More and more tourists discover that Spain offers more than sun, sea and sand. The interior exudes plenty of Spanish pride and temperament with beautiful cities and nature.
The country has the second-highest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world after Italy and is number one of World Heritage Cities. Spain is seen as a colorful nation with friendly people, relaxed lifestyle and usually warm weather, especially compared to other European countries, its cuisine, exciting nightlife and world-famous folklore (flamenco, Andalusian dance) and celebrations.
Some of the places worth visiting are the capital Madrid, the cultural Barcelona with his young mind, the bull run of Pamplona, and Moorish influences cities like Seville, Granada, Cordoba and the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands.
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The country is diverse with very different cultures, languages, eating habits and climates. The country ranges from the rainy fishing villages in Galicia to the nightlife of Madrid, the tourist costa’s (coasts) of the Mediterranean, the Andalusian flamenco dancing and bullfighting in many parts of the country and modern Barcelona in Catalonia.
Just for the nose and tongue, the country is a party, with delicious regional dishes and tapas. The eyes will not go hungry. The diverse nature is overwhelming to be silent. And what about the work of artists such as Velasquez, Picasso, Dali and Gaudi?
The cities are diverse. In the picturesque villages you can enjoy scenes with endless worth. So, Spain is a banquet for the faculties. Like the Netherlands or Belgium, the country is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. And joined NATO in 1982 and has been a member of the EU since 1986. The euro became the currency on January 1, 1999 Spanish, replacing the peseta.
Spain is a nation on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe with 46,661,950 (2009) inhabitants and an area of 505,992 km ². The country covers roughly 80% of the Iberian Peninsula. Beyond that also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the Spanish enclaves in North Africa in the country.
In the northeast, it borders France and Andorra, along the entire length of the Pyrenees to Portugal in the west and south to the British colony of Gibraltar.
Especially in summer, a siesta is taken during the afternoon. The siesta is from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., although it can vary locally. During the siesta, many stores are closed, it is the moment of the day to eat and depending on the region to rest or sleep.
Spanish cuisine is as diverse as the Hispanic cultures and climates. Typical products are the many Spanish wines and cava, countless sausages such as chorizo, jamón serrano or jamón Ibérico (Iberian ham), numerous cheeses, legumes, rice, Mediterranean vegetables and many sweets.
The most famous dishes are the Spanish tortilla, churros, paella, gazpacho, stews (cocidos) and calamari a la romana (fried squid).
There are also the well-known tapas, to be eaten during afternoon or evening. There are hundreds if not thousands of types of tapas which are very different by region.
Snacks which are like tapas are the pinchos, which are nearly known from the Basque Country, where these snacks are called pintxos.
Typically Spanish drinks, in particular in the summer drunk is the sangria, the horchata and Clara (beer mixed with creamy sweet soft drink). The name Sherry comes from the Andalusian town of Jerez de la Frontera. Spain is one of the major wine producers in the world.
Even though there are a lot of regional differences to distinguish (the Galician cuisine, for example, seems nothing like the Catalan or Andalusian cuisine), there are several typical characteristics of Spanish food culture:
Warm meal twice a day (around 15:00 and around 22:00), usually a starter and main course.
Drinking wine with meals (including afternoon).
Very often eating out (on average 4 times per week).
Cooking with fresh products and low consumption of frozen foods, prepared spice mixes or ready-made meals.
Great use of olive oil for both cold and hot dishes.
High consumption of fish, shellfish compared to other countries, after Japanese the most extensive fish consumers of the world.
Eating sweets for breakfast (bread rarely)
The (mostly outside Spain) controversial bullfighting is part of Spanish culture. Bullfighting, as it is currently practised, is centuries old and was initially performed in the squares of the village.
The first arenas were made of wood, but early 18th century – in 1711 – an arena was first built of stone, in Bejar, a village in the province of Salamanca. Five years later, Campo Frio, in the province of Huelva. The arena of Ronda said to be built on the foundations of a Roman theatre, was inaugurated in 1804.
Sports In Spain
The Barcelona Olympics Organized in 1992, the first and so far only time this event was held in Spain.
Football is the most important and popular sport in Spain. Famous clubs include Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Valencia CF, Sevilla FC, Villarreal CF and Atletico Madrid. Big clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona play at a high level in Europe.
The national football team has great talent, though, in big tournaments, they only got three times a final title: Spanish national team in 1964 and 2008 European champion.
And in 2010 they won the World Cup in South Africa by defeating the Netherlands by 1-0.
In second place comes basketball. The Spanish national basketball team won from world champion Greece in the World finals.