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25 Best Things to Do in Spain

Besides the astonishing architectural heritage and the relaxing natural beauty, what makes the portrait of Spain genuine is the bustling flea market at El Rastro in Madrid , the frenzied nightlife scene of Barrio del Carmen in Valencia , the intrinsic fear of the Pamplona Bull Running, the sheer fun of Buñol’s La Tomatina festival, the week-long joy in La Feria de Sevilla of the flamenco, the pleasure from tapas and wine, the constant fiestas and siestas, and of course, the corrida.

All of this could of course take an entire year to embrace, but if time is on your side, it’s most certainly worth it! The country is reminiscent of a virus – once you become infected with the allure, it remains in your blood forever more, persistently reminding you of the unique experiences you’ve reveled in, within that sun-kissed paradise located on the Iberian Peninsula.

But let’s get on with our list of the best things to do in Spain !

1. Granada: The Alhambra

Alhambra, Granada

Chosen as a prestigious location to host his court, and looking down upon the city of Granada, the first Nasrid king, el Ahmar opted for Alhambra which was further enhanced and altered consistently by successive rulers to become an amazing complex that very few are able to rival.

Colossal chambers with grandiose ceilings, lofty halls, marble fountains, intimate royal baths, and pomegranate gardens, merely serve as a foretaste of this Moorish-Hispanic treasure. A guided tour will reveal to you the spiciest of secrets and shadiest of nooks that nestle in this historic gem, that some would argue is deserved of the title – the eighth wonder of the world.

2. Valencia: City of the Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias)

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is a futuristic construction that sprawls over 1.24 miles (2 km). It represents a bottomless well of attractions and many would say it’s a true cultural marvel. The alluring design is merely a foretaste of the innards.

The complex hosts the Umbracle, together with an outdoor art gallery and a large variety of indigenous plants, the Hemisfèric, with its Laserium, Planetarium, and Imax Cinema, the Principe Felipe Science Museum, which represents a center of interactive science, the Palau de les Reina Sofía – an opera house and performing arts center, and the Oceanográfico, Europe’s largest aquarium, hosting more than 500 marine species. This establishment will leave you in total awe.

3. Balearic Islands

Santanyi Beach In Mallorca, Balearic Islands Spain

Located in the Mediterranean, not far from mainland Spain’s east coast, the Balearic Islands represents four small islands, all very diverse from one another. Venture to Ibiza and it’s all about partying until you drop. Menorca on the other hand is more the oasis of tranquility and of natural grandeur. Mallorca is a mountainous island and has almost everything you’d likely expect from an idyllic holiday destination. Formentera offers wonderful beaches, but little more besides.

Together, the islands make for the perfect combination which tends to reflect that of continental Spain – fun, beautiful, and also versatile.

4. Toledo (Provincia de Toledo)

Toledo, Spain

Playing key notes in the development of the city of Toledo, located 44 miles (73 km) south of Madrid, are a number of religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Surrounded by the Tagus River, and sitting atop a hill, this city along with its 2-millennia of history, is charmingly complex, and it will take far longer than a quick weekend trip to do it justice.

A short time spent in the Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca, a look at the exterior of the local Cathedral, and a brief walk over the Alcántara Bridge, is likely just enough to give you some appreciation as to the historic enchantment of the city.

5. Córdoba: Great Cathedral and Mosque (Mezquita de Cordoba)

Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral, Córdoba

The Mezquita de Cordoba, along with its marble flooring, giant arches, gilded prayer niches, jasper columns, and Byzantine mosaics that are simply awe-inspiring, is the best example of Muslim fabric in all of Spain.

The 10th century cathedral and mosque represents the time when Córdoba, under a new emir – Abd ar-Rahman III, reached its zenith. It certainly is a wonder of the medieval world with its mystical ambience and exotically lavish décor.

6. Provincia de Málaga: Costa del Sol

Beach in Benalmadena, Costa del Sol, Spain

Approximately 2 million travelers descend upon the Costa del Sol resorts annually to partake in the plethora of recreational, historic, and cultural delights that proliferates the southernmost edge of the Spanish mainland.

Irrespective it’s in Marbella, Benalmadena, Puerto Banus, or Torremolinos, with more than 300 days of sunshine and the blessings of nature on offer, it’s nigh-on impossible not to hit a homerun. Furthermore, with Seville, Granada, Ronada and Cordoba but a stone’s throw distant, you’re guaranteed to have your cake and eat it.

7. Barcelona: Church of the Sacred Family (Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia)

Sagrada Familia

Part of the fascination about paying a visit to the Church of the Sacred Family is that, ever since it was established in 1882 it’s been an ongoing project. Legend would have it that when the church is finally complete, should it ever be complete, the world will end. And perhaps that’s exactly why it is also said that architects are struggling to fulfil Gaudi’s flamboyant vision and will continue to struggle for years to come.

However, arguably a more practical reason is that the vision was conceived with respect to a sense of remorse for how modern Barcelona is so hooked on materialism. Thus, the vision is so elaborate that it’s impossible to depict where it ends and where it actually begins. Nevertheless, the church affords a wonderful piece of architecture and if you’re either in or near Barcelona, it should certainly be high on your itinerary.

8. Ronda: Ciudad de Ronda

Ronda, Spain

Situated at the heart of Andalusia, Ronda is among the very loveliest of little towns in Spain. Though it’s currently developing at a reasonable pace, it still retains plenty of historic charm, and it’s La Ciudad, the old quarter, that sees most of the tourists flocking in droves to find those adorable sights and enjoy a little bit of romance into the bargain.

The old quarter is isolated from the rest of the town by a sizable river gorge, while being linked to it by a structure that is said to be one of the most photographed designs in all of Spain. La Ciudad formulates an enclave of folklore, cobblestoned streets, and historic splendor.

9. Barcelona: Guell Park (Parc Guell)

Park Guell, Gràcia

Parc Guell, as it rests on Carme in Barcelona’s Gràcia district, makes a suitable reflection of what may be considered as a surreal dream. Other than the marvelous Casa Milà, Sagrada Familia, and Casa Batllo, all of which adorn the city, it really is a wonderful manifestation of the unrivaled talent of Antoni Gaudi.

Don’t rush when visiting this wonderland of artistry, and enjoy witnessing the spectacles of color and shape as they come to rest on the mosaic seating. Allow your imagination to wander within this fairytale world that arguably has been crafted by Spain’s most enterprising architect.

10. Canary Islands

Puerto de Santiago city, Tenerife, Canary island

Tenerife, caressed with its temperate climate, is otherwise known as the island of eternal spring. Enjoy the scenery of la Rambleta up in the high mountains. Appease yourself by visiting La Laguna with its historic residences. And venture to the festivals of Santa Cruz to set your senses ablaze.

La Palma, largely volcanic in appearance and character, isn’t the locale for those who prefer to laze on a sun-drenched beach. Foamy waves hit hard upon rocky cliffs which play host to vast vine plantations, avocado orchards, and tobacco fields. Pay a visit to the very top of Roque de los Muchachos in order to view the crater of Caldera de Taburiente. And while there, be sure to check out the astronomical observatory which is said to be among the largest in the world.

Gran Canaria compensates La Palma for its lack of sandy beaches. With its Maspalomas dunes, varying climates, and changeable landscapes, you can enjoy the lush jungle of Doramas, the rocky Parque Rural del Nublo, and the beach at La Aldea. And all of that in no time at all.

Lanzarote, an unparalleled wind-swept island where the buildings are low due to governmental restrictions, which in turn helps to reveal a dramatic landscape of mountains from almost any viewpoint. Venture to the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya and the Jardin de Cactus to experience first-hand what this beautiful island is truly about.

La Gomera, arguably, is the most idyllic and magical of all the Canary Islands. Yes, it’s the smallest, but it’s easily accessible and can be seen within a single day. Visit the Parque Nacional de Garajonay, and then settle back in one of the selection of attractive resorts to kick back and unwind.

El Hierro is inaccessible and untamed, and entirely uncommercial. The ocean view from Mirador de la Pena gives full testament to the wilderness, while Playa del Verodal emulates its lack of demureness.

Fuertenventura, the largest of the Canaries, is a simple island with simplistic values to match. Time tends to run more slowly here and the life values quickly become infectious. It will not be long before you’re soaking up the sunshine on the sands of Fuerteventura. After all, it offers mile upon mile of beautiful snow-white sanded beaches from whence you can bask from dawn till dusk.

11. Picos de Europa

Picos de Europa

Picos de Europa is noted for its fine dining establishments located in any one of a number of alluringly angelic towns in the area. It’s where you can breathe in the refreshing air, while hiking along a fabulous route and gazing over at the rugged, snow-capped peaks.

You can hide yourself from the constantly oppressive heat whilst regaining some balance and then you’ll realize that there’s so much more to Spain than pretty beaches and historical values. Do be sure to look out for the rarest of fauna and flora species, and try to prepare yourself, if you can, for the amazing vistas.

12. Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is recognized as being the resting place of the Apostle James. It’s a hypnotic place and even today pilgrims flock to the medieval Way of St. James, a route that by tradition began at one’s home and concluded at the magnificent cathedral, located within the heart of the Old Town. The Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

Tourists soak up the rather solemn atmosphere pertaining to the myriad sites that pay homage to the Saint, marvel at the artistic wonders of the glistening facades, and stroll throughout the narrowly winding streets. On the exterior of the historic quarter, the city’s streets bustle with university students and visitors enjoy dining in the assorted establishments that line the sidewalks.

13. Ávila de los Caballeros: The Walls of Avila

Avila, Spain

Cynics will tell you that there are merely two assets to the town of Avila – a low temperature and high walls. It’s true, the walls are of colossal stature and the pleasing chill offers a modicum of relief from the southern heat. But yet, those same cynics are devoid of the appreciation that one of the finest surviving European medieval towns affords, together with its wonderful festivals and of course, the legend that persists with respect to Santa Teresa de Ávila.

They have yet to try the sweetmeats that are a product of the local nuns and sold in the small shops that line the town’s streets. They have not toured around the monuments, the art galleries, and the museums. And they perhaps have yet to enjoy the buoyant atmosphere to be had in the dining establishments and bars which help to ensure that the medieval settlement also comes with a modern flair.

14. Madrid: Golden Triangle of Art

Prado Museum, madrid

The Golden Triangle of Art in Madrid consists of three of the country’s most significant museums. The Museo del Prado glorifies such artists as Goya, Rubens, and Velázquez. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía dedicates its innards to a huge Spanish art collection, but it’s Picasso’s Guernica that steals away the limelight. And although the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza may be the least popular of the trio, it still houses some of the very best Expressionists’, Impressionists’, and American and European paintings from the latter half of the 20th century.

15. Provincia de León: Las Médulas

Las Médulas

Looking at the bright orange protrusions that poke outwards from the green chestnut mass, it’s difficult to believe that this site is the work of humans. Las Médulas are in fact ancient technologies that were used by the Roman Imperial armies as a way to exploit gold deposits by way of hydraulic power.

The complex channel system employed running water as a force, which gushed throughout tunnels, lakes, and galleries, thereby washing out the clay-like foundation, which in turn created a rather unbelievable reddish outline.

16. Salamanca: Old City of Salamanca

Salamanca, Spain

Alternating between Roman, Carthaginian, and Moorish hands, Salamanca is a multifaceted and alluring place that has been bestowed with the accolade of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unique sandstone provides the buildings with a golden-like glow and the maze of narrow streets bequeath it with a romantic feel.

Salamanca is also the home to the oldest Spanish university, which in turn allows the city to bustle with youthfulness. The Old City with its amazing Playa Mayor, towering monuments, and imposing Roman bridge that spans the Allegheny River, ensures that everyone remembers Salamanca with fondness and a large pinch of awe.

17. Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

 Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum, when revealed to the public, was instantly hailed as being among the world’s most spectacular accomplishments of deconstruct, postmodern architecture. Looking from the outside, you’ll most likely agree. However, at the same time, you’ll probably wonder if it’s possible that anything to be found on the inside will come even close to matching the building’s exterior.

Nevertheless, with both rotating and permanent exhibits of works accomplished by Spanish and international contemporary artists, there’s really nothing to be disappointed about.

18. Seville: Alcázar

Seville, Spain

At one time a Moorish fortification and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Seville’s Alcázar is a miraculous concept which is still utilized by the Spanish Royal Family. Alcázar is far less crowded than Alhambra but hardly less inspiring, and is well worthy of exploration, from the Salón de Carlos V to the underground bathhouse.

The décor reveals some Christian elegance and Islamic finesse, while the shady gardens offer a cool vitality from the overbearing heat outside. The sheer number of rooms in the palace quickly makes one feel rather giddy. Certainly is a very regale attraction and one not to be missed.

19. Mérida: Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida

Mérida

Founded as far back as 25 BC, Merida, which was once a thriving capital within Lusitania, boasts heartily that it possesses the largest number of ancient Roman trademarks in all of Spain.

Although the cities’ appearance these days may seem a little unappealing, once you’ve become accustomed to the modern eyesores, you’ll soon sense that Mérida still maintains some semblance of the gateway to the Roman empire that is now long gone. The Temple of Diana, Guadiana Bridge, and Amphitheater, are merely three of the highlights that continue to instill an ambience of the 1st century BC.

20. Madrid: Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Irrespective of witnessing the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial up close or from afar, the royal connotations are promptly obvious. The symmetrical square and its four towers that delineate the circumference, play host to two palaces, a monastery, and a library which was founded by Philip II in 1592.

Originally built to serve as a summer retreat, the complex is rather staggering in terms of its wealth. One of Europe’s outstanding tapestry collections, a number of significant artworks by both Italian and Spanish masters, and the tombs of Spanish monarchs, are among the many highlights of this royal residence.

21. Sevilla: Plaza de España

Plaza de España, Sevilla

Statistically speaking, this vestige of the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition is among the most photographed spectacles in the world. The Plaza de Espana represents a Moorish Revival in Spanish architecture, and it is so alluringly beautiful and other-worldly that it has been featured in the Star Wars movie The Attack of the Clones.

Whether you enjoy Star Wars movies or otherwise, the glamor that persists from the polychromatic ceramic tiling that mark the semicircular Plaza de España will nevertheless still enchant you.

22. Barcelona: Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Musica Catalana)

Palace of Catalan Music, Barcelona

Though classical music may or may not be your idea of a good thing, and though you may not take delight from the fact that master composers such as Rachmaninov, Ravel, and Prokofiev have visited Barcelona’s Palace of Catalan Music, the establishment is still an architectural delight and is well worthy of exploration even without the harmonic background to accompany your travels.

This large concert hall, together with its exquisite Catalan Art Nouveau styling, supports a marvelous crescendo of beamed ceilings, stucco works, and lustrous facades, thereby making it among the most unconventional of modernistic designs in all of Spain.

23. Barcelona: Nou Camp

Nou Camp, Barcelona

More than a club or “més que un club” is the motto for FC Barcelona, and as you would expect, an extraordinary club, in turn, needs an extraordinary stadium. With its capacity of 98,772 together with the UEFA status as being a 5-star venue, the Nou Camp is not only the largest but also the most prestigious stadium in Europe.

Imagine for a moment almost 100,000 eager fans packed into a single stadium: you’ve really got to experience it to believe it.

24. Madrid: Sobrino de Botin

Sobrino de Botin, Madrid

Little did Jean Botin know that upon founding his modest little inn towards the beginning of the 18th century, he would find his little modest inn listed in the Guinness Book of Records as being the oldest restaurant in the world.

Located in a charmingly historic building in Calle Cuchilleros, just off Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, the inn will enchant you with its classic décor and wonderful palette of flavors. It is said that Goya worked here as a dishwasher, while Hemingway claimed it to be among his favorite restaurants. It’s likely sufficient testimony to Jean Botin’s creativity and excellence all those years ago.

25. Granada: El Eshavira

El Eshavira

The Andalusians will tell you that, “If you’ve not yet been to Granada, you haven’t seen anything.” Likewise, if you have been to Granada but not yet witnessed a live performance at El Eshavira, you haven’t seen anything yet.

In the dimly lit, smoky interior that tends to draw you in during the late evening hours, and doesn’t let you out until almost the crack of dawn, you’ll bear witness to the smooth jazzy tones and the accompanying flamenco dances. You may well be disheveled at the climax, but you will surface with a true, deep-down penchant for Granada now instilled intrinsically within your soul.

25 Best Things to Do in Spain:

  • Granada: The Alhambra
  • Valencia: City of the Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias)
  • Balearic Islands
  • Toledo (Provincia de Toledo)
  • Córdoba: Great Cathedral and Mosque (Mezquita de Cordoba)
  • Provincia de Málaga: Costa del Sol
  • Barcelona: Church of the Sacred Family (Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia)
  • Ronda: Ciudad de Ronda
  • Barcelona: Guell Park (Parc Guell)
  • Canary Islands
  • Picos de Europa
  • Santiago de Compostela
  • Ávila de los Caballeros: The Walls of Avila
  • Madrid: Golden Triangle of Art
  • Provincia de León: Las Médulas
  • Salamanca: Old City of Salamanca
  • Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
  • Seville: Alcázar
  • Mérida: Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida
  • Madrid: Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
  • Sevilla: Plaza de España
  • Barcelona: Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Musica Catalana)
  • Barcelona: Nou Camp
  • Madrid: Sobrino de Botin
  • Granada: El Eshavira

Spain Guides

80 Best Tourist Attractions in Spain

 best tourist attractions in spain 2024.

Your one-stop guide to the top 80 best tourist attractions in Spain offers a complete round-up of the top must-see attractions and best places to visit in Spain.

With so many places to visit and things to do such as exploring, popular destinations , amazing attractions, charming beaches , historic sites, and fascinating museums in Spain ,  we thought it would be a great idea to list the best 80 attractions to visit all in one place.

Hopefully, this will help you plan your next holiday to Spain .

1. The Sagrada Familia

Places to visit in Spain - The Sagrada Familia Barcelona

The outstanding Sagrada Familia Barcelona located in the city of Barcelona remains the most visited attraction in Spain.

A world heritage site, the Sagrada Familia attracts over three million visitors each year. It is one of the most popular single attractions in the world.

This stunning Gothic structure mesmerises its visitors with its sheer beauty and highly unique architecture, which is a combination of Gothic and modern.

Visitors are able to gain access to different parts of the church including a museum, shop, nave, crypt and towers.

Opening hours for public visits are between 9 am to 6 pm during the winter months and until 8 p.m. in the summer months.

See our complete guide to the Basilica Sagrada Familia Barcelona .

2. Alhambra Palace Granada

Best Places to Visit in Spain - Alhambra Palace Granada

If there is one place you should visit in Spain, it should be the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Situated in a privileged position overlooking the beautiful city of Granada in Andalucia , the Alhambra is a sprawling complex of immense beauty.

First mentioned in the year 899 as a small fortress, the Alhambra was rebuilt in the mid-eleventh century and then transformed from a fortress into a palace after being used as a  “medina”, with the addition of more and more buildings.

Top attractions within the Alhambra Palace to visit include the Lions Patio, the Royal Manor and the exquisite Alcazaba.

The Alhambra is still one of the best tourist attractions in Spain, so it's important to book your entrance tickets in advance as there can be long queues at the ticket office depending on the time of year.

The Alhambra is open  Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 8 pm with extra evening visits Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 pm to 11.30 pm. Entrance fees vary depending on the area of the palace and grounds you wish to visit and the type of tour, prices range from €7.00 to €16.95

4. Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral

Seville is a great place to visit almost any time of the year and one of its star attractions is the Santa Maria de la Sede Cathedral , the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Seville Cathedral is an imposing sight, located in the heart of the city just a few minutes walk from the Guadalquivir River.

The construction lasted for well over a century, the idea of city elders at the time was to “ build the grandest and most magnificent Cathedral that people will think us mad ”.

The stunning central Nave rises well over 40 meters and is flanked by 80 side chapels. The Basilica was built on the site of the Aljama mosque by the Moorish dynasty which dates back to the 12 th  century.

5. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Santiago Compostela Cathedral

Located in the region of Galicia in northwest Spain you will find the impressive Santiago de Compostela Cathedral , one of the most imposing structures of its kind in Spain.

Its significance is enormous as it marks the end of the famous Camino de Santiago for many thousands of pilgrims each year.

Construction of the Cathedral began in 1075 under the direction of Bishop Pelaez on the site of an old church dedicated to St James.

It was built in various styles over the many years it took to complete including Gothic, Baroque,  Romanesque and Neoclassical.

Various entrance fee options are available, the guided roof tour costs €12, access to the museum is €6, a guided tour of the cathedral is €10 and a combined tour ticket is €15 per person. A reduced rate is available for certain groups and children under 12 years of age enter for free.

6. Reina Sofia National Art Museum  - Madrid

Reina Sofia Museum Madrid

The  Reina Sofia National Art Museum  is one of the most visited in Spain with well over 3 million visitors a year.

The museum is located within the old General Hospital built during the reign of Charles III and was designated a Historic-Artistic monument in 1977. It was inaugurated as the new Reina Sofia National Art Museum in 1992 by the King and the Queen of Spain Juan Carlos and Sofía.

The museum is now home to some of the most prized art collections anywhere in Europe including works of art by Salvador Dali, Joan Miro. Picasso's "Guernica" is on show on the ground floor and is one of the most important works exhibited here.

It underwent a major reform in 2005 and now has an auditorium seating up to 500 people and another smaller one with a 200-seat capacity, along with a large arts and humanities library.

7. San Lorenzo of El Escorial

San Lorenzo de Escorial

Located just a 50-minute drive to the north of Madrid lies the incredible Royal Monastery “ El Escorial”.    The order to build the monastery came from King Philip II to commemorate the victory of the battle of San Quentin in 1557 over France.

The structure took over 20 years to build and within time became the burial ground of all the Spanish Monarchs, a tradition that remains to this day.

The scale of the San Lorenzo Monastery can only truly be appreciated when you actually visit the site.

It is just a short train or car ride to San Lorenzo from Madrid. Entrance tickets can be obtained at the main entrance hall or easily booked online via the official website below.

The basic entrance fee is €10 for adults and just €5 for children up to 16 years of age, a price well worth paying to see such an impressive historic attraction.

8. The Great Mosque of Cordoba

La Mezquita Cordoba

No list of the best tourist attractions in Spain would be complete without including the incredible Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral located in the Cordoba.  The great Arab Mosque dates back to 784 A.D, becoming a World Heritage site in 1984. Cordoba was founded by the Romans in the 2 nd Century and became one of the most important cities under the rule of emperor Augustus, the city's great era though came in the 8 th  century when it was conquered by the Moors.

Apart from the Great Mosque Cordoba is full of interesting places to visit including the famously decorated garden patios, the Zoco craft market, Casa Andalusi, the Jewish quarter, and the banks of the Guadalquivir River.

9. Alcazar of Segovia

Segovia Cathedral - Best Places to Visit in Spain

The Alcazar of Segovia is one of the most distinctive castles in Spain due to its unique shape and a number of fairy-tale turrets.

Used as a ” Royal Residence” it was built around the 12th century by the Berber dynasty, originally built as a fortress it was later turned into a palace and military academy.

Visitors enjoy exploring many areas of the castle come palace including the throne room, the John II tower and the outer walls. Entrance prices vary from €2.50 to €8.50 depending on the areas you wish to visit, the full guided tour though is highly recommended .

There is much to see around the  city of Segovia so one full day exploring  the Alcazar and its sites may not be enough if you can stay over at least one night you will not be disappointing

10. Running with the Bulls Pamplona

Bull Running Pamplona

If you are looking to be part of one of Spain’s most popular high-octane-fueled fiestas, the San Fermines Running with the Bulls festival is for you.

Each year during the San Fermines fiestas many thousands of visitors flock to Pamplona to participate in running alongside 12 tons of running bulls ( Toros Bravos ) which are set free at 8 am each morning to run a prepared route around the city of Pamplona .

The bulls then chase and hound the runners ( mozos ) until they all reach the bullring.

And if the bull running is a little frenetic for your tastes then simply enjoy the picture-perfect city of Pamplona which offers lots of quaint tapas bars, charming streets and more than its fair share of historic sites.

11. Visit Spain’s Top Theme Parks

Theme Park Spain

Spain has more than its fair share of  theme parks scattered around the country which are perfect places to enjoy lots of family fun. The pick of the best includes the Terra Mitica Theme Park near Benidorm,  Port Ventura in Barcelona,  Warner Park in Madrid and Isla Magica Park in Seville.

Terra Mitica Park is split into five zones, each one based on an ancient civilisation, and contains a mix of high-speed, adrenalin-filled rides that won’t disappoint thrill-seekers with gentler options for youngsters, making it ideal for families.

PortAventura also offers guests a choice of four top-class themed hotels, each providing easy access to the park and the opportunity for visitors to make the most of their time there.

The  Warner Theme Park  offers a fantastic, fun-filled day out for anyone visiting Madrid. The park is based on an array of top Warner Brothers movies, and its attractions are inspired by many well-known characters, including superhero favourites, Superman and Batman, cartoon greats Tom and Jerry and Scooby-Doo, and the lovable Acme rogues.

Isla Magica is nestled in the heart of Seville, merely a 5-minute walk from the town centre, making it easily accessible and a popular attraction for families visiting the area.

12. Explore San Sebastian

La Concha Beach San Sebastian

San Sebastian Spain is one of the best places to visit in Summer, it is an attractive, charming and sophisticated resort in Spain. Located on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, in northern Spain, it is surrounded by green hills, bays, rivers and mountains.

The picturesque beach area ( La Concha ) attracts visitors from all walks of life on a global scale.

Gastronomy is high on the agenda for visitors to San Sebastian as it boasts the highest number of  Michelin-starred restaurants in one city. There is an abundance of delicious tapas bars that will quench your appetite for those tasty little food plates.

Stylish architecture, impressive plazas and green parks dotted throughout the city add to its well-deserved label as the “pearl” of the North of Spain.

13. The Jerez Horse Fair Andalucia

Equestrian School in Jerez de la Frontera

The Jerez Horse Fair (Feria de Caballo)  is traditionally held during the first week in May and is a must-visit even if you are not a lover of finely-tuned thoroughbred Andalusian stallions.

This colourful festival is mainly located around the  Gonzalo Hontoria Fairgrounds, an area which is well over  50.000 square meters in size, although during the week-long festivities, special events are held all around the city.

You are never far away from a flamenco show, a great tapas bar or any number of attractions open to the public during the horse fare.

Jerez in itself is a charming Andalucian city home of world-renowned sherry wine and a great place to explore and one of our top choices of the best places to visit in Spain.

14. The April Fair Seville

Sevilla April Fair

The April Fair in Seville is one the grandest and oldest  festivals in Spain , held for two weeks after the Easter celebrations each year, it now attracts over a million people a year. The fair began back in 1947 as a cattle fair and over the years took on a more typical Spanish festival feel as we know them today.

The Seville April Fair starts officially on Monday with the Dining of Fish ( “La Cena del Pescaito”), and the parade in which the city mayor is present to switch on the lights around midnight. This act is usually accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display that booms out across the city announcing that the fair is officially underway.

Apart from the fun, shows, drinking, partying and general merriment, the Seville fair has become a true celebration of flamenco dancing and traditional folk singing. Many of the most famous dancers, composers and singers of this passionate art form perform at numerous events during the fair.

15. Historic Seville

Plaza de Espana Seville

Seville is located in southern Spain and is the capital city of the autonomous region of Andalucia. Here you will find everything that is great about this charming region of Spain, its authentic culture, stunning historic sites, great food as well as boasting friendly fun-loving residents.

“Seville,” wrote Byron, “is a pleasant city, famous for oranges and women.”  Whilst this is very true, it's just the tip of the iceberg as Seville has become one of the most visited cities in Spain due to its rich history, cosmopolitan atmosphere, and its enviable location around the River Guadalquivir.

Seville is home to some of the finest monuments and ancient sites in Spain, including the impressive Santa Maria Cathedral and the Giralda Tower the rambling Alcazar gardens, the riverside Torre del Oro (Golden Tower), the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the Almohad Moorish walls and the famous La Maestranza bullring, the oldest of its kind in the world.

16. The Camino de Santiago ( St James Walk )

Walking the Camino de Santiago

The  Camino de Santiago is really a collection of old pilgrimage routes, all of which have one thing in common, their destination, Santiago de Compostela.

This unique pilgrimage was named after the Apostle Saint James who was sent by the Romans, in those days to  “Finis Terrae” , “end of the world”, to preach and convert people to Christianity.

The way of Saint James has been an important Christian pilgrimage route since medieval times being in use for over 1000 years.

You don't have to have any religious beliefs to enjoy the atmosphere and beauty in participating in this world-renowned walk.

17. Sierra Nevada Granada

Sierra Nevada Granada

The Sierra Nevada mountain range is home to one of the most popular ski and winter resorts in Spain and the only one based in Andalusia southern Spain .

The Sierra Nevada nestles high in the Pentibetico mountain range some 32 kilometres from the charming and historic city of Granada.

If you are thinking of skiing in the Sierra Nevada you won't be disappointed as the resort offers great facilities for all winter sports enthusiasts and provides a good selection of ski lifts and quality slopes for all levels of skiers. It also has an excellent cross-country track.

It is also true you can snow in the morning and spend the afternoon tanning yourself on a sun-kissed beach as some of the nicest beach resorts of Granada, Almeria and Malaga are only a stone's throw away.

18. Plaza Mayor Salamanca

Best Places to Visit in Spain - Plaza Mayor Salamanca

Salamanca is located around a 90-minute drive northwest of Madrid and is home to the Plaza Mayor, one of the largest public squares in Spain. This famous plaza is used as a meeting point, market place and even a bullfighting arena in the past.

The Plaza Mayor is an awe-inspiring site surrounded by ornate columned archways. The impressive offices of the town hall are also located within the square and have two stories of balconies above the archways below.

The city of Salamanca Spain is well worth visiting, renowned for its charm, and known as the intellectual center of Spain since the  12th century when the first University was created.

19. Malaga August Feria

Flamenco Dancing Spain

The Malaga feria is now one the largest  Spain festivals attracting over 2 million visitors each year.  The festival rages all day and night on a large purpose-built park located close to the exhibition centre just 15 minutes from   Malaga International Airport .

The  Feria de Malaga is usually held during the middle of August each year and features live entertainment, traditional music shows, dancing, horses, fireworks and daily processions around the city centre.

Although the main party is held on  Feria  ground on the outskirts of the city we would highly recommend you visit all the events held around the Malaga old quarter where you can enjoy the amazing atmosphere whilst strolling around the decorated streets of central Malaga.

20. Palma Cathedral

Palma de Mallorca Cathedral

If you plan to holiday on the  Island of Majorca then you should take the time to visit this impressive cathedral located in the heart of Palma de Mallorca, the island’s capital.

The construction of Palma Majorca Cathedral, often called  La Seu , began in the 13th century. Its Levantine Gothic style boasts one of the largest rose windows in the world, known as “the Gothic eye”, the nave is also one of the highest in Europe.

Winter opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5.15 pm and from 10 am to 6.15 pm during the summer months, it is closed on Sundays.

Interesting Palma Cathedral guided tours are available throughout the year and are the best way to learn all about this fascinating historic site.

21. Logrono Old Town in the Rioja Region

Places to Visit in Spain - Logrono

The old town is a paradise for lovers of that great staple, tapas. There are well over 50 tapas bars within a small area, no wonder this was one of Hemingway's favourite eating haunts.  Logrono is also a stopover for the pilgrims en-route to Santiago de Compostela.

Apart from the delicious food, the top attractions to see in Logrono include the Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Redonda, the Cubo del Revellin fort, the old city wall and walking along the River Ebro Park to an arched stone bridge.

22. Girona Old Town

Girona Catalonia

Girona is a beautiful ancient town located about one hour's drive north of  Barcelona. Sadly it is another charming Spanish city that is often overlooked by holidaymakers and passing travellers flying into the local airport on their way to the nearby popular beach resorts of Lloret de Mar or Calella.

The beautiful walled city features the River Onyar running through its core, with picturesque, multi-coloured hanging houses which virtually touch the water below.

Girona is a homely medieval city of medium size (just perfect!). It is clean, vibrant, charming and cosmopolitan, and a real escape from the bustling Costas.

A summer evening stroll from one end of the old quarter to the other is highly recommended – you get a real sense of the local culture and history.

Explore the maze of narrow streets, passageways and celebrated monuments before stopping off at one of the many cosy eateries, tapas bars, terraced restaurants and cafeterias that are present throughout the old city.

23. Bodega Visits Jerez de la Frontera

Places to Visit in Spain - Jerez Bodegas

Jerez de la Frontera is a charming historic city located in the heart of Andalucia nestled between the great cities of Seville,Cadiz and Huelva. It is famously the home of Sherry, there are no less than nine major sherry bodegas in Jerez , most of them open to visitors.

Wine tasting is popular in Jerez and a number of bodegas offer the perfect chance to explore the history of wine-making, its production and most importantly, the chance to try a selection of sherry from the very place it originated in.

The local wine and sherry produced in Jerez, play an important economic and social role all around the world. Sherry is unique, made from palomino grapes growing on calcareous soil within a specific local bio-climate. It is then left to age in oak barrels where old sherry is mixed with new ones to create the various types of this famous tipple.

Among the best bodegas in Jerez de la Frontera include Domecq, Garvey, Harveys and  Tio Pepe . Another famous bodega is Bodega Gonzalez Byass , located near the Alcazar, where you can see a construction designed by Gustave Eiffel (Eiffel Tower architect) and lots of barrels signed by personalities such as Orson Welles and Winston Churchill.

Sherry tours are extremely popular and offer a unique view of the sherry-making business from grape to bottle, you will even enjoy a free glass or two of this famous wine after each tour is over.

24. Costa de la Luz Beaches

Places to Visit in Spain - Costa De La Luz Beach

The Costa del la Luz ( Coast of Light ) is the southernmost coastline of mainland Spain and can proudly boast of having some of the best beaches in Spain. The beaches along the Costa de la Luz are blessed with high-quality sand and clean Atlantic waters.

The coast runs from Tarifa ( windsurfers paradise ) in the east to the Taguas estuary bordering Portugal in the west.

Fantastic clean beaches , pine-clad countryside, picturesque fishing villages and tranquil surroundings are some of the many attractions that attract visitors to this picturesque part of Spain.

25. Zaragoza

Zaragoza Cathedral

Discover Zaragoza, a captivating city that seamlessly blends its ancient past with modern charm. From the stunning Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar to the historic Aljaferia Palace, the city's architectural wonders will leave you awe-inspired.

Zaragoza's rich history, vibrant festivals, and warm hospitality make it a must-visit destination in Spain.

Whether you're exploring the Ebro River or strolling through its charming streets, Zaragoza Spain will enchant you with its unique blend of tradition and contemporary flair.

26. Roman Aqueduct Segovia

Aqueduct Segovia Spain

Segovia is located to the northwest of Madrid and is home to one of the finest Roman aqueducts in the world.

A symbol of Rome’s influence in Spain, the Segovia aqueduct is generally believed to be built around the first century,  although there are no readable inscriptions found around the structure, which makes it hard to determine its exact age. Made of granite blocks, the structure started to decay around the 19th century, which prevented it from properly storing water.

Overall  Segovia is a beautiful ancient city  and well worth taking the time to see many interesting sites not to mention the incredible food on offer.

27. El Teide Volcano & National Park Tenerife

Mount Teide Tenerife - Places to Visit in Spain

Mount Teide is a living breathing volcano located on the  Canary Island of Tenerife . If you stay in Tenerife it would be hard to miss from one point or another around the Island, however, it looks even better up close as the area around Teide is spectacular with its unique moon-like landscape. Mount Teide is Spain’s highest peak, rising to 3718 metres above sea level.

This impressive volcano is a testament to how nature’s violent side can create such monsters or beauty beneath perfect blue skies.

The terrain that surrounds Teide National Park  is equally astounding, rivers of fossilized lava flow embrace the hillsides like melted candle wax and the unique landscapes have been used in classic films such as Clash of the Titans and One Million Years BC.

Its unique terrain is a favourite place for scientists looking to test out space vehicles destined for other parts of our galaxy.

For great holiday snaps, stunning scenery, and unworldly-like landscapes a visit to Mount Teide is a must and well worth the effort.

28. February Carnival

Carnivals Spain

February is carnival time in Spain and the pick of the bunch must surely be the Carnivals of Tenerife and Cadiz . The Tenerife carnival resembles those held in Brazil and features parades with floats and bands who perform different types of songs during the street parades.

The colours and costumes worn during this festival are stunning and are a delight to see. The parades move through the streets with energetic musical groups and well-dressed performers.

Some of the colourful costumes can weigh well over 100 kilos, taking months to prepare and make as well as the many hours of practice required to be able to move in such a huge costume.

Whilst Cadiz boasts the oldest carnival celebrations in Spain, dating back to the 16 th  century. Always a colourful spectacle with lots of processions, band playing, group singing, fireworks and much more.

29. La Tomatina  – Tomato Fest

Tomatina Festival

The La Tomatina festival surely has to be one of the most fun and messy of all of Spain’s festivals. Basically, it is the world's largest tomato fight held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol in the region of Valencia .

This is where hundreds of tons of overripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets by thousands of festival-goers.

It is a tomato war using ripe squashed tomatoes hurled between participants leaving everyone dripping with bright red sweet-smelling tomato juice.

There are no winners just people having fun and enjoying being part of this unusual Spanish festival.

30. City of Arts & Science Valencia

Arts & Science Valencia

Valencia is one of the largest cities located on the midwestern Eastern coast of mainland Spain. The impressive City of Arts and Science is an entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex that will keep you occupied for days on end.

There is a fascinating Aquarium that houses the largest marine and aquarium park in Europe. An Oceanographic centre is situated mainly underground and houses a marshland, wetland areas and mangrove swamps.

The Dolphinarium, one of the largest in Europe has a seating capacity for over 2.000 people and holds around 40 million litres of water !.

The City of Arts and Science is open most days and entrance to the various attractions starts at around 8€ per person.

31. Wine Region of Rioja

Rioja Wine Region Spain

Even if you are not a fan of good wine, a trip around the Rioja region is highly recommended.

La Rioja is located in the picturesque north of Spain and is spread out over three communities, La Rioja, the Basque country and Navara.

There are a  number of wineries that regularly open their doors to the public so a planned wine tour is the best way to see how these world-class wines are harvested and made.

Visitors to the region are treated to a number of amazing wine museums, breathtaking landscapes, ancient monuments and fantastic hotels.

32. Breathtaking  Asturias

Asturias Village

The Principality of Asturias, known for its rugged coast, is located in the north of mainland Spain. Renowned for being one of the most picturesque, green and fertile lands in Spain.

Asturias boasts a stunning coastline, mountains, beautiful beaches, quaint coastal villages and a range of religious sites and medieval architecture. Asturias is also home to some of the best seafood gastronomy you will find anywhere.

Top attractions include the Molinos Museum at Taramundi, Cape Vido, Lake Covadonga and the Santuario de la Virgen de Covadonga located in Cangas de Onis.

33. Santillana del Mar

Santillana Del Mar

Santillana del Mar is a charming town located within the Cantabria region of northern Spain.  This quaint and picturesque village is a must place to visit if you plan to travel to explore northern Spain.

The town's real beauty will become quickly apparent as you walk around the cobbled lanes looking around at the historic mansions, sandstone churches and the captivating surrounding hillside.

The top attractions in the town include medieval towers, renaissance palaces, the  Romanesque Santa Juliana Collegiate Church, and the National Museum and the Research Center of Altamira . There is also a zoo which houses snow leopards and tigers, amongst other animals.

Huesca Pyrenees

The province of Huesca is another must-visit region located in northeastern Spain.

The regional capital is  Huesca situated in upper Aragon and known for its picturesque medieval old town topped by the stunning Gothic Huesca Cathedral.

The city was the capital of Aragon until 1118 when Zaragoza took over the title. Visitors to Huesca are treated to charming streets, mountain landscapes and the backdrop of the Pyrenees.

Top attractions include Huesca Cathedral , the San Pedro el Viejo Abbey Romanesque Monastery and the 11th-century ruins of Montearagon Castle.

35. Parc Guell Barcelona

Parc Guell Barcelona

No  trip to Barcelona  would be complete without visiting Parc Guell, one of the most unusual social spaces in the world. This is another one of Gaudi’s unusual creations, this one located in the northern part of the city.

Sculptures, mosaics and tiling are all on show in this picturesque and leafy park which was cleverly created by Gaudi and built on land high above Barcelona which gives visitors superb views over the city. It is an odd but enchanting place that will stimulate your senses.

It is always good to book your visit in advance as they only allow a certain number of visitors in every hour.

36. Casa Mila Barcelona

Casa Mila Barcelona

Casa Mila popularly known as  La Pedrera ( The Stone Quarry ) is another ingenious creation of Antoni Gaudi not to be missed when visiting Barcelona.  Its facade resembles an open quarry and was built by Antoni Gaudi between 1906 and 1912.

This is the last building created by this unique artist before he devoted his life to the construction of the Sagrada Familia.

Casa Mila is located in the Eixample district of Barcelona and is surely one of the world's most recognised modernist structures. It is best to book admission online to avoid the often long queues.

Entrance fees vary as they offer a variety of tour experiences. La Pedrera by day is the most popular at €22 which includes an audio guide. A combined La Pedrera tour day and night costs €41 but is well worth it.

37. El Prado Museum Madrid

El Prado Museum Madrid

The Prado Museum is located in central Madrid and is recognised as home to one of the finest collections of European art dating between the 12 th  and early 20 th  centuries.

Here you will find works of art by great masters including Goya, Rubens, Velazquez and El Greco. The museum currently houses around 8.000 drawings, 7,500 paintings and almost 5.000 prints.

 The Prado Museum is open most days from 10 am to 8 pm, and if you are on a tight budget you can get free entry between 6 pm and 8 pm daily.

38. Medieval City of Cuenca

Cuenca Cathedral

If you like visiting truly authentic historic cities and towns then the medieval city of Cuenca is the place for you.

Located in the mountains of east-central Spain, Cuenca was founded by the Moors and is a World Heritage Site.

Walking around the old quarter you will be treated to a walled town with steep cobbled streets and medieval castle ruins.

Cuenca is perched on a limestone rock overlooking the Jucar ana Huecar rivers and is best known for its “Casas Colgadas” or hanging houses which seem to miraculously cling to the cliff edges.

39. Ibiza Nightlife

Ibiza Nightlife

If your ideal summer vacation consists of late-night partying and dancing till dawn followed by long, lazy days in the sun sleeping off the chaos and drama of the night before, then the  Ibiza summer nightlife is the perfect destination for you.

The night-life is intense and non-stop, the weather is simply glorious and the sun, sea and sand top it off as the ultimate holiday party island.

Ibiza offers some of the greatest clubbing experiences in the world which attracts some of the best DJs and artists on the clubbing circuit. The most famous clubs in Ibiza include Ushuaia, Amnesia, Ocean Club and Pacha.

Every summer, an awesome array of celebs and well-known names hit the party scene, making Ibiza an absolute MUST for clubbers, ravers and those looking to party hard!

40. Trek the Pyrenees

Huesca Spain

The Pyrenees rise like an immense barrier that separates Spain from the rest of Europe. It stretches for around 450 kilometres from the Cantabrian Sea to the Mediterranean in northern Catalonia and is one of the most picturesque places to visit in Spain.

Some of its peaks are around 3000 meters in height and is home to some of the most stunning scenery in Spain, with long green valleys, quaint towns and villages scattered the whole length and breadth of this beautiful region.

The Pyrenees cover the autonomous regions of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre and are a meeting point of many cultures as well as being the gateway for many pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela as part of the Camino de Santiago ( St James Walk )

41. Play Golf on Championship Course

Finca Cortesin Golf Resort

Spain has become a golfer's paradise offering over 450 top-class golf courses and an enviable climate with long hours of sunshine which allows valuable golf time late into the evening.

Golf courses are located throughout mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary Islands. One of the most popular areas for golf holidays in Spain is the stunning  Costa del Sol  which boasts 70 top-class courses alone including such prestigious golf resorts as Valderrama Golf ,  San Roque Club and the ever-impressive  La Reserva Golf  Club .

The current number one golf course in Spain is the stunning PGA Catalunya course located in the heart of Catalonia just a 50-minute drive from Barcelona.

42. Rio Tinto Mines Huelva

Rio Tinto Huelva

A real hidden gem in southern Spain is the Rio Tinto mines, located around the Village of Nieblas within the region of Huelva Andalusia . The name Rio Tinto ( Red River ) was coined from the impressive colour of the water that flows through the mines.

When the ferrous ores come into contact with water they turn both land and the river into an incredible myriad of colours, shades of red, yellow, orange, brown and green can all be seen as the river trickles through the area.

The mines are reputedly the oldest in the world and rich in history, reportedly being the fabled mines of King Solomon himself. It was sold to a British consortium in 1871, who exploited it until it became one of the most important sources of Copper and Sulphur in the world.

The colonials even built a small village called Bella Vista for the employees of the mines which is identical to any perfect little country retreat in Britain with neat lawns gardens, tennis lawns and a social club, it even has its own Presbyterian Church.

The mines are well maintained and can be visited to this day and for a few Euros, you get to go on a guided tour in an old converted train .

43. Alpujarras National Park

Alpujarras National Park

For nature lovers, this is an ideal destination with its wide-open spaces, spectacular views, and quaint white-washed villages.

The Alpujarras National Park is a vast open space that stretches from Granada to the neighbouring province of Almeria. During the winter months, you are treated to a snowy peaked backdrop courtesy of the Sierra Nevada mountains .

Trekking, horse riding and cycling are just some of the activities which attract visitors to the precious natural park.

44. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Bilbao is located in the Basque region of northern Spain. One of its main attractions is the stunning Guggenheim Museum , an architectural masterpiece that will have you mesmerised from the start.

Created by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry,  the museum opened in 1997 and is home to a large selection of prominent and contemporary works of art.

The showstopper though is the curvy titanium-clad building that houses the museum and is now recognised as one of the most unique places to visit in Spain.

After visiting the museum you can take the opportunity to explore the rest of Bilbao including the Casco Viejo (Old Town) on the banks of the Nervion River which is centred around Las Siete Calles, the seven original streets of the city that date back to the 1400s.

The museum is open on weekdays from 10 am to 8 pm ( Closed Mondays ).

45. Plaza Mayor Madrid

Plaza Mayor Madrid

Originally called the Plaza del Arrabal it later changed its name to Plaza Mayor and is a stone's throw away from another famous square, namely the Puerta del Sol.

The Plaza Mayor design has a symmetrical and uniform architectural style surrounded by 237 balconies, nine entranceways, a bronze statue of King Phillip III, and ornate gardens.

No visit to Madrid would not be complete without a trip to the Plaza Mayor where visitors are treated to a unique atmosphere, some great little eateries and some fine architecture. Not to be missed on your next trip to Spain’s capital.

46. Las Ramblas Boulevard Barcelona

Barcelona Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas is probably one of the first places visitors to Barcelona head to as it is the most easily identified landmark in the city.

Las Ramblas is a long boulevard that cuts through central Barcelona. It is a lively, vibrant place full of market stalls, locals, and street musicians, and lined by a large variety of bars and restaurants.

The boulevard starts near the Port Vell cruise ship terminal and ends at the famous Placa Catalunya at the most northern end and is sandwiched between the Ravel and the Gothic Quarter of the city.

47. Toledos Old City

Toledo Spain

Toledo is a beautiful and historic Spanish city located just 70km south of  Madrid and is the capital of the Castille La Mancha region.

Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 and is an absolute must-visit if you wish to are looking to discover the rich artistic and cultural history of Spain

The  city of Toledo  is surrounded by the meandering Tajo River and is truly a beautiful sight, especially at night when its twinkling lights and beautifully lit buildings and monuments can be seen from afar.

Popular sites and attractions in Toledo include Toledo Cathedral , the Alcazar, the Great Defence Wall, the El Greco Museum, the Santa Domingo Monastery, the San Martin bridge with its two towers, and the 15 th Century San Juan de Los Reyes Monastery.

48. Avila Castle

Avila Castle Walls

Avila is a beautifully historic city much of it within its perfectly preserved medieval city walls, which are typical of the city’s predominant Romanesque architecture. Avila’s proximity to  Madrid (about an hour’s drive away) makes it an ideal destination for those who yearn to taste the traditional, unchanged Spain while avoiding the bustle of the big city.

Avila within the walls has remained mostly unchanged since centuries ago; the atmosphere is solemn and tranquil, just as if you had gone back in time to medieval Spain.

The city has a wealth of monuments and other architectural sites of excellence, such as the cathedral, the mother of all of them, and several smaller churches and basilicas.

Your first view of the city is, of course, of its majestic walls, started in 1100 and designated a  UNESCO World Heritage Site  – it is one of the few medieval cities in the world whose walls fully enclose the city within them; perfect for that panoramic holiday snap.

At night, the Walls of Avila are the largest fully illuminated monument in the world – now there’s a treat.

49.  Donana National Park

Donana Park Huelva

The Donana National Park is located in  Andalucia , Southern Spain halfway between the regional provinces of Seville, Cadiz, and Huelva.

A stunning natural park made up of one of Europe’s most important wetland areas, vast sand dunes, and picturesque pine forests.

The wetland lagoons provide shelter and food for thousands of birds. Donana is one of Spain’s prized national parks and for good reason.

A myriad of landscapes captivates visitors who come to enjoy a large amount of wildlife, the pristine unspoiled beaches, nature trails, and the moving dune systems.

50. Historic Town of Ronda

Ronda Andalucia

Just a 30-minute drive from the busy Costa del Sol beach resorts in southern Spain  you will find the  stunning town of Ronda .

Built on an isolated ridge of the Sierra Ronda, the town is split in half by a gaping river gorge, El Tajo, which drops a sheer 130 metres on three sides.

Still more spectacular, the gorge is spanned by a stupendous eighteenth-century arched bridge, the Puente Nuevo, while tall whitewashed houses lean from its precipitous edges.

Much of the attraction of Ronda lies in this extraordinary view, or in walking down to the Rio Guadalquivir or following one of the donkey's tracks through the rich green valley below.

This is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit when in the Costa del Sol.

51. The Valley of the Fallen – El Valle de los Caidos

Madrid Valley of the Fallen

Located not far from Escorial Monastery this Monument and grounds are dedicated to the fallen from Spain’s civil war.

Although not usually included on the travel itineraries of many visitors to Spain, the Valley of Fallen is well worth a visit.

This was the burial place of General Franco until 2019 when his remains were finally exhumed and laid to rest in his family mausoleum located just outside Madrid.

Although this did cause some controversy, for many people in Spain the presence of his remains served only to glorify Franco's 40-year dictatorship.

The €9 entrance fee is worth it to get a taste of an important part of Spain’s history.

52. The Costa del Sol Resorts

Puerto Banus Marbella

The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular places to visit in Spain. Here, you can enjoy some of the most popular beach resorts in the country, located all along this famous stretch of coastline .  

Southern Spain’s Costa del Sol (Sun Coast) is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe, the area is famous for hundreds of golden beaches and a perfect climate boasting over  300 sunshine days a year!

The main resorts on the Costa del Sol include  Fuengirola , Torremolinos,    Benalmadena  and the  luxury sun-kissed resort of Marbella .

53. Watch an Authentic Flamenco Show

A wonderful symbol of Spanish culture, Flamenco is something that many tourists look forward to when visiting the country.

What’s great about this cultural attraction is that it can be watched the whole year round and practically anywhere.

Flamenco is a type of Spanish music containing different elements including singing, dancing, hand-clapping and Spanish acoustic guitar.

You can probably recognise Flamenco immediately thanks to the long, outstanding dresses worn by the women dancers, typically in flamboyant colours of red and blue.

The dance became so popular that it was declared one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2010. In fact, Flamenco dancing is taught and practised all over the world.

There are many famous “ Tabloa Flamenco ” venues around Spain where you can get to see this unique form of music and dance, especially in Seville, Malaga and Barcelona.

Some of the most popular include the Tablao Flamenco Cordobes in Barcelona,  the  Guitar Festival of Cordoba held in July, the   Suma Flamenca  Madrid and the  Malaga Feria  held in August each year.

54. Penafiel Castle – Castilla y Leon

Penafiel Castle

So if you are into wandering around historic sites then head to Penafiel, a stunning German Gothic-style castle of impressive proportions. The castle is located in the province of Valladolid overlooking the picturesque  Botijas and Duraton valleys.

It is around  190 meters in length with one main central tower flanked by eight turrets and was declared a national monument of great interest in 1917 and currently houses the  Provincial Wine Museum. Luckily for visitors, there is a tasting room where you are able to try some of the best local wines.

Penafiel Castle is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday and on public holidays from 10.30 am to 2 pm and again from 4 pm to 6 pm ( during the summer months it stays open until 8 pm.

55. Royal Palace of Aranjuez

Aranjuez Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is a real hidden gem, often overlooked, which is a great shame as it is one of the best palaces of its type you will find anywhere in Spain. The town of Aranjuez is located within the  province of Madrid and stands proudly beside the Tagus and Jaramar Rivers.

This shining example of a  royal palace was built by Lorenzo Suarez de Figuero in 1387, it became royal property under Ferdinand II and was claimed as a summer residence for the royal family. It is renowned for its well-crafted gardens and ornate fountains.

Many kings and queens have added their touch to the palace over the centuries including Phillip II, Philip V and Ferdinand VI.

Public opening times are usually between 10.30 am and 4.30 pm, the entrance fee is reasonably priced for unguided tours at €8 for adults and just €4 for children and pensioners.

56.  Almodovar del Rio Castle

Almodovar Castle

The castle sits on a hill on the banks of the Guadalquivir River and dates back to the 8th century when the Moors ruled Andalucia. The town and castle are within easy reach of Cordoba which has good rail links to Madrid, Seville and Malaga.

Almodovar Castle is well worth visiting and is open to the public for guided and nonguided tours which are very reasonably priced starting at €8 for adults, €6 for pensioners and €4 for children.

Visitors can explore the patios, towers and battlements, there is also a nice medieval shop and reenactment tours and activities which are great fun for all the family.

57. Palace Castle of Manzanares

Manzanares Castle Madrid

Although at first glance the castle is not one the largest or grandest it is still well worth visiting if you find yourself staying close by.

Originally built as a fortress it was turned into a residential palace by the Mendozas, one of the noblest families in Castilla in the Middle Ages.

58.  Castilla La Mota

Mota Castle

Ideally situated on a hill, which is where it gets its name, Mota is Spanish for elevated hill. It dominates the local town and countryside with its impressive towers and battlements.

The castle dates back to the 12th century, thankfully much of it still stands today. Over the years Castilla La Mota has been used as a military academy, a prison and a royal archive.

The castle is open to the public from Mondy to Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm and again from 4 pm to 6 pm (7 pm in the summer ) Sunday and public holidays it is open from 11 am to 2 pm

59. La Manga de Mar Menor

La Manga Mar Menor

La Manga de Mar Menor is located in the province of Murcia in south-eastern Spain.  Blessed by a unique position, La Manga is surrounded by sea on one side and a huge lagoon on the other.

Due to a geographical accident of nature, La Manga ( which means Sleeve in Spanish ) is a long strip of land which, bar a few connecting channels, is completely closed off the Mediterranean Sea.  A huge saltwater lagoon was formed which is proudly protected from the rougher Mediterranean sea on the outside creating a calm interior bay.

The Mar Menor is ideal for practising many water sports in a calm and safe environment. There are plenty of beaches along the strip to enjoy plus numerous bars, restaurants and two marinas.

60. Celtic Region of Spain

Celtic Galicia

The Iberian peninsular has been heavily influenced over the centuries by the Celtic culture and non more so than Galicia in northwest Spain .

Galicia Spain offers visitors a friendly atmosphere and oldie worldly charm which is unique and endearing.

Galicia is known in Spain as the “land of the 1000 rivers”, as they wind their way all over the region from the mountainous inland to the coast, where they form the characteristic “Rias”. The Celtic culture is evident all around the province from the dark stone buildings to the use of bagpipes by many musical bands.

Travelling around Galicia is like a breath of fresh air with its green and fertile lands, spectacular coastline, picturesque villages and small quaint harbours.

Bagpipes are a surprisingly key part of cultural life and hint at the region’s distinctive Celtic heritage.

Galicians take pride in this identity, despite scepticism from their would-be cousins across the sea.

61. Experience Benidorm

Places to Visit in Spain - Benidorm Beach

Benidorm is situated in a privileged position on the  Costa Blanca, just south of the other popular resorts of Altea and Javea and northeast of Alicante. It is jealously guarded by the Sierra de Aitana mountain range which protects it from the sometimes inclement cold north winds of winter providing a mild climate even through the colder months.

Holidays to Benidorm are as popular as ever and the resort remains one of Spain’s top holiday hotspots. Tourism here developed in the 1960s and has long been a favourite destination by most northern Europeans ever since.

There are plenty of things to do in Benidorm including, numerous beach and water sports activities, lots of bars, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.

62. Whitewashed Villages of Andalusia

Mijas Village Costa del Sol

The dramatic landscapes of Andalusia have attracted throngs of interested visitors over the years with the whitewashed villages a major attraction to visitors searching for a unique view of Andalucia.

Each of the village locations is varied but each one offers a special charm and is well worth visiting.  Popular villages include Alhama De Granada, Medina Sidonia, Lanjaron, Montefrio and Casares.

One of the most spectacular is the village of Lanjaron located on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Granada. The town is roughly 50 kilometres away from the city of Granada  and about the same from the Costa Tropical and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.

Lanjaron is well-known in Spain due to the brand of mineral drinking water of the same name. The area around Lanjaron is noted for its abundant freshwater springs as well as its supreme natural beauty.

A quirky fact – Lanjaron is one of the very few places in the world which prohibits death, yes it's illegal to die in Lanjaron!

63. Cabo de Gata National Park

Places to Visit in Spain - Cabo De Gata Almeria

The Cabo de Gata National Park is located in the  province of Almeria in Andalucia .  The park is based around a huge Cape on the coast and extends out to sea.

It is one of the very few Spanish coastlines that have remained untouched by large-scale development.

Because there are hardly any main resorts and inhabitants and the fact that all urban construction is highly regulated the sea quality is excellent and ideal for diving and snorkelling.

Lucky visitors to Cabo de Gata will find pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, tranquil coastlines and small quaint communities.

65. Picasso Museum Malaga

Picasso Museum

The Pablo Picasso Museum is located in the heart of Malaga and is dedicated to one of Malaga’s most famous sons.

Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga and later became one of the world's most recognised artists.

The museum opened in 2003 and houses around 280 works of art, donated by Picasso’s family.

The Picasso Museum is located by the Plaza de Merced, close to where this famed artist was born.

It is open to the public between 10 am and 6 pm during the winter months staying open until 8 pm during the summer months. The entrance fee is €9 with reduced rates for students, children and pensioners.

66. Joan Miro Foundation Barcelona

Joan Miro Foundation

Joan Miro was a Catalonian artist of some note, you will come across his work all around Barcelona starting with a large mosaic located at the airport.  Joan Miro was born in Barcelona on the 20th of April 1893 and became one of the most important representatives of surrealism.

The foundation was initiated by the artist with the museum opening in 1975., it now houses over 10,000 paintings, drawings and sculptures, the earliest ones from 1901.

The Joan Miro Museum opens to the public Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm ( slightly later during the summer months ). The entrance fee is  €12 for adults, children go in for free.

67. Royal Monastery of Guadalupe

Places to Visit in Spain - Royal Monastary Guadalupe

Two major events that occurred in 1492 are symbolised at the Royal Monastery, the reconquest by the Catholic Kings and the arrival to the Americas by Christopher Columbus.

There is a famous statue of the Virgin Mary which became a  powerful symbol during the Christianisation of the new world.

Whatever your religious beliefs are you will surely be impressed by the sheer beauty of the stunning monastery.

68. Salvador Dali Museum at Figueres

Salvador Dali Museum

Salvador Dali was a Catalan artist, sculptor, author and filmmaker who made a great impact on the art world during the 20th century with his incredible surrealist artwork and flamboyant personality.

The Salvador Dali Museum is located in Figueres, his place of birth and where his body is buried. Figueres is located about a two-hour drive north of Barcelona, the transport services are very good and can be easily accessed by train, road or bus.

The museum was created by Dali himself and currently houses the largest surrealist works of art in the world. Although his works may not be to the liking of everyone, his genius is plain to see and the museum is well worth visiting to step into the surrealist world of such a unique personality.

And if you think this may be one of the lesser attractions in Spain,  a staggering 1.4 million people visited the museum in 2017!

There are various entrance tickets and guided tours available to buy online or at the main entrance,  depending on the type of tour you choose.

The basic unguided tour price for the popular Dali-Theatre Museum costs €14 with reduced rates for groups, and students, with free entrance for children up to 8 years of age.

69. Balearic Island Beaches

Cala Macarelleta Menorca Tarvel

The  Balearic Islands  consist of the islands of  Mallorca , Menorca Ibiza and Formentera and are home to some of the most incredible beaches and coves  you will find anywhere in Spain.

One of the top reasons why visitors enjoy Balearic Island holidays year after year is its incredible beaches. beaches although there are really so many to enjoy. The pick of the best includes Illetas Beach on Formentera, Cala Comte on Ibiza,  Cala Macarelleta on Menorca and the Pollenca and Alcudia beaches of Mallorca.

70. Roman Amphitheatre Tarragona

Amphitheater Tarragona

The Roman Amphitheatre is located in the Catalonian province of Tarragona around an hour's drive south of Barcelona.

This impressive structure was built in the 2nd century AD boasting a capacity for over 15.000 spectators who often watched the famous gladiators battle with wild animals.

In 259 the Christians were persecuted by Emperor Valerian many of which were burned alive within the amphitheatre. In the 18th century, it was even used as a prison.

71. Merida and Roman Lusitania

Merida Spain

Merida is located in the region of Extremadura in southwest Spain. This ancient city was founded in 25 B.C. by the Roman Emperor Augustus and it soon became the economic and cultural capital of Lusitania, the westernmost province of the powerful Roman Empire.

Because of its great importance to the empire,  Merida was lavished with attention from Rome which is evident all around the city.

The impressive Roman Theatre was built in 16 B.C. Decorative mosaics, art, sculptures and ceramics are all on display at the National Museum of Roman Art.

The archaeological site at Merida received World Heritage status from UNESCO in 1993.

72. La Boqueria Market Barcelona

La Boqueria Market Barcelona

La Boqueria is situated halfway up Las Ramblas and has been the beating heart of Barcelona  since 1836 with over 200 traders offering a huge selection of gastronomic products.

The market is open Tuesday to Thursday from 8 am to 3 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 8 am to 5 pm, it closes on Mondays.

There is an area on the second floor of the market which organises events and classrooms for cooking classes. Top chefs offer classes on local and international gastronomy, for more details see the BCN website . You can also take part in guided tours with a cooking class , tapas and wine-tasting experience, a great way to learn all about this famous indoor market.

73. Gastronomy Tour San Sebastian

Lobster Seafood

The grandiose historic city and stylish resort of San Sebastian  is located in a privileged position within the Basque Country in Northern Spain.

Amongst its many attractions is the incredible gastronomy on offer which is high on the agenda as San Sebastian boasts the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in one city.

The city offers fine dining experiences for the most sophisticated palates as well as numerous smaller tapas (  pintxos) restaurants for you to experience the city’s quirky spin on traditional Spanish tapas. See our  San Sebastian restaurant guide  for full details.

74. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum Madrid

Thyssen Museum

The collection is known as the “Golden Triangle of Art” which houses Western art from primitive Flemish and Italian painters to the 20th modern works such as pop art.

The museum was bought by the state in 1993 as a complement to the El Prado and Queen Sofia museums , also located in Madrid. Artists' works on show include those of Picasso, Van Eyck, Holbein and Rubens.

The permanent collections section of the museum is open to the public each week from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm (12 am to 4 pm on Mondays ).

The basic entrance fee is €12 per person, €10 for groups and  €8 for pensioners, children under the age of 18 and teachers get in free.

75. Timanfaya National Park Lanzarote

Timanfaya National Park Lanzarote

The Timanfaya National Park is located in the southwestern part of the island of  Lanzarote on the Canary Islands .  A holiday to these fascinating islands would not be the same without visiting the stunning Timanfaya National Park.

The unique volcanic landscape of the park was created between 1730 and 1736 when more than 100 volcanoes erupted devastating the southern of the island including several villages.

Thankfully the volcanoes have not erupted since 1824, however, due to lack of rain and erosion, the landscape looks pretty much as it did just after the last eruptions occurred. Timanfaya was declared a national park in 1968.

Visitors are treated to Martian-like landscapes, stunning scenery and rare plants and fauna. Just a few metres below the surface the temperature reaches around 650°C and anything thrown into deep holes catches fire immediately.

The park opens 7 days a week from opening hours 10.00 am to 18.00 pm, admission is €8.

76. Seville’s Historic Gems

Torre de Oro Seville Travel

The city of Seville is the capital of the  autonomous region of Andalucia  and is Spain’s fourth-largest city. The first high-speed railway line in the country – the Madrid-Seville AVE line, opened in time for the 1992 World Expo held in the city.

  Seville is a cultural hub in Andalucia with a long and varied historic and cultural past and is home to some of the finest monuments and ancient sites in Spain.

The top sites to visit include the impressive cathedral, the rambling Alcazar gardens, the riverside Torre del Oro (Golden Tower), the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the Almohad walls, La Giralda , and the famous La Maestranza bullring, the oldest of its kind in the world.

77. Footy Tours

Sanitago Bernabeu Stadium Madrid

You don’t have to be a football enthusiast ( although it definitely helps )  to enjoy a tour around one of the top Spanish football stadiums. Many now offer tours to visitors showing off the ground, practice facilities, the cup room and much more.

The pick of the stadiums includes the home of Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and of course the  Camp Nou Football Stadium, home to Barcelona.

The Camp Nou experience tour runs every half hour and costs €25, Pensioners and children from 6 to 13 pay €20.   Admission to the impressive Madrid  Football Stadium Tour costs €25 for adults and  €18 for children up to 14 years of age.

78. Monserrat Monastery Barcelona

Monserrat Monastery

The Benedictine Monastery of  Santa Maria de Montserrat is situated around 1.200 meters up high in the mountains and makes for an impressive site from miles around.

Top attractions at the monastery include the Black Madonna, Gregorian chants sung daily by 50 boys from the “Escolania de Montserrat” the monastery boarding school and the museum which houses work by Dali, El Greco, Monet and Giordano.

There are plenty of places to enjoy a picnic around the monastery grounds and a few eateries if you prefer to eat local and alfresco.

79. Corralejo National Park Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura Travel

The Corralejo National Park is located a short drive from the town of Corralejo in the northeast of the Canary Island of Fuerteventura .

It is the best place you can visit to enjoy a dessert experience with its enormous expanse of white sands lapped by the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

A wild and varied landscape of volcanic and desert alongside a dramatic and rugged coastline makes this a unique and fascinating place to visit.

Spending a day out in the park you can enjoy lazing on one of the stunning beaches or trek to the top of Red Mountain.

80. Tabernas “Wild West Desert” Almeria

Tabernas Almeria

Tabernas desert is located within the province of Almeria  in the autonomous region of Andalusia in southern Spain.

This is Europe's only desert with 3000 annual sunshine hours,  temperatures ranging from -5 to 47C  and an annual rainfall of just 200mm.

Its baron rocky appearance has made it a firm favourite location for movie makers staking its claim as part of international film history.

Many film sets have been constructed around Tabernas over the years some of which are open to those looking to enjoy a Wild West cowboy experience. There are a number of movie sets that you can visit such as Fort Bravo to enjoy a Hollywood cowboy experience, gun fights included!

Some of the top films, TV series and music videos filmed around Tabernas include A Fistful of Dollars, Tobruk, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and Shout Out To My Ex by supergirl group Little Mix.

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30 Best Things to Do in Spain + MAP

Home | Travel | Europe | Spain | 30 Best Things to Do in Spain + MAP

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Spain is a country rich in history, culture, gastronomy, and beautiful landscapes. There are so many things to do in Spain , from visiting its small towns and wonderful beaches to exploring its vivid cities and landmarks.

If you want to know which tourist attractions in Spain you can’t miss, I’ll share the 30 best places and activities in this guide. Not all of them are so well known, but I can assure you that they’ll leave you speechless.

So, are you ready to discover the best places to visit in Spain ?

Things to do in Spain Placeholder

1. Alhambra of Granada, one of the best places to visit in Spain

Andalusia has a rich Muslim history that’s still present today, which has resulted in some of the best architecture in Spain . The best example of this is the Alhambra in Granada , one of the most famous places in Spain .

This palatial fortress is comprised of a series of Nasrid palaces adorned with white marble columns and muqarnas, which once housed sultans. Moreover, from here, you can see the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the entire city of Granada. Without a doubt, it’s a must-see in Spain , and my favorite part is the Generalife gardens and fountain. If you plan a trip to Southern Spain , you must visit it.

Alhambra of Granada, things to do in spain

The Alhambra is wildly popular, so if you want full access to the Nasrid palaces, the Alcazaba, the Generalife gardens, and the Partal, I recommend buying your ticket months in advance ; especially during peak season when same-day tickets are impossible to get.

  • Recommended accommodation : Hotel Casa Morisca , in the historic neighborhood of Albayzin, at the foot of the Alhambra, is the best option. You’ll have impressive views of the Alhambra and the Generalife, and easy access to the palaces .

2. Visit Seville, one of the best things to do in Spain

Seville is one of the best cities to visit in Spain . I recommend spending at least two days here so you can enjoy everything that Seville has to offer. For example, you’ll love La Giralda, a majestic, 800-year-old Almohad tower that crowns the city’s Cathedral.

Furthermore, the Plaza de España is one of the most iconic points of interest in Spain . Dating back to 1929, it was designed by architect Aníbal González for the Ibero-American Exhibition. You should also walk through the labyrinthine streets of the old Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz, visit the Alcázar Gardens, and try some local tapas.

Seville, attraction in spain

Seville is known as the birthplace of flamenco , and, as probably you already know, watching a flamenco show is one of the best activities in Spain . This Triana tablao flamenco show is, no doubt, the best way to experience this part of the Spanish culture, so make sure you book some time for this activity.

As you can see, there is a lot to do in Seville, so I recommend booking tickets to the Cathedral and La Giralda in advance . You may also like this river cruise along the Guadalquivir River, which goes past the Torre del Oro and Triana Bridge.

  • Recommended accommodation : The Meliá Lebreros is located just 0.2 miles from the train station, 0.1 miles from the Nervión metro stop, and a few minutes’ walk from the city center .

3. Timanfaya National Park, a beautiful place in Spain you should see

With its gorgeous scenery, Timanfaya National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Spain , and visiting it is one of the best things to do in Lanzarote .

Walking among the volcanic landscape is like landing on the moon; the geomorphological structures formed from the eruptions of 1730, 1736, and 1824, resulting in one of the top tourist attractions in Spain . Moreover, the combination of red, orange, ochre, and black tones contrast brilliantly against the radiant blue sky. No doubt why this is one of the most popular national parks in Spain.

Timanfaya National Park, spain tourist attraction

To see everything that this national park has to offer, I recommend this 1-day tour , which includes admission to the park. It’s an adventurous thing to do in Spain , and you’ll also see La Geria, El Golfo, Charco de Los Clicos, and many other places.

  • Recommended accommodation : I definitely recommend the Hotelito del Golfo since it’s the only hotel in the natural park and one of the best places to stay in Lanzarote .

4. Hanging Houses of Cuenca, another famous place in Spain

The Hanging Houses of Cuenca , also known as the King’s Houses, are a series of homes built into a rocky ledge. The houses have large balconies overlooking the Huécar river gorge, making it one of the coolest places in Spain .

Hanging Houses of Cuenca, best thing to do in spain

The best way to see this historic site in Spain is on a free walking tour with a local guide (it’s in Spanish). Moreover, if you have time, you can visit the Enchanted City and the Cuervo River , two natural wonders in Spain ’s Cuenca province.

  • Recommended accommodation : I highly recommend the world-renowned Parador de Cuenca , considered one of the most beautiful paradores in Spain . You’ll have spectacular views since it hangs off the cliff, right in front of the Hanging Houses .

5. See the architecture of Gaudí in Barcelona

If there is a Spanish landmark you must see during your trip, it’s the Sagrada Familia . This famous church in Barcelona is Antoni Gaudí’s modernist masterpiece and an example of the best architecture in Spain .

The cathedral has been under construction for over 100 years, yet it remains one of the top places of interest in Barcelona and all of Spain. The line to get in can last for hours, but it’s well worth going inside, so I recommend buying a skip-the-line ticket in advance.

Sagrada Familia, cool places in spain

While you’re in Barcelona, be sure to check out another Gaudí masterpiece: Park Güell . Another must-see in Spain , this huge architectural garden is full of native flora, undulating pathways, and colorful mosaics. If you want to avoid the line to get in, purchase this ticket in advance, or book this free guided tour with an expert who will tell you all about this World Heritage Site.

Finally, Barcelona is one of the best cities in Spain and has so much to offer, so you can also do this free tour to see some other important monuments in the historic city center. If you prefer to explore on your own, we have a complete guide on things to do in Barcelona .

  • Recommended accommodation : The Ayre Hotel Rosellón is right in front of the Sagrada Familia, and you can see it from the hotel’s rooftop terrace, so I plan to stay there during my next trip. Another high-quality accommodation in the city is the W Barcelona , which boasts spectacular views of the sea .

6. Prado Museum & El Retiro Park, Madrid

As we continue this list of things to do in Spain , we move to the capital city of Madrid. In our guide on things to do in Madrid , you will find that this city has it all: recreation, great food, culture, and incredible museums. In fact, the Prado Museum in Madrid is Spain’s most popular museum, with three million annual visitors.

Not only is it one of the most recognized museums in the world, but the Prado also has famous works like Goya’s Black Paintings and Velázquez’s Las Meninas , and loads of galleries that you can get lost in. The museum often has long lines, so I recommend getting your ticket in advance. Also, if you want to dedicate your day to the arts, be sure to check out the Reina Sofía Museum , which is just a few minutes’ walk away.

Prado Museum, cool things to do in spain

That said, the Prado Museum is right next to El Retiro Park , another top attraction in Spain ’s capital city. This World Heritage Site is one of the largest parks in Madrid and once belonged to the Spanish monarchy. As such, it’s a lovely place with a big lake, lush gardens, historic monuments like the Alfonso XII Monument, the Fountain of the Fallen Angel, and the Crystal Palace. Without a doubt, this whimsical park is one of the best places to visit in Spain .

  • Recommended accommodation : The Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado is in Madrid’s Art Triangle, close to the Prado, El Retiro, Reina Sofía, the Thyssen Museum, and the Barrio de las Letras .

7. Aqueduct of Segovia, a historical Spanish landmark you can’t miss

The Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the most important historical sites in Spain and an impressive feat of Roman engineering. Its construction dates back to the beginning of the 2 nd century, to transport water from the Sierra mountains to Segovia (although the legends attribute this to the devil himself).

Aqueduct of Segovia, famous places in spain

In addition to the aqueduct, Segovia is a beautiful city with some of the best sightseeing in Spain . During your time here, I recommend taking this guided tour of the Segovia Cathedral and eating a roasted suckling pig at the Mesón de Cándido, a restaurant located beneath the aqueduct.

  • Recommended accommodation : The Real Segovia by Recordis Hotels is in the heart of the city, at the Plaza de las Sirenas, and is the best place you can stay in Segovia .

8. See the Lakes of Covadonga & Picos de Europa, a cool thing to do in Spain

Next, we go further north to the Lakes of Covadonga and the Picos de Europa , two beautiful places in Spain that you must visit at least once in your life.

Covadonga was the first capital of the ancient Kingdom of Asturias and is one of the most charming places in Spain , thanks to its religious sanctuary. From there, you can make the ascent towards the Lakes of Covadonga, which offer impressive views of the expansive landscape and, of course, a few Asturian cows along the way.

Lakes of Covadonga & Picos de Europa, historic sites in spain

If you don’t want to drive to the lakes on your own, you can take this excursion from Cangas de Onís, which will take you past the Picos de Europa National Park , one of Spain’s wildest natural treasures.

  • Recommended accommodation : The Arcea Gran Hotel Pelayo , with views of Covadonga Cathedral, is a lovely hotel where you can go hiking, cycling, and canoeing .

9. Molinos de la Mancha, another popular place to visit in Spain

If you like literature, surely you know Don Quixote . That means you’ll love visiting the famous Molinos de la Mancha , another cultural point of interest in Spain .

Molinos de la Mancha, points of interest in spain

There are a few ways to get there, but I recommend the Molinos de Consuegra so you can see these charming 19 th -century windmills. Not only are these striking white windmills a beautiful addition to the Spanish countryside, but they’re a wonderful reminder of the pivotal works by Cervantes.

  • Recommended accommodation : El Patio de los Jazmines is a lovely rural hotel recognized by the government’s Junta de Castilla-La Mancha and is perfect for getting lost among the old mills in the countryside .

10. Teide National Park, Tenerife, an incredible attraction in Spain’s Canary Islands

Teide National Park is another must-see in Spain since it has the highest peak in all the Canary Islands, and all of Spain.

It has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you can bet that it offers some of the best views in Spain . We have a guide on how to climb Mount Teide , so if you’d like to do the climb but have doubts, be sure to read it. My suggestion is to take the cable car , then climb the 12,200 feet to the crater summit.

Teide National Park, spain where to go

If you prefer to do the climb with a guide, check out one of the best Teide tours . In any case, I think it’s an incredible thing to do in Spain that you should do!

  • Recommended accommodation : The Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide , located over 6,500 feet above sea level, offers magnificent views of Mount Teide and the arid volcanic surroundings. It’s the perfect place to start (or end) your day in Teide National Park .

11. Visit the Roman Theater of Mérida, an unforgettable activity in Spain

Another great work left by the Romans is the Roman Theater of Mérida . Its construction was ordered by Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus, between 16 and 15 B.C., and today, it’s one of the most important landmarks in Spain .

Over its 2,000 years of existence, the theater has become the architectural ruins that you’ll see today. Even so, it’s one of the most magnificent parts of the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

Roman Theater of Mérida, top things to do in spain

If you’d like to learn more about the history of Hispania and visit the Roman Theater and other ruins like the Moorish Alcazaba citadel, the Morerías Archaeological Zone, the Casa del Amphitheater, and the Roman Amphitheatre, I recommend this combined pass with a guide .

  • Recommended accommodation : The Hotel Ilunion Mérida Palace is a restored 15th-century palace in the Plaza de España with a terrace pool and great views of the city .

12. Burgos Cathedral, another breathtaking place to visit in Spain

The Burgos Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful churches in the country, so it’s a must-see in Spain .

Its construction began 800 years ago, in 1221, following the French Gothic style. Throughout history, it has undergone various restoration efforts that have kept it alive and given it some unique design details. Two standout features are the two exterior towers and the splendid Gothic-Plateresque dome. Inside, you can’t miss the Altarpiece, the Constable’s Chapel, and the Golden Staircase.

Burgos Cathedral, attractions in spain

 If you want to discover all the secrets of this architectural marvel, I recommend taking this guided tour of the cathedral.

  • Recommended accommodation : The Crisol Mesón del Cid is one of the best hotels in Burgos, with a central location that makes it easy to explore the narrow historic streets .

13. See the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, an enjoyable thing to do in Spain with kids

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is a cultural and entertainment complex and one of the best tourist attractions in Spain .

City of Arts and Sciences, spanish landmarks

The complex was designed by the famous architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela and houses some of the best activities in Spain that you can do as a family. Among them are L’Oceanogràfic, the largest aquarium in Europe; L’Hemisfèric, a planetarium and the largest laser projection room in Spain; and a three-story science museum. If you get the full ticket , you’ll gain access to all the interactive exhibits and gallery spaces, so it’s worth it.

  • Recommended accommodation : The Ilunion Aqua 4 is in front of the City of Arts and Sciences and has a 9 th -floor Michelin star restaurant with panoramic views .

14. Great Mosque of Córdoba, one of the most famous attractions in Spain

The Great Mosque of Córdoba is one of the most historic landmarks in Spain and a monument you must see to believe. Don’t be fooled by the name; it’s officially known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption.

Along with the Alhambra, the Mosque of Córdoba is the most important monument of Andalusian architecture. It was declared a Site of Cultural Interest as part of Córdoba’s historic center and, in 2007, was selected by the public as one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. Moreover, it was awarded in a TripAdvisor contest as the best tourist destination in Europe and number six in the world.

Great Mosque of Córdoba, activities in spain

As you can see, visiting the Great Mosque of Córdoba is one of the top things to do in Spain , and you can soak up all its history on this guided tour .

  • Recommended accommodation : The Hesperia Córdoba is on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, granting you lovely views of the Mosque and the medieval Alcazar fortress .

15. Wall of Ávila, another Spanish landmark you must see

It’s impossible to visit Ávila and not see the majestic Wall of Ávila . This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most important monuments in Spain that you should see at least once.

The wall has a perimeter of 1.5 miles and covers an area of 81.5 acres. Its 88 medieval towers reach a height of nearly 40 feet, making it one of the most incredible attractions in Spain . This impressive wall was completed between the 11 th and 14 th centuries and they’re the most complete fortifications in the country. Also, the wall’s nine gates were finished at different times, so they each reflect a different style.

Wall of Ávila, what to do in spain

It’s worth seeing this marvel, and you can learn more about it and other monuments in Ávila’s historic center on this free tour .

  • Recommended accommodation : The Palacio de la Velada is an impressive 16th-century palace with luxurious rooms, and it’s right in front of the Ávila Cathedral. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant that serves typical food from the region .

16. Balearic Islands, an unforgettable place to visit in Spain with friends

If you’re looking for the best place to visit in Spain in summer , the Balearic Islands are one of your best options. These islands are comprised of Mallorca, Menorca, Cabrera, Ibiza, and Formentera; and other islets, such as Dragonera, Conejera or S’Espalmador.

The Balearic Islands have some of the most beautiful landscapes and beaches in Spain. There’s a reason why it’s the third most-visited autonomous community in Spain, attracting both national and international tourists.

Balearic Islands, best vacation spots spain

The most populous city here is the capital of Palma de Mallorca . If you go here, I suggest taking this free tour to learn more about its history. Also, this dolphin-watching tour in Palma de Mallorca is one of the best things to do in Spain with family .

Another island I recommend you see is Menorca , which is known for its lovely beaches, coves, and remains of the Talayotic Culture. Take a walk around the citadel, visit Mount Toro and the Mola Fortress, go to Mahón, or take a boat ride to discover the best coves.

Finally, Ibiza is known for its party atmosphere, but it has much more than that, so I’ll tell you all about that later .

17. Go to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, something to do in Spain if it rains

Going to Bilbao is one of the best things to do in northern Spain , and it has one of the coolest cultural attractions, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao .

Inaugurated in 1997, the museum is guarded by the Puppy , an impressive floral dog sculpture created by artist Jeff Koons. As for the design of the building, it’s the work of architect Frank Gehry and is one of the most representative examples of the avant-garde aesthetic of the 20 th century.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, top things to do in spain

If you can, check out the museum at sunset when the play of light on the structure is beautiful. Inside, you’ll find 258,000ft² of space, 113,000 of which are intended for exhibitions. There are collections from local artists like Eduardo Chillida and international artists such as Mark Rothko and Yoko Ono . The museum also has a rotating roster of exhibits ranging from Chinese and Russian art to paintings and sculptures.

It’s best to buy tickets online since they’re cheaper and you’ll avoid unnecessary lines. Also, since you’ll be in Bilbao, take this free tour to learn all about this great historic center and attractions like the Arriaga Theatre, the Begoña Stairs, and the Santiago Cathedral.

  • Recommended accommodation : The Hotel Carlton in Bilbao’s famous Plaza de Don Federico Moyúa is less than a 10-minute walk from the museum .

18. Toledo, one of the best cities to visit in Spain

Toledo is known as the City of Three Cultures and is another beautiful place to visit in Spain .

My number-one piece of advice is to not leave this city without seeing the Cathedral of Toledo , one of the most impressive churches in the world. It’s also worth visiting the Mirador del Valle, especially at sunset; the Alcantara Bridge; and the Monastery of San Juan, which is over 500 years old.

Toledo, best place to go in spain for couples

If you’d like to visit this city from top to bottom, I suggest getting the Toledo Card , which grants you skip-the-line admission to several monuments and a guided tour of the Cathedral .

  • Recommended accommodation : The Eugenia de Montijo, Autograph Collection is named after the empress who owned this former palace, which has been converted into a luxury hotel. You won’t regret staying here !

19. Camino de Santiago, a popular thing to do in Spain

Without a doubt, one of the best activities in Spain is doing the Camino de Santiago, one of the best hikes in Spain . Some people do the route on foot, while others go by bike or even run. Whichever method you choose, I promise you it will be a unique experience.

The Camino de Santiago will transport you to some of the most beautiful places in Spain like the tomb of Santiago el Mayor, located in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral .

Camino de Santiago, top places to visit in spain

This route has its roots as a medieval Christian pilgrimage that started from the western Pyrenees. Today, the Camino de Santiago refers to the modern-day routes, such as the Camino Francés and Camino Portugués. As you travel along the route, you’ll meet many other pilgrims making the trek, as well as some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country.

Once you’ve fulfilled your mission and have arrived in Santiago de Compostela, you can receive your official certificate of completion. I also recommend taking this guided tour of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and its museum.

  • Recommended accommodation : After such a rigorous journey, the best thing you can do is indulge yourself and stay at the Parador de Santiago – Hostal Reis Catolicos . Here, you can lounge like a king in a four-poster bed and enjoy traditional Galician dishes and seafood .

20. Eat paella in Valencia, a typical thing to do in Spain

One of the best things about traveling to a new place is trying different foods, so if you’re going to Spain, you must try paella . You can get paella throughout Spain, but one of the best places to get this traditional dish is in Valencia since it originated there.

Paella is a rice dish, and its name comes from the shallow frying pan that the original Valencian paella was cooked in. Traditional paella valenciana consists of rice, bajoqueta and tavella green beans, rabbit, chicken, and garrofó , a type of lima bean. The ingredients are cooked in olive oil, chicken broth, and saffron, which gives the paella its distinctive yellow color.

Paella, must see in spain

This is said to be the original recipe, although you can find all kinds of variations, including paella de mariscos (seafood paella). If you want the very best paella in Spain, be sure to order it in Valencia. Some restaurants that are known for their delicious paella include Casa Carmela, Casa Roberto, La Pepica, La Riuà, and Restaurante Levante.

Sitting around a table with a huge skillet of paella is one of the best things to do in Spain with friends , so you won’t regret traveling to Valencia to experience it!

  • Recommended accommodations : Zenit Valencia has a restaurant, bar, gym, sauna, and it’s a few blocks from Casa Roberto. Another good nearby option is Ilunion Aqua 4 next to the City of Arts & Sciences .

21. RondA & Caminito del Rey, two magnificent places to visit in Spain

German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, called Ronda the city of his dreams, and it’s not hard to see why. Ronda is one of the most beautiful places in Spain , and the best way to discover this town is with this free guided tour . Among the famous monuments here, you’ll get to see the New Bridge, which spans the city’s canyon.

You’ll also walk along the Paseo de Ernest Hemingway on the cliffs of El Tajo, which has a sculpture honoring the American writer. Furthermore, you’ll see the iconic balconies of the hanging houses, which hover almost 500 feet over a canyon gorge.

Ronda & Caminito del Rey, attraction in spain

21. Ronda & Caminito del Rey, two magnificent places to visit in Spain

If you fancy something more active, nearby is the Caminito del Rey , one of the best hiking trails in Spain. You can do the route on your own, but if you don’t have much hiking experience, it’s better to do it with a guide . During the 3-hour excursion, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful landscape of cliffs, gorges, and tunnels.

  • Recommended accommodation : To round out your visit to Ronda, I recommend the Parador de Ronda , located in the old town hall. You’ll have spectacular views of the gorge and the New Bridge .

22. Go to the oldest restaurant in the world in Madrid

Talking about food again, if you’re in Madrid, you must visit the oldest restaurant in the world , Sobrino de Botín . The restaurant was founded in 1725, and its cellar dates back to 1590.

Sobrino de Botín has an expansive history, especially among artists and creatives. Ernest Hemingway loved dining here, and he even featured the restaurant in one of his books. Also, the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya waited tables here before he got accepted into the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Sobrino de Botin, spain tourist attraction

This tavern is one of the best places to visit in Spain because it’s like stepping back in time. The kitchen oven’s flame has been continuously burning all these years, and the menu consists of original recipes like cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig), cordero asado (roast lamb), and sopa de ajo (a garlicky soup with poached egg).

Moreover, Sobrino de Botín is very close to Plaza Mayor , another popular attraction in Spain ’s capital city. This is one of the city’s main squares and the former center of Old Madrid. It was built during the reign of Philip II, and a bronze statue of the King still stands at the center of the plaza. Throughout the day, you can find tourists and locals passing through, shopping at the stores, or eating at the cafes. Plaza Mayor is also the site of various events throughout the year, including a Christmas market.

  • Recommend accommodations : The Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado is a beautiful hotel, or you can stay at the Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid if you’d like to be closer to Plaza Mayor. The hotel has family rooms, a pet-friendly policy, and a spa, so you’ll be comfortable and close to several main attractions .

23. Santiago Bernabéu or Camp Nou, the perfect places to visit in Spain for soccer lovers

Soccer is one of the top activities in Spain , so if you’re a sports fan, there are two places I recommend you visit.

Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid is the famous home stadium for Real Madrid. With a capacity for over 81,000 people, it’s the second-largest stadium in Spain. If there is a game there during your stay, it’s worth going for the camaraderie and experience. Another option is this stadium tour to see the massive arena, exclusive areas for players, and memorabilia about the stadium’s history.

Camp Nou, cool places in spain

If you’re going to be in Barcelona, check out Camp Nou , the home stadium for FC Barcelona. It’s the biggest stadium in Spain and all of Europe, with seating for over 99,000 spectators. Besides hosting soccer games, Camp Nou is a popular venue for concerts and other events. It also has an on-site museum, so I recommend this tour , which takes you to the soccer pitch, the locker rooms, and the commentary box. You’ll also get to see videos, jerseys, and other items from FC Barcelona’s top players.

  • Recommended accommodations : The H10 Tribeca is very close to Santiago Bernabéu and offers modern, sound-proof rooms with free Wi-Fi. If you want to stay near Camp Nou, NH Barcelona Stadium is a sustainable hotel with an on-site restaurant and views of Montjuïc .

24. San Lorenzo de El Escorial, one of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Spain

The Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is one of the most important landmarks in Spain , as it’s the best example of the country’s “Golden Age” ideology of the 16 th century.

This World Heritage Site is comprised of the Royal Palace of King Philip II, a convent, a library with thousands of ancient books, and royal burial sites for several former monarchs. The Pantheon of Kings contains the remains of over two dozen royals from the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial, things to do in spain

Throughout its history, El Escorial has served as a basilica, a hospital, a library, a monastery, a museum, a pantheon, and a school. It’s a must-see in Spain thanks to its lovely marble walls, gold-plated accents, and formal gardens.

If you want to know more about this impressive monastery, I recommend you take this excursion , which also takes you to the Valley of the Fallen, an important monument from Spain’s Civil War era.

  • Recommended accommodation : If you can, stay at the Exe Victoria Palace , which overlooks the San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the Valmayor Reservoir, and the Sierra de Guadarrama. It also has a garden with an outdoor pool where you can lounge and beat the summer heat in Madrid .

25. Salamanca, a city with lots of fun things to do in Spain

Salamanca is a city with lots of cultural points of interest in Spain , like the New and Old Cathedrals, Plaza Mayor, and the Casa de las Conchas. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998 and is home to the country’s oldest university.

Moreover, Salamanca is known for its historical monuments, so if you don’t want to miss anything here, I recommend this free tour . It’ll take you past the Plaza del Corrillo, the impressive architecture of the New Cathedral , and the Episcopal Palace, which houses the History Museum of Salamanca . Your guide will also point out the hidden figures etched into the façade of the University of Salamanca , which was founded in 1218.

Salamanca, place to visit in spain

For me, Salamanca is the most beautiful place to visit in Spain ’s Castilla y León region, so it’s a city you must visit at least once!

  • Recommended accommodation : Stay at the Fenix Gran Meliá hotel, one of the most romantic hotels in Spain. It’s located next to the Plaza de Colón and features classic English furnishings and décor .

26. Visit the beaches of the Canary Islands, something to do in Spain as a couple

If you’re looking for things to do in Spain in winter , I heartily recommend going to the Canary Islands . The Islands are one of my favorite tourist spots in Spain thanks to its year-round temperate climate, its landscapes, and of course, its beautiful beaches.

The average temperature in the Canary Islands is around 68°F, and it rarely rains, so it’s the perfect place to go in the winter. Among all the activities to do here, one of the best things is sightseeing and witnessing the volcanic surroundings of the islands.

Canary Islands, beautiful place in spain

When you’re planning your trip, you’ll have to decide which is the best island in the Canary Islands for you. It’s a tough choice, so here are my top suggestions for each island:

  • Things to do in Tenerife : Whale tours, Mount Teide, Anaga National Park, and Benijo Beach
  • Things to see in Gran Canaria : The beach and dunes of Maspalomas, Roque Nublo
  • Things to see in Lanzarote : Timanfaya, Papagayo Beach, and the works of César Manrique
  • Things to do in Fuerteventura : Corralejo Dunes and Cofete Beach
  • Things to see in La Palma : Roque de Los Muchachos and Caldera de Taburiente
  • Things to do in La Gomera : Laurisilva (laurel forest) in Garajonay Natural Park
  • Things to do in El Hierro : This quieter island is perfect for scuba diving

Whichever island you choose, you won’t regret it! Without a doubt, the Canary Islands are one of the best places to visit in Spain , so don’t pass them up !

27. San Sebastián, another unique place to visit in Spain

San Sebastián is another lovely city to see in Spain, particularly for its charming La Concha Beach, one of the best beaches in Spain .

That said, the most-visited part of San Sebastián and what makes it one of the best places to visit in Spain is its Old Town ( Parte Vieja ). Here, you can visit the Plaza de la Constitución and its colorful buildings, as well as Alameda del Boulevard, the main artery that connects the Old Town to the newer Donostia district. This free tour will tell you more about the town’s history and development.

San Sebastián, que ver en espana

Another great part about San Sebastián is its gastronomy, as it has the best pintxos (tapas) in the country. It’s worth indulging in the specialties here, and you can try all the best pintxos on this food tour .

  • Recommended accommodations : I suggest staying at the Zenit Convento San Martin , which is just 500 feet from La Concha Beach. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and terrace, which is perfect for lounging in the summertime .

28. Go skiing in the Pyrenees, a fun activity in Spain you should do

If you like sports and you’re visiting Spain during the winter, you must go skiing in the Pyrenees .

Within the Catalan Pyrenees , I recommend the Baqueria-Beret ski resort, which has a wide variety of slopes and off-trail runs. If this is where you choose to go, stay at the Hotel Val de Neu , which offers free ski storage, as well as rooms and suites with views of the slopes. There is also the luxury Sisley Spa, where you can indulge in massages, beauty treatments, a thermal circuit, and an outdoor hot tub. It’s the perfect thing to do in Spain after spending a few hours on the slopes.

The Pyrenees, cool places in spain

Another option is La Molina , with over 44 skiable miles. La Molina opened its doors in 1943, making it the oldest ski resort in Catalonia, and it was also the first in Spain to install a ski lift. Today, the resort has 69 slopes, 12 ski schools, and 400 instructors. It’s one of the best places to visit in Spain with family , although you can also train here. If you choose to go here, purchase your ski pass in advance here .

Finally, in the Pyrenees of Huesca, you can go to the Celer, Astún, and Formigal ski resorts. If you prefer something further south, check out the slopes of the Sierra Nevada .

29. Wine tastings in La Rioja, another nice thing to do in Spain as a couple

Spain has the most cultivated vineyards in the world and, it’s number three worldwide in terms of wine production. So, you can imagine that doing a wine tasting in La Rioja is one of the best things to do in Spain .

I mention La Rioja because it’s the creme de la creme regarding Spanish vineyards. If you’d like to immerse yourself in this culture, I recommend this tour , which takes you through the Rioja Vega winery’s grounds and barrel room. You’ll learn about the origins of Spanish wine and, of course, enjoy a guided tasting.

La Rioja, famous places in spain

Without a doubt, La Rioja is one of the best places to go in Spain as a couple , although it’s also lots of fun with friends.

  • Recommended accommodation : For a dreamy visit, stay at the Hotel Marqués de Riscal in Elciego, within La Rioja’s Alavesa province. Most of the rooms have built-in window seats overlooking the valley. You’ll also have access to the hotel’s Vinothérapie Spa by Caudalie Marqués de Riscal, which offers grape-infused treatments. There is also an indoor pool, a hammam, a Finnish sauna, and a gym, making it one of the most charming hotels in Spain .

30. Party in Ibiza, an awesome thing to do in Spain with friends

Ibiza is known around the world for its party atmosphere, and while it’s true that its nightlife is quite the experience, there is a lot more to this place.

Many areas of Ibiza are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so it’s one of the best islands to visit near Spain . Among these sites are the Renaissance walls of Old Town , the Ses Feixes Wetlands, and the remains of the first Phoenician settlement at Sa Caleta.

Ibiza, spain where to go

Another historic site is Dalt Vila , or High Town. It’s also worth visiting the scenic Punta d’es Moscarter on the northern tip of the island. You can learn more secrets about Ibiza’s Old Town and Dalt Vila on this free tour .

As you can see, Ibiza offers plenty of culture and history, so it’s one of the best holiday destinations in Spain if you’re looking for something different.

  • Recommended accommodation : THB Los Molinos , located in Dalt Vila, is an adults-only hotel right on the beach. It has a sauna, hot tub, gym, and balcony rooms, as well as Balinese beds and a bar right next to the pool.

Spanish foods you must try

Trying some typical Spanish foods is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Spain . Below are some of the must-try foods I recommend:

  • Paella : As I mentioned, paella is a rice dish that originated in Valencia, and it’s traditionally made with special types of green beans, lima beans, chicken, rabbit, and saffron.
  • Gazpacho : This chilled soup is typically made with tomato, cucumbers, onion, bell peppers, garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar, water, salt, and crusty bread. It’s most popular in southern Spain.
  • Tortilla de patatas : Also known as a Spanish omelet, this dish is made with eggs, potatoes, and onions. It’s often served in smaller portions as a tapa .
  • Patatas bravas : Forget French fries; patatas bravas are white potatoes fried in oil, then served with a spicy sauce. They’re often served as tapas , and they’re absolutely delicious.
  • Sangria : This red wine mixed with chopped apples, berries, or stone fruits is a staple in Spain.
  • Tapas : Tapas are small plates or appetizers that you typically eat with beer or wine. There are different varieties, but the most popular tapas include olives ( aceitunas ), meatballs ( albóndigas ), Russian salad ( ensaladilla rusa ), croquettes, patatas bravas , tortilla de patatas , fried cheese, fried squid rings ( calamares ), and sauteed prawns ( gambas ).

My advice is to come to this country hungry because sampling the traditional foods here is one of the most delicious activities in Spain !

How to get around Spain

Spain is great for road tripping and renting a car will help you see the places in Spain that I recommend here, as well as the surrounding areas. Besides, you can often rent a car in one town and drop it off at another, so it’s quite convenient.

If you want to find cheap car rentals , it’s best to read our guide first. In the past, we’ve mostly used DiscoverCars to get the best prices. Sometimes they’re up to three times cheaper than other websites, so I recommend to check them out.

Also, take into account that renting a car is not required in Spain since there are plenty of bus and train options if you don’t want to drive. To check the best bus/train/flights options in Spain we always use Omio .

And there you have the best things to do in Spain . If you’d like to tell me about your favorite tourist attractions in Spain , or you want to ask me any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment. Until then, have a safe trip!

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33 Best Attractions in Spain Everyone Should Visit

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As a traveler myself, I understand your deep desire to explore the world’s wonders. With open arms, Spain welcomes its visitors with fantastic attractions, sceneries, and landscapes! 

In this article, I’ll show you the 33 best attractions that deserve a special place on your bucket list. You’ll see that Spain’s charm is not just that it has tons of sites to go, but that each place is so diverse and holds history behind it.

Btw: Putting together a complete list of the best attractions is challenging… You’ll find the table of contents organized by categories, making it easier to browse.

So… this is your sign to stop delaying your decision to travel to Spain. After reading this, you will understand why this European country attracts so many people and even makes some stay! 

Table of Contents ▼ ▶

Architectural Wonders

1. the alhambra in granada.

World Heritage Site since 1984

The Alhambra in Granada is the largest and richest legacy of Muslim power in the Iberian Peninsula. It is also one of the most visited monuments in Spain and even in the world! 

Initially, the place was simultaneously a fortress, palace, and small city. It includes The Nasrid Palaces, The Alcazaba, The Generalife, The Partal, and The Palace of Charles V.

Buy tickets as far in advance as possible, on the official website of the Alhambra or at the ticket office.

2. La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

World Heritage Site since 1882

The Sagrada Familia is the symbol of the City of Barcelona par excellence. The construction of this temple began in 1882 with a neo-Gothic style. They gave the project to Gaudí a year later, who completely rethought it.

sagrada familia

Sadly, Gaudí died in 1926 and left this masterpiece unfinished. Yet, thanks to the plans that remain, other artists and donors are continuing the project so it can be finished one day!

If I were you, I would go there early in the morning to avoid crowds. And get tickets in advance. Must-read for extra tips: 15 Best Tips & Tricks to Discover Barcelona like a Local

3. Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba (Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba)

The renowned Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba is a powerful symbol of the Islamic West, representing the city’s essence and character shaped by the fusion of Muslim and Roman Catholic influences. 

This monumental structure, originally a grand Arab mosque, experienced many alterations during the Christian years, especially in the 16th century when the Christian temple or Cathedral was integrated, showing Plateresque elements.

4. The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) in Valencia

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is a complex with unique design and architecture dedicated to scientific and cultural dissemination. 

valencia city of arts

Besides being one of the 12 Marvels of Spain (I know!), it is Valencia’s most important modern tourist destination. It was inaugurated in 1998 and designed by the well-known architect Santiago Calatrava.

A visit to this place will exceed all your expectations; who knows if you stay for a few months! It happened to my fellow friend, listen to his experience on this podcast episode:

5. Park Güell in Barcelona

Designed by the iconic architect Gaudí, Park Güell is like a fairytale in real life, with its colorful mosaics, curvy structures, and stunning city views!

I promise it feels like you’ve entered a magical dream. Just make sure to arrive early or book tickets online to reserve your spot, as this popular attraction can get busy.

Also, relax! It’s a park. Feel free to bring snacks and enjoy a picnic. A visit usually takes roughly 3 hours.

6. Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

From stunning architecture to impressive exhibits, the museum is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the North of Spain. It has an outstanding collection of contemporary art, and only the building itself is worth the visit, as it was designed by Frank Gehry. 

Guggenheim Museum is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. (The collection of Wright sites means the first modern architecture designation in the country on the list.)

Buy tickets in advance. Get them on their website. Also, part of the exhibition is outside, so visit with nice weather conditions.

Historical & Cultural Wonders

7. the cathedral, alcázar, and archive of the indies in seville.

alcazar de sevilla

Seville’s historic trio, the Cathedral, Alcázar, and Archive of the Indies, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

archivo de indias

The Cathedral is the world’s largest Gothic Cathedral; the Alcázar is an enchanting palace showcasing Múdejar, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, while the Archive of the Indies preserves invaluable colonial-era documents.

catedral del sevilla

8. The Prado Museum

With more than 3 million annual visitors, The Prado Museum is a must-see attraction in the city. It is the most famous museum in the country’s capital and a worldwide reference.

The Prado Museum houses the most extensive collection of Spanish paintings, which makes it an art lover’s dream. It has the most famous paintings by Velázquez (Las Meninas), El Greco, Goya (Third of May 1808), Titian, Rubens, and Bosch.

Free from Monday to Saturday, from 6 pm to 8 pm, and on Sundays and holidays, from 5 pm to 7 pm.

9. Alcazaba in Málaga

The Alcazaba of Málaga is one of Spain’s most important preserved fortresses and defensive enclosures.

It fulfilled military and government functions in the city in the medieval period as it locates in front of the sea.

10. The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Madrid, also called the Palacio de Oriente, is the largest in Western Europe and one of the largest in the world!

It was established as the Spanish kings’ residence in 1764 with Charles III. Today, it is used exclusively for receptions, ceremonies, and official acts since the kings of Spain reside in the Palacio de la Zarzuela.

the royal palace madrid

The visit includes entrance to the official halls, the Royal Armory (to see armor, shields, and weapons of all kinds, constituting one of the most important collections in the world), and the Royal Pharmacy.

The Royal Palace is usually the first visit we recommend in our Madrid Itinerary since it’s a great starting point: How to Get Around Madrid + 8 Tips I Wish Someone Told Me

11. Historic City of Toledo

Toledo has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. It sits by the Tagus River in a very unique place.

toledo views city

They call it the “City of the Three Cultures” because Christians, Muslims, and Jews have left their mark here.

puente san martin toledo

It’s been Roman, Visigothic, a Moorish fortress, and had great significance during the reign of Charles V. So, it’s like a treasure trunk of 2,000+ years of history!

12. The Cathedral of Santa María in Salamanca

The Cathedral of Santa María, known as the Old Cathedral, is one of the two cathedrals in Salamanca. 

catedral de salamanca

It has a Romanesque and Gothic style, and its construction began in the first third of the 12th century and was completed at the end of the 14th century.

13. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Catedral de Santiago de Compostela)

Out of all the cathedrals in the world, La Catedral de Santiago is extra special. It’s where we keep the relics of one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, Santiago the Greater. Also, it is the most outstanding work of Romanesque art in Spain.

catedral de santiago de compostela

Moreover, Pilgrims from all over the world come together in a route to complete the Camino de Santiago, reaching the Cathedral. 

14. The Segovia Aqueduct

The Segovia Aqueduct is said to be “a marvel of ancient engineering,” In addition to being the best-preserved work of Roman civil engineering in Spain, it is the most symbolic monument of the city.

acueducto de segovia

In 1985, UNESCO declared the old part of the city and the aqueduct a World Heritage Site, a tourist must-see attraction.

15. The Walls of Ávila (La Muralla de Ávila)

The Walls of Ávila are an example of Romanesque military architecture and are the city’s main monument.

The wall was built with a military purpose in case of invasion since it is located in the highest part of the city.

It was built from 1090 to 1099 and has 33 hectares inside and 2,516 m length from its origin. 

16. Historic City of Cáceres

World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986

You’ll find the third-best-preserved medieval complex in the historic center of Europe, right after Prague and Tallinn. 

It’s like a time capsule where the ancient Roman foundations hide under Muslim, Jewish, and Christian history layers. 

caceres old town

A visit to Cáceres will take you on a unique journey to understand Spain’s rich cultural history, making it an iconic attraction for travelers. 

Looks familiar? Games of Thrones’s final season was filmed in Cáceres.

17. The Cathedral of Santa María de Burgos (La Catedral de Burgos)

The Cathedral of Santa María de Burgos is a temple dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and it is one of the masterpieces of Spanish Gothic and the first that represents classical Gothic architecture in Spain.

catedral de burgos

It began construction in the 13th century and was completed in the 15th and 16th centuries. Also, it has one of the largest collections of masterpieces from the period worldwide!

18. The Roman Theater in Mérida (El Teatro Romano de Mérida)

A hidden gem!

The Roman theater is the most representative element of the Monumental Complex of Mérida. In the same area is the  Anfiteatro , where they used to have those epic gladiator battles and animal fights that we see in movies!

teatro romano de merida

It is exceptionally well-preserved, and, like in Segovia, it is a testament to Roman engineering and architecture. This spot was like the Roman Empire’s entertainment hub.

It’s not surprising that it holds such a key part of Mérida’s rich heritage.

19. Casas Colgadas de Cuenca

“The town of the hanging houses”

Cuenca is famous for its iconic Hanging Houses monument, the main tourist attraction. We’re talking about centuries-old houses perched on a rocky cliff and wooden balconies that somehow remain suspended over a pretty valley.

casas colgadas cuenca

Also, I highly recommend everyone to visit it since it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the drive to Cuenca from Zaragoza is very underrated. You can appreciate the change from flat, dry lands to cliffs to tall trees. A real beauty!

Natural Beauty

20. teide national park in tenerife.

The renowned Teide National Park is the most visited in Spain. Its peak measures 3,718 meters, making it the highest mountain in our country.

“Its landscape is very similar to the moon. It’s beautiful! The last time I climbed it with my wife and her family from “Montaña Blanca,” it was a unique experience! We saw the sunrise from the top; it was amazing! We plan to do it again this year, but I’ll take the long route from the beach to the top this time. Wish us luck! A chairlift can take you to the top if you don’t want to walk that much. Ohh! And if you are a big fan of stars, the Teide has one of the most important star observatories in the world!” - Carlos, 31 years old, from Madrid.

21. Doñana in Huelva

World Heritage Site since 1994

Doñana is in Andalucia and occupies the right bank of the Guadalquivir River at its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean.

Today, it is famous for its incredible natural diversities, lagoons, marshlands, fixed and mobile dunes, scrub woodland, and maquis.

It’s said that the missing Atlantis is located in this National Park. Even Plato, the Greek Philosopher, described the island in one of his dialogues. Read the full story: The Ancient Spanish Lost City: Is the Missing Atlantis in Andalucia

22. Drach Caves (Cuevas del Drach)

The Drach Caves, located in Porto Cristo in Manacor, are one of the main tourist attractions in Mallorca. I promise you the pictures don’t do justice.

cuevas del drach

It is one of the most extensive underground caves in the world, so it is well worth a visit since there is a lot to see.

23. Picos de Europa

Picos de Europa is distributed among 11 villages and is Spain’s only inhabited Natural Park.

It is one of my favorite landscapes, where you can hike among peaks (there are more than 30 self-guided routes), lakes, and rivers, eat rich gastronomy, visit charming villages, and plan panoramic routes by car.

24. Montserrat in Catalonia

Montserrat is a multi-peaked mountain range near Barcelona; it takes an hour by car to get there. Booking a tour to Montserrat is booking a unique experience. 

The mountain is known as the site of the Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary. On top of that, you will ride the funicular railway to the Lookout of Saint Joan, which is almost 1000 meters above sea level!

25. Sierra Nevada in Andalucia

Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986

Sierra Nevada is a botanical paradise with a vascular flora with over 2100 cataloged species.

Also, it is an incredible winter destination since Sierra Nevada is a crucial ski resort with 126 kilometers of slopes. During spring, it’s an ideal place for trekking.

26. The Catalan Pyrenees

The Pyrenees? Oh yeah, they’re a real gem! Thousands of tourists go there every year since it is a wild, unexploited area and not too touristy. 

There are few all-year routes between France and Spain, so you can quickly get far from the crowds, unlike other European mountain ranges. 

27. Caves of Altamira in Cantabria

World Heritage Site in 1985

cuevas de altamira arte paleolitico spain

Did you know that this was the first place in the world where the existence of Upper Paleolithic Rock Art was identified?

cuevas de altamira arte paleolitico espana

The cave of Altamira is about 270 meters long. Inside, you will see paintings of animals everywhere, especially species already extinct in Spain and Europe. ( Read more )

28. Paradisiac Islands

One of the most iconic tourist attractions is the Spanish beaches in the Canary and the Balearic Islands… Besides having the ideal climate, their natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes are impressive.

spain island beautiful beach in ibiza

You’ve probably heard of Mallorca and Ibiza, known for stunning white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. But there are many other cities to escape and have fun in the sun!

Find out the best ones in this article: The 15 Magical Islands in Spain to Visit Once in a Lifetime

4. Culinary Experiences

29. la boqueria market.

Since 1840, the energetic Boqueria Market has been a labyrinth with more than 300 stalls offering all kinds of typical products of the gastronomy of Barcelona.

la boqueria market in barcelona

In this attraction, you will find various fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, meat, preserves, vegetables, cheeses, and other local products. 

Try the octopus marinated in herb oil and paprika from Boqueria bar.

30. San Miguel Market

Mercado San Miguel is the most popular market in Madrid. Visited by over 10 million people yearly, this market is famous for its gastronomic offer, which blends the concepts of a traditional market with high-end tapas and drinks such as beer and wine. 

san miguel market

Wait, you HAVE to stop by this place and try the croquetas ! They’re amazing.

san miguel market croquetas

31. Valencian Paella 

Is Valencian Paella considered an attraction? Yes, and it is one of the biggest ones that Valencia has to offer its visitors since it’s well-known worldwide and represents the stereotype of the Spanish Gastronomy. So, yeah… it is an attraction. 

Moreover, it was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 2021. 

If you want to know the ingredients of an authentic Paella, watch this video:

Is Paella the Best Food in Spain?

32. La Rioja Wine Region

What crosses your mind when you think of Spain? 

And why did you think about wine? 

Exactly! Spain is renowned worldwide as one of the greatest wine producers ever. That’s why wine enthusiasts visit Spain yearly to have incredible experiences. 

wine bodega barriles spain

Specifically, there’s La Rioja, a designated origin region famous for its most refined wines, perfect for the most discerning palates: Spanish Vineyards: Insider’s Guide to the Best Wine Tours

Moreover, you’ll find culturally rich attractions in the region, like the Churches in San Millán de la Cogolla, Yuso Monastery, the Co-Cathedral of Santa María de La Redonda, and more.

33. San Sebastián Gastronomy

I can’t talk about attractions without telling you about the culinary delights going on in the Basque Country. 

ruta de pintxos basque country san sebastian

For example, in San Sebastián, there are 17 Michelin Stars with local and traditional flavors of the region. The gastronomy is very unique, and the city is a world reference in the area.

Do yourself a favor and look at my favorite pintxos of all times! What to Eat in Spain: 31 Tasty & Traditional Dishes

You’ve seen a lot, but it’s not nearly the half! Getting to know all the Spanish cities and hidden gems can take years!

But there’s always a first step. You can start your adventure on your next trip. Let me help you: 10 Days in Spain: The Best Itinerary to See Everything!

READ NEXT: 10 Best Spring Destinations in Spain: Weather & Fun Activities

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15 Best Places to Visit in Spain

Written by Freddy Sherman Updated Aug 4, 2022

Few tourism destinations in the world offer such a dazzling array of places to see and tourist attractions to visit as Spain. This European country is also filled with striking natural scenery and beauty, from the rugged Sierra Nevada mountain range to the white sand and blue lagoons of its Mediterranean islands like Ibiza.

The country is also fascinating due to the different cultures of its distinct regions. There is just so much history here, much of which can be explored in any single city. Many Spanish cities have ancient Roman ruins and Islamic architecture from the Moorish period, medieval castles and fortifications along with Castilian- and Hapsburg-era palaces and mansions. Most also feature many examples of modern Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Modernist architecture.

The country also represents the pinnacle in all things related to the sheer enjoyment of life: delicious food; great art; amazing music; lively dances; and warm, friendly people. Plan your Spanish adventures with our list of the best places to visit in Spain.

2. Barcelona

3. san sebastian, 4. valencia, 11. costa brava, 12. segovia, 13. tarragona, 14. linares, 15. tenerife, map of places to visit in spain.

Cibeles Fountain in Madrid

Spain's large capital city showcases the country's incredible history. It's a perfect holiday destination, as there are royal palaces, marching soldiers, changing of the guards, and hundreds of museums to visit.

No visit to Madrid is complete without visiting all three of the city's major museums. The Prado Museum (officially called the Museo Nacional del Prado) showcases what was formerly the Spanish royal collection of art, while the nearby Reina Sofia Museum shows modern masterpieces like Picasso's moving Guernica . Also, the nearby Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum combines Old Masters with the best in contemporary art.

Madrid is also a classic, European strolling city, filled with green spaces to enjoy like the Buen Retiro Park , as well as wide, pedestrian-only boulevards like the iconic Gran Via . The food culture also thrives here, from casual tapas tasting cuisine to cutting-edge, Michelin-starred molecular gastronomy.

La Latina, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, has evolved into tapas-central with a plethora of tapas-serving establishments, most with outdoor terraces. It's fun to go from place to place sampling each one's specialties.

  • Read More: Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Madrid

Park Guell in Barcelona

The second largest city in Spain offers a completely different travel experience compared to Madrid. Its coastal location gives it more of a resort feel, complete with warm, sunny weather to enjoy on most days of the year. It's on the country's northeast coast, by the Mediterranean Sea, and also seems to have a much more modern, progressive vibe than Madrid and other Spanish cities.

Must-see tourist attractions in Barcelona include the city's immense (and perpetually unfinished) Sagrada Familia modern cathedral and the Joan Miro museum , conceived by the iconic artist himself before his death. Other good places to see in Barcelona include the city's almost three miles of beaches and La Rambla , a huge, tree-lined, pedestrian-only street. It's where the entire city seems to come out for a stroll.

Continue to where La Rambla meets the water, and you'll find the Maremagnum shopping mall. It's on its own man-made island, almost completely surrounded by water. You get to it by walking over a very cool wooden drawbridge, called Rambla de Mar. It opens each hour to let sailboats and yachts pass through. Head to La Terraza, the mall's panoramic platform with 360-degree views of the water and city skyline. The city's large aquarium is next to the mall on the same little peninsula and is well worth a visit.

Be sure to take the funicular (incline railway) up to the summit of Tibidabo , a local mountain with a beautiful church and amusement park at the top. You'll also be rewarded with spectacular views of the city and surrounding countryside.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Barcelona

San Sebastian

This resort city is on the north coast of Spain , in the Basque region. San Sebastian is right on the scenic Bay of Biscay, which opens to the Atlantic Ocean. It's a popular surf town , with quite a surfing scene at Playa de Zurriola. A visit also provides the opportunity to experience the unique Basque culture.

Things to do here include spending some time on the sandy beach of La Concha or maybe hiking up Monte Orgull, the fortress-topped mountain overlooking the city's harborside old town area. It's also fun to spend time in that cobblestoned old town, called Parte Vieja. The neighborhood is filled with really nice, locally owned shops and lots of places to sit and enjoy pintxos (the Basque version of tapas).

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in San Sebastian

Orange tree in Plaza de la Reina, Valencia

Valencia is a port city with a long connection to the sea and to Spain's trade with the world, especially with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It's on the Mediterranean Sea, on the country's southeastern coast. As a coastal city, there are some nice beaches to enjoy. Another outdoor place to see is Albufera Park , a beachside wetlands reserve with a lot of hiking trails (and some good beaches).

The city has many museums. A highlight is the Museum of Fine Arts (Museu de Belle Arts de Valencia), with its excellent collection of Spanish masters by artists like El Greco and Goya. There's also a large, Gothic-style cathedral in the medieval center of the old city along with remnants of the old city walls.

Be sure to visit the Torres de Serranos, one of the only standing gates to the walled city and a prison for over 300 years. The National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts, "González Martí," is filled with cool stuff. Spanish decorative arts is the focus here, with an incredible collection of ceramics, traditional costumes, and furniture. Kids will love the Natural Science Museum and its large collection of dinosaur skeletons.

When you get hungry, head to the city's Mercado Central , a vast Art Nouveau-style market hall (built in 1914) filled with food vendors and cafés (along with souvenir shops and other tourist-type businesses). Although it's a popular tourist attraction, you'll be surrounded by locals, too, as it's where they go to eat and hang out.

  • Read More: Best Tourist Attractions in Valencia

The Alhambra in Granada

Home to the spectacular Alhambra Moorish hilltop palace and fortress , Granada is another vibrant destination in the southern region of Andalusia . It features more incredible examples of Islamic architecture, including the Alhambra castle complex. There's an entire preserved Moorish old town area called The Albaicín, with narrow streets and most buildings dating from the 8 th , 9 th , and 10 th centuries. It's a great tourist destination, as you can experience ancient and modern Spain in the same place.

Granada also puts you close to Europe's most southern ski resort area: Sierra Nevada. Only 42 kilometers (26 miles) outside Granada, the large resort has over 100 runs served by 17 lifts and two cable cars. The high elevation means the ski season can run from late November through early May. Sierra Nevada is only 164 kilometers (102 miles) from the sunny beaches of Málaga. This means you can ski in the morning and spend the afternoon at the beach (or vice-versa).

There's a big university in Granada and a thriving modern cultural world, with delicious food, places to go for tapas, and flamenco music and dance. Royal Spain is represented here with an ornate, 16th-century cathedral, which houses the tombs of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who united the country (and sponsored Christopher Columbus' journeys of discovery).

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Granada

Beautiful beach in Ibiza

One of the best vacation spots in Spain for couples is the resort island of Ibiza. It's a short flight or a five- to six-hour ferry ride away, and is located about 100 miles off the Spanish coast. Ibiza is the largest of the Balearic Islands , a group of mainly resort islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The other three largest islands, Mallorca , Menorca, and Formentera are also popular places to see in Spain.

Ibiza may be best known for electronic music, beach parties, and massive dance clubs, but it's also filled with a lot of great family resorts and lots of fun things to see and do with kids. It has something for everyone and is a good destination for singles, couples, and families. Resort areas on Ibiza include Portinatx in the north, San Antonio in the west, and Santa Eulalia in the east.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Beaches in Ibiza

Córdoba

This ancient city in the Andalusian region in the south of Spain allows you to explore Spain's history going back several thousand years to the time when it was a part of the Roman Empire. Córdoba was an important Roman city (called Corduba), and many ruins and preserved Roman sites remain, including a 16-arch bridge across the Guadalquivir River.

Córdoba was a major Islamic center during the Middle Ages, and has some incredible architecture from that time period, the highlight being the city's large mosque. Called La Mezquita, the mosque was built in the 8 th century and later converted into a Christian church in the 13 th century. There is also a long Jewish history in the city (and all over Spain), and a 14 th -century synagogue can be visited in the medieval Judería or Jewish quarter.

Cordoba has many museums. The Museo Arqueológico de Córdoba presents the city's (and Spain's) history going back thousands of years. An added attraction, the museum is on the site of Cordoba's ancient Roman theater. The theater has been excavated and can be visited in the museum's basement level.

  • Read More: Top Tourist Attractions in Córdoba & Easy Day Trips

Plaza de Espana, Seville

A beautiful and fascinating city in southern Spain, Seville is another example of the country's living history. It's a compact city, great for sightseeing, filled with Roman ruins, Moorish structures and palaces, and Gothic churches from Castilian rule (the period when Spain was ruled by kings and queens).

Islamic history and culture is especially rich here, as the city was the capital of the ruling Moorish dynasty for most of the time it was under their control. It also blossomed during Spain's Golden Age, from the 15 th to 18 th centuries, when it was the only port allowed to officially receive trade from Spanish colonies in the Americas.

Music and dance is also taken very seriously here, as Seville is the home of flamenco dancing and the related musical style. Flamenco can be enjoyed in Tirana, a neighborhood filled with small cafés and performance venues. Santa Cruz is another popular area to explore; it's home to the city's huge Gothic cathedral and the royal palace complex, called the Real Alcazar . The palace, originally built for the city's Islamic rulers, is real living history, as the current Spanish royal family uses it when they're in town.

  • Read More: Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Seville

Ribera Market in Bilbao

This northern Spanish city is the capital of the Basque region , which can feel like a different country. It's part of Spain but officially considered an "autonomous community." The language (also called Basque) here is different from other parts of Spain, as are the food, music, and overall culture. The 1997 opening of the incredible curvy, titanium-clad, Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum really put this former gritty industrial port city on the world tourism map as a must-visit place to see in Spain.

In addition to the art inside the museum, it's surrounded by what's known as the Art District. Here, you can find oversized pieces of art and sculpture too large to be viewed inside a building. It's great for Instagram pics.

Cultural and tourism highlights include the incredible Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Plaza Berria (a big public square with lots of cool shopping and dining), and taking a stroll across the Zubizuri pedestrian bridge.

Málaga

Another great example of the vast cultural differences between Spanish cities, Málaga highlights the country's North African influence. It's on the Spanish Costa del Sol (only a short ferry ride from Africa), which is filled with a lot of generic, over-developed resort areas. Málaga is a large resort city but retains its Spanish (and African) roots as a port city.

Picasso was born here, and the city is home to a large museum featuring an impressive collection of his work. Like many other southern Spanish cities, there is a Moorish/Islamic influence here in the architecture and art. Two Moorish hilltop fortresses remain, the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro . There's also a large Renaissance-style cathedral.

The history and culture is balanced with a forest of modern, generic residential and rental apartment buildings, all fighting for ocean views. The region's warm and sunny weather makes it a popular second home destination for residents of the UK and other colder European countries. Málaga's beachfront and harbor areas are fun places to visit and offer some of the area's typically wonderful food, especially seafood.

  • Read More: Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Malaga

Calella de Palafrugell, Costa Brava

Another great vacation spot in Spain is the stunning Costa Brava area of Catalonia. This is on the northern Mediterranean coast of the country, north of Barcelona, extending to the border with France. It's filled with small beaches; rugged cliffs; and lots of small coves, bays, and inlets. Popular seaside resort towns on the Costa Brava include Blanes , Tossa de Mar , and Lloret de Mar . Take a day to explore (and snorkel around) the uninhabited Medes Islands , a short boat ride away.

Another cool place for sightseeing is a ruined, hilltop monastery, the Monasterio de Sant Pere de Rodes . Although it's a ruin, most of the structures of the buildings, including the massive church, are intact. The monastery is in the Cap de Creus natural park area, quite near the town of Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dali . The town is home to the large Dali Museum, which the artist himself had a hand in designing and planning.

The Alcazar of Segovia

The Spanish city of Segovia is in central Spain, northwest of Madrid. The area is rich with Roman ruins and was also a key city in the post-medieval period of royal rule. There's a Gothic cathedral (with a fascinating museum of religious art) located on the city's Plaza Mayor main square. The Plaza Mayor area is a haven for foodies, as it's filled with restaurants, cafés, and places to get tapas.

Sightseeing highlights in Segovia include the Moorish Alcazar fortress and castle , which was believed to be an inspiration for Walt Disney when creating Cinderella's Castle for his theme parks. Other must-see attractions include the incredible, double-decked ancient Roman aqueduct and the city's massive 16 th -century Gothic cathedral.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Segovia

Roman amphitheater in Tarragona

With the ruins of a Roman amphitheater and a Roman circus chariot race track, Tarragona is one of the best places to see remnants of the ancient Roman world in Spain. It's a port city in the Catalonia region , located in the northeastern part of the country. Known as "Tarraco" in ancient Roman times, the city has a 2 nd -century arena, a necropolis of Roman tombs, and it even retains traces of the ancient forum. All this Roman history exists inside and around the medieval walled Old Town area.

There's a long stretch of a two-story Roman aqueduct, which can be explored. Tarragona's National Archeological Museum presents an excellent overview of the city's history and showcases a vast collection of fascinating Roman (and older) artifacts.

When you've finished exploring the Roman history, head to Tarragona's beautiful beachfront resort area and enjoy the clear, aqua blue water of the Balearic Sea.

Classical guitar player

A pilgrimage site for guitarists and flamenco guitar music lovers, Linares is the birthplace of Maestro Andres Segovia. The master guitarist elevated the instrument to the highest levels of musicianship. His performances around the world helped make the guitar a serious instrument now included with symphonic and orchestra music.

The Andres Segovia Foundation - Museum, housed in a restored 17th-century palace, showcases the life of Segovia, allowing visitors a chance to see his music, instruments, and other personal effects. The museum also contains a crypt with the tomb of the Maestro.

Linares is a city in the Andalusia region , about a 90-minute drive from either Cordoba or Granada.

Tenerife

The largest of Spain's Canary Islands, Tenerife offers the full resort experience. It also offers some of Spain's best golf. The islands are in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Morocco, but their popularity as a resort destination means there are frequent flights from Spain and other European cities.

The Abama Golf resort gives players the chance to play a round on the side of a volcano. Playing the course feels like exploring a botanical garden with over 300 species of subtropical plants, combined with more than 20,000 palm trees and 22 lakes. The main draw here (aside from the challenging course) are the views. The entire course is elevated, and almost every hole has postcard views of the Atlantic Ocean and the neighboring island of La Gomera. Aside from golf, the resort has luxurious accommodation, multiple fine dining options, and a world-class spa.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions in Tarragona & Easy Day Trips

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Valencia, Spain - july 2022: Interior Spaces, People and Architecture of the Mercado Central, the principal Food Market in Valencia, Spain.

Mercado Central

Valencia’s vast Modernista covered market, constructed in 1928, is a swirl of smells, movement and colour. Spectacular seafood counters display…

Alhambra columns around the Court of Lions

The Alhambra is Granada’s – and Europe’s – love letter to Moorish culture. Set against the brooding Sierra Nevada peaks, this fortified palace started…

Catedral y Giralda de Sevilla

Catedral & Giralda

Catedral & Barrio de Santa Cruz

Seville’s showpiece church is awe-inspiring in its scale and majesty. The world’s largest Gothic cathedral, it was built between 1434 and 1517 over the…

Barcelona, Spain - September 20, 2021: Casa Vicens is a modernist building located in Barcelona, in the district of Gracia. The work of Antoni Gaudí, it was the first important project of the architect.

Casa Vicens

A Unesco-listed masterpiece, this angular, turreted 1885-completed private house was Gaudí’s inaugural commission, when the architect was aged just 30,…

Aerial view of Mosul beach at Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, Almeria, Andalusia, Spain.

Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar

Costa de Almería

Boasting glorious beaches, vertiginous cliffs and a semi-desert hinterland, this 340-sq-km park occupies Andalucía’s southeastern corner. It’s a wild…

Moorish architecture of beautiful castle called Real Alcazar in Seville, Andalusia, Spain.

Real Alcázar

A magnificent marriage of Christian and Mudéjar architecture, Seville’s royal palace complex is a breathtaking spectacle. The site, which was originally…

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Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa

Picos de Europa

Founded in 1918 as one of Spain's first two national parks, the 646-square-kilometre Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa encompasses some of Europe's…

La Concha beach in the city of San Sebastian

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

L'Eixample & Southern Valencia

This aesthetically stunning complex occupies a massive 350,000-sq-metre swath of the old Turia riverbed. It’s occupied by a series of spectacular…

Cordoba, Spain. Interior of the mosque.

It’s impossible to overemphasise the beauty of Córdoba’s great mosque, with its remarkably serene (despite tourist crowds) and spacious interior. One of…

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17 Best Places to Visit in Spain

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From the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean, and from there to the Atlantic, Spain is more diverse than stereotypes would have you believe. Paella and bullfighting may be Spanish, but neither defines this Iberian country . You’ll get to witness a wide range of culture in Spain – more than you’d expect.

Discover Catalan culture in Barcelona, complete with dreamlike buildings thanks to Antoni Gaud. Try out pintxos – the Basque take on tapas – in the northwest, and see the mark left by Moorish architecture in Andalusia in the south.

There’s a whole lot more besides. And that’s without even mentioning the beaches of the famous Costas. Or the incredible Roman ruins that dot the country – especially Segovia, with its aqueduct. Expect history, good food, and plenty of sun – all in healthy doses. Plan your trip to this awesome Mediterranean travel destination with our list of the best places to visit in Spain.

Map of Places to Visit in Spain

Map of Spain

Founded back in 25 AD by the Romans, Merida boasts some of the most impressive, extensive, and well-preserved ruins in the whole of Spain. Now the capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura , the city lies in the western-central part of the Iberian Peninsula, with the Guadiana and Albarregas rivers running through it.

As it boasts almost two thousand years of history, ancient historical sights and archaeological ruins are found wherever you go. Of these, the magnificent old Roman Theatre is a must visit; it still holds flamenco shows and theater performances to this day.

Besides this, there are the wonderful remains of a Moorish fortress, as well as a remarkably well-preserved bridge, aqueduct, and hippodrome – all of which were built by the Romans. In addition, there are some lovely Baroque and Gothic churches scattered around town, as well as interesting and informative museums showcasing the city’s rich history.

Bilbao

The largest city in Spain’s Basque Country, Bilbao lies on an estuary just 16 kilometers south of the Bay of Biscay . As its climate is milder and wetter than much of the rest of the country, the city’s parks and riverbanks are fertile and green, as are the rolling hills surrounding it.

Bilbao was best known as an important seaport and industrial city in northern Spain until the construction of an architectural marvel in the 1990s known as the Guggenheim Museum . Since then, this capital city of Vizcaya has experienced a boom in tourism, promoting economic growth and revitalization of its many hidden gems , making it a popular destination.

Bilbao

Celebrated as one of the most important architectural works of its time, the Guggenheim Museum now shines as Bilbao’s city symbol. Devoted to modern and contemporary art, this giant complex of interconnecting buildings presents a massive work of abstract sculpture that suggests a maritime theme with its simulation of ship outlines and shimmering fish scales.

Other places to go in Bilbao include the 14th century Gothic Cathedral of Santiago and the Basilica de Begoña. Built in 1909 and recently refurbished, the Alhondiga is a multipurpose complex housing a library, restaurants and a rooftop swimming pool with a glass floor.

15. Salamanca

Salamanca

The capital and largest city of the province of the same name, Salamanca lies on the banks of the Tormes River on Spain’s Northern Plateau. Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful Renaissance cities in the whole of Europe, its historic center is full of architectural treasures and incredible monuments that date back centuries.

Life in the city revolves around the busy and bustling Plaza Mayor , which is lined by cafes, bars and restaurants. The expansive and elegant square looks particularly magical at night when its majestic buildings are lit up.

Salamanca

Nearby, you can find other stunning places to see such as the New and Old Cathedrals, both of which exhibit exquisite architecture. Like the rest of the city, they are built out of sandstone. It is these warm hues that lend Salamanca its nickname – La Dorada , or ‘Golden City’.

While history is all around, Salamanca has a vivacious and youthful feel thanks to its large student population. Remarkably, the University of Salamanca was founded in 1218 and is one of the oldest higher education institutions in Europe.

Cuenca

One of the most popular cities to visit in the Castilla La Mancha region of Spain, Cuenca is located in a precarious position at the point where two deep river gorges meet. Its strategic setting saw it fought over, conquered and ruled by both the Muslims and Christians, with Napoleon himself leaving his mark in the early 1800s.

This makes it fascinating to explore; lots of centuries-old churches, a cathedral, and a castle can be found hidden away among the meandering streets of its medieval old town. While its beautiful buildings are painted in warm hues, vivid colors and daring designs coat the walls of its numerous modern art galleries and museums.

Cuenca

The charming city is particularly noted for its casas colgadas – or hanging houses – which are built over the side of the clifftop upon which Cuenca is perched. Besides being phenomenal feats of engineering, these astounding edifices make for some fantastic photos and are best viewed from the bridge of San Pablo.

Ibiza

The third largest of the Balearic Islands, Ibiza is located off the east coast of Spain, surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean . While it is famous for its pounding nightlife and summer club scene which attract world-renowned DJs to its shores, the island actually has many other different sides.

Quite rocky and rugged, Ibiza is lined by beautiful bays and beaches; this, coupled with its warm, sunny and dry climate, makes it a great beach holiday destination . The largest city on the island, Ibiza Town boasts a majestic walled old town perched atop of a hill overlooking the sea.

Ibiza

While you can certainly find relaxing rural retreats and sleepy, seaside villages on the island, many people visit Ibiza for its incredible party scene and exhilarating electronic dance sets. In summer, its heaving clubs stay open through the night until dawn, when the sun finally rises over the sea.

12. Segovia

Segovia

The capital and largest city of the province of the same name, Segovia is set in a scenic spot with the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains rising in the distance. Its sun-kissed streets straddle the Eresma River on Spain’s Inner Plateau with Valladolid and Madrid lying not far away.

Segovia is famed for its historical sights . Within its walled Old Town you can find the Aqueduct of Segovia , which was built around 100 AD by the Romans. While this engineering marvel acts as the city’s symbol, other astonishing sights, such as a grand and gorgeous Gothic cathedral and numerous churches, convents and monasteries, can be found nearby.

Alcazar of Segovia

The other main attraction is the elegant Alcazar of Segovia , set atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the city. Said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, the medieval castle and palace features lots of fine architecture and was once one of the favorite royal residences of the Kings of Castille.

 Ronda

Located in one of the most spectacular settings imaginable, Ronda, in the south of Spain, straddles the steep El Tajo gorge , overlooking the valleys and hills that lie before it.

Spanning the breadth of the gorge is Puente Nuevo, the city’s main landmark built in 1793. The impressive bridge connects the more modern El Mercadillo part of town with El Ciudad , the old Moorish quarter, which is home to marvelous churches, elegant palaces and pretty gardens. The town is considered to be the cradle of modern Spanish bullfighting; its neoclassical ring is the oldest such building in the country.

 Ronda

Due to its rich cultural heritage and history as well as its dramatic clifftop setting, Ronda has long drawn writers and poets alike to its ancient streets.

While Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Rainer Maria Rilke all visited at one time or another, Ronda now attracts lots of tourists and is one of the most popular and picturesque towns to visit in Andalusia .

10. Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

The capital city of the Galicia region in northwestern Spain, Santiago de Compostela is famous as the final destination of the traditional pilgrimage known as Camino de Santiago. Also called the Way of St. James, this pilgrimage dates back to Medieval times and is important to many because it is believed that Santiago de Compostela is where St. James , an Apostle of Jesus Christ, is buried. Today, the city attracts thousands of visitors every year for both its religious tradition and history.

The arriving point for most pilgrims is the main square, Praza do Obradoiro . Situated in the heart of the city, this bustling plaza is the scene of many important landmarks , particularly the Santiago Cathedral where the tomb of St. James is located. Other historic buildings here are GelmÌrez Palace, Rajoy Palace, Catholic Kings Hostal and San Jeronimo College.

The Pilgrimage Museum is a good place to learn all about the history and significance of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage while the Museum of the Galician People showcases the culture and history of the region.

Toledo

Perched on a mountaintop in central Spain, Toledo served as the Spanish capital until the 16th century. Because it was inhabited by Jews, Christians and Muslims for many centuries, the city is sometimes called the “City of Three Cultures.” Today, Toledo is a popular destination for its wealth of historic art and architecture that dates back to the Roman Empire .

The best thing to do in Toledo is to get lost amid the medieval streets and admire the old architecture that includes stunning churches, synagogues and mosques as well as a remarkable old Roman fortress.

Toledo

The site of many historic events, the Zordocover plaza is well worth a visit as well as the many nearby shops. Charming cafes offer a break to relax, people-watch and sample local specialties like Mazapan , a sweet treat made with almonds and pine nuts. In the evenings, local bars offer pre-dinner drinks and tapas.

Once the home of Spain’s great painter, El Greco , Toledo features a vibrant arts scene. The city is teeming in museums and art galleries while the Cathedral of Toledo has an impressive art collection of works by masters like Goya, Ralphael and Titian. A great number of El Greco’s pieces can be seen throughout many of the city’s churches and landmarks.

Cordoba

Cordoba is the capital of the province of the same name in the Andalusian region of southern Spain. While Cordoba is characterized by its small town charm, this mid-size city offers all the historic and cultural attractions of a bustling metropolis.

One of the oldest towns in Europe, the historic quarter of Cordoba is a maze of tiny medieval streets, plazas and whitewashed courtyards all situated around the star attraction, the Mezquita . Initially built as a mosque, the Mezquita is now a glorious cathedral retaining most of its original architecture. Its forest of columns topped with Islamic-style red and white striped arches serves as a reminder of the glory and importance Córdoba held in medieval times. Outside the Mezquita is a beautiful orange grove perfect for relaxing.

Cordoba Mezquita

Other places of interest include the Fortress of the Christian Monarchs, the Street of Flowers, and the Old Jewish Quarter with its charming patios and souvenir shops. Once a Roman city, Cordoba also features many Roman structures including its old walls, gates, bridge, an amphitheater and mausoleum.

Throughout the city are various plazas offering a range of museums, theaters, restaurants, hotels and bars. Plaza de las Tendillas is the main square with a vibrant shopping scene while the Plaza del Port is associated with Cervantes’s Don Quixote.

Cordoba is buzzing in the month of May with three lively festivals that include the May Crosses Festival, the Patios Festival and the Codoba Fair. During these events, the city’s plazas and courtyards are all decorated while various contests, flamenco dancing, traditional food and drink all fill the streets.

7. San Sebastian

San Sebastian

San Sebastian is the capital of the Gipuzko province, located in the Basque country of North Spain off the coast of the Bay of Biscay. This beautiful seaside city is well-loved for its excellent beaches and outstanding culinary tradition.

Although it is divided into several districts, San Sebastian is a small, cozy city crammed with restaurants, pintxo bars, designer shops and an enclosed mall. The Old Town features many historic buildings reconstructed in the 19th century after the city was nearly destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars.

San Sebastian boasts some of the best beaches in Europe with the most popular of these being Playa de la Concha , which offers sunbathing and water activities like swimming, kayaking and water skiing. Playa de la Zurriola attracts many surfers and provides surf board and body board rentals.

Overlooking the city are two lofty hills, Monte Urgell and Mount Igueldo, which offer hiking, funicular rides, amusement parks, remarkable statues and fantastic views.

San Sebastian

San Sebastian is widely appreciated in Spain for its pintxos . Pintxos are appetizers, which are prepared in a wide variety of fresh vegetables, meats and seafood. Many of the bars in the city feature buffets displaying a range of these pintxos. The local tradition is to go from one bar to the next, sampling one or two pintxos with a drink of wine or beer.

A number of festivals and events take place in the city throughout the year. Drawing the most crowds are the San Sebastian Film Festival and the Jazz Festival.

6. Valencia

Valencia

One of the largest and most important cities in Spain , Valencia is located in the eastern part of the country in the region of Valencia. After several years of major construction and renovation, Valencia today is famous for its Fallas Festival and the City of Arts and Sciences architectural masterpiece.

Valencia is stuffed with restored historic buildings that include stunning churches, old monasteries such as San Miguel de los Reyes and the site of an ancient silk trade center known today as the Silk Exchange Market.

See also: Where to Stay in Valencia

After redirecting the Turia River, the city constructed its most impressive attraction , a massive cultural and entertainment complex known as the City of Arts and Science. Contained within this complex are several buildings such as a science museum, planetarium, aquarium, arts museum and an IMAX theater that are each artistic marvels in and of themselves. Also included in the old Turia riverbed are beautiful gardens, athletic parks and artificial lakes.

Valencia

One of Valencia’s most popular neighborhoods is the Barri del Carme with its colorful mix of architecture, diverse ethnic groups, trendy shops and outdoor cafes.

Every March, Valencia hosts the Fallas Festival where each neighborhood displays papier-mâché figures of all sizes and colors for a whole week. At the end of the week, the “fallas” are ceremoniously burned, and the communities party into the night. However, March isn’t the only time to party in Valencia. Every night, the city vibrates with lively bars and nightclubs in every neighborhood.

Seville

Exceptional tourist attractions , lively festivals and buzzing nightlife all make Seville the top destination in Southern Spain. As the capital city of Andalusia, Seville is also the region’s financial and cultural capital.

Seville is home to many beautiful and important historic landmarks, chief of which is the grand Cathedral of Seville , where it is believed that Christopher Columbus is buried. Other significant buildings include the Real Alcazar , an extravagant Moorish palace with luxurious gardens and a room where Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the New World was planned.

See also: Where to Stay in Seville

The city is also home to the largest wooden structure in the world, the Metropol Parasol, a giant umbrella-shaped structure housing the main market.

Seville

As the region’s cultural capital, Seville offers numerous museums, art galleries and entertainment venues. When the sun goes down, the nightlife scene lights up in Seville’s neighborhoods with their bars, nightclubs and flamenco dance halls.

Every year, Seville hosts its April Fair, one of Spain’s most celebrated events, where the city’s streets turn into one giant party involving centuries-old customs, traditional costumes, flamenco dancing, bullfights and plenty of local food and drink.

Madrid

Spain’s capital and largest city, Madrid, is widely known for its sizzling nightlife scene. Home to a number of universities, the city constitutes a diversity of ethnic groups, making it one of Europe’s most colorful cosmopolitan cities.

Madrid is a beautiful city mixed with old and new architecture. The capital is comprised of several neighborhoods offering their own unique character and attractions ranging from historic quarters to older crowd communities, university areas, multicultural districts and party scenes.

Retiro park

The heart of the city is Puerta del Sol , a large plaza serving as the scene of festivals, important gatherings and street performers as well as a hub for the public transportation network. Another important square is Plaza Mayor , known for its many souvenir shops, cafes and the lively San Miguel Market.

Located within the city center are most of Madrid’s most popular tourist attractions such as the Royal Palace , the residence of Spain’s monarch, and a plethora of glorious churches and historic landmarks. Madrid offers many things to see and do from beautiful parks and zoos to football matches, museums, art galleries and concerts.

3. Mallorca

Mallorca

The largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Mallorca is surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, with jagged cliffs, secluded coves, and beautiful beaches lining its shores. Long a popular tourist destination , the island is blessed with a warm and welcoming climate and plenty of incredible scenery.

While its mountainous interior is home to ancient hilltop monasteries and sleepy villages, Mallorca ‘s spectacular coastline is dotted with seaside towns and resorts. Sunbathing, swimming and watersports are all popular pastimes, with delicious local cuisine and seafood on offer wherever you go.

Mallorca

The island’s main city and capital is Palma de Mallorca . There is a beautiful old town for visitors to explore, with winding narrow streets and centuries-old buildings beneath its exquisite Gothic cathedral. The pretty town of Soller is also worth visiting for its scenic, secluded setting, as is the charming mountain village of Valldemossa.

2. Barcelona

Barcelona

Located in northeastern Spain, Barcelona is one of the country’s top travel destinations because it offers everything tourists look for in a European city from historic architecture to lively shopping, vibrant culture and buzzing nightlife.

Ciutat Vella, the Old City, is Barcelona’s main attraction . Here, tourists will find the Gothic Quarter with its beautiful, old churches, Roman ruins and cobblestone streets lined with outdoor cafes and restaurants.

Surrounded by statues and fountains, La Placa Catalunya is a popular gathering spot and hub for local transportation services. Popular activities in Barcelona include strolling along La Rambla , a tree-lined pedestrian avenue, and sunbath on Barceloneta, one of the city’s most popular beaches.

Barcelona

Unique to Barcelona are the architectural marvels of Spain’s famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, which include the Sagrada Familia and the Casa Batllo . Both of these extraordinary structures feature combinations of fascinating designs, shapes and colors.

As a major cultural center, Barcelona boasts a variety of museums , art galleries, theaters and flamenco shows. The city also hosts a number of festivals including the Monegros Desert Festival, one of Spain’s largest electronic music events. With its long love affair with sports, Barcelona is home to the largest football stadium in the world, Nou Camp.

Just outside of the city is one of Barcelona’s most visited sites , Montserrat. Accessed by hiking, train or cable car, Montserrat is the site of secret caves, an underground lake and the Black Madonna.

Granada

Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain, Granada is the capital of the Granada province. A mid-sized city, Granada offers a perfect blend of spectacular attractions , traditional cultures and an animated nightlife. But most of all it is the home of the Alhambra , a pinnacle of Moorish art that encapsulates Andalusian history and is one of the great architectural sights of Europe.

Attesting to the city’s eventful history are its most notable landmarks, the 16th century Granada Cathedral with its magnificent domed ceiling, and the famous Alhambra, a grand Moorish palace with luxurious gardens and Arab baths.

Granada’s juxtaposing neighborhoods, Sacromonte and Albaicin , are the essence of the city’s culture. Noted for its Christian abbey, Sacromonte is where tourists come to see how gypsies have traditionally lived in various cave dwellings and to watch live dances of flamenco and zambra.

Alhambra

Albaicin, the Arabic Quarter, is the site of a hundred year-old Spice Market. Here among a setting of Moorish architecture, cobblestone streets and vivid bougainvillea, a medley of vendors sell colorful tapestries, wall hangings and exotic teas and spices.

Just outside the city, the Nevada Ski station offers a wide range of activities for all seasons from snow skiing and sledding to mountain climbing, horse riding and cable car rides.

In the evenings, locals roam from one bar to the next, sampling tapas and drinks before immersing themselves in the city’s entertainment choices.

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Reader interactions.

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November 25, 2018 at 10:48 am

Spain is a really a nice country …. The Madrid zoo was fabulous.. The La Rambla in Barcelona was a fun street with lots of shopping places and small restaurants…but the best city in Spain is undoubtedly Seville! Seville is a really beautiful city with big fountains, beautiful churches, nice hotels, little restaurants, small and pleasant streets and beautiful flamenco dancers! I really enjoyed travelling in the tram there…. Most beautiful city I have ever visited!

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November 15, 2018 at 1:09 am

I was robbed In Granada. The police were very cooperative. Spain is stunning, in general, the people are so lovely. Now at a villa on the Mediterranean Sea, it is winter .for me it is the sky, surf, sun and sand.

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November 13, 2017 at 7:04 pm

Hello, I’m an American. Single woman who will travel alone. I have always loved Spain! I won’t be partying or anything like that, rather I want to see the beautiful cathedrals and historical landmarks. Is it safe to travel by myself taking certain precautions. San Sebastian is definitely on my list and I would love to see some of the smaller cities talked about here on this site.

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September 19, 2017 at 7:07 am

I love Spain: specially Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Avila and Seville!

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June 25, 2017 at 9:30 am

We just got back from Malaga, Spain….visited the city of Ronda while there…Malaga was beautiful but I found the shopping, and the food/drink was expensive. The City of Ronda was beyond beautiful and enjoyed it immensely. I can’t wait to go back, not sure where I will go next, but it will not be a bustling city…I’m sure Spain has some beautiful small towns that did not make the list that would be lovely to visit.

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September 14, 2016 at 3:29 am

I was in Costa Daurada this summer near to Barcelona and it was really gorgeous location. Perfect for families ! We were staying in Salou and enjoy the cultural activities but also many sports activities for my childs, really nice place for holidays

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September 10, 2016 at 3:20 am

Hi thanks for the advice. I’m on my way to Malaga soon and would like to tour Spain using the rail service. Any advice on how to get the best deals?

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June 14, 2016 at 1:23 am

I loved Spain as a whole in general.If I had to pick the best then order would be Toledo , Seville, Granada, Barcelona,Cordoba,Madrid, Segovia.Loved Toledo n Seville the most.Only visited these places.San Sebastion ,Valencia ,Ibiza ,seville ,mallorca etc.etc. still on the list for next visit.

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January 10, 2016 at 2:28 pm

I live in Madrid and I wouldn’t really recommend it for tourists, it’s a nice city and all but I prefer Barcelona with the beach and beautiful buildings and everything, or seville / valencia if you are interested in a city semester.

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December 28, 2015 at 5:13 am

I’ve been there last summer, I would also add the city of Ronda to this list, amazing small town with a fantastic scenery.

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October 31, 2015 at 5:53 pm

I’ve seen the temperature from Seville you’ve got, and I can completely assure that these are completely fake!! I don’t understand the fahrenheit measures, but we usually have 50-52 degrees in July and august. Or more. So, think about coming Seville in these months. Seville is more beautiful on April or November.

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November 2, 2015 at 1:11 am

@Maria, I’ve been to Seville in August, and yes it was extremely warm! However I don’t think it ever gets warmer than 45. Good point though about avoiding Seville in the summer if you prefer milder weather.

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August 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm

if I’m to make my own list,Mallorca, Sevilla and Madrid would make the top 3…..about the robbery,that can almost happen every where. Sorry about that and be more watchful next time.

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March 4, 2015 at 11:46 am

Nice list. Only seen half of them. I guess it’s top 10 big cities because there are so many smaller cities that are really beautiful, historical and unique. Examples from the South: Cadiz, Ronda, Antequera. I’m not so familiar with all other regions. All parts of the country have their spots. Of the cities om the list personally I enjoy Granada, Sevilla and San Sebastian more than Barcelona but I agree that Barcelona is a must-place to see in so many ways. Also one more vote for Burgos! It’s epic and picturesque and it’s not a small place either, should be on the list. Saludos desde Finlandia!

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March 3, 2015 at 8:54 am

Hi, I’m from Spain, I don’t agree with the order of the list. Barcelona is very nice but I don’t think that it’s the best. And my city isn’t in the list, it’s really nice and it’s got a lot of monuments like its cathedral and a great culture. I would like you to add Burgos on the list

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June 10, 2014 at 2:01 am

Hi Global Nomads, you are obviously seasoned travelers. I agree, steer clear of places where they rob tourists. I went to Miami once and got robbed…. you can keep the USA, I’m not going back to America after that. Happy traveling .

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May 14, 2014 at 8:53 am

I disagree completely with the order of this list. There is NO WAY that Barcelona’s the best place to visit. Galicia, Granada, Sevilla, are much better choices. I agree with Pep. La Alhambra is much more worth seeing than going to Barcelona.

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October 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Seville and Madrid city center are more beautiful than Barcelona but they don’t spend so much money in hype. The most beautiful building in Spain is “La Alhambra”, Granada. It’s gorgeous. Other nice places: Salamanca, Segovia, Cáceres, Menorca, Altea, and Ronda.

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July 28, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Live Spain and ant wait to see at least 4 of the above places, Barcelona was so nice had to go back twice.

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June 16, 2013 at 12:57 pm

We tried Alicante, but got robbed in the bus station and did not feel like touring the country any further.

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  • ATTRACTIONS

Best attractions to see in Spain

Our team of local experts has hand-picked the top tourist Attractions in Spain  you do not want to miss.  We have grouped the attractions into different themes so you can focus on your top areas of interest. Besides the general ranking, you will also find links to the top attractions at Spain´s top cities. 

Due to its history and the work made to preserve both its historical  heritage  and its natural parks, Spain is one of the countries in the world with more  Unesco certified sites .  

Top attractions in Andalusia

almaden mines

Almaden Mines

Check out our guide to the Almaden Mines one of the largest mercury deposits in the world and have been in operation ever since Roman times. … Read More

Doñana National Park

Doñana National Park

Doñana national park is perhaps the most famous of Spain’s National Parks. the is truly no other place like it on Earth. This area of Spain seems to have hit the “nature lottery”. Because of its location, it’s proximity to the ocean, the river that crosses through the park, the weather, etc. Doñana is home to 4 different ecosystems. The park features dunes, marshlands, mediterranean forest and grasslands.

This unique convergence of conditions make it the perfect home to an incredible number of species. In particular, migratory birds flock to doñana in droves making it a bird watching heaven. It is also home to a great number of endangered Spanish species like the Iberian Lynx and the Imperial Eagle. The park spans over 54.252 hectares between Huelva and Sevilla and became a national park in 1969. … Read More

White villages in Spain

White villages in Spain

One of the best experiences to enjoy in Spain is to leave the big cities and get to know the small villages spread throughout Spain´s geography. The white villages in Spain is the most famous option. Located in Andalusia, southern Spain, these villages are located in fantastic landscapes and share white in their houses as a way to fight against the heat. In this guide we recommend you a road trip amongst some of the most beautiful white villages in Spain. … Read More

Pathway Caminito del rey in Malaga

El Caminito del Rey in Malaga

El Caminito del Rey or the King’s Path is a famous pathway through the mountains of Málaga, Andalusia, connecting Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls, reserved for only the most adventurous hikers. It has become today a top tourist attractions. Learn about this amazing attraction in this guide. … Read More

Real Alcazar seville exterior

The Real Alcazar of Seville

A complete visitors guide to the Real Alcazar of Seville, one of the most important sites to visit while visiting the Andalusian capital. … Read More

Tourist Attractions In Seville: la giralda of seville

La Giralda and Cathedral in Seville

A full guide and breakdown of one of the essential monuments to visit in Spain: La Giralda and Cathedral in Seville. Check it out! … Read More

Plaza de españa

Plaza de España in Seville

The Plaza de España in Seville is one of the city’s most emblematic, and beautiful sites that has been featured prominently in several movies. … Read More

patios de cordoba

Patios De Córdoba Visitors Guide

Guide to visit the world-famous Patios De Córdoba which is one of the essential stops when visiting this magical city in Southern Spain. … Read More

The great mosque of córdoba

The Great Mosque of Córdoba

Guide to visit the Great Mosque of Córdoba, one of the essential sites to visit while traveling to Spain. Find tickets, tours and offers … Read More

spain tourist activities

El Albaicin in Granada

The Albaicín in Granada retains both the original urban physiognomy as well as various medieval buildings. Get ready to enjoy smoe of the most amazing views in the world! … Read More

Southern spain - Views of La ALhambra at dusk

La Alhambra palace in Granada

Nowadays the Alhambra Palace in Granada is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of Spain’s and Europe’s culture. The number of visits to the Alhambra Palace sky rocketed years ago and reached a whooping two million people per year. … Read More

Ronda bullring

Ronda Bullfighting Ring

The Ronda Bullfighting is located in the beautiful city of Ronda, located near Málaga in southern Spain. The bullring is widely considered the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain and definitely one of the most beautiful and majestic in the world … Read More

Top attractions in Madrid

The Royal Palace of Aranjuez and gardens

The Royal Palace of Aranjuez and Gardens

Check out our complete visitors guide to the Royal Palace of Aranjuez and it lush gardens. This spectacular estate is just a short drive from Madrid. … Read More

valle-de-los-caidos-el-escorial

Valle de los Caidos

El Valle de los Caidos or the Valley of the Fallen is a religious structure commissioned by General Francisco Franco honoring fallen soldiers of the Spanish civil war, located near El Escorial, 50 minutes outside of Madrid. … Read More

San lorenzo del Escorial-views

El Escorial in Madrid, Spain

El Escorial is one of Spain´s top tourist attractions. This massive building serves as a church, monastery, palace… El Escorial is one of the most popular day tours to enjoy from Madrid. … Read More

new-santiago-bernabeu-stadium-madrid

Estadio Santiago Bernabeu- Madrid

The santiago Bernabeu stadium is home to one of the best football clubs in the world: Real Madrid. Learn all about it in this article … Read More

Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid

Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid

Guide to visit the world-famous Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. Recommendations, best tours and deals to enjoy the perfect visit … Read More

One of the main Rooms at prado Museum

Prado Museum in Madrid

A visitors guide to visit the world-famous Prado Museum in Madrid. Recommendations, best tours and deals to enjoy the perfect visit … Read More

Top attractions in Barcelona

la barceloneta beach barcelona

La Barceloneta

Check out our full guide to La Barceloneta, Barcelona’s famous urban beach. There are a ton of tourist traps, and here you find how to avoid them. … Read More

por aventura rollercoaster

Port Aventura

Check out our full guide to Port Aventura one of the premier amusement parks in all of Spain, and a great place to visit if you have kids. … Read More

Camp Nou Barcelona

Estadio Camp Nou – Barcelona

Check out our full guide to the Camp Nou, the legendary soccer stadium, home of Barcelona FC, one of the best clubs in Europe of all time. … Read More

Casa Mila

Casa Mila – La Pedrera

Check out our guide to Casa Mila, one of the essential sites to visit in Barcelona. Casa Mila is one of the houses in Barcelona designed by Gaudi. … Read More

Montserrat monastery

Montserrat Monastery

Check out our full guide to the Montserrat Monastery near Barcelona. The monastery itself and the location are both spectacular, and worth visiting. … Read More

la boqueria crowd

La Boquería Market in Barcelona

Check out our full guide to La Boquería Market in Barcelona, one of the essential stops if you are visiting Barcelona, filled with tasty goodies. … Read More

Palau de la Música Catalana,

Palau de la Música Catalana

Check out our guide to the Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona’s most amazing concert hall, and one of the most important monuments to visit. … Read More

Park Güell in Barcelona

Park Güell in Barcelona

Park Güell in Barcelona is the cities most famous park in Barcelona, a definitely one of the sites that is absolutely a most visit while in the city, … Read More

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is one of the most iconic monuments in Spain, and one of the most visited sites in the world. Check out our guide! … Read More

People walking along Las Ramblas in Barcelona

Las Ramblas in Barcelona

Complete gudie to enjoy Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is one of the icons in Barcelona. A long street which is a favorite amongst both locals and tourists alike. La Rambla is probably the best well-known street in Spain. This street is both known as La Rambla or Las Ramblas. In this guide to Las Ramblas, you will find information on the best attractions in the street, top things to enjoy, the best itineraries to enjoy la Rambla during your stay in Barcelona, and also top attractions nearby. … Read More

Top attractions in Valencia

La Albufera in Valencia during a tour

La Albufera

Check out our full guide to the La Albufera in Valencia. a spectacular as nature park, located just south of the center of the city of Valencia. … Read More

L’Oceanogràfic - Valencias amazing oceanographic

L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia

Check out our full guide to the L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia. L’Oceanogràfic is the largest aquarium in Europe and an essential visits while in Valencia … Read More

La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is a large complex dedicated, as the name indicates to the arts and sciences. This complex features several ultra-modern buildings and structures, each specializing in something different: performing arts, botany, marine biology, etc. This city is located within the spectacular city of Valencia and it is one of it’s main attractions. It was built on what was once the riverbed of the Turia River. The river was drained and rerouted after a catastrophic flood in 1957. After that, the area was converted into a park. Then, in 1996, two of Spain’s most renowned architects were commissioned to design, what would become, the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia. The first piece to be completed was the Hemisfèric, which opened its doors in 1998. The Palau de las Artes Reina Sofia was the last major building to be inaugurated in 2005, and the project was fully completed in 2009. The project’s original budget was €300 million, but it ended up costing 3 times that amount.

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

Check out our guide to the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, an essential stop if you are visiting Valencia. Here you will find all the info you need. … Read More

Top attractions in Northern Spain

Burgos Cathedral

Burgos Cathedral

Check out our full guide to the world famous Burgos Cathedral, one of the most spectacular gothic-style cathedrals in Spain, and perhaps the world. … Read More

Cíes Islands

Cíes Islands

This chain of small islands are located off the coast of Galicia in northwestern Spain. The go from the Vigo estuary to Arousa. Within the park there are four distinct archipelagos the islands of Cíes, Ons, Sálvora y Cortegada. The islands are gorgeous, with a unique ecosystem, but the true richness of the park is located underwater.

The biodiversity of sea dwelling creatures in this coastal area is almost overwhelming. In addition, many legends and rumors swirl around these islands, making the all the more interesting and mysterious. The park, created in 2002, spans over 7.200 maritime hectares and 1.194 hectares on land. … Read More

caves of altamira

Caves of Altamira in Cantabria

Check out our guide to the famous Caves of Altamira in Cantabria. These spectacular caves feature some of the oldest cave painting ever found. … Read More

Picos de Europa National Park

Picos de Europa National Park

The Picos of Europa National park is located in Northern Spain and spills over into three different regions: Cantabria, Asturias and León. The Picos de Europa are an abrupt and imposing group of mountains, that at their closest, are just 15 km from the ocean. Within this natural fortress there are forests, lakes and hidden villages with centuries old traditions.

This legendary area of Spain became a national park in 1918 and spans over 67.000 hectares. … Read More

A visitors guide to visit la la Concha Beach in San Sebastián.

La Concha beach in San Sebastian

A visitors guide to visit la la Concha Beach in San Sebastián. Discover this superb beach. Tips to enjoy it. Tickets and Tours with offers … Read More

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is one of the most spectacular cathedrals in the world. Located in Northern Spain, in Galicia, this is a must visit. … Read More

Playa de Rodas

Playa de Rodas, Cies islands, Galicia

A visitors guide to visit la Playa de Rodas in Galicia. Discover this superb beach in Northern Spain. Find all the tips to enjoy it to the fullest. … Read More

PLAYA DE OYAMBRE – Large and beautiful beach in Cantabria in Northern Spain

Best beaches in Northern Spain

Enjoy a perfect itinerary to discover the Best beaches in Northern Spain. Enjoy this guide to build the perfect roadtrip or day trip … Read More

spain tourist activities

The Best Pintxos In San Sebastian. The Ultimate Guide

We have put together this complete guide to enjoy pintxos in San Sebastian. We do not only cover the bar, address and recommended pintxo, but also some cultural aspects to ensure you feel at ease and take the most out of the experience. Excellent bars and a selection of Top rated tours to enjoy “pintxo land” … Read More

Landscape with Playa de las cAtedrales in Galicia Spain

Playa de las catedrales, a must visit in Northern Spain

La Playa de las Catedrales is a fantastic beach in Galicia, Northern Spain. Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the country it can be described as a spectacular, other worldly beach hand-crafted by mother nature herself. … Read More

Guggenheim musem in Bilbao

Guggenheim musem in Bilbao

Guide to visit the world-famous Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. Recommendations, best tours and deals to enjoy the perfect visit to his masterpiece that forever changed the city of Bilbao … Read More

Top attractions in central Spain

Roman Theater of Mérida

Roman Theater of Mérida

Check out our full guide to the Roman Theater of Mérida. The Roman Theater of Mérida is one of the most spectacular roman ruins sites in Spain. … Read More

The Walls of Avila

Walls of Avila

The Walls of Avila are a spectacular sight to see. They’re in a pristine state of conservation and have been surrounding the city of Avila for centuries. … Read More

roman-acueduct-segovia-620x349

Roman aqueduct of Segovia

The roman aqueduct of Segovia’s landmarks and ranks amongst Spain’s top attractions. It is with no doubt one of the finest structures in the world from Roman times … Read More

Views of the Alcazar in Segovia

Alcazar de Segovia

The Alcazar de Segovia is one Segovia’s top attractions. Segovia, 1 hour drive north-west of Madrid, is a mid-sized city which offers amazing heritage and excellent gastronomy. The Alcazar de Segovia is amongst the most visited attractions in Spain. … Read More

Toledo cathedral la primada

Toledo Cathedral: La Catedral Primada

The Toledo Cathedral, known as La Primada is the main cathedral of Toledo. Check out our full guide to this spectacular cathedral. … Read More

Top attractions in Canary islands

timanfaya national park

Timanfaya National Park

Timanfya national park is the 4th national park on this list located in the Canary Island Archipelago, on the island of Lanzarote. The landscape on the island is truly unlike anywhere else on the planet. The island is desolate and looks more like what you would think Mars looks like.

The wildlife that can be found has adapted to this harsh environment. At the center of the park you can visit the active volcano and even enjoy a meal cooked only with the heat that seeps out from the crater. 5.107 hectares of otherworldly beauty. … Read More

spain tourist activities

Teide national park in Tenerife

Teide National Park is one of Spain’s 15 national parks and stands out for several different reasons. It is home to the tallest peak in Spain, Mount Teide, that stands 3,718 meters and, its considered to be one of the 12 treasures of Spain and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also Spain’s largest national park (over 19,000 hectares), it’s the most visited national park and one of the oldest national parks in Spain … Read More

Top attractions in Balearic islands

Top attractions by theme and in top cities of spain.

The new San Mames stadium at night

Spain Soccer Stadiums

Spain has a special passion for football. Children join their parents at early ages and families and friends gather at the stadiums to support their local teams. The stadiums are well-known and icons on many cases of towns and cities. … Read More

Food Markets In Madrid: mercado de san miguel

Food Markets In Madrid

Top Food Markets In Madrid. A selection with the top picks and in-depth guides with tricks, insider tips and special deals. Check it out! Toledo is an amazing destination and an open-air museum. a Unesco heritage site, Toledo is full of churches, or museums besides its top attractions. In the city of 3 cultures, the amount of heritage you will discover is astonishing. … Read More

water sports in spain

Water Sports In Spain

Check out our full guide to Water Sports In Spain. If you are looking to do something more than just chilling on the beach this list is for you. … Read More

Sierra Granada in Spain

Spain national parks

In this article, we break down the best national parks to enjoy in Spain. The country has a huge and diverse number of protected natural areas that can be enjoyed all year round. Fauna and flora lovers alike will find an amazing and unknown part of Spain in this guide … Read More

Palace, gardens and fountain in La Granja

Spain Royal Palaces

In this article you will discover the Royal Palaces of Spain. Importsant buildings to understand the country´s history, they are located in different cities throughout the country and are amongst the most visited attractions in Spain. … Read More

Façade at Prado museum in Madrid

The best art museums in Spain

Discover the best art museums in Spain in this guide where we cover the most important galleries that all art lovers should plan to visit during a vacation in Spain … Read More

water sports in tenerife

Water Sports In Tenerife

Check out our full guide to Water Sports In Tenerife. If you are looking to do something more than just chilling on the beach this list is for you. … Read More

Dolphin And Whale Watching In Tenerife: The Complete Guide

Dolphin And Whale Watching In Tenerife

Check out our full guide to dolphin and whale watching in Tenerife. The Canary Islands a a premiere location for dolphin and whale watching. … Read More

Top Tourist Attractions In Seville

Check out our list of the top tourist attractions of Seville and discover everything this amazing city of Southern Spain has to offer. Toledo is an amazing destination and an open-air museum. a Unesco heritage site, Toledo is full of churches, or museums besides its top attractions. In the city of 3 cultures, the amount of heritage you will discover is astonishing. … Read More

spain tourist activities

Theme parks in Spain

In this article, we break down the best zoos and amusement parks in Spain. Whether you are traveling with your family and you want to plan the perfect, action-packed vacation or you just have an extra day and want to get your blood pumping, you in the right place. Our expert guides have compiled the ultimate list of the best amusement parks and zoos you will find in all of Spain. … Read More

Cadiz cathedral

Cathedrals in Spain

The cathedrals in Spain are part of the most important tourist attractions in the country. Some of them are totally out of the most visited parts of the country and, as a matter of fact, the 2 largest cities in the country, Madrid and Barcelona, do not hold the most impressive cathedrals in the country…. All 88 cathedrals but one (the Cathedral in Lleida which was transformed into a museum) provide religious service today. … Read More

Art Museums in Madrid

Madrid and its “Paseo del Arte” (The local name given to the distance between the top 3 art galleries in Madrid (The Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemiza, and the Reina Sofía Museum) set Madrid amongst the top art destinations in the world. Enjoying art is one of the top things to do in Madrid.

Besides these 3 top museums, there are other smaller art galleries which would stand out in most cities in the world: The Real Academis de San Fernando, the Lazaro Galdiano museum he Casa Sorolla museum and the Cerralbo Museum. … Read More

valencia tourist attractions City of arts

Top Tourist Attractions In Valencia

Check out our expert local guides picks of the top tourist attractions in Valencia to plan the perfect visit to this beautiful coastal city. … Read More

Main square in Salamanca Spain

Top Tourist Attractions In Salamanca

Discover the best tourist attractions in Salamanca and how to organise your time to get the most out of all the things Salamanca offers.

Salamanca is located at a bit more than two hour´s drive from Madrid and it holds some of Spain´s top monuments!. It is a must-see destination in Spain so in case you plan a trip in central Spain. We love the atmosphere at this University city which turns out to be one of the most vibrant cities during the weekends … Read More

Santiago´s cathedral at plaza del obradoiro

Top Tourist Attractions In Santiago

There are many reasons to visit Santiago de Compostela in addition to it being the final destination of the pilgrimage. Besides its main tourist attractions of monuments and museums, the city has an incessant cultural agenda with arts, entertainment and leisure time activities offered throughout the year such as music, lectures, theater, cinema, concerts, exhibitions and festivals. … Read More

beaches in southern Spain

The best beaches in Southern Spain

A selection of the best beaches in Southern Spain. Our expert local guides have hand-picked the best of the best in all of the south. Check it out. … Read More

festivals in Spain

Festivals in Spain

Our curated list of the best festivals in Spain. Spain is well known for its easy going ways and it is home to some of the best festivals in the world. … Read More

ISegovia castle in Spain

Top Tourist Attractions In Segovia

You are going to spend 1 day in Segovia during your vacation in Spain and you are looking for ideas and the best attractions in Segovia to ensure you make the most out of your time. Let us help you with our list of top things to enjoy in Segovia

Segovia is located at a bit more than one hour´s drive from Madrid and it holds some of Spain´s top sights!. It is a must-see destination in Spain so in case you hesitate to visit we strongly recommend you do. You will not regret it!

In this section we provide you with the top Segovia tourist attractions … Read More

Views of Malaga top attractions from the hills

Top Tourist Attractions In Malaga

Malaga is a top destination. beaches, mild weather and excellent connections bring millions of tourists each year. The city has evovled a lot in recent years and it is a top cultural and gastronomic destination today, with vibrant nightlife and may attractions worth visiting. Discover Malaga with this guide covering its top attractions … Read More

Top Tourist Attractions In Barcelona

Discover in this comprehensive guide the most important tourist attractions in Barcelona. You will discover the top sights, top art museums, parks,food markets, beaches and, of course, the most reknown masterpieces from Gaudi … Read More

Best hikes in Tenerife

Best hikes in Tenerife

A curated guide to the best hikes in Tenerife. Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary Islands and hiking is a great way to experience it. … Read More

Views of art outside Guggenheim museum in Bilbao

Top Tourist Attractions In Bilbao

The top tourist attractions in Bilbao to enjoy in 1 or 2 days. A list with the most obvious ideas and some other top sights you should not miss. Discover the best sights in Bilbao, curated by a team of local experts … Read More

Views of the Cathedral and Alcazar in Toledo

Top Tourist Attractions In Toledo

One of the top problems for visitors to Toledo is to decide what to visit first. This can become a problem for day visitors to the city of Toledo. Toledo is one of the top day trips from Madrid and it is also included in a good number of coach tours to Spain. If you are going to spend 1 day in Toledo during your vacation in Spain and you are looking for ideas to ensure you make the most out of your time.

Toledo is an amazing destination and an open-air museum. a Unesco heritage site, Toledo is full of churches, or museums besides its top attractions. In the city of 3 cultures, the amount of heritage you will discover is astonishing. … Read More

Tourist attractions in Cordoba Spain

Top Tourist Attractions In Cordoba

The most important tourist attractions in Cordoba. There is so much heritage in Cordoba besides the Mosque! A comprehensive and curated list of sights in Cordoba with tips and deals … Read More

Views of Alhambra. Granada top attraction

Top Tourist Attractions In Granada

Top 60 Spain tourist attractions. A selection with the top picks and information on tourist attractions in all of Spain´s top cities. Complete visitor´s guides to each of Spain´s top attractions with ideas, tips and special deals … Read More

La Almudena Cathedral in Madrid

Top Tourist Attractions In Madrid

Top attractions to enjoy in Madrid. The capital of Spain is home to some fascinating sights. Art galleries, palaces, romantic parks, soccer stadiums, tapas districts…. The list goes on and on. Discover on this guide the best attractions to enjoy in Madrid. … Read More

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Top Spain Attractions

Things to do in spain.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Ciutat Vella (Old Town)
  • Barrio Gòtico (Barri Gòtic)
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Hidden Gems
  • Adventurous
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

spain tourist activities

1. Central Market of Valencia

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2. Mercado San Miguel

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3. Mercado de La Ribera

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4. Calle San Miguel

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5. Mercat de l'Olivar

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6. Teguise Market

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7. El Rastro

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8. Fuengirola Street Market

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9. Mercado de Triana

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10. Hippy Market Punta Arabí

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11. Los Encantes Barcelona

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12. Mercadillo Las Dalias

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13. Mercat de Pescados

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14. Mercado De La Paz

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15. Mercado de Anton Martin

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16. Benidorm Municipal Market

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17. Mercat Setmanal

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18. Alcaiceria

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19. Mercado San Fernando

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20. Mercado Central de Abastos

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21. Ruzafa Market (Mercado de Ruzafa)

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22. Los Cristianos Market

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23. The Indoor Market

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24. Mercat Central de Castelló

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25. La Zenia Street Market

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26. Mercado da Pedra

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27. Mercado de Abastos

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28. Mercat del Riurau

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29. Mercadillo Torrevieja

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30. Friday Market

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What travelers are saying

Teresa Silva

spain tourist activities

25 Things to Do in Spain for Adventure Seekers

  • Updated on: May 31, 2021

This article may contain affiliate.  For more information, please see our disclaimer  here.

Table of Contents

Spain is for adrenaline junkies, and this beautiful country has thrilling attractions in every corner. From mountain treks to underwater excursions, there are all types of adventurous things to do in Spain. 

If you’re a thrill-seeker at heart, then a trip to Spain is essential for your travels . Not only will your heart race, but you’ll get to explore some of Europe’s most beautiful cities and natural scenery.

To help you find the top thrill-inducing Spain attractions, we’ve created this massive list of activities. We found 25 tours that take you to the streets of Barcelona, the volcanic Canary Islands , the Andalusian Mountains, and everywhere in between. Find the adventures best for you and embark on an epic journey in Spain.

Things to do in and around Barcelona

Of course, as cosmopolitan capital of Spain, Barcelona is especially known for its art and architecture. But did you know there are plenty of exciting things to do in this bustling city as well? Have a look at the tours below and book it right away if you feel up for the adventure!

1. The World of Banksy & Street Art

Banksy - Barcelona

  • Duration – Flexible
  • Important – Meet your guide at the Espacio Trafalgar entrance desk. 

Enter the mind of this street art legend as you view over 100 masterful creations at Barcelona’s Espacio Trafalgar. An enigmatic character, Banksy has captivated the world with his politically provocative messages. The exhibition of his greatest works is the best tourist attraction in Spain for street art fanatics. 

Tour Recommendations:

2. portaventura & ferrari land theme parks.

Spain - PortAventura & Ferrari Land Theme Parks

  • Duration – 1, 2, or 3 Day Tickets
  • Important – The tickets are for consecutive days once activated. 

Buckle up for spine-tingling roller coasters and exotic worlds at two of the most entertaining theme parks in Spain. PortAventura transports you from Europe to colonial Mexico, the Wild West, Imperial China, and beyond. Dedicated to the Italian car model, Ferrari Land cranks your adrenaline to the highest degree with death-defying rides. 

3. Jet Ski Adventure

Jetski Spain Things to do

  • Duration – 40 minutes to 1 hour
  • Important – Once you enter the main entrance of the port, follow signs for the Decathlon store to find the meeting tent 200 meters before the store. 

Take your need for speed to the beaches of Barcelona by going on a high-octane jet ski ride. View the city’s breathtaking skyline from the water as you race across the Mediterranean. Even if you’ve never hopped on a jet ski before, your guide will treat you to an unforgettable experience from the sea. 

Check the price for this tour by clicking this link

Things to do at the East Coast of Spain

Valencia, Allicante and Almeira are just a few of the famous places along the East Coast of Spain. And as you can imagine there are a lot of water sports to do, but also a lot of other adrenaline-driving adventures. Below you’ll find some of the greatest things to do in Spain along the East Coast.

4. Escape Room on Kayaks

Kayak Spain Tours

  • Duration – 2 hours
  • Important – Bring water shoes and meet at Sant Pol Beach. 

This kayak tour and escape room combo is one of the more unique Spain attractions. Test your wits by solving the riddles of this mystery and discover the alluring caves of the Costa Brava coast. It’s a race against the clock to find the missing people as you explore this beautiful slice of Spain.

Buy your ticket here

5. Jeep Safari Mountain Adventure

Spain things to do Jeep Safari

  • Duration – 4 hours
  • Important – Tapas and drinks are included for a taste of Spanish cuisine. 

The Calderona Mountains lie just outside of Valencia, and this off-road safari transports you through the rugged wilderness. Test your jeep driving skills or admire the picturesque landscapes while your guide escorts you through the mountains. Don’t forget to check out the medieval Serra Castle that rewards you with sweeping hilltop views. 

Ready for more hikes in Spain? Check out this ultimate guide: What To Expect of the Caminito del Rey? Once the Most Dangerous Hike in Spain

6. Paella Cooking Class

Paella Cooking Class Spain

  • Important – Free transport by private vehicle to the “Huerto de Consuelín” farmhouse is included. 

Speaking of Spanish cuisine, whipping up some Paella is one of the most Spanish things to do in Valencia. You’ll visit a Valencian farmhouse to learn the secrets of how to make this mouthwatering dish. If you’re lucky, you’ll take home tips to prepare this authentic Spanish recipe for your friends and family. 

Things to do in and around Madrid 

While Madrid is the capital city of Spain and you might think more about shopping, partying and arts, don’t underestimate this city when it comes to adventures! Below we’ve listed a couple of experiences and things to do that will make you feel alive!

7. Axe Throwing

Axe Throwing Spain

  • Duration – 1 hour
  • Important – A prize awaits the best shooter in your group. 

Challenge a group of your friends to one of the wildest contests in Spain. After a safety tutorial, take your best shot at the target and see who is best at flinging axes. 

8. Mountain Bike Tour

Mountainbike tour in spain

  • Duration – Flexible (Full Day)
  • Important – Helmets are included and the tour will be geared towards your group’s biking ability. 

Madrid is a playground for mountain bikers, and its city forest, Casa de Campo, offers a refuge from urban life. Just 10 minutes outside of the city center, the steep climbs of El Pardo will push you to the limits. Strap on your helmet, pedal to the hilltops, and watch out for cattle on the trails.

Do you like biking? Also check out our post on the most incredible cycling routes in Spain

Things to do in Spain on the Canary Islands 

People say that the Canary Islands have the best climate in the world. With year long sun shine and not a lot of rain it is the perfect destination in Spain to seek outdoor adventures. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are plenty of things to do in the Spanish Canary Islands for adventure travelers like you!

9. Snorkeling & Kayaking with Turtles

Turtles in Spain

  • Duration – 3 hours
  • Important – Swimsuits and towels are not provided, and animal sightings aren’t guaranteed. 

Head to Tenerife to view majestic dolphins and turtles out in the wild. These pristine waters nurture 5 species of dolphins, and it’s a magical feeling to meet them up-close in their natural habitat. When you’re ready to dive in the water, the tour paddles to a secluded bay home to turtles and bull rays.

10. Mount Teide Summit Tour

Spain - Peak of Mount Teide

  • Duration – 6 to 9 hours
  • Important – Select a trail to the summit that’s suitable for your skill level. 

Your head will be in the clouds during your voyage to the tallest peak in Spain. With 30 trails on nearby Mount Teide, Tenerife is among the best cities to visit in Spain for hikers. At 3,718 meters, you’ll never forget the dramatic vistas from the volcano’s summit. 

Don’t forget to bring a proper daypack! Check out our thoughtful tips when it comes to buying a daypack.

11. Stargazing

Stargazing Spain

  • Duration – 3.5 hours
  • Important – Pickup and drop-off is available near your accommodations. 

The absence of big cities and light pollution around Mount Teide National Park make it a stargazing paradise. Join an astronomical guide and settle at 2,536 meters above sea level to witness a surreal sunset. When the sun dips below the horizon, stare into the galaxy through the lens of long-range telescopes. 

12. Visit Timanfaya National Park

Timanfaya National Park - Spain things to do

  • Duration – 7 hours
  • Important – Bring food since lunch is not included with the tour.  

The otherworldly landscapes of Timanfaya National Park have hit the big screen on multiple occasions. Discover the volcanic terrain for yourself on this whirlwind tour south of Lanzarote. The unique environment features geothermal wonders, volcanic craters, black-sand beaches, and a green lagoon. 

13. Surfing

Surfing in Spain - Fuereventura

  • Duration – 2.5 hours to 3 days (2.5 hours per day)
  • Important – Wear plenty of sunscreen to protect yourself from the intense sun. 

Fuerteventura has some of the best surfing in Spain, so it’s an easy choice to learn how to surf. With the help of a qualified instructor, you’ll learn the surfing basics at one of Fuerteventura’s pristine beaches. 

14. Off-Road Buggy Tour

Spain - Off-Road Buggy Tour

  • Important – You must have a valid driver’s license to book this tour. 

Head to the scenic Ayagaures Valley in southern Gran Canaria for an exciting ride through canyons and rugged mountains. The unpaved roads lead you to rustic villages and some of the more breathtaking viewpoints on the island. 

15. Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing - Spain

  • Important – Bring waterproof shoes and a change of clothes for your adventure. 

Gran Canaria’s volcanic rock creates an abundance of climbing spots, and it’s one of the more adventurous things to do in Spain. Test your climbing skills by teaming up with an expert guide and marvel at the geologic wonders of the island. 

Things to do in Spain on the Balearic Islands 

In the Mediterranian sea, East of the Spanish Mainland, you’ll find the Balearic islands Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca. They differ a lot, but they have one thing in common: the relaxed island vibe! Check out below the greatest things to do in Spain when it comes to adventure in combination with a chilled vibe!

16. Off-Road Quad Biking, Snorkeling & Cliff Jumping

Mallorca - Quad driving

  • Important – Bring your driver’s license, sun protection, and swimwear for the tour. 

This Mallorca trifecta takes you on a quad bike tour through rugged terrain and to an epic cliff jumping site. Ride through verdant forests and sand dunes before diving into Mallorca’s serene waters to cool off. After a refreshing swim, stop by a laid-back beach bar to end your tour with a tasty beverage.

17. “Take Off” Jet Boat

Jet Boat Ibiza - Spain

  • Duration – 30 minutes
  • Important – The meeting point is located at Passeig de la Mar, s/n, 07820 San Antonio Abad, Islas Baleares (near Slingshot Ibiza). 

Feel like you’re riding a seaside roller coaster on this thrilling jet boat ride in Ibiza. This stunt boat is one of the more unique things to do in Spain for its wave jumping, fast speeds, 360-degree spins, and killer onboard sound system.

18. Scuba Diving

Scuba diving - Spain

  • Important – Wait at least 12 hours after scuba diving before boarding a plane. 

Explore the mysteries of the deep blue sea by diving into Ibiza’s turquoise waters. The underwater world of southern Ibiza is the best place for first-time divers in Spain. After your scuba dive tutorial, take the plunge to meet colorful fish, curious dolphins, or even an octopus. 

Things to do at the South Coast of Spain 

The Costa del Sol, where the sun always shines is the perfect place to experience an adventure or two. Don’t wait any longer and check out the best things to do in the South of Spain.

19. Hot Air Balloon Flight

spain tourist activities

  • Important – Arrive at your meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure. 

Take to the skies as you enjoy stunning aerial views of the Seville countryside. After your flight lands, have a filling breakfast before boarding a yacht cruise and return to Seville on the scenic Guadalquivir River. 

Check the price for this balloon flight here

20. Hike the Caminito del Rey

Winter in Iceland

  • Important – Meet your guide at the door of Restaurante El Kiosko at least 20 minutes before departure. 

The cliffside walkway of Caminito del Rey is one of the most exhilarating things to do in Spain. With its sheer canyon walls, rocky gorges, and dark tunnels, Caminito del Rey will get your adrenaline pumping. As you hug the cliff face, hear tales of the brave workers who built this engineering feat. 

21. GPS Crime Challenge

Spain - Crime Challenge Málaga

  • Important – You’ll receive a treasure after solving the mystery. 

Find your inner Sherlock Holmes by using a GPS device to solve a crime that takes you around Málaga. Search for clues at 10 stations and explore the best sights in this charming city. 

Tour Recommendation:

22. climb spain’s highest peak.

Peak of the Mulhacen Mountain - Hike in Spain

  • Duration – 2 days
  • Important – Round trip transfers are available in Granada. 

Grab your hiking boots for this thrilling 2-day trek to the summit of Mulhacén in the Sierra Nevada. At 3,482 meters, Mulhacén is the highest peak on the Iberian Peninsula. This mountaineering expedition rewards you with spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, Sierra Nevada, and sometimes North Africa. 

23. Canyoning

Rio Verde Canyoning - Spain

  • Duration – 5 hours
  • Important – Your exact meeting point in Granada isn’t available until after booking. 

Explore the beautiful Rio Verde Canyon and rappel from rocks upwards of 15 meters high. Daredevils can jump from rocks and swim in the emerald waters of this canyoner’s playground. 

24. Whitewater Rafting

Rafting in Spain

  • Duration – 1.5 to 3 hours
  • Important – Choose the route suitable for your skill level. 

This wet & wild expedition on the River Guadalfeo is one of most adventurous things to do in Spain. The river flows through the Alpujarra region and offers panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada. If you’re up for rushing rapids, the intermediate route is an unforgettable ride. 

Caving - Spain

  • Important – Proper hiking boots are essential for this tour. 

Venture 20 meters underground to roam the spooky caves just outside of Granada. You’ll view stalactites, stalagmites, and other striking geologic formations while traversing through narrow, rocky passages.

These were our top picks for things to do in Spain. If you have any questions or if you have a great tip or an experience you’d like to share, please leave a comment below. 

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I love Spain for its history, culture, and beautiful scenery. There are so many cool things to do in Spain for adventure seekers, like hiking in the Andalusian Mountains, exploring the ancient city of Granada, or kayaking in

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  • 21 Captivating Spain Tourist Attractions That Will Make You Pack Your Bags In 2024

22 Jun 2023

Whether it’s a sun-drenched beach or an artistic highpoint of European culture or a bio-geographical courtyard garden; Spain has every attraction to amuse the travelers coming to experience the Spanish extravaganza, from all over the world. With a plethora of these Spain tourist attractions , tourists can be sure to have a gala time here.

21 Best Spain Tourist Attractions

Spain is a country that has a lot to offer to its visitors. Let’s explore the fascinating Spain tourist attractions that will take your breath away.

  • Costa Brava
  • The Canary Islands
  • Costa Del Sol Beach
  • Santiago De Compostela Cathedral
  • The Great Mosque Of Cordoba
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Plaza Mayor
  • The White Towns Of Andalucía
  • Diagonal Mar Centre Commercial
  • Centro Comercial Moda Shopping Centre
  • La Sagrada Familia
  • The Alhambra
  • La Rioja Vineyards
  • El Retiro Park
  • La Concha Beach

1. Park Guell

Park Guell in Barcelona is one the best places to see in Spain

Image Source

A wonder park for the tourists, Park Guell in Barcelona is an enjoyment point for children. An artistic paradise for lovers, Barcelona Park Guell has structures and designs made of natural resources. This city is a significant contributor to Spain tourism. Famous for: Gaudi House Museum Key attractions: multicolored mosaic salamander, mosaic work on the main entrance and two grand buildings on the entrance of the park

Must Read: 10 Spanish Mosques: Impressive Historic Islamic Architecture In Spain

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Ibiza

This pine-clad, sun-kissed island is the most visited place for the merrymakers. The dazzling backdrop of clubs and restaurants and scintillating coastline with blue water makes Ibiza one of the truly captivating tourist attractions in Spain. For some private moments, secluded beaches on the island are perfect! Famous for: Beach clubs Key attractions : Sunset scooter tour, clubbing, and sun-and-sand parties

3. Pub Crawl

Pub Crawl

Best places to visit in Spain include the glitzy bars and pubs that provide the most delightful experience. If you love loading yourself with the best booze in the world, visit Barcelona clubs. Stay late at night to enjoy to the maximum as people pour in already drunk to enjoy more drinks. The food and music is just awesome. Famous for: Nightlife Key attractions Clubbing and booze

Suggested Read: 10 Best Day Trips From Madrid That Will Add To The Charm Of Your Spanish Holiday!

4. Granada 10

Granada 10

If you are a nightlife lover, then Granada 10 is the best among Spain tourist attractions. Famous for disco, this is the place to enjoy music, booze, and food. Famous for: Nightlife Key attractions: Clubbing, especially on weekends

5. Costa Brava

Costa Brava

Costa Brava is one of the perfect Spanish tourist attractions. If beaches, landscapes, and tranquil villages are your love, Costa Brava shouldn’t be missed. Come here any time of the year to enjoy the pleasing weather. With various activities and games to enjoy, you’ll never feel bored or lost at Costa Brava. Famous for: Beaches, Shopping, Villages, Local Food Key attractions: Art Museum, theatre museum

Suggested Read: 18 Must-Attend Spanish Festivals That Reflect Europe’s Rich Culture

6. The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands

Image Credit: JJNOVA for Pixabay

The Canary Islands must be on your checklist of best places to visit in Spain. The beaches and the historic monuments along with a trip to the volcanic mountain will make your visit worthwhile. The museums and archaeological park will be best to explore while visiting The Canary Islands. Famous for: Island of Dogs, Mount Teide, Canarian Wrestling Key attractions: Loggerhead turtles, Aquatic Thai Paradise, and natural pools

7. Costa Del Sol Beach

Costa Del Sol Beach

With a mile-long stretch of pristine white sand and sun rays covering the whole seashore, the Costa del sol beaches offer sun and sand retreats for the tourists. Just a few steps away from the beautiful Marbella town of old whitewashed homes, these beaches are major Spain tourist attractions. Famous for: Sun-bathing Key attractions : Yacht ride, and golf at Golf Valley near the coastline.

Suggested Read: 7 Days In Spain: Witness The Splendid Sceneries Of This European Country

8. Santiago De Compostela Cathedral

Santiago De Compostela Cathedral

Santiago De Compostela Cathedral’s breathtaking architecture, from the Roman era, offers an overwhelming pilgrim experience to the visitors. One of the top places to visit in Spain, St James Cathedral is known for its impressive facade and triple doorway. The Apostle’s wooden figure crafted inside the building is the focal point of the cathedral’s interior. Famous for: St James relics Key attractions : Triple doorway, wooden figure of Apostle from 13th century, 18th century facade, and the adorned Capilla Mayor

9. The Great Mosque Of Cordoba

The Great Mosque Of Cordoba

The Great Mosque of Cordoba is one of the oldest man-made structures that is still standing tall. Built during the 8th century, this Islamic pilgrim has interiors that will leave you mesmerized. The architectural beauty of the mosque makes it one of the top tourist places in Spain.

Famous for: The Hypostyle Hall Key attractions : The Great Hall for prayer, The Horseshoe Arch and The Mihrab (Focal Point of Prayer)

Suggested Read: Honeymoon In Spain: 18 Best Places For A Romantic Español Vacation

10. Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum

While sightseeing in Spain, tourists must visit the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. The connection between the design of the museum along with architecture and collection that it holds will mesmerize the audience for sure. Famous for: The museum structure Key attractions Puppy Design, Tulips by Jeff Koons and Matter of Time by Richard Serra

11. Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is one of the must see places in Spain. Tourists can enjoy the serenity of the environment while sipping Spanish wine. As it is located in the centre of the city, one can enjoy the warmth of the locals while visiting historic monuments located within 1000 meters of the plaza. Famous for: Restaurants and arched designs Key attractions: Enjoy quality time in the restaurants while watching passersby. Visit nearby historic monuments.

Suggested Read: Your Stays Made Easy With These Hostels In Spain

12. The White Towns Of Andalucía

The White Towns Of Andalucía

While visiting Spain, do not forget to visit The White Towns of Andalucia. Also known as Pueblos Blancos, it is a town series comprising of beautiful villages in the Southern Province of Spain. It is also known as the White Town because all the homes are whitewashed and have brown or red tiles on the roof. Famous for: White Houses with flowery balconies Key attractions: Sunset Point, Architecture designs, hiking, pot holing, horseback riding, rock climbing, enjoy local food.

13. La Rambla

La Rambla

While visiting Barcelona, do not forget to visit La Rambla, one of the major tourist attractions in Spain. Famous for: Street Performers, Majestic building design and structures Key attractions: Human Statues, Miro (a circular mosaic design), shopping, and street painting

Suggested Read: Summer In Spain: A Detailed Guide To Roll Like Spaniards

14. El Teide

El Teide

Image Credit: Efraimstochter for Pixabay

The El Teide, Tenerife is a mountain range with a Volcano, which acts as a centre point of attraction. It is a tourist’s paradise and a canvas for the photo lovers. Famous for: Above the cloud sunset Key attractions: Sunset point, point of volcano, stargazing, Teide National park.

15. Diagonal Mar Centre Commercial

Diagonal Mar Centre Commercial

People interested in lavish shopping must visit the Diagonal Mar Centre Commercial. Known as the biggest shopping mall, it is a home to 190 stores with a vast assortment of brands. In addition to this, people can even enjoy the mouth-watering cuisines served at the restaurants of Diagonal Mar Centre Commercial. Famous for: Shopping Key attractions: Shopping

Suggested Read: This New Island In Spain Is A Reason Enough To Update Your Travel Wishlist

16. Centro Comercial Moda Shopping Centre

Centro Comercial Moda Shopping Centre

If going on a shopping spree is your idea of fun, head to Centro Comercial Moda Shopping Centre. It is the house to more than 50 stores. For people interested in designer home decor, Centro Comercial Moda Shopping is a good pick. Famous for: Shopping Key attractions: Shopping

17. La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

This is a magnificent unfinished Catholic church in Barcelona which is also one of the top tourist attractions in Spain . The work started in 1883 and is due for completion in 2026. Today, a part of the La Sagrada Familia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Do not miss this attraction on your next visit to Spain.

Famous for: Roman Catholic Church Key attractions: Gothic architecture

Suggested Read: Beer Spa Granada Is The First In Spain To Let You Drink And Drown In the Barrels Of Beer

18. The Alhambra

Alhambra Palace

If royal places attract you, then you are in for a surprise. The Alhambra is a beautiful palace and fortress complex situated in Granada in Spain. It is one of the top tourist attractions of Spain . The structure demonstrates the Islamic architecture beautifully and the stunning mosaics and spectacular marble fountains add on to the aesthetics of this Spanish attraction.

Famous for: Sightseeing Key attractions: Mosaics and marble fountains

19. La Rioja Vineyards

A couple enjoying vine at one of the vineyards in Prague

If you are a connoisseur of wine, then you’ll get to taste some of the finest wines of the region here. Other than the wine, the region has beautiful landscapes and is a great place to enjoy scenic vistas. Whenever you visit Spain next, include the Spanish wine tours in your itinerary and enjoy these beautiful Spanish regions.

Famous for: Wine Tasting Key attractions: World famous wine regions

Suggested Read: 15 Best Beaches In Spain To Bask In The Tropical Sun

20. El Retiro Park

retiro

One of the largest parks in the city, El Retiro Park is one of the most visited places in Spain. Once under the Spanish monarchy, the public could finally access it in the 19th century when it became a public park. Stroll around in the park, take a walk, or just relax and unwind here. The park has beautiful sculptures, monuments, and a lake that add on to its beauty.

Famous for: Free concerts and annual book fair Key attractions: Crystal Palace and Rose garden

Suggested Read: 10 Most Amazing Spanish Islands That You Wouldn’t Want To Leave

21. La Concha Beach

Conchas Chinas Beach

Adding to the beauty of northern Spain is this beautiful crescent-shaped beach called La Concha Beach. A visit to the city of San Sebastian is a must on one’s Spain visit for this amazing beach. If you like walking along the beach, then this is where you can do that. Other than the walk, you can sunbathe, swim, and enjoy paddling at this beach.

Famous for: Sun-bathing Key attractions: The crescent shape of the beach

Further Read: 10 National Parks Of Spain That Will Take The Travelers To Another World

The myriad of Spain tourist attractions make it a popular travel destination. So, which one of the above mentioned is the best place to visit in Spain according to you? Plan a trip to Spain now and visit all these exciting places. Also, do share the list with your friends and folks!

Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

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33 Best Places to Visit in Spain

best places to visit in Spain

Highlights in Spanien – Die 33 besten OrteBrimming with cultural charm, stunning architecture, world-class cities, and small,  picturesque villages – Spain is undoubtedly a country that is often a must-visit for many travel lovers all over the world.

Taking the title as the second most visited country in the European Union with approximately 82.7 million travelers, right after France, Spain’s numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites and close to perfect weather are just a few more reasons that draw in the crowds every year from adventurous backpackers to relaxed sun-searching retirees.

From the sun-drenched Costa Blanca on the country’s east coast full of white sand beaches and turquoise waters to the incredible hikes and stargazing opportunities in the country’s northern region of the Basque Country, and the combination of the Moors and Catholic influence dressing the Andalucian region with a unique mix of culture and Mudéjar style architecture, the list of the best places to visit in Spain isn’t short.

The following sites are just a few of the many awe-inspiring destinations to explore while planning a trip to Spain.

1 – Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

Distinctly known for its Catalan language and culture and located in the northeastern corner of Spain, touching the Mediterranean, Barcelona is a city that was founded in the 1st century BC by the Romans.

Out of the many things to do in Barcelona , a sight not to miss is The Sagrada Familia, which is a structure that dates back to 1866 when the first stones were put in place where this cultural structure now stands. It is considered one of the best places to visit in Spain.

To get the most out of your visit, be sure to book a Sagrada Familia guided tour which will explain and expand more about the history of the awe-inspiring construction, answer your specific questions, and leave you feeling more inspired and appreciative of this structure that draws in around 4.5 million visitors per year.

Check out some of the best free walking tours in Barcelona in order to take in the immense beauty and history that lies in each corner of the city, such as the Gothic Quarter, Casa Milá, as well as the impressive Park Güell, and a stroll through Las Ramblas to feast on local delicacies

  • Tours & Activities in Barcelona

See also: Best Barcelona tours , Best day trips from Barcelona , Barcelona attractions pass comparison guide

2 – Bilbao

Bilbao, Spain

Originally a settlement for ironworkers founded at the beginning of the 14th century, Bilbao is a nature lover’s wonderland with green mountains and rolling hills, and it is today the biggest city in the Basque Country, with a population of 345,821.

From extraordinary scenery to an incredible art scene, mixed with a modern twist, Bilbao today offers a little bit of everything for every type of traveler.

Take a stroll through the Casco Viejo (Old Town), and explore the Cathedral of Santiago of Bilbao, Plaza Nueva, and the Archaeological Museum, which gives visitors an insider look into the cultural and natural history of Bilbao.

Book a guided tour to explore the Casco Viejo to gain an appreciation for the stunning history, and inspiration for the specific architecture of some of the buildings of the city.

If exploring local foods is up your alley, then definitely stop by La Ribera market, located inside the Casco Viejo to get your pintxos fix, which are small snack-like foods much like tapas. Worried that the rain may catch you? No worries, as it is a completely covered market, and in fact, it is the largest covered market in Europe.

  • Tours & Activities in Bilbao

3 – Madrid

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, the capital of Spain, makes a name for itself when it comes to being one of the best places to visit in Spain.

A top tourist destination within the country, coming in second to Barcelona. Originally named Mayrit, and established as a citadel for military use by Muhammed I of Córdoba .

After the reconquest in 1083, it was “refounded” by King Alfonso I, and named Madrid. Today, there are plenty of activities and things to do in Madrid , from cultural to natural, along with cool and unusual day trips .

Madrid is a museum lover’s dream, with top museums to visit all within a walking distance, in the famed “Golden Triangle of Art” where visitors can find top museums such as The Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia National Galleries, and the Thyssen-Bornememisza Museum located all within a small distance of each other.

Soccer fans will be amazed to walk into Real Madrid’s playground, as they take an impressive Santiago Bernabeu Stadium tour , which you can book your tickets for in advance to avoid difficulties.

A day trip to Toledo from Madrid is another fabulous plan, with frequent buses and trains leaving Madrid throughout the day, making it incredibly easy to explore the City of Three Cultures for the day.

  • Tours & Activities in Madrid

See also: Royal Palace of Madrid tickets price , Reina Sofia Museum tickets price , Prado Museum tickets price , Free walking tours in Madrid

4 – Salamanca

Salamanca, Spain

Founded in the 4th century BC by the Celts, and later on, to be taken over by the Romans, today Salamanca pays homage to its origins through its well-preserved buildings and facades such as the University of Salamanca -the oldest university in Spain.

A walk through the city’s beautiful Old Town will showcase its decorative sandstone facade, and its unique and embellished carvings onto the buildings, that literally make visitors stop in their tracks to look up.

Located northwest of Madrid, and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a stroll along The Plaza Mayor is needed. Decorated in a Baroque architectural design, The Plaza Mayor is the main square in Salamanca where you will find everything from restaurants, to cafe shops on the first floor and government buildings on the second floor.

Be sure to check out Clerecía Church, and take in a unique sight of the Cathedral from inside, as you stroll through its sandstone-colored corridors and Baroque architecture. Finding something to do in Salamanca is seemingly an easy task, with a plentiful amount of things to experience.

  • Tours & Activities in Salamanca

5 – Picos de Europa

Picos de Europa, Spain

The astonishing and dramatic mountain range Picos de Europa, translated to “Peaks of Europe” is situated in the northern region of Spain in the autonomous regions of Cantabria, Asturias, and Leon.

Considered to be Spain’s only inhabited nature reserve, and one of the best places to visit in Spain by many, a visit to the Picos de Europa will offer you endless stunning natural sights like meadows, lakes, forests, valleys, and of course the stunning mountains, wildlife sightings including the brown bear and Iberian wolf, deer, vultures, and much more.

This nature lover’s playground offers 30 self-guided hikes, 17 stunning viewpoints, and 3 visitor centers to help guide your hike, and see which one suits your travel style best.

Visit the incredibly picturesque towns surrounding the Picos de Europa, and explore their charm as you venture to the village of Bulnes, where you can get to hiking on foot or taking a scenic funicular ride through the natural sights of Picos de Europa.

Also don’t miss out on visiting the Royal Site of Covadonga, a site that holds an image of the Virgin Mary, tucked away on the western side of Picos de Europa.

6 – Balearic Islands

Ibiza, Spain

The Balearic Islands are considered an archipelago, with these 4 major islands: Menorca, Mallorca, Formentera, and Ibiza, all offering an abundance of fun in the sun activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, boat cruises, visiting smaller islands, basking in the gourmet seafood delicacies, and so much more.

Depending on your travel style, mood, and interests, each island is sure to offer you just the type of experience you’re looking for.

Menorca, the first of the islands is known for its slower-paced lifestyle, amazing wildlife sightings, and beautiful natural scenery, and is ideal for families. Be sure to book a guided tour to explore S’Abufera des Grau Nature Reserve for a look into the different types of natural landscape from marshes to dunes, and check out all of the great things to do in Mallorca .

If fresh foods and wine with a side of fun and well-preserved history are on the top of your list, then there are plenty of things to do in Menorca  and a visit to this island cannot be missed.

Formentera is the smallest island of the 4, but also one of the most visited. For some slow travel, Formentera will gift its visitors with some of the most stunning beaches such as Playa es Pujols with a crystal clear, aquamarine color, views of fishermen’s boats, and small gatherings and events happening on the beach.

Lastly, other than being known as the island of parties, there are also plenty of other things to do in Ibiza . One of those is visiting some of its amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sights such as Dalt Vila which is a fortification that dates back to the 16th century, to protect the Old Town of Ibiza.

  • Tours & Activities in the Balearic Islands

7 – Alicante

fun things to do in Alicante

Located in Spain’s Costa Blanca region, with an average annual temperature of 21 degrees Celsius/ 70 degrees Farenheight, Alicante is a hot spot for history lovers, sun chasers, and Mediterranean-style foods and treats.

Founded in 325 BC by the Phocaeans Greeks, and named previously Akra Leuke, meaning “white summit” – Alicante is known today as the city with many water sports activities, and one of the best places to visit in Spain for the affluent.

Visiting some of its beautiful and historical neighborhoods such as Barrio de Santa Cruz, and El Barrio, to get a glimpse into the Old Town of Alicante, are just a few of the things to do in Alicante .

Head to the Old Town and book a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Alicante, or stop by Mercat Central d’Alacant for the best selection of local ingredients and the best of Alicante’s food scene.

Visitors can also take the Alicante Tram, which passes by little villages with impressive Islamic architecture, telling the story of the city’s influences throughout time.

A stop to Alicante cannot be made without a stop at the beach, and Playa del Postiguet is the one if you’re looking for white-sand beaches and crystal blue water.

Enjoy a drink and take in the sights of one of Alicante’s best beaches.

  • Tours & Activities in Alicante

8 – Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Globally recognized as the final destination of the famous hike of el Camino de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela offers its hikers and visitors alike some of the best activities and experiences for wine, nature, and history lovers.

Known by locals as a “big village” due to its population size of locals and visitors while visiting this Galician city, start out by exploring the Old Town to take in the beautiful Roman architecture of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

University buildings and museums such as Museo das Peregrinacións which is a museum dedicated to the pilgrimage that floods the city every year, City of Culture of Galiza, all adorn the Old Town with Galician culture and history.

Take a break from the Old Town and step into the beautiful parks around the city, such as San Domingos de Bonaval Park or Alameda Park, where you may even catch a celebration taking place.

Take in the local food scene by checking out the Mercado de Abastos where you get to explore and enjoy some of Santiago de Compostela’s famous food like octopus Galician style, empanadas, and the famous Tarte of Santiago.

  • Tours & Activities in Santiago de Compostela

9 – Canary Islands

Tenerife, Spain

Another famous archipelago in Spain called the Canary Islands is considered the only black and white sand beach in Spain thanks to the active volcano Mt. Tiede. One of the best places to visit in Spain are the islands here: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa.

The Canary Islands are considered to be some of the most naturally diverse offering sights such as desert, snow-capped mountains, drastic valleys, and high mountain peaks.

Visit Tenerife if you’re looking for a little bit of everything in one place, an example for nature lovers is the magnificent landscapes to take in like Teide National Park, where you can get views of the Tiede volcano and the largest mountain peak in all of Spain. If you’re looking for more things to do in Tenerife , a visit to Jungle Park is a must to see over 500 animals in one place.

If you’re looking for some action and adrenaline, a visit to Fuerteventura should be on your list. Known for amazing surfing, windsurfing, and kiting, as well as its beautiful soft sand beaches such as Playa del Moro, this is the place where you can also catch some whale-watching.

If awe-inspiring landscapes are your thing, then definitely check out all of the fun things to do in Gran Canaria and El Hierro, both known for countless sights such as their mountainous aspects and sandy dunes.

While visiting Gran Canaria make sure to visit Roque Nublo, which is a big rock that you can hike, and in El Hierro, make sure to check out the stunning jagged cliffs and rock formations on the coast of the island.

A few fun things to do in Lanzarote can include taking a peek at the wine production in the La Geria wine region and checking out the Cactus Garden, which is a beautifully designed cactus garden planted on a volcanic sand/soil mix.

La Palma is also regarded as one of the best islands for beautiful natural scenery where visitors can book a tour to walk a 500-meter-long lava tunnel exploring La Palma’s volcanic foundations, as well as La Gomera island specifically for Garajonay National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Finally, don’t miss out on the many surfing opportunities when planning things to do in Fuerteventura , as its northern coast is famous for superb wind conditions that attract surfers from around the world.

  • Tours & Activities in the Canary Islands

10 – Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol, Spain

Costa del Sol is a traveler’s favorite destination where crystal blue beach and soft, white sand meets golden hour like nowhere else.

Located in the southernmost region of Spain, and the city of Malaga as it’s capital, it is a 150 kilometer/93 miles beach lovers dream that covers 9 little seaside villages: Benahavís, Benalmádena, Casares, Estepona, Fuengirola, Manilva, Marbella, Mijas, Torremolinos.

Hot tip; Check out our selection of fun things to do in Marbella .

While visiting the Costa del Sol, make sure to check out the Colomares Monument in Benahavís, which is an interesting and extremely ornate castle dedicated to Christopher Colombus. Book tickets ahead of time to check out the BioParc in Fuengirola to observe a wide array of birds and wildlife in their natural habit.

While the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) is commonly known to be the place for optimal beaches, and water sports galore, it’s also known for endless options for golf courses. So much so, that Costa del Sol has been nicknamed Costa del Golf for being the destination in Europe with the most golf courses per square mile.

Rent a jet-ski, surfboard, or go dolphin watching, and pretty much any other type of water sport activity and soak up southern Spain’s best.

11 – Malaga

Malaga, Spain

Not just another amazing seaside city, Malaga is a site that also offers Flamenco flair, the site where Pablo Picasso was born, the Islamic-inspired Alcazaba fortress, and more.

A must-visit site for sure is The Roman Theater. The Roman Theater was founded under an exceptional condition in 1951, and dates back to the first century BC, just a couple of steps away from the majestic Aqaba fortress, where you can take in the Roman and Islamic influences and uses of this fortress.

Of the plenty of other amazing things to do in Malaga , if off-the-beaten-path activities are your thing, then don’t miss out on the Glass Museum.  A building that in and of itself is a piece of stunning architecture from the 1700s, where visitors can take a look at glassware from ancient civilizations in Malaga from the Romans, Phoenicians, Ancient Greeks, and Egyptians.

Cars and clothes go together at the Automobile and Fashion Museum which showcases cars and fashion from 1903 to the Roaring ’20s and up to the 1950s, emphasizing a unique view of Spanish history and societal norms.

  • Tours & Activities in Málaga

12 – Warner Bros Park

Warner Bros Park, Spain

Located in Spain’s capital of Madrid, escape into the world of your favorite superheroes and movie characters.

Whether you’re visiting with family or with friends, an adventure on some of the most famous rides like Superman, the Rio Bravo, Rapidos ACME, and more are awaiting brave and adrenaline-chasing visitors.

Not feeling the rides much? Then definitely head to a show put on by some well-known characters, or take a walk around the thematic cities like Hollywood Boulevard.

Come hungry when planning a visit to Warner Bros Park , where you can choose from a variety of food and snacks to satisfy all adventurers.

  • Warner Bros Park tickets

13 – Segovia

Segovia, Spain

Founded in 700 BCE, Segovia is known for a few things including the storybook castle that partly inspired Disney’s design for Cinderella’s castle, a Roman aqueduct built in 50 BC, and medieval-style architecture that adorns the streets of Segovia.

This is a city with so much packed in, and located northwest of the city of Madrid, a little under an hour away.

A visit to the Segovia Museum, located in the fortified wall of the city, will give visitors a rich understanding of the city’s history and influences. However, a walk through the Calle Real de Segovia will have visitors experiencing the city’s vibe, passing by buildings constructed in the 16th century, Romanesque-style churches, and the Jewish Quarter.

Visit the astounding Castillo de Coca, a 15th-century castle with beautiful Mudéjar brickwork, which is a special type of architecture design used in Muslim and Christian castles/palaces.

Walking along with the Calle Real de Segovia, visitors will stumble upon iconic structures such as La Casa de Los Picos (House of the Points) distinguished by its granite points that adorn the exterior, as well as the Aqueduct of Segovia and the Alcázar of Segovia.

If visitors wander to the Eresma River, they will be greeted with an amazing view of the Alcázar of Segovia with no obstructing buildings covering the sight of this impressive castle, making Segovia one of the best places to visit in Spain.

  • Tours & Activities in Segovia

14 – Granada

fun things to do in Granada, Spain

With an impressive 700 years worth of Moorish influence mixed with Catholic influence after the reconquest, Granada offers visitors a step back in time with emblematic structures like the palace/castle of the Alhambra, open to visitors which recounts the deep culture and influence that the Moors planted.

Gaze behind the Alhambra to view the magnificent Sierra Nevada, a natural highlight to appreciate while in Granada.

While exploring the Alhambra, visitors can step into the cool and gorgeous Generalife Palace, where royalty would step out of the sun to cool off during the summers.

Take a stroll through some of Granada’s historic neighborhoods, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Albayzín, and Sacromonte.

Be captivated by the narrow streets and steps that snake around the white buildings, adorned with hand-painted stylish tiles.

While visiting Sacromonte, check out the stunning cave houses, where oftentimes, you can catch a Flamenco show inside, in true Granadian experience.

A few more things to do in Granada also include checking out one of Spain’s largest cathedrals, the Cathedral of Granada, dating back to the 16th century. A few steps away, The Royal Chapel which is the resting place of the Catholic Monarchs, two important figures in Spanish history who led the reconquest of Spain, which was finalized in Granada.

  • Tours & Activities in Granada

See also: Alhambra tickets price

15 – Route of the Pueblos Blancos

Route of the Pueblos Blancos in Spain

The Route of the Pueblos Blancos (White Washed Towns) is oftentimes referred to by locals as one of Spain’s best-kept secrets, for its unique location, fascinating constructions, and drop-dead beauty.

The Route of the Pueblos Blancos is made up of many little and larger towns and villages, but mainly they are reduced to 5 Pueblos Blancos: Arcos de la Frontera, Grazalema, Zahara de la Sierra, Ronda, and Setenil de las Bodegas.

The whitewashed houses that make up each of these towns and villages were painted in such color in order to keep the homes cool in the heat of Andalucia. These Pueblos Blancos are located between Malaga and Cadiz and are easy to tour within a weekend if planned.

Walk the stunning cobblestone streets of Arcos de la Frontera, and enjoy tapas in a cave-like bar called Méson el Patio for some local delicacies.

Hidden away in the Sierra de Grazamela National Park, visitors will fall in love with Grazamela, a small Pueblo Blanco which offers unique activities such as great hiking inside El Bosque (The Forest) known for its lush greenery and beautiful lakes, and unique gifts like wool ponchos due to its tradition of wool-making.

Zahara de la Sierra is well known for its jaw-dropping sights from its viewpoints overlooking other small villages, as well as its lively Plaza Mayor.

Ronda, the other of the bigger towns in the list of Pueblos Blancos, is undoubtedly drenched in natural beauty, from the steep ravines and canyons, the 3 bridges that connect that Old Town from the newer parts of town, and the Moorish influence in the architecture of the Door of Almocábar.

Lastly, Setenil de las Bodega is one of the most fascinating of the pueblos for its rock roofs, which create little tunnels in some of the pedestrian-friendly streets, and other natural phenomena due to the village being built from caves and rock ridges.

16 – Cáceres‎

Cáceres‎, Spain

Located in Spain’s western region of Extremadura, Cáceres has a little bit for everyone, from history lovers who want to explore hand paintings discovered in the Cave of Matravieso, to religious travelers with a desire to pay their respects and visit the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Mountain, or foodies who want to get a bite out of Cáceres at La Minerva restaurant.

Check out the Old Town, and walk through its streets that lead you to little corners of the city, with a lot of history and ambiance.

Book a visit to Cáceres Museum to get an in-depth idea of the history of this beautiful off-the-beaten-path city, visit the magnificent Palacio de Los Golfines, where the wealthy Golfines family resided, and you can see marvelous tapestries, murals, busts, luxurious lounges, and more.

Catch a bird’s eye view of the timeless Old Town by climbing the Bujaco Tower.

While visiting Cáceres, a stroll around Plaza Mayor must be done, where visitors can check out local shops, events, and restaurants serving local delicacies.

La Minerva is a perfect example of local foods such as Migas Extremeñas and Judías Cabrillas, as well as gastronomic innovations not to be missed by any food lovers traveling to Cáceres.

  • Tours & Activities in Cáceres

17 – Valencia

Valencia, Spain

Home to the world-known Paella and being the city of art and science, Valencia will offer visitors more than just a gastronomic feast, but a cultural one too.

Take a boat tour of the serene Mediterranean, a perfect city break on a sunny day, or perhaps a trip in the air is more your speed, in that case, consider booking a seat on the next hot air balloon lift-off to get a beautiful view of fruit orchards, mountains, and the Mediterranean.

Craving a bit of history? Valencia is an ideal city to get an idea of architectural influences from renaissance and baroque styles, all the way to modern constructions such as The City of the Art and Sciences, located right in the middle of Valencia city center.

Interested in learning about marine animals and habitats, check out Oceanografic of Valencia for an incredible explanation of local marine animals, and ways to help protect our seas. Check out Oceanografic Valencia ticket prices here beforehand.

Valencia is a pedestrian-friendly city, as well as bike-friendly, therefore depending on your travel style, book a walking tour or a bike tour to take you all around the city, explaining the depth of history that lives and remains visible to this day.

Booking a cooking class, learning about the fascinating history of Paella, and learning how to make your own alongside a professional chef, are just one of the many amazing things to do in Valencia .

  • Tours & Activities in Valencia

See also: Oceanografic Valencia tickets price

18 – San Sebastián

San Sebastián, Spain

Located in the northern region of the Basque Country, San Sebastián offers beautiful natural landscapes with dramatic sea and mountain sights. Check out Monte Igueldo, a mountain that visitors can climb up or take a funicular to the top, and soak up some serious views of the San Sebastian bay.

If the beach is what you came for, then a visit to Playa de la Concha is due for its beautiful blue color and picturesque views of the mountains and promenade nearby.

While in San Sebastián, don’t forget to check out the beautiful neighborhoods of Antiguo where you can catch amazing views of the Cantabrian Sea, as well as a glance over at the historic Miramar Palace.

If architecture is what you want to see, stop by the Cathedral of the Good Pastor, and the San Sebastián Town Hall. Visitors interested in Basque history and prehistoric information should book a visit to Museo de San Telmo, which is also considered to be the oldest museum in the Basque Country.

From surfing and kayaking to hiking in the nearby hills, there are plenty of outdoor things to do in San Sebastian for the adventure seekers.

While checking out the Basque Country, a pintxos tour is a must-do activity, where visitors can literally feast on delicious regional tapas-style foods – from smoked bacalao to brochetas de gambas (shrimp bruschetta).

  • Tours & Activities in San Sebastián

19 – PortAventura

PortAventura, Spain

Located in Salou, Spain, just a little over an hour south of Barcelona, is the busiest themed park in the country called PortAventura .

In PortAventura, visitors can expect to find one water park, two themed parks, six hotels, and an RV park. It is a perfect day trip excursion for families and adventure seekers who want a taste of adrenaline hopping on thrilling mechanical rides.

The park is also made up of 6 themed lands – The Far West, Mediterranean, China, Mexico, Polynesia, and Sesamo Aventura.

Purchase tickets ahead of time, and if possible, skip-the-line tickets especially if the weather feels too intense.

  • PortAventura tickets

20 – Caminito del Rey

Caminito del Rey, Spain

Built between the years 1901-and 1905, Caminito del Rey (King’s Pathway) is a bridge walkway located in the province of Malaga and is recognized today for its steep height from the ground (one hundred meters high and only one meter wide) and interesting history.

Originally used as a pathway for workers to move between Saltos del Gaitanejo and El Chorro, it quickly changed status and name after King Alfonso XIII walked the path in 1921 in order to inaugurate the new Conde del Guadalhorce dam nearby.

In the past, the bridge has suffered a few damages from falling rocks and natural wear and tear, and ended up closing in the early 2000s.

However, approximately 10 years after its closing, increasing interest from adrenaline searchers and campaigns to raise money were launched in order to give the bridge the maintenance and safety measures to reopen it back up.

Today, visitors who dare to walk the safe yet tall bridge can do so, most easily by catching a train from Malaga or Seville, and because of its closeness to these cities, Malaga and Seville make great day trips to and from Caminito del Rey.

21 – Seville

Seville, Spain

A beautiful, walkable city to explore on foot, Seville offers an abundance of culture, food, and festivals, such as Holy Week in March, or the Feria de Abril (April Fair).

Book a walking tour to see some of the most emblematic sites such as the Seville Cathedral, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its architectural design, and the tile-covered Alcázar Palace, and stumble into its quaint and quiet neighborhoods like the Santa Cruz neighborhood.

Climb up and get birds-eye views of the city from Metropol Parasol, commonly known in Spanish as “Las Setas” and also check out the iconic La Giralda, which was originally built to be a minaret tower, but changed functions after the reconquest.

One of the best things to do in Seville is checking out Plaza España, where visitors can be enchanted by the immense structure built inside the Park of Maria Luisa.

Take a stroll, stay for the Flamenco street performers, or simply sit on one of the steps to absorb the sheer beauty of the Plaza España. Take a romantic boat tour along the canal inside the Plaza, or pay closer attention to the tile work adorning the Plaza.

Explore the different day trips from Seville to places like Córdoba, Jerez, or Aracena – all amazing food destinations in their own right.

Food is reason alone to visit Seville as well, and a stop at El Mercado de Triana is a must-visit destination for food lovers.

Try tapas and drinks at the oldest bar in Seville, El Rinconcillo, which dates back 300 years of being in service.

  • Tours & Activities in Seville

See also: Real Alcazar of Seville tickets price , Best day trips from Seville

22 – Zaragoza

Zaragoza, Spain

Bask in the history, food, and culture of this beautiful city located in Spain’s northeastern region of Aragon, where there is a little bit of everything available to enjoy, depending on the traveler.

If you’re a foodie traveler, definitely make a trip to the Zaragoza central market where visitors will be excited to give their tastebuds a culinary journey through Zaragoza-style foods like Borage with potatoes and Chicken chilindrón.

Looking for a sweet mix of nature and food? Check out Monasterio de Piedra, which offers stunning views of canyons and waterfalls, while also offering visitors a taste of their regional wine and chocolates.

A visit to Plaza Pilar is mandatory, as well as checking out the stunning Basilica of our Lady of Pillar – the patron saint of Zaragoza.

Just a few steps away is the Cathedral of Salvador de Zaragoza, which was originally built to be a mosque, but later was converted into a cathedral under the order of King Alfonso I of Aragon.

Ebro River separates Old Town from the modern part of town, and it is an idyllic place to rent a kayak to see the city from the river, or even relax with a quick snack while sitting along the edge of the river.

  • Tours & Activities in Zaragoza

23 – Cuenca

Cuenca, Spain

Home to the famous Hanging Houses, which are homes that are perched upon rocky cliffs with balconies sticking out, overlooking steep ravines and the Huécar river, Cuenca shows off its unique side, with a touch of history and culture, dating back to its foundation in the 8th century.

Charming cobbled streets, Cuenca was a walled town, and a place of interest to start a settlement by the Muslim Arabs, who saw its location overlooking 2 important rivers: Jucar and Huecar Rivers, as a prime location to have a good vantage point in the nearby surrounding area.

While visiting this amazing city, be sure to book a walking tour to get a better idea of the Arab and Catholic influences.

Learn a bit more about the archaeology at the Cuenca Museum, which houses some of the findings that detail daily life in Cuenca from the Arab Muslim inhabitants, to the reconquest and new social orders.

For amazing views of the Hanging Houses, and the dramatic ravines and rivers, walk across the St. Pablo Bridge, which was originally made of stone, but has since collapsed.

This new version of the building is said to be made with the same metal used to construct the Eiffel Tower in Paris and has stood the test of time since 1902.

Lastly, check out Serrania de Cuenca National Park, an impressive natural trail with waterfalls, jagged rocks and cliffs, and beautiful villages surrounding the park. A visit to Cuenca is one of the best places to visit in Spain.

  • Tours & Activities in Cuenca

24 – Cádiz

Cádiz, Spain

Originally known as an important port for trade in the 16th century, today Cádiz is a city with watchtowers such as the important Torre Tavira, along the coast, offering beautiful viewpoints of the city and sea. Come see all of the best things to do in Cádiz to discover why it is called by many “the city that smiles” and forget about life’s worries while you stay.

Dating back to 1100 BC, Cádiz is known today as one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, and an important city in the expedition to the New World, as Cádiz was the departing port for Christopher Columbus when he sailed off to what he thought was East Asia.

Today, you can view remnants of Cádiz’s important history, by visiting Plaza Catedral, which is a stunning town square that houses the Cathedral of Cádiz, adorned by tropical palm trees.

While visiting the Cathedral, visitors are able to climb up to the terraces and get elevated views of the Old Town, Cathedral Plaza, and even the sea.

Check out the stunning Costa de la Luz, one of the best places to visit in Spain surely because of its beautiful beach that stretches all the way to the Spain-Portugal border.

One of the best things to do in Cádiz, which is just a few steps away from the Plaza Catedral is Santa Catalina Fortress, which is open to visitors and is an ideal place to soak up during the golden hour as the sun begins to set.

  • Tours & Activities in Cádiz

25 – Spanish Pyrenees

Spanish Pyrenees

Acting as a natural boundary between the land of Spain and France, as well as the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the Spanish Pyrenees is a 491 kilometer/ 305 miles long mountain range with countless hikes, trails, skiing, and natural sights to take in for all lovers of nature.

Impressive natural phenomena, the Spanish Pyrenees were formed as a result of the African and Indian continents literally pushing towards the Spanish territory, creating a natural ridge that kept forming and growing from the collision.

Today, the Pyrenees are divided into 3 sections: the western, central, and eastern regions. Uniquely situated on the cusp of the Pyrenees is the sovereign state of Andorra, making it an ideal place to check out for a quick day trip.

Visit the Pyrenees National Park, and see the unique natural landscape that the varying temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean create.

From distinguished vegetation and amazing wildlife to exploring nearby Medieval towns such as Lanuza and Puigcerda, feasting on classic Catalan dishes, or booking a memorable hot air balloon ride overlooking some of the most stunning natural sights in Europe.

26 – Mérida

Mérida, Spain

Heavily influenced by the Romans who founded this city in 25 BC, and today having the most Roman structures in all of Spain, Mérida has the influence of the Moors, as well as the Romans, and was once used as a city for August Caesar’s soldiers to rest, which at the time was a population of around 90,000 men.

Previously known as Emerita Augustus, a walled-in city, today, visitors can find an abundance of Roman influenced buildings – from the citadel walls to Roman bridges, aqueducts, and theaters – the Romans left behind their mark, and because of its preservation throughout the years, it all led to Mérida receiving the UNESCO World Heritage title in 1993 and recognition as one of the best places to visit in Spain.

Today, visiting tourists can find a myriad of things to do and explore, and literally, step into what life must have been like for the inhabitants more than a few hundred years ago.

Catch a show at the Roman Theater, that is so well preserved, that it not only allows visitors to step in and take a seat themselves, but also catch one of the few shows presented at this theater.

Find an amazing collection of art from the Romans at the National Museum of Art, not too far from the Roman Theater. Feast your eyes on pieces of glassware, coins, paintings, ceramics, mosaics, and more.

  • Tours & Activities in Mérida

27 – Ferrari Land

Ferrari Land, Spain

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience while visiting the first-ever Ferrari Land, exclusively inside PortAventura, just a little over an hour south of Barcelona.

Here, visitors will be able to get a first look into the history of this famous Italian car brand, and its creator, and even get a chance to ride a few rollercoasters based on the famous Italian car, including Red Force – which happens to be the fastest roller coaster in Spain zooming in at a whopping 112 miles per hour.

Recently opened in 2017, Ferrari Land counts on offering the latest in technology and entertainment. A fun activity for children, families, and car enthusiasts.

Due to its closeness to the other PortAdventure-themed parks and themed lands, Ferrari Land can be a stop on your full day of thrills at PortAventura.

  • Ferrari Land tickets

28 – Pamplona

Pamplona in Spain

The city of Pamplona has undergone a few changes, from its dominant culture, city name, and use. However what has been consistent throughout the recent years has been its traditions that make this city one of the best places to visit in Spain, such as its famous running of the bulls and the Fiesta de San Fermín, which is an event observed in Pamplona to remember the first archbishop named Saint Fermín.

The name of Pamplona comes from its original founder, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, who happened to be Julius Caesar’s enemy.

A few of the other names it went by were Pompeiopolis or Pompaelo until after the reconquest from the Moors, it was decided to rename the city Pamplona.

Check out the place where everything seems to happen in Pamplona, Plaza del Castillo, as it is colloquially known by locals as their “living room” because of the tendency that people have to meet there with friends and family.

Nearby Plaza del Castillo, check out the alluring University Museum of Navarra, which is a dream for any and all art lovers visiting Pamplona.

Book a visit to explore the collections from Picasso to Kandinsky and the University, and take a moment to admire the building from the outside, as it was a building designed by Spanish architect, Rafael Moneo.

It is regarded by many locals as the Guggenheim of Pamplona, so a visit is required.

  • Tours & Activities in Pamplona

29 – Córdoba

Córdoba, Spain

Steeped in Islamic roots intermixed with Roman influence, Córdoba has been an extremely important city located in the southern region of Spain called Andalucia.

Recognized for its olive production that sits just outside the city center, impeccable leather and silver work, its high summer temperatures, as well as being the birthplace of the Roman philosopher, Seneca, Córdoba is a historian and philosopher’s wonderland that welcomes its visitors with a warm welcome.

Since its foundation in 169 BC, Córdoba has been regarded throughout time as an important destination for the Islamic and Catholic religions.

A perfect example of this is the famous Mosque dating back to 784 AD, which was later on transformed into a Catholic church after the reconquest.

Additionally, Córdoba was the home to an expansive Jewish community that today, visitors can walk through and experience the great Jewish Quarter (La Judería).

Visit the Old Town, and wander its historic streets as you stumble upon the Castle of the Christian Monarchs (Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos) which sits next to the Guadalquivir River.

Take a peek inside the Chapel of San Bartolomé, exemplifying a beautiful exterior with Mudéjar art.

Book in advance tickets to enter the famous Mosque, as it’s one of the must-visit sites, and walk The Bridge Gate that King Phillip II walked once through, connecting Córdoba to the Roman Bridge.

  • Tours & Activities in Córdoba

See also: Mezquita de Córdoba tickets , Fun & unusual things to do in Cordoba

30 – Ciés Islands

Cíes Islands, Spain

Named by the Romans as the “Island of the Gods” the Cíes Islands are overflowing with spectacular natural scenery, from the dramatic rocky cliffs covered in centuries-old moss, contrasting with the surrounding blue of the crisp water of the Atlantic Ocean.

Though humans can be traced to the islands since 3500 BC, it was not formally founded by settlers until the Bronze Age and later on in the 2nd century AD, when signs of Roman civilization were found on the island of San Martiño.

The Cíes Islands are made up of 3 main islands – Monte Agudo, O Faro, San Martiño. The islands are considered an archipelago just off the west coast of Spain, in the Galician region.

Be sure to book a tour or boat from the closest port city Vigo to explore the beautiful islands, as this is the only way to reach them.

As of now, there are no hotels or apartment rentals available, and the only way to stay the night in this natural heaven is to camp in one of the parks available.

Plan a weekend camping trip and book a camping spot to witness some of the most breathtaking star-gazing, as the Cíes Islands have been recognized with the “Starlight Certificate” and now form part of a global community of destinations known for their incredible star-gazing tourism.

31 – Girona

things to do in Girona, Spain

Sitting alongside River Onyar, Girona is a city located in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

With a pronounced Medieval architecture style and walls adorning the Old City (Ciutat Antiga), to its high watchtowers gifting visitors with incredible views of the city, Girona is not only a place for the adventurous traveler, but is also family-friendly with plenty of museums like the Art Museum of Girona, and the Museum of Film History and Culture.

A city deeply influenced by its settlers since its foundation in 79 BC by the Iberians, Girona has gone from being the home of the Romans, Jews, and the Moors.

Remnants of its past are visibly seen, which makes this destination one of the best places to visit in Spain, as visitors explore the ruins of the Força Vella fortress, and stumble onto the sight of the Cathedral of Girona, located right in the middle.

While visiting, walk the Passeig Arqueològic, a pathway that leads straight into the Old Town. Book tickets to access the famous Banys Árab, located in the heart of Old Town.

Explore and walk through La Rambla de la Llibertat, and sit at a coffee shop to admire the Roman and Neoclassical architecture of this famous walkway.

  • Tours & Activities in Girona

See also: Fun & unusual things to do in Girona

32 – La Rioja

La Rioja, Spain

It would be a crime to miss the fine wine destination of La Rioja, which sits just below the Cantabrian mountains, and is just a little over an hour away from Pamplona, and other notable cities in northern Spain.

With an average temperature in the mid 10-30 degrees Celcius/ 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit, it is the ideal destination for wine production and one of the best places to visit in Spain for its outdoor activities like hot air ballooning overlooking the vineyards, or horseback riding.

Historically speaking because of the land and climate centered in La Rioja, this region became a fertile ground for crops like carrots, leeks, and potatoes, as well as oil.

Thus, a growth in population and economic power started to surge, especially with the main export, wine.

With over 500 wineries in La Rioja, from small, family-owned wineries, to mass production wineries, many of them located in the Ebro Valley, make sure to book a tour to visit a winery and learn about the extensive process and art of winemaking.

Check out Bodegas Gomez Cruzado located in the charming town of Haro for a taste of quality Spanish wine, or consider booking a tour at Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture for an extensive history of winemaking in La Rioja, tastings, and a renewed appreciation for this centuries-old beverage.

Read more: 15 Top Wine Regions in Spain for a Perfect Vineyard Vacation

33 – Benidorm

Benidorm, Spain

A sunny, idyllic destination for sun, party, and fun, Benidorm welcomes visitors from all over for a slice of Mediterranean heaven, as a famed resort, a seaside town off the eastern coast of Spain.

Check out one of the best places to visit in Spain, located in the province of Alicante, and originally known as a sleepy seaside fishing town in the 1960s, Benidorm climbed to party fame after the hotel industry and important companies took notice of its fine location and close to perfect weather.

The attractive palm tree-lined avenues and promenades, white sandy beaches, and party scene have all converted Benidorm into a perfect sunny beach getaway for Spanish locals and visitors alike.

While Benidorm is mostly known for its lavish beach party scene, it’s also known for its easy-going lifestyle which visitors get with options like sunbathing on the beautiful Levante Beach or casually strolling around the beach in search of a snack or thirst-quenching drink at a chiringuito (beach style huts).

If you’re traveling with family, book your tickets to the Terra Natura Zoo, or visit the adrenaline-inducing aquatic theme park Terra Mítica.

Into nature? Take a hike around Cruz de Benidorm to get a beautiful view of the beach and skyscrapers, or visit Sierra Aitana.

Looking for more activities? Check out our complete list of fun things to do in Benidorm .

  • Tours & Activities in Benidorm

We hope you enjoyed this list of the best places to visit in Spain, and that it inspired you to get started on planning your next trip around Spain.

Spain is covered with magical destinations for every traveler, from food lovers to nature seekers, history buffs, and everything in between.

It’s time to book your trip soon with some amazing Spanish destinations and tour ideas that you can check out here.

Happy traveling!

Valencia   Travel Guide

Courtesy of Sergio Formoso | Getty Images

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26 Best Things to Do in Valencia, Spain

Valencia's three beaches feature soft golden sand and spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Visitors who enjoy exploring outdoors can spend their days strolling dozens of gardens, parks and plazas located within the city or hiking the trails of

  • All Things To Do

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Central Market (Mercado Central) Central Market (Mercado Central) free

This is where local Valencians gather to do their shopping, though you'll find the atmosphere a bit different than your local supermarket. One of the oldest food markets in Europe, Mercado Central (Central Market) is adorned with Valencian-style mosaics and filled with residents purchasing local foods from more than 1,200 trusted vendors selling everything from meat and vegetables to pastries and take-away items. Spanning more than 86,000 square feet, the building occupies land once used as an open-air market in the mid-19th century. Opened in 1928, the visually stunning building sits in the El Mercat neighborhood, opposite two other architecturally significant monuments: La Lonja de la Seda and Los Santos Juanes Church.

Recent visitors were invariably impressed by the expansive range of food and beverages on offer here, with some describing the market as a "foodie paradise." Reviewers recommended stopping by, even if you don't plan on purchasing anything, though they do warn that prices are high because vendors recognize this is such a tourist magnet.

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City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts y les Ciencies) City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts y les Ciencies)

The Ciutat de les Arts y las Ciències (also known as the City of Arts and Sciences) is a traveler favorite for its futuristic design. Built on the old riverbed of the Turia River, the museum's contemporary architecture (by Santiago Calatrava) shelters the Museu de les Ciències (a science museum), the Hemisfèric (a planetarium and IMAX theater), the Oceanogràfic – the largest aquarium in Europe – and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (a performing arts venue), among other attractions.

Past travelers raved about the complex's myriad offerings, and suggested you wear comfortable shoes; the attraction is so massive (about 452,000 square feet), you'll be doing a lot of walking. Reviewers recommended setting aside an afternoon or even two to three days to see the entire complex. Travelers praise the science museum for its hands-on exhibits and the aquarium for its stunning design.

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Turia Gardens (Jardi del Turia) Turia Gardens (Jardi del Turia) free

The Jardí del Túria (or the Garden of the Turia) might seem odd to newcomers, seeing as how it boasts more than a dozen bridges built to span a river that's no longer there. One of the country's largest urban parks, Jardí del Túria was built after a fatal 1957 flood of the Turia River, which was then diverted over the course of the mid- to late 1960s. Today, the gardens shelter orange and palm trees and rose bushes among a wide variety of flora. The park's facilities also include cafes, football (i.e., soccer) fields, children's play areas, rugby pitches, fountains, baseball diamonds, running tracks, skate parks and miniature golf courses. Predictably, the park is especially popular with runners and cyclists. It is also ideal for families with children.

The green space is highly appreciated by recent visitors for the range of activities on offer as well as the peaceful atmosphere.

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Valencia Old Town Tour with Wine & Tapas in 11th Century Historic Monument

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Oceanografic Valencia (L'Oceanografic) Oceanografic Valencia (L'Oceanografic)

Though part of the Ciutat de les Arts y les Ciències , Oceanogràfic Valencia stands as one of the top things to do all on its own. It's the largest aquarium in Europe and also boasts the longest underwater tunnel on the continent, which facilitates close-up views of sharks. The aquarium reproduces multiple habitats, including Arctic, Antarctic, temperate and tropical as well as, appropriately enough, Mediterranean. Some visitors may be disappointed to know it also (controversially) hosts the only family of beluga whales in Europe as well as dolphinarium, which features bottlenose dolphins. The grandstand at the dolphinarium seats more than 1,500 people, making it (you guessed it) the largest in Europe. The attraction also shelters a sizable crocodile preserve.

Past visitors marveled at the aquarium's unique architecture as well as the range of sea creatures on view. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the place is especially popular among families with children, though some travelers found the tickets rather expensive.

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Bioparc Valencia Bioparc Valencia

The Bioparc Valencia is a 25-acre zoo, located in the northwest area of the city. But this isn't just any kind of zoo – it's an immersion zoo, which means it removes or hides many of the barriers most zoos put in place between different species, including humans. Species that naturally (and safely) reside together in the wild are placed together, while other gentle species, like lemurs for instance, are free to meet humans face to face. Other barricades are simply hidden to give visitors the feeling of being out in the wild, a particular highlight for recent travelers. The park aims to recreate the African continent, with animals like zebras, Nile crocodiles, giraffes and elephants spread across four main habitats.

Past visitors enjoyed the chance to see the animals close up and found the unique layout an interesting departure from the typical zoo. Keep in mind the Bioparc's rules concerning the animals: They shouldn't be touched or fed, nor should they be disrupted by yelling or flash photography. Other than that, use your common sense: No jumping over the fence to meet the tigers.

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La Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange) La Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange)

The Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange) was built between 1482 and 1533 and is considered a great example of the late Valencian Gothic-style architecture. Today, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, partly because of this style, but also because that style was applied to a secular building rather than a religious one, as was the norm in that time. Pay close attention to the gargoyles that crouch throughout the Silk Exchange: Their expressions range from funny to naughty.

Recent visitors found the architectural details endlessly fascinating. Many reviewers also advised opting for an audio guide, which they say helps explain the building's history and various architectural elements. Plus, recent travelers said there is little information available without the aid of the audio guide. Others suggested enjoying the courtyard, which is filled with orange trees.

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Valencia Cathedral Valencia Cathedral

Located in the Plaza de la Reina , the Valencia Cathedral is probably most famous for its claim of owning the Holy Grail. Dating back to 1262, the cathedral was raised on the site of a former mosque and displays a number of architectural styles, including Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic.

Past visitors were impressed with the cathedral's interior, though they bemoaned the entrance fee. Others applauded the audio guide that is included with admission, saying it provided important historical context. Audio guides are available in a variety of languages, including English.

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Church of St. Nicolas (Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Mártir) Church of St. Nicolas (Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Mártir)

With more than 20,000 square feet of elaborate frescos adorning its interiors, the Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Mártir has been called the Sistine Chapel of Valencia. Originally constructed in 1242, the church was remodeled and restored several times, perhaps most famously between 1690 and 1693 when the interiors were decorated with fresco paintings of scenes depicting San Nicolás de Bari (Saint Nicholas) and San Pedro Mártir (Saint Peter Martyr).

Recent travelers described the frescoes as "beautiful" and "outstanding." Many strongly recommended renting the audio guide, which reviewers say provides important commentary for understanding all of the beautiful frescoes. However, a few were disappointed with the entrance fee required to view the interiors of the church.

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Plaza de la Virgen Plaza de la Virgen free

Adjacent to the Valencia Cathedral , the marble-floored Plaza de la Virgen is an ideal spot to appreciate some of the city's architecture – and to people-watch. From this viewpoint, you can take in the Gothic Valencia Cathedral (where the chalice from the Last Supper is said to be preserved), as well as the pink walls and blue roof tiles of the Baroque Real Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados. 

Other points of interest include the beautiful Túria Fountain, which represents the Turia River and features sculptures of eight women pouring water from pitchers as well as a large sculpture of Neptune sitting atop the fountain. The Tribunal de las Aguas meets every Thursday at noon outside the Door of the Apostles – a continuation of a 1,000-year-old tradition. The Water Tribunal is made up of eight farmers dressed in black, who sit in a circle and discuss (in the Valencian language) water access to the orchards. This scene is a curious spectacle through the eyes of tourists.

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Palace of the Marques de Dos Aguas (Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas) Palace of the Marques de Dos Aguas (Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas)

The Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas, or Ceramics Museum, is widely regarded as among the best displays of Baroque architecture in Spain. (It takes its name from a Valencian noble family.) When it was first constructed in the 15th century, it was a Gothic building; it was reworked in the Baroque style in the 18th century, when the ornate entryway was added. Some of the rooms retain the original Gothic look. Since 1949, when the Ministry of Education bought the building, it has housed the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics. The museum boasts the largest collection of ceramics in the country and features pieces from the 18th century to the present, including work by Pablo Picasso.

Recent travelers reported feeling awe-struck by the opulent architecture. Though the building itself may be what impresses people the most, the ceramics museum is also generally deemed well worth a visit.

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Plaza del Ayuntamiento Plaza del Ayuntamiento free

This beautiful city square contains the ayuntamiento (town hall). Within the town hall is where you'll find the main tourist office, which offers a variety of tourist information (including ticket sales) in various languages.

Many travelers say the Plaza del Ayuntamiento is a good place to start off any sightseeing, as the square is filled with decadent buildings constructed during Valencia's golden age. In the square's center is a fountain, which is surrounded by fragrant flower stalls. In the winter, an ice rink and carousel adorn the square, and during Fallas festival it becomes the main hub of the celebrations and the grand finale, when the event’s biggest papier-mâché statue is set alight. 

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Albufera Natural Park (Parc Natural de l'Albufera) Albufera Natural Park (Parc Natural de l'Albufera) free

To commune with nature – specifically 300 bird species and miles of walking and biking trails – make a visit to the Albufera Natural Park, a large freshwater lagoon. The park is surrounded by the rice fields that helped prompt the invention of paella. Indeed, there are a number of restaurants nearby in the towns of El Palmar (the village where paella was born) and El Saler, and many travelers find the food alone a reason for taking a trip to the area.

Visitors can explore the country’s largest freshwater lake in traditional flat-bottomed wooden boats with the help of local boat operators. During the 40-minute trip, they will explain (in Spanish, Valencian or English) how the lake was formed and was used to develop rice farming, whilst punting passengers past 16-foot-high reeds. Some passengers are lucky enough to spot elusive otters. The boats depart from the main jetty and cost 8 euros (approximately $8.70). 

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Plaza de la Reina Plaza de la Reina free

Within walking distance of the Valencia Cathedral , the Plaza de la Reina is a great space to sit and observe activity in the old part of town. While smaller than Plaza de la Virgen , it offers a different perspective of the Valencia Cathedral (from the main entrance), as well as excellent views of the famous Miguelete bell tower. Occasionally, the square is filled with craft market stalls, and the zone between Plaza de la Reina and Plaza de la Virgen is lined with artists demonstrating their skills and selling paintings.

Past travelers found the area lively at all times of the day and said they visited on several different occasions during their trip. Multiple options for food and beverages flank the square, including ice cream shops and tapas bars. The streets surrounding it offer a cornucopia of shopping options, from independent fashion retailers to artisanal products. 

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Gulliver Park (Parque Gulliver) Gulliver Park (Parque Gulliver) free

If a park designed with the giant from Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" in mind sounds fanciful, that's because it is. Yet Gulliver Park is not merely a literary tribute; rather, it's a playground consisting of numerous slides and staircases arranged in the shape of its prone namesake. The figure's hat contains a smaller version of Gulliver, providing a sense of what the massive character looks like when glimpsed from above. To give a sense of the size of the "giant," the strands of Gulliver's hair are huge slides. According to past visitors, the park is best suited to adventurous kids 10 and older.

While some adults appreciated the bibliophilic reference, the park is a hit with children. However, adults will be grateful for its recent refurbishment in November 2022, which includes safety ropes at the edge of the steepest drops and soft floor surfaces. Recent visitors warn the slides can get hot in the Valencian sun, and to be prepared for your kids to go home dusty, but happy.

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Old Town Old Town free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Look behind the cathedral to find the glass-bottomed artificial pond where you can see part of the Roman city walls below. Then, head inside to La Almoina Archaeological Museum to see the remains of Roman and Moorish streets. – Sarah Harvey

The Ciutat Vella, or Old Town, is a buzzing combination of historical sights, bars and restaurants, set within the former boundary of the ancient city walls. This UNESCO-listed district encompasses some 2,000 years of history, and conveniently, you’ll find many of the top attractions in close proximity. They include Valencia Cathedral , the city hall, the Central Market and the Silk Exchange , as well as numerous displays of vibrant street art. While the ancient walls have been lost to time and urban development, the Serranos Towers and Torres de Quart (fortified city gates) still mark the boundaries.  

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Miguelete Miguelete

Adjacent to the Valencia Cathedral is the imposing Miguelete bell tower. This 166-foot-high tower was built in the Gothic style between 1381 and 1424. An 18th-century steeple was later added. At the top, incredible views of the city (and even the fields beyond) await. However, there is no elevator, so visitors must be prepared to climb the more than 200 steps of the spiral staircase to the top. Inside is the largest collection of Gothic bells in Spain. Some of them are still rung by bellringers while others have been automated, but you can hear the peals throughout the day.

Travelers commented on the tough, 10- to 20-minute climb to the top, but said the views were worth the effort. Some mentioned how the “traffic signal” system helped make the ascent easier, as you don’t have to squeeze past anyone heading in the opposite direction.

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Malvarrosa Beach Malvarrosa Beach free

The golden sand and shallow blue waters of Malvarrosa Beach have been inspiring artists and travelers for generations. At an average of 440 feet wide, the beach is ideal for sports, as well as relaxation. As with Playa de las Arenas, its vibe is similar to that of southern California beaches. What’s more, it offers almost everything beachgoers could wish for, from juice bars and cafes to free gym equipment, as well as chairs and parasols for rent. There’s an area set aside for water sports, including paddleboarding and windsurfing, and even dive centers offering access to the nearby reef. 

Visitors appreciate how easy Malvarrosa is to get to by tram, as well as the cleanliness of the water (it earned a Blue Flag, a European award granted to beaches that are recognized for their clean sand and water). Despite the promenade being lined with homes rather than cafes (unlike at Playa de las Arenas), travelers were impressed with the range of cuisine available in close proximity. However, some were disappointed with the lack of public restrooms and changing rooms.

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Serranos Towers Serranos Towers

The Serranos Towers are a surviving feature of Valencia’s long-gone city walls. They were built in 1392 as a defensive structure surrounding the city gates, and used as a prison for aristocrats between 1586 and 1887. Today, they are an iconic Valencian landmark, and only one of two remaining towers of its kind in the city. Visitors can climb the ancient steps to take in views of the city and the Turia River. During Fallas festival, crowds gather at the foot of the towers to watch a fireworks display.

Travelers praised the Valencian Gothic architecture, as well as the convenient location (just a stone's throw from the Valencia Cathedral ). Some visitors cautioned that climbing the towers isn’t suitable for small children because there are no handrails, but most agreed the views were worth it. 

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The Fallas Museum (Museo Fallero de València) The Fallas Museum (Museo Fallero de València)

If you're not in Valencia in time for Las Fallas – a raucous annual celebration of spring and Saint Joseph's Day – then be sure to check out the Museu Faller. The distinctly Valencian museum displays ninots , individual figures made of papier-mâché that are part of a bigger falla composition. These usually satirical effigies are paraded through the city and then burned in bonfires during their yearly namesake festival. Only the ninots deemed to be the best are spared and then preserved here. The museum also contains a variety of other historic items from past festivals, including posters and images of the large Falleras Mayores .

Museumgoers invariably found the Museu Faller fascinating, and exhibits are believed to offer insights into the city's culture and folklore.

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Barrio del Carmen Barrio del Carmen free

U.S. News Insider Tip: While you’re soaking up the sights of El Carmen, don’t forget to look up! You’ll notice that the underside of many of the balconies are adorned with beautifully patterned tiles. – Sarah Harvey

El Carmen is the most famous of all six neighborhoods in the Old Town (El Carmen, La Seu, La Xerea, El Pilar, El Mercat and Sant Francesc). This hip, gentrified, yet still slightly rough-around-the-edges area is an exciting blend of some of the most attractive historical landmarks with some of the city’s best street art, restaurants and bars. Quirky and fascinating museums and landmarks pepper the area, from the 2-foot-tall House of Cats to the Portal de Valldigna – an ancient entrance to the Moorish quarter, where the Muslims lived after Spain’s King James reclaimed Valencia from the Moors. 

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El Cabanyal El Cabanyal free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Rent a paddleboard from the nearby marina and use it to cruise around. It’s a great way to admire local landmarks from a new angle like the ultramodern Veles e Vents America’s Cup building, and the ornately-decorated tinglados warehouses dating back to 1910. – Sarah Harvey

El Cabanyal is the neighborhood visitors head to when they want to catch some rays on the broad, golden sands of Playa de las Arenas. Playa de las Arenas is the most southerly of Valencia city’s three beaches, which all run into one another, creating a 3.7-mile-long span of sand. From here, the sand runs north all the way to Port Saplaya. 

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Mercado Colón Mercado Colón free

U.S. News Insider Tip: The tiger nut drink known as horchata is a must-try at Colón Market, accompanied by fartons (fluffy pastries topped with light frosting or filled with cream). Horchata was brought to Valencia by the Moors and quickly spread across Spain, and beyond. – Sarah Harvey

This popular market is a haven for epicureans. Housed within a Modernist structure dating from 1916, it’s not only a destination for shopping, but also for leisure. That’s because the stalls, shops and a range of temporary exhibitions are surrounded by cafes. The latter was added as part of the 2003 refurbishment, in the form of large glass cubes scattered around the circumference. Tourists rub shoulders with locals at this buzzing spot, including well-heeled staff from offices in the surrounding area, who hit the market’s cafes for after-work drinks. The basement level offers gourmet stores and restaurants. 

spain tourist activities

Mestalla Stadium (Estadio de Mestalla) Mestalla Stadium (Estadio de Mestalla)

Mestalla Stadium can seat approximately 50,000 football (i.e., soccer) fans, and those in Valencia are among the sport's most ardent. The home of the Valencia Club de Fútbol (VCF) since 1923, the stadium is known for its unusually steep grandstands and is regarded as an especially exciting place to catch a match – and absorb a notable side of the local culture.

Stadium-goers generally enjoyed the upbeat atmosphere and noted that the venue is quite family-friendly.

spain tourist activities

Full Day Tour to Peñíscola from Valencia

(5 reviews)

Walking the Famous Hanging Bridges of Chulilla

Walking the Famous Hanging Bridges of Chulilla

(36 reviews)

from $ 152.41

Paint a neon fluorescent picture while drinking unlimited wine

Paint a neon fluorescent picture while drinking unlimited wine

(10 reviews)

from $ 53.01

spain tourist activities

Fine Art Museum of Valencia (Museu de Belles Arts de Valencia) Fine Art Museum of Valencia (Museu de Belles Arts de Valencia) free

If you're a fan of Spanish artists, such as Velázquez, Goya and El Greco, you won't want to miss the free Museu de Belles Arts, which also houses a sizable collection of medieval paintings, with a heavy emphasis on religious art and relics. Among its holdings are approximately 2,000 paintings and statues, some dating back to the 14th century. The building itself is also quite interesting. It was once the home of the Seminary College of Saint Pius V, which dates back to the 17th century.

Recent visitors appreciated the wide array of artistic styles on display. However, a few said this is not a must-see unless you're interested in Spanish artists, with a strong slant on religious art.

spain tourist activities

Institut Valencia d'Art Modern (IVAM) Institut Valencia d'Art Modern (IVAM)

The Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM), or the Valencian Institute of Modern Art, is filled with modern and contemporary works. Its permanent collection, which boasts more than 10,000 pieces, centers on the 20th century and features important works by Julio González and Ignacio Pinazo, among others.

Recent travelers said the museum is worth a visit if you're a fan of modern art. Those who enjoyed it said it offered a wide breadth of exhibits and noted that it would be difficult for an art lover to find fault with its offerings.

spain tourist activities

Ruzafa Ruzafa free

Ruzafa is a neighborhood just outside the city center that’s better known as a local hangout than as a tourist spot. However, there is plenty to appeal to visitors, particularly those wanting to see another side of Valencia. It’s a gentrified area, popular amongst young expats and local hipsters and artists (think: street art, cupcake bakeries, art galleries and vintage clothing shops). There is also an eye-catching market building, which was built in 1962 in the Brutalist architectural style, then painted in bold graded colors in 2010. Despite the numerous recent changes, Ruzafa still retains a lot of its original character, including cheap and authentic tapas joints and quirky bars. 

Many recent visitors commented on the neighborhood’s cool, bohemian vibe. 

spain tourist activities

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Visit Southern Spain

18 Fun Things to do in Jaen, Spain – 3 Day Itinerary

By Author Paulina

Posted on Published: April 20, 2020  - Last updated: November 29, 2023

Wondering about things to do in Jaen, Spain? Find a comlete Jaen itinerary to spend lovely Andalucia vacations in this less known Spanish city in Southern Spain including Jaen hotels, restaurants and Jaen, Spain olive oil tasting. Explore the mysterious and non-touristy town of Jaen, Spain and enjoy the authentic Southern Spain. #andalucia #southernspain #andalusia #jaen jaenspain #jaenspainoliveoil #oiliveoils #spain #visitsouthernspain #offthebeatentrack #secretandalusia #flamenco

A Guide to the Best Attractions in Jaen, Southern Spain: the perfect Jaen Itinerary

Overshadowed by the splendor of nearby Úbeda and Baeza , Jaén is surrounded by olive groves for as far as the eye can see.

Once a part of the Caliphate of Córdoba during Moorish rule, Yayyan as it was called then was captured by the Christian armies in 1246.

Today we’ll bring you the best things to do in Jaen , the beautiful unknown from Southern Spain.

Today for those inquisitive travelers who take a break from the tourist trail, Jaén is an under-visited place with a historical center and a grandiose Cathedral that alone makes visiting Jaén worth the trip.

Let’s dive into the best things to do in Jaen!

Wondering about things to do in Jaen, Spain? Find a comlete Jaen itinerary to spend lovely Andalucia vacations in this less known Spanish city in Southern Spain including Jaen hotels, restaurants and Jaen, Spain olive oil tasting. Explore the mysterious and non-touristy town of Jaen, Spain and enjoy the authentic Southern Spain. #andalucia #southernspain #andalusia #jaen jaenspain #jaenspainoliveoil #oiliveoils #spain #visitsouthernspain #offthebeatentrack #secretandalusia #flamenco

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Top Things To Do In Jaen, Andalucia – Our Jaen Itinerary For 3 days

  • Jaen Cathedral
  • Castillo de Santa Catalina
  • Centro Cultural Banos Arabes
  • Centro Cultural Palacio de Villardompardo
  • Arco de San Lorenzo
  • Museo Provincial de Jaén

Resources to visit Jaen, Spain

✈ Book cheap flights to Jaen with  Skyscanner ⚘ Avoid tourist traps and get the customizable  “Andalucia Like a Local”  itinerary. – Get it  here ✔ Book tours in Jaen with GetYourGuide ➳ Find the best hotels in Jaen with Trivago ❖ Rent a car at the best rates with DiscoverCars ✎ Never leave without travel insurance! I get mine at  HeyMondo . It is easy to set up, cheap and reliable. $ Withdraw money without hidden fees and avoid exchange charges with  Wise (Free Mastercard debit card to spend money abroad)

Jaen Spain Itinerary: Day 1

Visit jaen cathedral .

Things to do in Jaen, Jaen Cathedral

When it comes to Jaen Spain tourist attractions, the Jaen Cathedral is considered as being one of the finest cathedrals in Spain, and a model for many of Latin America’s religious buildings.

The cathedral is one of the most amazing things to see in Jaen and a sight not to be missed.

The Jaen city cathedral was built between 1540 and 1724 replacing a Gothic cathedral that was built on the site of a former Arab mosque.

Predominantly Renaissance in style, Jaen Cathedral claims to be the home of the Holy Veil, a cloth used to wipe the face of Christ as he carried the cross. – Book a giuded tour here

Opening times: 

Jaen Cathedral is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 14:30 and from 16:00 to 19:30. On Sunday the cathedral is open from 10:00 to 11:30 and 16:00 to 19:30.

Admission: 

Adults: 6€ (includes audio guide) Children: 2€ – Book a guided city tour incl. cathedral here

Climb up to Castle Santa Catalina

Things to do in Jaen, Santa Catalina castle

Sitting high above the city in a nearly impregnable position is the imposing Castle Santa Catalina .

Built originally by the Moors and added to by the conquering Christians, Castle Santa Catalina is a testament to how important Jaen was during Moorish rule and the early centuries following the Reconquista .

Besides the stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside, the castle has a tourist information center where you can learn about the castle’s rich history.

Adjacent to the castle is the Parador Jaen Spain , an exclusive hotel that takes you back to the 18th century. If you have a car you can drive to the Castle Santa Catalina or take a taxi from the city centre for around 7€. You can view more Paradores in Andalusia here .

The castle is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00 and on Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00.

Adults 3.50€, Children and senior citizens 1.50€. On Wednesday’s from 15:00 to 18:00 admission is free.

Visit the ancient Arab baths

3 Day Itinerary Jaen, Arabic baths

Located beneath the Palacio de Villardompardo , a visit to the Arab baths is probably one of the most interesting things to do in Jaen.

Dating back to the 11th century the baths were rediscovered in 1913 and have been restored to highlight their architectural perfection.

It is believed that the baths were constructed on earlier Roman baths that took advantage of natural hot springs. Today, the baths are one of the most popular Jaen tourist attractions.

The baths are located inside the palace on Arabs Santa Luisa de Marillac Square and are free to visit.

Close on Monday’s, the Palace and baths are open from Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00 to 22:00and on Sunday’s from 09:00 to 15:00

Admission: Free

d606a4456d5cfea7f4d4101df7ec5a9b91209d75 - 18 Fun Things to do in Jaen, Spain - 3 Day Itinerary

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Visit the Palacio de Villardompardo

3 Day Itinerary Jaen, Palacio de Villardompardo

Built above the Arab baths, the Palacio de Villardompardo is an architectural jewel dating back to the 16th century. So, if you’re wondering what to do in Jaen, head over to the Arab baths!

In addition to the baths below and a glass walkway above Roman ruins, the Palacio de Villardompardo is also home to the Museum of Arts and Costumes.  – Book a guided city tour here

Wander on La Alameda

3 Day Itinerary Jaen, La Alameda

No matter what city you visit in Spain, you will find an avenue called La Alameda which translates to a promenade bordered with trees.

In the case of Jaen, Spain, it refers to a large city park and auditorium. Dating back to 1577, La Alameda underwent various improvements including the adding of stone benches and fountains between 1848 and 1862.

Today the park is a large green space where locals attend concerts and outdoor cinema during the summer months.

Lunch in Jaen

Things to do in Jaen, Lunch in Jaen

In Jaen, Andalucia, you will find a good selection of restaurants and bars serving typical Spanish, Mediterranean and traditional Andalusian foods .

Also, unlike many other Spanish cities, you will not come across expensive tourist traps that cater to visitors. For lunch try Habanegra Jaen where they serve dishes typical of the region.

Located in a beautiful orange tree-lined square near the cathedral, Habanegra Jaen , offers seasonal dishes with a creative twist and while it may look expensive, the prices are very reasonable and the service top-notch.

Address: Plaza el Posito 8, 23001 Jaen, Andalucia Province, Spain

Visit Museo Provincial

Things to do in Jaen, Museo Provincial

Opened in 1920 the Jaen Province, Museo Provincial is dedicated to the history of Jaen through the ages while also housing a Fine Art collection.

In the ground floor archaeology rooms, you will discover the area’s history from prehistoric times through to the Hispanic-Muslim era.

The upper floor consists of nine rooms dedicated to artworks created from the 13th to the 18th century, while the rest of the floor is full of paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Opening times:

  The Museo Provincial is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00 to 21:00 and on Sunday from 09:00 to 15:00. Like most museums in Spain and around the world, it is closed on a Monday.

  Admission:

Access to the Jaén Museum is free to all citizens of the European Union; for everyone else, there is a 1.50€ entrance fee.

In a previous topic on a 3-day itinerary Malaga we also wrote about the Picasso Museum. You should definitely check it out!

Have a coffee at Parador de Jaen

Things to do in Jaen, Parador de Jaen

State-owned Parador Hotels are all located in buildings of historic merit or places of great natural beauty. When the Castle Santa Catalina was restored in 1968, a part was reserved to become a Parador hotel.

With unrestricted views across the surrounding plain, to the Guadalquivir River and the mountains of Sierra Nevada , the Parador makes an excellent place to grab a coffee while visiting the castle. On top, it is considered one of the best paradores in Spain .

The Parador Jaen is open around the clock.

Head to the Lagarto de Jaen monument

3 Day Itinerary Jaen, Lagarto de Jaen

Located on Santo Domingo Street in the La Magdalena neighborhood of the city, the Lagarto de Jaen monument is dedicated to an old legend regarding the slaying of a large serpent or Dragon.

The story goes that a prisoner sentenced to death would receive a pardon if he would slay the dragon.

After agreeing to the terms, the prisoner rode off dressed as a knight armed with a spear and the carcass of a sheep, filled with gunpowder.

When the lizard appeared, the prisoner threw the dead sheep to the lizard who swallowed it whole before exploding once the gunpowder ignited.

Today, when someone has too much to eat, they are told they are going to burst like the Jaen Lizard .

Cross the San Lorenzo Arch

3 Day Itinerary Jaen, Arco de San Lorenzo

Situated at the crossroads of Almendros Aguilar and Madre de Dios streets, the Cross the San Lorenzo Arch is a part of the former Church of San Lorenzo .

The location is claimed to be where the wake for Fernando IV was held in 1312. Because of this, prayers for the dead have been held in the arch after the death of Jaen bishops.

The interior of the arch houses Moorish tile work and paneling as well as a small chapel. – Book a guided city tour here

The arch is open to visitors from 10:00 to 12:00 only on Sundays.

Enjoy tapas in Jaen 

3 Day Itinerary Jaen, tapas

Like everywhere in Andalucia there is nothing like spending the evening with a few drinks and tapas.

The city of Jaen is no exception, so we put together a list of three popular bars to include on your list of things to do in Jaen.

1. Panaceite

Address: Calle Bernabé Soriano, 1, 23001 Jaén

2. El Pato Rojo

Address: Calle Bernabé Soriano, 10, 23001 Jaén

3. Bar El Abuelo

Address: 23001, Calle las Bernardas, 23, 23001 Jaén

If you love Spanish food, why not recreate it at home? Check out our easy Spanish omelet recipe or try making the famous Natillas De Leche .

If you’re lucky enough to visit Jaen for 2 days, there are still plenty of things to see in Jaen on day 2.

It’s also the perfect itinerary to see Jaen in 2 days.

Visit Mercado de Abastos of Jaen

Things to do in Jaen, Mercado de Abastos

Unlike many other countries around the world where doing weekly shopping is the norm, the Spanish prefer to buy their food daily to ensure all the ingredients are fresh.

Because of this, no matter where you go in Spain you will find an indoor market selling meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit.

In the 150-year-old Mercado de Abastos , you will find every type of locally sourced food you could think of including local olive oil, Jamon, and cheeses. It’s one of the top attractions in Jaen.

Address: Calle Álamos, 10, 23004 Jaén

Opening times: The market opens every day at 07:00 and closes at 15:00. The market, like all shops in Spain, is closed on Sunday.

Visit Iberian Museum of Jaen

Things to do in Jaen, Museo Ibero

Dedicated to the prehistoric Iberian culture of Spain, the Museo Ibero was built for 26 million euros and is the only museum of its kind celebrating the pre-Roman Iberian civilization.

A visit to the Iberian Museum gives you a unique insight into how Spain was before the Romans arrived and should be on everyone’s list of things to see and do while visiting Jaen, Spain.

Address: Paseo de Estación 41, 23008 Jaen.

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 09.00 to 21.00. Sundays, holidays, and Mondays before holidays: 09.00 to 15.00. During July and August, the museum is open until 15:00.

Explore the Civil War Shelter

A visit to Jaen’s Civil War Shelter allows visitors to learn about the Spanish Civil War and how aircraft were for the first time in history used against civilians.

In the case of Jaen, the Condor Legion of Nazi Germany fighting for Franco’s fascists bombed Jean on April 1, 1937, killing 157 people.

The bombardment was a reprisal for a Republican attack on Cordoba. Following the attack, shelters were built around the city to protect the civilian population.

Address: Santiago Square, Jaen

Opening times: Sunday 12.15- 14.00

Wander in the Jewish Quarter

Things to do in Jaen, Jewish Quarter

The old Jewish Quarter of Jaen was located between the Santa Cruz and San Andres neighborhoods within the city walls.

Made up houses huddled together in typical Moorish fashion, the Jewish Quarter was home to around 300 families.

When the Catholic Monarchs set up the third Inquisition Court in Jaen, in 1483, the Jews of the city were either expelled or told to convert to catholicism ending centuries of Jewish life in the city.

Today as you wander the Jewish Quarter you will see the occasional Star of David in the walls of some buildings and will come across a large Menorah with a plaque that reads “ May the footprints of those who walked here never be erased. ” – Check guided tours here

Lunch in La Barra restaurant

3 Day Itinerary Jaen, La Barra restaurant

For a busy bar/restaurant serving reasonably priced food that appeals to locals, you won’t do much better than La Barra .

Located very close to the cathedral, La Barra serves up fresh local cuisine at a price that won’t break the bank.

Also, if you are a vegetarian let the waiter know and he will provide you with a special menu. It’s considered one of the most typical Jaen restaurants.

Have a tinto de verano at Plaza Deán Mazas

3 Day Itinerary Jaen, tinto de verano

The centrally located Plaza Deán Mazas is a meeting point in the city where locals gather before a night on the town.

It is also the area where you will find the best Jaen tapas bars and is an ideal spot for people-watching. While there, try and grab an outdoor table at Deán Plaza Bar and order a refreshing tinto de verano .

Similar to sangria except without the fruit and sugar, tinto de verano is a popular summertime drink made up of equal parts of red wine and gaseosa (fizzy Spanish lemonade).

Opening times: 08:00 to 03:00

Dinner in Jaen, España

3 Day Itinerary Jaen, dinner

Normally we would not recommend eating seafood while away from the coast, but Discovery is an exception to the rule, with freshly delivered Mediterranean seafood arriving each day.

If meat is more your thing, don’t worry as the menu at Discovery includes several meat dishes and original desserts.

Address: Calle Obispo Stuniga 3 Cerca Clinica Cristo Rey, 23007 Jaen

Opening times: Monday 13:30-17:00 and Wednesday to Saturday 13:30-17:00 and 20:30 to 00:00. Sunday closed.

Day Trip to Ubeda & Baeza

Things to do in Jaen, Ubeda & Baeza

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed towns of Úbeda and Baeza are located 56 kilometers from Jaen, making them perfect for a day trip.

Before visiting the twin towns, throw away any notion that the most impressive architecture in Andalucia was built by the Moors .

Thanks to a few extremely wealthy local families who decided to use their fortunes to beautify the towns, Úbeda and Baeza are two stunning examples of Renaissance Spain.

To get to Úbeda and Baeza you can take an hourly bus from the station in the Plaza de Coca de la Pinera . The journey takes an hour and costs around 7€. – Book a guided tour to Ubeda & Baeza here

Visit the Olive Culture Museum in Baeza & Oil Tasting

Things to do in Jaen, Olive Culture Museum

The province of Jaen is known as being the home of olive oil, so it is only fitting that you learn the process of how the olives are pressed to release their liquid gold.

While visiting the Olive Culture Museum you will learn about the various varieties of trees that inhabit the Mediterranean basin and be allowed to sample different olive oils.

When in Jaen, it is a must-do to have an olive oil tasting in order to learn about this important part of Andalusian culture.

Address: s/n, Finca Hacienda La Laguna, 23529 Puente del Obispo, Jaén

Opening times: The museum is open every day from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 17:30 to 20:30

Book a guided olive oil tasting here

Climb Jabalcruz Peak 

At an elevation of 1,614 meters (5,295 ft.), the mountain offers hikers the chance to see the entire province of Jaen laid out before them.

To get to the starting point of the trail to the summit, you must first drive along the A-6050 2.5 kilometers from the city.

When you come to a roundabout, take the first exit and continue until you see an asphalt track on the left side of the road.

Give yourself plenty of time to be able to hike the 10.2 kilometers to the summit and back during daylight. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks as there is nowhere along the route to get water.

This is a medium to difficult hike and should not be attempted without the proper clothing and footwear.

Outdoor activities in Sierra de Cazorla

Things to do in Jaen, Sierra de Cazorla

Roughly 700 square kilometers (270 sq mi) in size, the Sierras de Cazorla , Segura y Las Villas Natural Park is the largest protected area in Spain and the second largest in Europe.

Teeming with wildlife and full of spectacular scenery, the park is ideal for people who like to get back to nature.

Activities in the park include hiking along the Borosa River and boat trips on the Tranco Reservoir along with a hike to the Chorro Gil Waterfall .

Best Hotels in Jaen, Southern Spain

Jaen, Southern Spain, is home to some of the best hotels in the world. From luxury resorts to quaint boutique hotels to castle hotels, you will be sure to find the perfect option for your stay.

Whether you are looking for an unforgettable experience or just a comfortable place to rest, Jaen has it all!

Here are the best hotels in Jaen, Spain

Parador de Jaen **** – Luxury

parador jaen, accommodation jaen

Incorporated into the Santa Catalina Castle , the state-owned Parador hotel allows you to travel back to the 18th century while enjoying 21st-century amenities.

Complete with an outdoor swimming pool and an award-winning restaurant, the Parador Jaen and it’s Arabic influenced decor will please even the most discerning guest. – Check rates & reviews here

Address: Castillo de Santa Catalina, s/n, 23002 Jaén

Telephone: 953 23 00 00

Hotel Europa *** – Mid-Range

hotel europa, jaen, hotels in jaen

Located in the center of the city with a rooftop terrace for sunbathing and views of the nearby cathedral, Hotel Europa is well suited to people who want to explore Jaen on foot.

Recently constructed, all rooms in the hotel come with en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. This is a great mid-range option when looking for hotels in Jaen, Spain. – Check rates & reviews here

Address: Plaza de Belén, 1, 23001 Jaén

Telephone: 953 22 27 00

Pensión La Florida 19 *** – Budget

pension la florida jaen, hotels in jaen

Located within walking distance of all Jaen’s main attractions, when it comes to hotels in Jaen, Spain, the Pensión La Florida 19 is a great budget option.

The hotel offers rooms with private bathrooms starting from 41€ per night, has free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and a shared lounge. – Check rates & reviews here

Address: Calle Doctor Civera 5, 23004 Jaén

Telephone: 722 25 71 86

If you’re travelling around the Andalusia region , take a look at these amazing boutique hotels in Andalusia >>>

How to get to Jaén

The closest airport to Jaén is 65 kilometers away in Granada. Other nearby airports include Malaga (136km) and Almeria (161.9km).

The train station in Jaén is located at the northern end of Paseo de la Estacion one kilometer from the city center. The single railway line from Jaén links to the Alcázar de San Juan– Cádiz railway with four trains per day.

The bus station and preferred means of public transportation from Jaén to other destinations in Spain is located in the Plaza de Coca de la Pinera close to the Plaza de la Constitucion . – Buy bus tickets here

How to get from Malaga to Jaen:

The Malaga bus and train station are located next to one another in the Explanada de la Estación . Trains from Malaga to Jaen require a change in Cordoba and take around 3h 37m, which includes a 1h transfer. 

While there is a direct bus between Malaga and Jaen, it is quicker to first go to Granada and change buses. The journey time including the transfer should take around 3h 52m. – Book tickets in advance here

How to get from Granada to Jaen:

ALSA has 15 buses a day in both directions. Buses depart from Estación de Autobuses de Granada bus station, located on Calle Minerva, 4 . The journey takes anywhere from three to four hours depending on the bus service. You can read more here about the things to do in Granada .

To drive to Jaen from Granada take the E-902 which becomes the N323 as you get closer to Jaen. The journey should take around one hour. – Check rental car deals here

How to get from Cordoba to Jaen:

The main bus station in Cordoba is located on Calle Campo Madre de Dios 20. Express buses depart every four hours with a journey time of 1h 45m. 

Trains to Jaen depart from Cordoba railway station on Glorieta Tres Culturas, s/n and have a journey time of 1h 38m. – Buy tickets here in advance

To drive from Cordoba to Jaen follow E-5/A-4 take exit 323 to the A-311 and follow the signs. 

How to get from Seville to Jaen:

There are four trains a day from Seville to Jaen departing from Santa Justa train station located on Avenida Kansas City and have a journey time of 2h 59m.

Buses from Seville to Cordoba depart once a day from Estación de Sevilla-Plaza de Armas located on Puente del Cristo de la Expiración el Cachorro. – Book tickets here in advance

To drive from Seville to Jaen take the E-5/A-4 until you reach exit 323 to the A-311 and follow the signs.

How to get from Madrid to Jaen:

There are three trains a day from Madrid-Atocha Cercanias station to Jaen that require changing trains in Cordoba. In total, the journey time will take around 3h 53m. – Book tickets in advance here

Eurolines operates one bus a day between Madrid and Jaen from Madrid Est Sur , departing at 22:00 and arriving at 02:00 the following day. 

How to get from Barcelona to Jaen:

It’s quite hard to get from Barcelona to Jaen, Andalucia.

The total driving time is 7 hours, 50 minutes.  View hire car prices here .

You can also fly from Barcelona El Prat Airport to Granada Airport with a flight time of 1h 10m and then take the bus from Granada to Jaen (1h 40m). –   Book flights here

If you want to take the train to Jaen from Barcelona, you’ll need to travel to Madrid first and then take a train from there. The total journey time will be around 7 hours, 30 minutes.

Is Jaen Worth visiting?

Yes, Jaen is definitely worth visiting! This stunning city is known for its impressive architecture, delicious local delicacies, and beautiful bars and restaurants. Jaen is also home to some incredible castles and historical sites.

There are also some fantastic day trip opportunities if you base yourself in Jaen, from visiting Ubeda & Baeza to climbing Jabalcruz Peak.

Following the conquest, Jaén remained a strategic location bordering Nasrid Granada until the Muslims were finally driven out of Spain in 1492.

Following its loss of importance, Jaén fell into a steep decline with many of the city’s inhabitants relocating to Spain’s new colonies in America and the Philippines.

The city rose to prominence once more if only for a short while in 1808 when the Spanish defeated Napoleon in the battle of Bailén inflicting the first-ever open-field defeat on the Emperor’s army.

So, if you’re considering visiting Southern Spain, Jaen should definitely be on your list!

Jaen Spain Weather

Jaen has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures reach highs of 33°C during the summer months and an average lows of 5°Cin the winter.

When you visit Jaen, it’s more likely to rain between April and October.

Due to its geographical position and proximity to the sea, Jaen enjoys year-round sunshine and relatively mild weather conditions.

Getting Around Jaen

With Jaen not being full of tourists, the usual hop-on-hop-off buses are not an option, but to be perfectly honest you can easily get around on foot or using very affordable public transport.

If you want to visit the Castle Santa Catalina or Parador hotel , taxis are readily available from taxi ranks throughout the city.

For day trips to places like Úbeda and Baeza , you can use local buses from the station and for places further afield inquire at your hotel to see what tours are available. – Check guided tours to Ubeda & Baeza here

A short FAQ about things to do in Jaen, Spain

Where is jaen, spain.

Jaén is a city in south-central Spain, located in the autonomous community of Andalusia.

What is there to do in Jaen, Spain by night?

Enjoy an amazing Tapas in one of these bars: Panaceite El Pato Rojo Bar El Abuelo

What are the important sights of Jaen, Andalucia Province?

The most important sights of Jaen are the following: Jaen Cathedral Castillo de Santa Catalina Centro Cultural Banos Arabes Centro Cultural Palacio de Villardompardo Arco de San Lorenzo Museo Provincial de Jaén

Is Jaen a safe city?

Generally speaking, crime rates in Jaen are relatively low, and you have no reason to worry about your safety. As with any destination, use common sense when traveling around the city and take sensible precautions to stay safe.

Are there any special festivals or events held in Jaen?

Yes! Every year millions of people flock to Jaen and the areas in Jaen province to join in lively festivals.

Festivals include the Feria del Vino y Jamon (Wine & Ham Fair), Bienvenida al Verano (Welcome to Summer), and Romerías de Valladolid (Valladolid Pilgrimage). Keep an eye out for traditional dances like Flamenco which are performed across the region throughout the year.

Is there much nightlife in Jaen?

Yes, Jaen has a vibrant nightlife scene with various bars and clubs open late into the night. Whether you’re looking for a low-key evening or an energetic clubbing experience, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of the city’s many venues.

Do you need a visa to visit Jaen?

If you’re from an EU country, the UK, the US, Canada, or Australia, you do not need a Visa for stays in Spain for shorter than 90 days. However, it’s always wise to check your own country’s entry requirements before traveling.

Wondering about things to do in Jaen, Spain? Find a comlete Jaen itinerary to spend lovely Andalucia vacations in this less known Spanish city in Southern Spain including Jaen hotels, restaurants and Jaen, Spain olive oil tasting. Explore the mysterious and non-touristy town of Jaen, Spain and enjoy the authentic Southern Spain. #andalucia #southernspain #andalusia #jaen jaenspain #jaenspainoliveoil #oiliveoils #spain #visitsouthernspain #offthebeatentrack #secretandalusia #flamenco

Hola, I’m Paulina! Together with my team, we are passionate about Southern Spain. Here we share all you need to know for great times in Southern Spain with the best places to visit, stay and, of course, the best food to eat.

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Full list of Spain’s tourist rules as warnings issued to people travelling to certain areas

Full list of Spain’s tourist rules as warnings issued to people travelling to certain areas

Benidorm and majorca travellers are among those who need to take note.

Tom Earnshaw

Tom Earnshaw

It's that time of year again where we're firmly setting our sights on heading overseas for a holiday in the sun.

And for most Brits , nowhere will be visited more than our close European neighbour Spain. But heading to the sunny country comes with specific rules that many fall foul of for simply not knowing they exist.

More than 15.5 million of us left the British Isles last year for a holiday in Spain or its islands, including the popular Balearics and Canaries .

It's a massive number, with it some five million more than the country in second place, France .

But travel experts have now issued a warning to Brits planning to catch some sun in Spain for their summer holidays.

"Everyone knows that the British public love a holiday, and now that it’s nearly spring, UK tourists will be starting to think about where they want to travel to this summer," said Dom Aldworth, brand marketing co-ordinator at Slingo.

"However, before you pack your suitcase, it’s important to educate yourself on any travel rules, especially as new regulations are announced every year. This way you can enjoy your summer holiday, whilst staying safe and being respectful to local laws."

Here are the main rules you need to be aware of if you are heading to Spain:

A beach in Majorca.

Noise pollution

Being loud is going to land you in trouble, according to those in the know.

Unruly tourists in Alicante, which lies on the Costa Blanca, will be slapped with heavy fines for being loutish.

We're talking playing music too loudly on a beach or having a few more drinks with music in your hotel accommodation after the night has officially ended.

Slingo says: "These regulations are tighter versions of rules the city council implemented in March 2019, and could cost Brits up to €30,000 (£25,667).

"Everyone wants to have a good time on holiday, but you can have fun and respect others at the same time."

After-parties

After-parties also come with huge fines in two of the most popular areas for those heading to Spain to enjoy its nightlife.

Tourists in Ibiza and Majorca should be wary here, with unlicensed or unruly parties issued a fine to anyone involved in the event.

Those attending will also be fined up to £25,000.

Barcelona.

The UK government has already warned British tourists that they should only use registered taxis.

And while on one hand that's for safety reasons, it's also because those riding in unlicensed taxis will be subject to fines.

You could see yourself slapped with a financial penalty of up to €600 (£510).

Night swimming and beach trips

One for those heading to Benidorm here.

Also on the Costa Blanca just a short drive north of Alicante, tourists could be fined more than a grand for simply going on to the beaches after dark. Specifically, between the hours of midnight and 7am.

You cannot swim in the sea or sleep on the sand. Those who do will be fined between £650 and £1,020.

Experts say: "This rule has been introduced to reduce the risk of any swimming-related accidents during the times when lifeguards are not available.

"In order to not waste the resources of local emergency services, it’s best to keep your beach activities to the daytime."

Beach in Barcelona.

Showing too much

Nudist beaches exist for a reason, the authorities say.

Taking all your clothes off in undesignated areas and you'll be fined. We're talking £560 per person.

It's not a hard rule to follow to be fair, with Spain full of destinations for those who like showing it all.

Beach drinking

It is a hard no from authorities when it comes to drinking alcohol on Spanish beaches.

The same goes for smoking cigarettes.

Those with booze will be fined £650. Smoking is a lot more, coming with a fine of £1,700.

It's all about protecting the beaches from litter as well as the health risks that come from drinking and swimming or smoking around people on what can be very crowded areas.

Topics:  UK News , Travel , Holiday , World News , Crime

Tom joined LADbible in 2024, specialising in SEO and trending content. He moved to the company from Reach plc where he enjoyed spells as a content editor and senior reporter for one of the country's most-read local news brands, LancsLive. When he's not in work, Tom spends his adult life as a suffering Manchester United supporter after a childhood filled with trebles and Premier League titles. You can't have it all forever, I suppose.

@ TREarnshaw

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NEWS... BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT

‘Tacky’ and ‘bleak’ tourist attraction named one of most popular in the UK

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The Big One rollercoaster with tram lines in Blackpool

From Royal palaces to theme parks, the UK has a lot to offer the almost 40 million tourists that visit each year.

But a new ranking has revealed one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK, and it’s sure to leave people confused.

Attracting 5 million visitors each year, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is the UK’s second most popular tourist attraction outside of London – but it doesn’t exactly receive rave reviews.

In fact, TripAdvisor users have called it ‘tacky’ and ‘bleak’. Ouch.

Perhaps it’s the long history that keeps tourists flocking to the resort every single year. Found on Blackpool’s South Shore in Lancashire , Blackpool Pleasure Beach has been going since the Victorian Era, founded in 1896 as seaside visits became more accessible for all classes. Think Punch & Judy shows and donkey rides along the beach.

Dodgems and Blackpool Tower, Pleasure Beach Blackpool, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK

And today, the park is famous for holding numerous record titles, including the largest collection of wooden roller coasters of any theme park in the UK: the Big Dipper, Blue Fryer, Grand National and Nickelodeon Streak.

Likewise, when it was first unveiled in 1994, The Big One was the tallest and steepest coaster in the world, attracting adrenaline-seeking fans.

But these days, visitors argue that the ‘golden days’ of Blackpool Pleasure Beach are over.  

‘Not what it once was. Despite being less than busy and small queues it still took a long time to get onto most of the rides,’ Philip S wrote in a disgruntled Tripadvisor review.

Ferris Wheel on the Central Pier in Blackpool

‘It has been allowed to fall into a state of neglect.’

Another review described Blackpool as ‘tired’ and ‘run-down.’

‘Blackpool is so tired and actually becoming run-down,’ Sharr1964 penned.

‘Just unpleasant to look at, it seriously needs an injection of money to bring everywhere up to date.’

The UK’s top 10 most popular attractions

  • Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool: 6.3 million visitors per year
  • Blackpool Pleasure Beach: 5 million
  • Palace Pier, Brighton: 4.6 million
  • Alton Towers, Stoke-on-Trent: 2.3 million
  • National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh: 2 million
  • Chester Zoo: 1.8 million
  • Windsor Castle: 1.5 million
  • Edinburgh Castle: 1.4 million
  • Roman Baths, Bath: 1.3 million
  • Stonehenge, Wiltshire: 970,000.

The news comes after Blackpool was also dubbed the friendliest town in the UK , which is also likely to be a big plus for tourists.

Despite it’s ‘marmite’ reputation, the town scored highly for life satisfaction, hospitality, and personal life satisfaction of residents, in a ranking by LNER.

Elsewhere on the list of most popular UK tourist attractions, the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool claimed the top spot, according to The Great British Attraction Index.

Liverpool Albert Dock sunset river mersey

A whopping 6.3 million visitors each year, taking in the museums, including Tate Liverpool and The Beatles Story, as well as wondering around the shops and grabbing a bite to eat at the many restaurants and bars.

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Further south, another seaside town, Brighton Palace Pier was in third place with 4.6 million visitors each year, whilst Alton Towers ranked fourth with 2.3 million – one that might annoy Thorpe Park fans out there which didn’t place anywhere on the list.

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