Spain is one of the most beautiful and enchanting places to visit, attracting millions of visitors every year. This multicultural paradise boasts picturesque landscapes, mouth-watering cuisines, and an infusion of culture that visitors of all tastes will enjoy. While there are plenty of exciting activities and sites to see, perhaps what keeps tourists coming back is the slow-paced life prevalent in the region. Given that people are always on the move when working to make ends meet, Spain provides a suitable change of pace when it's finally time to take a break. Whether you choose to tour the dazzling northern points, the pulsing cities, or the soothing southern coastlines, you can be sure to get the experience of a lifetime in this piece of heaven.
Nevertheless, Spain is a country that has close to 20 different regions with diverse cultures and geographical orientations. For this reason, any first-time visitors of the country have to educate themselves about the nation before boarding a Span-bound airplane. Doing this will help you avoid awkward situations, getting lost, and overall confusion, which may end up ruining your trip. Hence to evade ravaging your trip, this article explores some of the most vital information to arm yourself with when touring the country. If you feel overwhelmed by what to do, you can also know more from GlobalGrasshopper.com to get great ideas on what to include in your itinerary for a tour in Spain.
What you should know before traveling to Spain
To help you make the most out of your trip to Spain, here are some vital tips that will help you steer clear of any mishaps.
Understand of the various regions
More often than not, new visitors of Spain are taken aback by the sheer size of the territory. What's more, given that there are 17 autonomous regions and two cities, novel travelers often feel bewildered. However, you need not be overwhelmed. One of the most significant things you should always keep in mind is that, although these regions are in the same geographical area, they are also different in many ways. Each section has distinct cultures, characteristics, cuisines, and traditions. Your experience of Spain will vary widely depending on which region you visit. Still, while the activities, culture, and cuisines you get from each zone will be different, they'll all have a Spanish undertone that unifies them. Therefore, you'll need to do your due diligence when planning to tour Spain, especially if you wish to experience various cultural activities found there. For instance, while bullfighting is prevalent in many regions of the country, it was banned in Catalonia. Thus, you planned on enjoying a thrilling bullfighting match; you'd probably have to cross off that region from your itinerary.
The best time to visit
Spain usually experiences excellent weather all year round. Even so, an ideal time to visit the country would be during its summer months, from June to August. During these months, the weather is perfect for soaking in the Mediterranean sun. However, it's worth noting that these are the most popular months for tourists. A majority of the 84 million annual visitors of the country prefer to tour Spain in the summer. Thus, if you don't mind the crowds, this is the perfect time for touring the country. It's also worth mentioning that summers in Spain are not for the faint-hearted. Sometimes temperatures can go up to 40 degrees Celsius. If the intense heat and seething streets aren't your cups of tea, you can visit the country between October and April, when the weather is less harsh; and the crowds are fewer.
Staying safe during your Spanish tour
For the most part, Spain is a pretty safe country. Cases of violent crimes are quite rare. Even so, while there are few severe crimes in most regions, petty crimes are still prevalent. For this reason, it's always good to prepare yourself in case anything was to happen. Therefore, always be on the lookout for pickpockets and scammers, especially during the high season when there are large crowds of tourists. Barcelona is notorious for having pickpockets and all sorts of travel scammers. Be especially vigilant in trains and crowded tourist attractions. Hence, whenever you're touring the country, keep your belongings in the hotel safe and ensure you purchase sufficient travel insurance before getting there.
Be ready to adjust to Spain's schedule
One of the main things that confuse people when they travel to Spain is the unusual schedule that Spaniards have. Punctuality is different in Spain. Although school and work schedules are tight, Spaniards have a more relaxed approach towards social events. Therefore, things like checking in and out of hotels may be later than usual. Moreover, you should also expect to have your meals much later than usual. In Spain, people regularly eat lunch between two and four o'clock in the afternoon. Since Spaniards also prefer having a small breakfast, this can be quite a bother if you're duly not prepared. Dinner is usually served after nine o'clock and frequently continues until the wee hours. The best thing is to adjust yourself to the norm of the country and go with the flow. These mealtimes can be the perfect opportunity for you to interact with the locals and make new friends.
Siestas are part of the Spanish culture
Before visiting Spain, you may think that this is just a fad. However, siestas are a big deal in the country. Although these siestas aren't only for sleeping, it's common for shops and other businesses to close during the afternoons, especially in summer. The main reason for this is to escape the blazing afternoon sun. While some of the major eateries and stores may remain open for tourists, many local businesses usually close for a couple of hours in the afternoon. The best thing you can do at this time is taking a midday break as well.
Spain is undoubtedly one of the most glorious travel destinations in the world. Still, the culture shock can be overwhelming if you're not well prepared for your trip. Nevertheless, you can use the tips discussed in this article to get an idea of what to expect once you land in this magnificent corner of the world.