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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

What to keep in mind when visiting Spain

A student’s guide to Spain
The front entrance of the Museo Del Prado in Madrid, Spain on April 14th.
Allan Galeana
The front entrance of the Museo Del Prado in Madrid, Spain on April 14th.

From parks to churches and museums, there are so many incredible places to see in Spain, but when visiting another country, it is important to keep safety and expenses in mind.

One of the most significant museums in the world is located in Madrid — the Museo Del Prado has works spanning hundreds of years, with some of its crowning jewels being Fransico Goya’s vast works. One of Goya’s most famous works is the piece “Saturn Devouring His Son.”

Museo Del Prado is absolutely massive with thousands of works of art of all types and can take hours to see the entirety of it.

There is also no photography allowed in the museum. There are gift shops and a cafeteria there so I strongly recommend at least four hours to see everything.

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Students with a valid student license and ID can get a discount, making it an excellent place to visit. The great thing about the Museo Del Prado is it being a 10-minute walk from the subway.

Madrid Atocha Train Station’s botanical garden section in Madrid, Spain on April 14th. (Allan Galeana)

The train stations are also worth visiting. The Madrid Atocha Train Station is an incredibly unique station with a botanical garden section that feels like an indoor park with hundreds of types of plants.

Traveling in a city like Madrid is strange because of how the city is built. Taking the subway and walking are the most effective ways to travel around the city. The train passes are rather cheap and the best deal for a traveler to get is 10 rides for about six euros in Madrid that gets you access to each station and some bus station routes.

Most places are within a 30-minute train ride and a 10-minute walk.

When getting a train pass, it is very important to keep in mind that if you visit multiple cities, you will have to buy different types of train passes since they don’t transfer. For example, a Madrid train pass does not work at a Barcelona station.

There are many beautiful places to go to in Spain. The incredible thing about Spain is that certain locations have different types of subject matters in the same location.

One place that is a must-see is Retiro Park, a free-to-visit park with a lake that you can ride boats on.

The atmosphere is quite different from any park in America; it has a cleaner atmosphere and it was rather quiet for being a popular park. The entrance was loud but the further inward the sound substantially drops.

This park has multiple sectioned areas that each have their own unique feel.

In the area surrounding the park there are multiple restaurants and bars. These restaurants are quiet and are pleasant places to stop before heading in.

A peacock on a shrub at El Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain on April 15. (Allan Galeana)

There are sections with hedges that contain roses, a fenced-off section has an area with peacocks that roam around, as well as a man-made hill with lavender flowers and a waterfall. There are multiple fountains spread around the park and a location with one of the best fountains is a flower garden with a wide variety of types of flowers with some blossoming at different times of the year so visiting multiple times of year would result in different outcomes.

The park has many different areas each dedicated to an idea. It is an incredible place with a peaceful atmosphere and it is a must see location.

Something to keep in mind when visiting is the park has many restaurants, snack shacks and other vendors. These vendors normally all sell the same thing as touristy versions of classic items but the portion sizes are smaller while being slightly more expensive, with a quality that doesn’t match its mark-up.

There are also vendors that sell knick knacks at the park entrances that are overpriced and are recommended to stay away from.

Tourist areas typically have slightly inflated prices, but sometimes there are deals to be found. Meal combos usually have the best deals and kebab shops had the best food-for-price ratio. The food is greasy and tastes great so I recommend it.

Most of the restaurants stop serving food around 5 p.m. and don’t open until 10 p.m. However, the touristy areas have restaurants and fast food chains that are open all day.

Super markets are open most of the day and don’t close in the middle of the day so you won’t have to panic about stocking up during the morning.

If it comes to the point where you need to eat, food chain locations are always available. The thing about chain locations is relative to Spain itself it is expensive, but compared to America it’s cheaper.

Churros and chocolate from the Chocolateria 1902 in Madrid, Spain on April 14th. (Allan Galeana)

One highly popular landmark in Madrid is Churrería Chocolateria 1902. It is a small but well-known churro shop with relatively fair prices. Locals recommend getting the chocolate with milk because the churros made there don’t come with sugar, and typically that is how it’s consumed.

When traveling around these places and admiring the many wonders, keep in mind that although Spain has low crime rates, pickpocketing is prevalent. Keep important items in hard-to-reach places like pockets, inside jackets and bags with zippers.

One important cultural note for travelers is to be respectful to people and avoid being loud in quiet areas. A few of these areas are trains, museums, churches and cathedrals. There must be an understanding of respecting general rules and to be courteous to those around you.

The interior of the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain on April 16th. (Allan Galeana)

Trains usually are silent with the noise of the train being the only sound heard but talking a little lower than speaking is fine. The churches are very traditional: they will make you take off your hat and some will charge admission but most don’t, with sections of art as well as scepters and other items used during ceremonies.

People are friendly in most cases and if you have trouble ordering food, they are understanding. Try to learn some Spanish, at least for the food you plan to order.

There was an instance where I had gone to a kebab shop and was low on money on hand, and instead of getting a meal drink and side, I just got the meal. IOne of the workers gave me a soft drink while I was eating and said it was free.

Spain has a lot to offer with stunning countrysides, vibrant cities, lively nightlife, delicious food, significant pieces of arts in world renowned museums and much more. Try and see the things you’ll never want to forget and enjoy the time you spend in this Mediterranean paradise.

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About the Contributor
Allan Galeana
Allan Galeana, Staff Reporter
I am interested in journalism because of the usefulness of being able to inform people on subjects in a short amount of time. My hope for this quarter is to start writing articles in general but more specifically sports articles.

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