Ir de tapas (Go out for tapas)
It is called el tapeo and it’s one of the funnest things to do in Spain (if you truly want to experience the Spanish lifestyle). Tapas are basically small bites served with each drink you buy. Whether the tapas are free or fairly-priced, depends on the bar or restaurant entirely. But most bars offer a free tapa with every drink. It’s not a sit-down meal; it’s a very informal way of getting your belly full for free. 😉
Try the region’s typical dish
The food in Spain is delicious for the most part (see My Top Five Favorite Spanish Dishes) and, if you travel through as many Spanish cities as I did, at least try the typical dish of each region you visit. Don’t hesitate to ask the servers for suggestions, which they will always recommend you try something “de la tierra” (from the region) anyway. I don’t consider myself to be a true food-adventurer, but hey, when in Rome…
Watch a soccer game at a bar
The experience is unique. I don’t know of any other culture that is crazier than Spaniards when it comes to soccer. OK, maybe Central Americans? Hm…maybe not. But really, the energy is insane and they transmit it to everyone around them. I’m not a Sports fan, but watching a game (especially a Barcelona vs. Madrid match) with a bunch of soccer enthusiasts make anyone get into it—quick! Next thing you know you’re biting your nails, cheering for whatever team appeal to you in the moment. It’s crazy. Experience it.
Dar un paseo (go out for a walk)
Every evening after taking the siesta, Spaniards go out for a walk with their family, friends, or dog. It is rare to see anyone walking alone. Like many of our traditions, I don’t know how the paseo originated (other than the actual act of walking to exercise), but I know for them it’s about a moment of relaxation, maybe a breath of fresh air, spending time with loved ones, keeping family values. Everyone comes out; people sit at park benches, at a bar terrace or they may just go around the block. It’s different from the kind of going for a walk that we’re used to here in the U.S. People don’t look rushed, just relaxed.
See Major Cathedrals of Spain
Maybe not for too long as this activity may get old for some (it temporarily did for me), but Spanish cathedrals are a must-see. They have great historical, religious and architectural value. They’re simply incredible. (See how pretty the Segovia Cathedral is.) The styles of the cathedrals in Spain are usually Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque and I was always blown away by their beauty and grandeur.
Feel free to share your favorite things to do in Spain!