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Travel tips

5 of the most unique experiences to have in Spain

Jun 03, 2022 by Kara Kramer

Southern Spain boasts 320 days of sunshine a year, stunning Moorish architecture, and Moroccan flare. To the north, Basque Country is nestled in the mountains with tranquil beaches and its own set of customs to discover. Everywhere you turn, Spain seems to offer unique attractions you won’t find anywhere else. From Barcelona to Seville, discover five unique things to do in España and experience them for yourself on tour in Spain.

Sunset over Barcelona, Spain seen from Bunkers del Carmel

1. Catch a sunset at Bunkers del Carmel in Barcelona

A remnant of the Spanish Civil War, this outdoor attraction is now a place where locals go to catch the sunset with a friend and a bottle of wine. “Visit Bunkers del Carmel for the best panoramic views of the city,” said Go Ahead staffer Chloe. This outdoor landmark offers a unique perspective of the red roofs and octagonal city blocks Barcelona is famous for. But that’s not all you’ll see: “You can see the Sagrada Familia and the beach from up there!” said Chloe.

The Bunkers del Carmel aren’t the easiest place to get to—you’ll have to walk uphill with stairs—but the view is always worth the trek. Catch this view during free time on our Barcelona: The City Experience tour.

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Plates of Tapas including sea urchin pintxo

2. Eat sea urchin pintxo in San Sebastián

Visiting the oceanside oasis of San Sebastián is one of the fun things to do in Spain. The city is known for two things: world-renowned restaurants and fabulous beaches. That means you can soak in the sun and have a delicious bite to eat all in one day, and we recommend trying a sea urchin pintxo for a taste of local culture. But, you won’t have to search far and wide to try this Basque specialty. These spiky sea creatures are expertly prepared as pintxos at local watering holes. Pronounced “pinchos,” pintxos are the Basque equivalent of tapas.

“Pintxos are amazing!” said Go Ahead staffer Mike. “They’re tapas at a new level. Counters are filled with small plates of the most amazing food that you can pick and choose, and see exactly what you’re getting. You never would expect how delicious they are. From sea urchin to the perfect medium-rare steak, there is something for everyone. Paired with a glass of txakoli (local sparkling wine) you can’t go wrong. It’s the best way to tour the cities of Basque Country.” Try pintxos and discover more unique places to visit in Spain on our Food & Wine: A Taste of Spain tour.

Large wooden structures that resemble mushrooms called Los Setas in Seville, Spain

3. Climb to the top of Las Setas in Seville

As the Andalusian capital of southern Spain, Seville is well known for its architectural beauty. But this landmark looks a little different than its Moorish counterparts in southern Spain. Las Setas are composed of six sweeping structures that look like giant mushrooms. Its unusual design and that it’s made from birch, a non-traditional building material, make visiting this site one of the most unique activities in Spain.

“One of the best views of Seville is from the top of Las Setas,” said Go Ahead staffer Amanda. “Many people don’t realize that this modern structure was built for the purpose of marking where Roman ruins were found—so if you enjoy history you can buy a ticket to see the ruins as well as go to the top!” Eccentric shapes and exceptional history make this one of the most unique places to visit in Spain. “The best time to go is when the sun is just starting to set so you can get a glimpse of the city during the day but also watch the cathedral light up as it gets darker!” Amanda said. Visit The Mushrooms during free time on our Grand Tour of Spain.

Two cocktails on a table overlooking the mountains on the island of Tenerlife, Spain

4. Sip a specialty drink on the tropical island of Tenerife

One of the best things to do in Spain is discover all of the specialty drinks by region. Like Kalimotxo (red wine and Coca-Cola) in Basque Country or Asturian cider in Gijón. And if you make it to Tenerife, a Spanish island off the Moroccan coast, you’re in luck. “The best drink I have ever had was on El Teide, Spain’s highest peak, in Tenerife,” said Go Ahead staffer Roy. “El Teide is snowcapped at the top, tropical at the bottom, and has every biome in-between. The drink is called a café bombón. It’s one part espresso, one part rum, and one part dulce de leche at the bottom.” Yum!

Cross off more of the top things to do in Spain by planning a Customized Tour to Tenerife.

Flamenco Dancers on stage performing for a small crowd in Spain

5. Go to a flamenco show in a cave in Granada

Of all the unqiue things to do in Spain, there is one activity that shouldn’t be missed: attending a flamenco show. This activity in Spain is special anywhere, but Granada is extra special because some consider it the birthplace of the famous dance.

“I was told the Romani community in Granada holds the true ‘secrets’ of flamenco,” said Go Ahead staffer Shannon. “Flamenco is more of a ‘jam sesh’ than a rehearsed performance. It’s all based on emotion, so the dancers and musicians dictate how the tone of the show goes. It’s so unique. I haven’t seen or heard anything like it before in my life. It’s so much more than just a dance.”

Discover more unique experiences to have on our Spain tours.

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About the author | Kara Kramer
Growing up, Kara’s backyard was the Sonoran Desert where her love for exploration was ignited by dirt roads leading to petroglyphs and family road trips to sleepy Mexican fishing villages. Kara’s enjoyment for charting new territory continued with teaching abroad in Thailand, roaming wine cellar caves in Portugal, and swimming in the bioluminescent waters of the Caribbean. She’s always on the lookout for dive bars and a bowl of Vietnamese Pho (lime, basil, and jalapeño is the holy trinity).

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Overview of Madrid Spain at sunset
Overview of Madrid Spain at sunsetOverview of Madrid Spain at sunset
A Week in Spain: Barcelona, Madrid & Seville
9 days | 12 days with Granada & Costa del Sol extension

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