Spain is one of the few travel getaways in the world, providing a diverse range of locations for tourists to see and explore. The country’s present-day form has been shaped and influenced by the numerous empires that rose and fell through the tides of time. Many Spanish cities are home to ancient Roman remains, Islamic buildings from the Moorish era, medieval castles, and fortifications, as well as palaces and houses from the Castilian and Hapsburg eras. Many places also feature a significant amount of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Modernist buildings.
In this nation of delectable food, outstanding art, incredible music, exciting dances, and warm, hospitable people, here are the top 20 places you should definitely visit!
20 Best Places to Visit in Spain
With Spain’s rich heritage, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant lifestyle, you definitely wouldn’t want to miss these cultural hotspots! Here are 20 of the best places to visit in Spain:
This city in southern Spain traces its mentions up to several thousand years ago when Spain was a part of the Roman Empire. It was also the largest city under Moorish authority in the Middle Ages.
Cordoba housed the Mezquita, a massive Islamic mosque constructed between the 7th and 10th centuries. A portion of the mosque was turned into a cathedral after the Reconquista in the 13th century rather than being completely destroyed. The majority of the structure still features the original Islamic architecture.
The Cordoba Old Town, regarded as a Unesco World Heritage Site, houses a Roman bridge, lovely cobblestone lanes, and older buildings with unique architectural features.
The Fortress of the Christian Monarchs, the Street of Flowers, and the Old Jewish Quarter, with its lovely patios and gift stores, are other points of interest. A 14th-century synagogue can also be found in the city’s historic Judera or Jewish quarter.
These architectural wonders make Cordoba one of the best places to visit in Spain.
Málaga serves as an excellent example of the cultural contrasts present among Spanish cities. Elements in this city reveal the country’s North African influence. It is located on the Spanish Costa del Sol and dotted with numerous tourist communities. Málaga is a sizable vacation city that also serves as a port.
The architecture and art of this city share a Moorish/Islamic influence with many other southern Spanish cities. Alcazaba and Gibralfaro, two hilltop strongholds built by the Moors, can be found here. A cathedral built in the Renaissance style is also present.
This city is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. A sizable collection of his artwork is displayed in the museums here.
High rises with modern homes and rental apartments competing for coastal views balance the history and contemporaneity of this city. The area is a popular second home location for citizens of the UK and other colder European nations due to its warm and sunny climate.
Alicante is a popular coastal location due to its sunny weather, picturesque seasides, and towering rocky peaks.
Santa Bárbara Castle, which dates back to the ninth century, is perched atop Mount Benacantil, which frames the port city’s bustling coastline. You can visit the tapas bars in the old town in the evening, and enjoy a stroll along the marina.
To the northwest of Madrid, in central Spain, is the city of Segovia. The area is full of Roman ruins and was a significant metropolis throughout the Middle Ages.
The city’s Plaza Mayor, home to an intriguing museum of religious art, is where the Gothic cathedral is located. Given the abundance of eateries, cafés, and tapas bars in the Plaza Mayor neighborhood, it is a heaven for foodies.
The Moorish Alcazar fortress and medieval castle are among Segovia’s top tourist attractions. It’s thought that Walt Disney drew influence from this castle while designing Cinderella’s Castle for his theme parks.
Other must-see sights in the city are the enormous 16th-century Gothic church and the double-decked ancient Roman aqueduct.
Valencia, a port city in Spain, has a long history of commerce, particularly with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It is located on the nation’s southeast coast, bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
There are several lovely beaches and sea view spots in the city. For the more adventurous, a prominent outdoor destination is Albufera Park, an area with several hiking trails.
The city has several museums. The Museum of Fine Arts has a fantastic collection of Spanish masterpieces by artists like Goya and El Greco. You can also find many fascinating items in the Gonzalez Mart National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts. Kids can enjoy exploring the vast collection of dinosaur skeletons at the Natural Science Museum.
There is a Gothic-style church and ruins of old city walls present in the historic center of the old city. The Torres de Serranos, one of the city’s few intact gates, which also served as a prison for more than 300 years, can also be found here. You can also visit Plaza de la Reina as well.
Madrid, the largest city and Spain’s capital, is renowned for its vibrant nightlife. The city is home to several historical structures and universities. It houses a variety of ethnic groups, making it one of Europe’s most vibrant and diverse cities.
Madrid is a beautiful city with a blend of new and historic buildings. The city is divided into a number of neighborhoods, each of which has its own personality and attractions. These range from historic districts to communities with an elderly demographic, university districts, multicultural neighborhoods, and nightlife regions.
Plaza Mayor, an important tourist attraction, is well-known for its plethora of gift shops, cafes, and the bustling San Miguel Market.
Some of Madrid’s top tourist destinations also include the Royal Palace, where the monarch resides, as well as a bevy of magnificent cathedrals and important historical sites. These can be found in the city center.
Beautiful parks and zoos, football games, museums, art galleries, and concerts are just a few of the sights and activities Madrid has to offer.
The capital of Spain’s Basque country, which often seems like a completely distinct country, is this city in northern Spain. Despite being a part of Spain, it is formally referred to as an “independent community.”
Compared to other regions of Spain, this region’s language, cuisine, hidden gems, music, and culture as a whole are unique.
The amazing curved, titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum, which was built by Frank Gehry, opened in 1997, and it is credited with putting this formerly grimy industrial city in Spain on the tourist map worldwide.
The Art District, which is located all around the museum, is in addition to the artwork within. Oversized works of art and sculpture that are too big to be seen inside of a structure can be found here. It works well with Instagram pictures. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
The city’s parks and riverbanks, as well as the rolling hills that surround it, are fertile and green due to its climate, which is warmer and wetter than much of the rest of the country.
The only desert area on the continent is Almeria, a stunning Moorish metropolis, that features an unusual landscape of dusty, dry stretches and rocky outcrops.
Many of director Sergio Leone’s famous westerns, including The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, were filmed here because of how much the surroundings mimic the American Wild West (1966).
On the coast, the Cabo de Gata-Njar Natural Park has whitewashed fishing towns, pristine beaches, and salt flats. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
9. Barcelona: One of the Best Places to Visit in Spain
Barcelona, which is in northeastern Spain, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region because it has everything travelers are looking for in a European city, from historic architecture to busy shopping, vibrant culture, and hopping nightlife.
Barcelona’s top draw is Ciutat Vella, the ancient city. The Gothic Quarter, with its stunning, historic churches, Roman ruins, and cobblestone alleyways dotted with outdoor cafes and eateries, can be found here. Also, explore park güell.
La Placa Catalunya, which is surrounded by statues and fountains, is a well-liked gathering place and the center for local transit services. Barcelona’s pedestrian-only La Rambla and Barceloneta, one of the city’s best beaches, are popular places to stroll and sunbathe.
One of Barcelona’s most popular tourist destinations, Montserrat, is located close to the city. The Black Madonna, an underground lake, and secret caves are all located on Montserrat, which is reachable by hike, train, or cable car. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
10. San Sebastian
The provincial capital of Gipuzko, San Sebastian, is found in northern Spain’s Basque country, close to the Bay of Biscay. This seaside beautiful city is well-known for its beautiful beaches and exceptional culinary heritage.
San Sebastian is a small, quaint city that is divided into various areas and is packed with eateries, pintxo bars, designer stores, and an enclosed mall.
Many historic buildings in the Old Town were rebuilt in the 19th century after the city was almost completely devastated during the Napoleonic Wars.
The most well-known of these beautiful beaches, Playa de la Concha, which offers sunbathing and water activities including swimming, kayaking, and water skiing, is found in San Sebastian. Visit San Sebastian, which is home to some of the beautiful beaches in all of Europe.
Spain loves San Sebastian for its pintxos. Pintxos are little appetizers that can be made with a wide range of fresh meats, fish, and vegetables.
The city has a lot of festivals and events all year round. The San Sebastian Film Festival and the Jazz Festival draw the biggest crowds. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
The largest island in the Canary Islands is Tenerife. It is the favorite vacation spot of sun worshipers and is ideal for both young and old.
Natural ponds in the island’s north will appeal to nature enthusiasts, while those who want gorgeous beaches will head south. Tenerife experiences ideal weather all year long. It is flawless, in a word. Additionally, diving and turtle watching are perfect activities there.
Additionally, you can play golf on golf courses, go cycling, hiking, or paraglide. Get out of the hotel and discover regional traditions and crafts.
A volcano day trip with wine tasting or a luxury boat cruise with whale and dolphin viewing are just a few of the tours and activities you can book in Tenerife along with your flights there. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
Ibiza, the third-largest of the Balearic Islands, is situated off the east coast of Spain and is encircled by the Mediterranean Sea’s glistening waters.
The island actually offers a lot of distinct aspects, despite being known for its vibrant nightlife and summer club scene that draw well-known DJs to its shores.
Ibiza, which is somewhat rocky and rough, has stunning bays and beaches along its coastline, and this, combined with its warm, sunny, and dry environment, makes it a perfect beach vacation location.
Ibiza Town, the island’s largest city, is home to a magnificent walled ancient town built atop a hill with a view of the sea.
On the island, there are undoubtedly tranquil rural getaways and slumbering seaside villages, but Ibiza is primarily known for its spectacular party scene and electrifying electronic dance music.
In the summer, its packed clubs are open all night long till the sun rises over the water. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
Mallorca, the biggest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, has craggy cliffs, secret coves, and stunning beaches along its coastline. It is encircled by the Mediterranean Sea’s brilliant waters.
The island has been a popular tourist attraction for a long time because of its wonderful weather, the abundance of breathtaking landscapes, and friendly atmosphere.
While its stunning scenery is filled with seaside towns and resorts, its hilly interior is home to historic hilltop monasteries and peaceful villages.
Swimming, watersports, and sunbathing are all well-liked activities, and you can always find mouthwatering local cuisine and seafood wherever you go. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
Both the picturesque mountain village of Valldemossa and the pretty town of Soller are worth visiting for their beautiful, isolated locations.
14. Seville: One of the Best Places to Visit in Spain
The best place to visit in Southern Spain in Seville, because of its outstanding tourist attractions, exciting festivals, and lively nightlife. Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is also the region’s commercial and cultural hub – perfect for a city break in Spain.
Many stunning and significant historical sites can be found in Seville, the most notable of which is the magnificent Cathedral of Seville, where it is thought that Christopher Columbus is interred. Also explore Plaza de españa.
One of Spain’s most renowned festivals, the April Fair, is held each year in Seville. During this time, the city’s medieval streets are transformed into a massive celebration including centuries-old traditions, traditional attire, flamenco dancing, bullfights, and plenty of regional cuisine and drink. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
15. Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela, the regional capital of Galicia in northwest Spain, is well-known as the terminus of the Camino de Santiago, a well-known traditional pilgrimage.
This ancient pilgrimage, also known as the Way of St. James, is significant to many because it is thought that Santiago de Compostela is where St. James, an apostle of Jesus Christ, is interred.
Praza do Obradoiro, the main square, is where most pilgrims arrive. Many significant landmarks may be seen in this lively square, which is located in the city’s center, including the Santiago Cathedral, which houses St. James’s Tomb. Gelmrez Palace, Rajoy Palace, Catholic Kings Hostal, and San Jeronimo College are further historic structures in this area.
While the Museum of the Galician People presents the culture and history of the area, the Pilgrimage Museum is a great site to learn about the background and significance of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
16. Costa Brava
Another fantastic location in Spain is the lovely Costa Brava region of Catalonia. This extends to the French border along the nation’s northern Mediterranean coast, north of Barcelona.
Another ideal location is the Monasterio de Sant Pere de Rodes, a derelict monastery set on a mountaintop. The enormous church and the majority of the other structures still retain their original forms despite being ruins.
The monastery is situated in the Cap de Creus Natural Park region, close to Figueres, the city where Salvador Dali was born. The artist helped with the development and construction of the town’s enormous Dali Museum. It is among top places o visit in Spain.
Granada, the provincial capital of the Granada province, is situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern Spain. Granada, a medium-sized city, offers the ideal fusion of breathtaking attractions, traditional traditions, and vibrant nightlife.
The city’s most famous structures, the Granada Cathedral from the 16th century with its spectacular domed ceiling and the renowned Alhambra, a large Moorish palace with beautiful gardens and Arab baths, attest to the city’s tumultuous history.
The 100-year-old Spice Market is located in Albaicin, the Arabic Quarter. A variety of sellers offer vibrant tapestries, wall hangings, unique teas, and spices here in the background of Moorish architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant bougainvillea.
The Nevada Ski Station, located just outside the city, provides a variety of activities for all seasons, including snow skiing, sledding, mountain climbing, horseback riding, and cable car trips. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain’s Castilla La Mancha region is Cuenca, which is placed dangerously at the meeting point of two conjoined river valleys.
Its strategic location led to conflict over, the conquest of, and reign over by both Muslims and Christians. Early in the nineteenth century, Napoleon himself left his mark on the area.
Due to the various historic churches, a cathedral, and a castle that can be discovered tucked away among the meandering lanes, the ancient old town of this place is intriguing to explore.
Casas colgadas, also known as hanging houses, are a distinctive feature of the picturesque city and are constructed over the side of the clifftop on which Cuenca is set.
These amazing structures, which are best visible from the San Pablo Bridge, are not only incredible marvels of engineering but also make for some amazing photographs. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
Salamanca, the same name as a provincial capital and largest city, is located on the Northern Plateau of Spain beside the Tormes River.
City life revolves around the vibrant Plaza Mayor, which is flanked by cafes, bars, and restaurants. The square looks extremely beautiful at night when the magnificent structures are illuminated.
Other breathtaking locations nearby include the New and Old Cathedrals, both of which feature excellent architecture. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
Salamanca has a vibrant, young vibe despite the abundance of history because of its high student population. Unbelievably, the University of Salamanca, one of the oldest higher education institutions in Europe, was founded in 1218.
Puente Nuevo, the city’s most recognizable structure, was constructed in 1793 and spans the whole of the ravine.
The impressive bridges link El Ciudad, the old Moorish district of the city, which is home to magnificent cathedrals, opulent palaces, and lush gardens, with the more contemporary El Mercadillo neighborhood.
Ronda has long attracted writers and poets alike because of its rich cultural legacy, history, and beautiful clifftop environment. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
In conclusion, Spain is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. Everyone may find something to love, whether it be exquisite architecture or delectable cuisine.
Be sure to add these best places to visit in Spain to your wishlist!
Also read: 12 Most Exciting Castles in Spain