From Tapas Crawls to Festivals: Top Things to Do in Spain

Posted May 27, 2013 by Elica Sue in Travel Lists
Spain

Flickr photo by caribb.

Spain is one of the top tourist destinations in the world; it’s easy to see why—it’s overflowing with culture, from everything to history and food, to architecture and art. If you’re planning to head to Spain this summer, here are some things you might want to see and experience.

Taste the Tapas

These have their own place in Spanish cuisine, and if you enjoy cultural foods, you might want to try tapas. Tapas are basically either snacks or appetizers that consist of anything from olives to cheese and anchovies to meatballs—they may be appetizers, but you can combine different types of tapas to make a whole meal, too. The idea of tapas is to stimulate conversation between people; tapas aren’t full meals, so people are more able to concentrate on conversing as opposed to consuming.  Smart way to eat and socialize, right?

Tapas bar in Barcelona

Flickr photo by tobym.

Relax on the Beach

Even if you have a beach back at home, it’s always exciting to see what the sea looks like in other countries; even then, each beach has its own unique characteristics that make it beautiful, fun, or just plain calming. With a little over 3,000 miles in coastline, Spain is bound to have some of the nicest beaches in the world, from which you’re able to choose from two coasts: Spain’s northern coastline or Spain’s southern coastline. The atmosphere each place gives off can set the mood for the day, so soak up the sun in your chosen Spanish city and enjoy your vacation!

Sitges

Flickr photo by www.edufiend.com.

Practice your Spanish

In Spain, you’re going to be surrounded by a population of people who speak the second most widely spoken language in the world. It can also be, arguably, one of the most beautiful languages. Whether you know a simple, ‘hola, ¿qué tal?’ or are a little more experienced than that, it’s always nice to put a language to use in one of its home countries—you’ll get the real deal: the speed, the slang, the sass, the elegance, and most importantly, the native speaker’s touch.

Cafe Zurich (Barcelona)

Flickr photo by J.Salmoral.

Go Find Gaudi

If you haven’t heard of Gaudí, you’ll definitely know who he was before you leave Spain if you’ve been venturing around Catalonia. Both born in Catalonia and a great influence on Catalonia architecturally, Antoni Gaudí had his own distinctive style of creating and was part of the modernist movement from the 19th to 20th centuries. One of his most famous and notable buildings is the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a minor basilica (named by Pope Benedict XVI), though a lot of his work is scattered around the city and can be found everywhere in Barcelona.

Gaudi's view

Flickr photo by Astacus.

Take Part in a Festival

There are a number of interesting, amazing festivals around the world, but Spain is one of the countries that takes the cake for having some of the most extraordinary festivals. Spain is home to the well-known Running of the Bulls in Pamplona in July, and perhaps you might’ve heard of La Tomatina too, held in August in Valencia. These two could sound definitely unique, maybe even fun and exciting, but you haven’t heard anything yet. Spain also hosts festivals like the Near Death Festival, the Goat Tossing Festival, and the Baby Jumping Festival (El Colacho). If you’re not used to anything like this at home, you might want to look into celebrating these while you’re on holiday in Spain—just make sure you’re there during festival dates!

Running of the Bulls

Flickr photo by mikebricephotography.

Venture to Visit the Alhambra

If you’re going to be in Granada, Spain, it might be worth it to take a visit to the fortress-turned-palace, especially if you enjoy history and architecture. The Alhambra displays Islamic architecture with an infusion of Christian buildings and gardens–it’s even a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Spain’s major tourist attractions. This ‘pearl set in emeralds,’ as described by Moorish poets, is something you’ll want to see at least once in your lifetime.

Alhambra Palast

Flickr photo by picture4it.

What would you do in Spain? If you’ve been to Spain before, what do you recommend visitors to do their first time?

About the Author

Elica Sue

Elica Sue is WildJunket's web editor and writer specializing in languages and student travel. Based in California, she grew up with an exposure to a menagerie of culture, language, and art, and is a student pursuing what she is most passionate about: writing, traveling, and learning languages. She blogs at Travelengua.

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