Spain is much more than paella, toros, sol y playa (paella, bulls, sun and the beach). The country is well known for its friendly inhabitants, sunny weather and yummy food, but it has plenty to offer beyond Madrid, Barcelona or Sevilla.

From a breathtaking heritage to a vibrant culture, Spain features a variety of landscapes and things to do. Are you a beach or a mountain person? Do you prefer fish over meat? Spain has it all and I’m sure you’ll be putting the country on your bucket list before you know, especially after reading this page and all my travel-related blog posts. 🙂


Basic facts

  • Population: 46.7 million
  • Currency: Spain belongs to the Eurozone, hence the euro (€) is its official currency.
  • Language: Spanish is the official language in the country, although Basque, Catalan or Galician have an official status too.
  • Territories: Spain is made of 17 regions (called ‘Comunidades Autónomas’) and 2 autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla, located on the African continent).
  • Main cities: Madrid (capital), Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia, Bilbao.
  • Fun fact: we Spaniards eat 12 grapes at the beginning of the New Year while listening to the clock on Madrid’s Puerta del Sol. It’s supposed to bring good luck!

Things to do

Visit Madrid, the vibrant Spanish capital

Barcelona and its beaches are one of the most famous destinations in Spain

Watch a flamenco show while exploring beautiful Andalusian cities such as Córdoba, Granada or Sevilla

If you're a foodie, head to San Sebastián and eat as many 'pintxos' as you can!


Spain features an impressive heritage and you can advantage of it by staying in the most beautiful and well-preserved ancient buildings in our country. Book your room at one of the various Paradores throughout our geography and enjoy.

Other great options when it comes to hotels include brands such as Meliá, NH Hoteles or Barceló. If you prefer more flexible stays such as campings, you can do that too.


Spain is famous worldwide for its olive oil (aceite de oliva). Our liquid gold is the key ingredient in Spanish cuisine, which translates into a healthy lifestyle. Our Mediterranean diet (dieta mediterránea) is based on olive oil, fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes.

In addition to that, we Spaniards LOVE pork in all its forms, especially when it comes to cold meats (embutidos). That is why we can’t go without our ham (jamón ibérico), our chorizo or our loin (lomo). We eat it just like that with some bread, and we add it to pretty much any stew.

What to eat region by region:

Spain is a vast country with its own particularities, especially when it comes to food. Here’s my own list of the most typical products (both salty, sweet or drinks) you should try whenever you visit one of these Spanish regions.

What to eat and drink region by region

Andalucía: gazpacho, salmorejo, pescaíto frito (fried fish); drink: rebujito

Aragón: ternasco (lamb)

Asturias: cachopo (fried veal fillets with ham and cheese); drink: cider

Baleares: coca (like a pizza), ensaimada, sobrasada

Canarias: papas con mojo, ropa vieja, sancocho

Cantabria: sobaos pasiegos, quesada

Castilla La Mancha: pisto, Manchego cheese

Castilla y León: cochinillo (grilled piglet), morcilla (blood sausage), sopa de ajo (garlic soup)

Cataluña: pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato), calçots amb salsa romesco, escalivada, butifarra (sausage); drink: cava

Comunidad de Madrid: cocido madrileño (stew), bocata de calamares (calamari sandwich), chocolate con porras y/o churros

Comunidad Valenciana: paella, horchata, oranges, coca (cake)

Extremadura: migas extremeñas (fried bread crumbs), Torta del Casar cheese

Galicia: seafood (nécoras, percebes, almejas,zamburiñas), pulpo a feira (octopus ); drink: Albariño (white wine)

La Rioja: potatoes Rioja style (patatas a la riojana), lamb chops with vine shoots (chuletillas de cordero al sarmiento); drink: Rioja wines

Murcia: Murcian salad, zarangollo

Navarra: txistorra, vegetables; drink: patxarán

País Vasco (Basque Country): chuletón (grilled meat) or fish, txistorra (similar to a chorizo but thiner); drinks: sidra (cider) or txakolí (white wine). To experience the true Basque way of eating, head to a sagardotegi in the Astigarraga area near San Sebastián, preferably in the period between January and April. The typical menu includes tortilla de bacalao (cod omelette), chuletón (grilled meat) with peppers, cider, cheese, quince and nuts. Txotx!

Good to know when travelling to Spain

  • Depending where you’re coming from, you might be surprised when visiting Spain because of our late hours. We tend to eat around 2pm and have dinner around 9-10pm, so plan accordingly. In small cities, shops close at lunch time and open again in the afternoon.
  • Siesta‘ is one of the Spanish clichés. Although we love to take a nap, I’d say you’re lucky if you can do it everyday with our busy lifestyle. However, it’s more common during the summer time or in smaller villages.

More about Spain…

Get inspired by the trips around my home country and read all my blog posts!


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