. Tickets aren’t cheap but children under four can join for free.
Things to do
Barcelona is the ultimate city break destination, surrounded by mountains on one side and the sea on the other. And there are more than enough attractions to fill a long weekend. Walk streets perfect for shoppers and sightseers, where trendy boutiques sit close to Gaudi’s modernist masterpieces and centuries-old churches. It’s right by the Med too, so you can tick off the capital’s biggest sights in the morning and hit the beach in the afternoon. Then, when you’ve had enough sun for one day, there are plenty of waterside restaurants serving tasty Catalan seafood. Whatever it is you want from your next city break, Barcelona has it by the bucketload.
A vibrant beach scene
Cool off in the sea atone of Barcelona’s stunning beaches. La Barceloneta is the city’s answer to Miami’s South Beach. There’s always something going on along this 4km long stretch and its buzzing boardwalk is the perfect place to take it all in with restaurants, cafes and chiringuitos (beach bars) overlooking its sands.
If you want to try some watersports on your Barcelona city break, look no further than Nova Icària. Windsurfing is a must on breezy Med days. Prefer your beach days a little bit more peaceful? Then, hop on the metro to Bogatell. This Blue Flag beauty is great for relaxing dips and games of volleyball. Once your batteries are recharged, wind down with a drink in La Rambla or the Gothic Quarter.
Barcelona’s culture starts with its architecture. From medieval to modernist, the city is the perfect blend of old and new. Fans of Gaudi shouldn't miss a chance to see the skeleton balconies of Casa Batlló and his unfinished masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia. But the hillside Park Güell is like stepping inside the artist’s weird but wonderful imagination. From a dragon fountain to an elephant cave and his former home, this iconic green space is one of a kind. For more art-filled attractions, make sure you squeeze in a trip to the Contemporary Art and Picasso Museum.
Over in Ciutat Vella (Old City) you’ll find some of Europe’s best-preserved landmarks. Standing high above the ancient streets, you can’t miss Barcelona Cathedral - the centrepiece of the Gothic Quarter. Besides its well-known buildings, there’s no better way to see the city like a local than a shopping trip at at the Mercat de la Boqueria food market, or watching a home game at the 100,000-seater Camp Nou Stadium.
Barcelona’s Catalonian origins are an important part of the city. From its own history, language and cuisine, there are so many ways to absorb this unique culture. Festivals are big here, with celebrations across just about every neighbourhood. Plan your Barcelona holidays in autumn and attend two of its biggest events: National Day of Catalonia (11th September) and La Mercè (24th September). Alternatively, food is another great way to get a taste of the city’s Catalan traditions. Look out for popular dishes like escalivada (roasted red peppers, aubergineand onions) or butifarra (a spiced sausage) for the most authentic dining experience.
More travel guides
We also have travel guides available for destinations, including: Balearic Islands | Canary Islands | Costa Almeria | Costa Blanca | Costa Brava | Costa Dorada | Costa del Sol | Fuerteventura | Gran Canaria | Lanzarote | Tenerife | Ibiza | Madrid | Malaga | Majorca | Menorca
Lisbon has so much more to offer than its tasty custard tarts! For starters, sunset viewings are mandatory thanks to its beautiful hilly location overlooking the Tagus River. While its means of transportation are some of its biggest attractions. From Gothic style elevators to yellow trams and three wheeled tuk tuks, there’s so many unique ways to see the city! And its culture is just as fascinating, although you’ll find most of its best art work on its streets. Admire ornate tiles adorning the walls of townhouses and detailed graffiti that wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery.
Things to do
Whether you want to do Lisbon like a local or you’ve come here to see its top tourist attractions, there are some things that should be on everyone’s to-do list!
If it’s viewpoints you’re after, the city’s highest point Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is a must for its castle panoramas. Or if you want to combine incredible views with one of the city’s most famous landmarks, head to São Jorge Castle. Another fantastic vantage point lies on the banks of Tejo Estuary, a great spot to catch a glimpse of Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Not to mention it’s home to the Cristo Rei statue, Lisbon’s answer to Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer.
While you’re in Belém, you can’t miss a chance to see one of the neighbourhood’s most camera-worthy spots, Belém Tower. Sitting on the banks of Tagus River and decorated with military motifs, this famous structure can only be accessed by drawbridge. This is also where you’ll find Pastéis de Belém bakery, which is home to Portugal’s most authentic custard tart. The ancient recipe remains a secret to this day.
When you’re not exploring the city by foot, you should be taking it in from the seat of a streetcar. Hop on the iconic tram 28, which will take you down some of Lisbon's skinniest streets, rattling past top landmarks like Baixa & Terreiro do Paço.
After a day of sightseeing, Lisbon’s nightlife won’t disappoint. Find swanky drinking spots up on the rooftops alongside live music venues playing traditional Fado music. And there’s a district to suit every personality too, Bairro Alto is like one big street party, while Alfama is home to the city’s best wine bars.
If you’re planning to stay in Lisbon for longer than a weekend, then make sure to pencil in some time to visit Sintra! Just a 40-minute train ride from Lisbon, it’s like stepping into a Disney movie. The first thing you’ll notice are the brightly-painted palaces, but it’s manicured gardens are just as beautiful! You’ll also find a string of beaches within easy reach including one of its most popular shorelines, Praia de Carcavelos, which you can reach by car in around 25 minutes.
More Travel Guides