Spain is a popular destination, especially for tourists during the summer holidays. But what is Spain famous for? Keep reading to understand more about culture, food and drinks, and famous landmarks in Spain. After living in Spain and traveling around the country, we have a lot of ideas on what Spain is known for, particularly for travelers heading to Spain to eat and drink.
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Why Travel To Spain
Spain is famous for its summer resort and extensive sandy beaches on both the Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans. In addition, Spain has two archipelagoes, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago located in the Balearic Sea near the Iberian Peninsula’s eastern coast. The Canary Islands, also referred to as the Canaries, is an archipelago in the Macaronesia region of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Teide National Park is also famous in Spain and is the most visited national park. Amusement Parks, such as Terra Mitica, Tivoli Park, and Tibidabo Amusement Park, are also available in Spain.
What Is Spain Known For – 5 Famous Spanish Foods & Drinks
What is Spain famous for in terms of foods and drinks? Spanish dishes are hearty, unique, and wonderfully satisfying. Spain knows what to do when it comes to food and beverages. If you are traveling to Spain, visiting different regions gives you the opportunity to try as much Spanish cuisine as possible.
Discovering new tastes and eating traditional food in Spain is a delightful traveling experience. You will experience culture through the local foods and drinks. Furthermore, traditional Spanish cuisine will give you a deeper insight into the customs and traditions of Spain.
So, what food is Spain famous for? Since we cannot cover all Spanish delicacies, we have compiled five famous Spanish foods and drinks.
Jamón Iberico is a type of dry-cured Spanish ham produced from specific breeds of livestock. Jamón is made from pure breeds or crossbreeds, which are at least 50 percent Black Iberian.
Jamón has a rich, savory taste and a smooth texture. This ham has a relatively higher fat content compared to other types of ham. A good Jamón ham should have regular streaks of intramuscular fat referred to as marbling.
Jamón Iberico is not only the finest ham in Spain but also all over the world. The production process also explains why the Jamón ham is such a popular Spanish food for locals and tourists.
Check out this recipe for croquettas de jamon, made with Spanish cured ham.
Paella is a famous Spanish food and is more of a ritual than a meal. The paella is a dish of saffron-flavored rice prepared with meat, vegetables, and seafood. In addition, the dish originates from the rice-growing areas and is associated with Valencia.
The traditional paella is known as Paella Valenciana and is believed to be the original recipe. Valencia Paella includes round grain rice, rabbit, chicken, broad green beans, and local white beans.
There are also other forms of paella. Paella de marisco, also referred to as seafood paella, replaces meat with seafood. Paella mixta, also known as mixed paella, combines seafood with meat from livestock.
Pro Tips: make sure to have a side of Spanish Alioli Garlic sauce at the ready.
Spanish wine is one of the best things from Spain. Spain has seven wine regions based on geography, climate, and culture. However, Rioja is the most famous Spain wine region.
Rioja wine is produced from a blend of grape varieties. However, Tempranillo is the dominant grape, while Garnacha is included to add fruitiness. Graciano and Mazuelo may also be included.
Rioja is famous for its barrel-aged wine, which gives it a distinctive taste. The wine also has a unique structure and fruity character. Rioja is also among the most famous wines in Spain because you can pair it with almost all kinds of food.
Tapas And Pintxos
When you go into a Spanish bar, you will be tempted to as what is a tapa? It is also quite challenging to differentiate a tapa from a pintxo.
A tapa is simply a snack or appetizer in Spanish cuisine. Spanish tapas are served on a plate and are usually a tiny portion of some typical Spanish dish. In some tapas bars and restaurants in Spain, tapas have evolved into sophisticated cuisines and can be combined to create a full meal.
On the other hand, pintxos or pinchos are presented with a toothpick spearing a small bread with some delight on top, such as mushrooms, Jamon, or cheese. However, both Tapas and Pintxos are served in bars to accompany a drink.
Pintxos originated in Basque, an autonomous region in northern Spain. Pintxos are therefore common in the northern part of Spain. However, Tapas are popular in Southern Spain.
Michelin Star Restaurants
Many restaurants dream of earning a Michelin star because it brings industry respect, media attention, and ultimately new customers. The Michelin star is awarded on a scale of between one and three stars, and only the top establishments qualify for the star.
To earn a single Michelin star, the restaurant must be good. For two and three stars, the restaurant must have excellent cooking and exceptional cuisine, respectively.
If you are traveling to Spain, you do not need to worry because there are numerous Michelin star restaurants in Spain.
Famous Landmarks In Spain
What is Spain known for in terms of landmarks? There are so many famous landmarks in Spain for us to review. Spain is known for its landmarks, which appeal to tourists from all over the world.
Madrid is a top tourist destination and is one of the places Spain is famous for. The Golden Triangle of Art consists of three art museums in the center of Madrid. Madrid also hosts other famous landmarks such as the Prado Museum, the Royal Palace of Madrid, and CaixaForum Madrid.
Barcelona also hosts numerous landmarks that are famous in Spain. These landmarks include Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Sagrada Familia, and Museu Picasso.
Though Madrid and Barcelona host a lot of famous landmarks, there are many other landmarks spread all over the country.
For example, the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum in Bilbao is a famous landmark in Spain. Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, and many other landmarks.
La Sagrada Família In Barcelona
La Sagrada Familia is a massive unfinished Roman Catholic Cathedral located in Barcelona’s Eixample District. Antoni Gaudi, a Spanish architect, designed the building, and construction started in 1882.
The Sagrada Familia is surrounded by controversy because some people feel that the Gaudi would not have used today’s new construction materials. Once you visit the building, you will notice the contrasting stone color between the back and front. You will also see the different construction styles between the old and new parts.
One of the best features of Gaudi’s architectural design is the use of light. The church has huge stained-glass windows that wash the naves with color. The best time to visit the church is mid-morning or late afternoon. At this time, sunlight directly strikes the windows creating a stunning view.
The Sagrada Familia receives many visitors and is overcrowded at peak times. However, there are only several limited tickets, and there are fixed entry points to avoid overcrowding. To avoid the long queues, you can buy tickets online up to two months in advance. Alternatively, you can buy a Barcelona Pass, which has a fast-track entry to the building.
City of Arts and Sciences In Valencia
The City of Arts and Sciences is a cultural and scientific complex located in Valencia. The complex covers approximately two kilometers of the former River Turia’s riverbed. In addition, the complex is a famous and modern tourist destination and is among the 12 Treasures of Spain.
Once you visit the City of Arts and Sciences, you will be able to see the Oceanografic, which is Europe’s most giant aquarium. You will also see a 3D cinema, known as the Hemisferic. Other sights available include the Science museum, Opera house, Umbracle, Agora, and Assut de I’Or.
Depending on your interests, a visit to the City of Arts and Sciences will take you between three and four hours. Tickets are available online, and the complex is open 365 days a year. However, the complex is at its peak during weekends and holidays.
Park Güell In Barcelona
Park Guell is a privatized park consisting of architectural elements and gardens. The park is located on Carmel Hill, Barcelona. Construction of the park began in 1900 and was completed in 1914. The park was officially opened in 1926, and in 1984, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.
Park Guell is one of the famous landscapes in Spain. Some of the attractions you should not miss out on include the Serpentine Bench, the mosaic tile bench, the El Drac mosaic salamander, Austria Gardens, the Gaudi House Museum, the Sala Hipostila, and the Laundry Room Portico.
Visit Park Guell during the low season, which is January to March and October to December. The best time is between 9.30 am and 11.00 am. These times will enable you to avoid crowds.
Prado Museum In Madrid
The Prado Museum is Spain’s main national art museum and is considered the world’s finest art collection. This museum is located in Paseo del Prado in Madrid.
When you visit the museum, you will see the best art collections, including paintings and sculptures. The collection contains over 8,000 drawings, 7,500 paintings, 4,800 prints, and over 1,000 sculptures. The museum also hosts special exhibitions and collection highlights which feature selected works.
The best time to visit the Prado Museum is at 10.00 am or between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm. The museum tends to have fewer crowds during this time.
Plaza Mayor In Madrid
The Plaza Mayor is a public space located in Madrid, the capital city of Spain. The Plaza originally served as the main market and was built in the 15th Century.
You can do and see several things when you visit the Plaza Mayor. If you want to take a break from exploring the Plaza, you can eat or drink at Al Fresco while sitting outside. You can also walk around the square while admiring the balconies that face the center of the Plaza. You will also see the statue of Felipe III riding his horse.
Plaza Mayor is open from Monday to Sunday. However, the ideal time to visit is the Plaza is in the morning right after opening to avoid crowds.
There are many reasons why Spain is a popular tourist destination. With so much to see and do, it’s not hard to understand why this is one of the most preferred destinations. Spain is also famous for many things, including its landmarks, history, culture, food, and drinks.
FAQs – Things To See In Spain
Yes. Spain is a diverse and dynamic country. While you won’t see everything in Spain, 10 days is enough time, especially for first time visitors, to explore both Madrid and Barcelona. Travel time between most Spanish cities isn’t significant, even by train.
Everywhere? From stunning architecture in Madrid and Barcelona to the breathtaking Pyrennes Mountains and white sandy beaches of the Costa del Sol, Spain is beautiful. One of the most underrated beautiful cities, in my opinion, is Sevilla. Its architecture is second to none and loaded with Spanish charm.
La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is the most visited tourist attraction in Spain. Under construction since 1882 and not due to be completed until 2026 la Sagrad Familia see nearly 5 million visitors per year (2019).