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Looking For Things To Do In Spain? Here Are The Best Places To Visit On Your Next Trip

Learn Spanish / Travel

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. This makes 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 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. 

  1. Food & Drink
  2. Architecture + History
  3. Feel Like A Local
  4. Beaches + Nature
  5. Entertainment 

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, locals frequently recommend this dish as a must try when visiting Spain. Not only is it popular for its taste, but the sense of unity it brings to the community. It is a dish the nation understands friends and family should share amongst themselves.

As such, there is something heart-warming about having a conversation with loved ones over a deliciously prepared meal. There are many different types, with the more classic dishes made from 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. Did you know, the type of wine ‘Rioja’ was actually named after this region? If you’re interested in tasting a sample, there are some favourite Rioja spots in London. Though, I’m sure going straight to the source will form a more authentic opinion.

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 definitely a venture I’ll 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. There are various tales of the origins. The most widespread one is that the churro was inspired by Spanish shepherds, who were known as Churras. This snack comes in many different forms, so don’t be alarmed if you come across multiple types. If you’re eager to try out one of these delicious treats, hop over to the Chocolatería de San Ginés in Madrid. And if you’re lucky, you might spot a famous actor sipping some coffee.

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Architecture + History

Spain is home to some of the most renowned and distinguishable architecture in Europe. The most famous architect is known as Antoni Gaudí. He 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.

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. Not only does it hold beautiful pieces of modern and contemporary art, but he has built it in the most remarkable way.

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. Gehry beautifully positioning it by Bilbao’s waterfront ensures that it is 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 highlights a period of the Islamic reign in Spain. One where the fortress was used as protection for its inhabitants from Christian 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. It has the aim of producing 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. German architect Jürgen Mayer designed the Metropol Parasol. He 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. Or even the opportunity to shop at a local market and a chance to pop down a Roman museum.

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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 tutors at Learn&Co is that they not only equip you with the vocabulary needed to progress in your learning. They also build up your confidence to start or engage in those new conversations.

A great place to take a stroll is through the famous street in Barcelona that many people know as La Rambla. The atmosphere on this street is unmatched. 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. Here, 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. 

I know 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. It’s been proven that a quick nap during the day actually increases your energy. It also boosts 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.

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Beaches + Nature

Of course, many of you will want to escape to Spain for its irresistible beaches and natural beauty. There are over 3000 beaches across the whole of Spain. Each with its own unique attractions. Narrowing these down was definitely a challenge, however, I am positive these places will give you a remarkable experience.

Imagine visiting a place where it’s sunny around 330 days out of the year? Well, you’ll find just that if you go to Costa de Sol. The Puerto Banus beach located 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. Here, you’ll find scenic views of the mountains for your lazy summer days. Yet chic boutiques like Christian Dior also reside nearby. 

For those of you who 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 more crowded areas. This beach has volcanic rocks surrounding its waters. In turn, giving it the seclusion you’ll appreciate to just lay down and relax. 

Now for Costa Brava’s hidden gem, where you can explore not one, but several breathtaking beaches. Tossa de Mar truly looks like something out of a fairytale. Here, you’ll find towers with turrets from the old medieval town along with pine trees surrounding the beach. There’s also the opportunity to take part in water sport activities, for those who wish to get their adrenaline pumping. 

You may be looking for something a bit more active to do whilst enjoying the natural beauty Spain has to offer. So why not go hiking in the Sierra Nevada National Park? You’ll experience phenomenal views of the surrounding countryside of Granada, whilst encountering rare plant and animal life. This park has been said to be a paradise for hikers, as they are able to fully embrace nature the way it’s intended.

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Entertainment

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. Whether you 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. It came to Spain when migrants brought musical instruments and an extensive repertoire of songs and dances which formed the unique dance known today. The energy at a flamenco show is very contagious, with guitar playing, hand clapping and the occasional shouts of ‘olé!’ coming from the audience. Luckily the best place to catch a show is in any of Spain’s major cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Granda. Nonetheless, you won’t be disappointed at a show in any other city. 

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 fun and laugh with strangers from all over the world. 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.

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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. However, I actually believe it’s best to go out there, to see what your chosen city has to offer. There is truly something for everyone in Spain. If you feel like getting the most out of your trip by crossing the language barrier, our tutors here at Learn&Co are sure to help you be on your way. 

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