Spain, as a country is so easy and yet so difficult to describe. The not-so-little, oh-so-pretty and eye-stabbing-beautiful country of Spain is undoubtedly one of the best countries of the world thanks to it’s all round aspect of great food, people, art, culture and architecture. Spain has something beautiful and significant to offer to each and every person who goes to Spain. Like adventure? You have loads! Love food? Every Spanish region boasts of a cuisine different from the other! Enjoy relaxing? Spaniards won’t go one day without their siestas! You’re a party-freak? Head to Ibiza for the world’s best and biggest parties! In short, a little something for every one. There can’t be a definitive list that sums of Spain because that would be too big but here is a little list of top 10 things that Spain is the most for in the world –
The Spaniards are probably the most laid-back people in the world and everyone knows that. And one of the things in the Spanish culture that truly shows us how laid-back they are is their love and loyalty to siesta. Siestas are afternoon naps and everyone in Spain loves them. Every afternoon, between 1pm to 5pm, all the shops, government offices and local offices are shut for their lunch time and siesta. The Spanish feel that naps are absolutely necessary and they don’t miss their siestas for anything. Want to move to Spain, don’t you? We do too!
11. Mediterranean Beaches
Spain is truly blessed with the overwhelming Mediterranean Sea on 3 sides and with the sea and the coast come the jaw-dropping and beautiful Mediterranean beaches. Spain has almost 3,000 cataloged beaches, the most in all of Europe. The beaches are all virgin and untouched by human existence and even today, exist in all their glory. They are clean, the water is all shades of blue and green and sand is white. It is nothing short of a paradise. The resorts on the beaches are cheaper in Spain than anywhere else in Europe and you can relax on the beaches, soaking in the sun. Dream life awaits!
10. Calat Alhambra
Spanish architecture needs no introduction but what came out as a result of the mixture of two beautiful art styles – Gothic and Islamic, is something that everyone marvels at. Alhambra is an old fortress situated in the region of Granada, Andalusia. The moors reigned over Spain so it was built by the Moorish King Badis Ben Habus. Originally built in 889, it was a small fortress but in the year 1333, many additions were made and it was converted into a royal palace for the king. Alhambra stands out as one of the most interesting pieces of architecture due to it’s beautiful melange of two cultures and art styles. One can get lost in the beauty of this place for hours together, losing the track of time. So if it is Spain that you are going to, do not miss Alhambra.
9. Alcohol And Drinks
Spain has always been known throughout the world as a country that takes it’s drinks seriously. A mug of beer every afternoon, a glass of wine every night, some sherry when you are tired of other wines and of course, their famous sangria for when the heat gets unbearable. Their culture incorporates the alcohol, drinks, and bar-hopping in it and so everyone in Spain is very cool with it. Spain is the third largest producer of wine in the world. Sangria, which is essentially wine with some fruits in it is very refreshing on a hot summer day and their beers are already known world-wide. We ought to mention Spanish coffee here which is different from the rest so you must definitely give it a try. So when in Spain, act like the Spanish and drink it up at every chance you get.
8. La Sagrada Familia
Anyone who knows even a little about art and Spain will know about the famous Gaudi. Antoni Gaudi was a Catalan architect who has in essence, designed a lot of buildings in Barcelona. He is famous for the incorporation of colors and quirks in his art. Although he has built many monumental things, his magnum opus remains La Sagrada Familia. La Sagrada Familia is a Roman-Catholic church situated in Barcelona. It’s construction began in 1882 and it has still not been finished. It is expected to be completed by 2026, the cetenary of Gaudi’s death year. Although it is incomplete, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s architecture will baffle you. Skillfully combining Gothic and curvilinear Nouveau Art, it is majestic in all it’s glory.
7. Spanish Football
If you ever want to know what loyalty and treating a sport as a religion looks like, head over to Spain. Spain is one big football-crazy nation. It is the most popular sport and needless to say, the Spaniards are very good at it. They have won it all, World Cups, Leagues and what not. La Liga is their national tournament for which every club takes part. La Copa Del Rey is another one of their tournaments. Spain has many clubs but the top 2 are of course – Real Madrid and Barcelona. They are the richest and the best clubs in the country and are always trying to outshine one another.
Spanish cuisine is one of the most diverse cuisines in the world thanks to the various diverse regions of Spain. Every region has something unique to offer to the eaters and Paella is just one of the many great things. Coming from the region of Valencia, this rice-based dish is often considered to be the national dish of Spain due to it’s immense popularity. Paella is basically a rice-based dish which has beans,saffron, olives, spices, herbs and vegetables or meat or seafood. The seafood paella is the most famous one among the others. The original paella is found in Valencia but restaurants all around Spain offer paella to the customers.
All great things come in small packages, they say and it is absolutely true in the case of Ibiza. A tiny island off the east coast of Spain, Ibiza is the party hub of not only Europe, but the entire world. Famous for it’s never-ending and all-night-long parties, Ibiza is the most happening place for youngsters to unwind and lose themselves in music. Shacks on beach which serve food and drinks are where all the action is. Live music is played in every shack and the place is popular for giving birth to some of the best EDM musicians in the world and Ibiza remains the party place that every teenager wants to be at.
4. La Tomatina
Spain is a land of many festivals but La Tomatina is one of the most popular and fun festivals of Spain. La Tomatina is a festival that is celebrated every year in Bunyol, Valencia in Spain. It is an hour-long tomato food-fight on the streets of Bunyol. It takes place on the very last Wednesday of August every year. The tomatoes used in the festival are specially grown only for this purpose and they are inferior quality tomatoes that are not fit for consumption. There are rules that the participants have to follow while playing but overall, it is something very different and a unique experience.
Art is an inherent part of Spain in all it’s forms but especially in dance. The world-famous Spanish dance of Flamenco is nothing but a wonder to see live. Having roots in Andalusia, Flamenco is a very difficult dance form. It consists of 4 main componants – cante(song), baile(dance), palmas(handclaps) and toque(the guitar playing). One has to skillfully combine all these components to make one elegant dance performance of Flamenco and it is no easy task. The dancing in the heels, especially is very difficult and we must applaud the entire team that makes a flamenco performance successful. In 2010, UNESCO declared Flamenco as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The Spanish bar-hopping culture is something no Spaniard can live without. Whether you live in a city or a village, evening time is always reserved for catching up with friends over drinks. To accompany the drinks, they have tapas. Tapas are finger foods or appetizers that are served in every Spanish bar. The various tapas that are famously served are patatas bravas, calamares, chorizos, cheese and olive etc. They can be served hot or cold and certain tapas are especially served with a certain drink. This culture of tapas is exclusive to Spain and some Latin American countries.
1. Corrida De Toros (Bullfigting)
Last but not the least is a sport Spain is very famous, or for some, infamous for – Bullfighting. Bullfighting has been in the Spain culture since time immemorial. In the bullfight, 3 matadors fight a bull to death. It has 3 stages – tercio de vara(lances), tercio de banderillas and tercio de muerte(death stage). If the matador manages to kill the bull in a skillful manner, then he is allowed to take the ear of the bull home as a trophy for this victory. People keep debating about bullfighting and how legal or righteous it is. But most of Spain continues to practice it as a weekly sport and one must just see it as it is.
With that, we finish our list of the top 10 things that Spain is famous for. So if you are planning to take a trip to Spain anytime soon, you now know what all you must incorporate in your trip.