Spain

Spain

Etymology

The origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, the most widely accepted etymology is a Semitic – Phoenician. Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning “city of the western world” [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

After Brunch Madrid – After Brunch Madrid gives you the opportunity to meet people from different countries in events organized twice a month from Sunday afternoon in the city center. [meetup]

Alicante Food Lovers – The Alicante Food Lovers group is for anyone interested in food, wine, cooking and dining. I am a Michelin trained chef with over 15 years experience and I would like to share my knowledge and passion with you. I will create different types of events where you can learn different techniques and cooking skills such as authentic pasta making, knife skills, fish filleting and butchering, etc. [meetup]

Cash Flow 101- A Coruña – This Friday, December 23, you can learn financial education by playing Cash Flow 101 by author Robert Kiyosaki. We organize these games once a month within the Rich Dad Club Barcelona and on this occasion we will make the 4th Cash Flow Galicia meeting in the city of Santiago de Compostela. [meetup]

Dog Activities, Fun and Training – Well, this group is all about learning, having fun and joining activities, together with your dog. [meetup]

Effective Altruism Alicante – Effective Altruism Alicante is a group that meets up every week or so to discuss effective altruism, to spend time in each others company, to meet friends both old and new, to engage in conversation both intellectual and mundane and to consider what are the best ways for us to play a part in making the world a better place. [meetup]

Encuentros Madrid – The idea of creating this group is to bring together people with cultural interests and concerns of any kind, jazz, theater, photography, good-value and quality dinners, making friends, chatting about interesting topics of general or personal interest with A dinner, a drink or a coffee. [meetup]

Hang Out Madrid – If you wanna meet new people, have fun, enjoy the Madrid nightlife, discover new places and cultures, language exchanges, trips,  etc…  then let’s create a group of international people passionate for multicultural friendship just having fun. [meetup]

IF7 Sports – Group created to play Football 7 and everything related to the ball Foot football 7, 5, 11 and more, for all levels and if you are more demanding we can locate you in teams at the amateur level. [meetup]

Meetup de Actividades culturales en Murcia – In this Meetup we embrace culture in general, but everything related to history, art and books in particular. If you like any of these topics and also want to meet people with your same hobbies … This is your gang! [meetup]

Spanish Without Books – You have been in Spain for a while (maybe already for many years), but never had the time or energy to learn Spanish in a proper way via Spanish lessons? Then this is a great opportunity for you! We are organizing events in which daily experiences (doctor, paperwork, travelling, etc) are acted out (role playing) in Spanish by you(!) with the help of native speakers with educational experience. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

EDarling.es – EDarling.es is perfect for people between the ages of 30 and 40. The average member of EDarling.es is in their late 30s. eDarling site has a professional look and a clean design. While you can do a few things for free, you’ll get the most out of the eDarling site if you sign up for a premium membership. [visa hunter]

Meetic.es – Founded in 2001 and based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, Meetic.es is the best online dating site in Spain. Meetic.es is the Spanish version of Meetic.com. The site resembles DatingDirect and Match, so if you have used those sites in the past, you will be familiar with the format. You will need a premium membership in order to get the most out of this site. So, if you are in Spain and willing to pay, then this is the site for you. [visa hunter]

Parship.es – Parship.es has been around for several years now. This site first launched in 2001 and went international in 2002. Parship is available not only in Spain, but also in Italy, Sweden, England, France, Holland and even Mexico. The dating system requires a personality test. The test is well thought out and asks a lot of questions for you to answer to match you with the best possible members. Parship is for those who are serious about finding someone, so if you live in Spain, sign up for this site. Although it will take a lot of time to get through the signup process and testing, it is worth it. [visa hunter]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Ogo Tours – Discover the secrets of the capital of Spain with our Madrid Free Walking Tour through the Old Town. For about 2,5 hours we will explore the main attractions of Madrid de los Austrias neighborhood, designed during the period of Spanish Empire, one of the largest empires in world history! [ogo tours]

Sandemans New Europe – Home of the famous Madrid FREE Walking Tour with some of the best guides in Europe. [new europe tours]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Ávila de los Caballeros: The Walls of Avila – Cynics will tell you that there are merely two assets to the town of Avila – a low temperature and high walls. It’s true, the walls are of colossal stature and the pleasing chill offers a modicum of relief from the southern heat. But yet, those same cynics are devoid of the appreciation that one of the finest surviving European medieval towns affords, together with its wonderful festivals and of course, the legend that persists with respect to Santa Teresa de Ávila. [the crazy tourist]

Balearic Islands – Located in the Mediterranean, not far from mainland Spain’s east coast, the Balearic Islands represents four small islands, all very diverse from one another. Venture to Ibiza and it’s all about partying until you drop. Menorca on the other hand is more the oasis of tranquility and of natural grandeur. [the crazy tourist]

Barcelona: Church of the Sacred Family (Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia) – Part of the fascination about paying a visit to the Church of the Sacred Family is that, ever since it was established in 1882 it’s been an ongoing project. Legend would have it that when the church is finally complete, should it ever be complete, the world will end. [the crazy tourist]

Barcelona: Guell Park (Parc Guell) – Parc Guell, as it rests on Carme in Barcelona’s Gràcia district, makes a suitable reflection of what may be considered as a surreal dream. Other than the marvelous Casa Milà, Sagrada Familia, and Casa Batllo, all of which adorn the city, it really is a wonderful manifestation of the unrivaled talent of Antoni Gaudi. [the crazy tourist]

Barcelona: Nou Camp – More than a club or “més que un club” is the motto for FC Barcelona, and as you would expect, an extraordinary club, in turn, needs an extraordinary stadium. With its capacity of 98,772 together with the UEFA status as being a 5-star venue, the Nou Camp is not only the largest but also the most prestigious stadium in Europe. [the crazy tourist]

Barcelona: Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Musica Catalana) – Though classical music may or may not be your idea of a good thing, and though you may not take delight from the fact that master composers such as Rachmaninov, Ravel, and Prokofiev have visited Barcelona’s Palace of Catalan Music, the establishment is still an architectural delight and is well worthy of exploration even without the harmonic background to accompany your travels. [the crazy tourist]

Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Bilbao – The Guggenheim Museum, when revealed to the public, was instantly hailed as being among the world’s most spectacular accomplishments of deconstruct, postmodern architecture. Looking from the outside, you’ll most likely agree. However, at the same time, you’ll probably wonder if it’s possible that anything to be found on the inside will come even close to matching the building’s exterior. [the crazy tourist]

Canary Islands – Tenerife, caressed with its temperate climate, is otherwise known as the island of eternal spring. Enjoy the scenery of la Rambleta up in the high mountains. Appease yourself by visiting La Laguna with its historic residences. And venture to the festivals of Santa Cruz to set your senses ablaze. [the crazy tourist]

Córdoba: Great Cathedral and Mosque (Mezquita de Cordoba) – The Mezquita de Cordoba, along with its marble flooring, giant arches, gilded prayer niches, jasper columns, and Byzantine mosaics that are simply awe-inspiring, is the best example of Muslim fabric in all of Spain. [the crazy tourist]

Granada: El Eshavira – The Andalusians will tell you that, “If you’ve not yet been to Granada, you haven’t seen anything.” Likewise, if you have been to Granada but not yet witnessed a live performance at El Eshavira, you haven’t seen anything yet. [the crazy tourist]

Granada: The Alhambra – Chosen as a prestigious location to host his court, and looking down upon the city of Granada, the first Nasrid king, el Ahmar opted for Alhambra which was further enhanced and altered consistently by successive rulers to become an amazing complex that very few are able to rival. [the crazy tourist]

Madrid: Golden Triangle of Art – The Golden Triangle of Art in Madrid consists of three of the country’s most significant museums. The Museo del Prado glorifies such artists as Goya, Rubens, and Velázquez. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía dedicates its innards to a huge Spanish art collection, but it’s Picasso’s Guernica that steals away the limelight. [the crazy tourist]

Madrid: Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial – Irrespective of witnessing the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial up close or from afar, the royal connotations are promptly obvious. The symmetrical square and its four towers that delineate the circumference, play host to two palaces, a monastery, and a library which was founded by Philip II in 1592. [the crazy tourist]

Madrid: Sobrino de Botin – Little did Jean Botin know that upon founding his modest little inn towards the beginning of the 18th century, he would find his little modest inn listed in the Guinness Book of Records as being the oldest restaurant in the world. [the crazy tourist]

Mérida: Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida – Founded as far back as 25 BC, Merida, which was once a thriving capital within Lusitania, boasts heartily that it possesses the largest number of ancient Roman trademarks in all of Spain. [the crazy tourist]

Picos de Europa – Picos de Europa is noted for its fine dining establishments located in any one of a number of alluringly angelic towns in the area. It’s where you can breathe in the refreshing air, while hiking along a fabulous route and gazing over at the rugged, snow-capped peaks. [the crazy tourist]

Provincia de León: Las Médulas – Looking at the bright orange protrusions that poke outwards from the green chestnut mass, it’s difficult to believe that this site is the work of humans. Las Médulas are in fact ancient technologies that were used by the Roman Imperial armies as a way to exploit gold deposits by way of hydraulic power. [the crazy tourist]

Provincia de Málaga: Costa del Sol – Approximately 2 million travelers descend upon the Costa del Sol resorts annually to partake in the plethora of recreational, historic, and cultural delights that proliferates the southernmost edge of the Spanish mainland. [the crazy tourist]

Ronda: Ciudad de Ronda – Situated at the heart of Andalusia, Ronda is among the very loveliest of little towns in Spain. Though it’s currently developing at a reasonable pace, it still retains plenty of historic charm, and it’s La Ciudad, the old quarter, that sees most of the tourists flocking in droves to find those adorable sights and enjoy a little bit of romance into the bargain. [the crazy tourist]

Salamanca: Old City of Salamanca – Alternating between Roman, Carthaginian, and Moorish hands, Salamanca is a multifaceted and alluring place that has been bestowed with the accolade of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unique sandstone provides the buildings with a golden-like glow and the maze of narrow streets bequeath it with a romantic feel. [the crazy tourist]

Santiago de Compostela – Santiago de Compostela is recognized as being the resting place of the Apostle James. It’s a hypnotic place and even today pilgrims flock to the medieval Way of St. James, a route that by tradition began at one’s home and concluded at the magnificent cathedral, located within the heart of the Old Town. The Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985. [the crazy tourist]

Sevilla: Alcázar – At one time a Moorish fortification and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Seville’s Alcázar is a miraculous concept which is still utilized by the Spanish Royal Family. Alcázar is far less crowded than Alhambra but hardly less inspiring, and is well worthy of exploration, from the Salón de Carlos V to the underground bathhouse. [the crazy tourist]

Sevilla: Plaza de España – Statistically speaking, this vestige of the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition is among the most photographed spectacles in the world. The Plaza de Espana represents a Moorish Revival in Spanish architecture, and it is so alluringly beautiful and other-worldly that it has been featured in the Star Wars movie The Attack of the Clones. [the crazy tourist]

Toledo (Provincia de Toledo) – Playing key notes in the development of the city of Toledo, located 44 miles (73 km) south of Madrid, are a number of religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Surrounded by the Tagus River, and sitting atop a hill, this city along with its 2-millennia of history, is charmingly complex, and it will take far longer than a quick weekend trip to do it justice. [the crazy tourist]

Valencia: City of the Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) – Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is a futuristic construction that sprawls over 1.24 miles (2 km). It represents a bottomless well of attractions and many would say it’s a true cultural marvel. The alluring design is merely a foretaste of the innards. [the crazy tourist]

Festivals

Festivals

Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife – One of the most famous colourful festivals in Spain are the carnivals of Santa Cruz de Tenerife held during the month of February of each year. The carnival resembles those held in Brazil and features parades with floats and bands who perform different types of songs during the street parades. The colours and costumes worn during this festival are stunning and are a delight to see. The parades move through the streets with energetic musical groups and well-dressed performers. [spain guides]

Granada’s Ham and Water Festival – Granada has some of the best cured ham in Spain as well as one of the best foody festivals you will find in Spain. The ham and pure water from the natural springs of Alpujarras provide two key ingredients for celebrating Saint John the Baptist’s Day. Water buckets, hose pipes and water guns get blazing at the stroke of midnight. [spain guides]

La Tomatina – The Tomatina is a festival where tons of overripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets for around one hour. It is typically a war where people throw ripe squashed tomatoes at each other which leave the participants and the towns main square dripping with bright red tomato juice. The funniest part is that there are no winners as people just do this for fun and to enjoy themselves. You simply have to grab ripe tomatoes and throw them at anyone running, bending down, standing still, or moving. [spain guides]

San Fermin Fiestas Pamplona – This festival takes place from July 6th to the 14th each year. It is a festival that brings the party to every corner of the city of Pamplona. The festival starts by setting off the pyrotechnic Chupinazo from the mayor’s balcony. The celebration is fun, full of dance, song and location of the famous running with the bulls which takes place each day during the week long festivities. The bull running run starts from the Plaza Santo Domingo and winds through the ancient streets of Pamplona ending at the bullring. [spain guides]

San Juan – If your into an all night beach parties then the annual San Juan fiesta are for you. It is held on the 24th June each year up and down the coastal areas of Spain most notably in Andalucia where the warm temperature makes for a perfect all night party. This ancient pagan festival is now legendary for its all night long beach party which includes music, dance and fun is had by all. [spain guides]

Semana Santa – The Semana Santa holy week is among the most important festivals in Spain. It is a religious celebration among the Catholics who mourn the final days of Christ on Earth and at the same time sympathize with the grief of the Virgin Mary. It is held on the week leading to Easter Sunday. Throughout the entire week, processions consisting of big floats are usually paraded all over the streets. [spain guides]

Sonar Music Festival of Barcelona – Some 80,000 visitors each year make it to this prestigious festival to take in the splendour of multimedia arts and concert exhibitions. The main celebrations of the Sonar Music Festival are held around the Raval District where tourists can visit the Museum of Modern Art and the Contemporary Culture Centre. Music lovers from all over Spain and Europe flock to this impressive music festival where the big international acts, underground and experimental artists get a chance to share the same platform. [spain guides]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Bus – Cities and provincial capitals all have reasonable bus networks. You can buy single tickets (usually between €1 and €2) on the buses or at estancos (tobacconists), but in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, you are better off buying combined 10-trip tickets that allow the use of a combination of bus and metro, and which work out cheaper per ride. These can be purchased in any metro station and from some tobacconists and newspaper kiosks. [lonely planet]

Metro – Madrid has the country’s most extensive metro network. Barcelona has a reasonable system. Valencia, Zaragoza, Bilbao and Seville have limited but nonetheless useful metro (or light rail) systems. [lonely planet]

Taxi – You can find taxi ranks at train and bus stations, or you can telephone for radio taxis. In larger cities, taxi ranks are also scattered about the centre, and taxis will stop if you hail them in the street – look for the green light and/or the libre sign on the passenger side of the windscreen. The bigger cities are well populated with taxis, although you might have to wait a bit longer on a Friday or Saturday night. No more than four people are allowed in a taxi. [lonely planet]

Tram – Trams were stripped out of Spanish cities decades ago, but they’re making a minor comeback in some. Barcelona has a couple of new suburban tram services in addition to its tourist Tramvia Blau run to Tibidabo. Valencia has some useful trams to the beach, while various limited lines also run in Seville, Bilbao, Murcia and, most recently, Zaragoza. [lonely planet]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Big Data Developers in Madrid – This is a Big Data Meetup Group sponsored by IBM, aimed at data scientists, engineers, developers and all Big Data enthusiasts or who want to learn about these interesting subjects. [meetup]

Docker Madrid – Meet other developers and ops engineers using Docker. Docker is an open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications. Consisting of Docker Engine, a portable, lightweight runtime and packaging tool, and Docker Hub, a cloud service for sharing applications and automating workflows. [meetup]

FashionBiz2 0 Mad – We connect entrepreneurs, designers, and fashion bloggers with experts from the digital world and technology, investors, entrepreneurs, managers, developers who are interested in this sector. [meetup]

GDG Madrid – The Google Developer Group of Madrid is a non-profit group, made up of developers from Madrid who aim to learn and exchange knowledge and experiences about Google technologies. [meetup]

Murcia DevOps – Murcia DevOps is a group of software developers, system administrators and other ICT professionals interested in the DevOps culture and the technologies with which it is related. We meet in Murcia to have a good time sharing experiences, learning from each other, and having a few beers. [meetup]

Murcia Android developer group – Murcia Android developers is a non-profit group, made up of Android developers and people interested in all parts of the development of an Android application, from design, user experience, programming, testing, monetization, and any topic related to the same. [meetup]

WordPress Murcia – Meeting place for WordPress enthusiasts in Murcia. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Alicante Language Exchange Meetings – We promote several language groups that have been created to help Spanish speakers practice their English. The groups have no cost and meet at cafes on a weekly basis. Social activities are organized by members and great friendships have been created. [meetup]

Cervezas e Inglés — Beer and English – This group is for beer enthusiasts and people who want to learn more about quality beer. It’s also intended for those who want to practice their English.  We have weekly intercambios on Mondays.  These informal gatherings are a great way to meet new people and drink some great beer.  In addition, we organize some special events where we can sample a variety of beer styles and talk about them. [meetup]

Chat about Chinese Language and Culture – Let’s get together for affordable activities in our neighborhood, like practice of writing Chinese, going to storytime at the library, having picnics outside, and play dates at cafeteria. We can also have events like Chinese movies and music, Chinese New Year dinner, and anything else that looks like fun. [meetup]

Coruña’s English Conversation Meetup Group – Our goal is to gather a group of people interested in improving their English conversational skills outside the classroom in a much more relaxed environment. We normally meet at a cafe or any other suitable venue in Coruña to have a drink whilst chatting about anything and everything in English. [meetup]

Free Madrid Language Exchange – Do you want to meet people, do you want to practice and learn another language? come and join us in this fantastic group where we are going to share our experiences in an excellent enviroment, its a promise I make to you that it will be really fun! [meetup]

Intercambio de idiomas en Madrid I Madrid Language exchange – Do you want to learn a language and have fun at the same time? We know how! Join our Language Exchange and practice the language that interests you the most while meeting wonderful people from all over the world. [meetup]

Meetup de Spanish & English Language Exchange en Alacant – Weekly meeting every Friday from 9:30 pm at the Freaks Arts Bar for language exchange, all languages ​​invited, cultural exchange, meeting new people and, above all, making friends in a good environment. [meetup]

Söda Language Exchange Meetup – This is a group for anyone interested in improving English and Spanish abilities in an outdoor enviroment. All levels are welcome. I started this group because to meet other people interested in studying English/Spanish and enjoy some time in Alicante City. Looking forward to having fun experiences with everybody. [meetup]

Spanish & English Language Exchange Catral – This Meetup is for anyone interested in Learn and Practice English and Spanish abilities, and to meet other people with the same interests and of course! enjoy a great time having fun with everybody. All levels are welcome. [meetup]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Alicante LBGT groupo social – LBGT people who want to meet others. Talk about having a coffee / beer etc, forming groups of interest. [meetup]

Gay Dining and Socializing Group – The Gay Dining and Socializing Group gives friendly LGBT people a chance to meet and socialize over dinner and during other social activities. [meetup]

Les&Bi: Mujeres que amamos a mujeres – Do you love other women? Do you identify yourself as lesbian or bisexual? Do you have doubts about how to identify yourself? Would you like to share experiences, feelings of sexual identity, learning and, ultimately, personal growth with other women similar or, perhaps, very different from you? [meetup]

LGBT Languages & Socializing in Madrid – To all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Straight people in Madrid: Are you new in Madrid? Do you want to practice a language that is getting rusty? Do you want to meet people and have a good time? [meetup]

Resources

Resources

Places in Spain

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