Top Eight (8) Reasons to Visit Spain: Monuments, Food and Culture
There are many reasons to visit Spain, a country rich in history and culture. There has never been a shortage of reasons to visit Spain. From cuisine to music, to even language and people, Spain does not need attractions for those visiting. So if you’re reading this, chances are you’re considering a possible vacation sometime in the future. Or even planning one at the moment, and you’re wondering if mama Espana has anything good to offer.
Therefore, this article is to put to bed any doubts about having an excellent time in Spain. We’ll cover some of the best things about Spain, while also mentioning some of the best places to find such things. Hopefully, by the time you’re done reading, your choice will become clear.
Spain (officially known as the Kingdom of Spain) is one of the most popular countries in Europe. It is located in Southwestern Europe and is one of the oldest surviving countries on the continent. The official language spoken there is Spanish, a language you may already know or have heard of. The Spanish language’s popularity goes a long way to show just how much of an influence Spain has on the modern world. If you’re a fan of Hispanic culture, accents, language, etc., then you should feel right at home in Spain.
One of the significant reasons to visit Spain is how the country manages to be modern without abandoning its cultural roots. The festivals, the food, the street architecture; all these things show traces of how they got to where they are today. Furthermore, even though the country is technically secular, it isn’t that difficult to trace its religious roots and draw a roadmap to what it currently is.
Eight Reasons to Visit Spain
Spain has a thing for everyone, no matter your interests. However, rather than go on, let’s clearly outline some of the best reasons to visit Spain.
#1. Countless Beaches
Some usually joke around by saying that wherever you are in Spain, there’s a high chance you’ll find a beach nearby. If one of your favorite things is to loosen up, put on shades, and get sand between your toes, then you must visit Spain. With a seemingly unending coastline (over 5000 mi/8000km) and several islands to its name, you may not have plenty of time to visit all the best beaches in the country.
Among the best beaches to visit in Spain include;
- Cala Saona, Ibiza
- Costa de la luz, Cadiz (at the Spanish-Portuguese border)
- Barceloneta, Barcelona
- La Concha, San Sebatian
- Malagueta Beach, Mallaga
#2. Lovely Weather
Have you ever looked at a Spaniard’s skin and wondered what their routine was? The Hispanic skin in Spain and the Americas has been a thing of awe for ages. Most of them seem to have a natural tan, which, one could guess, is owing to the beautiful weather they have there. Nearly every day is like a beautiful summer morning. The sun seems to take a particular interest in them.
Its lovely weather is one of the many people visiting Spain on vacations. Summers are warm, springs are beautiful, and even the winters have a bit of sunlight sprinkled in them.
#3. Amazing Food
Before you visit Spain, you should do well to recite your budget to yourself over and over. Why? Once you taste the food in Spain, it’s highly doubtful you’ll get enough of it. Different regions in the country have their cultural meals, each as unique as the last. Even the street food tastes terrific. Also, since the Spaniards are big meat lovers, they’ve found many creative ways to blend different kinds of meat.
From tapas to cured pork (jamon ibérico), potatoes and sauce (patatas bravas), churros, Gazpacho, Salmorejo, etc., you can really taste Spanish goodness. However, it gets better; food in Spain is cheaper than it is in most of Western Europe. In addition, there’s a much more affordable eating lifestyle in the country, so you can have a decent range of their cuisine before you’re done with the country.
If you’re visiting Spain, here are some of the top places to go taste Spanish food;
- La Barraca, Madrid
- La Mi Venta, Madrid
- Restaurante Oriza, Seville
- Tickets, Barcelona
- El Cella Can Roca, Girona
#4. Colorful Festivals
We all know Spanish people love to have a good time, right? It’s almost as if it is a part of them. Visiting Spain, you will find them doing precisely that artistic style. From parades to a concert, unique displays, and most notably, color. Yes, most Spanish festivals are pretty colorful. If you ever go to Spain, you should probably try and attend one of these.
Some of the best festivals we would recommend are;
- La Tomatina: This is one of Spain’s most popular annual festivals. It’s most popular in Bunol, Valencia, and holds on the last week of August. During this festival, people hurl ripe tomatoes at one another to have fun. If you plan to attend this festival, you might want to get some safety goggles to protect your eyes.
- The Fallas of Valencia: This festival constitutes a week of making paper mache figures of notable people and parading them in the streets. It also takes place in the city of Valencia.
- San Isidro, Madrid: A month-long festival consisting of live concerts and lots of beautiful Spanish cultural music.
- La Merce, Barcelona: The La Merce festival is a traditional festival that takes place during fall at the town square in Barcelona. It features live performances, human castles (where people climb one another as tall as possible), and various other side attractions.
- San Fermin Fiestas, Pamplona: Besides killing them and eating them as meat, Spanish people see bulls as capable of sport, and that is what this festival is all about. It is a bull-running festival and involves releasing angry bulls to run through the streets to the bullring. It is not a festival for the faint-hearted.
#5. Visit Your Favorite Football Teams
Suppose you’re from outside of Spain and support a Spanish football team. In that case, it’s almost certain you support either FC Barcelona or Real Madrid CF. They are the two biggest teams in Spain and two of the biggest in Europe. When you visit Spain, you have the opportunity to watch these teams play live at the Camp Nou or the Santiago de Bernabeu stadiums, respectively. The latter is also the Spanish national team’s home stadium.
As a football fan, there’s no need to explain to you the feeling of being in the stadium with your fellow fans, watching your team play live. Conversely, even non-football fans can have a jaw-dropping moment at these stadiums as they are some of the most beautiful stadiums in Spain and the world.
#6. History is Everywhere you Look
One of Spain’s most beautiful things is how much they have managed to preserve their cultural heritage. Even the top cities like Madrid have skyline-esque scenery that is borderline renaissance. Tall, preserved buildings, cobbled streets, and museums tell unending stories. Some of such places include;
- The UNESCO World Heritage Palace, Granada (around 700-800 years old)
- The Temple of Debod
- The Mezquita de Cordoba (Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption): It is a building that been a church and a mosque at several points in history, owing to Christain and Muslim takeovers of Spain. The architecture shows both Roman and Middle-Eastern styles.
- The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
#7. The Wine
Can we honestly think of red wine without thinking of Spanish people? Spain is the second-largest producer of wine in the world and has the largest area of land dedicated to planting wine grapes. They even have a festival dedicated to wine!
If you love wine tasting, you will love to visit Spain and see its variety. But, of course, the most famous Spanish wine is the Rioja.
Spain has a few islands in the Mediterranean and just beyond the Northwest border of Africa. Some of the most popular of these include Ibiza and the Canary Islands, places where people go to enjoy summer vacations. These islands have amazing views, great beaches, and beautiful terrains for hiking, cycling, surfing, etc. However, if you go there during the summer, expect a lot more others and a few price hikes for commodities.
Some of the best islands to visit in Spain include;
- Canary Island
- La Palma
- Gran Canaria, etc.
Spain Visit Logistics
If you’re going to visit Spain, there are some things you should know ahead of time to help prepare for your journey. Therefore, we have covered them in this section:
Visa for Visiting Spain
Before visiting Spain, you’ll have to get a Spanish Short-Stay Visa. This visa allows you to stay in Spain for up to 90 days. However, suppose your country is one of the Schengen member countries or those with a visa-free travel agreement with the Schengen area. In that case, you do not need a short-stay visa. Find out the cost of a Spain short-stay visa and other related Spain visa fees.
Accommodation Options When You Visit Spain
To secure your Spain visa, you must already have your accommodation sorted out; it is one of the visa requirements. However, it would not hurt to talk about it a little.
When you visit Spain, you can stay with a relative/willing friend or book a hotel or Airbnb. As soon as you’re sure what city in Spain you want to travel to, you can start looking up accommodation there. Of course, major cities like Barcelona and Madrid have higher accommodation fees (could be as high as 60 EUR per night). Ensure you weigh costs against your budget before making your reservation.
Indeed, as one visiting Spain, you don’t intend to stay all day indoors. Some of the best ways to get around when you’re in Spain include;
- Car rental services; if there’s enough of you to split the bill, you’ll be moving around a lot.
- Trains or Buses; if you’ll be moving between cities but don’t intend to move around too much. Or if you will move a lot but can’t shoulder the bill for car rentals
- Flight; if you’ll be traveling far distances and are looking to save time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most visited cities in Spain?
Spain has a lot of beautiful cities and islands. However, the most visited cities in Spain are; Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Ibiza, Valencia, and Granada.
What is the capital of Spain?
The capital of Spain is Madrid, located in the Iberian Peninsula. It is also the most populous city in the country.
Does Spain have a standing monarchy?
Yes, it does. The current King of Spain is King Felipe VI; he became King in 2014 after his father; Juan Carlos I, abdicated the throne.
Do they speak English in Spain?
The Spanish language is the primary language spoken in Spain. However, few of the citizens know how to speak English. You may need the services of a Spanish translator if you visit for the first time and have no knowledge of basic Spanish.
What city in Spain is the most beautiful?
Spain has a lot of beautiful cities. However, cities like Barcelona, Granada, and Seville stand out based on scenery, culture, planning, etc.
Spain is where you can let out your inner Hispanic tendencies without sounding out of place. You can wear a “sombrero grande” (Spanish for big hat) with embroidery on it, put on multiple colors, and pronounce Mexico as “Mehico” while sipping a glass of Sangina. And it’ll just be Tuesday. Visiting Spain is an experience you want in your lifetime.