What is one of the most common sources of income for a country or city? Each country in the world has unique methods to produce income and improve the economy of its nation based on factors such as location, size, population, climate and more, but an excellent way to maintain the economy of a nation is through tourism! I am a fan of travelling and is one of my hobbies because every place has something unique and special that I want to see and experience. Spain does an excellent job by attracting thousands of people from different parts of the world every year. During my stay in this beautiful country, I have been able to see that tourism is helping a lot to improve the economy of Spain. At my work, interns are not from Spain meaning that they came here to Spain for a work experience instead of other countries so they are also considered tourists like me. In my host family, previous students have come to visit them as well as the country. I came to Madrid but I have been to other cities in Spain mainly because Spain is divided in regions and each one has unique traditions that I want to experience as well. Also, I know that in the past decades the number of international students have increased in Spain thanks to the language (Spanish), location (Europe), variety of food, and most importantly the history that this place holds.
In every town, city and region of Spain there are countless of touristic places to visit. For example, museums of different kinds, palaces, castles, cathedrals, gardens, parks, stadiums, universities, monuments, statues, libraries, theaters, squares (in Spanish “plazas”), houses, and more! Even locals haven’t visited important places in their hometown. Usually, I ask my host family for recommendations for places to go or if they have been to a certain place, but sometimes they can’t tell me if they prefer a place instead of another because they haven’t been there before. To promote tourism, the cities have information centers with maps, places to visit, things to do and prices for tourists and even locals. The maps that these centers give to people in Madrid are very informative because they highlight with pictures the main places to visit and even the metro stations so you know that you can get to them easily without a car. A main feature that a lot of these places have is that they sell tickets with a variety of prices and discounts. Prices are not that expensive and if you qualify for a discount, you should take advantage of this great opportunity. In some places, even foreign students can enter for free!
I went to the main art museums of Madrid: “Museo Nacional del Prado” and “Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.” These museums are very close to each other, a 10-minute walk distance. Why? So, you can visit them on the same day, and they are also in the center of the city. However, it is not possible to see each museum in its entirety in one day. They are huge, clean, with art works from important artists and magnificent exhibitions! I learned in my school education part of the history of Spain since they conquered my country, and I always admired the history of art. Museums are also part of the culture of Spain because it let you see the history of the nation and its evolution by a visual method. Locals are also proud of museums because I can feel the excitement of my host family when they talk about the museums and artists. Personally, I enjoyed more “Museo Nacional del Prado” because it tells you more about the history Spain. The other museum is about modern art so it doesn’t tell you that much about the culture of the city. Del Prado museum has a lot of art works related to Catholic religion, the political system of the period: kings and queens, and even works from other European artists. There are thousands of paintings about Jesus and the Virgin, but I found each one unique and interesting. I observed the colors, techniques, figures, forms and even small objects in them to differentiate one piece with the same name from other. The museums are very big and valuables, so that motivates people to go more than once. I been twice to museum of Prado and still haven’t seen it all. Also, I like to visit museums because I can see people from different parts of the world learning all together about Spain.
In my trips to other cities of Spain, I have seen spectacular monuments, cathedrals and buildings. That is the main reason for me to travel outside of Madrid. I don’t mind spending some euros in going to a new city because there are unique things that I can only see in those places, and not in Madrid. In Ávila, I went inside the wall that surrounds the city and protected it from the enemies during the wars many years ago. In Salamanca, I took a tour at the oldest university of Spain. In Barcelona, one of the main cities, I visited the famous Cathedral Sagrada Familia that has been in construction for over two hundred years, and went to famous parks, monuments and museums. In Toledo, I went to the Alcazar and taste a famous sweet bread that you can only find there. In Segovia, I visited the main palace and castle. As you can see, I experienced many incredible moments that only Spain can offer. As a student, I have discounts to many of these touristic places or I go to places not too expensive, but can you image the amount of money that tourists contribute to the wealth of this recognized nation? Other countries like Italy, France and London compete with Spain to attract people, but I can see that Spain is doing a great job in maintaining clean and impressive its nation’s attractions. Come and visit Spain because it is waiting for you!