Myth #1. Bullfighting is Spain’s national sport, we’re all bullfighters and everyone enjoys it.
This one couldn’t be farther from the truth. First of all, bullfighting is not a sport. And second, bullfighting is a highly controversial topic. Of course it still has many aficionados - including some high profile fans like the former King Don Juan Carlos I and his daughter Infanta Elena - but they have to face animal rights activists and people who oppose animal cruelty. Bullfighting has even been forbidden in the Canary Islands and in Cataluña! The real national sport over here is football.
Myth #2. Everyone dances Flamenco.
Hrr… no. Although we’ve written about Flamenco, not all of us know how to dance it (or how to play castañuelas, for that matter). Flamenco hails from Andalusia, a southern province of Spain, and it’s not a “tradition” anywhere else in the country. Of course, due to internal migration and high demand from tourists, you will find Flamenco shows in all the main cities. But if you expect all your Spanish friends to dance it, you’re in for a disappointment.
Myth #3. Spanish food is hot and spicy.
Because Latin American food is very spicy, people think Spanish food is spicy as well. But it really isn’t. We use paprika in many dishes - though not as much as Hungarian cuisine - and we have the famous Padrón peppers in Galicia. And here’s the catch: “pementos padrón, uns pican y otros non”, which roughly translates from Galician as “Padrón peppers, some are hot and others aren’t.”
Myth #4. It’s always sunny in Spain.
We wish! Winter in Madrid can be freezing cold. The continental climate of the innermost regions of the country is characterized by very hot temperatures in the Summer and harsh Winters. And in Galicia it will rain every other day during Autumn and Winter.