Spain, Your Way: Four Destinations for Different Travelers

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For food lovers . . . Barcelona

Bring an appetite. Barcelona is a culinary superpower where avant-garde chefs are reinventing rustic tapas and haute cuisine. Breakfast is served at casual eatery Tapaç 24 (tapas24.net), so order the huevos estrellados (“smashed” eggs atop cheese, fries and chorizo). Midday, pop into La Boqueria (boqueria.info) to graze on jamón ibérico de belloto at one of Europe’s best-known markets. Cap the evening with dinner at Sergi Arola’s eponymous restaurant at the beachfront Hotel Arts (arola-arts.com). A DJ spins while you savor spicy patatas bravas, passionfruit-marinated sardines and other delectable bites.

Where to sleep:
Digest your meal at the Chic & Basic Born, where the remote-controlled mood lighting accentuates all-white rooms. About $128 per night; chicandbasic.com.

For art aficionados . . . Madrid

Wear comfortable walking shoes. Madrid’s top museums are within striking distance of each other and viewable for $30. Start at the iconic Prado Museum (museodelprado.es) to see how religion, royalty and war are interpreted on age-old canvases. Next is the Thyssen-Bornemisza (museothyssen.org), a neoclassical palace housing names like Dalí and Miró in its vast collection. Lastly, head to the contemporary Reina Sofia (museoreinasofia.es) to gape at Pablo Picasso’s Guernica mural, made in 1937 as a response to the bombing of the Basque town for which it was titled.

Where to sleep:
Retreat to the Hotel De Las Letras, where the walls are emblazoned with quotes by wordsmiths like poets Jorge Guillén and Joan Maragall. About $145; hoteldelasletras.com.

For flamenco fans . . . Sevilla

First, find a ruffled dress at María Rosa (mariarosa-sevilla.com), where you can also pick out a lace shawl and hair comb to complete your look. Now that you’re outfitted, take a beginner dance class at Taller Flamenco (tallerflamenco.com), and learn the difference between a celebratory alegría and a mournful soleá. Then show off what you’ve learned at one of the many small, dark tablaos (flamenco bars) in the gypsy barrio of Triana. Casa Anselma (c/Pagés del Corro 49) is owned by retired dancer and ranks high with sangria drinks.

Where to sleep:
Siesta is more enjoyable at Hotel La Música, an 18th-century manor house–turned–hotel with rooms named after the likes of Mozart and Chopin. About $150; hotelamadeussevilla.com.

For architecture buffs . . . Valencia

Familiarize yourself with local architect Santiago Calatrava, who catapulted Valencia into the future with his white space-age structures. Start with the City of Arts & Sciences (cac.es), a massive complex that houses an interactive science museum and one of Europe’s largest aquariums. Inside, you’ll also find performing arts center Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (lesarts.com), where you can see ballet, theater, opera and music recitals, so book tickets ahead of time!

Where to sleep:
Admire the minimalist design at the funky Hotel Neptuno, located steps away from the water. About $125; hotelneptunovalencia.com.

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About this author1

Grace Bastidas, Deputy Editor

Born and raised in Queens, New York, where more languages are spoken than anywhere in the world, Grace Bastidas is Latina’s Deputy Editor. She oversees lifestyle content, including topics as diverse as career, health and relationships, and occasionally writes about her own experiences in The Good Life section. As a writer, Grace’s work has appeared in The New York TimesNew York magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure. She is fluent in Spanish.

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