thebadPoll: The worst place in Spain

This is a slightly different way of running a poll. I’m not going to offer any choices. Instead, I’d like you, gentle reader, to nominate the municipality, region, village or other place which you consider to be the worst place in Spain*. Maybe it’s hideously ugly… maybe it’s just utterly tacky. Share your loathing!

What’s more, if you can’t narrow it down to one, you’ll get bonus uselessPoints(TM) for naming and shaming multiple places!


*And for the sake of clarity, ‘Spain’ means whatever the Spanish government in Madrid says it means. So yes, you can choose Barcelona if you like.

19 thoughts on “thebadPoll: The worst place in Spain

  1. I’m quite torn between Zamora and Ciudad Real, can’t really make up my mind which of the two is more of a dump. On second thoughts, let’s settle for Ciudad Real. At least Zamora’s only a stone’s throw away from Portugal while CR’s slap-bang in the middle of nowhere.

  2. Having been to Zamora and Cuidad Real believe me they don’t compare to a small town called L’Aldea in Tarragona province. It’s a perfect example of the worst kind of Spanish/Catalan building (nothing but concrete) and you would only stop if you broke down! Unfortunately I have to drive through the place to get to the supermarket, but a bypass is coming – hoorah!!!

  3. I’m surprised that I’ve only received two comments on this so far. I thought people around here liked to grumble and complain.

    I’ve never actually stopped there, but Martorell (on the motorway between BCN and Tarragona) always strikes me as looking particularly horrible. It consists of multiple, identical tower blocks and is over-shadowed by a car plant and a lunatic asylum.

  4. I’ve never been to the “congreso de los diputados” but I’m pretty sure that the place really sucks. Every time I hear what there is being discussed and the way they do it I feel sick.

  5. La Linea (de la Concepción) is a nasty place – typical frontier town. It’s known for ripping off people going to and from Gibraltar.

  6. Yep, I’m going to have to agree with Lenox — La Línea wins hands down over everyplace else. A perfect fusion of the worst of British and Spanish/Andalusian cultures. And ugly, to boot.

  7. Villareal in Valencia has a pretty decent football team but the town itself is about as ugly and visually unappealing as a you could find, away from the high-rise Costa monstrosities.

  8. No contest. There are loads of horribly ugly places no doubt but the worst place in Spain is the Valle de los Caídos. Just looking at photos gives me the creeps.

    Another place they should bulldoze: A fascist bar called Casa Pepe in Despeñaperros. Have a look on Google.

  9. @Josh – seems to be the general policy in Spain anyhow. Would you rather that it remained a memorial to fascists, complete with a basilica dedicated to the great dictator?

    @Algernon – Yes, two great examples!

  10. For me, one of the ugliest places in spain, has to be the the “Cañada Real Galiana” outside madrid, its a place that looks like a the town from mad max, with super sized rats and druggies all around

  11. Let me throw in a word for (or rather against) Barcelona.

    There’s a lot of terrible places as to architecture, but other reasons to evaluate a place exist. Barcelona, in my opinion, has the top spot. Presumptuous to the point of being obnoxious, self-centred and vain. On top of that,
    the ever-spinning discussion about Catalan identity has made me sick over the past years, because it has created a leaden atmosphere in which the absence of any intellect in public debate is the defining trait.


  12. @Candide – thanks for sharing your radically controversialist point of view. I kind of agree regarding the nationalism thing: it’s a suffocating vacuum of an argument. Perhaps, indeed, Barcelona believes too much of its own hype. I’m hopeful that as other destinations increase in popularity, and trends change, Barcelona will be forced to rediscover some of that mythical bourgeois genius which it always self-credits.

    But the worst place in Spain? I reckon I’d pick Ciudad Real, for its insolent self pity and aggressive nationalism any day.

  13. I have to hand this one to you. Haven’t been to CR, and most probably I am victim of the same malaise I denounce.

    I need a vacation. But then, who doesn’t?


  14. La linea bashers: How very dare you!

    I slept in a hostal there for 7 nights when I was 16, and only realised it was a brothel on the 7th morning. That is a proper city.

    Algeciras, on the other hand, is a slice of hell. Everybody is armed and I was ripped off by a gypsy bloke for block of hash. (I think I lost about 4000 pela). It’s also dog ugly.

    Also, anywhere with the suffix “de llobregat”.

  15. Another one could be, if you are not a rock-eating bacteria, the Rio Tinto River, one of most polluted bodies of water in the world and inspiration for Nasa’s astrobiological research.

    I still think Valle de los Caidos beats it though. Prefer aliens to Franco zombies anyday.

    Josh, Franco spent and his friends spent 40 years bulldozing history. The “pact of forgetting” agreed to sweep things under the carpet. Now, this repressed history and hundreds of thousands of hidden real-life stories are finally being discussed. Quite another thing is maintaining a monument whose only purpose it to glorify Francoism and its crimes. And it’s effing ugly too.

  16. I would like to nominate the supremely overlooked Albacete. Once described in the Rough Guide to Spain as having just three hostels an really that is three too many as it has no redeeming features at all.
    Almost got chucked off a night train to Madrid from Valencia there about two decades ago so scarred for life in my mind.

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