10 places to visit in Spain: 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 cultures 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 suns – all in healthy doses. Plan your trip to this awesome Mediterranean travel destination with our list of the best places to visit in Spain.
10 places to visit in Spain
It is one of the most popular tourist destinations – also one of the best places to experience the country like a local, from bustling tapas evenings to chilly Sunday morning strolls at the El Rastro flea market, the Retiro Park, or the Prado Museum.
- Toledo or Segovia
Plan a day trip from Madrid to the historic city of Toledo. In the 10th century, its streets were a melting pot of cultures: Christians, Arabs, and Jews lived here side by side with each other. If you want to get off the beaten path, head north to Segovia instead. Its medieval castle inspired Walt Disney and its aqueduct is a masterpiece of Roman engineering.
- La Alhambra in Granada and the Mezquita of Cordoba
In Spain, the word “ohala” is used to say “hopefully”. It comes from the Arabic “inshallah” (with God’s help). Spain was ruled by the Moors for eight centuries (from 711 to 1492). Visiting these two gems of Moorish architectural heritage is the best way to immerse yourself in this part of history.
Enjoy a flamenco show in Triana, visit the monumental Plaza de España in a horse-drawn carriage, or discover traces of Moorish culture in the Real Alcazar. Seville has everything you’d expect from Spain, but it won’t disappoint anyone looking for something special.
Surrealist artist Salvador Dali said this Mediterranean village was “the most beautiful in the world” and built his house on its eastern tip to be the first Spaniard to see the sunrise (the village is in the easternmost part of Spain) and now his home This is a must-visit the museum.
- Fallas of Valencia (March 15-19)
This is probably one of the most amazing festivals you will ever see and also one of the loudest. In the days leading up to the celebration, the streets of Valencia are filled with giant sculptures of famous controversial figures (especially politicians). Don’t get attached to them. They burn them. Get ready for huge fires, firecrackers, and other pyrotechnics in the very center of the city.
- La Rioja
The most international Spanish red wine is named after this region. Its wineries are scattered among warm reddish vineyard hills and monumental villages visited by Christian pilgrims. For a delicious meal, be sure to stop in the town of Logroño.
We know it’s full of tourists, but there’s a reason: visiting the Sagrada Familia before it’s completed one day is on the wish list of most tourists. Two tips: don’t eat paella on the Ramblas, and try the butifarra sausage.
The Spanish hippie island has two faces: one offers a vibrant nightlife for partygoers, and the other has spectacular coves, natural parks, and boat trips for early risers. The latter will especially enjoy a trip to the untouched island of Formentera.
- Cantabrian coast
From the Wind Comb (El Peine del Viento) sculpture in the Basque city of San Sebastian to Finisterre (or literally “ends of the earth”) at the westernmost tip of Spain, over 800 kilometers of rocky cliffs, long sandy beaches, elegant towns, fishing villages and lots of delicious seafood.