7 Things to Read and Watch Before going to Spain

So you’re planning a trip to Spain? Why not indulge in some of the country’s finest literature and most representative cinematic pieces before you go? Here are my recommendations:


The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Ruiz is probably my favourite modern Spanish authors and it is fair to say this is the book that shot him to international limelight. Originally from Barcelona, this is where his 2001 book is set, alternating between past and present, and shrouded in mystery.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

The classic adventure book from the early 1600s is impossible to ignore for fans of Spanish or chivalric romance. It bore a heavy influence on future work such as Dumas’ The Three Musketeers.

Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones

A historical novel set during the 14th century construction of the Santa Maria Del Mar cathedral in Barcelona. For fans of Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth.Books about Spain


Pan’s Labyrinth

This film rapidly became a classic, depicting a fantastic adventure under the rule of General Franco in the thirties.

Talk to Her

Almodóvar is one of Spain’s most well recognised directors. Two men, a nurse and a writer, that meet by chance in the audience of a ballet are reunited when the writer’s girlfriend falls into a coma and is treated in the hospital where the other man works.


Another Almodóvar, this film had to be included as it is a firm favourite among fans. It tells the generational story of three women in Spain.

Aquí No Hay Quien Viva

This is a sitcom I used to watch to practice my Spanish. Set in an apartment building in Madrid, all the neighbours cannot help but get involved with each other’s business.

Have any other suggestions? Add them below in the comment section! Follow me for new ideas for different countries every week.

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