What is Spain Famous For? 9 Things that Make Spain the Country it is
Whether the first thing that springs to mind when you think about Spain is the weather, the food, the flamenco or the football team, there is no doubt that there are some things that this glorious Mediterranean country does better than anyone else!
Spain is famous for delicious foods like tapas and paella, its beaches, and the mild climate which attracts tourists from colder countries. Other typically famous Spanish things are the flamenco, siestas, Sagrada Familia, bullfighting, football, and the friendliness of the relaxed Spanish people.
Read on to discover our top nine things that we think Spain is most famous for and, by the end, we’re sure you’ll be adding it to your bucket list if you haven’t already!
1. Food and Wine
The food and wine in Spain are out of this world and, if you’re anything like me, your whole trip will be centred around eating out on different delicacies wherever you go! Spanish markets such as La Boqueria in Barcelona are wonderful places to savour the flavours of Spain and, if you can resist tucking into them before you get home, packs of olives, ham and biscuits make great gifts for friends and family.
Of course, tapas is probably the most famous and best way to eat out, with the selection of little dishes enabling you to try a variety of ingredients such as patatas bravas, jamón ibérico, chorizo and Spanish omelettes! A hearty paella is a great lunchtime treat that can be shared between friends and is best enjoyed while overlooking the waters of the Mediterranean. It would be rude not to try and sumptuous sangria or glass of rioja while you’re there too!
2. The Amazing Beaches
If you’re looking for a beach getaway with lush sands, warm waters and a chilled-out atmosphere, look no further than the beaches of Spain. Due to its fantastic location in the south of Europe, Spain boasts an excellent climate and also features both the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts (not to mention the Canary and Balearic Islands), so there really is something for everyone. Whether you want to surf, sunbathe, jet ski or just sip cocktails overlooking the azure waters, Spain’s beaches are sure to hit the spot. The country as a whole is thought to have around 3000 beaches (more than any other European country), so you’ll never be short of somewhere to dip your toes in the water.
3. Sagrada Familia
Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous buildings in the entire world, with around three million visitors flocking to see this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site every year. The immense basilica, while still unfinished, is thought to be one of the most ambitious works of modern architecture, with its numerous spires, magnificent windows and facades and quintessential Gaudí interiors. If you’re visiting Barcelona, this is an absolute must, and to be honest, it’s worth adding in a stop to Barca during your trip to Spain just for this!
Gaudí’s impressive architecture can not only be seen throughout Catalan (Casa Batllo, Casa Milo etc.) but also in various other locations throughout Spain such as El Capricho in Comillas, the Episcopal Palace of Astorga in the Castilla y León region and Casa Botines in León.
With Spain’s many impressive performances on the main stage at the FIFA World Cup and Real Madrid and Barcelona’s excellent footwork on show during the Champion’s League, it’s no wonder than sports fans across the world want to come and watch these guys in action when they come to Spain. The Spanish football league (La Liga) is arguably one of the best in the world, with many players longing to play for one of the big clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona in their lifetime.
The tika-taka style of football that is played here is some of the best to watch, with the quick-paced, high-scoring games keeping you on the edge of your seat for the whole match! If you love football (soccer), make sure you book tickets for La Liga during your trip to Spain or opt for a stadium tour to see where these guys train and play.
5. The Flamenco
While flamenco originated in the autonomous region of Andalusia in Southern Spain, it has become somewhat famous throughout the whole country, and if you know where to look, you’re sure to be able to find a flamenco show somewhere during your trip. The intense dance of flamenco sees passionate dancers stomp, flounce and spin their way around the stage to the sounds of Spanish folk music, wearing the traditional colours of red and black and snapping their quintessential castanets.
Going to see a flamenco show can be a great way to spend an evening, getting an insight into local history and culture while also enjoying fine food and wine and receiving hours of entertainment! Flamenco is a real art form and is a truly mesmerising show to watch. In 2010, UNESCO even declared flamenco a ‘Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’, and if that doesn’t give you a reason to go, I don’t know what will!
6. La Tomatina
Spain and festivals go hand in hand, with some of the world’s wildest and most famous festivities taking place on Spanish soil. One of these such festivals is La Tomatina, the crazy, hour-long food fight that takes place in Bunyol, Valencia every year. Thousands of people (both locals and tourists alike) flock to the town to take part in the tomato fight on the last Wednesday of August each year. Make sure you don some goggles and clothes that you don’t mind getting ruined before getting stuck into this mammoth free-for-all that will see you covered head-to-toe in tomatoes.
If you’ve tried delicious Spanish tomatoes and are worried that these are all going to waste, fear not, as the tomatoes for the festival have been grown especially for the festival, and are not of the same exquisite taste as Spain’s better tomatoes!
Another reason to head to Spain is to see some spectacular works of art by Spanish artists in their home country. Artists like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí were some of the most influential during the 20th Century, being leaders in the Cubist and Surrealist movements respectively. These two artists are just a couple of the world-famous artists from Spain who have created masterpieces in the fields of painting, culpture, ceramics and film-making.
Whether you head to the Museo del Prado or the Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Picasso Museum in Barcelona or the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, you’re sure to witness some works of art that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
8. Siestas and Fiestas
Spanish siestas are probably one thing that citizens from every other country wish their government would put in place! Despite the fact that only around 20% of the country now take a regular siesta, these relaxing afternoon naps are still something that are associated with Spain.
Because of this relaxed way of life (and the late work shift not finishing until 9 or 10pm) dinner and dancing plans don’t start until much later in the evening, and therefore the fiestas continue well into the early hours! Head out for dinner around 10pm and then look for a bar where you can start your evening. Clubs, of which there are many throughout Spain, don’t usually open until midnight at the earliest and are often open until 6am!
The Spanish are known for their parties, with the epic Ibiza party scene being renowned the world over. If you want a trip filled with drinks and dancing, Spain is the place for you!
Lastly is a somewhat controversial topic, the Corrida De Toros also simply known as bullfighting. This infamous sport has been present in Spain since pre-Roman times but has recently received some backlash from animal rights activists who claim the sport is cruel and unethical. Spain is still divided regarding the Running of the Bulls, with some feeling that it plays a strong role in national identity while others believe that it is animal cruelty and should be banned altogether.
In places where bullfighting still exists, the season runs between March and October and sees three matadors fight the bulls to the death. While the number of bullfighting shows is now much lower than in previous years, the stadiums are still packed to the rafters and resemble a somewhat gladiatorial amphitheatre in style.
It’s up to you whether you believe that bullfighting is unethical or not, but either way, it is a notorious part of Spanish culture and history.
If you were wondering what Spain is famous for, you should, by now, have your answer. Spain is famed for breath-taking art and architecture, delicious food and wine, incredible weather and beaches and some cultural traits that make it absolutely unique.
Let us know what your favourite things are about Spain or whether it’s on your bucket list in the comments below!
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