5 tips for discovering Spain

With over 45 million tourists visiting every year, Spain is one of the most popular countries in the world! In the UK, and many other northern European countries, Spain is a particularly popular country to visit due to the many cheap flights available to many of its major destinations, and warm weather. Anyone on a budget based in Europe can find cheap holidays to Spain quite easily, but with that sometimes comes the inevitable tourist traps, long queues at attractions, or the banality of package holiday destinations. Spain as a country offers so much culture, adventure, and beauty, so it’s important for any visitors to make sure that they don’t miss out on what makes this country so intriguing, and avoid the tourist bubble. I therefore thought it would be useful to list my top 5 tips for making the most of your time in Spain, based on my own experiences.

Avoid typical package holiday destinations

Where I come from in the UK, Spain is the number one package holiday destination. Big package holiday companies will send you to a cheap hotel, somewhere with cheap entertainment, where it’s all about boozing, getting sun burnt on a random beach, and nothing else. You won’t hear a Spanish word in ear shot, and you won’t really see anything that would signify that you are actually in Spain! Sure, it may be cheap, but by simply stepping outside of the typical package holiday destinations, you’ll find so much more variety and things to do that are actually unique to Spanish life. Why not go to Grenada, where many local Spanish people holiday, where there is a local law that you get a free plate of tapas with every beer! Or how about up to San Sebastian, known for its great surfing beaches, and beautiful scenery! These are both still popular destinations, but they are much more beautiful than the banality of places like Benidorm or Malaga. You can still also technically book a package holiday if you want with other Spanish destinations, as if you book your flights and hotel/hostel through the one provider, then that is technically a package holiday without the typical package destination.

Visit during off peak season

If you want to avoid the queues then visit Spain in the off peak season! Places like Barcelona and Madrid will always be busy, but it will be a bit less so during winter or autumn, as compared with the summer. You’ll also find your accommodation may be a bit cheaper during the cooler months where the weather isn’t quite as good, as hotels and hostels try to attract customers during the less busy periods.

Try learning the language

No one’s expecting you to be fluent in Spanish in order to visit the country, but why not use the opportunity to try learning a bit of the language while you are there? Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world. While travelling RTW, where people don’t know English, they may know Spanish, so aside for being a useful tool while you are travelling the world; it will also allow you to communicate with the locals better while you are in Spain, something which local people usually appreciate. It’s also an opportunity to learn about the many languages of Spain, such as Catalan and Basque, and the rich history which precedes them.

Eat some tapas!

I always love to try some local food when travelling! Aside from the fact it allows you to try something you wouldn’t usually eat in your home country, it can also be very yummy! Tapas is a food distinctly unique to Spain, and the Spanish culture. It is also just particularly tasty, and is a great excuse to tour a number of tapas bars where ever you are in Spain.

Check out some art

If ever there was a country to tour the art galleries, Spain is it! Giving birth to masters of art such as Picasso, Gaudi, and Dali, Spain is the one country where a tour of the Art Galleries is something I highly recommend for anyone! Even if Art Galleries are not really your thing, places like Park Güell, and the many Gaudi museums are inspiring for even those least interested in art. Also, for those not interested so much in classics, you can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona for 7.50 Euros. It’s not cheap, but for an attraction in one of the world’s major cities it’s actually quite cheap.

Spain is a country rich in history, culture, and beauty. By following the above 5 tips, you should hopefully avoid the tourist traps, and/or experience some things which are unique to this vast country.

One Response to “5 tips for discovering Spain”

  1. ✗a says:

    While a Visit during off peak season is always worthwhile, you definitely should visit Andalusia during ”Semana Santa“! Great atmosphere all over the place.

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