Hey GoCar Readers, this is a guest post from our friends over at Trip101. We hope you enjoy their overview of Madrid points of interest! As the capital city of Spain, Madrid has a lot of hype to live up to when it comes to tourism. But while it has modernized in the past decades, this well-preserved city still retains its old-world charms. It has an abundance of historic sites that will surely keep travelers on their toes. The blend of culture and modernism has brought Madrid to new heights and any history buff who visits will be on an adventure that is unlike any other. With Renaissance architecture, majestic churches, grand city centers, the capital of Spain has a lot to offer than most. Let’s get to know some notable sites that should be included in everyone’s itinerary every time they come for a visit. The Royal Palace https://pixabay.com/photos/royal-palace-spain-madrid-3462249/ One would say that this is the most majestic place in Spain. The white Baroque-style exterior, extravagant interiors, and just an overall grand vibe, this is one of those sites that you should not miss during your visit to Madrid. This was the official residence of Spain’s royal family dating back to the 18th century. Although now, some of the rooms are mostly used for state dinners and official visits since the royal family has opted to stay in the much humbler Zarzuela Palace. Join a tour in this palace and you will get to see the famous Throne Room. It’s one of those experiences that will make you wonder how opulent monarch’s lifestyles were back in the day. Museo Nacional del Prado https://pixabay.com/photos/madrid-prado-museum-architecture-1758045/ This is the biggest national art museum in Spain and it features one of the best collections. Some artifacts can be dated back to the 12th…

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Barcelona nightlife is legendary, for good reason. Gritty dive bars are just as popular as glittering nightclubs. You can slowly sip some absinthe alongside Boho hipsters or watch the sunrise on the beach. Avoid the crowds with an after-hours tour or catch a traditional, live flamenco show. Who needs sleep, anyhow? Whether you’re a late-night party animal or a nocturnal culture vulture, there are plenty of things to do in Barcelona at night. Sip cocktails in a chic bar or speakeasy Barcelona’s vibrant bar scene comes alive as the sun goes down. In fact, many a Barcelona night begins with sunset drinks at Mirablau. Perched alongside the hillside Tibidabo park, Mirablau serves up elegant cocktails along with stunning panoramic views. For a sip of classic Barcelona, head to Boadas Cocktails near La Rambla. Boadas might be one of the oldest cocktail bars in the city, but this is no tourist trap. Expect a refined vibe and expertly-crafted cocktails. Don’t let the crumbling walls and dusty chandeliers fool you: Bar Marsella is legendary. Bohemians from Ernest Hemingway to Antoni Gaudí himself have come here since 1820. Hemingway’s old haunt is best known for its signature drink, absinthe. El Paradiso is a relative newcomer to the Barcelona nightlife scene, but it’s made a mark. This trendy, speakeasy-style cocktail bar is actually hidden within an unassuming sandwich shop in El Born. They do make a mean pastrami, but you’ll find the main attraction hidden behind a large, wooden fridge door. Fuel your Barcelona night out with tapas The Catalan capital also happens to be a buzzing foodie hotspot. An “early” dinner starts around 9:00 p.m. but most locals don’t head out until 10. You’ll need a big meal to fuel up for a late night. Try a little bit of everything with a…

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No visit to Portugal is complete without a trip to one of its famous Porto wineries. The best wineries in Porto specialize in its namesake varietal, vinho do Porto, or port wine. Port is a fortified red wine that pairs well with your favorite dessert. Typically sweet, some port wines come in dry, semi-dry, and even white varieties. Vinho do Porto is exclusively produced in Portugal’s northern Douro Valley region, where Porto wineries offer plenty of tempting cellar tours and tastings. Many of the best Porto wines are found on the southern shores of the Douro River, in Vila Nova de Gaia. We’ve selected the top vineyards and wineries near Porto for you below. Saúde! 1. Burmester Wine Cellars One of the best new Porto wineries is Caves Burmester. Stepping inside this Porto wine cellar and museum is like stepping back through time. Join a guided tour for a fascinating glimpse into the brand’s history and production process. Visit the wine shop and tasting room for a delicious port wine pairing, or relax on the terrace overlooking the Douro River. 2. Cálem Cálem might be the most famous place for port wine tours in Porto. It’s certainly the most popular! The House of Calém was founded in 1859. After four generations, it remains an award-winning, family-owned business. Visitors to Calém enjoy not only a rich variety of port wine tastings but can also catch a traditional Portuguese fado show in the evenings. 3. Churchill’s For a fashionable, more modern take on Porto wineries, look no further than Churchill’s. This stylish wine cellar in Porto’s Vila Nova de Gaia is rethinking traditional port wine. Churchill’s visitors center offers a beautiful backdrop for tailor-made tastings of their signature and vintage port wines. 4. Croft Croft cellars is one of the oldest port…

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There’s no shortage of fun, unique, and even free things to do in Porto when you visit! No matter what your budget, itinerary, or personal travel style, this list of 20 things to do in Porto has something for everyone. Free Things to Do in Porto If you’re traveling on a budget, add these eight free things to do in Porto to your itinerary! 1. Window Shop on Rua de Santa Catarina Rua de Santa Catarina runs through central Porto. The pedestrian street is lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and bakeries and is the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs before you leave the city. 2. Walk Along the Ribeira The Ribeira is one of Porto’s top tourist attractions, and for good reason. This waterfront walk boasts beautiful views of the Luis I bridge, the Douro River, and the historic, colorful houses that make Porto so special. 3. Cross Luis I Bridge on Foot The Luis I bridge spans 172 meters and was built in 1886. It has one of the best views of Porto, so history and photography lovers alike should add a quick walk across the bridge to their Porto to-do list. 4. Admire Porto’s Many Churches Like many old European cities, Porto is dotted with spectacular churches. Some of the most notable are the Porto Cathedral, the incredibly ornate Santa Clara Church, the blue and white tiled Capela das Almas, and the Clerigos Church. The Sao Francisco Church is also worth a stop, but entrance costs four euros per person. 5. Spend a Day at the Beach If you visit Porto in the summer, a day at the beach is a fantastic (and budget-friendly) outing from the city. There are plenty of beautiful beaches near Porto to choose from, and almost all of them are accessible…

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The Complete Guide to Neighborhoods and Accommodation in the City Deciding where to stay in Porto is tough, but our guide can help! This guide not only explores some of the most popular neighborhoods in Porto, but will also help you find the top hotels, apartments, budget-friendly hostels, and unique accommodation options in them as well. Discover where to stay in Porto and begin planning your trip to the city with this guide by your side! Popular Neighborhoods in Porto Before you choose your accommodation, you need to choose your neighborhood. Porto is full of diverse neighborhoods, but these five come out on top. Ribeira Neighborhood The Ribeira neighborhood is one of the best places to stay in Porto, Portugal because it’s right on the riverfront. Here you’ll be steps away from the sun-splashed cafes, seafood restaurants, and the famous Luis I Bridge. Ribeira is also a great home base because its conveniently located with the central historic districts of Baixa and Cedofeita on one side and the Vila Nova de Gaia neighborhood on the other, all of which are within walking distance. The only downside? This is the most famous district in Porto so it can get quite crowded with tourists during the day. Vila Nova de Gaia Neighborhood If you’re wondering where to stay in Porto for the best wine experience, Vila Nova de Gaia is your answer. The neighborhood spreads down the south bank of the Douro river, directly across from the Ribeira neighborhood. Most of the city’s Port wine cellars are located here so you can rest assured that the sweet drink is within reach at all times. The only downside? Vila Nova de Gaia is separated from the rest of the city by the Douro river, so sightseeing in Baixa and Cedofeita will require long…

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Use This Guide to Decide! If you’re planning a trip to Portugal you may find yourself with the pressing question: How many days in Porto do you really need? While the answer depends on the length of your trip and your own personal travel preferences, we can help you discover the best Porto itinerary for your stay. There is no one size fits all answer to this question. Instead, choose what you want to do and see in the city and then determine how many days in Porto you need to cross it all off your bucket list! How many days to spend in Porto depends on your travel preferences. Some travelers say only spend one or two in the city while others recommend a whole week! So, how many days in Porto do vacationers really need to see it? This breakdown may help. Spend 1 day in Porto if… You’re on a tight schedule. For a quick weekend trip to Portugal, one day and one night in Porto are really the bare minimum visitors need to experience this bustling city. The number one activity in Porto is wandering the winding streets of the town’s Historic Center and admiring the colorful architecture. Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because the city has over 2,000 years of history! It can trace its history back to the first century BC so it’s seen thousands of years of change and growth. Simply reflecting on the past and while you walk through this ancient place can be a truly awe-inspiring experience. Before you finish your whirlwind day in Porto, make sure to climb the Clérigos Church tower for a bird’s eye view of the sprawling city and snap a picture of the charming blue and white facade of the Chapel of Souls. Walk…

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If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco, chances are you’ll find yourself at Postcard Row. Also known as the Painted Ladies, Postcard Row is a street of beautiful Victorian houses in the Alamo Square neighborhood. Learn all about its history, how to get there, what to do nearby, and more with this complete guide to Postcard Row in San Francisco! A Brief History of Postcard Row The houses on Postcard Row were built in the Victorian style by Matthew Kavanaugh in the 1890’s. He also lived in one of the Painted Ladies after it was completed. In the ’60s, a San Francisco artist named Butch Kardum began to transform the dreary gray homes that dominated the city after World War II. He painted his own Victorian home in bright colors and others in the city followed suit – thus, the “colorist movement” was born. Although the Painted Ladies are one of the most famous examples of colorful, Victorian homes in San Francisco, you can find many more scattered throughout the city as well. How Much Does it Cost to Visit Postcard Row? The Painted Ladies a perfect tourist destination for budget-minded travelers in San Francisco. Alamo Square Park is free and has a beautiful view of the Painted Ladies and the San Francisco Skyline. You can’t go inside the houses on Postcard Row (although you can take a virtual tour here), so no entrance fee is required. Pack a lunch for a picnic and you can easily enjoy a half-day outing without blowing your budget. How to Visit Postcard Row The Painted Ladies are located in the Alamo Square neighborhood next to Alamo Square Park. You can find the famous homes on Steiner Street between Grove and Hayes streets. There are four different ways to get to Postcard Row…

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We all need to get off the beaten path sometimes. San Diego is known for beautiful beaches and great museums, but this city of almost 1.5 million people in Southern California has a lot going on beneath the surface as well. We collected the 13 best secret things to do so you can get a truly and uniquely San Diego experience while you’re here. No matter how long you plan to stay in the city, these 13 secret things to do in San Diego are a great addition to any traveler’s itinerary! Pool Days Most people don’t know that many pools in San Diego are accessible with a day pass. If you don’t have the funds to stay at a fancy hotel you can still enjoy their swim up bars, lazy rivers, and oceanfront properties for a fee. Passes generally run between $15 and $40 each and you can start planning with this list of ten pools that allow guests and non-guests alike to use their facilities. ‘Top Gun’ Film Locations Much of this famous 80’s movie was filmed in San Diego and you can still visit some of the sites today. Spend a few hours snapping photos outside Charlie’s House or grabbing a bite to eat Kansas City Barbeque, where Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards rocked out on the piano. If you’re a die-hard fan, challenge yourself to track down all eight locations around the city. Border Field State Park This is certainly one of the most unique secret things to do in San Diego. Border Field State Park is 15 miles south of San Diego and, as the name suggests, sits right on the border with Tijuana, Mexico. The park is known for salt marshes and sand dunes, but the massive walls and ever-watching cameras are interesting as…

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San Diego is an exceptional vacation destination. From the food to the beaches and everything in between, there’s something here to please every traveler. However, if you’ve already seen the famous sites like the USS Midway Museum, La Jolla Cove, and the San Diego Zoo, we have just the list for you. These 11 unconventional places to visit in San Diego are even broken down into easy itineraries to make planning your offbeat trip a breeze. Are you ready to see a whole new side of the city? Check out these 10 unconventional places to visit in San Diego! Unconventional San Diego Day Trip #1 This day trip combines two of the most unconventional places to visit in San Diego. First, jump in your car and drive to the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala in the quiet suburb of Grantville. This small church also has a small claim to fame: it’s the first mission in California. The Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala was founded in 1769, so in 2019 the church will be celebrating a jubilee year – their 250th birthday! Visit Monday through Friday to take a tour and spend some time in the gift shop and outdoor grounds as well. Just remember that it’s still an active church, so be respectful of the services and parish members when you go. After your stop at the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, drive 80 miles east to to see the Ricardo Breceda Sculptures in the tiny town of Borrego Springs. Along Borrego Springs Road in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, 130 hulking statues depict animals that may have lived there millions of years ago, like dinosaurs, a saber-toothed tiger, giant tortoises, and even a 350-foot serpent. The sculptures were commissioned by Dennis Avery in 2008 and are…

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If you’re planning a trip to Portugal, a stop in Porto is a must. Luckily, it’s only 313 kilometers (about 195 miles) from Lisbon and easy to reach from the capital city. Downtown Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a historic center and colorful houses. It’s also the birthplace of port wine and home to plenty of wineries where you can sip the sweet drink. If that’s not tempting enough, a few days in Porto could also include seafood, beaches, bike rides, hiking, or even a boat cruise in the lush Douro Valley. So, what’s the best way to get there? There are six popular options for transportation between Lisbon and Porto, and we’ve gathered all the details in one place. Use this guide to decide which one works best for you! How to get from Lisbon to Porto by Bus Price: 19 euros Time: 3.5 hours Stations: Lisboa Sete Rios or Lisboa Oriente Reservation needed? Yes Best for: Budget travelers The most popular bus service from Lisbon to Porto is Rede Expressos. Buses leave once or twice an hour between 6:15 in the morning and 12:30 at night, and you can find the complete Rede Expressos bus schedule here. The bus is a convenient transport option because they leave from both the Sete Rios bus station in the northwest of the city and the Oriente station in the northeast. Both are connected to central Lisbon by public transport. The time of the trip varies based on which station you leave from, but it’s about 3.5 hours to get from Lisbon to Porto by bus and the cost per ticket is 19 euros. The route is direct and although there are stops along the way, you won’t have to disembark or change buses. Just remember this is a…

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