Nestled in southwestern Europe, Spain is a country with a long-standing history. The exciting mix of cultural influences has shaped this gem into what it is today. From the Roman ruins to Arabian architecture, Spain is a melting pot of perplexing civilizations. And that's what makes it so interesting!
Thanks to its hefty history, Spain is known for many things around the globe. From rich wine and decadent tapas to innovative architecture and passionate flamenco dance, there's an abundant tapestry of things to do.
Whether you want to watch a fuming soccer match, run with the bulls, or admire the art, there's something special for everybody. Before planning your next trip to Spain, save this comprehensive guide to the top things Spain is known for! Olé!
What is Spain Known For?
Boasting many world-renowned wineries, Spain is famous for its fantastic wine. Given its location in southern Europe, Spain is home to an ideal wine-producing climate. Top-notch wine regions include Rioja, Priorat, and Ribera del Duero.
If you're looking for the best things to do in Madrid, consider this wine-tasting experience. Hosted in a trendy bar in Plaza Mayor, you can sample some of Spain's most famous glasses of old-fashioned gold vino.
Local tip: Order a glass of vermouth rojo or cava when traveling to Spain. Sangria is known locally as a tourist trap and is less popular in Spain than some might think.
Running of the Bulls
Although the Running of the Bulls is a very controversial event, it's something that Spain is famous for. Bullfighting is a traditional symbol of Spain, and although it's considered unethical, it's an iconic image of the country.
Taking place during the heat of July in Pamplona, this peculiar cultural event is exactly what it sounds like. A bunch of bulls chasing humans. Yikes!
Locally known as the San Fermin Festival, this globally-known event shakes up these Spanish streets. If you're interested in running with the bulls, there are some serious dos and don'ts to consider beforehand.
Spain's famous for its fiesta, so you can expect some fantastic festivals in Spain. Filled with roaring music, vibrant costumes, and eye-catching decorations, Spain is home to an entire spectrum of festivities.
Hiking & Adventure
Spain's landscape is vastly diverse, from the majestic mountains in Catalonia's Pyrenees to the snow-covered peaks of Andalusia's Sierra Nevada. Whether you want to climb a volcano, trek through forests, or shred the slopes, there is something to satisfy everyone.
One of the best times to go hiking in Spain is spring and fall. Boasting mild weather and pleasant walking conditions, you can bet your bottom dollar it'll be a memorable experience.
Whether you want to enjoy the views on the Cares Trail or get your heart rate pumping on La Palma Volcano Trail, there are levels for both advanced and first-timers. Find out everything you need to know in this guide to hiking in Spain.
Arrayed with astounding architecture at every end of the country, Spain is a design lovers' delight! This country's packed to the brim, from the eerie Gothic cathedrals and elegant Renaissance buildings to the Baroque architecture and Arabian palaces.
If you're planning a trip to Spain, you're in luck! Here are a few budget-friendly activities focused on architecture. Plus, they're all under $50!
- Toledo and Segovia medieval Spain tour
- Sagrada Familia guided tour in Barcelona
- Alhambra, Nasrid Palaces, and Generalife tour
- Game of Thrones walking tour in Girona
- Alcazar of Seville tour
- Architecture tour Gran Vía in Madrid
Gaudí was an architect that challenged typical design and was the mastermind behind many of Barcelona's most famous landmarks. Using motifs of nature and religion, he fused his unique style into every piece of work.
Thanks to Gaudi, Spain is known for attractions like the Sagrada Familia, Casa Battló, and Park Güell. If you're on a tight time schedule, add this e-bike Gaudí tour to your Barcelona itinerary. Not only will you get an active tour of the city, but you'll get to admire the array of Gaudí's most famous creations.
If one thing comes to mind when typical travelers think of Spain, it's tapas! Spain is known for delicious dishes like seafood paella, chocolate-dipped churros, and small plates of tapas.
Traditional cuisine includes meat, fish, or seafood, usually with vegetables or legumes on the side. Here's some of the food that Spain's known for:
- Spanish tortilla
- Olives stuffed with anchovies
- Patatas bravas
- Chorizo and cured ham
- Bread with tomato
Is your mouth watering yet?
Just as Spain is known for the fiesta, this country takes the siesta just as seriously. Because party hard, sleep hard, right? Spain doesn't joke when it comes to the siesta. This after-lunch break affects the timetable of many schools, restaurants, bars, and stores.
Usually, between 2 pm and 4 pm, employees and school children will be sent home for the siesta break. This is a standard time for families to dine together and sometimes sleep before returning to their commitments. If only all other countries would follow suit!
Also known as "fútbol," not to be confused with American football, Spain's famous for its soccer scene. Home to some of the greatest soccer teams of all time, you can expect to find FC Barcelona and Real Madrid fans everywhere. And honestly, nothing beats that feeling of a roaring soccer match in Spain!
Spanish art is arrayed with dazzling diversity and great innovation. This country's famous for its 20th-century contribution to Surrealism and Cubism. There have been many great creatives who took the scene by storm.
From Picasso and Velazquez to Dali and El Greco, Spain is known for a series of groundbreaking artists. You can find crowd-favorites like Picasso's Guernica at the Reina Sofia and Goya's the Third of May at the Prado.
Try to add these art museums and attractions to your Spain itinerary:
- National Art Museum of Catalonia
- City of Arts and Sciences Valencia
- Seville Fine Arts Museum
- Prado Museum Madrid
- Girona Art Museum
Ah, Flamenco! The fascinating fusion of dance, singing, and guitar. Originated by the gypsies in Andalusia, flamenco's now a modern symbol of Spain. Characterized by sharp footwork, dramatic guitar melodies, and expressive arms and body movements, this combination's enough to leave you speechless.
Local tip: You can catch flamenco performances throughout Spain, but the most authentic shows are in Andalusia. Head to destinations like Granada and Seville to find the most breathtaking performances.
Your Guide to Spain
If you're planning an epic trip to Spain, you might feel inundated with the possibilities. Whether you want to hike through the hills or go wild at a festival, there's much to factor into your Spanish itinerary. No better place to start than these articles on Spain:
- Top 3 walking tours in Madrid
- 7 Things to do in Barcelona
- Top 5 places to go in Spain
- 4 Best Hostels in Seville
- Top 4 Hostels in Madrid
- Where to stay in Barcelona
- Best Madrid landmarks to visit
- Top hostels in Spain
- What is Barcelona known for?
- Coolest cities in Spain
How to Plan a Trip to Spain
Now that you know what Spain is known for, it's time to start planning. Planning a trip to Spain can be fun, but trying to fit everything into one itinerary can be challenging.
If you're looking for authentic travel experiences but don't want to break the bank, it's best to prepare ahead. Discover the best time to visit, where to stay, what to do, how to budget, and more! The more time you spend researching, the more money you save.
Why Visit Spain?
Straddling sun-filled cities, ancient ruins, awe-inspiring architecture, and mouth-watering cuisine, Spain is famous for many things. Whether you want to sunbake at the beach or enjoy an afternoon at the museum, this vibrant country is bursting with things to do.
Sun, Sand, and Siestas!
Spain's terrain is diverse, from the picturesque Pyrenees to the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. With so many attractions spread throughout the scene, it's best to get organized before you visit. Keep all your activities in one place with Pilot!