21 Most Famous Cities in Spain

famous cities in Spain
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Spain is a spectacular country located in the Southwestern part of Europe with beautiful cities and pristine beaches that are worth visiting. If you are looking forward to visiting Spain, make sure you take a look at the most famous cities in Spain in terms of their exquisite beauty, interesting museums, beautiful Gothic churches, futuristic buildings and best urban beaches.

Famous Cities in Spain

1. San Sebastian

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San Sebastian, located in Northern Spain of the Basque country is one of the most famous cities in Spain as it is blessed with a plethora of fine golden beaches, historic buildings with exquisite architectural styles, a quaint old town and amazing fine dining experiences.

San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain with magnificent beaches like La Concha, La Zurriola and Ondaretta Beach which are listed among the best beaches in Spain by tourists and locals alike. The city is deeply enriched with its amazing history and narrow cobblestone streets along the old town.

The city has a plethora of Michelin-star restaurants like Arzak, Kokotxa, Akelarre, Martín Berasategui, Mugaritz, Elkano, Alameda and Amelia, that stand true to their fine dining standards and excellent culinary delights. One must not miss out on San Sebastian’s signature pintxos, better known as pinchos when visiting Spain.

From visiting The International Film Festival in this Spanish city to exploring the magnificent museums and learning more about the history and culture, San Sebastian is a must-visit destination.

2. Valencia

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Valencia, the third largest city in Spain is also undoubtedly one of the most popular Spanish cities with tons of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and futuristic architecture that stands out from the rest of the famous cities in Spain.

This vibrant city is considered a futuristic city as it is home to the fabulous City of Arts and Sciences. Valencia is also well known for its beautiful beaches like La Malvarrosa beach, El Saler beach, Sagunto beach and the infamous El Cabanyal beach situated close to the city centre.

Some of the best things to do in Valencia include touring La Lonja de La Seda which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and then exploring the Plaza de la Virgen to learn more about the Spanish history and culture while strolling through the beautiful monuments and watching the magnificent mountains.

Try Valencia’s world-famous paella and explore various culinary delights by visiting the fine dining restaurants in Valencia like Ricard Camarena, Restaurant Apicius, El Poblet, Karak and La Salita de Begoña Rodrigo.

With a warm and cozy climate all year round and interesting places to visit, Valencia is a great holiday destination for Spain travelers to have an incredible experience like never before.

3. Santa Cruz De Tenerife

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Santa Cruz De Tenerife, situated on the Canary Islands is one of the most famous cities in Spain with historical buildings and historic churches along with other wonderful attractions. You get to see a multitude of amazing landscapes with great architectural styles while visiting Santa Cruz De Tenerife.

The extraordinary setting of this Spanish city allows you to enjoy numerous beaches like Playa de Las Teresitas, Playa de Las Gaviotas, Caleta de Negros and Playa de Roque Bermejo. The Playa de Las Teresitas is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Spain that attract tons of tourists from all over the world due to its magnificent beauty.

The best things to do in Santa Cruz de Tenerife are taking a stroll through the Plaza de España, Plaza Weyler, Plaza de La Candelaria and the Plaza del Principe de Asturias. These are the most famous squares in Santa Cruz that are worth visiting. You must also visit the Nuestra Señora de África market to spend some leisurely time shopping with your loved ones and try the authentic cuisine of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Some of the must-try restaurants while visiting Santa Cruz de Tenerife are Bodegon el Puntero, D’Tapas’26, Solana, Panzaburro Gastrotasca, Bodeguita Canaria and Cacio e Pepe.

Don’t miss out on the hidden gems of Santa Cruz like the Red Cave Viewpoint and also the popular attractions like the Tenerife Auditorium, Palmetum, Castle of San Cristóbal and The Museum of Nature and Archaeology.

4. Granada

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Granada is one of the most famous cities in Spain located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The laid-back city of Granada is prominent for its medieval architecture and its amazing history is something that draws the attention of every tourist alike.

The best and foremost thing that makes Granada stand out from the rest of the popular Spain cities is the spectacular Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alhambra is a historic fortification displaying Islamic architecture. People all over the world visit Granada to witness this grand masterpiece.

The Cathedral de Granada, Mirador de San Nicolás, Royal Chapel of Granada, Generalife, Parque de las Ciencias, Basilica de San Juan de Dios, Monasterio de San Jerónimo and Carmen de los Mártires are other historic landmarks and magnificent sights that are a must-see when you visit Spain.

To have a fulfilling dining experience at Granada, you must visit their best restaurants like El Trillo Restaurante Granada, El Mercader, Faralá Restaurant, Restaurante Palacio Andaluz Almona, Divino, Sapore an Italia and Restaurante Vegano Hicuri. Granada is also well known for serving free tapas whenever you order drinks at any bar.

This charming city located in Southern Spain is a great holiday destination for anyone who enjoys witnessing magnificent architecture and strolling through the historic city while also learning more about their culture and traditions.

5. Madrid

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The capital city of Spain is indisputably one of the most famous cities in Spain well-known for its historic buildings and the magnificent Royal Palace. Madrid is a fantastic one-stop destination for every Renaissance art lover and those who are yearning to learn more about Spanish culture and its fascinating history.

Out of all the best cities in Spain, Madrid tops the list of the most visited and admired Spanish cities due to its astounding museums, gigantic open squares, contemporary Spanish cuisine and dashing nightlife. The Plaza Mayor is one of the most famous open squares in Madrid offering various events for visitors throughout the year. This town square with nine gates is a quintessential way to explore the uniformity of the amazing architecture Spain has to offer.

Along with the Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace of Madrid, El Retiro park, Museo Nacional del Prado, Temple of Debod, San Miguel Market, Cathedral de la Almudena, Puerta de Alcalá, Matadero Madrid and Puerta del Sol are some of the must-visit places to explore while visiting Madrid.

When it comes to trying their fine cuisines, there are numerous fine dining restaurants you can try. The best restaurants in Madrid are Barracuda Mx, CEBO Madrid Restaurant, DSTAgE, Ramón Freixa Madrid, Coque and La Mi Venta.

6. Zaragoza

Zaragoza Cathedral
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Zaragoza, the capital city of Aragon is located in the Northeast of Spain between the two most famous cities in Spain that is Madrid and Barcelona. From intriguing attractions situated in the city centre to the nooks and crannies of this enchanting City, there is something for every traveller out there to have a fun-filled and exciting trip.

The Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pillar is one of the most well-known landmarks of Zaragoza that is frequently visited by tourists all over the world. This beautiful Spanish city has a plethora of other picturesque landmarks that must not be missed like the UNESCO world heritage site Aljafería Palace, Cathedral del Salvador de Zaragoza, Parque Grande José Antonio Labordeta, Plaza del Pillar and Puente de Piedra.

Another main reason that attracts flocks of people visiting Zaragoza is the ancient city walls and the well-preserved Roman ruins. You can also taste the authentic cuisine of Aragon by trying the best restaurants in Zaragoza. Some of our best picks are La Prensa, Restaurante la Senda, Celebris, Casa Unai, Novodabo and Los Victorinos which will offer you a fine dining experience with a taste of Aragon’s authentic flavours that will enthral your taste buds.

7. Barcelona

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Barcelona is one of the most famous cities in Spain and also the second largest city in Spain. This world-renowned tourist destination is loved by people all over the world because of its stunning beaches, luxurious fine-dining restaurants, exciting attractions and magnificent art.

The capital city of Catalonia is home to some of the best modern and Gothic architecture in the world like the iconic Basílica de la Sagrada Familia, Palace of Catalan music, Casa Milà, Casa Vicens, Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar, Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau and Joan Miro Foundation. Plan your day trip and make sure you don’t miss out on these magnificent architectural buildings!

Besides exploring the iconic landmarks in Barcelona, stop by the Picasso Museum to witness all of Pablo’s finest artworks that will leave you spellbound. Taking a walk around this beautiful city and exploring all the spectacular attractions is indeed one of the most remarkable things to do while you visit Spain.

Barcelona is also home to some of the finest beaches in Spain like Bogatell Beach, Barceloneta Beach, Nova Icària, Sant Sebastià and Nova Mar Bella. Get your shades and spend an incredible day soaking all the Mediterranean sun!

8. Alicante

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Alicante, one of the most famous cities in Spain located on the Costa Blanca is a hidden getaway for those looking for bustling nightlife, beautiful beaches and excellent culinary scenes.

Stroll through the Old Town Quarter to explore the beautiful Gothic churches, medieval castles and ancient buildings. Some of the iconic landmarks and architectural sights you must explore in Alicante are Passeig Esplanada d’Espanya, Castillo de Santa Bárbara, Guadalest Valley, Barrio Santa Cruz, Basilica Santa Maria, Monte Benacantil and the Alicante Town Hall.

Alicante is known to be a hub for foodies with excellent fine dining restaurants, tapas and bars to fill in your tummy and get back to exploring the magnificent city. Some of the highly recommended restaurants in Alicante are La Crispeta, Mish Mish, Steki Restaurante, Sibuya Urban Sushi Bar, Tabula Rasa and Cabana Bar.

Excavate the city and its islands by going on a boat tour and sailing in an impressive yacht through the tranquil waters. Choose the best boat touring agencies like Adventurer Catamaran Alicante, Oceane Boat Charter or the Nomad Sail to have a promising and thrilling experience like never before.

9. Seville

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Seville, the capital city of Andalusia is one of the most famous cities in Spain that drags plenty of tourists from all over the world because of its rich cultural heritage ranging from ancient Roman ruins and Royal Palaces to historic Cathedrals. Explore the world of cultural and artistic richness while visiting Seville.

Explore the narrow medieval streets and the Old Town of Seville. The Barrio Santa Cruz being the Jewish quarter of Seville is one of the main tourist destinations with flocking tourists at any time of the year.

Some of the must-visit places in Seville are the Royal Alcazar, Tomb of Christopher Columbus, Cathedral de Seville, Plaza de Espana square, Museum of Flamenco dance, Giralda Tower, Parque de Maria Luisa and Space Metropol Parasol.

You cant leave Seville without taking part in its tapas culture and visiting a plethora of tapas bars spread throughout the city. The Pelayo Bar de Tapas, La Brunilda Tapas and Castizo Tapas Bar are some of our best picks. The city also has an incredible list of restaurants like Petra, Gusto, La Linterna Ciega, La Cayetana, Az-Zait Restaurant, Espacio Eslava and Abaceria del Postigo.

10. Santiago De Compostela

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Santiago De Compostela is a pilgrimage site in the Northwest and one of the most famous cities in Spain with narrow streets, historic squares and outstanding sculptures.

The top sights in Santiago de Compostela are Parque de Alameda, Mosteiro de San Martiño Pinario, Praza da Quintana de Vivos, Colegiata de Santa María de Sar, Museo del Pueblo Gallego, Praza das Praterías and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Once you reach Santiago de Compostela, begin your day while exploring the magnificent Galician coast and glimpsing at the traditional Galician village. The Camino de Santiago is the pilgrimage route that will lead you to explore the finest landmarks and architectural edifices. The Romanesque architecture in the city of Santiago de Compostela is something of admiration to its fellow locals due to its magnificent beauty and intricate details.

If you are weary of the hustle and bustle of city life and visiting places that are touristy, head over to the rural villages and enjoy the tranquillity and peacefulness they offer. The best way to explore this Pilgrim City is by foot. From tasting wines to visiting tapas bars and other historical landmarks, the city is just not confined to the Pilgrims!

11. Oviedo

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The capital city of Asturias in the Northwest region is one of the most famous cities in Spain that provides the best quality of life with an excellent culinary scene for every ravenous foodie out there. Oviedo is one of the most popular Spain cities that has art scattered all over the streets and is blessed with numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The city’s Old Town is where all the iconic landmarks are situated. Oviedo is a small city with cobbled streets that helps you explore the attractions and historical sights on foot. Some of the iconic landmarks of Oviedo are the Oviedo Cathedral, Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias, Campo de San Francisco, Basilica de San Juan el Real, Iglesia de Santa María del Naranco, Plaza del Fontan and Estatua de Mafalda.

This hidden gem of a city offers scrumptious local cuisine that must be explored in its entirety. Some of the most famous Asturias local cuisines are Fabada, Cachopo, Arroz Con Leche, grilled meats, cheeses and cider. The best restaurants to try their delightful cuisines are Casa Fermín, La Corte de Pelayo and Bodega el Molinon.

12. Salamanca

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The Golden City of Salamanca is among the famous cities in Spain that lets you discover the whole of the city and its major attractions on foot as all the sights and monuments are closely situated. The Golden City gets its name from the sandstone buildings that keep changing colour throughout the day.

Stroll through the Plaza Mayor which is the most significant public location of this peaceful city. The Baroque architecture that surrounds the Plaza is something of a wonder to be fully explored. After visiting the Plaza Mayor, walk a few steps to reach the Palacio de la Salina which is adorned with its historic architecture.

While visiting Salamanca, don’t miss out to explore the Casa de las Conchas, La Clerecia, Universidad de Salamanca, Cathedral Nueva, Casa Lis, Convento de San Esteban, Roman Bridge of Salamanca, leronimus Tower and Monterrey’s Palace.

Explore the local cuisine and dine at the finest restaurants in Salamanca like Vinodiario, El Alquimista, Restaurant En la Parra, El Mesón de Gonzalo, Cuzco Bodega, El Monje, Fonda Arcediano, El Pecado, La Vacavieja and Zazu Bistro.

13. Córdoba

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Cordoba is a beautiful Andalusian City located in the Southern Spanish region that is the epitome of rich culture and intriguing history. It is one of the most famous cities in Spain with stunning Moorish architecture that attracts tons of tourists every year to this wonderful city.

Once you visit Cordoba, your first destination must be the great Mosque-Cathedral which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that recollects the rich history of the city. Some of the other top sights in Córdoba that you must visit are the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs, Medina Azahara, the spectacular Courtyards of Córdoba, Palacio de Viana, Roman Temple of Córdoba, Patios Cordobeses and Córdoba Synagogue.

The city well known for its religious aspect also has an excellent culinary tradition. Their most famous local cuisine includes the delicious salmorejo which is a thick chilled tomato soup, Pinchos Morunos, bull tail stew known as rabo de toro, Flamenquin and fried eggplants with molasses along with some local wines like Montilla-Moriles.

14. Bilbao

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Bilbao, the port city is one of the most famous cities in Spain to explore the Basque lifestyle and traditions. This industrial port city is well known for its amazing history, magnificent art, generous locals and spectacular views of the hills and mountains.

Start your day trip by visiting the Guggenheim Museum to explore the magnificent modern art presented by the most talented Spanish and International artists from all over the world. The Guggenheim Museum is surrounded by stunning sculptures outside the museum that can be explored by anyone freely.

Some of the top sights you must see while exploring Bilbao are the Arriaga Theatre, Casco Viejo, Plaza Moyúa, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Vizcaya Bridge, Puppy, La Ribera Market and Plaza Nueva.

One must not leave Bilbao without trying the authentic Basque cuisine, pintxos and patxaran. Some of Bilbao’s must-try dishes include Marmitako, Bacalao a la vizcaína, kokotxas, piperade, goxua and sagardoa.

15. Girona

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Girona is a beautiful city located in the Northeastern region of Catalonia prominently known for its medieval architecture, beautifully landscaped regions and Roman ruins. It is one of the most famous cities in Spain and has various major attractions like the Cathedral of Girona, Basílica de Sant Feliu, Banys Àrabs, Museu d’Art de Girona, Onyar, La Lleona, Sant Daniel Monastery and Torre Gironella.

Take a stroll around the Jewish Quarters to witness the cobblestoned streets of the Jews dating back over 500 years ago. If you are keen to explore the true beauty of Girona city, take a walk along the medieval walls called the Passeig de la Muralla. If you are a Game of Thrones fanatic, make sure to pay a visit yourself or join the guided tour to the sites of G.O.T and have an incredible experience.

Being home to numerous Michelin Starred restaurants, Girona is the hub to experience the best gastronomy in Spain. Some of the must-try fine dining restaurants in Girona are Massana Restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, La Fabrica Girona, Divinum and Café le Bistrot. The regional dishes you must have while visiting Girona are the sweet botifarra sausage with apple, chicken with crayfish and beef served with wild mushrooms.

16. Ibiza

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Ibiza is one of the most famous cities in Spain located in the Balearic Islands. Ibiza is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, bustling nightlife, magnificent landscapes, luxurious fine-dining restaurants and delightful weather that brings thousands of visitors every year.

Start by taking a stroll off to the Ibiza port and also visiting the Dalt Vila neighbourhood. The must-visit sights and attractions of Ibiza are the Elvissa Harbour, Castle of Ibiza, Plaça del Parc, Portal de ses Taules, Museu Puget and Baluard de Sant Pere.

Make sure you also spare some time to visit the stunning beaches of Ibiza like Cala Comte, Ses Salines, Cala Bassa, Sa Caleta, Cala Pada, Playa de Talamanca and Cala Benirras. You can also book your stay at a grand resort in Ibiza with a beach view like the beautiful Nobu Hotel, Sud Ibiza Suites and Grand Palladium White Island Resort.

17. Toledo

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Toledo is an ancient City located in Central Spain prominent for its cultural heritage and breathtaking monuments. The City of the Three Cultures is the name given to this vibrant city due to its significance to the culture of Muslims, Christians and Jews.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most famous cities in Spain well known for its cultural heritage, gastronomy and tons of attractions to explore.

Some of the must-visit sights in Toledo are Cathedral de Toledo, Mirador del Valle, Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes, Sinagoga del Tránsito, Museo de Santa Cruz, Mezquita Cristo de la luz, Puente de Alcántara and Las Murallas.

Try their local delights like marzipan, carcamusas, saffron nirvana and game meat stew to have an incredible experience with their authentic flavours. If you are looking forward to dining at the best restaurants in Toledo, look no further than La Orza, El Peñón or Taberna el Botero.

18. Huesca

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Huesca is one of the famous cities in Spain well known for its historic significance and cultural heritage. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Northeast Spain that is well known for livestock farming.

Huesca is home to several monumental buildings and other major attractions that drive thousands of visitors to this enchanting city. Do visit the Huesca Cathedral, Old Town of Huesca, Monasterio San Pedro el Viejo, Circulo Oscense, Colegiata de Bolea, Parque Miguel Servet, Loarre Castle, Plaza del Pilar and Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar.

Visiting Huesca is a terrific opportunity to explore the rustic cuisine of the Aragon locality. Some of Aragon’s must-try local dishes are lamb roast, breadcrumbs with sausage and meat called Migas a la Pastora, chiretas, sopas de ajo and tortilla. Huesca is well known among people with a sweet tooth as this charming city offers tons of sweets of every kind. Some of the best sweet items are glorias de Huesca, pastel ruso and trenza de Almudevar.

19. Cuenca

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Cuenca is one of the most famous cities in Spain better known as the walled city with cobbled streets and medieval ruins. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has tons to offer to its visitors ranging from historic monuments to magnificent natural wonders of the world.

If you are fond of festivities and all things cultural, Cuence is the best place to visit in Spain. From magnificent natural history museums and historical landmarks to Cathedrals and art museums, Cuenca has got it all to favour all the nature and history geeks out there.

Make sure you make a list of all the top sights to visit in Cuenca like Casas Colgadas de Cuenca, Museo Paleontológico de Cuenca, San Pablo Bridge, Cuenca Cathedral, Science Museum of Castilla La Mancha, Torre de Mangana, Iglesia San Pedro, Antonio Pérez Foundation Museum, Plaza Mayor and Espacio Torner.

20. Málaga

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Malaga is a port city located in Costa del Sol that offers magnificent sandy beaches, dashing nightlife, amazing gastronomy and vibrant artistic heritage. It is undoubtedly one of the most famous cities in Spain with an impressive number of galleries and monumental edifices.

This enchanting port city is also known as a walking city as all the attractions and sights are within a walking distance and hence can be fully explored in a day or two.

The Picasso Museum Malaga, Alcazaba, Castillo de Gibralfaro, Mercado Central de Atarazanas, Jardín Botánico Histórica, Centre Pompidou Malaga, Camino del Rey, Málaga Park, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga and Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga are all major attractions and historical landmarks you must explore while visiting Spain.

Málaga is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain with pristine waters and yellow sands making it a great spot to spend quality time with your family. Some of the best beaches in Málaga are Playa de la Malagueta, Playa de el Palo, Playa el Salón, Playa Peñón Del Cuervo and Playa De La Misericordia.

21. Pamplona

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Pamplona, the capital city of Navarre province is one of the most famous cities in Spain for the running of the bulls that are conducted on the festival of San Fermin annually in July.

Pamplona has an extensive list of attractions and landmarks like Plaza del Castillo, Museum of Navarra, Cathedral de Pamplona, Parque de la Taconera, Ayuntamiento de Pamplona, Monumento al Encierro, Iglesia de San Saturnino, Pamplona bull ring and Portal de Francia.

One must not leave Pamplona without trying its traditional cuisines like Estofado de toro, Revuelto de setas made with wild mushrooms called setas, Ajoarriero and Pochas estofadas along with their scrumptious Canutillos de crema dessert.

Final Note

As you reach the end of this article, you must have realised that there are a lot of famous cities in Spain that are worth visiting. From stunning sights and historical landmarks to extraordinary culinary experiences, Spanish cities have tons to offer to every kind of traveler out there. Whether you are an aficionado of visiting stunning landmarks and art museums or simply enjoy strolling around the cities and soaking in all the beauty, Spain has got it all for you!

Also, check out the Best Cities to Visit in the UK.


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