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.
Granada is the capital of the Granada province. A mid-sized city, Granada offers a perfect blend of spectacular attractions. Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain.
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.
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.
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. Its 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.
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.
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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.
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.
As the region’s cultural capital, Seville offers numerous museums, art galleries and entertainment venues. When the sun goes down. Seville’s nightlife scene lights up with its many bars, nightclubs and flamenco dance halls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
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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 cathedrals, synagogues and mosques as well as a remarkable old Roman fortress.
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.