lively beaches - that's Spain.Exuberating grandiose in its own style, Spain's diverse cultural habitat and abundant natural beauty renders it as one of the most visited global destinations, attracting millions of tourists from across the world each year.Read on to know the top seven attractions of this land steeped in passion, art and the good life. Beware! Coz' you may want to pack your bags and explore more.
1. Palacio Real
Opulent palaces in grand architectural styles are always pleasing to our eyes. The Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid) is one such Alcázar (castle) that had been the stately home to The Spanish Royalty - King Juan Carlos. Largest amongst the royal palaces of Western Europe, this jewel of Madrid is open for public throughout the year except during state ceremonies. Splendid tapestries, exquisite ceramics and world renowned paintings (by the likes of Tiepolo) present a glimpse of the regal lifestyle.
Architectural Gold Mine:The Palacio Real houses 1,450,000 sq.ft. of floor space with 3,418 rooms!
2. Shopping Hub of Spain- Madrid
Madrid,the capital of Spain,accommodates prestigious luxury fashion brands. Scoot for the latest trends in the Calle Fuencarral or 'Golden mile'. Or perhaps, explore local and authentic items,amidst the hustle-bustle, in the streets of the Fuencarral Market.
Shopaholics' Trunk Trivia: The El Rastro flea market, which is open on Sundays, is a great first-time shopping experience. Be sure toget a great bargain at almost anything here!
Time to party! Let yourself loose in the most happening party destination in all of Europe. Resplendent scenic beauty,divine beaches and electrifyingnightclubs nearly sum up the spirit of Ibiza. This mystical island of the Mediterranean captivates tourists withan enchanting view of its coastline. Go exploring. Hire a scooter. And of course, don't miss parasailing.
A Splash of Info: Ibiza is a World Heritage Site for its heritage architecture, stunningcoastline and astounding aquatic life.
Alhambra is a combination of a palace, fortress and a garden - right out of your imagination. It is located in the city of Granada, Spain. The Nasrid Sultans constructed this Islamic architectural structure in the 14th century for the last Muslim emirs in Spain. The Alhambra is a vision of eccentric Arabic artwork, intricate sculptures and palatial courtyards enriched with cypress trees and flowers lavishly set among fountains and ponds. Literature Zone: Salman Rushdie's 'The Moor's Last Sigh' and Paulo Coelho's novel 'The Alchemist' are set in Alhambra.
5. Flamenco Shows
A never-ending high energy pulsates throughout this magnificent country. Spaniards are known to live in the moment and life is a fiesta for everybody who enters here. The flamenco shows (Spanish folk music and dance) bring to lifethis very spirit of Spain. Travel to Las Ramblas, Barcelona to enjoy incredible performances by the professional Catalan flamenco dancers on the stages of Tablao Cordobes.
Flamenco Facts: Flamenco dancing has supposedly evolved from many cultures including the Punjabi style of music and dance.
6. Sagrada Familia
Situated in the city of Barcelona, The Sagrada Familia is one of the largest Roman Catholic Churches in Spain. Antoni Gaudi, world'scelebrated architect, has designed this marvelous structure.
Explorer's Discovery:The construction of Sagrada Familia was stopped midway post Gaudi's death but has resumed since 1882 and astonishingly continues even today!
7. San Sebastian- A Culinary Feast
This coastal city is one of the greatest gastronomic destinations in the world. It is prominent for its Basque cuisine that involves French and Spanish infusion with sea and valley food produce. San Sebastian is home to two of the world's top 10 restaurants. There are choices for everybody right from the Michelin starred restaurants to affordable local eateries serving fresh produce.
A Foodie's Delight: P intxos (an appetizer made of sliced bread and mixture of meat, fish or even green peppers on top, spiked by a toothpick)is a favorite snack among the locals.
Spain offers comfortable holidaying opportunities that cater todiverse interests. From fine food to captivating landscapes, this country serves you an intoxicating punch ofthe Mediterranean and Atlantic flavors. So, are you ready for a mind-blowing lifetime experience?