Badajoz, ideas for a short trip with friends



How about taking a short holiday with your friends? Here we give you a few ideas for a different type of getaway: Badajoz. The province hosts numerous music and theatre festivals, it stages live re-enactments from its Roman and Arab past, and it's even home to some highly original LGBT festivities.

Full programme of events

The first major event of the year comes in February with the celebration of the Badajoz Carnival, one of the most famous in Spain. This festivity offers guaranteed fun and high spirits, and nightlife goes on all over the city until the early hours of the morning.From May onwards, Badajoz is again the scene of fun and high spirits, but this time under the multicoloured banner of the movement championing the rights of the LGTB community. Los Palomos celebrations are an excuse for people to take to the streets in search of fun, and feature a series of concerts at different points of the city.In summer, the offering is more cultural and very magical. Spain and Portugal are united through music, with the Badasom flamenco and Fado festival in July. In the same month the Contempopranea Indie music festival also takes place. Meanwhile in Mérida, its spectacular Roman theatre returns to life after over 2000 years with the International Classical Theatre Festival. This is a spectacle well worth seeing, and can be enjoyed in July and August. This month also welcomes another special event with the performance of the play 'The Mayor of Zalamea' by Calderón de la Barca in the streets of the town where the plot is set: Zalamea de la Serena.September is a month of two very original celebrations. Mérida recreates its life in the first century A.D. when it was the Augusta Emerita of Roman Hispania. During the Emerita Lvdica festival the city is filled with historical recreations, gladiatorial fights, marching legionnaires, a mediaeval market, etc. Meanwhile Badajoz celebrates its foundation with the Almossassa festival, featuring the historic figure of Ibn Marwan entering with his troops through the streets of the city, the installation of an Arab souk, and a range of concerts, exhibitions and guided visits…Badajoz still has another two important events. Between October and November it hosts the International Contemporary Theatre and Dance Festival and a few days later the sounds of jazz can be heard throughout the streets of the city with the celebration of Badejazz.  

Tips for enjoying Badajoz and Mérida

Where to eat? Which area has the best atmosphere? Are there any guided tours? Here are a few answers. Tapas areas The custom of going out for tapas (small portions for sharing) is very popular all over the province. In addition to being economical, it's a fantastic opportunity to sample a range of different dishes. Definitely worth trying are the products made from Iberian pork, the typical fried breadcrumbs, and dishes based on salt cod.For eating out in Badajoz we recommend the streets between the squares of Plaza de España and Plaza de la Soledad. The Plaza Alta square also contains a number of very pleasant venues. If you want a special mid-afternoon treat, why not try some of the traditional buns from the pastry shop on the Calle Francisco Pizarro, which is over a hundred years old?In Mérida the most popular areas can be found along the streets giving onto Calle Santa Eulalia, around the Trajan's Arch, and at the site of the Roman theatre and amphitheatre.Surroundings and shopping Both cities have very distinctive shopping areas. In Badajoz, the Calle Menacho is one of the best, and also frequently features events in the streets such as parades or performances. Meanwhile in Mérida the best selection of shops is to be found in Calle Santa Eulalia. Visiting Badajoz has a free yellow minibus that makes a circuit round the historic centre. There are no bus stops –you should flag it down when you see it. What's more, the first weekend of each month there are free guided tours of the city available (in Spanish).In Mérida, we recommend you take one of the guided visits to the site of the Roman theatre and amphitheatre. They also take place at night.  

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