It's probably helpful that Spain is our favourite country in the world thus far (shhhh don't tell the others!), but Barcelona is and will always be our absolute favourite city. We've been there three times, and for a couple who doesn't like to see the same place twice- that's quite the feat. For our friends catching the travel bug, we always recommend Spain, and in particular Barcelona and the surrounding region (known as Catalonia) as their first dance with this Sangria-loving, flamenco-dancing glorious country. Here are 10 reasons you should be booking your trip to Spain, right now!
Spain is pretty inexpensive. When you compare Spain to the rest of Europe, or even some of the pricier resort trips to the Caribbean, Spain can definitely fit a more budget friendly holiday. We don't consider ourselves intense budget travelers, but we aren't lavish travelers either. We like to stay somewhere in the middle to allow for plenty of comfort and fun while saving money for future trips. For the comfort aspect, we are lucky to have several direct flights a week to Spain from Toronto. They typically range anywhere from $750-$1100 each for a round-trip economy ticket. That should be your biggest expense. Boutique hotels often offer very budget friendly solutions, and food in Spain is comparably pretty inexpensive compared to the rest of Europe. For drinks, go with Sangria- always. If your looking to book a great hotel in Spain, for a resonable price, check out Agoda.
SANGRIA! Sangria is by far our favourite alcoholic beverage and we desperately try to make something comparable at home when we are not dancing through Spain, but it's not the same. Nothing is as good as a big pitcher of Sangria while people watching in Spain.
Amazing architecture. Spain is a photographer's dream. Everywhere you turn there is beautiful Spanish and often even unique Gaudi inspired architecture.
An adventure around every corner. It's amazing how Spain draws you in, and keeps drawing you in. We always want to go back to Spain. We've been multiple times to the same places, and we still have so much left unseen. Our last trip took us to the amazing Montserrat Monastery, a very easy train ride from Barcelona. That location was so amazing in the middle of the mountains, we want to go back. Spain's history is captivating and quite literally at every turn.
Wonderful beaches. Spain has nearly 5,000km of Coastline just waiting for you to lounge on. There is something about Spanish beaches that just draw you (and all of Europe) there. We recommend if you don't like crowds going earlier (May-June) or later (September) in the season. We like crowds- so we aren't afraid of peak season. It is admittedly more expensive during this time, but it is the best time with the heat (which Greg is pretty obsessed with) and sunshine. If you want soft sandy beaches in Spain, go South- towards Costa del Sol. The northern beaches tend to be a bit more rocky/crushed sand, but man can people party there.
A nightlife for everyone. Whether you like a quiet late night dinner outside at a small restaurant, listening to classical guitar players, with Sangria and delicious tapas- or you'd like to party if up with the 20-somethings in a three story night club to the latest dance music, it's all there. Spanish people like to party and they do it well.
Siestas.Ahhh Siestas. We're sorry, but anywhere in the world that has a proclaimed "nap time" is our kind of place. The funny part is, during this time frame they MAKE you relax. Stores and bars will often close for afternoon hours and re-open in the evening. However, it's strange because once you are in Spain, by about 3-4pm you will be TIRED and you will want a good siesta. We think it's related to the sometimes intense heat/sangria sipping... but who knows. Nap away friends, nap away.
Tapas are fantastic! Tapas are small appetizers of various Spanish cuisine... and these can often be your entire dinner. An entire dinner of appetizers? Ummm sign us up please! In some places (typically more-so in Madrid/Southern Spain), tapas are often served free when you order a drink at a bar. Yes, we said free.
Dare we say... Spain is sexy! It's pretty darn romantic. Between amazing musicians, flamenco dancers, flowing drinks, enticing food and amazing beaches... what is there not to love?
The best people watching, and La Rambla in Barcelona is the place to do it! We often book an actually budget friendly hotel on La Rambla with a balcony when we are in Barcelona (can you believe such a thing exists?). We will sit in the evenings and just people watch. There are definitely some characters in Spain and it can be quite entertaining. Do this at least once in your life and you won't be disappointed!
Ahhhh Spain. We love it so much we are considering a Madrid/Costa Del Sol trip later this year. Can you imagine how hard it was to write this as we are sitting in snowy southern Ontario where it's -2C outside?! Well you can't imagine if you haven't been to Spain! Do yourself a favour and book this fantastic destination. What are you waiting for? Book your trip to Spain, right now!
Gregory and Laura Brinkmann are travel, lifestyle and wedding photographers based out of Ontario, Canada who adore traveling. Please follow Brink of the World for more tips, ideas, and advice... and sometimes just some silliness.