Spain is best known for Flamenco dancing, Sangria, Bull fighting and its many fiestas. It is the largest country in Southern Europe and is mostly a Roman Catholic country.
With a population of over fifty million inhabitants, and seventeen communities each having its own government, it is a widely diverse country.
Spain has beautiful coastlines and large multinational cities like Barcelona and Madrid, along with the more traditional Spanish towns and cities which still follow old fashioned traditions and cultures.
Home to two top football clubs this country loves it football and a wide variety of other sports are played here including Padel; a form of tennis with a hard racquet.
What to do/see in Spain
Spain is home to such stunning coastlines that you would be forgiven if you wanted to just stay by the coast and not go inland. Cities like Barcelona offer the unique experience of an international city with miles of coastline as a bonus. An obvious thing to visit here is the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia; Gaudi’s uncompleted church which has astounding architecture and stunning stained glass windows. You also have the Bunkers of Carmel which are secluded bunkers showing spectacular views of the city.
For views of a different nature head to Madrid for the Palacio de Cristal, an ornate palace which in darkness is reflected in the still waters of the lake in Buen Retiro Park. This is straight from a children’s story book and not to be missed.
Spain really does have quite a macabre past and El Parque de los Desvelados in Estella brings this to the forefront. It is a huge landscape which is decorated with enormous skull sculptures and was created in recent years by artist Luis Garcia Vidal.
In Seville you have Plaza del Triunfo, home to the Torre Giralda; an old mosque which has now been converted into a bell tower.
Finally as Spain is the home of Flamenco you really must go to see a show. Please check online for details of your nearest performance as there are literally hundreds to choose from.
Where to stay in Spain
Endeus has a wide range of vacation apartments to consider when renting in Spain.
In the capital of the country there are many vacation rentals in Madrid available. For hotel lovers a lavish example is The Westin Palace Hotel in Madrid, which is in Las Letras quarter. Its marble floors and affluently designed architecture really will make you feel like you are a film star, not to mention its La Rotonda restaurant with its stained glass cupola.
For a more ‘funky’ and down to earth place to stay, you might want to look at Room Mate Emma Barcelona, which is right next to Diagonal Metro. Its futuristic feel and hip décor really is fantastic for a reasonable price and it is aesthetically pleasing with a futuristic feel (LED lit corridors).
- In Spain there are several different languages such as Basque, Catalan and Galician. Please try to check where you are staying in the country and which language they speak so you can say hello to the locals (and show that you want to get involved with the local culture).
- Spain has a great deal of fiestas (parties outside), so please prepare for these times to be loud and very lively. Find out what is happening, go sit on a terrace and watch the festivities as they engulf the local cities and towns. Locals don’t complain on fiesta weekends about the noise and they are aware that there will be noisy times. On normal weekdays/weekends after 10pm if you are being loud in your flat or out on the street expect to be told off and told to be quiet.
- A point to mention is that in Spain there are still a huge volume of smokers. Smoking indoors is now not allowed but on the terraces and outside there are a lot of people lighting up and there is very little you can do about it. If you want smoke-free then you need to go indoors.
- Last but not least, it is important to consider pickpockets and how to prevent it from happening to you. Please keep an over the shoulder bag with you at all times with it zipped up tightly. Be cautious of ploys to distract you; asking for directions, a lost wedding ring or a ‘baby’ crying down a side street. You can look for information on this online to safeguard you while you are in Spain.
With several beaches hemmed along its coast, Barcelona is a city with a beautiful coastline to add to the diversity of a place where no two barrios (areas) are the same. From the gothic quarter to the ‘rambling Ramblas’ as it is fondly known, the differences are shockingly refreshing. It is also as architecturally diverse ranging from the Sagrada Familia to the Mercat del Born. Glide up the Montjuic via cable car (over the stunning Port Vell harbour) and visit Montjuic Castle, Palau Sant Jordi and bask in the panoramic beauty of Barcelona then make a promise you will return as soon as possible!
The fusion of modernity, avant-garde and classical comprises together to form an eclectic capital city. Amble past outdoor sculptures; from the equestrian statues in the plazas to the classical fountains Neptuno and Angel Caido in the Buen Retiro Park. Take a post-modernistic trip to Matadero Madrid; once a slaughterhouse but now home to several artistic installations and key designers. Exercise your credit card on the Golden Mile or in the original Fuencarral district, followed by dinner at Escuela de Pias’s outstanding roof terrace or a cultural night at the Madrid Opera de los Austrias.
The city of Seville is a glorious hive of activity and its traditional UNESCO-listed Alcazar transports you back to the 14th century. Climb up to the Grutesco Gallery for breath-taking views of the palace and its sprawling grounds. In the old quarter there is a unique Metropol Parasol where wooden slats intertwine to create a roof top walkway around its magnificent structure. Amble around the Triana neighbourhood (over the Isabel Bridge) to see passionate Flamenco dancing at its best. Seville proudly boasts the origins of tapas. You should definitely try the best ones in the La Brunilda restaurant.