Spain’s Top 4 Cultural Events You Should Attend At Least Once

Spain’s Top 4 Cultural Events You Should Attend At Least Once

The Big 4 in Art Events in Spain

If you want to experience Spain’s cultural scene in a more concentrated fashion, then planning your trip according to the 4 big art events of the country would be a good idea. Film, photography, music and theatre festivals are elegant events that surpass a mere visit to a museum or a gallery and that give you the chance to interact with curators, artists, people who share your passion for art in any of its forms. Spain is a place open to artistic manifestations and these are the events where you can get to know this best.

The 4 main cultural events in Spain

Madrid International Film Festival

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Logo of the Madrid International Film Festival

The Madrid International Film Festival is one of the most successful events of its kind in Europe. In the 5 years it has been organized, it managed to create a professional network of industry professionals and it has brought together filmmakers and sponsors in the idea of making new and daring projects possible. Each event ends with a celebratory gala dinner for nominees and winners, an elegant way of rewarding those involved in making happen one of Spain’s most important cultural events.

Attending the festival means getting to watch a very fine selection of movies. The Madrid International Film Festival is known for being inventive in its choice of films which are of all types and for giving a special place in the limelight to new comers. Apart from the award ceremony, the rest of the events are free. This includes Q&A panels, screenings, talks and networking events. This is the essence of real networking among industry professionals and people with a passion for artistic films. If you do not have the time to attend the festival at full length you can make a selection or go to the short film section. Surely there is something for everyone at this well organized event.


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There have been over 600 exhibits held under the umbrella of the PHotoEspana event since its launch in 1998. With more than half a million visitors a year, this is the most visited cultural event in Spain. It has become the new world standard for photography festivals, going for its 20th anniversary and the 20th successful edition.

The Festival has followed the evolution of photography up to the digital era, making these current editions interesting from the standpoint of the industry talks. This is another good opportunity to consolidate the festival’s reputation in the years to come. The old and new, the local and the foreign come together in the same context: to present a different vision of the same world. This is what makes the Festival unique, inclusive and successful.

Each edition has a specific theme and the exhibits are divided into programs for the Official Selection and the Festival Off. As it is organized by La Fabrica and supported by public and private institutions, the exhibits take place in a number of locations. The Official Selection involves museums, institutions and large centers for exhibition, while the Festival Off implies exhibits in galleries and other types of venues.

Granada Music Festival

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A show during the Granada Music Festival

Imagine spending a warm and perfect July night listening to a concert or watching an amazing dance performance in the romantic setting of the Alhambra gardens. The Granada Music Festival is wrapped in scents of jasmine and myrtle and the organizers know how to make great use of the Royal Chapel, the Abbey of Sacromonte, the Carthusian Monastery or the Casa de Castril and Casa de los Tiros among historical monuments. Their architecture is used to bring to life a unique musical event.

You could be attending ballet, flamenco and modern dance shows at any of the venues included in the festival itinerary and you could spend your nights in the company of music lovers just like yourself, but in the most unique setting. Each edition of the festival has its own theme and the shows are organized accordingly. The national and international press has always given great reviews and this has increased the number of visitors to the event. More than 30,000 visitors a year to be more precise.

International Classical Theatre Festival in Almagro

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A show during the International Classical Theatre Festival in Almagro

Another festival held in July is the Almagro International Classical Theatre Festival. For the past 37 years, this summer event has been drawing over 60,000 people to the city of Castilla-La Mancha, in front of the Corral de Comedias stage which has been used for nearly 400 years now. Other venues are included in the festival to host its diverse performance program and to complete it with various workshops and theatre related events.

The Baroque setting of the theatre stage which has been hosting performances since the 16th century is the best place to enjoy the works of Molière, Shakespeare, Lope de Vega and of other classic playwrights. It takes around 40,000 people to make the festival a full success and a destination that needs to be on your list of events to attend in Spain.

Attending any one of these elegant events would be reason to get excited about your trip to Spain. The people here are all interesting and well educated in the field of your interest. You can always find someone to have a great conversation with and expand your views on various topics. Of all the types of travel, culture trips are the most eye-opening experiences. The best thing to do is to check out these events for yourself and decide which one is your favorite.