Spain is the second-most visited country worldwide. In fact, more than 80 million tourists visit this beautiful nation each year. What makes Spain so attractive?
Well, this nation has breathtaking landscapes, hospitable people, and a vibrant culture among other things. Visiting some of its sights and sounds is an excellent idea. However, you need to know a few things about this nation before you visit it.
Here are 5 travel tips you need to know before visiting Spain.
1. Learning Local Languages Other Than Spanish Is an Excellent Idea
Ninety-nine percent of all Spaniards speak Spanish. However, other widely spoken languages in Spain include Catalan, Galician, and Basque. In fact, they are so crucial to specific regions in Spain that they are official languages in those territories. For example, Spanish, Catalan, and Aranese are the official languages in the Spanish community of Catalan. Therefore, don't feel surprised when someone in Barcelona greets you using Catalan instead of Spanish. Instead, learn a bit of Catalan so you can respond to such greetings when you're in Barcelona.
2. The Spanish Siesta Is Real
In Spain, business owners might shut down their stores for a few hours in the afternoon so they can take a short rest. In fact, siesta is a Spanish word that refers to an afternoon nap. However, siestas are not prevalent in Spain. In fact, only 16% of Spaniards admit to taking an afternoon nap each day. Moreover, only 22% of Spaniards say they indulge in a siesta occasionally.
3. Religious Festivals Are Common
The Carnival in March, the Semana Santa in April, and the Corpus Christi in May are well-attended festivals in Spain. Others are the Elche Mystery in August and the Fiestas del Pilar in October. These celebrations are full of pomp and color in addition to having well-choreographed processions. It is worth noting that Spain has no official state religion. Moreover, it respects the values and views of people who belong to different faiths. In fact, these festivals are open to anyone as long as you engage the celebrants respectfully.
4. The Northwestern Parts of Spain Are Rainy
Many people think of Spain as a sun-filled paradise. That is true in most areas of the country, but not in all of them. Therefore, checking the climate in a particular region before going there is an excellent idea. For example, you can expect rainy weather if you're going to the northwestern parts of Spain. That is especially true if you're visiting the autonomous community of Galicia. This community is one of the rainiest regions in Spain, but it also has some of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes.
5. Late Dinner
Restaurants in Spain mostly serve their evening meals at 8.30 pm or 9 pm. The same case applies for midday meals. More specifically, finding a restaurant in Spain where you can eat your lunch before 2 pm is a challenging task. In fact, many of them open their doors for lunch from 2pm to 4pm. In contrast, many people in North America and Europe eat lunch between noon and 2pm.