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10 Best Places to Visit in Spain

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Plaza d'Espańa in Seville, Spain

Plaza d'Espańa in Seville, Spain

Spain is a treasure trove of highlights, from Mediterranean beaches to breathtaking Moorish palaces you can discover in these 10 best places to visit.

Spanish spirit spills from the cities, towns, and countryside, with each region known for its unique charm. Explore Catalonia from the region’s bustling capital, Barcelona, spend your stay on sun-washed Basque Country beaches, or discover Moorish heritage in the museums of Seville.

These are a few of the famous destinations in Spain, with more ideas in this article highlighting the artwork, architecture, cuisine, and experiences to have in the best places to visit.

  1. 1. Madrid
  2. 2. Seville
  3. 3. Barcelona
  4. 4. Malaga
  5. 5. Granada
  6. 6. San Sebastian
  7. 7. Valencia
  8. 8. Cordoba
  9. 9. Bilbao
  10. 10. Segovia
  11. Explore the Best Places to Visit in Spain

1. Madrid

Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain.

Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain

Madrid is a modern metropolis with a connection to tradition. Gorgeous parks provide greenery to historic urban neighborhoods and museums bring endless opportunities to witness the masterful works of European artists.

Sidewalk cafes and large plazas unveil the pleasures of daily life, with Madrid acting as the center of Spain’s culinary revolution, offering a timeline of Spanish history and culture. Beyond cuisine, the city does not have one missable monument or highlight. Instead, it has an endless supply of fascinating things to see and do, making it hard to know where to start.

Plazas overflow with people and the ritual of an evening stroll adds to the charm of the eclectic city, where popular sites to visit on Barcelona to Madrid Tours include the Prado Museum, Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, and Puerta del Sol. Finally, one cannot complete a Madrid stay without exploring the Reina Sofia, one of the 9 Best Museums in Spain.

Highlights: Prado Museum • Royal Palace • Plaza Mayor • Puerta del Sol • Centro de Arte de Reina Sofía

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

2. Seville

Real Alcazar in Seville, Spain.

Real Alcazar in Seville, Spain

Seville quickly enchants with winding medieval lanes and Baroque churches. The mixture of Mudejar palaces and the intoxicating scent of oranges showcase preserved traditions that date back centuries and stem from the city’s time as the Moorish capital of Spain.

History echoes in daily life, from the architecture to the tapas, horse-drawn carriages to palm-lined promenades, antique street lamps to the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Seville’s charm emanates from its highlights and subtle but purposeful pace of life.

A city of passion, prestige, and peace, Seville is a top destination for Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville Tours. Unique sites like the Seville Cathedral, the Real Alcazar, and the former Jewish neighborhood of Santa Cruz reveal how Seville enjoys simple pleasures.

Highlights: Seville Cathedral • Real Alcazar • Barrio Santa Cruz • Museum of Flamenco Dance • Museum of Fine Arts

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

3. Barcelona

Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain.

Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is not only the capital of Catalonia, but also a gorgeous seaside city on the Mediterranean with artistic allure. Fabulous architecture, history, and cuisine add to Barcelona’s immense charm, as do the popular beaches and hidden plazas.

Medieval drama and Catalonian tradition emerge from the restaurants and markets around the city. Each corner of Barcelona gives you a new opportunity for discovery, from rich flavors to surreal treasures. As one of Spain’s best-known cities, Barcelona inspires images of golden beaches and endless nightlife.

But beyond the shoreline and traditional ambiance of La Rambla, Barcelona is a captivating collection of architecture, artistic displays, mouthwatering flavors found at La Sagrada Familia Basilica, the Gothic Quarter, Park Guell, Montjuic, and the Palace of Catalan Music. You can experience these highlights and more with our Barcelona Itineraries & Vacation Packages.

Highlights: La Sagrada Familia Basilica • Gothic Quarter • Park Guell • Palace of Catalan Music • Montjuic

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

Learn more: Best Time To Visit Barcelona

4. Malaga

Alcazaba de Malaga in Spain.

Alcazaba de Malaga in Malaga, Spain

Malaga is a fantastic place to visit in Spain. A contemporary beach getaway, it also has layers of history to explore, from ancient Rome to Moorish conquerors.

Palm trees line the seaside promenades and boutique shops with neighboring tapas restaurants accentuate the old-world ambiance. Seafood dishes, art galleries, and endless energy shed light on the city’s captivating past and present, one that's rich with Mediterranean beauty and fascinating ruins.

Malaga has emerged from the shadows with contemporary seaside charm and layers of history. The renovated port area, with an emerging food culture, is now equally as attractive as the highlights of the Alcazaba de Malaga, Malaga Cathedral, Botanical Gardens, and Pablo Ruíz Picasso Foundation Birthplace Museum, all of which you can experience on Tours of Southern Spain.

Highlights: Alcazaba de Malaga • Malaga Cathedral • Botanical Gardens • Pablo Ruíz Picasso Foundation Birthplace Museum

Recommended length of stay: 2 days

5. Granada

Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

Granada is serene and monumental, with contemporary culture hidden within the preserved churches and Islamic architecture. Moorish character informs tradition and flavor in the city, from classic tapas bars to the historic quarters nestled into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

As one of the 6 Best Places to Visit in Spain with Family, Granada is a particularly great destination for travelers of all ages. The rich heritage features hints of Jewish and gypsy influences, in addition to Catholic Monarchs and Moorish customs. The spice markets, flamenco, palaces, and gardens lead to bohemian cafes and restaurants, each moment imprinting a lasting impression on you and your children.

Whether looking for hints of the Moorish kingdom or the grandeur of the Catholic Monarchs, Granada is a bastion of meshing cultures and captivating flavors, featured in the likes of the Alhambra, Albaicin, Capilla Real, Santa Maria de la Encarnacion Cathedral, and La Alcaiceria.

Highlights: Alhambra • Albaicín • Capilla Real • Santa Maria de la Encarnación Catedral • La Alcaicería

Recommended length of stay: 2 days

6. San Sebastian

La Concha beach in San Sebastian, Spain

La Concha beach in San Sebastian, Spain

The resort-town jewel of Basque Country, San Sebastian overlooks the brilliant blue waters of the Bay of Biscay. The golden beaches and leafy hills on either side of the vibrant town add to the natural beauty of Spain’s seaside getaway.

Pintxos (Basque tapas) bars dominate the main coastal strip and the sounds of cheerful guests mingle with the echoing swells lapping against the shore. These foodie hotspots garner attention from tourists and celebrities eager to explore San Sebastian’s iconic seafood dishes and experience the top tier of Spanish mixology.

Cultural events draw crowds and the waters invite yachts to the bay, a sight that speaks to the island-style escapism prevalent in San Sebastian. From sunset sailing to wandering architectural boulevards, few places in Spain are quite as enticing as San Sebastian.

Highlights: La Concha Beach • San Sebastian Old Town • Pintxos (tapas) tours • Monte Urgull • Museo San Telmo • Palacio de Miramar

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

Learn more: Top 7 Things to Do in San Sebastian

7. Valencia

City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

Port city Valencia welcomes travelers to the meeting place of the Turia River and the Mediterranean Sea, sharing impressive views of Spain’s southeastern coastline, with touches of classic Mediterranean charm.

Modern architecture springs up between historic neighborhoods, creating a culturally complex blend of tradition and futurism. Parts of the city exude Romanesque, Moorish, and Gothic character, while other sides present contemporary personalities. You can spend a morning exploring the cobbled alleys of the Old Town and then enter fashionable art galleries showcasing modern Spanish masterpieces.

Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid Tours pass through Valencia’s bustling cityscape for travelers to absorb the cultural atmosphere, embrace Spanish sunshine on the beaches, or enjoy the vibrant nightlife of the bars in Valencia’s Old Town.

Highlights: The City of Arts and Sciences • Valencia Old Town • La Lonja de la Seda • Mercado Central • San Nicolás de Bari

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

8. Cordoba

Roman bridge and Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

Cordoba, Spain

With a history spanning ancient Rome and Middle-Age Islamic settlement, Cordoba brings together pieces of the past in ancient buildings and fortifications of various origins. Medieval by nature, Cordoba enthuses history buffs on the hunt for Spanish museums and other marvels.

One of the world’s greatest visions of Islamic architectural design is the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, or Mezquita, itself a reason to visit. Its many interior arches create a maze through which you can access ancient murals and sculpted structures tracing centuries of history.

Beyond Cordoba’s main attraction, the city is one of the best places to visit in Spain for cultural exploration, with markets showcasing where the culinary past meets present and Roman structures juxtapose Moorish palaces.

Highlights: Mezquita • Judería • Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs • Calleja de las Flores • Palacio de Viana

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

9. Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

In the northern reaches of Spain, near the border with France, you can find Bilbao, an industrial city and gateway to Basque Country’s history. Travelers visiting Bilbao will discover an immeasurable connection to old-world Spain.

The vintage style and charming antiquity of Bilbao attract visitors in search of Spain’s famous contributions to art and architectural history, leading one from the Guggenheim to the Basque Museum. Two of the many landmarks of Bilbao, the city’s museums reveal the breadth of history underpinning Basque Country as we see it today.

Northern Spain Tours & Vacations often include a stop in Bilbao for travelers to develop a deeper understanding of the Basque Country’s origins and contributions to modern Europe.

Highlights: Guggenheim Museum • Basque Museum • Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao • Casco Viejo • Plaza Nueva

Recommended length of stay: 2 days

10. Segovia

Alcázar de Segovia in Segovia, Spain

Alcázar de Segovia in Segovia, Spain

Around the corner from Madrid, Segovia is a welcome stop on Spain tours passing through Madrid as you don’t have to make a significant detour that may cut into travel time. Furthermore, Segovia beckons travelers to admire the medieval Roman and Gothic images dotting the old districts.

From 12th-century castles to a colossal Roman aqueduct, cathedrals preserving ancient history, and miradors peaking above the mountains, there is an antique atmosphere that reverberates through Segovia.

It is one of the best but more secret places to visit in Spain, as most overlook it when arriving in Madrid. For historic Spanish flavor, escape on a day trip or spend the night in Spain’s iconic World Heritage City.

Highlights: Aqueduct of Segovia • Alcázar de Segovia • Palacio Real la Granja • Catedral de Segovia • La Judería

Recommended length of stay: 1-2 days

Explore the Best Places to Visit in Spain

Cathedral La Seu at sunet time in Palma on Mallorca island, Spain

Cathedral La Seu on Mallorca island, Spain

The best places to visit in Spain offer glimpses into the culture and history of the country. Now, with an idea of where you want to go in Spain, you can explore our custom Spain Tours & Vacations to discover what lies ahead for your adventure.

Before you plan, take a moment to consider the Best Time to Visit Spain, Top 10 Things to Do in Spain, and other important travel considerations in our Spain Travel Guide, helping you enjoy the country without worry.

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