Live Like a Local: Spain Edition

Sherilyn Smith is a student at Maryville College who enjoys Traveling and learning about new destinations. Photo by Clair Scott.
Sherilyn Smith is a student at Maryville College who enjoys Traveling and learning about new destinations. Photo by Clair Scott.

Ana Gonzalez-Tablas is a translation/interpreting major from the University of Murcia in Spain. Speaking of home, Gonzalez-Tablas said, “There are many different regions . . . So many things to do.”

One of the first things she recommended were the malls Centro comercial nueva Condomina, Thader and El Tiro. There are many ways to get to the malls and around the city: walking, buses, trams, taxis and trains. Tickets cost between 125 and 145 euros.

For a night out, on the weekend, Gonzalez-Tablas suggested Las Tascas around the Animated Forest. It is an area full of bars and pubs, perfect for a night of drunken wandering with friends.

For those interested in Spanish nightlife there are also the bars Menos Quarto and Bosque Animado, one of Ana’s favorites. Bosque Animado features indoor and outdoor seating with multicolored lights hanging from tree limbs and bird cages dangling from branches. The establishment offers a kaleidoscope of dimmed colors in a darker yet jovial atmosphere.

As for travelling food enthusiasts, the local haunt for good eats is La Gondola, a hole in the wall restaurant that offers a variety of pizzas and pastas. The restaurant is decorated in a simplistic theme of whites, reds and the wicker furniture is brown. Classic pictures cover the walls, and it is an incredibly family friendly environment.

There is also a place called 100 Montaditos. A montadito is a staple of Spain’s culinary culture. It is a tapa-sized roll of bread likened to the baguette but wider.

100 Montaditos serves rolls stuffed with whatever meat you desire, though they also offer montadito sweets stuffed with dessert fillings like ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and cherries.

There are, of course, appetizers and side dishes like french fries and salads, as well. One montadito costs a mere one euro on Wednesdays. You can eat one with one of Murcia’s classic drinks: sangria, red wine mixed with lemonade, fruit or spices, or the go-to beer, estrella levanter, which you only need to be 18-years-old to drink in Spain.

Our next recommendation takes us to Rex, the oldest cinema in Murcia. It is a theater that shows recorded plays and classic films.

For a closer look on the history of Murcia, Gonzalez-Tablas recommended Museo de Sanzillo, Museo de Bellas Artes or for tourists to come during Easter week, where the churches host a parade and a series of shows that depict each chapter of Jesus’s resurrection.

However, she stressed, “There’s more to do in Spain than museums and churches. Religion is an important part of our culture, but it’s not the only thing.”

The early weeks of the year are filled with fiestas de primavera, festivals of spring. Gonzalez-Tablas suggested this would be the best time of year to visit Murcia if you want to see the festive activities. Though there are a variety of available activities all year-round in a diverse country such as Spain, a country with five official languages and 17 autonomous regions.

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