Spain Guide

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Valladolid's student population ensures there are plenty of late night bars and clubs to keep you entertained until the small hours you'll find the city noticeably livelier in term time, especially at weekends when some of the clubs stay open till dawn.

As you'd expect of a city with a 400,000 strong population, there are plenty of tapas bars, restaurants and clubs to choose from.

If you're visiting in October you'll be able to enjoy the highly acclaimed International Film Festival which brings leading directors and producers from all over the world to Valladolid. The event is one of Spain's major festivals and attracts around 80,000 visitors.

Various fiestas take place throughout the year including the famous Holy Week (Semana Santa) processions at Easter which are an impressive spectacle. The city also hosts the International Dance and Theatre Festival in May.

Whatever time of the year you're visiting, you'll have the opportunity to spend the evening touring the tapas bars, washing down tasty morsels of traditional Castilian fare with the fine wines for which this region is justifiably famous.

In some bars you'll be offered a free "tapa" with every drink pieces of cured ham, a local cheese, olives wrapped in anchovies etc.

If you're looking for something more substantial, visit one of the many good restaurants offering regional specialties such as suckling pig, Castilian soup and roast leg of lamb to die for (with individual portions big enough to feed an army).

Valladolid's world class wines include the famous reds of Ribeiro del Duero, the whites of Rueda and the "rosados" of Cigales.

In the Paraiso Portu area you'll also find some Irish style pubs and "chupiterias" which offer a wide selection of liquors normally served in very small cups called "chupitos." This is one of the liveliest areas of town during the week.

While you're touring the bars you may be treated to an impromptu performance from the local "Tuna" group students dressed in medieval costume who play guitars and sing for you in return for a small donation. The custom originates from the days when poor students would travel from one teacher to another, often staying in monasteries where they would literally sing for their supper.

The liveliest areas of town for pubs and clubs are Calle del Paraiso, Plaza del San Miguel, El Cuadro and Cantarranas.

Most bars and nightspots cater for students and a younger crowd if you're a "thirty something" you'll probably feel more comfortable in one of the cafés along Calle de Vincente Meliner.

San Miguel is a good area for late night dancing. Dress is generally casual but some clubs have bouncers on the door who take a dim view of trainers and other "overly casual" items of attire!

El Cuadro attracts young teenagers in the early evenings and an older party set as the night wears on. There are several disco pubs in the area with techno music, go go dancers (and over priced drinks!).