Why travelers should add this beautiful Mediterranean country to their bucket lists.
After spending a week traveling solo along the southeast coast of Spain, I am beyond thrilled to be able to add on to my series of posts about this lovely and lively country.
But rather than recapping the highlights of each city I visited, like my uncreative self normally does, this post will focus on the overall best parts of Spain that travelers can enjoy should they visit this lovely nation. Many of the same glorious things recur in every city I’ve visited, and though I haven’t explored nearly as much of the country as I’d like to, I’m going to assume that most of these features remain consistent throughout the nation.
So here are 8 reasons to visit Spain:
1. The Weather: Actually this isn’t a very legitimate point, since the weather obviously changes depending on the time of year and the region. BUT regardless, both times I’ve ventured to Spain the weather has significantly lifted my spirits. This past week was filled with sun, blue skies, light ocean breezes, beautiful sunsets, and warm temperatures, so I obviously spent all my time outside and enjoyed a few beach days. Even in December, however, the cool temperatures were made bearable by the consistent sunshine, so overall the weather really is wonderful in my experience.
2. Flowers EVERYWHERE: Whether the warm weather helps facilitate plant growth, or Spanish people just like gardening, flowers maintain a constant presence in Spain. From small pots sitting outside houses, to long vines wrapped around bridges, archways, and railings, to huge fields covering parks and gardens, flowers add gorgeous colors and sweet scents to the urban space and truly enhance the beauty of Spain.
3. Architecture: The building designs in this country represent a mixture of traditional elegance and colorful charisma. The streets are filled with saturated colors, captivating patterns, and delicate ornamentation, and these decorations appear everywhere from the hidden houses of narrow alleyways to the massive government buildings of public squares.
4. Ice Cream: This point isn’t very legitimate either, since ice cream exists in many countries and is not a specifically Spanish delicacy. BUT AGAIN regardless, ice cream has been an important addition to my diet when in Spain. Maybe the close proximity to Italy is behind this, but ice cream in Spain is almost as smooth and delicious as gelato, and the ice cream shops are always full of the incredible, traditional flavors you would find in a real gelato shop. Besides, after a long day of walking around in the hot sun, to deprive oneself of ice cream would be a sin.
5. Public Squares: Perfect for people-watching, meeting up with friends, relaxing on a bench, or grabbing a drink at the surrounding bars and restaurants, public squares seem to be the life force behind Spanish cities. Appearing frequently throughout the city, public squares are filled with flowers and stunning architecture (obviously), while usually also containing fountains, street performers, statues, monuments, benches, and tapas bars and coffee shops.
6. People: Generally speaking, people in Spain are very outgoing, loud, passionate, generous, and kind-hearted. From the hospitality of friends I’ve met while traveling, to the friendly comments from random people on the street, the Spanish are not afraid of opening up and showing compassion to people they’ve never met before. I’m very grateful that waiters, shopkeepers, construction workers, policemen, market vendors, and everyday pedestrians are always willing to start conversation with a small and insignificant American student whose spanish is mediocre at best and whose love for maps always makes her look like a confused tourist.
7. Markets: Most Spanish cities have a covered, spacious hall that is home to their Central Market. Here, the produce is always fresh, the bread and pastries always smell heavenly, and the prices are always super cheap. Markets are like safe havens for me, since finding good vegetarian meals in Spain is difficult and eating in nice restaurants doesn’t agree with my student budget. I thoroughly enjoy walking out of a market with heaping cartons of strawberries, freshly baked bread, plates of olives and delicious herbs, and a plastic bag stuffed with apricots and bananas, only having spend a total of 5 euros or less.
8. Churches: This one is a given for many places in Europe, but the rich religious history of Spain has led to many churches and cathedrals adding beauty and purpose to the streets. Some churches are quaint and simple, while others are magnificent and proud, and the faithful chimes of church bells echoing throughout the city is always nice to hear.