– What are the 11 things
that you must do in Spain? Today, we’re gonna discuss those
hidden cultural experiences that will make your time
in this country truly rich, rewarding and memorable and will help you experience this country, Spain, like a local, so, (speaking in
foreign language), let’s go. (upbeat Latin music) So recently we made a
video about the 11 things that you must not do while in Spain and it’s been really, really popular, it’s really blown up and
there’s been a lot of debate in the comments about whether
we got it right or wrong, I’d love you to have a
look at that one as well. But today, a little more
positivity, right Yoly? – Yeah, so having done a video about the things you must not do, we figured we should do a video
on the things you must do. – But just a warning,
this video is not a list of things like you must eat tapas, you must go to the Sagrada
Familia, you must eat paella, those things we know about. There’s plenty of information
online about that, this list is more hidden
and I think more rewarding. It’s based on the
experiences that I’ve had after the last eight years living in Spain that have been truly rewarding for me and really helped me
understand and get a handle on this country, and Yoly you’re gonna to help
us understand these, right? – Sure, totally, I mean
there are experiences that you can have all over
the country, pretty much, and they will help you see the country through the eyes of a local. – Perfect, let’s get
started with number 11. Must do, number 11, the first one, before you come to Spain I recommend that you read a great book
or a couple of great books about this country. Look, countries are complex and Spain is a really complex one. We’ve had a fascinating
history, we’ve had civil wars, there’s so many regions here, there’s so many different languages. So I think if you read
a great book or couple of books about this
country before coming here, you’ll have such a rich experience. And I’m an avid reader and reading has really helped
me understand this country. So, we’re gonna recommend a couple, and I’m gonna start with this one, this is Giles Tremlett’s Ghosts of Spain. Now this is Giles Tremlett is a former Guardian Newspaper
correspondent about Spain, he still lives in Madrid,
he’s an expert on this country and this book is your
just beginner’s guide in a sense to Spain. It’s really gonna help you get a grasp on the complex history,
the complex culture, and it’s such a great read about
his experience moving here. I’ll link to it below, as
well as other books to read. What do you think, Yoly? – Well, I was thinking
that for those of you who have loads of time, maybe go and read Don Quixote de la
Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes. I think that while Tremlett’s
book, which is great, is going to give you a
more kind of a brainy view about who Spaniards are, I think that Miguel de
Cervantes’ masterpiece is going to help you see
through our soul a little bit, the Spanish soul, a bit
more kind of heartfelt. – I like that.
– Yeah. – So we’ve got Ghosts of
Spain by Giles Tremlett and Don Quixote de la Mancha,
Don Quixote by Cervantes which is an amazing read, a big one, but it’s amazing, really
recommend those two. Must do number 10. And look, people watching
is such a cliche, you must people watch
in Paris or New York. But here’s the way you
people watch in Spain in a way that’s gonna be really revealing of the culture. You’re gonna go out in the evening, about what time, Yoly? – About 8:00 p.m. or so. – About 8:00 p.m., you’re
gonna sit in a square, in a (speaks in foreign
language), maybe in a bar, in a terrace, or maybe just on a bench and you’re gonna watch people
coming out for the paseo, which is that evening walk
before dinner that people will do when the weather is nice,
particularly on the weekends because remember, we
have dinner at 10:00 p.m. So they’re gonna come
out and wander around, maybe grab a beer and what
are we gonna see, Yoly? Who are we gonna see? – You’re gonna see old ladies walking, we’re gonna see families,
children playing in the streets, children playing soccer in the
streets so, yeah, great time. – It’s a wonderful time,
old ladies arm in arm, it’s a really fascinating time. People will put nicer clothes on often, particularly the older generation. So it’s a just a great
time to people watch. And what is something we can do while we’re people watching, Yoly? – Well, you can sit on a bench and open a bag of these beauties. So these are pipas, safflower seeds. And you, as a Spaniard at some
point, someone teaches you to eat them and so what
you do is you go like this, you peel them– – I can’t do that. – And then just grab the seed inside. Like that. – Such a skill. As a Spaniard you know how to do that, as a non-Spaniard I don’t know
any non-Spaniards out there who live in Spain who know
how to eat sunflower seeds, pipas, properly, let us
know in the comments, ’cause I’m hopeless, I can only
eat kiwis with the skin on. (Yoly laughing) Okay, must do number
nine, and that is get out of the historic center and
go and see the neighborhoods of the cities you’re
exploring here in Spain. Now, the historic centers
are beautiful and wonderful but if you get out into the neighborhoods, what I’ve always found
is you’ll see things that you just won’t see in the center. You’ll be around locals, you
will also see great shops and bars that you just wouldn’t
expect, really local places. You’ll wander into markets,
you’ll see the local butcher and you just get a real
different angle on the society. You’ll see people going
about their daily lives and you’ll start to understand a bit more what that looks like, right? – It’s also a more
sustainable way to travel so it takes the pressure off the center and it helps distribute the money around to other, kind of, local stores
and less chains, of course. – Yeah no, really, really important, I mean you’ve gotta see
those historic centers, those tourist centers as well,
but yeah, try and get out. I mean, we recently made
a video of a tapas coral in our neighborhood here in
Madrid, we’ll link to it above. – You can check that
out, and anyone who’s, let us know in the
comments if you’re living in a city in Spain, what
would be a great neighborhood for people to explore,
’cause I know each city is a little bit different, so
they can get out of the center and really have that
more local experience. So that’s number nine. Must do number eight. When you’re planning
your trip around Spain, of course you’re gonna
plan to go to Seville or you’re gonna go to Barcelona,
the Alhambra in Granada. But when you’re planning
your trip, can you squeeze in and fit in some lesser known areas, can you fit in some rural experiences, some village experiences or
some lesser known regions or lesser visited regions of Spain. Some of my most richest experiences have been in villages in Spain. I think in your village, Yoly. – Yeah, Marugan. – Exactly, Marugan, which
is about an hour and a half north of here, walking
into the village bar and seeing the old men playing dominoes and drinking anise and
the kids running around, those are such wonderful experiences. Suddenly there’s a Sunday market on or there’s the village fiestas in Summer, those are such memorable experiences, so if you can try and
access some of those, I think you’re just gonna have
a great experience in Spain. – So, less visited places in Spain, I’m thinking in the northwest
like, Galicia, Asturias, also Extremadura, also some
parts of Castilla Leon, there’s wonderful small villages to visit. – I know it’s a little harder,
you might have to rent a car and things like that. Extremadura, you mentioned,
we recently made a video about our weekend trip there,
we’ll link to that above. So yeah, try to plan in some of those. I know it can be challenging,
but do your best, there’s plenty of information online and maybe people can let
us know in the comments, some ideas around that. So, must do number seven, go
to an old man bar and have a (speaks in foreign language). For those who don’t know, Yoly, why don’t you decode this for us. First, what is an old man bar and what is a (speaks
in foreign language)? – So, and old man bar is a
rustic old neighborhood bar, small, workers go there, old men go there. – (laughs) Hence the name. – Yeah, exactly. You get your beer, maybe
you can have lunch. So you can have a (speaks
in foreign language). (speaks in foreign language),
it’s like a fixed price lunch, so you usually get starters, a starter, a main and dessert, so. – It’s about 10 euros or so, right? – 10, 12 euros, yeah, it’s a great way to actually have lunch. Might not be the best lunch of your life but it’s a really great way to experience Spanish
food and the culture. – Yeah. You’ll see so much, you’ll see, they’ll come over to you,
they’ll rattle off the menu, it may not be written down,
you’ll have to keep up, the table cloth may be paper,
you’ll have a big bottle of probably really average wine that you’ll have to get through, some pretty rough coffee to finish up. The food might be great, it might be okay, but you’re gonna see
people having their lunch, workers having their lunch,
it’s just a great experience, I just love it. Okay, must do number six,
look, I know you have a lot to pack into your holiday
here in Spain, but you have to take time for the sobremesa, a very important cultural tradition and your chance to really slow down. So, Yoly, what is the sobremesa? – Well, after a big lunch,
you’ll have had your dessert, maybe coffee, and then
you just stay there, stay put at the restaurant
and order some tapitos, order some shots, order
some G and Ts or liquors. And you’re gonna be sipping on them and just spend time with your family or your friends, whoever
you’ve been having lunch with and just, yeah, just talk and laugh and it’s a great, great moment of the day. – It’s a really great moment. – We don’t do this everyday, obviously, maybe during the weekend
and special occasions, but it’s a wonderful,
wonderful experience. – And the gin and tonics
will often times be huge, that’s the thing, they’ll
be really, really big. And you’re gonna sip that and it’s just a wonderful experience. So enjoy the sobremesa, really important, take some time for that. Okay, so must do number five,
and that is drink local wine. You’re gonna be traveling
around this country and there’s 60-odd wine regions in Spain. But you’re constantly gonna
see the two most famous ones which are Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Now, they’re super famous,
they make amazing wine, but what I love is when
we’re traveling around, is to look beyond those and
see what wine do they have from that region, whether
you’re in Granada, whether you’re in Valencia,
whether you’re in Galicia, find out what the local
wine is and order that. It might not be amazing,
it will go with the food. What grows together, goes
together, all that kind of idea. And it’s just kind of fun
to be drinking the wine that reflects the identity of the place. But here’s the thing, Yoly,
how do we order local wine when we’re sitting in a bar or restaurant? – Well, you want to go and ask, (speaks in foreign language) (speaks in foreign language), that means do you have wine from here, and that will hopefully
give you a local wine that might not be the
greatest in your life, but there will be a
story behind and, yeah, it’ll have more soul. – Exactly, more soul, I
love that, it’s so true. Like when we were in
the Alpujarras recently, we made a video which I’ll link to, is that we were drinking costa wine, which is a wine you can only
really get in the Alpujarras. You don’t even see it outside
that region of Granada and it was just wonderful to drink. I don’t know, it’s just
part of the magic of travel is eating and drinking
what is from that place. So drink local wine, really important. Must do number four, now
I said at the beginning that we weren’t gonna
include paella in this list as one of the typical
things that you must do, and we are, but we aren’t,
we’re gonna give it a twist. So, I would say that a
must do is to eat paella but eat it how it should be eaten. Look, there’s plenty of
frozen paella in this country, seems like every
restaurant, every corner bar will serve paella and a
lot of it’s really bad and frozen so you wanna eat it in a way that the locals eat it and
have that more, kind of, local and authentic experience. So, Yoly, how do the
locals eat paella here? – So, paella, we have it
for lunch, never for dinner, so that’s a key point. We have it for lunch and
we have it on the weekends, as well, Sundays, typically. And then, I mean, it’s a
dish that comes from Valencia so, hopefully you can go to Valencia and enjoy a wonderful
paella in a sunny day in the albufera. But, if you’re not planning
on going to Valencia then maybe try to find
a Valencian restaurant. – And I should just add on
that rice dishes in Spain don’t just come from
Valencia, there’s rice dishes from the north of Spain,
with a lot of sea food, from Morthea as well, which
is to the south of Valencia. So yeah, you wanna kind of
do a little bit of research and as I say, have that really local and authentic experience. So, do paella right, please. Okay, so, must do number three, and this is one dear to your heart, Yoly, and that is you must see flamenco and you must see flamenco that’s great. So, I don’t know, why do people
sometimes not see flamenco when they come to Spain, Yoly? – Well, some people come
here and they might think that flamenco is all about
dancing, for example, and maybe they don’t enjoy dancing. Flamenco is way more than dancing, it’s also singing and
it’s also guitar playing. – It’s very dramatic isn’t it. – It’s very dramatic, I mean,
the dancing is fantastic as well, and it’s actually
the one thing that people really kind of enjoy right,
straight away like that. So, come and see flamenco,
there’s great flamenco in Spain. Mainly, of course, it
comes from Ana Lucia, there is great flamenco in Ana Lucia. There is also fantastic
flamenco here in Madrid, we are spoiled for quality. And there is also great
flamenco in Barcelona. If you’re here in Madrid, go and ask me, I have usually great recommendations. There’s also a good
blog post in my website, theflamencoguide.com, where
I give a few recommendations for good places to see great flamenco. – Okay, so must do number two
and that is eat something, or many things, that
scare you a little bit. Look, I know that you’re
gonna have paella, chocolate con churros, those
are great things to have here. But push yourself beyond that
and try some of those dishes that you might feel a bit
kind of squeamish about. What would some examples of
dishes that you love, Yoly, that maybe people might
feel a bit squeamish about? – Well I would say I love
snails, I love blood sausage. Pigs ears is one of my
favorites, actually. (laughs) I love plantas, so, on the grill, (laughs) I don’t enjoy them boiled so much. I also love sweetbreads,
which is a gland, right? – Yeah, it’s a gland
from the neck of a lamb. And that’s really interesting
because if you said to people, hey, do you
want some sweetbreads, which are the thymus gland of a lamb, they’d be like, are you
crazy, I’m not gonna eat that. And because I’ve mentioned that Casatone, this bar that we love in
Madrid, does great sweetbreads or mujerjas, people are raving about them are making pilgrimages to try them. Putting them, mentioning me
on Instagram and trying them and it just shows that
there’s these dishes that we sometimes have mental blocks about but if someone gets you excited
about it and you try it, you might just fall in love with it. Yeah, blood sausage,
snails, things like that. So try and try some of these dishes ’cause they’re so wonderful. The only thing I don’t
really like is brains. Your mother eats brains, or used to. – Yeah, lamb brains,
cecitos, she calls them. – I’m still working on that one. – Yeah, not a fan. – That’s my scary one, still
need to get over that hump but working on it. Okay guys, so we made it and we’ve arrived at must do number one. Now this is one that Yoly and
I talked quite a bit about, whether to include and it
might sound a little strange at first, but bear with us and
that is, must do number one is talk to strangers in Spain. This is a country where
people are really comfortable talking to strangers in
public, whether you’re sitting on your park bench and you
offer the person next to you some pipas, or whether you’re
at the bar and you’re having a drink, you can just sort
of strike up a conversation. Now I know, you might not speak Spanish and they might not speak English. You might speak some Spanish and more and more people do speak English. And if you just have
just a little bit each, I’m sure you can have
some sort of interaction. So I think this is
really, really important. But why is this important, Yoly? Why did we kind of decide
that this was number one? – Well, I mean, people are open to it. Like, really, trust us. We are kind of open. I think every single day I
do strike up a conversation with a stranger, in some shape or form.
– That’s awesome. – And then it’s a great way
to learn about the country, more stuff about us, to
connect with the locals. I think it’s a way to see
how the country’s doing also. – See how people’s lives are– – Yeah! – Hear their story a little bit. So, I think if you kind
of maybe you need a beer to kind of get a little Dutch courage, or a couple more pipas. (Yoly laughing) But I think if you kind of get past that and maybe try it a few times
and suddenly you will connect with someone who you can communicate with, you have a bit of language in common. I think it’s just fascinating
and you’ll learn a few things, and I think that’s wonderful. So that is tip number one. Let us know in the
comments when you do it, we’d love to hear about your experiences. Guys, what did we get right,
what did we get wrong, what did you agree with and
what did you disagree with? Please, let us know in the comments. – And if you’re enjoying the videos and want to experience Spain
like a local, subscribe! – And we’ll see you in the next video. Thanks for watching. Hasta luego.
– Ciao!