Immerse in the Spanish way of life
For many, especially the work weary, there comes a time when you are beset by a desire to consume – art, architecture, culture, history, elegant cityscapes, and exquisite cuisine. If you crave for all these and more, there’s no better time than to plan a trip to Spain, stat!
But now comes the age-old question in travel: Madrid or Barcelona? Why not visit both? With Emirates, you can fly to Madrid and then fly out from Barcelona – or vice versa.
From its hub in Dubai, Emirates flies to both cities daily. From the Philippines, the airline currently operates 25 flights to the global hub (18 weekly flights from Manila and seven from Cebu/Clark), so you don’t have to miss important appointments just to catch your flight.
For a premium experience, you can catch Emirates’ A380 flights. Two A380 aircrafts fly to and from Barcelona while Madrid is serviced by one A380 aircraft and another Boeing 777 daily. Aboard Emirates’ flagship A380 aircraft, you can enjoy a variety of premium facilities: from Private Suites and Shower Spas in First Class, to flat-bed seats and Onboard Lounge in Business Class, to extra leg room and custom lighting in Economy Class. You can also experience Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system ice where you can enjoy over 2,500 channels of films, TV shows, music and games, inflight Wi-Fi and gourmet cuisine.
Madrid, the capital of Spain, is known for its elegance and polish. Although most of its infrastructures are decidedly more modern, the city is designed to hint at its centuries of history. Its intriguing stories are interlaced in the city’s art, atmosphere, and food. Emirates flies to Madrid from Dubai twice daily via EK 141 departing Dubai at 7:35 a.m. and arrives in Madrid at 1:25 p.m. (local time); and EK 143 departing Dubai at 2:35 p.m. and arrives 8:20 p.m. in Madrid.
Take advantage of the limitless art and culture options in Madrid. Spend a day museum hopping and let the Spanish way of life permeate your being. For art aficionados, don’t miss the art triangle: the Prado Museum, which is home to more than 9,000 pieces, the Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza. Lose yourself in old-world Spanish culture at the Teatro de la Zarzuela. The 19th century theater, where the Filipino term sarsuwela originated, hosts everything from musical theater to opera and ballet.
Art truly runs deep in Madrid even on the nightlife scene. As you check out choices for lounges, cafes or music venues, look for Club Musee, a club that doubles as an art gallery.
Eat like a Madrileño as you explore the city’s gastronomic pleasures. Sample local cuisine at food markets Mercado de San Miguel and Mercado de San Anton, or give in to delicious tapas paired with a refreshing glass of beer or good wine at Gran Via. You can also dine in the oldest restaurant in the world, Restaurante Botin, which has been open since 1725.
Meanwhile, in Barcelona, you can choose to explore the historical city or lounge on the beach. Or both. Emirates flies twice daily to Barcelona from Dubai. EK 185 departs Dubai at 8:15 a.m. and arrives 1:25 p.m. in Barcelona. Meanwhile, EK 187 departs Dubai at 3:45 p.m. and arrives 8:55 p.m in Barcelona served twice daily with an Emirates A380 service, in a three-class configuration.
If you choose on stay on dry land, you’ll never run out of things to do. For history buffs, soak up Spanish art and culture in the Picasso Museum, Museum of History of Barcelona and the National Museum of Art of Catalonia.
Leave enough time to marvel at famous architect Antoni Gaudi’s work. First stop, the iconic Sagrada Familia, one of Barcelona’s important structures. Other places you mustn’t miss include the Gaudi-designed Park Güell, and his houses – Casa Batlló and Casa Milà.
After a full day of sightseeing, catch your breath at El Raval which is frequented by the creative types. Here you can browse the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and explore the cozy cafes, restaurants, boutiques and art house cinemas.
Stroll along Barcelona’s boulevards in Las Ramblas. Immerse yourself in the Catalan way of life as you explore the cafes, restaurants, shops and watch street performers that populate the famous promenade. But don’t leave Las Ramblas without sampling authentic Catalan cuisine in La Boqueria, the largest food market in Europe.
With its more than 4km of coastline, Barcelona is home to many surfers and sun worshippers alike. Some beaches you can check out during your visit include Barceloneta Beach, Nova Icaria Beach, Bogatell Beach, and Ocata Beach among others. Each of these beaches attract a different crowd so you’re sure to find something you like.
To get to Madrid and Barcelona, take any of the 18 non-stop weekly flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Dubai International Airport. Flight EK 333 departs Manila at 5:40 p.m. and arrives 11:05 p.m. in Dubai. Flight EK 335 departs Manila at 12:20 a.m.and arrives 5:35 a.m. in Dubai. Flight EK 337 departs Manila at 6:40 a.m. and arrives 11:35 in Dubai.
If you’re coming from the Visayas-Mindanao region and Northern Luzon, you may take Emirates’ daily Dubai-Cebu-Clark-Dubai circular flight. Flight EK 338 departs Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 5:25 p.m. and arrives 6:45 p.m. at Clark International Airport. It then makes its way to Dubai from Clark at 8:20 p.m. arriving in Dubai at 1:25 a.m. the next day.
From Dubai, Emirates offers convenient and seamless connections to your flight to either Madrid or Barcelona.