This summer, it seems like everyone is traveling to Europe. Whether you’ve got your own European vacation planned this summer and don’t want it to end or are dreaming of getting a taste of Italy or France, we’ve got you covered. Here’s your how-to guide to vacation like a European this summer — without ever leaving Toronto, this time with all things Spain.
Dance like nobody’s watching
Deeply rooted in Spanish culture, flamenco encompasses music, dance and singing and is characterized by hand clapping, footwork and intricate hand and body movements. Head to Lula Lounge on Friday and Saturday nights for Latin nights with a live salsa band and DJ. If you’re not a dancing pro, the city’s top instructors offer lessons too!
Gorge on paella
Spain’s most famous dish, paella originates from the region around Valencia and is available in two varieties: the classic meat-based version of chicken and rabbit and the seafood paella. At Toronto’s Tapas at Embrujo, the star of the show is the extensive selection of paellas. From the Bomba loaded with chicken, shrimp, mussels and chorizo, to the aromatic saffron-infused rice with squid, it’s almost impossible to choose just one.
Hit up a summer music festival
Some of the most spectacular music festivals in the world, including long-standing mainstays like Primavera Sound, along with its vibrant nightlife scene makes Spain a popular destination for music lovers. Discover a variety of musical genres at Toronto’s many upcoming music fests, including Electric Island (techno), Toronto Summer Music Festival (classical) and the Beaches International Jazz Festival.
Make a grape escape
Spain boasts a diverse selection of wines from renowned regions like La Rioja and Penedè and is the third largest producing wine country in the world. For an extraordinary experience, embark on the captivating five-hour Niagara Aerial Winery Tasting Tour. The experience begins with a scenic flight, providing a bird’s-eye view of the breathtaking vineyards in the area. Upon landing, you’ll be chauffeured in a luxurious limo bus and indulge in the finest wines from award-winning vineyards in the region.
Join a tapas crawl
Tapas holds a significant place in Spanish culture, seamlessly blending drinks and small dishes with the joys of socializing with friends. In Toronto, you too can hop from bar to bar at Eating Through TO’s Cocktail and Tapas Crawl. Beginning with food and bevvies in an authentic Spanish bar, the crawl then heads down the road for tapas with a French-Cantonese flair. The evening ends on a high note at a funky ’70s-themed bar where soul food and music will top off the night.
Visit a master of architecture
Hailed as a 20th-century masterpiece, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in northern Spain designed by world-renowned Canadian architect Frank Geary is a must-visit. In 2004, Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) joined the league of modern museum structures showcasing contemporary architectural brilliance when Gehry designed a series of new additions to the AGO, including the Dundas Street facade, Gallery Italia and the iconic spiral staircase, which have become symbols of the institution’s unique character. Plus, while there, you can peruse the museum’s permanent collection, which includes over 120,000 works spanning the first century to the present day.