Thousands of students come to Spain each year for study abroad and spring break, and it’s easy to see why. The university centers of Salamanca, Madrid, and Barcelona have tons of fun activities, and the food and architecture in Spain are amazing. With rail passes for the Talgo and AVE bullet trains, and the possibility of flight discounts between the major cities, you can see a lot of Spain despite its hugeness. Sophisticated cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville will keep you really busy, but the mountains of the Picos de Europa, the Pyrenees, and Sierra Nevada, as well as gorgeous national parks like the Parque Nacional de Cabaneros, are stunning. Postcards don’t compare to seeing Spanish art up close, like masterpieces by Picasso, Goya, El Greco, and Velasquez. Watching exhibitions of the thrilling Spanish tradition bullfighting is a must-do (at least once!) for students abroad. There are awesome hostels, hip hotels, and cheap accommodation in Spain, though do book ahead in summer. See if you can land a student travel package or cheap travel tour to experience Spain for yourself!
The diversity of Spain is incredible. Madrid, the capital, is smack in the middle of the country and has all cosmopolitan energy of any major world-class city. For weekend fun in Spain you can hop a train or bus to nearby Toledo and wander the romantic lanes of this picturesque hilltop city first built in Roman times. In Toledo you and your friends can get totally lost, in a good way because you’ll discover surprisingly beautiful views and unique cafes and bars. In northern Spain, Bilbao has been transformed into a visitor’s paradise. The main jaw-dropper of Bilbao is the newly-created futuristic Guggenheim Museum, attracting many new visitors to the city. In southern Spain visit the trio of gorgeous historic cities, Sevilla, Cordoba, and Granada, and admire their palaces, gardens, and bustling squares. In Madrid check out the Palacio Real (Royal Palace); world-famous paintings by Goya and Velasquez at El Prado museum; the grand crossroads of Puerta del Sol; impressive Plaza Mayor, and lively El Retiro park in Madrid’s historic center. In Barcelona stroll along the city’s tree-lined avenue Las Ramblas (The Rambles), a happening place 24/7. The covered market La Bouqueria on the Las Ramblas will blow your mind with what seem like miles of fresh flowers, fruit, vegetables, and mouthwatering ready-to-eat treats. There is a wide range of stuff to do in Barcelona, like going to historic, urban, thematic and forest parks, hitting any of the city’s seven beaches, and visiting museums that display awesome collections of Romanesque, Catalan, and Spanish art.