Are you an outsider? If you’re off to Spain this summer, you ended up in the right place! As we all know, when traveling, one of the objectives is to make the most of the time and return home with the sensation of having seen the most important features of the newly discovered country. For this occasion, let me be your guide and advisor… Oh! And I am a great fan of bucket lists!
So… Let’s start!
Top 10 destinations
To start, I suggest you ten places that you should visit.
Also, if you are thinking of studying abroad in Spain click in the words for more information.
- Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza)
- Santiago de Compostela
- Gran Canarias
Try the typical Spanish “tapas”
The best way to discover the Spanish gastronomy is by going from bar to bar trying the typical tapas. Some of the most well-known dishes are the tortillas de patatas, patatas bravas and a large amount of “embutidos”- it’s a natural or synthetic gut stuffed with minced meat of pork, bacon, other ingredients and condiments that usually have an elongated and rounded form.
Discover the Spanish architecture
- Gaudi’s architecture: The highlight of Gaudi’s work can be found in the city of Barcelona (Park Güell, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló). The architect Gaudi is known and respected around the world, and his work was influenced by forms of nature, which is definitely evident in the curves through all of his architecture.
- Alhambra: located in Granada, the architecture of this palace has been influenced by time of the Islam Empire. It will be an experience over time.
- Guggenheim: Situated in Bilbao, is one the most modern museum in Spain which hosts exhaustive collections of contemporary art. In definitive, you really have to see this building to believe it!
- The City of Arts & Science: is a must-see in Valencia, there you will find a planetarium, a giant aquarium, IMAX cinema and interactive museums.
- Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace): located in Madrid is an ornate glass and steel greenhouse placed in the Retiro Park.
- The Great Mosque of Cordoba: is one of the largest mosques in the world and the finest achievement of Moorish architecture in Spain.
- Segovia Aqueduct: Situated in Segovia, is one of the most well-preserved existing ancient aqueducts from the Roman Empire.
Attend a flamenco show!
Flamenco is an art that has always been rooted in Spanish culture, and in which music and dance are protagonists. The passion of flamenco is palpable as it creates a relaxed yet lustful atmosphere. If you have always wished to see in live a flamenco show, here you have some of the best ones: Maestros de la Guitarra (Barcelona); Flamenco Benalmádena (Málaga); La Casa del Flamenco Auditorio Alcantara (Sevilla); Tablao Flamenco La Quimera (Madrid).
Hike at least once the Camino de Santiago
Each year, thousands of pilgrims travel the Camino de Santiago – also known as St. James’s Ways, to the shrine of the apostle St. James in Santiago de Compostela. Walking the Camino is not difficult – most of the paths are fairly flat. You will learn more about your feet than you would ever have thought possible! Moreover, walking along the different routes until arriving at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, is the best opportunity of leaving behind your daily habits and routines. You will experiment a conjunction of sacrifice and reward that transforms one who experiences it at least once in life: an unparalleled demonstration of human solidarity.
Every year the legendary Running of the Bulls festival takes place, thousands of amateur daredevils flock to Pamplona in the hopes of coming face to face with Toro Bravo (the Spanish Fighting Bull). These festivals is also known as the Chupianazo which by far the most popular time of the San Fermin festival. The city of Pamplona goes from a quiet town in the Northeast corner of Spain to an obstreperous celebration! This is your opportunity to get closer than ever to this intense, and controversial, spectacle. The words “Pamploneses, Pamplonesas, Viva San Fermín! Gora San Fermín!” fills the air, and just like that, the wait is over… The bull starts to run in the streets, bottles of champagne and gallons of sangria are tossed into the air.
Where: Pamplona, Spain
When: 4th – 15th July
If you don’t like to see or the idea of bullfight this festivity is the best alternative! This is potentially one of the biggest food fights in the world. The party starts with a massive feast on Paella. The following day thousands of people take to the streets with tomato’s in hand, wearing white t-shirts. The food fight ends with the sound of the bottle rocket sounds, everyone heads on to bars or to wash.
Where: Buñol, Valencia.
When: 30th August.
Get your tickets
Top music festivals!
Every year in Spain you’ll find a whole array of cultural events on offer. You’ll be able to enjoy popular festivities, take part in major celebrations and attend music festivals…
- Cordoba Guitar Festival: From 30th June to 9th July, 2017.
- Cruïlla: From 7th to 9th July, 2017 (Barcelona).
- Bilbao BBK Live: From 6th to 8th July, 2017.
- Barcelona Beach Festival (BBF): 15th July, 2017.
- San Sebastián International Jazz Festival: From 20th to 25 July, 2017.
Party hard in Ibiza
There is no bigger party than the ones in Ibiza, from April till October. The welcome parties and ending parties are normally legendary as they welcome in the re-opening of the clubs for the summer. Be prepared to spend a lot more than you would like to, as the price of entry to clubs is normally about £80!
Experience the Wine Harvest festivals
Many of Spanish wines have an international prestige. A special time to enjoy this typically Spanish product is in early autumn, come and enjoy a unique chance to discover Spain’s wine producing tradition at the grape harvest festival! These festivities are an excellent opportunity to participate in the traditions and ambiance of the winemaking culture. There is also major celebrations on all the Wine Routes to be found around Spain. Here, are five Wide Routes suggested for you to come and experience this event: Navarre wine route; Penedès Wine and Cava Route; Jumilla Wine Route; Montilla-Moriles Wine Route; and finally, the Tenerife Wine Route.
Last but not least, I leave you additional websites for your interest about “What to do” in Spain:
Now, you just have to pick a date and decide what you want to experience on your trip to Spain!