Euro summers are back on the agenda and to celebrate, we’ve teamed up with the legends of Qatar Airways to curate the ultimate travel itineraries for all travel enthusiasts.
When it comes to planning your next vacation, you can’t miss a trip to beautiful Spain. Steeped in history and centuries-old architecture, breathtaking coastlines, it’s also the home of sangria and tapas – what’s not to love?
Dust off that passport, get your suitcase out, and start planning the ultimate vacation to these amazing Spanish cities.
Just a stone’s throw away and a Qatar Airways flight away is the cultural capital of Spain. This seaside town is steeped in stunning architecture, Michelin-starred restaurants, and terrifically cool hoods. First, culture vultures will want to marvel at everything Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces including Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Sagrada Familia and the jewel in the crown, Park Güell. Be sure to take time to stroll through the colorful walkways. It’s pure magic. While there are a bunch of amazing neighborhoods for you to explore, top of your list should be Barri Gòtic, one of the oldest parts of the city filled with architecture from the Roman Empire and even the Middle Ages. Age and narrow streets lined with cafes, bars and clubs. It is also home to Barcelona Cathedral and Placa Reial, a beautiful public square known for its festive atmosphere. Parallel to the Barri Gòtic are the famous Las Ramblas. Composed of five sections, this tree-lined pedestrian path is lively and bustling at all times of the day. Connecting Plaça Catalunya to the seafront, you’ll waste hours stopping by all the tapas bars, La Boqueria market, shops and street performances. Finally, foodies will want to make their way to the more than 20 Michelin-starred restaurants in Barcelona. Our favorites include Lasarte (the life-changing tasting menu), Moments (for a classic Catalan dining experience) and Dos Palillos, an Asian-Spanish tapas fusion restaurant.
With its golden sandy beaches, sparkling azure waters and colorful buildings lining the waterfront, San Sebastian looks like something straight out of our wildest dreams. Located in the heart of the Basque country, this southern city is often overlooked for the likes of art-filled Barcelona, but honestly a trip here is one of them. When it comes to dining out in Spain, nobody does it better than San Sebastian. Here, everything revolves around pintxos, pintxos and more pintxos. FOR YOUR INFORMATION: it’s pronounced peen-chos. Wander through the town’s winding streets and you’ll find them lined with pintxo bars. Take a seat at the bar and marvel at the stacked plates of crusty bread topped with melt-in-your-mouth meats and bites of seafood caught that morning from the ocean you can hear lapping on the shore behind you. While you literally can’t go wrong with a restaurant here, some of our favorites include Ganbara for the freshest fresh produce, Bar Txepetxa (do a straight line for the anchovies) and La Viña for cheesecake alone. If you want to splurge, San Sebastian is home to a bunch of epic Michelin-starred restaurants, including Arzak and Akelarre. After all that food, stretch your legs with a walk up Monte Urgull, dotted with the remains of a castle, fort, and cemetery (plus incredible views). And you have to spend a day relaxing on La Concha beach. From here you will see Santa Clara Island, which is well worth the short boat ride. Once there, you can walk to the lighthouse and have a drink at the island bar.
Spain’s largest city is a bustling metropolis brimming with breathtaking art, tapas and magical parks. But where to start ? Start your adventure here by visiting the famous Spanish Prado Museum. This beauty is packed with incredible pieces by El Greco, Goya, Velázquez and Dürer. Then head to Reina Sofia and marvel at Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” and be dazzled by the Museum of Illusions. And you can’t pass up a chance to visit Matadero Madrid. A former slaughterhouse transformed into a multidisciplinary artistic space, you can see films, plays, concerts and markets there. While we’re on the subject of markets, the El Rastro flea market is sure to find a hidden gem or two. While the shops of Salamanca will give your credit card a hard time. Despite being a bustling city, Madrid is full of green parks perfect for picnicking. El Retiro, a sprawling 300-acre haven of lush greenery, previously housed the palace and gardens of Felipe IV. Today, there are rose gardens to browse, monuments, fountains and cafes to have a drink. You can even hire a rowboat from the Palacio de Cristal which often holds art exhibitions. Complete your trip with a Sala Equis cocktail (the city’s last X-rated cinema converted into a bar), eat your way around the Vallehermoso market (100% authentic food produced in an area no larger than 120 km²), check out the scene tapas (croquettes at Santerra and patatas bravas at Docamar are non-negotiable) and finish with chocolate-covered churros at San Ginés – which have been treating each other to sweet treats since 1894. Bags already packed? You can fly direct with Qatar Airways with a stopover in Doha and let the good times roll.
Flooded with romance and culture, this laid-back city is perfect for travelers who want to vacation at a slower pace. Here, your program will be to stroll through the cobbled streets filled with ornaments Moorish architecture and sipping sangria in sunny squares. Stroll through the gardens of Parque María Luisa, admire Seville Cathedral (the largest Gothic building in Europe), and explore the Barrio Santa Cruz district, filled with 15th-century history and squares covered in orange trees. When you’re in Seville, it’s imperative to do as the locals do and indulge in long, relaxed lunches. Top of your hit list should be Mariatifulca. Ask for a table on the terrace to admire the Guadalquivir River while enjoying tuna sashimi and grilled octopus. For something a little more budget-friendly, you can’t go past Los Coloniales, a casual tapas restaurant offering tasty plates of stuffed eggplant, whiskey-soaked sirloin and cod croquettes. After the meal, your drink options here are endless. We recommend stopping by El Rinconcillo, Seville’s oldest bar dating back to 1670. The drinks here are cold, the tapas light and tasty, and your bill arrives in chalk on the counter. Enjoy balmy nights on the rooftop of Pura Via Terraza (with a view of the cathedral) and be sure to order the Cruzcampo, the local beer brewed in Seville. And a trip to Spain is not complete with a flamenco show. Although there is a lot around Seville, for a truly authentic experience, head to Bar Lola de Los Reyes and thank us later.
Do you already imagine yourself sunbathing and devouring tapas? Book now your Qatar Airways flight to Madrid or Barcelona with a stopover in Doha, Qatar.
Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored by Qatar Airways and proudly endorsed by Urban List. To learn more about who we work with and why, read our editorial policy here.