Home Videos Spain Travel Guide | Tips & Local Hacks for Visiting Spain Videos Spain Travel Guide | Tips & Local Hacks for Visiting Spain By Admin - August 31, 2018 133 0 Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Transcript 0:00 When I came to Spain and I saw people partying, 0:03 I said to myself, “WTF?” 0:05 Whether you come to Spain for the Fiesta in Ibiza, a siesta on the Costa Brava, 0:09 or a foodie tour of San Sebastian, 0:11 this video will help you avoid tourist traps, understand Spanish cultural do’s and don’ts, and learn everything 0:16 you need to know to make your trip to Spain truly unforgettable. 0:20 I’m Alex. I’m Marko. 0:21 And you are watching Vagabrothers, 0:23 your go-to guide for travel tips, vlogs and inspiration here on YouTube. 0:27 We lived in Spain for three years, 0:30 and in this video, we’re going to share all the tips, hacks, and 0:33 insider information that we learned while living there. 0:36 So if you haven’t already, hit the subscribe button and turn on notifications so you don’t miss any videos, 0:41 share this video with your travel buddies, 0:43 and get ready to have some fun because 0:45 “La gente esta muy loca.” 1:03 Hello again Bond, whiskey? Thank you, M. 1:06 Holiday in Spain? How original. 1:08 Where are we off to this time, Magaluf? 1:10 No, no far too common. 1:12 Ibiza? A bit too posh for my liking. 1:15 Barcccccelona? No, it’s more subtle than that. 1:27 Shall we get on with the briefing then, M? Right. 1:30 Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe, 1:32 occupying approximately 80 percent of the Iberian Peninsula. 1:36 Modern Spain is a product of thousands of years of migration and conquests, 1:41 most notably the Phoenicians, the Romans, and 1:44 more recently the Moors who in the eighth century invaded from Morocco 1:48 to turn Spain into one of the leading centers of learning in all of the world. 1:53 A mosaic of conscience if you will, M. Precisely. 1:57 Modern Spain is best described as a nation of nations, 2:00 a legacy of the Reconquista when the Catholic kings of Castile 2:04 united all of the different kingdoms to push out the Moors in 1492. 2:09 1492 the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue. 2:14 Spot-on. In just a number of decades, 2:16 Spain went from being a conquered occupied country into one of the most powerful kingdoms in all of history. 2:23 Okay. Let’s talk where to go. 2:25 The three most popular cities are Madrid, the capital , 2:28 which brings together the best of Spain; 2:31 beachside Barcelona, which fuses the medieval quarter 2:34 with the modernist architecture of Catalan born Antoni Gaudí; 2:40 sultry Sevilla in the south, the birthplace of flamenco. 2:43 Spain is full of distinct regions like 2:46 Catalonia with the Costa Brava and the Pyrenees; 2:49 the Basque Country, a foodie paradise with great waves and a unique culture and 2:54 Andalusia where Moorish influence blends with iconic Spanish traditions. 2:59 And of course, there’re beaches… 3:01 not just the Costa del Sol or the Costa Brava, 3:04 but the Balearic Islands- Mallorca, Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera 3:08 and the tropical Canary Islands, 3:11 which are actually off the west coast of Africa and unlike any part of Spain. 3:15 If you want more information on where to go and 3:18 what to do in Spain, make sure that you subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications 3:22 so you don’t miss the video that we’re making about that subject very soon. 3:28 Also if you haven’t seen our eight part series on the Basque Country 3:32 or our top ten things to do in Barcelona, 3:34 check out those videos, as well. 3:36 Moving on to climate…. 3:37 Although some of Spain’s most popular destinations are on the Mediterranean, 3:41 most of the country is on what’s called the “meseta,” an elevated plateau 3:45 that’s cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and makes Madrid Europe’s highest capital. 3:51 The north of Spain is green because it rains all the time, 3:54 especially in the Basque Country where locals have a specific name 3:57 for their type of rain called, “xirimiri.” 4:00 Therefore, when packing it’s best to bring layers, 4:03 especially if you’re journeying away from the Mediterranean. 4:06 If you’re visiting in the winter, 4:08 make sure you have a warm waterproof jacket, 4:11 although it doesn’t really snow unless you’re in the mountains. 4:14 Also, pack a dressy outfit for going out or just head to a Zara if you find yourself underdressed. 4:21 In summer Spain gets slammed with foreign tourists known as “guiris,” 4:26 while domestic tourism surges around Christmas and Easter, known as Semana Santa, 4:32 which is most big in Sevilla. 4:35 Over tourism is a serious problem in parts of Spain, 4:38 specifically Barcelona so we recommend traveling during the shoulder seasons, 4:44 September to November or March to May, when the weather is still warm, 4:48 but prices for flights and hotels are much lower than in summer. 4:52 Language is a tricky issue in Spain. 4:55 You might assume that everyone speaks Spanish, 4:57 but many regions have their own languages 5:00 like the Latin based languages of Catalan and Galician 5:04 or Euskera, the Basque language, 5:07 the only non Indo-European language in Europe and one of the oldest living languages in the world. 5:14 Spanish as we know it actually comes from the region of Castilla, 5:18 So people in Spain call it Castellano. 5:21 Castellano became the lingua franca of Spain during the Reconquista, 5:25 which was led by the king and queen of Castilla, Ferdinand and Isabella. 5:30 Calling Castellano “Spanish” is kind of like calling English “British,” 5:34 if that makes sense because England’s only one part of Britain. 5:38 These regional languages are central to many people’s identities, 5:42 especially in the Basque Country 5:44 and Catalonia, where many people are pushing for independence from Spain. 5:49 If you try to learn some local words like “kaixo,”- 5:51 “hello” in Basque or “Bon Dia” in Catalon, 5:54 It will be much appreciated by the locals. 5:56 Now that we’ve covered the basics, 5:58 let’s debunk some popular myths starting with the one thing that we all seem to associate with Spain– 6:04 bullfighting. 6:05 The truth is that not all Spaniards love bullfighting. 6:08 In fact many hate it, and it’s banned in regions like Catalonia. 6:12 However, it remains popular in more traditional parts of Spain, 6:16 and it’s probably not going anywhere anytime soon. 6:29 Nor do all Spaniards dance flamenco. 6:31 Like many things associated with Spain, it actually comes from Andalusia, 6:36 specifically from the Roma people who originally migrated from India almost 6:41 1500 years ago and who despite persecution have added much to Spanish culture, especially in the south. 6:50 Spaniards do know how to enjoy life so many foreigners assume that life has been easy. 6:55 But the truth is Spain has faced some serious challenges, especially in the last century, 7:00 most notably the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s in which the democratically elected 7:05 republic was overthrown by the fascist dictator Francisco Franco 7:09 who ruled Spain with an iron fist until his death in 1975. 7:14 Since then Spain has returned to democracy, 7:16 had a liberal Renaissance known as La Movida Madalena, 7:20 and joined the European Union. 7:22 But the wounds of the Spanish Civil War that turned brother against brother are still very ,very, real. 7:29 Be respectful. 7:30 More recently challenges include the 2008 financial crisis 7:35 known as “la crisis,” which left one out of two young Spaniards without a job, 7:41 which is why over 80% of young Spaniards under 30 still live with their parents. 7:47 The economy has started to recover, but unemployment and low wages 7:51 continue to make life difficult for young Spanish people. 7:55 Not all Spaniards take “siestas.” 7:56 And the tradition actually originated in Southern Portugal 8:00 where it was a way for day laborers to get a rest from the midday sun. 8:04 Typically you have lunch at home, have a short nap, 8:07 maybe take a “paseo,” a walk around town and then return to work from 5 to 8 p.m. 8:12 That being said most small businesses do shutdown between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. everyday and on Sundays. 8:19 So plan your shopping accordingly. 8:21 Spain has to be one of the most fervently Catholic countries in the world. 8:25 It’s the birthplace of the Inquisition, the Jesuits, and Opus Dei and even though over 8:31 Three-quarters of modern Spaniards identify as Catholics, very few of them actually practice the religion. 8:38 Furthermore, Spain was deeply influenced by Sephardic Jews 8:41 who arrived during Roman times and spoke a hybrid of Spanish and 8:45 Hebrew known as Ladino, as well as the Islamic Moors who turned 8:50 Cordoba, Sevilla ,and Granada into some of the most advanced centers 8:54 of science and learning in all of the world at that time. 8:57 During the Inquisition these two religions were forced to either convert to Christianity , leave Spain, or die. 9:02 But their legacy has survived in many ways: 9:05 Jewish influence on Spanish cooking or the Arabic impact on the Spanish language 9:10 “azucar, aceite, al” = alcohol 9:13 any word that starts with an al probably comes from Arabic. 9:15 Some people assume that Spanish culture is similar to Latin America, 9:19 and while Spain did conquer the vast majority of the Americas, 9:23 the cultures in places like Mexico, Peru, or Argentina are 9:28 actually blends of Spanish culture with indigenous and immigrant traditions. 9:33 Of course, there are many things that flowed back to Spain from the Americas 9:38 most notably looted gold and silver, which still to this day still adorn 9:43 many of the cathedrals across the country, most notably in Toledo. 9:48 Holy Toledo! 9:49 Not to mention a love of hot chocolate and the potato, 9:53 which form a cornerstone of the Spanish diet. 9:56 Speaking of diet, let’s talk about one of the best parts of Spain- 9:59 food and drink. 10:01 With over 171 Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain 10:03 and good food at any price point, 10:05 Spain is easily one of the best foodie destinations in the entire world. 10:09 Before we talk about where and what to eat, 10:12 let’s talk about how to eat, 10:14 specifically why Spaniards eat later than other European countries. 10:17 Breakfast or “desayuno” is a minimal affair in Spain. 10:21 It’s usually just a sweet pastry and a cafe con leche, 10:24 which is kind of like a latte or a cortado, 10:27 which is a shot of espresso with just a little bit of milk. 10:30 Lunch known as “la comida” is the main meal of the day. 10:34 It’s served during the siesta from about 1:00 in the afternoon until 4:00pm. 10:39 Save money with a “menu del dia,” 10:42 a three-course meal with wine, coffee, and dessert included for around 10 to 15 euros. 10:48 It’s the best deal in the country, and if you’re on a budget, 10:52 timing the menu del dia right could carry you through the full day. 10:56 Spain is famous for its culture of tapas, 10:59 which means “covers” because supposedly they were designed to cover the 11:04 glass of wine for travellers in roadside inns 11:07 so they didn’t get too drunk before they had to ride their horse to the next village. 11:10 A lot of different explanations… 11:11 No one really knows where they came from, 11:13 but they’re excellent and usually cheap if not free, at least in Granada 11:17 where you get a free top-up with every drink order, which is pretty epic. 11:21 You can eat them for lunch, but it’s more common to have them with a glass of wine at dinner. 11:27 In the Basque Country they serve “pintxos,” 11:29 similar to tapas but a bit more elaborate and a little bit more expensive. 11:34 However, the best pintxos bars in San Sebastian 11:37 will allow you to taste high-level Basque cuisine without 11:41 having to spend the money for a Michelin-Star meal. 11:45 The highest concentration of Michelin- Star restaurants in the world are found in Catalonia and the Basque Country. 11:51 With more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else on earth. 11:56 These restaurants are not cheap. 11:58 They range between a hundred to three hundred euros for a 12-course tasting menu, wine not included. 12:05 If you can afford it, it’s a bucket-list dining experience that you will never forget. 12:09 Alright now let’s talk about what to eat, 12:12 the essential dishes to try on your trip to Spain. 12:14 Perhaps the most classic Spanish dish is the “tortilla de patata.” 12:18 A tortilla in Spain is different than tortilla in Mexico. 12:22 It’s an egg and potato omelette that’s sometimes serve with onion or chorizo, 12:26 but best served if it’s gooey in the middle. 12:29 You start to see them around ten o’clock in the morning where you can have it 12:32 with a coffee for a late breakfast or late at night. 12:35 They’re generally the tastiest and cheapest way to keep yourself full throughout your trip. 12:39 Paella is Spain’s most internationally know dish, 12:42 but locals don’t eat it often outside of Valencia. 12:46 So if you see it advertised at a restaurant in Madrid or 12:50 Barcelona, then chances are it’s probably a tourist trap. 12:54 Pescatarians, beware! 12:57 Traditional paella usually include quail and ham. 13:01 If you want a more traditional seafood plate, 13:03 try cod fish known locally as “bacalao,” best served 13:08 Pil Pil style in Bilbao in the Basque Country. 13:12 Also anchovies and bonito tuna are very common, especially in tapas. 13:18 “Jamon” is Spanish for ham, cured ham to be specific. 13:22 It comes in all different types of qualities- pata negra is the highest quality 13:25 and jamon serrano is generally a good quality that’s still affordable. 13:29 Locals buy jamon serrano buy the “pata,” 13:32 literally a cured leg of ham. 13:35 It’s probably more economical and easy to carry if you just get a couple slices at the deli, 13:39 put some jamon on a baguette with some manchego cheese, and you’re golden. 13:43 Even better before you put down the ham and the cheese, 13:45 rub the bread with garlic and tomato and you have “pan tomaca,” a typical Catalan breakfast 13:51 that’s good any time of day anywhere in Spain. 13:54 Lastly, an essential dish is “patatas bravas,” brave patatoes. 13:59 crispy potatoes with spicy mayonnaise. 14:02 Now, it’s nothing special, but it is a great way to line your stomach before getting more 14:09 expensive and less filling tapas. 14:12 Trust me. There’s nothing worse than going out for pintxos or tapas, 14:15 spending 50 euros and coming home hungry. 14:18 So do as the pros do- get the patatas bravas primero, 14:22 and then you should be good to go. 14:24 With all this good food, 14:25 you’ll need something to wash it down. 14:27 You’re probably thinking about sangria, 14:29 but this is really something that’s mostly served to tourists. 14:31 A smarter choice is to try Spain’s many wines which are high quality and low price, 14:39 on average about one euro and 25 cents per litre, to be exact. 14:43 Here’s an overview of Spain’s main wine regions and varietals: 14:47 The most common grapes are Tempranillo, 14:49 a medium bodied red that’s grown largely in the La Rioja region in Northern Spain, 14:54 and its name comes from being picked somewhat early in the season. 14:57 Also popular is Garnacha or Grenache, which is typically a mixing grape 15:02 but can be great on its own. 15:03 Cava is a sparkling white wine 15:06 similar to champagne, and it’s mostly grown in Catalonia. 15:10 Sherry is very popular worldwide, 15:12 but in Spain is called “jerez” after its town of origin in Andalusia. 15:18 Other popular whites are Albariño, which is minerally because it’s grown 15:21 on the fjords of the coastal region of Galicia and the naturally effervescent 15:25 txakoli, which comes from the Basque Country, 15:28 and both txakoli and albariño go great with seafood. 15:32 Most Spanish beers are crisp lagers like San Miguel, 15:36 but craft beer is making inroads in major cities. 15:40 Hard ciders are popular in the Basque Country and Asturias, and 15:44 students all over Spain love to pre-party with a mixture of coca cola and 15:50 boxed red wine known as “kalimotxo.” 15:53 Lastly, let’s talk about one of the most important things to know before you go- 15:57 social etiquette do’s and dont’s. 15:59 Do greet people, both friends and total strangers, with two kisses on the cheek. 16:04 There’s nothing romantic about this. 16:06 It’s done between everybody, but usually not between guys. 16:09 You’re not actually kissing people on the cheek, 16:12 you’re kissing like right next to the cheek. 16:14 You go left side first, then right side. 16:17 You make the noise. 16:18 You don’t actually do a slobbery kiss on cheek because that would be weird. 16:22 Don’t expect things to get done at the snap of a finger. 16:24 This is especially important for people from the United States of America 16:27 who expect the customer to come first. 16:30 In Spain the customer does not come first, 16:32 and you will not get anywhere by demanding things to happen right away. 16:36 Remember if a store or restaurant is closed, it’s closed. 16:40 Do linger after the meal is finished. 16:44 In Spanish this is called the “sobremesa,” and it’s one of the best parts about dining with friends. 16:49 So have a coffee or a liquor like anis or patxarran, 16:53 and enjoy the conversation. 16:55 Don’t tip too much. 16:58 One of the reasons you can enjoy the sobremesa 17:00 is because waiters aren’t trying to turn your table over to get more tips. 17:05 So sit down and enjoy slow food. 17:08 Ladies, do feel free to go topless at the beach. 17:11 It’s legal across Spain and totally normal. 17:13 Guys, try not to make a big deal about girls being topless at the beach. 17:17 It might not be normal in your country, but it’s really impolite to stare. 17:22 So if you really can’t hold it all together, 17:24 I guess just put on a pair of sunglasses and try not to be a weirdo. 17:27 For both guys and girls, do expect to be out late. 17:31 Spaniards usually dine at around 10:00 or sometimes even 11:00 p.m. 17:36 and stay out all night dancing 17:39 ” Viva la fiesta. Viva la noche.” 17:43 Spaniards drink for a long time, 17:45 but they do it little by little so nobody ever gets too wasted. 17:49 If you get drunk quickly or early, 17:52 you’re going to make a fool out of yourself. 17:53 Do expect to see a lot of PDA, public displays of affection. 17:57 This is because young people typically live with their parents, 18:00 and they don’t really have a place to go hook up with their boyfriend or girlfriend. 18:04 So after the clubs close, you typically see a lot of people, especially in parks, making out… 18:09 sometimes more than making out, sometimes a lot more than making out. 18:13 Last but not least, if you want to dive into Spanish culture, 18:17 here are some further resources: 18:19 The classic Spanish book is Don Quixote de la Mancha, con su amigito, 18:25 Sancho, which was the first novel ever. 18:28 If that’s too dense for you, 18:30 you could read Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, 18:35 a fictional story set in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. 18:40 Many of the most powerful 18:41 stories from Spain come from the period of the Spanish Civil War. 18:44 A lot of them were written by foreigners like Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell, 18:49 or Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway 18:51 who set many of his novels in Spain, including the Sun Also Rises. 18:55 For those of you who want a really deep dive into Spanish culture, 18:58 I recommend the New Spaniards, by John Cooper. 19:02 It’s thin, concise, and will tell you everything about Spain. 19:05 Spain has a great film industry, 19:07 most notably the films of director Almodovar 19:11 including Volver and 19:13 Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. 19:16 Also great is Pan’s Labyrinth and Ocho Apellidos dos Vascos, 19:21 known as the Spanish Affair in English, 19:24 which is available on Netflix and 19:26 documents the hilarious story of a Basque woman falling in love with an Andalusian man. 19:33 Lastly, check out our Spotify playlist about Spain. 19:35 We have a link in the info box. 19:36 We got tunes from Ojos a Brujo, Facto Delafe, y Las Flores Azules and 19:42 Manu Chao, who is actually French but his parents came from Spain. 19:45 Okay, damas y caballeros, ladies and gentlemen, 19:48 those are the things that you need to know before you go to Spain. 19:52 If you have any tips of your own make sure you 19:54 add them down there in the comment section. 19:56 If you enjoyed this video, please give it a big thumbs up, 20:00 hit that subscribe button and enable notifications 20:02 so you never miss any of our videos. 20:04 This is the first video that we’ve done in this format, 20:07 so let us know what you think. 20:08 Is there any other information that you want to hear from us? 20:11 Are there other destinations that you really want us to cover? 20:13 Let us know in the comments section, 20:15 and we’ll be sure to incorporate it into future videos. 20:17 Alright in the meantime remember, 20:18 stay curious, keep exploring ,and we will see you on the road. 20:23 Paz y amor.