Warm, sunny, culturally rich Spain is an absolute treasure. White sand beaches and vibrant nightlife, world-class art museums and delicious dining, striking mountains and a relaxed way of life, there’s something for everyone in this country. Watch colorful days melt into vivacious nights as you explore the crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
Spain is an extraordinarily diverse country, made up of 17 distinct cultural regions, each with its own fascinating history. In Madrid, you can witness works of art by Picasso, Salvador Dali, and more at the Reina Sofia. Barcelona has entire museums devoted to Dali and Picasso, but the city is perhaps even more famous for its awe-inspiring architecture by the great Antonio Gaudi. In Granada, an archeological must-see is the Alhambra Palace, a sprawling UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s served as a citadel, an Islamic palace, and a fortress since it was first built in the year 889.
The more you explore, the more you’ll fall in love with the quirky Spanish culture. Easygoing and sociable, the Spanish know how to have a great time. Expect a late-night atmosphere; many restaurants don’t open for dinner until 9 PM, and bars and clubs are just heating up at midnight. The easiest way to adapt to this offbeat schedule is to avoid the afternoon heat with a siesta (a Spanish afternoon nap). Snag some shuteye at the hotel and you’ll wake up just in time for dinner and drinks. In the mood for partying? Head to the Balearic Islands. After a day of exploring, take out your dancing shoes and hit up the vibrant nightlife of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca.
Spanish cuisine is celebrated for its focus on simple, fresh, high-quality ingredients. Tapas, small plates prepared as a snack or small meal, are delicious crowd-pleasers. The local (and fun!) way to eat tapas is at a bar: order one to go with your drink, then move on to the next place and try another. Spain has a tasty national dish called paella, which was created in Valencia. It’s a delicious medley of rice and meat that can also be enjoyed with seafood if you’re on the coast. Tasting these incredible dishes is a Spain honeymoon must!
Some of the greatest memories of a honeymoon in Spain will take place amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe. Barcelona’s fantastic beaches, the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Andalusia, Madrid’s classic architecture, the indigo sea of the Balearic Islands…you’ll be surrounded by beauty wherever you look. Now if you can just take your adoring newlywed eyes off each other…
At a Glance
- ART HISTORY: Gorgeous and impressive artistic relics are everywhere in Spain, so wherever you go, a visit to an art museum or historic site should be in order.
- WAY OF ST. JAMES: If you two are up for an epic adventure, trek the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. It will take about a month to walk, but you can stay in hotels along the way, and you’ll experience eight distinct regions of Spain en route to the destination: the Cathedral of St. James in Galicia.
- LIVE IT UP: Celebrate your love with the city of Barcelona as you stay up all night and party on the beach with the locals. You’re going to have the time of your newlywed lives!
- ANDALUSIA: One of Spain’s most vibrant regions is its southernmost, called Andalusia. This region is full of lush landscapes and ancient Muslim, Moorish, and Roman ruins. Visit beautiful Seville to experience its cultural, financial and artistic heart, and go to Granada for the famous mountain ruins of Alhambra Palace.
- TAKE IN A FIGHT: The Spanish pastime of bullfighting is alive and well. March through October is bullfighting season in Spain. These fights not only offer excitement, but they also give honeymooners a taste of traditional Spanish culture. The Plaza de La Maestranza in Seville is a great place to stop in.
- TOSS THE TOMATOES: If you happen to be in Bunol in August, take part in the famous La Tomatina. On the last Wednesday in August, tens of thousands of people head to this small town to throw tomatoes at each other. It is the messiest fun you’ll have!
- A CARRIAGE RIDE FOR TWO: Discover the historic streets of Barcelona in regal style with a horse-driven carriage. It would be the perfect ending to a fairy-tale honeymoon.
- SKIING IN SPAIN: Spain offers some of the best sun and beaches, but there is also plenty of snow. Visit the Andalusian Ski Resort, where any skier, from beginner to expert, can tackle the highest peaks of the peninsula, referred to as “Sierra Nevada.” Ski fresh powder, with warm rays of sun beaming on your face, as you overlook the scenic beauty of Andalusia.
- RUNNING OF THE BULLS: Held in July in Pamplona, we don’t necessarily recommend taking part in the Running of the Bulls. You should, however, enjoy the multi-day celebration by joining the locals and heading to a bar, drinking some tasty sangria, munching on good food, and wearing your red with pride.
- WHEN TO GO: Beach honeymoons in Spain are best taken in the summer months. If beach time isn’t a priority, the off-season is a delightful time to visit, as there are fewer crowds and cheaper prices.
- TIPPING: Tips are not expected in Spain, but will be happily accepted if offered.
- FOOD: Food in tourist centers is notorious for being more expensive and poorer quality. As you move away from the hotspots, the food will be more authentic.
- SIESTA: Shops and businesses in Spain will often close for Siesta from 2 PM until 5 PM each day. Prepare for bars and restaurants to close at 4 PM and open again at 8 or 9 PM.
- DON’T BURN: Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula and is very close to Africa, so the sun is always strong. Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
- HOW TO GET THERE: Spain’s most popular airports for international arrivals are Madrid (MAD), Barcelona (BCN), Palma de Mallorca (PMI), and Málaga (AGP). Spain has air links with most European countries. Flight time from New York City to Madrid will take about seven to eight hours.
- TRAVELING IN SPAIN: The most efficient way to travel around Spain is by bus. There are two main bus companies: Grupo Alsa and Grupo Avansa. Train travel is popular too, but it’s more punctual for long distance trips than it is for short distance trips. Train schedules can be viewed here.
- ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Make sure to bring your passport. For U.S. citizens, no tourist visa is required for visits up to 90 days.
- MONEY: Spain is one of the European countries with the most ATM machines available. It is recommended that visitors use the ATMs to obtain money and/or euros. Be sure to contact your bank to provide notice that you will be using your card overseas. There are very few exchange locations for Travelers Checks and rates are often high. Banks are able to exchange money, but understand that Spanish banks typically close for the day by 2:30 PM.