Chanelle L: Wineries and horses and bullfights. Oh my!

Rick Steves, America’s leading authority on European travel, hosted Carlos Galvin on the podcast Spain Travel Tips. Carlos Galvin is a local Madrid tour guide who gave advice about different seasonal events of the year that occur in numerous cities across Spain. He also talked about Spain’s distinctive regional cultures and languages. In addition, Carlos touched on Spain’s history, government, and politics. Pictured below is Rick Steves’ book Best of Spain where he discusses helpful hints for key sites and experiences in greater detail.

rick steves - best of spain


Spain is a nonstop festival that celebrates culture, wine, and horses.

You could use this podcast to learn about the festivals that occur year round in Spain, some of the best wineries in the country, and how to deal with jet lag before and upon your arrival to Europe.  You could also use it to learn about the 18 different autonomous communities, why they are so different from one another, and why there are multiple first languages between these regions. Another topic covered was the “great tradition of native horses of southern Spain.” Pictured below is a Spanish Arabian horse that Spaniards continue to pride themselves in today. Lastly, you could learn more about the history and culture of bullfighting and why tourists should not consider these fights as animal cruelty.  

Spanish Arabian Horse


The podcast title appears helpful, but the content? Not so much.

In my opinion, I would recommend you do not add this podcast to your phone. This podcast is almost 8 years old and Carlos Galvin mainly talks about seasonal activities which does not directly apply to us. As mentioned before, Carlos Galvin gave a high level overview of the existing differences in cultures between the autonomous communities. Learning about cultural differences from the perspective of a Spaniard is absolutely beneficial for our travels to Spain; it would give us a more clear understanding beyond the cultural dimensions. However, I think if you truly want to learn more about these cultural differences there are other sources that would cover this topic in greater detail that would teach you more in comparison to a 30 minute podcast. Finally, most of the podcast was Carlos Galvin answering questions that people previously had for him. He was not giving advice on his own, but giving advice to prompted questions from people in the United States that were traveling to Spain in the near future. He is a local Spaniard, so I would consider him as a credible source, but considering he was not able to speak about these cities at his own will most likely swayed his discussions.

With a combination of the previous things I listed, my final recommendation would be to not add this podcast to your phone.


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