Just outside of Barcelona, lies a town called Reus. Most tourists only visit the airport, as it’s the perfect cheap Ryanair stop off to continue to Barcelona but the city itself is well worth a visit if you are looking for somewhere a little off the beaten track.
I headed to Reus for a three day weekend, tempted by some bargain flights, as part of my Europe 12 in 12 challenge. Throughout my challenge I actually visited Spain a total of four times – Malaga, Reus, Ibiza and Barcelona so I’m clearly a bit of a fan! Every part has its own personality and flavour so make sure you check out what there is to offer in Spain with Holiday Gems. But today I’m going to talk about Reus…
Oh My Gaudi
Reus is based in Catalonia and its claim to fame is that it’s the birthplace of the architect Antoni Gaudi. Barcelona is packed full of his work (most famously the Sagrada Familia) but the city of Reus is also brimming with Catalan Modernist buildings, although none of them are actually designed by Gaudi himself. The Gaudi museum is a great start if you want to learn more about this style of architecture. Entry is 9 Euros and I actually learnt new facts here about Gaudi’s architecture which I hadn’t learnt in Barcelona at the buildings themselves!
Big Friendly Giants
If you want to visit Reus, you really should visit on one weekend of the year; Sant Pere or St Peter’s Day on the 29th June. This Summer Festival is a celebration of Catalonian culture, with human towers, processions of giants and fireworks through the streets. It’s a fascinating festival and there’s plenty more information on Wikipedia if you want to know more!
We were unexpectedly treated to a taster of this festival when we visited for the weekend. Unknown to us, the Gigantes (or Giants) appeared to twirl and dance in the main square. They’re fascinating creations which are carried on the shoulders of local townsmen and tower over the crowds. To this day, I still have no idea why these giants were dancing in the main square when we visited in September, but perhaps you will be lucky when you visit too!
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Reus is also known as one of the birthplaces of vermouth and this bitter drink is available everywhere with crisps and olives as an aperitif for just a handful of Euros. The Museu de Vermut restaurant is perfect for a lunch of tapas and the walls are lined with historical adverts for vermouth. For dinner, head to La Tagliatella for a huge Italian menu, packed full of delicious pizza and pasta. It’s great if you’re travelling with a vegetarian as many of the restaurants in Reus don’t have a veggie option.
The Lowdown: Stay, Eat, Visit
Stay with AirBnb and get £25 towards your first stay by signing up with my link. AirBnbs are limited in Reus, as the city doesn’t quite have the demand for apartments yet, but those that are listed are great value.
Eat at La Tagliatella for tasty pasta and pizza surrounded by locals.
Visit the Gaudi museum to learn more about this architect and his work – and make sure you wander around the city to spot the Modernist architecture too!
The Breakdown: Flights and Accommodation
Flights: £59.60 RyanAir from London Stansted (per person)
AirBnb: £53.54 for two nights (per person, between three)
This post is in collaboration with Holiday Gems