Spain is perhaps one of the most culturally rich nations in Europe. Steeped in culture, heritage and countless festivals, travelling to Spain is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.
Spain is also home to a number of popular festivals that draw in a global crowd each year.
Spain has everything that you could possibly ask for out of a holiday destination.
You can explore the historical sites in the morning, spend the afternoon on the beach, then get out and enjoy the night-life in the city.
From Barcelona to Madrid to Andalusia, Spain is also home to a number of popular festivals that draw in a global crowd each year.
Spain has a well-connected rail network and inexpensive domestic flight options so it’s easy to explore the whole country.
Barcelona: The City of Gaudi
Barcelona is a gorgeous year-round destination. The weather is ideal throughout the late spring and early autumn but it’s also the perfect winter city. Temperatures can average around 10°C mid-winter but rain is rare and the humidity makes it comfortable walking weather.
La Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s top attractions and a must-see. It’s Gaudi’s most famous work and arguably the most beautiful building in the city.
There are free English-speaking walking tours around the centre daily and they are an easy way to get to all of the best attractions. To cover a wider area, you can get a ticket to the hop-on, hop-off bus for around £20.
Barcelona was named the Number 1 beach city in the world by National Geographic. There are beaches running down the length of the city and, if you visit during the warmer month, you will definitely want to devote an afternoon to relaxing on the seaside.
Stroll along the boardwalk in the early evening and stop at one of the amazing Spanish restaurants for authentic tapas. From the beach, you can also take a cable car up to a breath-taking view of the city.
Madrid: The Capital of Nightlife
Madrid has some of the best nightlife in the world. If you like Flamenco shows, you will definitely want to go to Corral de la Moreria. It has been rated the top Flamenco venue in the world and it’s a great place for an authentic Spanish dinner.
Santiago Bernabeu is the home of Real Madrid. Whether or not you are a football fan, the stadium is well worth a visit. Real Madrid has some of the world’s craziest fans, and watching a game is sure to be a memorable experience.
Madrid is also one of the best places in the world for art lovers. The city’s Art Walk on Paseo del Prado is just a ten minute stroll that will take you past all of Madrid’s greatest museums. You can check out the Museo del Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, Reina Sofia and many other smaller galleries all within the same district.
Andalusia: Spain’s Mediterranean Paradise
You could spend weeks exploring all of the amazing treasures of the Andalusia region… and you should. It is one of the most gorgeous areas in Europe and possibly even the world.
If you have time, take a tour through all of Andalucía. It is filled with Heritage Sites, beautiful mountains, gorgeous beaches, delicious food, and friendly people. If you can’t see everything in the region, make Seville, Cadiz, and Granada a priority.
Seville is an amazing place to just wander around. Spend some time taking in the sunshine and enjoying the warm scent of oranges that fills the air. It’s a great opportunity to take in the architecture at places like the Seville Cathedral, Alcázar, Golden Tower, and the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza.
When you are ready to get away from the crowds of the city, head to Cadiz and Granada. The Alhambra in Granada is a candidate for the New Seven Wonders of the World and Cadiz has some the most gorgeous beaches that you’ll ever see. Be sure to also get out and explore the green mountains. The small mountain villages are the perfect place to sample local wine and ham.
Festivals in Spain
Spain is full of celebrations and festivals throughout the year so you can probably find at least one during any given month. Each region of Spain is very distinct and their festivals will give you a glimpse into what makes each area special. The cities truly come alive during the events and they will probably be the highlight of any Spanish holiday. Here are a few of our favourites:
The Celebration: Kings’ Day
When: 5-6 January
Where to See It: All over Spain
The Celebration: Las Fallas
When: 15-19 March
Where to See It: Valencia
The Celebration: Semana Santa
When: March or April (the 10 days before Easter)
Where to See It: Seville and Malaga
The Celebration: Feria de Sevilla
When: April or May (two weeks after Easter)
Where to See It: Seville
The Celebration: Carnival
When: Late February
Where to See It: Tenerife and Cadiz
The Celebration: San Fermin Festival, which includes the running of the bulls
When: 6-14 July
Where to See It: Pamplona
The Celebration: Tomatina Tomato Fight
When: Last Wednesday of August
Where to See It: Buñol (about an hour from Valencia)
Next time you need a break from the cold British winters, pack your bags and get down to Spain!
Before you go, also check out some of the discount cards available for each city. They can save you a lot of money on transport and admission tickets. They will also keep you out of the long queues at many of the top attractions.
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