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Welcome to Logroño!

So if you haven’t already inferred from my numerous, occasionally long-winded, sporadically humorous blog posts, I have said adiós to the olive groves, flamenco fiestas and eternal sunshine of Córdoba in Andalucía, Spain, and traded it in for the vibrant, diverse northern city of Logroño, capital of La Rioja, wine country. I needed a change, and I definitely got one. So far, this year looks like it is going to be incredible!

I am going on year three (nonconsecutive) as an expat in Spain, and I have definitely had my fair share of tourist cities, especially after having lived in Salamanca, Madrid, and Córdoba. So when it came time to chose for this year, I really wanted to try something different. I went through La Rioja on the train once, 4 years ago, and I fell in love with the landscape here. Logroño is a decent-sized city in Spain, but in terms of tourism, it doesn’t have the name or draw that goes along with cities like Sevilla, Granada, or Valencia. However, I am slowly coming to discover that Logroño is a hidden gem, and definitely worth visiting. Logroño is well-known to people who have done the camino de santiago, a huge pilgrimage route that passes through Logroño from France across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia on the west coast. I always see people who are doing the camino passing through Logroño, with their hiking boots and walking sticks with a giant backpack with a shell dangling from it. I am contemplating doing the camino this summer if I can find someone awesome to do it with me. Applications are open, people!

Logroño is a stately, traditional Spanish city. It has a beautiful old quarter with narrow, quaint little streets (one of which I call home), and many green beautiful parks and plazas to hang out in. Being in Spain, there is no shortage of churches to visit, and a beautiful stone bridge that heads out of the city, crossing the Ebro River. It is a truly beautiful, small, historic European city, not to mention it was made famous this summer on HBO’s True Blood, anyone? anyone? I nearly peed myself when the 16th century Spanish witch said her name was Antonia Gavilán de Logroño. Of all the places in Spain to pick…

However, one of my favorite things about Logroño has to be the food. Seriously, the food here will blow your mind. Logroño is famous for its pintxos (tapas), and they have a wonderful variety. Expect to pay no more than €2.50 for a good pincho and a glass of red wine. There is a famous street here called Calle Laurel, which is nothing but pincho bars as far as you can see with a huge variety. On the weekends, this narrow street is packed to the gills with people, eating, drinking and having a good time. Going out in Logroño usually consists in meeting up around 10pm to get drinks and pinchos before heading to the bars and clubs. Most of the pincho bars have their own signature pincho, like three garlic mushrooms and a shrimp on a slice of baguette, a shrimp and pineapple kebab stick, or a little grilled pork sandwich with a green pesto type of sauce (that last one is my favorite). Did I mention I live 2 blocks down from C/ Laurel? Yeah, that’s right. I can wear all the uncomfortable high heels I want out at night because I only have to walk a maximum of 1.5 minutes to get back home. Now that’s a win! However, I do need to join a gym ASAP before all those pinchos catch up with me!

But what Logroño, and La Rioja is most famous for is its wine. If you ever buy Spanish red wine, take a look a the label; it probably comes from La Rioja. Wine is everywhere here, literally. You can’t escape it. It is the go-to drink in bars; there are bodegas everywhere, and it seems that everything has the grape symbol on it. I truly live in wine country, and I couldn’t be happier. Going out for pinchos, and a glass of red will cost you around €.60. Pay over a euro and we’re talking fancy vintage. It’s so wonderful! My goal is to leave Logroño (if I can bring myself to ever leave this magical city) as a wine enthusiast, and I am well on my way!

Wanna blend in in Club Europe? Put on a pair of stunna shades and tight white pants and get your dance on with two songs that have been blowing up the discotecas here in Spain: bailando por ahi and danza kuduro.

I’ll leave you with some pics of my new apartment.

View from my windows

View from my windows

I actually have the biggest bed in the world

hallway past the little patio and spare bedrooms to the kitchen and bathroom

My blue little kitchen

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16 Responses to Welcome to Logroño!

  1. Kaley [Y Mucho Más] October 14, 2011 at 2:42 am #

    Logroño is most definitely a hidden gem!! I am so jealous of that olive store and I miss tapas/pinchos so much!

    I also love wine, so that doesn’t hurt…

  2. Cassandra October 15, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for the past few weeks and have been meaning to comment. Since a friend proposed the idea of traveling to Logroño in November, this entry really piqued my interest.

    The description of your new home sounds similar to León, a city I love. Pilgrims, pintxos, and Rioja? Your pics alone have got me sold on the idea!

  3. Liz October 17, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    I am totally in love with this city and I think if you have the chance to visit, it is most definitely worth it. If you come to Logroño in November, you have to let me know! I hope to make it to León soon this year too.

  4. Cassandra October 19, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    Thanks, I will remember that! I strongly recommend a jaunt over to León, as well.

  5. Liz October 19, 2011 at 5:48 am #

    Definitely! I will definitely plan a trip to León this year-is that where you are living?

  6. Anonymous November 5, 2011 at 2:01 am #

    Que fotos tan bonitas has puesto! Mis padres son logroñeses y hace muchos años que estuve en esa ciudad.

  7. Liz November 5, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Gracias! Logroño es una ciudad preciosa-por eso es fácil sacar fotillos bonitas. A mi me encanta vivir aquí, ya lo sé que sería dificil regresar a los EEUU en julio. Vives en España? 🙂

  8. Lizzie January 31, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Hey Liz! I stumbled on your blog on the Auxiliares website and am currently trying to decide which region I want to renew for next year. I am in Madrid now, but the city is too big for me and I’m looking for something different. I was recently in Granada and loved it and am thinking of renewing for Andalucía. Since the region is so big, I’m worried about being placed in a random little town far away from any city. I want to research more places to keep my options open. Your entries about Logroño are so interesting, and it sounds like a place I would like! Are there a lot of other auxiliares in your city? Did you have trouble finding your piso and people to live with? What do you think the chances are of being placed in Logroño or any other bigger city in La Rioja? Do you think Andalucia or La Rioja would b a adjustment for me? (coming from Madrid) sorry to bombard you with random questions, but any advice you could give me would really help! Thank you 🙂

  9. AL April 19, 2013 at 5:58 am #

    If you don’t mind me being nosy, may I ask how much that beautiful apartment rented for per month? Thanks!

  10. Whitney February 8, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    Hey Liz,

    I’m planning on stopping in Logroño for an overnight stay during Semana Santa. Can you recommend any activities to do there? Do you have a favorite bodega/vineyard? what kinds of outdoor activities are available and should be done in this city?!

    Thanks for the info!

  11. Marie July 17, 2015 at 4:34 am #

    I’m moving to Logroño in September to do the Language and Culture Assistants program and continuously do searches for the area. I’ve read your blog before but just realized I agreed to live in your (former) apartment 2 days ago! I can’t wait and the views from the windows are beautiful.


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