Semester: Spring 2008
Program: Liberal Arts
School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Where to go? I can only give you really personal experience. My travelling consisted of 3 days in Barcelona before the program, Valencia, Barcelona again, Amsterdam and Prague during Spring Break, Ibiza and Formentera during Finals, and a final month of personal travelling. That last month I went to Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Madrid, Malaga, Granada and Paris. I think Spain has the most to offer. But I will give you my personal recommendations if you plan to Travel.
MY Favorite Places (not in order)
Cinque Terre – It is in Italy and means the 5 lands. It is absolutely beautiful, and an incredible sight. You MUST go. Google it. While your there it’s next to Florence and close to Rome. http://trenitalia.it – the best way to get around.
Las Fallas in Valencia – Google this too. This is the craziest fire festival I have ever seen. It sells out SO fast (hostels) so do it right away. I will list the best travelling ways later. But this festival is just a ferry ride away and you will experience true unregulated madness in the streets of Spain.
Amsterdam – Outside of Coffee Shops, Red Light, and Smart Shop stereotypes, this really is a beautiful city. You will have a good time there and you need about 2-3 days there. Go to Anne Franks house or the Van Gogh museum. Stay near Rembrandt Square.
IBIZA and Formentera – You don’t live in the Balearic Islands and not experience this madness. Go to Ibiza and stay in San Antonio because it is cheap and rowdy. You can catch a bus to anywhere on the island. Go mid to late JUNE – NO EARLIER. Go with a clean liver. If you go to IBIZA, take a ferry to Formentera. Rent a moped or a bike, this place hosts the best beach in Europe, hands down.
Madrid – KAPITAL is a 7 story disco. Visit all the sights and stay at Plaza Sol. There is a great hostel, one of the best in Spain, called Sant Jordi, I think. It has the best ratings on hostel world and is basically on Plaza Sol. And it is only 20 EUROS.
Andalucia – My favorite city in Spain is Granada. Small college town in Andalucia. It’s beautiful, go to the Alhambra. Seville I never made it to but heard it’s great. Malaga was a fun time because of the hostel I stayed at. The beaches aren’t as good as Mallorca and the clubs are weird but this hostel – Casa Babylon Backpackers – might be the funniest hostel ever. I would describe it as a fraternity house run hostel. It’s clean though. Ladies though, the owners are a little creepy. Haha, Met people from Slovakia, Taiwan, Estonia, Switzerland, so on. If you go to Malaga, go to see this scene.
Prague – It’s a must because everything is so cheap and its probably the best side of Eastern Europe you should visit to see that aspect. They have sweet underground bars too. Great ready for a lot of beer as well. Stay near Wenceslas Square.
Barcelona – Not my personal favorite, but everyone else’s. You will fly out of there almost every time you travel, so you might as well spend a couple days. Go see Gaudí’s Park and go to Discos there. They are famous. Stay on the Ramblas.
Basque Country – It really beautiful. If you can get there for running of the bulls, San Fermin – do it. We ran and it was amazing. It’s probably the best, craziest, most fun festival in the world. We spent 3 days there, $150 dollar rooms, worth every penny. San Sebastian has really cool beaches and is a “chill” area. Lots of Aussies. Bilbao is cool too, go see Guggenheim.
Florence and Rome – I didn’t really care that much, but I guess it is a must see. Go to the Vatican.
Paris – If you have never been to Paris you need to go. It is an incredible city but it is very very expensive. Regardless, go and check it out.
Could have lived without
Valencia – Only go if you’re going to see the LAS FALLAS.
Bilbao – If you’re in Basque country, you go to Bilbao. But don’t make a specific trip just to go to there. Go if you’re going to do ALL of Basque.
Germany – Never made it, heard so many great things. (Berlin)
Portugal – Never made it either. Really cool city.
LISTEN TO WWW.HOSTEL.COM HOSTELWORLD.COM and THEIR RATINGS. THEY ARE CRUCIAL. You have a much better experience in nicer hostels. Also try to find the most centric.
www.airninja.com for all you flying travels
ALSA or PESA for the bus system in Spain
www.aferry.com for ferry’s out of Mallorca
Surfcamp hostel if you go to San Sebastian
Roma Inn in Rome
Florida Centre in Ibiza
All Barcelona hostels I stayed at sucked. Stay near LAS RAMBLAS!