There are many good reasons why Spain is one of the most touristic countries in the world. Its scenic beauty, fabulous coastlines, afternoon siesta, and gastronomy are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the country’s highlights. What is Spain famous for is its rich history that is unique in the world, providing a glimpse of the past.
In Spain, travelers can visit the most UNESCO-recognized heritage sites, from the Gaudí architecture, Moorish quarters, 16th-century fortresses, and decorated caves. In addition to these landmarks, Spain also houses the well-preserved artworks in history, dating to the 15th century and earlier.
Above all, what is Spain known for is its fun-loving and laid back people, offering air kisses to anyone they meet, and providing free tapas to some travelers. Spaniards are welcoming love gatherings, and most of all, friendly.
Discover other things Spain is famous for in the world.
What is Spain Famous For? 10 Best-Known Things in Spain
1. Spanish Football
There’s a long-running joke that football is considered a religion in Spain. Locals are so crazy about football that when La Liga tournament is ongoing, streets get empty, and bars are jam-packed.
The reason why these people are in football is that they are good at it. Spain has won it all, World Cups, Leagues, FIFA World, and Olympics. Plus, the country produces fantastic talents like Raúl, Iniesta, Casillas, Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Ramos, David Villa, and more.
During La Liga, there’s definitely a lot of action involved, as contenders are great attackers, making amazing techniques. Moreover, Spanish football players have unique confidence in the field, making powerful defenses, which is why it’s fun to watch.
2. Ibiza Paradise
Thinking what is Spain best known for, aside from football? It’s definitely the jaw-dropping Ibiza paradise. The idyllic island with crystal clear waters overlooking the rural landscapes is Spain’s party-capital. It gets crowded during summer as locals, travelers, and celebrities get sunbaked here.
One of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Ibiza is home to the best nightclubs in the whole of Europe. The island has a unique party culture that gathers thousands of partygoers every night. While the Ibiza local council tried to rebrand the island as a family-friendly destination, it has remained its status of being a party capital.
Visiting Spain wouldn’t be complete without watching a flamenco performance live. The world-famous elegant dance performance is what gets people on their feet, clapping their hands and moving their hips.
Flamenco is a traditional dance characterized by the sounds of Spanish folk music, and the ladies snapping their quintessential castanets. It has become a renowned entertainment because of the graceful style of dancing, and the passionate flounce and stomp of dancers, wearing long, red dresses.
Tourists can head to Seville to witness the best flamenco shows, complete with long revered singers and talented guitarists.
4. Tapas Culture
The Spaniards are ahead of their time, discovering that the best way to counter the peckish feeling when drinking is munching tapas. The famous tapas culture is top-rated, with different kinds of cheeses, olives, chorizo sausage, prawns, crackers, potatoes, and ham served for every meal, especially drinks.
Introduced as something to nibble until dinner time, the tapas culture evolved into a fantastic feast and food ritual that amazes people worldwide. The small portion of snacks fends off the hunger pain, munching on patatas bravas, calamares, or Spanish omelets.
What Spain is famous for are Iberian ham, packs of olives, and the mouth-watering cheeses. While in the country, don’t forget to try the famous jamón and fresh squids tapas.
5. Corrida De Toros (Bullfighting)
For centuries, Spain is famed for its action-packed bullfighting events, locally known as Corrida De Toros. While some regions totally banned this tradition, matador fights still exist, usually in the months between March and October.
Stadiums are packed with locals and gaping tourists who are new to these kinds of events. A notorious part of Spanish culture, bullfighting remains huge in the country and plays a significant role in national identity.
The traditional bullfighting event has three stages, and if the matador manages to kill the bull in a skillful manner, he can take the ear as a trophy. In most Corrida De Toros events, bulls are killed slowly, and the audience roared for the victory of the matador.
6. Spanish Time
When visiting Spain, many travelers get confused with the Spanish schedule, especially the meal times. The terminology Spanish Time is used to describe the delay of time when it comes to eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In Spain, don’t be surprised if lunch starts at 2 PM, and dinner at 11 PM.
A typical workday starts at 9 AM, with a two-hour lunch break between 2 PM to 4 PM. Spaniards save their social lives for the late hours after work finishes at 8 PM. Hence, restaurants serve meals later than usual.
However, there are also eateries that serve 24/7 to tourists who are not used to the Spanish time. Travelers can find restaurants that serve meals earlier than usual.
Part of the reason why Spaniards eat much later is because of the afternoon rest or siesta. While only 20 percent of locals are taking regular siesta these days, it is something that will always be associated with Spain.
In fact, there are shops that close during the afternoon siesta period of 1 PM to 5 PM. Small boutiques and alley shops reopen at around 3 PM or 4 PM when everyone returns to work until 8 PM to 9 PM. So, don’t be surprised when the shops are closed for long hours in the afternoon. It is best to shop around early morning or later in the evening.
What is Spain famous for is the glorious paella. The Spain trip wouldn’t be complete without tasting the authentic and traditional paella, with lots of saffron and other local spices. This rice dish originated from Valencia, is cooked with seafood and meat, brimming with olives, beans, and other delicate seasonings.
When ordering paella, make sure to dine at a restaurant that serves ‘made-to-order’ paella. Don’t bother buying from street vendors that sell the dish from a large pan because they are usually not fresh. Because most paella is mass-produced, the taste would be watered down, and this is something travelers should avoid.
Moreover, tourists shouldn’t order ‘yellow’ paella because authentic paella is not yellow, but mostly brown or corral red.
What is Spain famous for? Spain is definitely the hallmark of fiestas or festivals. The locals celebrate a number of fiestas throughout the year, from religious patron saint celebrations to the most fun and bizarre ones like La Tomatina.
Spain’s colorful, lively, and fun fiestas draw millions of tourists yearly. The famous ones are the Feast of Feasts in honor of San Fermin, Fallas festival in Valencia, La Tomatina or tomato fight in Buñol, and The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
From processions, street parties, running of bulls, and burning costumes to the ground, Spanish fiestas are exciting and unique.
10. Spanish Wines
The locally-made wines are popular souvenir items, especially the blue wines from Gïk company. It is evident how big the winemaking industry is in Spain, with hundreds of vineyards dotted across the country. Rioja is a tourist destination known for the wine tasting tours.
Some tourists confuse sangria as a famous beverage in Spain, but this is only a common drink for teens. Wines like La Rioja and Cava are the best when it comes to taste and floral aroma.
What Spain is known for is the La Rioja wine, made from Tempranillo grape. A fine, Reserva wine costs only $15 to $30, fairly cheap compared to other European wines.