In the event you’re visiting Spain for the primary time, it’s greatest to know what to anticipate so that you simply received’t be stunned.
This text tells you every thing you must know earlier than going to Spain – from Spanish information to meals, siesta, greatest locations in Spain, public holidays, and extra.
This complete checklist of issues to know earlier than visiting Spain has you coated when planning your Spain journey! All of the helpful ideas and tips are beneficial by Phil and Izzy from The Hole Decaders and can assist you’ve a beautiful Spain trip.
As Spain is dwelling to the highest must-visit attraction in Europe, to one of many prime most secure cities on the planet based mostly on infrastructure safety, and to one of the vital visited museums on the planet, it’s clear that you simply’ll have loads to see and do on this nation!
Plus, if you happen to’ll go to it throughout autumn, it’s best to know that Madrid is likely one of the greatest European cities for fall colours.
Plaza Espana, Seville
Spain is a part of the European Union and residential to probably the most southerly level of continental Europe, Punta de Tarifa. Which means Spain has top-of-the-line climates in Europe and is good for a Spanish street journey or go to at any time of the yr.
Spain is a part of the Iberian Peninsula and enjoys each Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. After Switzerland, it’s the second most mountainous nation in Europe and shares one half of the Pyrenees with France.
Spain’s various topography makes it excellent for every type of holidays, whether or not you’re searching for a fly and flop or a extra lively journey. You’ll discover each on this vibrant and engaging nation.
Ordessa Valley, Pyrenees
Included on this article on issues to know earlier than visiting Spain:
- 10 Spanish Info
- Spanish Life
- The Siesta
- Public Holidays
- Meals & Consuming Out in Spain
- High Locations in Spain
- The Costa Blanca
- Inexperienced Spain
Ten Spanish Info
Let’s begin this Spain journey weblog with the highest 10 Spanish indisputable fact that you must know earlier than visiting!
1. The foreign money of Spain is the Euro.
2. Spain is the second-largest nation within the European Union.
three. Spain is a constitutional monarchy. After the demise of Basic Franco, the right-wing dictator, and architect of the
Spanish civil struggle, in 1975, the royal household returned to the throne.
four. Spain is dwelling to 47 million folks. 25% of these folks stay in Madrid and Barcelona, making the inside of Spain very sparsely populated.
5. The vast majority of Spain speaks Spanish, often known as Castilian. About 1% of the inhabitants communicate Galician, Basque, Catalan, or Valenciano, relying on the place they stay within the nation.
6. There are seventeen autonomous communities (political and adminstrative areas) in Spain. They’re: Galicia; Asturias; Cantabria; Basque Nation; Navarra; La Rioja; Aragon; Catalunya; Castilla y León; Madrid; Castilla la Mancha; Valenciana; Murcia; Extremadura; Andalucía; Islas Baleares and Islas Canarias.
La Vall de Gallinera, Valenciana
7. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, the first-ever novel, was written in Spain in 1605.
eight. The popular faith of Spain is Catholic Christianity.
9. There are 47 UNESCO World Heritage Websites in Spain to discover.
10. Spain is the most important producer of olive oil on the planet, making 1.5 million tonnes a yr.
And now let’s uncover do’s and don’ts in Spain and unseful data on Spanish life so that you simply received’t be taken without warning by among the native customs.
One of many first issues to know earlier than going to Spain is that Spanish life is all about household, neighborhood, meals, and custom.
Spanish folks stay a extra relaxed life than maybe some other nation in Europe and that is mirrored within the organisation of the day.
One of many prime issues to know earlier than visiting Spain is that there’s a siesta taken throughout the day. The Spanish siesta has advanced over centuries to assist agricultural employees be as environment friendly as doable within the excessive summer time temperatures felt throughout a lot of the nation.
To northern Europeans, coming for 2 weeks of summer time solar every year, the warmth is a present to be loved. To many Spanish, the solar is a curse and to be prevented in any respect prices!
Siesta historically was a nap after lunch, to keep away from being outdoors throughout the hottest a part of the day. These days it’s a time to get pleasure from a protracted lunch, take some relaxation and spend time with household. In most of Spain, outdoors the large cities and bigger vacationer locations, the siesta continues to be noticed.
Wander round any Spanish city or village within the early afternoon and you’ll clearly hear the sounds of cooking, consuming and household life behind the closed shutters of many properties.
Most outlets often shut at round 1pm and open once more at 5pm till 8pm. Agricultural employees nonetheless observe the custom and may typically be seen tending their fields and crops till darkish within the top of the summer time.
Royal Alcazar, Seville
Spain celebrates fourteen public holidays a yr, many non secular in origin.
There are a whopping 32 regional holidays and each city and village has its personal annual fiesta, typically round a selected spiritual date however actually an excuse for a celebration…Spain loves a fiesta!
A number of the well-known fiestas revolve round bullfighting. Town of Pamplona is famend for the Pageant of San Fermin, or the operating of the bulls, held yearly in July.
Whether or not you agree with it or not, bullfighting is a large a part of the Spanish fiesta tradition. Bullfighting is seen as heroic, a check of wills involving braveness, intelligence, and class with matadors enjoying the roles of nationwide heroes.
Valencia is famend for Las Fallas, the fireplace pageant, held in March yearly and one of the vital standard festivals in Spain.
A standard and non secular pageant celebration St Joseph, Las Fallas commemorates the carpenters’ custom of burning the wood sticks used to prop up their lanterns in winter, thus ushering in spring.
The Carnival of Cadiz is held in February yearly and is named the naughtiest carnival in Spain! Music performs an enormous half within the festivities with the singing of impolite and satirical songs about present affairs and standard tradition.
Maybe probably the most uncommon of all of them is La Tomatina, an August pageant in Spain held within the city of Bunol close to Valencia. Some 150,000 tomatoes are thrown between members till nothing however a messy pulp stays.
No-one actually is aware of why this pageant began, however its continuance is testimony to Spain’s love of a celebration, regardless of the circumstances!
Spain has been a Catholic nation for the reason that reconquista returned the entire of the nation again to Spanish rule in 1492. Previous to this, Spain had been conquered and dominated by the Moors since 711.
Some 70% of Spaniards establish as Roman Catholic, though solely 13% of the inhabitants attend church recurrently.
For the reason that demise of Franco in 1975, Spain has undergone a deep spiritual transformation as they’ve struggled in the direction of modernisation and discovering their place on the European and world stage.
Spain is now a broadly secular society with many younger folks and people from minority teams shunning the church.
Nonetheless, Sunday stays a day of relaxation throughout the nation, with most outlets closing for all the day.
You could discover bigger grocery store chains on the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol open in July and August and a few outlets open in standard vacationer locations. Simply be sure that to not run out of something on a Sunday!
Many outlets and eating places may even shut on Mondays with an indication on the door stating ‘cerrado por descanso del private‘ (closed for the remainder of the personnel). So ensure you refill for Mondays too!
Neighborhood and friendships come solely second in significance to household for many Spaniards. Fiercely loyal and spirited, the Spanish love nothing greater than getting along with family members for meals and social occasions.
Prolonged households will typically come collectively at weekends, to prepare dinner and make amends for information. Throughout Spain, you will note leisure areas for households dwelling in flats, the place tables and benches and BBQ areas are supplied for cooking.
Typically these gatherings go on into the night time, the place youngsters go to mattress concurrently the adults.
It’s regular when assembly a Spanish individual for the primary time, no matter gender, to double kiss, as soon as on every cheek. For brand new friendships, this will likely begin as an air kiss however as soon as belief is constructed, will rapidly transfer on to cheek kissing and hugging…Spanish persons are very tactile.
You can’t fail to see when in Spain that Spanish folks speak LOUDLY and over one another continuously. The Spanish language can be spoken actually rapidly – 7.82 syllables per second versus 6.12 syllables per second in English – and it might really feel like a combat is breaking out, but it surely’s simply on a regular basis dialog and fully regular.
Meals & Consuming Out in Spain
Mealtimes are cherished in Spain, as a lot concerning the sobremesa because the meals. Sobremesa can’t be translated to English, there isn’t any equal phrase.
It merely means the time you spend on the desk after your meal, which in Spain can typically prolong to a number of hours or extra.
Mealtimes in Spain are very completely different to the remainder of Europe and have advanced to assist Spaniards handle the excessive summer time temperatures. Lunch, for many households the principle meal of the day, is eaten between 2pm and 3pm.
La cena (dinner or supper), a lighter meal, can be taken late, between 9pm and 10pm, and typically even later throughout the hottest summer time months.
Typically eating places won’t open their doorways till 8pm. That is thought-about very early and the restaurant could also be slightly soulless and missing in ambiance till later within the night.
In the event you discover the time between lunch and dinner to be too lengthy, do because the Spanish do and have merienda (a snack) at round 6pm. This may very well be a cake or a tapas plate, simply to maintain you going via the night!
Tapas might be probably the most well-known of the Spanish meals traditions. Traditionally, tapas was an appetiser or a small portion of something on the menu, however now you’ll be able to exit and order quite a lot of tapas plates to make the principle meal.
In some bars, you’ll get a complimentary bowl of patatas bravas or a slice of tortilla (Spanish omelette) together with your drink; these parts could be beneficiant and we’ve been identified to not end our meal due to an excessive amount of beer and tortilla!
Paella is one other well-known dish of Spain. Paella was historically not a seafood dish, however made with rice grown in paddy fields round Valencia and flavoured with rabbit, hen, and snails.
The essence of this vibrant dish is to make use of no matter is on the market, native and in season. Inevitably, in the most well-liked seaside vacationer locations of Spain, that is seafood, which is why Paella is commonly seen as a seafood dish by foreigners.
However I’ll allow you to right into a secret, the greatest Paella continues to be discovered within the villages of l’Albufera lagoon close to Valencia, its authentic birthplace and the place paella rice continues to be grown and harvested right now.
Many eating places will serve a menu del dia (menu of the day). The menu del dia is often exceptionally good worth and will provide you with a style of the native and seasonal flavour and cooking type.
The worth usually contains three programs, a drink and low. Service is often included within the mounted value, which may vary from €eight to €16 or presumably extra if you happen to’re in an enormous vacationer metropolis or on the coast.
If it’s not included, and until you’re in an absolute dive or the service is dreadful, it’s anticipated that you’ll go away a tip, often round 5%.
And eventually, If you’re ordering a hen dish in Spain, be very cautious together with your pronunciation of pollo. In the event you ask for polla, it’s unlikely to be served to you because it’s the Spanish phrase for penis!
High Locations in Spain
Subsequent on this checklist of issues to know earlier than visiting Spain are the very best areas to go to in Spain. Let’s see the highest locations in Spain and the very best cities for a memorable journey to this nation.
These are the very best cities to go to in Spain – every with their very own particular points of interest and options.
Essentially the most southerly area of Spain, Andalucia presents seashores, journey, gorgeous structure, and mesmerising cities. No surprise, it’s by far probably the most visited area within the nation!
Andalucia is dwelling to the well-known Costa del Sol, taking within the Mediterannean celebration cities of Malaga and Marbella.
To the north, within the mountainous inside, the jewels of Seville, Granada, and Cordoba maintain Moorish treasures, hidden squares, and sun-drenched gardens. For Seville, this can be a native’s information that you could be need to try too.
Additional west, is the ocean metropolis of Cadiz (learn the native’s information to Sanlucar de Barrameda), encompassing extra of historical past than some other European metropolis.
Cabo de Gata
To the east lies Almeria, the driest place in Europe, with a median of at some point’s rain a yr.
With its personal desert and guarded nationwide park, Cabo de Gata, this can be a fascinating panorama and a part of Spain to discover.
Pala de los Genoveses, Almeria
For hikers and exercise lovers, the Sierra Nevada presents some difficult treks amongst iconic peaks, while Tarifa is a mecca for kite and windsurfers alike.
The Costa Blanca
One of many issues to know earlier than going to Spain is that Costa Blanca is dwelling to Alicante and Benidorm and the right vacation spot for a fly and flop vacation.
North of those very touristy locations is the Cap de la Nau, nestled between Javear and Denia. Learn our information to Torrevieja to find top-of-the-line locations to go to in Spain.
The coves listed here are craggy, with clear turquoise waters excellent for snorkelling earlier than heading to one of many chiringuitos (seaside eating places) for a protracted lazy lunch, Spanish type.
Head inland by only a few miles to search out genuine Spain within the mountains and valleys of the Marina Alta, the place traditions nonetheless form on a regular basis life.
Make for La Vall de Gallinera and hike the 9 villages, every with a restaurant providing quite a lot of the standard dishes from the area.
To the south of the Marina Alta lies Guadalest, thought-about one of the vital lovely villages in Spain. With a powerful ruined fort perched on a craggy hillside above a turquoise lake, it’s actually fairly.
The drive to get there from the coast is spectacular too, one of the vital dramatic in Spain.
As Catedrais seaside, Galica
Inexperienced Spain is the final on this checklist of issues to know earlier than you journey to Spain, however undoubtedly necessary. So-called as a result of the climate within the three areas of northern Spain, Galica, Asturias, and Cantabria could be moist, giving the entire coastal area a lush and verdant really feel, in distinction to the recent dry south of the nation.
Right here is the place you’ll discover the greatest seafood in Spain, and arguably the greatest tapas. Criss-crossed by the well-known Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the mountains and coastlines of inexperienced Spain are much less travelled and extra peaceable than their extra well-known neighbours.
Head to A Coruna for the very best meals, quieter, and extra genuine than San Sebastian earlier than visiting one of the vital lovely cities in Spain, Santiago de Compostela.
Full of historic spiritual buildings, slender cobbled alleys, and pilgrims on each nook, this metropolis is as atmospheric and Spanish as they arrive.
That is every thing you must know earlier than visiting Spain. It’s a tremendous nation and you’ve got loads to see and do right here.
In regards to the authors:
We’re Phil and Izzy. We’ve been adventuring and street tripping all our lives, overlaying over 30,000 miles in 28 international locations. Two years in the past, we stop work, bought our dwelling and have been travelling and dwelling on the street full-time ever since. Observe them on Fb, Pinterest, and Twitter too.