Spain is our favorite country to travel to because it has so much to offer. In the north you will find the Pyrenees where you can do beautiful hikes. In the south, on the other hand, you can discover the flamenco culture. Spain has everything, beautiful beaches, imposing mountains, magnificent cities, authentic villages and a lot of history. Whether you want to do a beach vacation, city trips or an adventurous trip, it is all possible.
To help you plan your trip, you can use this Travel Guide Spain.
Important information Spain
Spain at a glance: Spain is best known for the cities Madrid and Barcelona. These cities are beautiful to visit, but there is much more. Spain consists of 17 autonomous states which are very different from each other because of their history.
Popular destinations in Spain: Below you see one of the most popular destinations in Spain. There are of course more places but to make this list not too long, this is a good starting point.
- Madrid: Madrid is the capital of Spain and has a lot to offer in terms of culture. With the Prado museum you can visit one of the best museums in Europe.
- Barcelona: There is a lot to do in Barcelona. For example, admiring Gaudi’s architecture by visiting La Sagrada Familia. If you have more time you can do a great day trip to Montserrat from Barcelona.
- Valencia: This is the city that surprised us enormously, here you will find a historic center with beautiful buildings where many cozy squares can be found, around Valencia there are beautiful sandy beaches but the main reason to visit Valencia is to visit the largest aquarium of Europe. Also good to know is that Valencia is one of the best cities in Europe to discover by bike.
- Costa Brava: The Costa Brava is the coast of Catalonia and is very popular, especially for travelers with children. There are nice villages along the entire coast. Many families enjoy their holiday here every year.
- Pyrenees: Travelers who are in to hiking and love nature should visit the Pyrenees. The place we visit is Ordesa National Park. This is the greenest part of the Pyrenees.
- Andalusia: In the Andalusia region you will find some beautiful cities such as Seville. In Granada you find the most visited building in Spain, the Moorish palace Alhambra.
- Basque Country: The Basque Country is popular among locals because temperatures are pleasant in the summer. The two best cities to visit are San Sebastian and Bilbao.
- La Rioja: La Rioja is the region of vineyards and authentic villages. There is a lot to see in La Rioja. There are several old monasteries, wine cellars and castles to admire.
- Asturias: This region is one of the least visited regions of Spain. In our opinion, Asturias is home to the most beautiful natural park in Spain: Picos de Europa. You can also visit many awesome cities, such as Oviedo. When you are in Oviedo you have the feeling of walking through an open air museum. Another nice city is Santander, here you can have a great city trip combined with beaches.
Currency: Euro | 2022 exchange rate: €1 / $1.13
Tipping in Spain: In Spain you are not obliged to tip at restaurants and bars. It is customary to tip between 5% and 10%. Determine on the spot how satisfied you were and base your tip on this.
Religion and culture in Spain: The vast majority of Spain is Roman Catholic. Due to the climate, the culture of Spain is different from, for example, the north of Europe. In Spain, for example, they eat later in the day and live more outside their homes making it cozy on the streets.
Transport in Spain: Depending on what kind of trip you want to make, you can travel in Spain by public or private transport. Many major cities in Spain have international airports from which you can book flights. You can buy public transport tickets via the link.
If you travel to Spain by plane and you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.
The best period to visit Spain
The best period for traveling to Spain doesn’t exist. Its depends on what you want to do. If you like warm weather and want to lie on the beach, it is best to go during the summer months. If you prefer to take walks through nature parks, spring or autumn are better.
Spain can be divided into three seasons in terms of tourism:
High season (July-August): Hottest period in Spain. Perfect if you want to be active along the coast. It can be very hot for an active vacation. The disadvantage is that it can be very busy due to the European holiday period, therefore prices are higher;
Moderate Season (March-June & September-November): Spring and Autumn period, excellent time to visit Spain because of the pleasant temperatures. This period is great for trekking and sightseeing. In general, its is less crowded compared to the summer period. This does not apply in Andalusia because temperatures are the most pleasant during these periods. In the summer it can be 40 degrees in Andalusia, which is too hot for an active holiday.
Low Season (December-February): Winter period, this is the least popular time to travel to Spain as it is the coldest. However, you can easily travel to Andalusia because temperatures are fine in the south of Spain.
Best time to visit Spain: If you have the opportunity, it is best not to travel in July and August as it is busy. The best period to travel to Spain is during the spring and autumn period. Temperatures are pleasant and it is not extremely busy as in summer. If you want to travel to Andalusia, you can easily travel in the winter period.
Is Spain safe to visit?
Yes! Spain is one of the safest countries in the world to travel. However, in the big cities such as Barcelona and Madrid you should use common sense and not walk in strange streets or places. Pay attention to this, otherwise there are no things you should worry about.
World Nomads travel insurance policies offer coverage for more than 150 activities. Get a quote, make a claim, or buy or extend your policy while on the road.
Best things to do in Spain
Visit La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
La Sagrada Familia is one of the most special buildings to visit in Spain. The architecture of the artist Gaudi is without doubt unique. Besides La Sagrada Familia, there are more influences to be found in Barcelona. In our article about Barcelona you can read everything about these activities but also how to get the best most out of your 3 days in Barcelona via our itinerary.
Hike in beautiful nature
You don’t have to travel the whole world to make the coolest hikes. In Picos de Europa and Ordesa National Park you can find nature that is unprecedentedly beautiful. Picos de Europa is rough and unknown for many travelers. Ordesa National Park is green and has the most beautiful waterfall route in the Pyrenees.
City trips in Spain
There are a lot of cities in Spain, we have already visited many cities in Spain and we think San Sebastian is one of the coolest cities to visit. San Sebastian is situated between the mountains in a bay on the coast. Due to its location it has a unique atmosphere, one moment you are walking through the historic center and the next moment you are walking along the coast enjoying beautiful views.
The coastline in the north is called Costa Verde and is magnificent to see. Costa Verde means green coast, in this area you will find different types of coasts. You have coasts with steep cliffs and huge rock formations. You also have sandy beaches that are sheltered. The best way to discover Costa Verde is from Oviedo, Santander or Bilbao.
Of course when you are in Spain you can see the culture everywhere but the best way to experience the Spanish culture is to find places where there are few tourist. Places such as La Rioja , Zaragoza or Picos de Europa are perfect for this. La Rioja is the wine region of Spain where it seems like you are going back years in time. Here you can visit small villages without meeting another tourist. In Zaragoza you can admire a typical Spanish city that comes alive in the evening. Enjoy the local atmosphere at the many bars. When staying in Las Arenas de Cabrales in Picos de Europa you stay in a farming village where the central square consists of 3 restaurants. When eating here you will be among locals and have the best time of your life.
Best itinerary for Spain
If you are planning to travel to Spain you have many choices. It is advisable to choose a specific area and to build your itinerary on this area.
We have created an itinerary for Northern Spain. This trip has a perfect mix between nature, cities, culture, history and adventure. Read in our travel route Northern Spain which are the best places to visit.
Best dishes in Spain?
The food in Spain is great. There are a lot of dishes in Spain that you want to taste. The most important are:
- Paella: This is Spain’s most iconic dish. It is a Sunday meal consisting of rice, fish and shellfish, saffron and other necessities. You can order a fish or chicken version;
- Tortilla: This dish comes from the interior of Spain and is a thick omelet filled with potatoes and onions.
- Tapas: Tapas are popular because this is a main course in a small version. Patatas bravas are tapas that you definitely want to taste;
- Gazpacho: A cold soup that comes from the south of Spain. Delicious to eat when it is hot outside;
- Crema Catalana: a delicious dessert that is comparable to Crème Brûlée;
- Queso Manchego: Delicious sheep’s cheese. Due to the long ripening process, the cheese is slightly spicy;
- Allioli: This is a variant of the garlic sauce and is delicious with tapas;
- Jamón Ibérico: The best ham you can order in Spain, this meat comes from the Ibérico pig;
- Pescado a la plancha: If you stay near the Mediterranean you can often eat grilled fish on a beach, delicious.
What kind of budget do you need for Spain?
Traveling through Spain is not expensive compared to other countries in Western Europe. If you have a small budget, €50 and €80 per day is enough. An average traveler spends between €80 and €120 per day. If you want to know in detail how much you spend per category we recommend to read our article: Spain travel budget. In our article you can also read how much we spent on our trip to give you a good indication.
Where to stay in Spain?
During our trip through the north of Spain we searched for the best places to stay. In our opinion, fun and special accommodations give your trip an extra dimension. We share our favorite places to stay in Northern Spain here. In the article you can read the best accommodations for each destination you visit during this trip. The article is easy to use, you can clearly see all accommodations and book them directly. It saves you a lot of research, we speak from experience ;).
What to pack for a trip to Spain?
Depending on what kind of trip you are going to make in Spain, you should adjust your gear accordingly. If you follow our itinerary these are the things you should take with you:
- Swimming and normal (hike) clothes (pack as light as possible, work with layers)
- 1 pair of good walking shoes + hiking socks, 1 pair of slippers
- Toilet bag with stuff
- Mosquito Repellent
- Sun protection
- Crazycap (UV water bottle)
- Personal Items
- Sleeping bag
- Quick drying towel
- Rain jacket (for the rainy season)
- 1st emergency medical box (very important for your personal safety!)
- Other (zip bag, combination lock and universal charger)
Other travel tips for Spain?
- Before traveling to Spain, try to learn some Spanish. We speak Spanish so our experience is probably different from someone who can’t speak Spanish. In the cities they speak English, only if you are in the outside the city they do not speak English very well.
- Try to arrange your trip yourself and not to do an organized trip. It saves a lot of money and you retain your flexibility during the trip. There is nothing more fun than going on an adventure yourself.
- Enjoy your holiday and let yourself be surprised. Spain is a great country to travel through. You can find everything here, it will certainly be an adventure!
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