5.5 Tourism and Cuisine

3 min readnovember 23, 2021


Brittany Schwikert

AP Spanish Language 🇪🇸

54 resources
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5.5: Tourism and Cuisine ✈️ 🥘

Spain is easily one of the most popular Spanish speaking countries to visit. In 2019, Spain was the second most visited country in the world, recording 83.7 million tourists. In fact from 2013 to 2019, Spain consecutively broke its record for most foreign tourist visitors. Visiting Spain allows foreigners to experience, culture, cuisine, and other attractions to the fullest extent. 

Popular Tourist Spots 🔍

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia continues to top every list of most visited tourist destinations around the world. Original construction on the cathedral began in 1882 by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, yet it was never completed. In fact only a quarter of the construction had been completed when Gaudí unexpectedly died in 1926. However, Spain’s government is now predicting all construction will be complete in 2026, and visitors are welcome to visit amidst the construction process. 

Image from Wikimedia Commons

La Alhambra, Grenada

The Alhambra is an ancient palace and fortress located in Grenada. The origins of the Alhambra are believed to date back to Roman times, well over 8 centuries ago. Yet the palace and gardens were renovated when the Moors reigned Spain from the 1200s to the 1400s. During this time it was transformed into a self-sufficient city with beautiful fertile gardens, a functional irrigation system and a luxurious paradise. However in 1492 during the time of the Inquisition, monarchs Fernando and Isabel marched into Granada and seized the palace, and the last stronghold of Moorish Spain was taken. 

Image from Unsplash 

Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias, Valencia  

Taking over 900 million euros and a decade to construct, Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias is a cultural and architectural complex in the heart of Valencia. It’s home to Europe’s largest aquarium, L'Oceanogràfic, as well as an IMAX cinema, planetarium, and various other attractions.

Image from Unsplash

Spanish Cuisine 🦐


The hallmark of Spanish cuisine is tapas, small plates that can be shared as an appetizer, or eaten as a meal, and normally accompanied with a glass of beer or wine. In Spanish culture, it’s common to eat 3-5 different tapas as a meal, rather than ordering a main course, which is more common in America. Typical tapas include bocadillos (mini sandwiches, as seen below), aceitunas (olives) albondigas (meatballs), croquetas (croquettes), papas bravas (fried potatoes), and calamares (calamari).

Image from Unsplash


Many Spaniards consider paella their national dish, although it originated in the coastal city of Valencia. Paella consists of slow cooked rice in a large pan with a varying list of ingredients; traditional Valencian paella is served with chicken and rabbit, but another popular rendition calls for fresh seafood and octopus ink, dying the dish black but doubling it with flavor.

Image from Unsplash

Tortilla Española 

Spanish tortilla is different from the tortillas you may associate with tacos or burritos. In this traditional recipe, a tortilla is a Spanish omelette that’s made with eggs, potatoes and onions. It’s most commonly served at room temperature and can eaten as a tapa in the afternoon or evening.

Image from Unsplash

Strive for Five Vocab  🔑

  • tener hambre - to be hungry
  • probar - to taste
  • desayunar - to eat breakfast
  • almorzar - to eat lunch
  • cenar - to eat dinner
  • aperitivo - appetizer
  • plato principal - main course
  • postre - dessert
  • Tapas - small portions of food eaten as a snack or for dinner 
  • Paella - traditional rice dish from Valencia
  • Tortilla española - Spanish omelette normally eaten for a snack or dinner 

Browse Study Guides By Unit
👨‍👩‍👧Unit 1 – Families in Spanish-Speaking Countries
🗣Unit 2 – Language & Culture in Spanish-Speaking Countries
🎨Unit 3 – Beauty & Art in Spanish-Speaking Countries
🔬Unit 4 – Science & Technology in Spanish-Speaking Countries
🏠Unit 5 – Quality of Life in Spanish-Speaking Countries
💸Unit 6 – Challenges in Spanish-Speaking Countries
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