Spain is amongst Europe’s liveliest countries. Its cuisine, culture, and language influence and provoke millions of tourists around the world. The country offers diversity that is simply matchless. In addition to that, you have plenty to explore especially the gorgeous areas in Northern Spain. Once you have spent a reasonable amount of time, Spain becomes like home and you would want to stay there forever.
Adapt to Spanish Time
One of the first things you need to consider while traveling to Spain is adapting to Spanish time. While tourists experience a bit of complication while adapting to new time zones but when it comes to Spain, getting used to the country’s late schedule is a bit of a hustle. For instance, afternoons in Spain last around 8:00 pm, which is when most restaurants begin to open in the evening.
Additionally, most Spaniards do not even consume their evening meal, which can go up to 10:00 pm at night as they like to munch on food and dinners with friends and family members. This is quite common in most parts of the country especially Madrid, which is famous for its notoriously late schedule.
Therefore, the sooner you adapt to the Spanish time, the better the experience will be. This is why adapting to Spanish time is one of the best tips for traveling in Spain. This will help if you are visiting the country for nightlife, which not only begins late but also ends late as well with bars filling up from 11:00 pm at the weekend. Plus, most Spaniards do not even consider visiting the nightclub atleast before 2:00 am.
Indulge in Tapas Culture
Even though Spain is known for its tapas but the majority of tourists are not aware of how the country’s tapas culture works. Understanding and indulging in Tapas culture is amongst the best tips for traveling in Spain. Although there are many tapas-style restaurants in Spain but small local bars tend to offer a wide variety of ready-made tapas that you can choose from.
In addition to that, in many parts of Spain, you will be offered some free tapas whenever you order a drink. This can vary from a small Montecito to a relatively larger portion of food. If you are not too much into eating, you can fill up on free tapas without spending a considerable amount of money, which makes a great money-saving tip as well by the way.
When it comes to sightseeing and food nothing beats the northern areas of the country. This is where the country’s best tapas are made offered in the form of pinchos or pintxos. Tourists would like to visit and head straight for Costa Brava or Costa del Sol but the North coast should not be ignored.
However, the weather can be a bit wetter and unpredictable. At the same time, the north is surely the most interesting and beautiful part of the country. The northern regions such as Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia offer and boast splendid green hills and plenty of hiking routes. Plus, the cultures in these areas are also unique, which adds to the charm of the country.
Travel by Bus to Save Money
Perhaps the biggest downside to traveling in Spain is that the country’s high-speed rail network is very expensive to use. As a result, people normally use buses to commute. If you wish to hop aboard the train, it is highly advised to book a seat in advance.
On the other hand, if you are traveling on a budget, you might want to take the bus whenever you can. Since the buses are connected with all the major towns and cities, you should not have a problem exploring the country.
Try to Participate in at least One Big Festival
Spain is known and famous for hosting some of the world’s most famous celebrations. There is no shortage of fiestas to choose from taking place each year. For instance, the Valencian region holds two of the most spectacular celebrations in the city of Valencia called the spectacular Fallas celebrations and the very messy ‘La Tomatina’.
However, Spain’s most famous festival is San Fermin, featuring a bull that runs through the street every summer. Furthermore, Easter is also widely celebrated in Spain, particularly in Andalusia, in the city of Seville. The Feria de Abril also hosts huge Easter parades two weeks later.
And finally, perhaps the biggest festival of Spain is when the city shuts down for an entire week of dancing sevillanas and partying.
Look out for Local Celebrations and Festivities
Even if you do not have time to indulge in some of the biggest celebrations offered by the country, you can still look out for local celebrations and festivities. As mentioned earlier, Spain is a diverse country and all of its 17 autonomous communities have their own national or regional day in addition to local identity.
Not only that, some of the many districts has their individual festivals and celebrations too, especially during the summer months. Therefore, try catching up on such celebrations to experience Spain the right way.
Explore the Different Neighborhoods
Traveling to Spain without visiting the city of Barcelona is like turning down an excellent opportunity to visit and explore the central areas that are filled and crawling with tourists at weekends and peak times of the year. You might be tempted to visit La Rambla and Barcelona’s most central beach but spending too much time will simply be a waste due to low-quality restaurants and bars etc.
Instead, you should visit neighborhoods like Gracia in Barcelona and Malasana in Madrid. This is where you experience the best urban life in Spain. Then, there is Malaga, which is another fantastic tourist city hiding some real gems.
Try Regional Dishes and Drinks
One of the things to know before traveling to Spain is that the country’s diversity also influences cuisines and many regional specialties. For example, Valencia is the birthplace of Paella and the best place to try it. Meanwhile, Andalusia boasts the Gazpacho, which is basically a soup helping the tourists cool down during summers.
However, when it comes to culinary lovers, the northern regions of Spain such as Asturias, Galicia, and the Basque Country all specialize in and pride themselves on their cuisines.
If you are planning to travel to Spain, you should keep the above-mentioned tips in mind. At the same time, you should avoid visiting during the peak summer period. The reason is that most coastal towns and resorts are overcrowded and expensive. Therefore, you might want to make some advance reservations and plan your favorite destinations so that your Spanish experience is worth a second try.