Any town or city can hang up a few lights in the city centre and call it a Christmas festival but there are places in the world that put the rest to shame. If you’re fed up of shoddy lights and a sad-looking tree take a look at these places that really know how to put on a show and offer the best alternative places for holidays at Christmas.
If you’ve got enough holiday to extend your holidays until the 5th of January (Three King’s Day) then there’s no place than Barcelona to spend it with Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar. On Januray 4th the three king’s touch down at the city’s port on their very own ship – Santa Eulalia and completely kitted up in velvet. Canons are fired, fireworks are let of and as the mayor of the city hands over the keys of the city to the kings, the magic of Magi officially starts. The kings are paraded through the streets in an extravagant procession of floats comprising of camels, elephants and giraffes.
Here is one for the foodies amongst you today. Navigating a menu on holiday can be a nightmare sometimes, even when they are translated you don’t really know what something actually is. Purple Travel gives you the lowdown on the top 7 delicious Spanish foods to try on holiday so you don’t miss out! Have you tried any of the dishes mentioned below? Let us know your top tips for eating out in Spain.
The number one must-try food is tapas, less a food actually and more of an experience – you can’t go to Spain and not try tapas. The great thing is that you can eat it anytime and anywhere and because there is a little bit of everything on the plate there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Another awesome thing about Tapas is that in most bars in Madrid and Barcelona, you will get tapas for free – whether it be mini sandwiches, almonds, squid (really you can get anything). In other places such as the Basque Country and Andalusia you will have to pay but I’m sure it will be worth every penny.
Next time you’re away on holidays and decide to whip out your camera to snap some pics of the area’s most famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, or the Empire State Building in New York, remember you’re not alone. Sightsmap is a heatmap that charts the most photographed tourist attractions around the world. The images are collated by how ‘hot’ they are, based on the number of people sharing them via Google’s Panoramio. Here’s the top 10 of the world’s most photographed places in the world, with a few that might surprise you. Which one is your favourite?
Ever wondered where the word ‘Spain’ comes from? Or how about how many miles of beaches there are in Spain? Let us help you out with our 16 excellent holiday facts about Spain.
#1 Let’s start with one of our favourite facts about Spain. It is the most popular holiday destination for Brits, (it was in 2013) with Majorca, Malaga, Tenerife and Costa del Sol holidays ranking highly. Purple Travel’s most popular Spain holidays included Ibiza, Alicante and Palma de Mallorca as well as city breaks in Barcelona.
#2. Some of the most famous names in the world hail from Spanish shores. Actors Javier Bardem (Gran Canaria),Penelope Cruz (Madrid) and Antonio Banderas (Malaga) and sports stars like tennis player Rafael Nadal (Majorca), Andres Iniesta (Castilla-La Mancha) and Fernando Torres (Madrid) are just a selection of the famous faces hailing from Spanish shores.
#3. The word for ‘Spain’ is said to come from ‘Hispania’, which roughly translates to Island of Rabbits. So if you see some bunnies, don’t be too surprised.
Plan an incredible summer holiday around a festival and get more bang for your buck. Read our Purple tips about the best music festivals 2014 and don’t miss out. If you’ve got any more suggestions for the best music festivals 2014, hit us up in the comments below.
Altitude Comedy Festival – Austria When: 31 Marcy – 4 April 2014 Where: Mayrhofen, Austria What is it: In the same awesome venue as the Snowbombing festival, this is all about comedy. Lots of beginner slopes as well as black runs and great apres-ski, this is two holidays in one! Who: Pub Landlord Al Murray, John Murray, Tommy Tiernan, Andrew Maxwell and Craig Campbell. Price: Depending on your arrival date from £188.
Snowbombing – Austria When: 7-12 April 2014 Where: Up in the snowy mountains of Mayrhofen, Austria What is it: A mix of partying and piste, where winter sports meets hedonistic highs. Who: The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers DJ set, Four Tet, Tom Odell, Foxes. Price: From £219 including accommodation.
Best Music Festivals 2014 – May
Primavera Sound – Barcelona When: 29-31 May 2014 Where: Parc Del Forum, Barcelona, Spain. What is it: A huge lineup of some of the best acts in the world today will play in the sunshine at Primavera’s outdoor stages showcasing Barcelona as a great music-lead city. Who: The National, Arcade Fire, Pixies, Nine Inch Nails, QOTSA, Haim, Metronomy, Foals and Chrvches. Price: €175
Ibiza Rocks and Mallorca Rocks – Balearic Islands When: All summer long! Starting on June 4 2014. Where: Ibiza/Majorca What is it: A full on summer festival experience without the mud. Who: Haim, The 1975, John Newman, Bastille, Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Sheeran and Tinie Tampah. Price: From £75
Pinkpop – Netherlands When: 7 – 9 June 2014 Where: Landgraaf, Netherlands What is it: The 45th year of Pinkpop, this is one of the oldest in the world and draws huge names from all over the world. Who: Arcade Fire, Metallica, Editors, Mastodon and Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. Price: Tickets for Pinkpop will be released on 15th March 2014
Give your holiday a boost this year by combining it with an amazing festival. Whether you want to knock back pints of Guinness on St Patrick’s Day or fancy giving the air guitar world championship a go, you won’t miss out with our guide to some amazing festivals 2014.
Venice Carnival In the days leading up to Ash Wednesday the Venice Carnival is in full swing. Carnevale di Venezia is an elegant throwback to 18th century opulence. The bright and beautiful of the Italian city’s social scene arrive cloaked and masked for energetic, but pricey parties. Ideal for a luxurious weekend away. Venice Carnival happens between February 14th and March 4th 2014.
Venice Carnival via @ Heatherbroster
St Patrick’s Day There is no better place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than the Irish capital city of Dublin. It’s not limited to drinking pints, (although you can if you want!) the city pulls out all the stops for a wonderful festival with live music, dancing, parades and free events all over the place. It’s a top choice for a very quick city break, Dublin is just a hop, skip and a jump from the UK. St Patrick’s Say is celebrated on March 17th 2014.
If it is sun-soaked beers on the beach, boozing up on a city break, or shaking your booty all night long, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for with our Purple Travel top 10 Clubbing holidays 2014.
1. Ibiza When it comes to clubbing holidays, Ibiza is like a wise, old friend. It has them down to perfection. Boozing, dancing, beach parties and Ibiza clubbing holidays offer instant gratification. Head to Space, Amnesia and Manumission by night. By day, go straight from the club to Bora Bora, where you can keep your party spirit going.
2. Ayia Napa, Cyprus Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa is easily the most famous party location on the island. With soft, white sand, all night parties, booze, bikinis and the biggest name DJs, it ticks every best clubbing holiday 2014 box.
3. Sharm el Sheikh A night out in the Red Sea Resort usually includes shisha smoking, trendy lounges, cocktails and dancing all night. Basically anything can happen during clubbing holidays in Egypt. Head for Little Buddha in Naama Bay, famous for its cocktails and coolness.
4. Kavos, Corfu This one hardly needs an introduction, we’ve all seen that TV show. Kavos is possibly the most famous, craziest and hedonistic party town in Greece… maybe in the entire world, we reckon it could certainly rival Vegas in terms of debauchery. There are hundreds of bars and clubs where you can go shake your glow sticks all night long.
5. Barcelona Barcelona’s a cheap and cheerful choice for clubbing holidays 2014. There are tonnes of flights that’ll have you over in BCN and ready to party in no time. And thanks to the all-night attitude of the Spanish, there’ll be plenty of time to pub crawl, party and soak up the atmosphere. Head for the Ravel area for cool bars, hip restaurants and Barcelona’s cool kids.
6. Laganas, Zante The town on the Greek Island is practically world renowned for the antics of visitors every year. The so-called Golden Mile has a choice of bars and clubs with the likes of fire breathing bartenders, bartop dancing and an ‘anything goes’ attitude. Amnesia and Medousa are hot ticket clubs for 2014.
7. Prague, Czech Republic The gorgeous city of Prague is ideal for couples looking for clubbing ideas combined with a little culture too (!) There is a very hot underground scene with whiskey bars, cocktail lounges and all night DJs. Of course no trip to Prague is complete without knocking back a couple of pints of local ale. That’s the cure for the morning after the night before.
8. Magaluf, Majorca For cheap clubbing holidays 2014, Magaluf is a complete no brainer. There are serious dance nights, cheesey 80s bars, and Europe’s biggest club, BCM. It is home to some of the best party venues in Europe and has become an epic hen and stag do destination. If you go, get your hands on a Magaluf Club Pass. It’s one ticket for five of the hottest clubs in town.
9. Malia, Crete Think 18-30 clubs, foam parties, dancing on tables, pure indulgence. Get some sleep now, because you certainly won’t get any on a clubbing holiday in Malia 2014.
10. Berlin, Germany 24 hour techno clubs, old buildings transformed into dance warehouses and quirky, weird and unusual nights out are what Berlin is famous for. No wonder you can head out at 4pm on a Thursday and not get home until Monday afternoon.
Fancy shaking your booty with the best clubbing holidays 2014? Then call our disco ball-lovin’ team on 02079939228 or visit our website.
Escape to a land of sunshine and white sand beaches where jugs of sangria are always at the ready. Take a hen holiday to gorgeous Barcelona, Spain where you and your girls can live up your days in Mediterranean luxury and party your nights away in some of Europe’s most lively clubs. Spend the remainder of your freedom lapping up the sun rays in that new bikini, dancing until the wee hours, and spending precious time with your besties before you walk down the aisle. A hen party in Barcelona will be a trip that none of you will ever forget, a memorable holiday that will only be trumped by the big day itself.
Use your downtime on hen parties in Barelona to explore the art scene.
Barcelona is a city that truly has it all. While Spain’s coastal oasis may be best known for its crystal blue waters and fruity alcoholic beverages, the art and culture scene of Barcelona is unparallelled. Thanks to one out-of-the-box Catalonian architect by the name of Antoni Gaudí, you and your hens can take in some of the most famous architecture in the world.
The Segrada Familia will wow you with its quirky larger than life style, and though it remains unfinished, it has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. After you have climbed to the top of the cathedral’s steps you can all hire bikes, burning off all those delicious tapas you consumed, to Gaudí’s Park Güell. Park Güell offers unrivalled views over the city and is the perfect place to sit down with a picnic, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Finish your day of culture with a visit to the Picasso Museum, which houses over 3,500 works by the famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. After all that sightseeing, you will no doubt be ready to unwind with drinks at one of Barcelona’s beach side bars- luckily for you the choices are infinite.
Spend an afternoon with a champagne picnic in Gaudi’s famous Park Güell.
Take up a new activity and return to the UK with Spanish skills.
A hen party is about more than celebrating the end of an era, it is about spending one last moment cherishing great friendships that have brought you to the next chapter of your life. Sign up for one of Barcelona’s many group activities, and spend some quality time together learning something new.
Take a ‘Hot Like Me Dance Class’ which will teach you and the hens how to shake it Spanish style, and be welcomed by a glass of bubbly cava and a professional instructor who will prepare you for Barcelona’s hottest dance clubs. If you’d prefer to save your energy for the after-party, why not sign up for a Spanish wine tasting where you will learn about (and taste!) some of Spain’s most popular wines.
Celebrate your impending nuptials with a night on the town- Barcelona style.
Sometimes hailed as the best party city in Europe, Barcelona will not disappoint you with its selection of unique bars and energetic nightclubs. The Spanish are notorious for starting things late in the day, so you can expect to party with the girls until the sun comes up. There are cocktail pub crawls, beach bar crawls, and even Barcelona night guides to hire to ensure you have a great time. If you are feeling lucky you can start at one of the city’s posh casinos and try your luck at winning a big pile of cash to put towards the wedding day – or maybe just a new dress.
Barcelona’s beaches are always a great choice for some hen holiday fun!
Barcelona is the ultimate haven for a girl’s escape. Say goodbye to the cold and windy UK weather, and hello to sunshine and warm waters in Spain. Big congratulations on your upcoming wedding day, now get out there and celebrate your last days of singledom with a hen’s holiday in one of the most fun cities on the planet.
Jessica Galbraith is a freelance writer who hopes to one day save enough money to be approved for an auto loan. She is also author of the travel blog The Fly Away American, and constantly reminisces on her days of living in Barcelona.
Looking for some KICKASS NEW YEARS EVE PARTY CITIES? Us too. Why not make this one the year you finally do something cool for New Years Eve instead of just talking about it. Got more ideas? Let us know in comments below.
Amsterdam Dutch folks certainly know how to party. Amsterdam plays host to large-scale dance parties, quirky costume flings and family friendly gatherings. The organised fireworks display is best seen at Leidesplein or Dam Square, but get there early to grab a spot. Otherwise head for trance spectaculars, a touch of Vegas or a raunchy New Year celebration you won’t forget. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Gelukkig Nieujwaar!’
Barcelona Head for Placa Catalunya in Barcelona to join the crowds of party goers who gather to ring in the New Year. The main traditions are to wear red undies, and eat 12 grapes. The grapes are consumed once per chime of the midnight bells, it’s harder than you might think! After that grape balancing act, the clubs fill up and the party continues well into New Years Day. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bon any!’
Prague Beautiful, especially in winter, Prague makes an ideal choice for a New Years Eve city break. Book a restaurant for a sumptuous dinner, before heading to the King Charles Bridge to watch the fireworks over the historic castle. Worth it for a few days away. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Šťastný Nový Rok’
Paris For a chic New Years Eve Paris is a good choice. Stroll around the artistic Montmarte neighbourhood and drop by the Sacré Cœur to admire the view or join the ‘official’ part at the Eiffel Tower where crowds sip on champagne as the festivities get underway. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bonne année!’
Rio de Janeiro New Years Eve in Rio is like the party to end all parties. A huge fireworks display lights up Copacabana Beach, while Brazilian samba bands get the crowds going. It’s traditional to wear white on New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro, just bring something old as you’re likely to get drenched in champagne. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Feliz ano novo!’
Dublin You’ll have your pick of the parties in the Irish capital. A people’s procession of light with glowing lanterns winds its way through the streets and a huge countdown concert will take place in the city centre at College Green. Just make sure to pair your party with a legendary creamy pint of Guinness. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bhliain nua sásta’
Madeira Go for a package holiday to Madeira for an incredible New Years Eve holiday that includes the largest fireworks display in the world. Glittering over the streets of Funchal, fireworks are lit from 50 locations to offer a feast for the eyes. It’s warm too so you can get a tan before the big party night out. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Feliz Ano Novo’
New York You’ll have to fight tooth and nail to get to Times Square, but watching the famous ball drop, sipping beer from plastic cups, and a jaw dropping fireworks display give the Big Apple the edge over Vegas for a New Years Eve to remember in the US. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year!
Goa Ringing in the New Year with sand between your toes, stars twinkling overhead and a warm breeze. New Years Eve has never sounded better. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bhagi novem voras’
Berlin the biggest New Years Eve parties in hipster heaven are at the Brandenburg Gate and Viktoriapark. Light shows, a live TV show, rowdy crowds, and fireworks at midnight. Hop on a cheap flight to Berlin now for a New Years Eve party you’ll never forget. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Glückliches neues Jahr’.