Looking for things to do in Spain? Here are the best places to visit on your next tripApril 9, 2022 2023-07-15 13:07
Looking for things to do in Spain? Here are the best places to visit on your next trip
Looking for things to do in Spain? Here are the best places to visit on your next trip
From Flamenco dancing to soaking up the sun on a beautiful Mediterranean beach, there’s something for everyone in Spain. Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Since Spanish culture has influenced various continents around the world with their food, architecture and religious beliefs, this comes as no surprise. In fact, there are over 500 million people who speak Spanish globally, making it the second largest population of native speakers in the world. So, if you’re thinking of brushing up on your Spanish speaking skills before heading off, our expert tutors at Learn&Co can surely help you with the basics.
Spain is home to a number of well known cities such as; Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Seville, all bursting with unique and interesting places you wouldn’t want to miss. This article will highlight the best places to visit when you‘re next in Spain.
- Food & Drink
- Architecture + History
- Feel Like A Local
- Beaches + Nature
Food & Drink
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the flavoursome food that roams along the streets of Spain. Well, if you head to Valencia you won’t be disappointed with their most famous dish – the Paella. Even if you are not a hardcore foodie, this dish has been recommended by locals as a must have when visiting Spain. It is not only popular for its taste, but the sense of unity it brings to the community. As a communal dish commonly known for being shared amongst friends and family, there is something heart-warming about having a conversation with loved ones over a deliciously prepared meal. There are multiple versions, the more classic dishes have a mix of chicken, rabbit, rice and beans. If you’re hoping to spark some conversation with the locals of Valencia over some Paella, our trusted tutors here at Learn&Co can get you to a conversational level in no time.
Now, let’s head towards the North of Spain to a region called La Rioja, infamous for its red wine. This small province in Spain is home to over 500 wineries, with the quality of the wine being a key attraction to people all over the world. Also, did you know, the type of wine ‘Rioja‘ was actually named after this region? If you’re interested in tasting a sample, here are some favourite Rioja spots in London. La Rioja offers the wine tasting experience in a less traditional way. If you happen to visit between September and October during the grape harvest, you can peacefully float over the vineyards in a hot air balloon. This is a venture I’ll definitely be adding to the bucket list.
For all you dessert before dinner people, this popular breakfast dish will satisfy those early morning cravings. Churros are a traditional breakfast treat that dates back to the 16th century, in Spanish history. The churro was inspired by Spanish shepherds, who were known as Churras. If you‘re eager to try out one of these delicious treats, hop over to the Chocolatería de San Ginés in Madrid, where if you‘re lucky you might spot a famous actor sipping some coffee.
Architecture + History
Spain is home to some of the most renowned and distinguishable architecture in Europe. The most famous architect known as Antoni Gaudí, formed his architectural style as a blend between Islamic and Christian design. Gaudí is responsible for this first breathtaking building, known as La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The unconventional church is actually unfinished and highlights Gaudí’s eccentric yet fanciful creative mind.
The Guggenheim Museum
I’m going to let you in on a secret, no picture can do this next building justice. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry is located in the North of Spain. It showcases beautiful pieces of modern and contemporary art. Its purpose was to become a catalyst for economic development and to reinforce a positive image, following the terrors of the Basque separatist movement. Well, by taking one look at this building I’m sure you can agree that he definitely met this goal. By being beautifully positioned by Bilbao’s waterfront, it’s a building you won’t want to miss.
Ever wonder what it feels like to live like a royal? Take a trip to Granada and stroll down the halls of The Alhambra, where its Moorish history will bring you through the 14th to 21st century. The palace is truly incredible, split into three main sections you’ll discover secret underground tunnels, enchanting views and magnificent gardens. If that wasn’t enough, it also highlights a period of the Islamic reign in Spain, where the fortress was used as protection for its inhabitants from Chrisitan invasions. The Alhambra’s intriguing military past, wrapped up with its unbelievable grounds, is sure to give your trip that extra spark.
Spanish architecture is quite special, they successfully produce unconventional designs whilst keeping in touch with its original history. A somewhat lesser known yet breathtaking place where this is evident, is at the Metropol Parasol, located in Seville. The Metropol Parasol was designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer. Mayer revived the once popular Encarnación Square market space, whilst also fulfilling the long-awaited need for shade during the city’s intense summers. You’ll thoroughly enjoy your visit at the world’s largest wooden structure if you’re looking for spectacular views of the city, the opportunity to shop at a local market and a chance to pop down a Roman museum.
Feel like a local
A trip abroad isn’t complete without experiencing what it’s like to live there like a local. One aspect I love about Spanish culture is its emphasis on community spirit. You’ll often find many Spaniards leisurely walking around their neighbourhood, stopping to have conversations with friends or offering a friendly greeting to passers by. The great thing about our Spanish tutors at Learn&Co is that, not only do they equip you with the vocabulary needed to progress in your learning, but they also build up your confidence to start or engage in those new conversations.
La Rambla is a great place to take a stroll in Barcelona, buzzing with street performers, human statues, bars, an opera house and more. If you walk for long enough, you’ll come across the Gothic Quarter where you’ll find a string of authentic Spanish restaurants amongst breathtaking architecture and plazas. So ditch those loaded schedules for a day and see Spain through more localised eyes.
You’ll love to take part in this must-do experience whilst in Spain – it’s simply taking a nap. Taking a nap or ‘La Siesta’ during the early afternoon when the sun is usually at its hottest, is a traditional custom that dates back to the 1930s. A quick nap during the day is a great way to increase your energy, boost productivity and overall happiness. Many businesses still operate with this tradition in mind, so don’t be surprised if you can’t find stores open between 2pm-5pm. Instead join them to take advantage of your encouraged downtime.
Beaches + Nature
Imagine visiting a place where it’s sunny around 330 days out of the year. Well you’ll find just that if you head over to Costa de Sol. The Puerto Banus beach, only 20 minutes from Marbella airport is a great place to soak up that Mediterranean sun. It offers the perfect crossover of relaxation and shopping. You’ll find scenic views of the mountains for your lazy summer days yet chic boutiques like Christian Dior nearby.
Playa El Bollullo
If you wish to explore somewhere a little less crowded, this beach is certainly noteworthy. Playa El Bollullo, a black sand beach in Tenerife is a great escape from the crowded areas. Surrounded by volcanic rocks, giving it the seclusion you’ll appreciate, this beach is the perfect place to just lay down and relax.
Toassa De Mar
This is a true hidden gem in Costa Brava. There’s not one but several breathtaking beaches to explore. Tossa de Mar truly looks like something out of a fairy tale. You’ll find towers with turrets from the old mediaeval town along with pine trees surrounding the beach. There’s also the opportunity to enjoy water sport activities, for those who love getting that adrenaline pumping.
Sierra Nevada National Park
Looking for something a bit more active to do whilst enjoying the natural beauty Spain has to offer? Why not go hiking in the paradise for hikers, Sierra Nevada National Park. You’ll experience phenomenal views of the surrounding countryside of Granada, whilst encountering rare plant and animal life.
Spain is a vibrant country, where you’ll often find people staying up drinking sangria till late hours of the night. It’s almost impossible to not find something fun to do! You can casually come across some street performers or buy tickets to a lively nightclub. What I would say is, don’t miss out on these next events that bring entertainment to a whole new level.
To enjoy a truly authentic and exhilarating experience, head on out to watch a flamenco show. This art form of dance is based on Spanish folk music, dating back almost 500 years ago. The energy at a flamenco show is very contagious, with guitar playing, hand clapping and the occasional ‘olé!’ coming from the audience. Luckily you can catch a show is in any of Spain’s major cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Granda.
This experience is only for those who don’t mind getting down and dirty all in the name of fun. La Tomatina, is the world’s largest food fight festival. It occurs on the last Wednesday of August every year. You may be thinking “why would they make a whole festival dedicated to throwing tomatoes at each other? “. Well for starters it is a great way to completely let loose, have a laugh with strangers from all over. There’s also an interesting history behind how it began, concerning young boys who uninvitedly found themselves crashing a parade. I can’t imagine you’ll find another experience as unique as this. It’s truly one of the best places you could hope to visit when in Spain!
So there you have it, a collection of the best places to visit when you’re next in Spain. I could mention so many more things to do and see! Although I actually believe it’s best to go out there, to see for yourself. There is truly something for everyone in Spain. Feel like getting the most out of your trip by crossing the language barrier? Our Spanish and GCSE tutors here at Learn&Co are sure to help you be on your way.