Smile! You are in Spain!

From sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches in Andalusia to the exotic and adrenaline-rush street life of Rambla and Plaza Mayor, Spain belongs on top of your bucket list. This favorite tourist destination has a way of merging the past and present to give an exhilarating experience and a warm welcome to the anyone who has been drawn by her charm. Spain offers the best of cuisine, culture, and adventure to her lovers.

Madrid, its well-celebrated capital, is a modern metropolis that offers everything Spanish and much more. Madrid boasts of being home to the Prado Museum. Although its charms are more understated than those of Andalusia and Barcelona, it is a worthy place to begin exploring Spain.

Don’t forget to visit Barcelona for Sagrada Familia and other Gaudi sites, or see San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the summer home of Spanish kings. Then head north to Spain’s rugged Costa Brava holiday area and try some of the region’s delicious Catalan cuisine.

Although the majority of the population is Catholic, football is almost a religion as well. The national team has won many international competitions, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup. So if you’re an avid fan of the sport, take the opportunity to watch classic football while you’re here.

Now, on the matters of your palate, the most common Spanish food is the tortilla de patata or potato omelette. Another traditional favorite is the churro, dunked in thick hot chocolate. But those are mostly eaten during daytime. Later, as evening descends, is the time to enjoy tapas, perhaps with a glass of tinto de verano to wash it down. Dinner is a late-night affair.

Spain’s cities come alive in the evening, so reserve your last bursts of energy for the paseo por la noche (evening stroll). Remember to schedule your visit for the spring or fall as the heat can be a bit overbearing during the summer.

Spain has the third highest number of world heritage sites after Italy and China. This means you have more than enough places to visit should you decide to book your next flight to Spain. Te veo pronto!

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Tourism website: Turespaña

Time zone: UTC/GMT +02:00

Currency: EUR – Euro

Official language: Spanish

UNESCO World Heritage sites: 45

See more of the country in our Spain photo gallery.

As We Saw It