Why This Cultural European Country Is Surging In Popularity With American Travelers

Why This Cultural European Country Is Surging In Popularity With American Travelers

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There are many tempting destinations when it comes to considering a European trip, not least of all in sunny Spain.

Cities like Barcelona, Seville, and Madrid are tempting enough before you even begin to consider beach destinations such as the Costa del Sol, the Balearic Islands, or even the Canary Islands – Spain really does have it all.

Tourist woman in Calella de Palafrugell, Catalonia, Spain near of Barcelona. Scenic fisherman village with nice sand beach and clear blue water in nice bay.

And the fact of the matter is that American travelers have simply been loving Spain over the past year.

The latest data from the Spanish Ministry of Tourism shows that more than 3.5 million Americans have visited Spain in 2023, which is over 17% higher than in the last pre-pandemic year 2019.

And the forecast for 2024 shows that this figure could continue to grow – so just why is one of Europe’s cultural gems so popular with American travelers right now?

Universal Appeal

As mentioned above, Spain has a little bit of something for everyone.

Iconic attractions such as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona or Plaza Mayor in Madrid will always draw in the crowds who love to experience the archetypal European city break.

Then there’s the region of Andalusia in the south of Spain with intriguing cities that show the country’s Moorish history such as Seville, Cordoba, and Malaga.

the mesquita mosque in cordoba andalusia spain

From Malaga, head east along the coast to find some of Spain’s best resorts, which are perfect for families and couples.

There are even many idyllic island destinations to choose from, such as the Balearic Islands, which recently smashed their tourism record, and the volcanic Canary Islands, which lie off the coast of northwest Africa.

woman solo traveler looking out at la graciosa island in lanzarote canary islands spain

For those who prefer to wander from the beaten path, Spain has some lesser-known destinations such as Galicia that are ideal for discovering different, more rustic sides of the country.

Flights Are Plentiful And Affordable

The choice of flights from the U.S. to Spain has increased alongside the popularity of the country.

Americans can fly nonstop to a wide range of destinations in Spain including the likes of Mallorca.

According to travel booking website Kayak, roundtrip flights from New York to Spain can cost as little as $400, and from Los Angeles, they can cost around $500.

aerial shot of madrid including real madrid soccer stadium

However, the prices of flights vary massively depending on the time of year – be flexible with your dates and you’re bound to find a good deal.

Digital Nomads Are Welcome

The Spanish digital nomad visa has been very popular since it first launched back in May 2023 as part of the country’s StartUp Act.

To be eligible, you must prove you earn double the Spanish minimum wage (about $2,700 per month), must be from outside the European Economic Area, and must not have been a resident in Spain in the last five years.

woman digital nomad on laptop in barcelona with cute dog

You can stay for up to a year on the visa and can then apply for an extension after that – you can also bring a spouse or partner, but the amount you must earn goes up by around 25% if you do.

The visa even allows you to work for Spanish companies, provided the money from that makes up no more than 20% of your total income.

aerial view of the old city walls and towers in valencia spain

Cities such as Seville and Valencia have proven to be very popular hangouts for digital nomads thanks to their great weather, interesting culture, and great transport links.

Spanish Life Is Great

Immersing yourself in the culture of Spain for a few weeks is good for the soul.

Life here is a slower pace than in America, with time taken out to enjoy coffee with friends an essential part of life (as are afternoon siestas).

Evening plans tend to happen much later in Spain than in America too – if you’re heading out for dinner, realistically don’t even think about it until at least 8pm (and even that is a little early for Spain).

People in Spain also know how to throw a party, with a rich calendar of fiestas throughout the year that are often a great way to see some of the traditions in action such as Flamenco dancing and great music.

flamenco dancers at the plaza de espana in seville

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