It seems a bit too late to write about our 2003 trip. My best friends are going there soon, so I’m writing this for their reference.

We still find it the best among our 4 European trips so far: weather, food, Gaudi, Alhambra, flamenco, bull fight, flower, … What a first impression!


Roughly in descending order of interest.


Must see

May see


Prado and Sofia Museums
Ermita de San Antonio
Plaza de España
Plaza Mayor
Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas (for bull fight)

Parque del Retiro

Palacio Real

Everything Gaudi
Did I say Gaudi?
Las Ramblas
Fundacion Miro
Palau Musica Catalana
Palau Reial Major


Picasso Museum
Pobel Espanyol on Montjuic

Real Alcázar

El Patio Sevillano (too toursy)

Tablao Cardenal (flamenco)

Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos


Mirador de San Nicolas (to see Alhambra at sunset)


We knew nothing about Spanish cuisine except maybe paella, but what a treat we got! The consistently tasty paella, the endless variety of tapas, and the refreshingly intoxicating sangria…

  • Madrid
    • Casa Mingo: Paseo de la Florida 2, right on the way from metro Príncipe Pio to Ermita de San Antonio. Have roast chicken with their self-made cider so that you won’t get dizzy later staring up at Goya’s masterpiece.
    • Cervecería Alemanic: Plaza de Santa Ana 6. On a very relaxing plaza, famous for fried sardine and Spanish omelette. The waitor is super cool: he took our order without writing down anything, then when we asked for check he wrote down everything on a napkin. Now that’s professional!
    • Cervecería Santa Bárbara: Plaza de Santa Bárbara 8. Nice brewery. We had oystery with beer, yummy!
    • La Plateria: Calle Moratin 49. Across the street from Prado, we had our first sangria there without knowing how strong it is. We got dizzily happy and took a nap in Jardin Botanico before going to Prado. Food, wine, great arts–life is beautiful!
  • Barcelona
    • BaBaReeBa: Passeig de Gracia 28, between Plaza Catalunya and Illa de la Discordia. Cool decor, excellent food, way better than those toursy places on Las Ramblas.
    • Pastisseria Escriba: Ramblas 83. Close to the colorful market La Boqueria, this is known as the most spectacular pastry shop in Barcelona.
  • Sevilla: Cerveceria Giralda at Mateos Gago 1, very close to Giralda. Very nice tapas, we even saw the waiter in the tourbook photo and got his signature.
  • Cordoba: Taberna La Lechuga at Tomas Conde 12, very close to Mezquita. Definitely the best tapas bar we went to.