There is no better way to learn by yourself Spain culture and traditions than to visit this gorgeous country during your summer vacation. Be it just a road trip or a fully-fledged excursion, Spain has tons to offer, from beautiful beaches to tasty cuisine, to crazy nightlife. Picturesque mountain ranges combined with desert landscapes gives Spain a unique, one of a kind atmosphere. You can even visit some of the world’s most unique ecosystems on the Canary islands. Since Spain has so much to offer and it can be pretty intimidating to figure out a travel plan on your own, we have created this Top 10 Things About Spain Culture and Traditions list, which will surely help you decide on what to do on your trip!
Probably the most famous part of Spain are its marvelous beaches. The country boasts over three thousand miles of coastline, and some of its beaches are rated among the best this planet has to offer. For example, Playa de Ses Illetes beach, which is a part of the Balearic Islands, situated on Formentera, was considered the best beach in the world in 2016. Spanish has so many pretty beaches it will be impossible to visit them all in one trip, so prepare for several attempts at this difficult task. We assure you, however, that the memories and souvenirs you will get from this experience will bring a smile to your face for the rest of your life!
Unless you're living under a rock, you have undoubtedly heard something about the Canary Islands, Ibiza, or Mallorca. Spain has dozens of beautiful islands that vary greatly between each other, creating a unique experience each time you visit one of them. For example, the island of Ibiza is a world-famous party spot that bustles with life as much during the day as it does at night. Tenerife is home to a large number of luxurious resorts, making it a perfect destination if you're looking for an all-inclusive vacation inside of a villa with a private beach and activities aplenty. Other islands, such as Menorca, are more peaceful and quiet, great if you're looking for a way to escape the heavy Spanish crowds and retreat to a secluded beach for some tranquility.
Not only is Spanish among the most commonly spoken languages of the world, as it is the language of over 400 million people, but it is also one of the most popular ones. The number of Spanish speakers increases every day as people from all over the world start to learn this beautiful language. According to some research, the United States will become the largest Spanish speaking country in a couple of decades, possibly dethroning Mexico, which is yet another incentive to learn Spanish. It will improve your future job prospects, allow you to study abroad, and most importantly, prove to be a very enjoyable experience. Spanish is relatively easy to learn, making it one the perfect opportunity to learn more about Spain culture and traditions.
The world-famous dancing style of Flamenco can be seen in movies, TV shows, music videos, and events all over the world. It is hard to find a dancing competition that does not feature at least one Flamenco dancer. But Flamenco is so much more than just dance moves - it is about singing, perfectly playing guitar, and, most importantly, sex-appeal. This gorgeous tradition developed in the south of Spain within the region of Andalusia and is closely connected to the Romani gypsy community which is a significant margin of the Spanish population. If dancing is not for you and you prefer to watch rather than participate yourself, the elaborate hand-crafted costumes of the flamenco dancers are sure to thrill you!
When it comes to Spain culture and traditions, nothing showcases the enormous heritage of the country than its art, which has for centuries been a crucial contributor to Western art in general. Even in prehistoric times, Spain was the main center of European art, from rock art, to Celtic art, to Iberian sculptures. The names Velazquez, Goya, and Picasso also unmistakably must mean something to you, since these Spanish artists are among the world's best and most famous. If you happen to visit Madrid, we recommend seeing the Prado museum, which is one of the largest art museums in the world. If you want more, we wholeheartedly advise exploring the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, as well as the Salvador Dali museum in Figueres.
When it comes to weather and climate, Spain features some of the world’s most enjoyable conditions to relax. The warm weather stays in Spain even after the summer is long gone, making it a great tourist destination year-round. The best part about Spain, however, is the variety of its climate. You can easily find Mediterranean zones, which are characterized by hot summers and rainy winters. The Meseta, located in the center of the country, has equally hot summers and cold winters, perfect for winter vacation. Finally, within the Basque Country, you can find areas of maritime climate, in which summers are not as hot and winters are milder, perfect if you are not a fan of extreme temperatures either way!
Even though the Gothic architecture is not limited to Spain and can be seen all throughout Europe, Spain adds its own little twist to it, making it much more decorative due to its added Moorish features. Similarly, Spain added their signature flavors to both Renaissance architecture and Baroque architecture. Moreover, Romans stayed in Spain from 218 B.C. all the way until the 5th century A.D., leaving behind roads, bridges, aqueducts, and theatres, the remnants of which can sometimes still be noticed within the country. One of such architectural wonders is the Segovia Aqueduct, which boasts over 160 stone arches, all set without the use of cement. The aqueduct used to bring water from the Fuenfria Spring, located 17 kilometers away in the mountains, and is more commonly known as the Devil’s Bridge, which, according to the legend, was built by the devil himself.
If gorgeous architecture is not good enough for you, Spain is among the countries which have the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the whole world, summing up to a whopping 45 in total. Visit the historic center of Cordoba, which is home to multiple mosques and magnificent cathedrals, some of which go back over thousands of years. In Cuenca, you can visit the first Spanish Gothic cathedral, located on the top of a cliff overlooking a river. The prehistoric city of Toledo is sure to thrill you, as it was occupied by Romans, Visigoths, Moors and more, and is one of the most varied cities in the world, hosting synagogues, cathedrals, mosques, and many more!
Never tried the famous Spanish croquetas or an original Tortilla Espanola? Now is the perfect opportunity to do so! While Spanish cuisine is very popular all over the world, there is no better place to taste it than its country of origin. If you are a fan of soups, definitely try the tasty gazpacho, which is a special type of tomato soup that is served cold, usually as an appetizer. For breakfasts, we recommend tasting some of the famous cured meats Spain has to offer - Jamon and Chorizo. Finally, for the main course, you absolutely must try the local paella, which is a rice-based dish filled with delicious fresh seafood, sometimes with a mixture of chicken or rabbit, beans, and vegetables. If that's not enough for you and you demand a tasty dessert, why not try the famous "fried milk" - a classic Spanish dessert, made out of a milk-pudding with a sugary crust?
Traveling to foreign countries is not only about beautiful views, sandy beaches, and tasty food. While you’re in Spain, take the opportunity and learn a thing or two about the rich history of the country. Notice the wonders and achievements of the Spanish people during the Golden Age, when the country was a superpower the whole world feared. Delve down into the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and commemorate the memory of the victims by learning more about their past. Through both democracy and dictatorship, through being the capital of Christan Conquista and the country of Islamic Moors, Spain has always been one of the major players in world politics and their history is among the craziest and richest the world has to offer!