Spain is one of the countries that host the most tourists in the world. Located in the Iberian Peninsula in the southwest of Europe , the country is such a colorful and rich geography that it allows everyone to discover their own Spain in the company of warm winds with the scent of the sun-washed Mediterranean Sea that caresses the soul.
As well as being one of the most beautiful Mediterranean countries in Europe, it is the country with the most UNESCO cultural heritage in the world after Italy. The most elegant city of the country, Barcelona steals your heart with its urban life and nightlife, where you will visit La Sagrada Famiglia and Parc Güell to admire the works of the genius artist Gaudi.
Spain is considered an exotic country due to its friendly people, warm weather, relaxed lifestyle, cuisine, exciting nightlife, world-famous festivals and folklore. Since you are in a geographically and culturally very different country, it’s a good idea to read blog posts about what to expect.
Whether you’re getting a tan on the beaches, running with the bulls or exploring ancient historical sites… Many interesting things await you in this different country. It is a colorful country with its enthusiastic football, delicious tapas, lively squares, flamenco dance that rejuvenates the soul, and characteristic Moorish architecture.
The art museums of which the capital Madrid is proud, Museo del Prado, Centro de Arte Riena Sofia and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza are so beautiful that you cannot get enough of exploring. The southern coasts of Spain, Granada and Seville, are unique Mediterranean cities with their culture and smell of iodine.
The geography of Andalusia, which reveals the heritage of its Moorish ancestors, is a unique route. Every year, millions of people go to visit the Sultan’s palaces, see its impressive mosques and breathe the air of ancient Andalusia. Home to the best wineries in the world, Rioja and Bilbao are the sanctuaries of gastronomy enthusiasts.
Spain Travel Guide
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain,is located in the south-west of Europe , on the Iberian Peninsula. With its shores to the Mediterranean Sea in the south and east and the Atlantic Ocean in the north, Spain is a colorful European country with its glamorous beaches, historical texture and lively nightlife, as well as Flamenco fire, unrivaled football, delicious cuisine and unique culture.
Neighboring Portugal to the west, France, Andorra to the north, and Gibraltar to the United Kingdom to the south, Spain includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and the two autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. The second largest country in Western Europe after France, Spain is a member of the European Union and NATO.
After its first settlers, the Phoenicians, Spain became the home of Celts and Greeks. The Roman Empire, which ended the rule of the Carthaginians, left the dominance of the country to the Alans, Suevs, Vandals and Visigoths as of the 5th century AD.
The Spanish lands, where Muslims from Africa established the Andalusian civilization in 711, came under Christian rule again in 1492, with the collapse of the Kingdom of Granada, the last stronghold of the Muslims. After this date, Spain, one of the largest colonial empires in the world, lost Portugal in 1640, and some of its lands in Europe and Gibraltar in 1714, thanks to Christopher Columbus, who received the support of the Spanish rulers.
In the 19th century, Spain, which gained independence from all its colonies in the Americas, was occupied by France in the First World War. II. Spain, which did not participate in World War II, lived through a bloody civil war and long years of dictatorship over it.
Although Spain has left those days behind, it has quite different regions in terms of history and culture as well as geographically. So when you visit one city of the country, do not be under the illusion that other cities are similar.
The coast of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean coast are very different from the interior regions. The Catalan and Basque regions naturally diverge linguistically and culturally from all of Spain. Andalusia, located in the south, reveals the traces of the once magnificent Arabian civilization.
Another indicator of the country’s diversity is the different languages spoken. They speak Spanish in general but this is not quite true, with a more accurate term the most spoken language is Castilian and there are also languages that are further subdivided into a few other subcategories such as Catalan, Basque, Galician, Asturian and others.
Spain, which has the eighth largest economy in the world, is the third most visited country in the world, along with the People’s Republic of China, after France and the United States.
Be careful when talking about the country’s different dialects, and don’t try to get into arguments with locals about what is and isn’t considered Spanish. In most cases you get dragged into a long argument, but in some areas where Spanish and regional pride is particularly prevalent, fierce arguments also occur.
The Spanish currency is the Euro. 1 hour back from Turkey. Spain’s population is 47 million. Christianity is the dominant religion in Spain and 70% of the population is Catholic. The country is among the least English speaking countries in Europe. The official language of Spain is Spanish. Local languages are used as the second official language in autonomous cities. Catalonian in Catalonia and Basque are the official languages used together with Spanish in the Basque region.
ⓘ To go to Spain, you must either have a Green Passport or obtain a Schengen visa . If you have not had any visa experience yet , my blog posts on How to Get a Visa and How Much Visa Fees will guide you.
ⓘ If you do not have a passport, read my Passport Types and How to Apply for a Passport . When you go abroad, you have to pay an international departure fee . If you think you’ll have trouble getting a visa, check out my recommendations for Visa-Free European Countries that don’t require a visa. Check out my detailed Visa Free Countries List blog post.
Some of the most beautiful islands in Europe, known for their sea, sand and sun tourism, are located within the borders of Spain. Located in the east of the country’s mainland, on the Mediterranean Sea, the Balearic Islands consist of Ibiza , Formentera , Mallorca and Menorca . Ibiza, known for its crazy parties, and Mallorca, a popular summer tourism destination with its beaches, are the most well-known of these islands.
The Canary Islands , located in the south of the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Morocco, are also a world-renowned tourism destination. With its magnificent beaches, luxury accommodation facilities, natural beauties, sand dunes and volcanic mountains, the Canary Islands are flooded with visitors in summer.
- San Sebastian
- Santiago de Compostela
Madrid is the capital city of Spain and home to some of Europe’s most important museums. One of the symbols of multiculturalism in Europe. Madrid’s museums, centuries-old buildings, street and fine dining addresses, entertainment life that lasts until the morning, parks and the hottest of both football and basketball, where everyone looking for art, culture, history, gourmet, entertainment, nature and sports can find something of their own. A city that seduces with its teams.
Located in the city center of Madrid, the Royal Palace is a frequent destination for visitors to the city. Puerta del Sol, the square where the heart of Madrid beats, hosts street performers’ shows, important festivals and events. Another square to see is the Plaza Mayor, famous for its San Miguel Marketplace.
In the capital of Spain, the Prado Museum with the works of Valzquez and Goya, the Lazaro Galdiano Museum, and the Thysseen Bornemisza Museum cannot be missed. Local people and foreign tourists spend time in cafes, restaurants and parks in the colorful streets of the city, where there is no lack of activity throughout the day. With its lively nightlife, Madrid has many nightclubs and bars to choose from.
Barcelona is a beautiful city where the warmth of the Mediterranean climate, the aesthetics of Gaudi, the freedom of the deep blue sea and speed move with innovation. Barcelona, one of the most visited cities in Europe, has a dynamic atmosphere with its architectural structures that represent its rich historical past, its lively streets and local people enjoying entertainment.
Barcelona, the sixth largest metropolis of the European Union, was shaped by the Modernista movement. Gaudi’s unfinished basilica, La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s design Parc Guell, Palau de la Música Catalana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, La Boqueria, Picasso Museum and Fundació Joan Miró are must-see addresses in the city.
Located on the Mediterranean coast in the northeast of Spain, the city has La Rambla, a tree-lined shopping street open only to pedestrian traffic, and the city’s Mediterranean-inspired beaches.
Seville is the fourth largest city in the country, located in the southwest of Spain. Sevilla, the starting point of the expeditions to the New World, is still the art, culture and economic center of the Andalusian Autonomous Region, as it was in the past.
Sevilla, where life is lived on the streets, the weather is always nice and the streets smell of orange blossoms, is a city of history, art and culture. The city welcomes many visitors with its colorful festivals, extraordinary nightlife and tourist attractions held throughout the year in the authentic, exciting and Muslim capital of Spain.
Seville, home to Europe’s third largest cathedral, is an important Flamenco center in Spain. It also stands out with its distinctive ‘Sevillanas’ dance. Seville Cathedral, where the Genoese explorer, traveler and colonialist Christopher Columbus is buried, and the Alcazar Palace, built by the Andalusians, are among the must-see structures in the city.
Although the must-see places in Seville are known as the Fine Arts Museum with the most important painting collection in Spain, the 13th-century Santa Ana Church, the Giralda Minaret, the Alcazar Palace, the Torre del Oro Observation Tower and the Maria Luisa Park, there are many more to explore. There is an address.
Toledo is located in Central Spain. It was the capital of Spain until the 16th century. The city, where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together for centuries, is known as the ‘city of three cultures’ due to this feature.
In Toledo, which has a rich historical past dating back to the Roman Empire Period, there are many historical and cultural structures that have survived to the present day. The best way to explore the city is to get lost in the medieval streets and visit the historical buildings.
Granada is one of the exclusive cities of Spain. Located in the south of the country, in the Andalusia region, Granada is located at the confluence of the Beiro, Darro, Genil and Monachil Rivers, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It has an appearance where Andalusian traces are mixed with Spanish culture.
While walking on the streets of Granda, where there are many historical and cultural buildings, you get the feeling of traveling in time. In Granada, which still carries the deep traces of many civilizations, Muslim, Jewish and Christian cultures are also intertwined. It was home to the Emirate of Granada, the longest-lived and last independent Islamic state established in the Iberian Peninsula.
The famous Alhambra Palace, located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, is the city’s apple of the eye. The Alhambra, the last Andalusian castle in Europe, is considered an architectural marvel among the structures built in the middle ages. In addition to its architecture, the view and the Generalife Palace and Gardens increase the importance of the palace.
The flamenco shows of the city, which is full of counter cultures from the tombs of Catholic rulers to the tapas bars and bohemian teterias where Arab youth meet, are also legendary. The Old City area, the Albayzin area, where Muslims live, and the Sacromonte area, where gypsies live, are the best addresses to observe the city.
Cordoba, the capital of the province of Cordoba in the Andalusia region in the south of Spain, is a city where you can witness the historical heritage of Andalusia. In Cordoba, where whitewashed houses are lined up on narrow streets, medieval inspired Arabian architecture is in harmony with modern architecture. Every year, millions of people come to visit the Sultan’s palaces, see its impressive mosques and breathe the air of ancient Andalusia.
Mezquita, the historical square of the city, is the meeting point of those who want to shop and socialize. Cordoba Cathedral, which was built as a mosque during the Andalusian Period, gives information about the magnificence of the city in the middle ages. Don’t forget to stop by the Old Jewish Quarter, Christian Kingdom Castle and Flower Street.
7. San Sebastian
San Sebastián is a tiny but beautiful and impressive Basque settlement located in the Basque region of Spain. Established on the shores of the Bay of Biscay between France and Spain, San Sebastian is the capital of the Gipuzko province in the Basque region. It is known for its beautiful beaches, rich food culture and friendly residents.
The city, which was mostly damaged during the Napoleonic Wars, was rebuilt in the 19th century. The historical texture of the city is enormous. The must-see places in San Sebastian, which is the summer choice of the European aristocracy with its magnificent Belle-Epoque architectural style buildings built along the coast, are the historical city center Parte Vieja, the observation tower on the Iguelda Mountain and the city view, the Baroque style St. Mary’s Church, Castillo de la Motta, and St. Vincent Church.
In the city, which is located very close to the French border in the north, take the funicular to Monte Igueldo Hill and watch the scenery, enjoy the beaches of Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta in the center, which are considered one of the best beaches in Europe.
Bilbao is located in northern Spain, in the Basque region on the border with France. The city, built on the Edna River flowing into the Basque Sea, served as an inner port throughout history and turned into an industrial center during the industrial revolution.
Bilabo, the largest city in the Basque region, is also the most important port city in Spain. Bilbao, where the country’s largest metalworking and chemical establishments are located, is the city of Basques who know how to enjoy life with its Basque culture, beautiful nature, vibrant life and delicious food.
Knowing how to use art and design to beautify life, the Basques have created a settlement unlike any other city in the country, with their fine cuisine, wines and unique attitudes.
The must-see places in the city are the Guggenheim Museum, famous for its round titanium façade, the Puppy Statue by Jeff Koons, the Teatro Arriaga with its Neo-Baroque architecture built in 1890, the Casco Viejo Streets in the Old Town, the Santiago Cathedral and the Museo de Bella Artes.
Valencia is a colorful, vibrant, historical and at the same time contemporary city of Spain whose energy never slows down. Known as the city of arts and sciences in Spain, the city is located on the Mediterranean coast in the east of the country. The historical buildings, which have survived to the present day by being very well preserved in the city center, where the modern urban texture can be seen, are an indicator of the importance given to the historical past of the city.
With its coastline, historical textures and unique vibrant atmosphere, Valencia, which drags its visitors to the wind of happiness, is the city of Spain that has shined in recent years with its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque traces, with its Art-Nouveau and Arabian fusion architecture.
The old city center is the most important touristic point of the city in Valencia, which is a tourist-friendly city with nightclubs, cafes and restaurants, hotels that appeal to different budgets. The northern gate of the city, Torres de Serranos Tower, San Nicolás Church and old medieval bridges fascinate you.
Art and Science Complex on the banks of the Turia River, aquarium, opera house and Prince Felipe Science Museum, Plaza del Mercado, Plaza del Cordillo and fountain pool, silk market Lonja de la Seda, Iglesia Catedral-Basílica Metropolitana de la Valencia are among the places to visit.
Barrio del Carmen, a pleasant route with its boutiques, galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants, allows you to get involved in the lively daily life of the city.
10. Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela , the capital of Galicia, one of the autonomous regions of Spain, is located in the northwest of the country. The city is of great importance to the Christian faith as it is the final destination of the traditional pilgrimage known as the Camino de Santiago.
Hz. Praza do Obradoiro, the main square of the city, which attracts attention with both faith tourism and historical beauties as it is the city where St. James, the Apostle of Christ, is buried, is a lively center surrounded by shops, historical and official buildings, cafes and restaurants.
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands of Spain. Mallorca, the apple of the Mediterranean’s eye, has a tremendous culture where Spanish, Catalan, Arab and Roman cultures are intertwined. It resembles a paradise with its clear sea, clean beaches, preserved architectural and historical beauties, cliffs, windmills and even city planning.
It welcomes 21 million visitors every year. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones are undoubtedly the most popular celebrities living on the island, which offers a calm and peaceful life unlike the bustling Ibiza. Capital of the island and the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands, Palma is the cultural center of Mallorca.
Calvia, where Puerto Portals is located, Andratx, Alcudia by the sea, peaceful Soller to the north and Santanyi, the bohemian and stylish resort of the south, are also the highlights of the island. Mallorca’s must-see places are Palau de l’Almudaina, La Casa de Robert Graves, Pollentia, Catedral de Mallorca, Es Baluard and Palau March.
Ibiza or Eivissa is the third of the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean made up of Majorca, Minorca, Cabrera and Formentera under Spanish rule. Ibiza, the center of Europe with its world-famous nightclubs and entertainment world, is a very popular destination. Hosting a large number of tourists throughout the year, the ‘Island of Freedom’, also known as the ‘Island of Liberty’, is a frequent destination for world-famous names.
The island, which was under the control of Muslims for a significant period in the Middle Ages, has three must-see areas: Sant Antoni de Portmany, Santa Eularia des Riu and Ibiza Old Town (Eivissa). If your time is not limited, you can cruise to Formentera Island with catamarans departing from Ibiza’s old port.
Cafe Del Mar, which is shown among the most beautiful sunset watching spots in the world, and Santa Eularia des Riu is a charming town with a long sandy beach and white architecture, with its magnificent beach and sea.
In the Old Town area, D’alt Villa, Portal de ses Taules, Church of Santo Domingo, Puget Museum, Sant Ciriac Chapel, Guillem de Montgri, Casa de la Curia and Madina Yabisa must be seen. The most famous nightclubs of the island, which has beautiful beaches such as Platja de Ses Salines, are Space, Pacha, Privilege, Amnesia, Eden and Es Paradis.
Rioja is one of the most important gourmet destinations not only in Spain but also in Europe with its delicious food, wines and nature. Located in the Basque Country, the first purpose of visitors to Rioja is wine and the second is architecture. Many of the wine houses or hotels with extraordinary architecture are masterpieces of famous names of modern architecture.
When you see these stunning buildings built next to vineyards and hundreds of years old villages, you vacillate between feelings of surprise and admiration. While visiting the Wine Houses, you can taste wine, visit traditional and modern vineyards, and see medieval villages.
Wine houses in Rioja are divided into two as modern architecture and traditional. While most traditional houses can be found in Haro Town, among the modern wineries, the must-sees are Ysios by Santiago Calatrava and Marquez de Riscal by Frank Gehry.
While both are stunning buildings, Bodegas Baigorri and Bodegas Darien are also worth considering if you have the time. CVNE, Muga and Lopez de Heredia are in Laguardia, which looks like a postcard with its naturalness.
eating and drinking in spain
Spain is one of the richest countries in Europe when it comes to eating and drinking. Spanish cuisine reflects the fusion of different cultures throughout the centuries of the country, which is an important transit route between Europe and Africa. Today’s Spanish cuisine in Spain, which is a Mediterranean country, reflects the geographical location of the country, its rich history and a rich food culture formed as a result of wars, discoveries and migrations throughout the ages.
Spaniards who love to eat eat often, but in small portions, to best reflect the Mediterranean-style diet. They start the day with a light breakfast in the early hours of the morning, then have a second breakfast and eat tapas at noon. They complete the day with lunch, afternoon snacks, then another tapas and long dinners with lots of conversation that last until late at night.
Since grapes and olives are grown in abundance in the Mediterranean regions of Spain, olive oil and wine are indispensable. Apart from olive oil used in every meal and salad, Spanish desserts prepared with products such as honey, almonds and egg yolks are also among the influences of Arab food culture.
Various seafood and fish are also consumed on the coasts. Small fritters made with meat and fish in the Galician region; Famous bean dishes called fabada in Andalusia; fish soup and various fish dishes in the Basque region; Fish and meat dishes prepared with fruits in the Catalan region are among the different flavors that enrich the Spanish cuisine.
Paella, which comes to mind first all over the world when Spanish cuisine is mentioned, has spread all over the country from the Valencia region. paella; It is an extremely delicious rice dish cooked with chicken, fish and seafood. Gazpacho, their traditional soup, is the most frequently consumed soup by the Spaniards.
Andalusian specialties differ in different sections, but besides the classic Spanish drink sherry, tapas are indispensable as sandwiches in the afternoon and as an aperitif in the evening. On the other hand, the Jerez de la Frontcra region, located in the south of Andalusia, is the homeland of sherry.
ⓘ Try Airbnb , which offers affordable rooms/homes all over the world on your trip to Spain . By clicking here you will earn 22€ when you sign up for Airbnb. Booking is always my first recommendation for hotel reservations . If you sign up for booking.com by clicking here , you will have a $15 discount ✔️
shopping in spain
Spain is a country that offers its visitors a wide range of shopping, from books to jewellery, from designer furniture to trendy clothes. Being the shopping center of Europe with its world-famous textile and design brands, Spain also manages to protect many small businesses selling both local and ethnic products with its different regions.
Barcelona is famous for its world-renowned stores, with design and fashion stores spread all over the city. It is located on La Rambla, Placa de Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia and Avinguda Diagonal. In addition to big companies that have become world brands such as Zara and Mango, Calvin Klein, Armani, Versace and Gucci stores are all listed on the Avinguda Diagonal.
While La Rambla is the first place where tourists come for shopping in the center of Barcelona and they do the most shopping, you can look at Barri Gothic Streets such as Carrer de la Portaferrissa and Carrer del Call. You can also look at Portal de L’Angel and Carrer Portaferrisa.
For food and beverages, Xampany with many champagne varieties, La Vinia with local and foreign wine varieties, Formatgeria La Seu for Barcelona’s most delicious cheeses and Mercat, the largest market where fish, meat, vegetables, fruits and all kinds of delicatessen products are sold. The most accurate addresses in La Boqueria.
Madrid’s avenues and streets are full of famous shops and boutiques that appeal to fashion lovers. The pleasure of shopping in the city is experienced to the fullest in Madrid’s streets, which have many options from elite stores to elite boutiques, from large shopping centers to jewelry stores.
El Rastro, established on Sunday only and located on Plaza de Cascorro, La Latina and Embajadores Avenues; The largest open-air market in the city. You can find anything you can think of, from textiles to antiques, from paintings to books.
Serrano, Velázquez, Castelló, Goya, Jorge Juan and Lagasca Streets located in the Salamanca Region; Orense Street in the Castellana District; Arenal, Mayor, Preciados, Carmen and Princesa Streets, located in the large area that includes Puerta del Sol, Preciados and Gran Vía; Fuencarral and Hortaleza Streets in the Chueca and Fuencarral districts are the main shopping stops.
How to get to Spain ✈️
Transportation to Spain by air: Many major cities in Spain have airports of international standard. The shortest and most economical way to go from Turkey to Spain is by plane. There are direct flights from Istanbul Airport and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport to Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga, the capital of Spain.
There are direct flights by Turkish Airlines from Istanbul Airport and by Pegasus Airlines from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport to Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga. The flight from Istanbul to the cities of Spain takes 4 hours and 40 minutes.
With connecting flights from Istanbul Airport, you can reach Madrid and Barcelona via Ukraine International Airlines via Kyiv, TAROM via Bucharest, KLM via Amsterdam and Aegean Airlines via Athens. Connecting flights vary between 9 and 18 hours, depending on waiting times.
Domestic flights in Spain: The two most used airports in Spain are in Barcelona and Madrid. Those who want to travel to southern Spain and the Spanish islands for their summer vacation use the airports of Tenerife, Mallorca, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Minorca and Alicante.
The airline that dominates domestic flights in Spain is Iberia, which is also Spain’s flag carrier national airline. Iberia, together with its sub-brand Puente Aereo, organizes reciprocal flights to many cities in Spain. Spanair, Aie Europa and Air Nostrum are among the companies with domestic flights in Spain.
Sea transportation to Spain: Sea transportation in Spain is used for journeys between mainland Spain and the Spanish Canary Islands, Balearic, Morocco and England. It is useful to buy ferry tickets in advance, as the demand for transportation to touristic islands increases in summer.
Ferries between Spain and England operate on two separate routes. Brittany Ferries carries passengers between Plymouth in England and Santander in Spain, P& O European Ferries company carries passengers between Portsmouth in England and Santurce in Spain.
Ferries to Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca, one of Spain’s tourism paradise islands, depart from Barcelona and Valencia. Transmediterranea company also has car ferry services from Cadiz to the Canary Islands once a week.
Getting to Spain by rail: The abbreviation for Spain’s official rail operator company is RENFE. RENFE operates flights between all major cities in Spain. There are direct trains to Barcelona from Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Geneva, Zurich and Milan. Cities such as Valencia, Malaga, Seville and Madrid are also connected by rail.
Getting to Spain by bus: One of the most economical means of transportation for intercity and intercountry travel in Spain is the bus. Eurolines and Flixbus companies connect Madrid, Barcelona and other European countries.
Established on lands dominated by the Andalusian Umayyad State for many years, Spain has an appearance that bears the traces of different cultures. With its rich historical background and multicultural texture, museums and art galleries with rich collections, exquisite beaches, delicious food culture and lively streets, Spain is one of the most unique destinations in Europe.