Spain is the 4th largest country in Europe. It’s a country full of rich culture, food, beautiful scenery, outstanding historical architecture, wonderful weather (for the most part), and warm people. No wonder it’s the 3rd most visited country in the world.
With all that Spain has to offer it might be overwhelming to know what to start doing. Below is a guide on some activities to tick off your Spanish bucket list:
Paella is saffron colored rice usually mixed with all sorts of seafood ingredients such as clams, mussels, shrimps, lobster, crabs etc. In addition chicken and vegetables are included.
P.S. Best Paella in the world is from Valencia, Spain; its birthplace.
Churros con Chocolate
Churro is a semi-sweet fried dough usually doused with sugar or cinnamon. It is very normal to order a hot cup of thick chocolate syrup with the Churros to dip it in
In Madrid, the best place to have Churros con Chocolate is in San Ginés. Many famous figures have stopped by San Ginés.
Croqueta is fried bread crumbs filled with mashed potatoes and literally anything else, normally chicken or fish or cheese,beef etc.
Boiled and fried potatoes with a vinegar, tomato and red pepper sauce poured on it. Sometimes added to this sauce is alioli- mayonnaise and garlic.
A Spanish omelet made with potatoes
Bocadillo de Calamares
Fried squid sandwich. Sometimes cheese and vegetable are included with the fried calamari rings but usually it’s just left like that
Pulpo a la Gallega
This dish is for the seafood lovers as well. Pulpo is octopus. Originated from Galicia, Spain. Galicia is by the Atlantic Ocean; naturally the best seafood comes from this region of Spain. Pulpo a la gallega is boiled octopus mixed with potatoes and sprinkled with pepper, olive oil and salt.
Horchata is a widely consumed drink in Europe and Latin America. It’s origin is however from Valencia. Part of the influence to this drink was during the Muslim presence from the 8th century in Valencia. Horchata or Orxata in Valenciano is a drink consisting of almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley and tiger nuts. It is usually served cold in Spain
Templo de debod, Madrid
An ancient Egyptian temple dismantled, shipped as a gift from the Egyptian government and then re-built in Madrid.
A magnificent palace and must go to place in Granada. It represents what was left of the Spanish Islamic era. It is one of the most visited monuments in Spain that you have to book at least 3 months in advance for a ticket.
Football Stadium (Real Madrid or Fc Barcelona)
Home of the top football team and players in the world, it is a no brainer for fans to pay tribute to these stadiums. Both Real Madrid and Fc Barcelona are staunch rivals so be careful what team you choose 😉
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
The Sagrada Familia is huge Roman catholic church that took over 130 years to build. It was built by the Architect, Antonio Guadi.
Founded by Ferdinard VII of Spain, the Prado houses principal European paintings dating back to 12th century. One can see works from Velazquez, Salvador Dali, Francisco Goya, Carvaggio, Wassily Kandinsky etc.
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
This interesting shaped art museum was built by Frank Gehry. It is known to be the most groundbreaking architecture in the 20th century. Despite its interesting shape, the Guggenheim is just like any other museum with art paintings, contemporary sculpture to name a few.
Cordoba Mosque, Cordoba
Mezquita de Cordoba is one of the oldest standing structure of what was left during the ruling of Muslims in Spain. In this mosque there are several inscriptions from the Quran. It must be noted that as of now, it is considered a mosque and a church.
City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia
A great place to take a picture and for both children and adults to check out the exhibitions inside. It is both exciting to visit during the day or night; both inside or outside. The city of arts and science center consists of The Hemesferic, The Oceanografic, and Museum of Science.
Alcazar of Toledo, Spain
The Alcazar of Toledo is located in the highest elevation of Toledo. It was once used as a Roman palace however today it is a known to be an army museum. Despite the Spanish army exhibitions displayed, the balcony of the Alcazar are worth it due to the views. Toledo, Spain also plays a huge role during the Muslim rule.
Royal Palace, Madrid
This is the most visited site in Madrid. It is also the official residence of the royal family of Spain. The interiors of the places of filled with luxurious decorations, paintings, furniture, porcelain to name a few. It is also contains information about the rich history of Spain and its royalty.
Aqueduct of Segovia
This aqueduct is one of the great works of man. It was built during the Roman empire in 50 a.d. Its 93 ft tall. Do you know that there was no cement used during this time to build the aqueduct?
Plaza de España, Seville
Andalusia is said to be one of the best regions of Spain especially beautiful Seville. Plaza de España is a must visit in Seville. Its construction has influences from the Renaissance and Moorish era. Plaza de España is place where locals and travelers hang out, relax and enjoy the beautiful views.
Camino de Santiago trail
Known in English as St. James way, the Camino de Santiago was once an important religious event whereby Christian pilgrims would walk this path and meet up in St James tomb. Today hundreds of thousands of tourist worldwide from different background do this walk for spiritual or personal uplifting. The walk could take days, weeks or even a month depending on your stamina. At the end, participants are awarded for the walk. It is a great way to meet new people and share a memorable experience.
Check out amazing terraces in your city
Spain has lots of cool terraces where you can see the entire city and sometimes mountain ranges.
Go see the Fallas in Valencia
Fallas is a parade with cartoon like monuments in Valencia. It is an annual celebration that usually occurs during the Spring. One should attend the Fallas at least once.
Participate in the San Juan festival by one of Spain’s coasts
Go watch a football game by your favorite team
Watch a flamenco show
Hike/ Ski on the mountains
Go to the beach
Eat Tapas; and don’t forget 100 montaditos
Partake in the La Tomatina
This is a starter guide on Spain! I hope it helps