Spain: a beginner’s guide to Andalusia

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Photo of Spain: a beginner’s guide to Andalusia by CLARA on the road

Andalusia is the most passionate region in Spain, one of the Europeans’ favourite destinations. In Andalusia the most Spanish popular traditions were born: flamenco, bullfighting, tapas.

It’s the region where the most vibrant celebrations are hosted, such as the Semana Santa de Sevilla and the Feria de Abril.

So, if you want to feel the real Spanish soul, you need to visit Andalusia, the land of the magnificent Alhambra of Granada, the Mosque and the Moorish palaces of Cordoba, the beaches of Costa del Sol, the Mountains of the Sierra Nevada.

Prepare your backpack and follow me in this amazing region!

Some practical information

All the biggest cities in Andalusia have an international airport so, depending on your plan, you can choose to land in Seville, Granada, Cordoba, Malaga, Jerez.

Transportations

Moving around Andalusia is pretty simple and comfortable. The best option is always to rent a car: it’s more practical and gives you freedom. But, if you’re planning in advance your trip, you can consider to move by public transportation.

Train is a good option: they connect all the cities and you can choose the AVE high-speed train. The cons? It could be quite expensive (if you don’t book early enough) and you will have very few routes options during the day. The alternative is the bus: cheaper, with several routes and very efficient. The most complete bus service is offered by Alsa.

Photo of Spain: a beginner’s guide to Andalusia 1/1 by CLARA on the road
Train routes in Andalusia

Accommodations

Talking about accommodations, Andalusia offers so many options to choose between. So, depending on your favourite mode - hostel, hotel, apartment, camping - you can easily find good solutions from 10-12 Euros per night. The only real advice is to find your accommodation before your arrival: Andalusia hosts many many visitors - mostly during the summer - and you don’t want to spend the night out (but, if you want, do it!) :)

Visa

If you are from a non-Schengen Country, you will need a Visa to visit Andalusia and Spain in general. Spanish Government is absolutely welcoming, so don’t hesitate to apply for a Visa to the Spanish Consulate in your Country. You can find some general information about the requirements to apply for a visa here.

Where to go

Now we can talk about the most interesting part: where to go in Andalusia!

Andalusia is a pretty big region: it counts eight main cities and hundreds of little town. In my personal opinion, every single place in this world deserves a visit, but - for now - let’s talk about the Andalusia’s most important cities.

Seville

Seville is the capital of Andalusia. It’s a wonderful city and, I’m sure, you will fall in love with it (Are you wondering why? Read 3 reasons why you will fall in love with Seville).

Its culture preserves the Arabic influence of the past and is mixed with the European style of the present in a perfect harmonious bond.

You can’t miss the Cathedral, a former Mosque, and the Giralda, its bell tower used to be the Minaret, one of the emblems of Seville.

Be sure to reserve a visit to the Barrio de Santa Cruz, Plaza de España and the Reales Alcázares, they are real masterpieces and they will steal your heart :)

The Giralda in Seville

Photo of Siviglia, Spagna by CLARA on the road

Cordoba

Cordoba deserves at least one day of your trip. The Judería, the former Jewish area, will let you feel lost in the labyrinth of picturesque alleyways. Be sure to take some pictures in Calle de las Flores and don’t forget to visit the most popular attraction in Cordoba: the Great Mosque, a National Monument and Unesco World Heritage Site.

Calle de las Flores in Cordoba

Photo of Cordova, Spagna by CLARA on the road

Granada

The most beautiful thing you will do in Granada is to visit the Alhambra: a mix of Moorish, Christian and Renaissance art, gardens, water games fountains and breath-taking views. The best advice I could give you is to book your ticket early and online (here) because - trust me - the odds that you will find a sold-out situation is very high! If you have time enough, you should visit the Cathedral, the Albayzin area and enjoy a wonderful view from the Mirador San Nicolás.

The Alhambra in Granada

Photo of Granada, Spagna by CLARA on the road

Malaga

In Malaga you will breath such a sparkling Spanish atmosphere! Maybe for the sea air of Costa del Sol, or maybe for the tasty tapas you will eat :) Anyway, in Malaga you absolutely have to visit the Gibralfaro castle, one of the most popular attractions, and the Cathedral, also called Manquita because of the incomplete right tower. If you have time in advance and you are an art lover, don’t miss the Picasso Museum!

Sunset on Malaga's seafront

Photo of Málaga, Spagna by CLARA on the road

Cadiz

Cadiz is the most popular and beautiful sea-city in Spain. Almost fully surrounded by the water, its coasts are breath-taking and often used as Hollywood movie set. The old town is very ancient, and offers several historical building to visit, such as the Cathedral, that you can admire also from the beach. Trust me, your visit to Cadiz will be an heart-warming experience, also because of its delicious seafood and its welcoming and always-smiling people.

Cadiz Cathedral from the beach

Photo of Spain: a beginner’s guide to Andalusia by CLARA on the road

Now you know a bit more about Andalusia. It’s a wonderful area, probably the best in Spain. There’s just one thing missing: to prepare your luggage and go! :)

* For more travel tips follow my blog CLARA on the road *

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