7 Aug 2013

What to eat in Huelva? - 1: TAPAS

Hi guys!!
After a long time without new posts, I think it´s time to talk about food, because in Huelva you will have the opportunity to try delicious food and drinks, and not just paella and sangria, as you probably know, but some other specialties from the city and region of Huelva.

So... what to eat???

Well, you probably heard about tapas, and Huelva, with its hundreds bars and incredible prices, is a perfect destination to try a lot of them!!

Some typical tapas, common in most of bars are, for example:

1. Patatas Bravas

Basically, this is a simple and tasty recipe, perfect to combine with a cold beer. Includes fried or boiled potatoes and a spicy sauce.

2. Ensaladilla Rusa
Cold salad made of potatoes and other ingredients as tuna, boiled eggs, peas, carrots... and mayonese.
The recipe changes in every bar, so you will have to find your favourite.

3. Papas aliñás
And potatoes again!! This time are boiled potatoes with onion, parsley, olive oil and vinegar. Really nice!

4. Albóndigas
In Huelva you will find different kind of meatballs, but you can order Albóndigas de Choco (cuttlefish meatballs), a traditional meal difficult to find in other cities. Cuttlefish is very typical in Huelva, and that´s one of the reasons why people from Huelva are known as Choqueros (Choco = Cuttlefish).

5. Tortilla de Patatas
One of the Spanish national dishes... so famous inside Spain and so unknown abroad...
Everyone has his own recipe, and also every bar, but you HAVE to try them!
Ingridients are simple: potatoes and eggs, but you can also find it with onion, chorizo, prawns...
You will love it!

6. Montaditos
Montaditos are small sandwiches where you can put everything inside... just use your imagination!!
You will find vegetarian ones, with meat, with or without sauces... even sweet montaditos with chocolate!!
The picture is in a bar called 100 montaditos, where they offer 100 different sandwiches at a low price.

7. Salmorejo
This delicious cold soup is a must in every Andalusian family, specially during summer.
Is made of tomatoes, bread, garlic, olive oil and vinegar, and most of people add some eggs and iberian ham to their dish to make it even more tasty.
Don´t forget about it, cause if you like it, you can also prepare it at home, since it´s very easy and perfect at any time.

8. Caracoles y Cabrillas
You could think they are disgusting if you have never tried before, but here are really popular and you have to try them!
The season is June-August more or less, so you will have to wait a little bit, but it´s totally worth it!

9. Patatas Ali-Oli
Now you can see how many different styles to prepare potatoes we have! So you must try all of them and choose your favourite.
These are boiled potatoes with ali-oli sauce, a soft sauce like mayonese but with garlic and some other ingredients.

10. Pulpo a la Gallega

This tapa is a little bit more expensive, but it´s really worth it. If you like octopus or if you have never tried it before, you will like this style, typical from the north-west part of Spain.

You will find bars where most of these tapas cost 0.90€!!!!!!!! Imagine that!!!!
So get ready to enjoy a lot of nights out, eating tapas with your friends, Andalusian style ;)

17 Aug 2012

From Málaga to Huelva

Hi guys!

Some of you are asking for the different options from Málaga to Huelva, then here we go!

OPTION A: Through Seville
Take a bus from the airport to the bus/train station (3€).
In Málaga, the train station is just in front of the bus station, so you don´t have to worry about it.

Once in the station, choose train or bus:

- TRAIN: There are two kind of trains to Sevilla: Avant (42,00€ - 1h55m) or MD (23,20€ - 2h35m).
Remember that you can get 25% of discount in trains with your youth card.
During weekdays, the trains between Malaga and Sevilla start at 06:45 and finish at 20:15.
For more details, check RENFE web.

Once in Sevilla - Santa Justa, take a train to Huelva (9,40€* - 1h25m) or a bus (8.50€ - 1h15m).
If you want to take the bus, you have to go to Plaza de armas bus station, using a taxi (around 5€) or Sevilla city buses (1.40€).

There are just 3 daily trains from Sevilla to Huelva: 10:00, 17:00 and 20:50, but buses run every hour.

- BUS: You can take a bus from Malaga to Sevilla with the company Alsa. There are two kind of buses: Normal - Eurobus (18,09€ - 2h45m) or Supra Economy (22,93€ - 2h45m).
Supra Economy is more comfortable, that´s why is more expensive.

Once in Sevilla, just take a bus to Huelva with the company Damas (8.50€ - 1h15m).

*Price using the European youth card.

OPTION B: Through Córdoba.

Take a bus from the airport to the bus/train station (3€).
In Málaga, the train station is just in front of the bus station, so you don´t have to worry about it.

Once in the station, choose train or bus:
- Train. There are two kind of trains: AVE (50 minutes) or Avant (1h05m.). Remember that you can get discount with the youth card, and, if you buy the ticket in advance you can find very cheap prices with, sometimes, more than 50% off.
Prices start from 12.35€, and it´s pretty easy to get tickets for less than 18€.
Trains between Malaga and Córdoba run from 06:15 till 20:30.

Once in Córdoba train station, take a train to Huelva, that may stop in Sevilla.
Trains start at 08:35, and the last one is at 19:44 (11 trains per day). The cheapest price if you are just one person travelling is 18,85€, or 15,10€ if you are a group of four.
It´s easy to get tickets for less than 25€, but it depends if you book in advance or not.

- Bus. Take a bus from Malaga to Cordoba with the company Alsa. (2h30m - 14,59€).
Only two direct buses are running per day: 11:30 and 19:30.

Once in Cordoba bus station, take a bus to Huelva with the company Socibus (9,45€ - 2h30m).
Just 3 buses are running per day, and you can also get discount with your European Youth Card.

15 Aug 2012

From Madrid Airport to Huelva: Different ways to travel

Since a lot of people are flying to Madrid, and most of them are asking, I am going to write about the possibilities, prices and offers available from our capital to Huelva.

Trains in Spain are fast and comfortable, but quite expensive if you don´t book in advance.
To reach Huelva by train, follow these instructions:

- From Barajas Airport take the metro (line 8) untill Nuevos Ministerios. There, change to line 10, and go to Tribunal. Finally, take the line 1 to Atocha (train station).
From Atocha Station, there are a lot of trains everyday to Seville, most of them are AVE trains (high speed, 2h30m).

The standar price it can be up to 75.50€ BUT you can get important DISCOUNTS.
With the European Youth Card, you will get 25% off, and if you book in advance (I would recommend you to book at least 15 days before your trip), you have different fares without the youth card, like Promo or Promo+, where you can get your tickets from 28.70€, and in most of trains from less than 35€.

Check the timetables, prices and offers in http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html

Here, you can see the different prices.

BUT that´s not all, because you also have some direct trains from Madrid to Huelva, so you don´t have to change to another train or bus in Seville.
Trains take around 3h30m (so much faster than the bus, that takes around 7h45m), and prices start from 35.75€ for one person or from only 28.60€ if you are a group of four.

The only problem is that they just offer 2 direct trains per day, a big difference if you compare the number with the 20 daily trains Madrid - Sevilla.

There is a low-cost bus company called Socibus, that offer really good prices from Madrid (Airport or Méndez Álvaro Station) and they have several departures everyday.
They offer wi-fi in their buses, but they take 8 hours, and is more uncomfortable than train, but yes, is cheaper.
The one-way ticket cost 25.80€, and you can have discount with your European Youth card, but it´s not possible to get it on internet, where you will also have to pay an internet fee, so the final price will be 28.30€ (my recommendation is: try to get a cheap train if you can, cause you can pay the same or maybe 5-10€ more, but you will save 4-5 hours and will travel more comfortable).
I recommend you to book at least one day before, cause this buses are often fully booked, and you may have to wait at the station for the next one.

To go by bus you have 2 options:
The first one is to buy a ticket from Barajas (airport) to Huelva, and you will go straight to the bus station in town.
The negative thing is that just 2 or 3 buses are departing from Barajas per day, so if the hours are not convinience, you should check the second option, a bus from Madrid (Méndez Álvaro station) to Huelva.
Check prices and schedule here: http://www.socibus.es/index.jsp

To reach the station follow the instructions below:
- From Barajas airport take the metro (line 8) untill Nuevos Ministerios. Once there, take the line 6 till Méndez Álvaro and you will find the station there.

European Youth card to get discount in trains and some buses.

C) By plane.
You can fly from Madrid to Sevilla with Iberia Express from 36€ one way.

The good thing is that you don´t have to leave the airport, but good prices are just available when you book both ways, and are not so easy to find even if you do that, having to pay 40-55€.

Check schedules and prices here: http://www.iberiaexpress.com/en/
The trip will take 1h - 1h15m.

4 Jul 2012

Mobile phone in Spain

Hello again!!

Today, Id like to talk a little bit about the telephone companies in Spain, so you can have an idea.

Here we have expensive companies if you compare with most of European countries, and if you want to call, you have to pay 0.15€ + VAT just to start the conference.

The normal price for a national SMS is also 0.15€ + VAT, and the price per minute depends on the company and the offer.

Fortunately, in the last years we are getting cheaper prices thanks to the new low cost companies.
Here you can find 4 big companies, with their own red, they are Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and Yoigo.
Also you can find a lot of virtual companies like Simyo, Pepephone, Carrefour movil, Lebara, Dia Movil, Amena, Jazztel Movil...

Some good offers right now for prepaid customers are:

* Yoigo: In Huelva, most of erasmus students used to have Yoigo, since they had quite good prices for the clients who use prepaid cards, like 0.08€/min and 0.08€/sms, and you can have unlimited internet on your phone paying 8€ per month. You have several shops in the city, so you don´t have to order the sims online.

* Tuenti Móvil: They offer 1gb of internet + calls for 0.03€/min for 6€ per month, or 1gb of internet and 50 free minutes for 9€ (remember, when you get free minutes, you don´t have to pay the 0.15€ to start the call, otherwise you will always have to pay).
You can buy the sim card in every Movistar shop in the city, or order it online.

* Vodafone: Paying 8€ per month you get 500mb of internet, 20 free sms and 20 free minutes to any national number. If you need more, you can also check the Smart 12 and Smart 16 plans, where you will pay more and get more internet, minutes and sms (You will find a lot of Vodafone shops in Huelva, so you can just go and buy one simcard).

* Másmóvil: You can get good prices, like calls from 3 cent/minute and internet from 1.50€ per month (150mb, and a good price if you don´t use it a lot) till 14.90€ per month (1gb, and quite expensive if you compare with other companies).
You can also find a few shops where you can ask and compare.

* Orange: This company offers, for prepaid customes, their Whale plan, where you get 1gb, 1000 sms and calls for 0.01€/min paying 12€ per month, or another plan where you will pay 2€ per week, having sms and calls for 0.01€ and 100mb of internet every week.
If you don´t need to use internet, you can have calls and sms for 0.01€ paying 1€ per week.

* Simyo. They offer a plan where you can call people from the same company for free, and people from the other companies for 0.05€/min, and they give you 100mb of internet for free.
You don´t have to pay a fee, and you just have to spend 3.99€ per month or they will take it anyway if you don´t do it.
Simyo doesn´t have shops, so you will have to order the sims online.

We also have plans where you pay, for example 25€ and you can use unlimited internet and make unlimited calls with your phone, and some others when you pay 10, 15 or 20€ and you get, for example 350 minutes per month to call and internet in some cases.
Unfortunately, these plans are just available for the people who select the "pay monthly" services.

30 Jun 2012

Curiosities about appartments in Huelva

I have been thinking about what else should I write here, and maybe there are some things in the appartments that will be strange o new for you.

For example, to take a shower.
Here, some appartment have gas instalation, and some others electrical heaters, but more than 70% of flat Id say, have our friend "la bombona" (gas bottle).

For some people this thing is really strange at the beggining, and some erasmus think that its dangerous or annoying, but be prepared, because probably you will have this kind of bottle in your appartment.

I reccommend you to buy always two, so if one it´s finished, you can change it and have more hot water.
After that, you can call to order a new one, or go to the petrol station with your empty bottle to change it.
The price for one is, right now, 17,49€.


Another thing that is not that common in most of Europe in to have a blind.
Well, I have to say I missed them on my erasmus, cause I don´t like to have light in my room at 07:00am :P

With Spanish blinds you don´t have to worry about it, so you can sleep longer after the parties!


28 Jun 2012

Money exchange in Huelva

Since Huelva is not a really touristic town, and most of the people use euro, we don´t have exchange offices, so could be difficult for you to find a place to change dollars, zloty...

You can do it most of banks, but you will need to have an account there, so if you need to exchange money, the best option is to go to Hipercor, a mall close to the city center, where you will just need your passport.

17 Jun 2012

How to reach Huelva

Huelva is a city between two International airports: Sevilla and Faro (Portugal), but if you have both options, Id recommend you to fly to Sevilla, because the city is well connected to Huelva, so you don´t have to wait so long to come here.

Faro doesn´t have as many buses as Sevilla, so sometimes you have to wait for hours or take a taxi, that is more expensive.

If you are flying to Madrid, as many people do, the cheapest option to reach Huelva is by bus, using Socibus, but you can travel also by train, more comfortable and so much faster. If you book in advance (better if you do it at least 15 days before) you can get similar prices as the bus, or maybe you will have to pay 5-10€ more, but you will travel for 3 hours instead of 8.
There is a high speed line between Madrid and Sevilla, or you can take the standard train to Huelva.
For prices and schedule, check the web Renfe
The bus take around 8 hours from Madrid to Huelva, and the train, if you take the high speed line to Sevilla, will take around 3h30m (You can get prices and more details in other posts).

The train could be also a good option if you are flying to Malaga or Seville.

Accommodation in Huelva

Find accommodation in Huelva is quite easy, and more than 90% of international students get a room in 1-3 days, so don´t worry about it.

To rent a room or a flat, I reccommend you to go to the International Office and ask to the people of ESN Huelva, they will give you a list with a lot of flats or rooms available, and they even will call to the owners if you can´t speak Spanish, so it will be easier. Note that all ESN Staff are all volunteers, so they are not going to charge you any money for it.

Another issue about accommodation is, what to do the first night or if Im going to Huelva during the weekend??.
Well, the best option is to book a hostel / hotel for 2 nights.

The cheapest options that you can find are: Hostal Calvo, nothing special but right in the city center, really cheap and clean enough to live, Albergue Inturjoven, with breakfast included and really good services, Hotel Marina, close to the campus El Carmen but a little bit more expensive, or Hotel Costa de la Luz, also with breakfast included.

You can check prices and availability clicking in the links.

Intercity buses in Huelva

Huelva has a main bus station, close to the city center and la merced, and people usually call it "Damas".

Most of buses routes are operated by the company Damas with services to the beach, Huelva´s villages and towns, Sevilla or Badajoz.

You can also check Socibus, a cheaper company with services to Madrid and Córdoba.

If you want to go to Portugal, the companies are Damas and Eva, and the prices of course depend on where do you want to go.

In Socibus you can get special prices with the European Youth Card (>26-30).

With Socibus for example is possible to get the tickets online, but you can´t get discounts there, so if you have your card, it´s better to go to the station if you can.

You can read more about services and prices clicking on Socibus, Damas or Eva.

P.S. There are also services available from and to Romania.

City Buses in Huelva

Huelva is not a big city, so you can go by foot everywhere, but sometimes you have to walk for 40-50 minutes, so if you want you can use the public transportation system.

We don´t have metro or tram, but we have 9 lines of citybus and taxis.

Taxis are available 24 hours, and you can find them in several taxi stops around the city or order one by telephone.
A taxi in Huelva usually cost between 4€ and 8€, being more expensive during the night or in public holiday.

Most of buses start around 06:30 and finish around 23:00, so there are no buses during the night.
The prices are:
- Single ticket: 1.10€
- Bonobus: 0.65€ (you can buy your bonobus in most of kiosks or tobacco shops, paying 6.50€ for 10 trips).
- Student bus card. If you use the bus a lot, that´s your best solution. You can get your student bus card at EMTUSA (in the main city bus station), and you will pay 22€ per month (unlimited rides).

You can find more information and timetables, in Spanish and English in this link: http://www.emtusahuelva.es/pagina.aspx?id=27

18 Dec 2011

University of Huelva

The University of Huelva (UHU) is a public University and it has 3 different campus, located in Huelva and La Rábida (Palos de la Fronteria).
These campus are:

Campus "El Carmen"
It´s located close to the main entrance of Huelva, and it´s the biggest one. There you can find the faculties of Education sciences, humanities, the law school, work sciences, experimental sciences, nursery school... as well as the central library, several canteens, the pedagogical museum, the international office, the SACU, CARUH, an informatic systems building, and some other important buildings.

If you are going to study in El Carmen and you would like to live close, the most popular areas are Los Rosales, Isla Chica, Nuevo Parque and Fuentepiña, located between 5 and 20 minutes by foot from there.
If you decided to live in the city center or in another area, there are several buses that link the campus with these areas from 07:00 till 23:00 approximately.

Campus "La Merced"
Its located in Plaza de la Merced, close to the city center and the cathedral.
Actually its not a campus, its just the bussines and tourism school, where most of erasmus students have their lessons.

If you are going to study in La Merced, you can rent a flat in La Merced, Molino de la Vega or in the city center.

Campus "La Rábida"
Its located outside the city, in Palos de la Frontera municipality (8km from Huelva), so you have to take a bus.

If you are going to study there, its better to rent a flat close to the bus station, that is close to the city center and La Merced.

17 Dec 2011

Prices in Huelva

With this post you can have an idea about the prices for students. Huelva is a cheap city, and find accommodation here its quite easy.

- Room in a shared flat: 140-180€/month
- Bills (water, electricity and gas): 20-40€/month (per person)
- Internet: 8-15€/mes (per person)
- Gym: 15-60€/month
- City Bus: 1.10€ with single ticket, 0.65€ with bonobus or 22€ per month with your student card.
- Rent a bike at the university: 20€/semester (limited number of bikes!!!)
- Entrance to clubs: 0-10€ (usually, 0€).
- Long drinks: 2-7€
- Shots: 0,50-2€
- Beer / Soft drink: 0,80-3€
- Tapas: 0,80-3€
- Cinema ticket: 5.00-9.00€
- Menu at the university: 4.50-5.50€ (including bread, drink and dessert).
- Photocopies: 0.02-0.10€
- Packet of cigarretes: 3.35- 6.00€, depending of the brand.
- Bottle of vodka: 3.50 - 15€
- Litre of milk: 0.55 - 1.20€
- Litre of red wine: 0.65 - 1.20€

That´s all. If you need something else, you can leave a comment ;).

16 Dec 2011

Welcome to Huelva / Bienvenido a Huelva

Hi guys!

If you are reading this article, probably you are going to be an international student in Huelva soon, and probably you didn´t choose our city as your first destination, so you don´t know what´s going on here...

Maybe you choose this city because you want to live by the sea, improve your Spanish skills, or live in a tropical area in the south of Spain that it´s always warm and sunny, so you can go to the beach in December or January.

Well, first thing that you need to know, there is NO beach in Huelva (a lot of people don´t know that), so you need to go to Punta Umbría, Mazagón or another town to see the sea. Huelva has a port, but that´s all.
Fortunately, beaches are pretty close and there is one bus to the beach every hour (sometimes even every 30 minutes), and it cost 1.50€.
If you get the bus card, free of charge, you will pay 1.02€ for the same trip, so you can save some money.

About the Spanish language, maybe Andalussia is not the best part to learn if you just know standard Spanish.
We speak fast, we use different words and we cut the sentences, so sometimes could be difficult for you to understand the people, however, the andalussian Spanish is really nice, and if you can understand it, you will be able to understand everybody in every single part of Spain.
If you just speak English or another language, note that here almost nobody can speak and understand English, so try to learn some basic spanish sentences before your arrival.

Finally, and really important... Huelva IT IS COLD in winter.
Probably your country is colder, since here we don´t have snow, and the temperature is never in minus, but sometimes we have 7-8º and high humidity, so please, bring your jackets with you!.