Public Bus to Ben Duoc Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels by Public Bus

Are you planning to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels during your stay in Ho Chi Minh City?
If so, you can do it in two ways: paying for a group tour, or spend a fraction of the money by buying a bus ticket and doing it on your own. This post is all about the latest.

 

Which Cu Chi Tunnels to Visit (Ben Duoc vs Ben Dinh)

Most guided tours you’ll find around Ho Chi Minh City drive tourists to Ben Dinh. The Ben Dinh tunnels are the ones that were reconstructed and widened by the Vietnamese government so tourists could fit in there.

On the other hand, the tunnels in Ben Duoc are a part of the authentic Cu Chi network of tunnels used during the war — the real deal.  Plus, you can easily get there by public bus, so you should definitely visit the ones in Ben Duoc.

 

Man going down the stairs to a tunnel entrance..

 

Why we avoided the Guided Tours

At the reception of our hotel we saw a bunch of flyers for organized group tours to the Cu Chi Tunnels starting at 6,50€ for half a day — entrance fees not included.
We knew that if that was the “tourist price” for transportation, we could do it for at least a third of the money. And we did!

 

Public Bus to the Cu Chi Tunnels

The bus trip from Ho Chi Minh City to the Ben Duoc Cu Chi Tunnels will take around 2h20.

Go to the Ho Chi Minh Bus Station at the western end of Backpacker Street (Pham Ngu Lao) in District 1.
Hop on the Bus Nº13 to Cu Chi Station.
The tickets are purchased inside the bus and they’ll cost €0.28 / $0.34 USD per person. This is the first part of the trip and will take 1h40.

 

Bus 13 to Cu Chi Station

 

When you reach the Cu Chi Station and if you want to keep saving money you’ll have to swerve around the horde of taxi drivers offering their services to all the tourists that got off the bus. They’ll say there are no more buses onwards and taking a taxi is the only alternative. That’s not true.
Smile, and let them talk while you look around for the Bus Nº79.

 

Cu Chi bus station

 

Get on the Bus Nº79 and buy the ticket to Ben Duoc from the ticket agent. The ticket will be a further €0.24 / $0.30 USD and the trip will take around 40 minutes. We asked the ticket agent to let us know where we needed to get off and he did.

Nonetheless, after 40 minutes you’ll reach an intersection with two blue traffic signs pointing to Ben Duoc (left) and Ben Dinh (right). The bus will turn left and two minutes later you’ll have to hop off. Here’s the spot:

 

Ben Duoc bus stop

 

Locals will help you too. They’re super friendly and know that if you’re on that bus, you plan to visit the Ben Duoc tunnels. Like we mentioned before, only group tours go to Ben Dinh.





Entrance of Ben Duoc tunnels

 

Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi tunnels entrance fee: €3.95 / $4.80 USD
Tickets will include an English-speaking guide.

After buying the tickets we were directed to a wooden gazebo to watch a short video on the Vietnam War and the key role the tunnels had during war operations.

 

Watching a short video on the Vietnam war

 

Our guide for the day introduced himself and explained how the tunnels were dug and the underground living conditions the Viet Cong troops had to endure for months.

More aware of what we were about to see, the guide took us on a little journey through the forest, showing us:

  • Bomb craters
  • Booby traps
  • Missiles
  • Tunnel ventilation systems scattered in between trees.

 

Jungle on Ben Duoc

Bomb crater

Cu Chi Tunnels

Missiles shells at Cu Chi

Mannequins of Cu Chi soldiers

 

We were all invited to crawl inside sections of the tunnels and it was nerve-racking (especially for two tall guys like Nuno and me).

 

Nuno entering the Cu Chi tunnel

 

Inside the tunnels, the air was thin and hot. The lights were dim and fruit bats kept flying through people’s hair. If you’re claustrophobic or anxiety-prone, don’t even.
Here’s a short video we made that day:

Afterward, we were called to taste what Vietnamese soldiers ate back then: boiled manioc dipped in salt, sugar, and crushed peanuts.

 

Boiled manioc dipped in salt, sugar and crushed peanuts

 

If you’re willing to pay some extra you can fire an AK-47 rifle on a shooting range. In our case, we decided to visit the buildings and gardens around the memorial park. It was nice to see that a battlefield where so many people were killed, now grows beautiful orchids as a form of tribute.

 

 

Cu Chi Temple Memorial building

Pink orchid at the Cu Chi gardens

Why were the Cu Chi Tunnels Built?

They’re an underground tunnel system dug by the Vietnamese during the fight for independence against French colonists, then used and developed to fight Americans during the Vietnam War (or American War as the Vietnamese call it). At its pinnacle, the tunnels became a complex anthill with several storeys deep, hospitals, living quarters, and communication routes that stretched for more than 250 kilometers long.

Nowadays they’re a reminder of Vietnam’s underground warfare, the determination of its people, and a famous tourist attraction.

 

Mannequins on a hospital set below the Cu Chi Tunnels

 

Returning to Ho Chi Minh City

Now that you know how to get to the Cu Chi tunnels by bus, you’ll also need to know how to head back from Ben Duoc to Ho Chi Minh City.
First, have in mind that the last Nº79 bus of the day to HCMC is at 5:30 PM. After that, you’re on your own!
Catch it on the same road you hopped off. Then, at the Cu Chi Station get on the Nº13 all the way back to District 1.

Looking for things to do in HCMC? Check out the post Waking Up in Ho Chi Minh City.

It’s important to mention that the bus rides to and from Ben Duoc were really enjoyable! Experiencing public transports in Vietnam is something you shouldn’t miss, it will make you feel like one of the gang. It’s a great way to chat with locals and meet travelers alike.

 

 

On our way to the Cu Chi Tunnels, we met an Israeli family of 5: mom, dad, and 3 kids with 13, 8, and 4 years old. It was their first time in Vietnam.
The family was traveling for 3 months and the parents were super stoked to be sharing this experience with their kids.
(We’re sharing this to inspire all those parents believing they can’t travel anymore because they have a child. Obviously, travel logistics will be different and WAY more demanding, but it goes to show that it’s possible!)

 

If you have any questions or some extra info to share that everybody can benefit from, leave it down in the comments! 


Quick Guide to Chiang Rai Night Markets

Chiang Rai night markets may not be as big as the ones in Chiang Mai, but what they lack in size they make up for in organization and in the laid-back character you’d expect from smaller-town bazaars.

So if you’re looking for things to do, great places to eat, and information on Chiang Rai’s nightlife, keep reading.

 What to Expect from a Thai Night Market

– Northern Thai food and drinks
– Handcrafted products
– Thai massages
– Clothing
– Thai dancing shows

– Folk concerts
– And a good time

Thai people love night markets, and they do so for a reason: it’s too hot to be shopping during the day. For us foreigners, the night markets are more than a place to shop for souvenirs. They’re communal places to go for entertainment, music, and good food — we’re talking about Thailand after all! 

 

Chiang Rai Saturday Night Market

Open every Saturday from 04:30 PM to 00:30 AM.
Located on Thana Lai Road, right in the city center.

Every Saturday by mid-afternoon, Thana Lai Road closes to traffic and opens up for people to wander through the stalls. After a bit of browsing, you’ll find the quality work of local artisans standing out from the generic bric-a-brac.

However, if you’re not planning on buying anything else due to your luggage being full, there’s an abundance of Thai snacks and desserts to fill your empty stomach.
If you go there to eat, we recommend an early dinner — by 8:00 PM the place will be jammed packed with people and the queues for buying food get quite long. Having said that, this is also the time when the market starts to come alive.

But besides the great food, there are other attractions in Chiang Rai Saturday Night Market. A good visual cue is: if the Chinese lanterns are lit, entertainers and musicians are performing.

 

Khanom Bueang

 

Stalls at Saturday Night Market Chiang Rai

 

Tip: Around here, if you’re a tourist you’ll have to bargain. It’s very likely that sellers doubled the price just for you.





Sunday Happy Street (Snag Khon Noil)

Open Sundays from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
Located on Sankhongnoi Road near the Chiang Rai Hospital. Just a 10-minute walk from the Night Bazaar.

The Sunday Happy Street in Chiang Rai is worth visiting for its family-friendly atmosphere. The eating spots on this one are a great way to relax, mingle with locals, and enjoy typical northern Thai cuisine.

The Sunday street market is smaller than the one on Saturdays, however, shops along Sankhongnoi Road open their doors so it all evens out in the end

 

Thai grilled Squid

 

 

Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

Open daily from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
Located near the Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1, off Phaholyothin Road.

We found the Night Bazaar to be more touristy than the weekend markets. And not necessarily by the number of tourists walking around, but for the type of products being sold — the same overpriced knick-knacks repeated on every stall (but vendors were never pushy though).

 

Fresh fruit at Night Market

Fresh orange juice

 

Most locals hang out near the food and beer area. Next to it is a temple yard with benches and tables where they eat, socialize, and watch the artists perform. When the crowd is familiar with the music, they’ll get up and dance, and everyone is invited to join. 





The Chiang Rai Municipal Market Food Court

Open from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
Located near the Night Bazaar is a tin-roofed Municipal Market.

It’s basically a food court with stalls all around the perimeter selling fried treats, and hot pots. In the center are hundreds of chairs and tables to eat on, and a stage where local entertainers perform while you munch a crispy deep-fried whatever.

 

Hot Pot stall Chiang Rai

Photo by Marvin Wan

Dining area Municipal food Court.

Image by Marvin Wan

 

Kaad Luang (The Big Wet Market)

Open daily from 5:00 PM to 00:00 A.M
Located on Uttarakit Road, three blocks north of the Clock Tower.

During the day Chiang Rai Kaad Luang is a regular bazaar, but as the sun begins to set, it transforms into a street food paradise.

 

Fresh produce Night Markets

 

Vendors hit the streets and set up their stalls around the main building. In almost no time, the entire street block is occupied by a myriad of fresh fruit and pick-up meal options: from fresh seafood to desserts.

If you don’t know where to begin, let the scents guide you.

 

Are you traveling in northern Thailand? Check out the 6 Best Markets in Chiang Mai.


Cover photo by Maxim B.


Mario playing while traveling

10 ways to keep the travel spirit alive

So you’ve returned home after a big trip, unpacked your stuff, and put away your passport in a drawer. Now what?
Now you’re probably starting to crave some endorphin-pumping adventures again. We know the feeling  ̶  you’re hooked on traveling.

But why do we only tend to feel this enthusiastic about places away from home?
For starters, because travel stimulates our brains and spirits the way the familiar can’t. That’s why every return home can be a tricky transition period, and why we have to manage it in the best possible way: by actively keeping our spirits up and carry on doing EPIC SHIT.

But if you’re feeling blue, here are 10 ways to get you out of that post-travel funk:

 

1. Keep the traveler mindset alive

What is that you did on your travels that you can keep doing now?
Look at things with a new set of eyes and from a different perspective. For instance: if thousands of tourists visit my hometown every year, they must do it for a reason!

Make an effort to explore your surroundings, or at least meet your friends at a different place  ̶  why should it always be in that same cafe?

 

Aveiro, Portugal

 

2. Be grateful

Be grateful for being surrounded by friends and family again, for your soft mattress and home-cooked meals. Revisit your favorite places more often, and find out what is that you like about them.

Be grateful for all that your hometown has to offer, even the small conveniences you wished you had while you traveled. For instance: as huge bread lovers, we recall craving almost every day for a bakery like the ones we had back home. Now that we’re back, we can stuff our faces with all the white bread and gluten we want!

Be grateful for the privilege of having traveled, and remember that coming back doesn’t mean that a chapter of your life has closed forever.

 

Nuno_myanmar

 

3. Take time for yourself

If you traveled long-term as we did, you remember how good it felt to take ownership of your time and self-indulge.
What were the things that you enjoyed the most? Have you taken time to re-connect with yourself since you came back?
And we’re not talking about binging the last season of your favorite show, we’re talking about fruitful, soul-pleasing time.

Go watch the sunset on the beach and meditate, read a new book, ride your bike around town.

If you’re into physical activity go trekking, get your heart pumping while getting in contact with nature.

 

20160503_0105.jpg

 

4. Sign up for a class

Keep the momentum going and your brain stimulated by learning a new language  ̶  one from a country you’ve been, or from a country you want to visit next. Seize the opportunity of your mind still being open and fill it in with knowledge!

Enroll in that yoga class and see how it goes.
Register for the marathon you always said you wanted to run.

 

5. Cook and Spice up your life!

Cook for your friends and family some of the exotic foods you’ve eaten abroad. Remember that being the only one who knows how the food is supposed to taste, you can pretend that you nailed it even if it ends up tasting like hot garbage. They’ll never know!

I’ve been following the recipes from a few books and these Youtube channels: Palin‘s Kitchen and Marion’s Kitchen. The Thai green curry, the fried rice, and Kung Pao Chicken have become crowd favorites at home. Next challenge: Thai Fried Bananas.

6. Get involved in a project

Start a personal project with your travel photos, set up a travel exhibition in your town with all the memory cards and gigabytes of pics you brought back. It’s an excellent way to share your stories with your community and friends. Start a Youtube channel and do something fun with all the videos recorded on your trips.

Last December Nuno and I did a Travel gathering in our hometown of Aveiro. A bunch of cool people came to hear our stories, see our photos and make some questions. It ended up being a 3-hour session dedicated to Southeast Asia and Australia.

We’re still getting facebook messages with questions from people about to travel through some of the countries we visited. And it’s super rewarding to be able to help.

 

7. Connect with other travelers

Another awesome way to connect with folks who groove on the travel culture is to read and comment on blogs and videos. Talk up travel with like-minded people, join Facebook groups ̶  you probably have pretty valid inputs to share.

 

Backpackers

 

Take in Couchsurfers, show them around town. Stay in contact with people doing what you love doing, stock up on some of their travel enthusiasm and keep that fire burning.





8. Get a makeover

A week after I arrived from Southeast Asia, I started to feel down in the dumps. It was like my brain was starting to forget all the cool stuff I lived, and something had to be done. So I used my body as a physical representation for change: got a haircut, took my earrings out, and trimmed my beard.

Now I and everyone around me is reminded that something has changed in me, inside and out. So I better behave accordingly.

 

9. Goals and Resolutions

Often the arrival of a New Year isn’t a big enough motivation to establish a new set of goals for ourselves. How many times did the calendar change and our lives remain the same for that entire year? That is because a New Year doesn’t imply transformation, but a life-changing event can be at the root of it.

The moment to rethink, reprioritize and let go of what’s not working for you, is at pivotal moments of your life, such as a trip around the world, college graduation, the birth of your first child.

 

20160404_0114.jpg

 

There’s no better time to declare a new set of goals than when you get back from a trip all inspired and renewed. Now is the time to shift your goals and have them match the new expanded version of you.

 

10. Plan your next trip

Any thoughts on where to go next? Daydream with your next trip, research locations as an escape.

Start putting some money aside for it, set up a money-saving strategy  ̶  if you did it once, you’ll be able to do it again.

 

20160501_0505.jpg

Do whatever it takes to keep the adventurous travel spirit alive, and above all, ease yourself to the inevitability of routine. Find a way to retain the optimism and enthusiasm around by keeping busy  ̶  purposefully busy  ̶  instead of biting your nails out of boredom, or stain your travel memories with sadness.

Maintain your heart open, and transmute that stagnated yearn for adventures into risk-taking or life-changing matters. Move out, change the scenery, change jobs, color your hair, get a perm, propose, love yourself harder! Just don’t forget who you became and that you’ll travel again.

 

What have you been doing to keep the travel spirit alive? We’d really like to hear it.
Share it in the comments below.


Taking the public bus to the White temple

The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) is located 13km from Chiang Rai center, so you’re going to need some sort of transportation to get there. The distance and busy roads don’t make the bicycle a viable option, and the 300 TBH charged by taxis and songthaews is a bit too much.

That makes the public bus the cheapest alternative and more convenient transport.

 

Catching the Public Bus to the White Temple

We walked to Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 (in the city center, near the night bazaar) to find a bus that could take us to our destination. As we arrived at the bus station, we came across a rickety old blue bus with a tarpaulin saying “White Temple” on it.

…Well, that was easy!

 

Public blue bus to Wat Rong Khun

Public bus to White Temple

Banner on the blue bus

 

The big banner and the ticket revisor kept confirming that was the “only bus to the White Temple” which made us a bit suspicious. But after seeing several locals buy the ticket at the station kiosk and getting on the bus, we took a chance and did the same.

 

Bus timetable to the White Temple (2020)

Mornings: 06:15 – 07:10 – 08:10 – 09:10.
From 
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM there’s a bus every 30 minutes.
Afternoons: 14:35 – 15:10 – 15:45 – 16:20 – 17:00

Cost: 20 Baht, one-way trip.
Duration: 20 minutes.

The bus was old and worn out but filled with character, and definitely worth the trip! From the weird proportions and rickety noises to the dashboard decorations made of Buddhist memorabilia, and every happy meal toy under the sun.

 

Old Thai bus interior

 

The revisor lady from before proved to be quite helpful by waving at us at the nearest bus stop to the White Temple: a generic spot just off Highway 1 (Phahonyothin Road), that we wouldn’t be able to identify on our own.

On the opposite side of the road, a few meters ahead were the grounds of the Wat Rong Khun.

 

Robot Sculpture Wat Rong Khun

 

White Temple info

Opening hours: from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, closes at mid-day for an hour.
Entrance fee: Foreigners pay 100 Baht.  Admission for Thai nationals is free. 

Dress code: shoulders and knees must be covered, and as always, shoes must be taken off before entering the main temple.

You’ll need at a minimum, an hour for the visit.

 

Understanding the Art and History of the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

If you’re traveling around Thailand and are tired of visiting temples by now, suck it up and don’t miss this one — it’s one of Chiang Rai’s most visited attractions for a reason!

 

White temple bridge details

 

The lavishly decorated temple is unlike anything we saw around Thailand. Every element was consciously designed by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat and is full of symbolism.

 


On the bridge leading to the temple, you’ll find depictions of the anger, suffering, and worldly temptations that you’ll have to leave behind to find happiness.

 


The temple is white to represent the purity of the Buddha, and the glistening intricate mirror work embedded on the plaster is there to reflect his wisdom to the world.

 

Wat Rong Khun

 

The interior of the main temple is all gold (and much smaller than it appears to be). On the back walls are paintings of pop culture reference like Hello Kitty, Spider-Man, the Terminator, and George W. Bush. These represent life without faith, they’re the false heroes incapable of saving the world from war and destruction.

On the walls in the front, where the altar is, you’ll see paintings of humans flying freely through the clouds. These represent the people who followed Buddha’s teachings and achieved peace. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but taking photos is not allowed in the main building.





The site grounds

On the outside of the temple is a canopy of prayer plates and by walking under it you’ll reach the meditation hall, the famous golden restroom, the art gallery, and the museum. 

 

Canopy of prayer plates

Prayer plates at Wat Rong Khun

Predator sculpture

 

The museum is dedicated to the works of Chalermchai Kositpipat: many of his works are a satirical commentary on international politics and the destruction of the planet.

The temple site is still under construction and expanding. Only by 2070, the artist complete vision will be finished.

 

White buddha

Esculpture at the Golden bathroom

 

In front of Wat Rong Khun is a small area with cafes, restaurants, and shops.

 

About the Artist Chalermchai Kositpipat

Bus back to Chiang Rai

Head back towards the highway where you got off the bus and find a wooden pergola/ bus stop on the opposite side. Hail to the first bus you see (every half hour-ish). The trip back is a further 20 THB.

 

Bus Stop Wat Rong Khun

 

If you have any questions or new info to share about buses to the White Temple, leave it in the comments below.


Seville Spain

Experiencing Seville in 3 cultural traditions

As travelers, we all hope to live deep cultural experiences when we travel to a new country. But we all know we can’t get that from visiting monuments and landmarks highlighted on a travel guide or tourist map.

That’s why we’re showing you 3 cultural and living traditions you can actually get involved in to enhance your Seville travel experience.

 

1. Flamenco

Influenced by Moorish, Jewish, and Gypsy cultures, Flamenco is considered one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

 

flamenco#1

 

One of the perks of being in Seville is that you can experience flamenco dancing in various intimate settings venues, bars, and tablaos around town. This means that you can do so while enjoying a glass of wine and the typical Spanish tapas.

 

Rocío Molina 2

Show de Flamenco - El Palacio Andaluz

 

The Flamenco Biennial (September/ October)

For almost a month (September to October) professional and amateur dancers come together to dance Flamenco in its most traditional form, and more contemporary expressions.

 

Rafaela Carrasco-II Bienal de Flamenco


The festival takes place on many stages scattered around town, and although some shows are free, most tickets start at €10 all the way up to €40.

Find more info about the program and prices here: www.labienal.com

 

Cristina Hoyo’s Flamenco Dance Museum

Located at the heart of Barrio de Santa Cruz this museum provides a great way to explore the historical roots of Flamenco Dancing through videos, music, and artifacts.

Tip: Every Friday and Saturday at 19H30 visitors of the museum can attend a flamenco show for a discounted price.  

Museum entrance fee:

Adults pay €10, children €6 and students €8.

Museum opening hours:

10H00 to 19H00.

Flamenco shows ticket cost:

To attend the regular shows adults pay €22, children €12, and students €15.
For the intimate shows (44 people max.) adults pay €30.

Flamenco shows schedule:

17H00, 19H00, and 20H45.
In high season there’s an extra show at 22H15.





2. Easter Holy Week / Semana Santa (March/ April)

If you’re traveling through southern Spain in the months of March and April (check the precise date here: Seville Holy Week), don’t miss the opportunity to experience how the Holy Week is celebrated by Sevillians.

It’s a unique cultural manifestation in the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re Hindu, Buddhist, or an atheist, the Seville Holy Week is the greatest religious event in all of Andalusia — and perhaps all of Spain.

Thousands of people gather on the main streets of Seville to be part of the celebrations. Men dressed in creepy long tunics with pointy hats (“creepy” due to the resemblances with the KKK tunics, but not related) carry on their shoulders heavy altars with images of Christ and the virgin Mary.

 

Holy Week Seville

 

The city gains an eerie atmosphere as the strong incense smell that follows the processions blends with the scent of orange blossoms in the sidewalks. At night, there are music concerts all over town.

 

Altar and procession in Seville Holy Week

 

Tips for the Holy Week:

• Most processions begin at 7:00 p.m.
• Some processions are done in absolute silence, so turn off your phone.
• Choose wider streets and follow the procession for a while to see, listen, and feel the intensity of the ritual.
• During Holy Week it’s mandatory to book accommodation, restaurants, and events in advance.
• Respect people’s faith and dedication to these processions.

 

3. Seville fair (April)

The Seville Fair is one of the largest and most famous fairs in Spain.
Marking the beginning of spring, the fair kicks off in April (usually 2 weeks after Easter Holy Week) in the neighborhood of Los Remedios.

 

 

At the fair, you’ll find horse parades, flamenco music, and dancing, bullfighting, and Sevillanos dressed to the tee on private tent parties — this is Seville’s most exclusive party after all.

 

Seville Feria de Abril 2012 015

 

The tents (called casetas) are privately owned by religious groups and rich people — does the name Duchess of Alba rings any bell?

 

2013-04 Spain 164

 

So unless you’re able to bribe the concierge, the only casetas you can enter are the ones run by the municipality.

Transports to the Seville Fair

🚇  Metro:
Hop on the metro in the city center and get off at the station 
Blas Infante.

🚶  By foot:
If you don’t mind the walk, you can reach the fair in 20 minutes from the city center.

🚌  By public bus:
During the week, public buses operate 24 hours a day, and the fleet is reinforced — yet they’re likely to be crowded anyways. Hop on the bus C1, C2, or 41 and get off at
Recinto Ferial.

Tips for the Seville Fair:

• Avoid the weekend if you can. If the weekdays are busy, the weekend is PACKED!
• Visit the fair during the day. At night everyone gathers inside their casetas and if you didn’t score an invitation by a member, you’ll be left outside alone — and at night, very little happens outside the tents.
• The first Monday at midnight is the Alumbrado: the moment in which the major turns on the lights of the beautiful Portada, and the rest of the fairground. We’d say this is the only night that is worth being at the fair.

 


• Food and drinks are expensive, so eat before going.

For a more detailed explanation of all that goes down at the fair visit: www.sunshineandsiestas.com/feriasevilla

Cover photo by Seville Congress & Convention Bureau


Seville Cathedral in Spain

10 Must-Visits and Must-Sees in Seville, Spain

When Moorish, Romans, and Christians passed through Seville, they left in the city an incomparable cultural legacy that still lives on. This past heritage that can be seen all over town — in the arts, language, and architecture — is a big part of what makes Seville, to this day, one of the most vibrant cities in Spain.

That’s why we wanted to put together all the travel info and advice on the best spots, attractions, and landmarks that you can visit when you’re in town.

P.S. Since monuments tend to have a large tourist influx, buy your tickets online to avoid the queues.

 

1. Seville Cathedral

UNESCO World Heritage site.

Its real name is Saint Mary of the Sede Cathedral, and it’s the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world.

 

Cathédrale de Séville

Seville Cathedral

 

One of the most interesting facts about the Cathedral is that it was built over a Muslim mosque right after Seville was reconquered by the Christians from the Muslim Moors. However, the real ex-libris of the building is the La Giralda tower: an old Moorish minaret that was converted into a bell tower.

Still the tallest building in Seville, La Giralda was the highest tower in Europe for many centuries. Its 104 meters of height is not the only impressive thing about La Giralda. The tower is so wide that it could be climbed by a man on horseback.

 

Seville cathedral, Spain

 

From the top of the tower, you’ll get the best view of Seville and El Patio de Los Naranjos — one of the remains of the old mosque.

There are 2 types of visits available:

• The interior of the Cathedral for €9 (locals, the unemployed, and under 14 pay €4)
• “The Roofs of the Cathedral”, a guided tour through the roof of the Cathedral, that also includes a visit to the interior afterward. The price is €15 and lasts an hour and a half.

You can buy your tickets online here:  www.articketing.vocces.com

Timetables

Monday: 11h to 15:30h
Tuesday to Saturday: 11h to 17h
Sunday: 14:30 to 18h

Exceptional timetables (July and August)

Monday: 10:30 to 16:00
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:30 to 18:00
Sunday: 14:00 to 19:00

2. General Archive of the Indies

UNESCO World Heritage site.

Right next to the cathedral is the Archivo General de Indias, a building where all the documents referring to the Spanish colonies and overseas expansion are stored. Perfect for anyone who likes history — plus, the entrance is free.


Timetable:

Monday to Saturday das 9:30 às 17h
Sundays and holidays 10:00 às 14:00h.

 

3. Alcázar of Seville

Located near the Cathedral in the heart of the city, the Alcázar is the oldest royal palace still in use in all Europe. The upper levels are used by the Spanish Royal Family as the official Seville residence.

And for all the Game of Thrones fans: the palace was used as a set for the Water Gardens of Dorne.

Day-visits ticket cost: €11.50 (students up to 25 y.o pay €3). Free for under 16 and locals
Night-visits ticket cost: €14.

You can buy the tickets online here: www.realalcazarsevilla.sacatuentrada.com

Timetable:

October to March from 9:30 to 17:00h
April to September from 9:30 to 19:00.

 

4. Barrio de Santa Cruz

The Barrio de Santa Cruz is an old Jewish Quarter that flourished by the mosque (now the Seville Cathedral). It’s a charming and complex labyrinth of narrow streets, alleys, and squares painted by colorful houses and flowers on pretty much every patio.
In case you get lost, find a bar with a terrace and grab a drink. You can find your way back later.

 

Bar Las Teresas 001

 

5. Barrio de San Bartolomé

The neighborhood of San Bartolomé is a less-visited but equally picturesque neighborhood located around a church with the same name.

Here, we recommend a visit to the ancient Moorish palace Casa de Pilatos. The ticket cost to visit the entire palace is €12. The cost to visit just the ground floor is €10. Both visits include an audio guide.

 

Casa de Pilatos

Casa de Pilatos (Seville)

Timetables to Casa de Pilatos:

November to March 9:00 às 18:00
April to October 9:00 às 19:00





6. Plaza de España and the Maria Luisa Garden

A 10-minute walk from the Cathedral is the Plaza de España. Built in 1929 for the Ibero-American exhibition, it gained interplanetary recognition when it appeared as planet Naboo in Star Wars Episode II.

Plaza de España

 

Right in front of the Plaza de España is a large park perfect for a bike ride or for a walk in the peak heat hours of the day. Along the park, you’ll find statues, fountains, and the Mudejar Pavillion that serves as the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville.

If you’re a European citizen traveling in Seville, you can enter de Pavillion for free. Other nationalities pay a €1,5 fee.

Timetables for the Mudejar Pavillion

June to August it’s open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00 to 15:00.
The rest of the year it’s open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:00 às 21:00. Sundays and holidays from 9:00 às 15:00h.

 

7. Seville Aquarium

Right by the river near Maria Luisa Park, is the Aquarium of Seville. Great for families with kids.

Ticket cost:

Adults pay €15
Kids 4 to 14 pay €10
For family discounts, group rates and timetables check:  www.acuariosevilla.es/en/hours-and-rates

 

8. Barrio de Triana

Another typical neighborhood next to the Guadalquivir River and a must-visit for those wanting to experience the genuine atmosphere of Andalucia.

During the day check the local Triana Market, and at night have a drink at one of the many bars in Calle Betis or Calle Pureza. If you’re interested in attending a genuine Flamenco show, go to Casa Anselma. Drinks can be expensive around here, but the Flamenco is the real deal.

 

Seville 2017

 

Public Transport to Barrio de Triana

Catch the metro and hope off in Plaza de Cuba and Parque de Los Principes, or hop on the bus nº5,6,40,43, C1 or C2.





9. Metropol Parasol

This controversial building that many Sevillians refer to as “the mushrooms of Seville”, has four different levels that you can visit.

 

Metropol Parasol - Sevilla

 

At level 0 you’ll find an Antiquarium with Moorish and Roman remains. At level 1 is Seville’s old central market with fresh produce, a bar, and restaurants. On the second level are the panoramic terraces usually used for concert venues. And finally, the last level on top of the structure is a great viewpoint over Seville.

 

Vista aéra Metropol Parasol

 

The Antiquarium can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00 and on Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 14:00 The price of the ticket is € 2.

To access the top level, you’ll have to pay a €3 fee and can only do it from Sundays to Thursdays 9:30 to 23:00 and Fridays 9:30 to 23:30.

 

10. Palacio de las Dueñas

After a 15-minute walk from the Cathedral is a very eclectic palace (which still belongs to Alba’s house) filled with large collections of Spanish paintings and artifacts. The buildings and courtyards were influenced by Renaissance, Gothic and Moorish styles, making it a major historic home of Seville.

 

Ticket cost:

€10. Children and students under 25 pay €8.
You can book your tickets here: www.lasduenas.es/tickets

Timetable:

From April to September it’s open from 10 to 20h, and between October and March, it’s open from 10 to 18h.

Cover photo by Matt Kieffer.


Archaeological Site of Italica in Seville Spain

Quick Guide to the best Museums and Historical Sites in Seville, Spain

Some people find museum visits to be boring — and we do know that the experience of enjoying art is quite subjective. However, the 2000 years of history that the city of Seville holds, equipped it with an amazing cultural offer that can definitely be admired by everyone. 

That’s why we made a travel guide to Seville’s best museums and historical sites.

 

Pabellón de la Navegación and the Schindler Tower

It’s a modern building on the south side of the Guadalquivir River that served as a pavilion for the Seville Expo ‘92. Today it’s a museum dedicated to the Age of Discovery.

 

Pabellón de la Navegación 011


As the museum hosts many itinerant exhibitions, check the museum program before starting your culture trip to Seville: www.pabellondelanavegacion.com

When you get there, go up the Schindler Tower for one of the best panoramic views of the city.

 

Canal de Alfonso XIII - Seville - Schindler Tower

Otra panorámica hacia el norte desde la torre Schindler, Pabellón de la Navegación, Sevilla

Entrance fee
 €4.90

Museum hours
• Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m to 7:30 p.m.
• Sundays from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m
• Closes on Mondays.

👪 All the lights and interactive displays of the main exhibition makes the Pabellón de la Navegación a family-friendly museum.

Public bus to Pabellón de la Navegación
🚌 Get on the buses of the C1 or C2 lines and hop off at the Inca Garcilaso Station, right in front of the Expo Sevici building.

Centro Cerámica de Triana

A new space conceived from the restoration of the old ceramic factory of Santa Ana, right in the center of the Triana Quarter. It’s a small museum and archaeological site on the history of ceramics and its influence on the economic and cultural development of Seville.

You can add this museum to your daily itinerary as it is located right next to the Triana market and many tapas bars (and you have to eat tapas if you’re in Spain).


Museum entrance

Entrance fee
General public pay €2.10.
Students and groups of 10 people pay €1.60.

Museum hours
• Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m.
• Sundays and holidays from 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.

Now, even though we believe that this is a must-visit museum, we wouldn’t call it “family-friendly” as kids would probably find it boring.

Tip: If you buy the general ticket to the Alcazar of Seville you can enter the museum for free.





Cristina Hoyo’s Flamenco Dance Museum

Located at the heart of Barrio de Santa Cruz this museum provides a great way to explore the historical roots of Flamenco dancing through videos, music, and artifacts.

Museum entrance fee
Adults pay €10, children €6 and students €8.

Opening hours
• 10H00 to 19H00.

Tip: Every Friday and Saturday at 19H30 visitors of the museum can attend a flamenco show for a discounted price.

Flamenco shows ticket cost
To attend the regular shows adults pay €22, children €12, and students €15.
Tickets to the most intimate shows (44 people max.) adults pay €30.

Flamenco shows schedule
17H00, 19H00, and 20H45. During high season (July to August) there’s an extra show at 22H15.

Museo De Bellas Artes (Museum Of Fine Arts)

It’s a museum housed in a former nunnery from the XVII century holding an amazing collection of Spanish art. Most of the art is of religious inspiration, and it’s organized on 14 chronologically ordered rooms, and divided by different artistic styles (from gothic to XX century modern art).

 

Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla

 

In here you’ll find extraordinary art pieces from famous and influential artists like Velázquez and El Greco.

Entrance fee
European citizens get in for free.
For everyone else, tickets cost €1.50

Museum hours
• Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m.
• Sundays and holidays from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.

More info at www.museosdeandalucia.es

Itálica Archeological Site

9km from Seville is the Archaeological Site of Italica — once one of the main Roman cities in the Iberian Peninsula due to its great strategic importance to the Roman Empire. It was here that Trajan and Hadrian, two great Roman emperors were born. And it’s also likely that you’ve seen Itálica on an episode of Game Of Thrones.

 

Italica Roman Amphitheatre

 

On your visit, you can walk through a huge Roman amphitheater (that seated 25 000 people), stroll along the ancient streets, and enter some of the houses and public buildings from 206 BC.

 


Photo by D.Rovchak
Italica Roman Ruins
Photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA.

Itálica entrance fee
European citizens can enter the premises for free.
Everyone else pays €1,50 to get in.

Opening hours
• From April to June 30 opens from 9:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m Tuesdays and Saturdays. And 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m on Sundays and holidays.
• From July to September 15 opens from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m and closes on Mondays.
• From September 16 to March 31 opens from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m Tuesday to Saturday. And from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m on Sundays and some holidays.

Getting to Itálica Archeological Site
🚌 At the Plaza de Armas, in the center of Seville, hop on the Bus M-170 (Seville > Santiponce) or the M-170B (Seville > Las Pajanosas).

🚗 If you have your own vehicle, take the N-630 road towards Merida.

More info at www.museosdeandalucia.es

Cover photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA.


Vietnam Laos border queue

Crossing Vietnam - Laos borders overland

Crossing a border by land is always a tedious affair. And yes, we know that airplanes can ease and shorten the entire process, but the money you save on plane tickets makes up for the time spent inside of a bus.

However, previous experiences like the one we had in Poipet, made the subsequent land border crossings stressful for us. And this time was no different.

 

Land borders Vietnam – Laos (on a Map)

If you want to know how to get from Vietnam to Laos overland, there are 6 different land border checkpoints (check the map below):

• Ngoc Hoi
• Lao Bao
• Cau Treo
• Nam Khan
• Nam Xoi
• Tay Trang.

But if you plan to cross the border by bus, most agencies only use the following 4:

• Lao Bao
• Tay Trang
• Nam Khan
• Cau Treo

 

 

As we were in Sapa (Vietnam) heading to Luang Prabang (Laos), we crossed the Tay Trang border.

When we found out that the bus trip would take 18-hours to make, we decided to split it into two parts. First part: from Sapa to the Vietnamese border city of Dien Bien Phu where we would spend the night. The second part: from Dien Bien Phu to Luang Prabang, Laos.

 

Sapa to Dien Bien Phu

We bought our tickets for the morning bus to Dien Bien Phu at the bakery Baguette & Chocolat in Sapa for €11,40.

 

 

The 8-hour trip was rough. People kept opening the windows to vomit and to spit, so keeping down the banh mi we ate for breakfast was a struggle.

 

Titanic-spitting-gif

It was like watching this scene from Titanic for 8 hours.

 

We arrived at Dien Bien Phu bus station late in the afternoon and immediately bought tickets for the next day’s trip: €20,15 each. However, If you prefer to buy your ticket to Luang Prabang online, we recommend www.bookaway.com. Use the code “gravy5″ at checkout to get 5% off the ticket price.

 


Mário and Avinash (a friend we met on the bus) at Dien Bien Phu bus station.

Border accommodation in Dien Bien Phu

We spent the night at the cheapest (and decent) hotel we found in the area: Huyen Anh Hotel.

Due to our level of exhaustion, we hardly explored the city. Just dragged ourselves through a few streets in search of a supermarket to buy provisions for the next day’s bus trip.
For dinner, we ate at the hotel restaurant. Great portions, really cheap, and surprisingly tasty!

 

 

The Vietnamese Border

At 7:30 a.m. on the next day, we set out for Laos in a mini-bus with no leg space. Two hours later we arrived at the Vietnamese border building, grabbed our backpacks, and headed inside.

The queue was long and barely moving as only one guard was doing the checks outs. A rumor spread that he was asking for “farewell donations” from tourists in front of the queue— fortunately, that didn’t happen to us.

 

The Laos Border

After an exit stamp on the passports and a short mini-bus ride in no one’s land, we reached the Laos border checkpoint.

 

Vietnam Laos border queue

 

A guard behind the first window gave us some papers to fill with our personal info and the answers to questions like ‘Why are you visiting Laos?’ or ‘Where are you staying?’. Minutes later we handed him the completed papers, our passports, and the €32,5 for the visa fee.

From the fourth window, another guard called our names and asked us for a dollar.

– What for? We just paid for the visa back there.
– It’s a processing fee, sir.

Reluctantly, we paid. But as we reached for the passports, he told us to wait. Another guard called us from the 2nd window and we were asked to pay 2 more dollars.

– Why?…
– Because today is Saturday. It’s a weekend fee.

A group of Canadians also crossing the border were called from the third window, charged an additional made-up fee, and coerced to take new photos for their visas, as the ones they brought wouldn’t do — this service was 5 dollars.
Oh, there was also a fee for sanitary control and infections: a further $1.





Laos Visa on Arrival cost

Remember to check Laos document requirements regarding the entry of international tourists in advance. As far as we know, in Vietnam tourists from all nationalities can get a visa on arrival to Laos — provided they have a legal passport (duh!), a visa-size photo, and the money for the processing fees listed below (2020):

Affghanistan: $40
America: $35
Austria: $35
Bangladesh: $40
Belgium: $35
Canada: $42
China: $20
Denmark: $35
England: $35
Finland: $35
Greece: $35
India: $40
Italy: $35

Ireland: $35
Nepal: $40
Norway: $35
Nederlands: $35
Pakistan: $40
Portugal: $35
Sri Lanka: $40
Spain: $35
Switzerland: $35
Sweden: $31
Turkey: $35
Vietnam: $20

For more information on Visas on Arrival for Laos go to www.laos-guide-999.com/laos-visa-on-arrival

Keep in mind that the same doesn’t apply the other way round. To enter Vietnam from Laos, you’ll need a Visa in advance.

 

Laos '12

 

Border crossing expenses

Bus ticket Sapa >DienBienPhu: €11,40
Bus ticket DienBienPhu > Luang Prabang: €20,15
Accommodation at the Huyen Anh Hotel: €3.96
Laos Visa: €32,5
Extra fees: who knows. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

To prepare yourself for the border crossings to come, read the post 9 Tips & tricks for a smooth border crossing. It’ll help!

If you have any questions or some extra info on the Vietnam-Laos borders, please leave it in the comments below.


Nuno being a good tourist in Bali.

Travel Etiquette: Good tourists vs Bad tourists

Tourism can be of great social, cultural, and economic value to everybody involved — the visitor and the visited. And a big part of it will be determined by the type of traveler you are.

 

Shoes outside a Buddhist temple

 

Bad Tourists

There’s nothing worse than a petulant tourist making a scene at a 3rd world restaurant because he’s a bit peckish and no one in the staff can speak English, right?

Actually, there is: seeing empty water bottles and soda cans scattered everywhere as you’re visiting the temples of Angkor, or the words “Jenny 2006” carved into the stone walls of a World Heritage site. And let’s get real: not a single Cambodian girl is named Jenny. Jenny is the pet name for Jennifer — a privileged western girl that flew to Cambodia thanks to the earned miles from her credit card, and thought it was cute to leave her mark on the other side of the world.

Please, don’t be Jenny.

 

Mario and Nuno Siem Reap Cambodia

 

Environmental Conscience and Cultural Respect

Here’s a simple way to put it: when you travel you’re always a guest in someone else’s home, so behave accordingly.

You may not agree with all the customs of the country you’re visiting but that’s your prerogative.

But we’re not asking you to compromise your values though: Nuno and I spent whole days carrying trash in our backpack when the norm was to throw it on the ground.
On our trip to Southeast Asia, we never engaged in activities involving elephants or any other animal because let’s face it: even though elephants are adorable, these tourist activities are businesses, and many times the proper treatment of the animals is often not a priority.

 

Nuno and Mario in Bagan

 

Using the photo above as an example: we’re not Buddhists, the floor was scorching and nobody was around to make sure we weren’t wearing shoes, but we didn’t anyway. This is a sacred place to the Burmese and they always walk barefoot when visiting temples.

Let the uncomfortable situations serve you as a contrast to appreciate what you have back home. We all love to yap about how we ‘travel to experience different cultures’, well the bumpy bits are part of the experience too, so learn something from them!

 

Woman Washing clothes Mingun River

 

It’s key to be respectful and ask for permission before snapping pictures of locals. Always be sensitive to the situation, respect local rituals and ceremonies by being the least invasive as possible. Otherwise, you’ll end up one of those rude paparazzi-tourists we witnessed in Luang Prabang during the alms giving ceremony—revealing their lack of information and detachment from the culture they were in.





Good tourists travel like locals

A good practice for all of us travelers is to do some research on the customs and traditions before visiting any given place. By educating ourselves on the social reality of a country, we’re providing insight into our minds and empathy to our hearts.

 

Religious Ritual in Bali

 

Don’t be rude when people don’t understand English. In fact, you shouldn’t expect them to.
Learn some basic words in their language even if just “Hello” or “Thank you” — it’s a sign of consideration. Smile and use any interactions as a way to learn some new vocabulary!

 

A busy street in Mandalay

 

Keep in mind that you’re the one on vacation, traveling, and probably having the time of your life, but locals are just going about their daily routine. The same day, but VERY different perspectives.

Be a conscious consumer and buy locally made products to support local communities. Go eat at local restaurants, taste new flavors, and enjoy the country’s cuisine. Eat the fruits locals eat, drink coffee the way they drink it, and avoid sugar-filled plastic packaged crap when you feel like snacking.

 

Food at Chatuchak Market

 

When choosing accommodation, stay in locally owned guesthouses instead of international hotel franchises, and remember that buying locally will always cost you less!

You don’t need to wear a hijab as soon as you arrive in a Muslim country because is common for local women to do so. Just be mindful and dress appropriately to not be walking around a Buddhist conservative country with a bedazzled bikini top and cut-off shorts because ‘it’s like, really hot outside’.
That’s something Jenny would do.

Remember: don’t be Jenny.
Be polite, positive, and eco-conscious.

 

Do you have other examples of good tourists and bad tourists?
Leave them in the comments below! 


Beach in south Gran Canaria

The Complete Travel Guide to the South of Gran Canaria

Now that you know all you can do in the North of Gran Canaria, it’s time to travel to the south coast of the island and get familiar with the natural landscapes, popular beaches, and the best food around.

Before you start packing, here’s a tip: pack a pair of mountain boots with your swim shorts — you’re likely to wear them both at the same time.

 

Weather in the South of Gran Canaria and the Best Time to Visit

In the south, temperatures hover between 20ºC and 30ºC and there are over 320 days of sunshine per year.
The best time to visit is from May to mid-October. To check the weather during your trip go to www.accuweather.com/Gran-Canaria-South

There’s a significant weather difference between the north and the south of Gran Canaria. There’s like an invisible wall preventing rain clouds from going south and ruining tourists’ tans.

 

Public Transport from the North to the South of the Island

If you’re planning to move around the island without a car, there’s no problem! Gran Canaria has a great public transport system.
Buses are on time, cheap, and the next best option to travel across the island.

Here’s an example:
A bus trip from Las Palmas (north) to Playa del Ingles (south) costs:
€6.25

Duration: 45 minutes

Routes and schedules are available in  www.globalsu.net

 

What to do in the South Coast of Gran Canaria

To help you navigate the island, all the places mentioned in this post are marked with bright yellow pins on the map below.

Faro de Maspalomas

Even though the Faro de Maspalomas is a landmark of the island, you don’t go there for the lighthouse itself — you go for its surroundings.

 

Maspalomas


The area probably has the best walkway in Gran Canaria. The fresh air, the wonderful ocean view, and the fancy shops make it the ideal spot for a stroll. When the sun sets, the many bars and restaurants provide a pleasant evening out for dinner and drinks.

Puerto de Mógan

Puerto de Mogán is an idyllic little place by the sea where time seems to have stopped. Around here everything seems perfectly proportioned and perfectly placed. From the crescent-shaped beach to the busy little harbor.

 

Puerto de Mogán

 

And let’s not forget to mention the white houses built over the water canals, and the colored bougainvilleas that create natural shadows for people walking by.

Gran Canaria

Yumbo Shopping Centre

This alfresco shopping center near Playa del Ingles might look a tad generic during the day, but at night it turns into the inclusive gay mecca of Gran Canaria — don’t let the mosque at the entrance fool you.

From around 9 P.M, all cabaret bars, karaoke cafes, and nightclubs are targeted to the LGBTQIA+ crowd. However, the fun atmosphere and popularity of the drag shows, always attract a very mixed audience.

 

IMG_6622

IMG_7524

 

When Nuno and I visited Yumbo, all the bars were jam-packed. Not knowing what bar to pick, we decided on the one announcing a drag show. For the next 20 minutes, we got to watch 5 Spice Girls impersonators that filled our hearts with 90’s nostalgia.

 

Maspalomas Dunes

The Maspalomas Dunes are a nature reserve with 400 hectares and 3 ecosystems coexisting: a palm grove, a brackish water lagoon, and the dunes.

 

Maspalomas Dunes Gran Canaria
Photo by Marc Ryckaert.

Walking on the dunes was quite the experience. The desert-like proportions of the sandhills blocked all wind and sound, allowing us to submerge into complete silence and isolation even on one of the most visited coasts in Europe.

 

Maspalomas Dunes
Photo by Himarerme.

But the silence didn’t last long. After a few minutes, a giant fart out of the ass of another tourist (probably also thinking he was alone) echoed through the dunes and ruined the moment.

…and to think that the dunes are the resting place for birds migrating to Africa. What kind of rest can a bird get under these conditions?

 

Popular Beaches in the South of Gran Canaria

Playa del Inglés

Even though Playa del Inglés is the most visited beach in Gran Canaria, it has enough space for everyone. The 2.7 km stretch of sand offers different beaches for different folks. There’s a beach for:

• Families,
• Surfers,
• Nudists,
• Loners,
• LGBTQIA+ crowds
Playa del Ingles Map
But if laying on the sand all day isn’t for you, Playa del Inglés has plenty of sports activities like: windsurf, jet-ski, banana boat rides, and sail.

Prices for these activities start at €30 for one person.

 

 

If that’s too much action, you can always go for a walk on the Maspalomas dunes to live your Prince of Persia fantasy. If you’re hard to please or feel like walking on sand is bad for your knees, go over to the Paseo Costa Canaria: a 2km promenade by the beach brimming with restaurants, ice cream shops, and cafes.  

→ Public Showers and restrooms available
♿ Beach accessible to wheelchair users

 

Puerto Rico Beach

It’s the first artificial beach in Gran Canaria, popular among British and Irish families due to its calm waters and convenient amenities provided by the surrounding resorts such as:

• Sunbeds and sunshades
• Restaurants
• Leisure excursions
• Water sports activities (sailing, dolphin watching, jet skiing, etc)

→ Public Showers and restrooms available

 

Playa Puerto Rico

 

Amadores Beach

Another man-made beach awarded with a blue flag for the cleanliness of its water and sand.

The white sands sit in a moon-shaped bay where the water is turquoise, shallow, and waves are pretty much nonexistent. That’s what makes Amadores a very popular beach among families with kids.  

 

Amadores beach - Puerto Rico

 

Smoke-free beach
♿ Disabled-friendly
→ Public Showers and restrooms available
→ Underground parking area

 

Underrated Beaches

San Agustín

A few kilometers from Playa del Inglés is San Agustín, considered to be a very calm beach with fewer tourists.

 

San Agustin Beach
Photo by Wouter Hagens.

Locals usually come here on weekends, so take advantage of the weekdays if you prefer a bit more room to spread out.

It’s an urban beach with a coastal walkway that connects to Playa del Inglés — meaning you’ll find lots of places to eat and drink close by.  

→ Public Showers and restrooms available
→ Free parking

Puerto de Mogán harbor

 

But have in mind that this perfect little town can get crowded with tourists, particularly on Fridays and weekends. That is the beach gets crowded, the streets busy, and the restaurants full.

 

Puerto de Mogán.Fotos Aéreas "Costa turística de Mogán" Gran Canaria Islas Canarias

 

Getting to Puerto de Mogán by Public Bus

From Playa del Inglés to Puerto de Mogán, get on the Bus nº 1, nº 32 (fast route), or nº 33.
Trip cost: €4.15
Duration: 45 minutes

For more info on this trip, check: www.guaguasglobal.com/timetables









Las Burras

Maybe it’s the wind that can be felt around here that pushes tourists away, but Las Burras beach remains the most local of beaches in the south of Gran Canaria.

Nevertheless, fewer tourists don’t necessarily mean that the beach isn’t busy in months like July, August, and September.

 

Public buses to all the Beaches mentioned above

Buses nº 1, 39, 91, 33 can drop you right by any of the beaches. Depending on your starting point, the trip can cost up to €4.

Check the timetables on the guaguas’ website.

What to eat


Food in Gran Canaria is always fresh and seasoned to perfection.
 We’re talking about the lovechild of Spanish, African, and Latin-American cuisines after all.

Meanwhile, here are some of our recommendations:

Papas arrugadas con mojo
• Anything with gofio on it
Bienmesabe
Huevos rotos
• Plenty of mojo rojo or mojo verde

 

Typical Villages to visit in the South of Gran Canaria

Ingenio

A small agricultural village and one of the oldest on the island. Besides a visit to the old quarter, we suggest:

• The pre-hispanic necropolis on the Guayadeque Ravine
• Caldera de Los Marteles natural reserve

 

Ingenio church in Gran Canaria
Photo by Backlit.

Agüimes

If you have time to spear on the island, to the east is the traditional hill town of Agüimes.

 

Aguimes Village
Photo by Martin Falbisoner.

Here in Aimes, we recommend:

• A walk through the old quarter and medieval alleyways
• Festival de Sur, an international theater festival (September)
• Playa del Cabrón as it is one of the best diving spots on the island

 

Traveling to the North of the island?
Go to: The Complete Travel Guide to the North of Gran Canaria

Cover photo by Bertram Nudelbach.