Spain is a country with a huge variety of beautiful destinations to enjoy. Here you can find desert landscapes or ancient forests, wonderful beaches, high mountains, large cities or small charming villages. You could travel around the country for weeks and continue discovering amazing places. I’ve been here all my life (and travelling a lot) and I feel like I still have so much to discover! 😌 But there are some places that no traveller visiting Spain should miss. Here I’ve chosen the 10 best places to visit in Spain to capture the whole essence and variety of this country, my homeland.
If you are planning a trip to Spain, you should include at least one of them (or more!). Believe me, it’s been really difficult to choose only ten, but here we go!
Barcelona is considered by many people the most captivating city in Spain. And I don’t say this because it’s my city of birth and where I spent part of my childhood. Millions of visitors per year confirm it.
The influx of tourists is so great that the inhabitants are beginning to feel overwhelmed. But Barcelona is a destination that no traveller visiting Spain should ignore. It’s almost impossible to forget its unique architecture, with the stunning Gaudi’s sites, or the Gothic Quarter, the heart of the old city. So it deserves without a doubt to be on the top of the 10 best places to visit in Spain.
In a country full of nightlife, it isn’t surprising that its capital is a city that never sleeps. This culture-rich city will drive you from the golden age of the Spanish Empire to an exciting and modern European metropolis.
Madrid has so many options for you that you could spend up to 24 hours of non-stop activity a day.
In Seville, you will find genuine Andalusia. This vibrant city is so engaging that in my first visit I felt like I should move there. Actually, I didn’t, but I’m back there from time to time.
Just wander around and get seduced by the colour, music and joy of the Andalusian lifestyle. It’s so powerful that most foreigners identify Spain with the Andalusian culture (but please, don’t go to Northern Spain and ask for flamenco 🙏).
Here you will enjoy good food, welcoming people and a piece of Andalusia. But, although those are reasons enough to visit Granada, you cannot miss its MUST, one of the most awesome sites in Spain: the Alhambra.
It’s so breathtaking that, after conquering Granada and despite their strong will to eliminate any non-christian influence from Spain, the Catholic Monarchs were so amazed by this Moorish site that they kept it intact. So nowadays, we can still enjoy this wonderful royal complex.
5. Islas Baleares
The Balearic Islands are a very well-known Spanish tourist destination.
Mallorca and Ibiza are perfect for those who want sun, beach and a lot of parties. My only time in Mallorca was when I was sixteen and I only slept seven hours in a whole week! 😎
Menorca and Formentera are better for families and people who love peace and untouched beaches.
Sometimes overlooked in favour of Seville or Granada, this ancient Andalusian city is hard to resist.
From its enchanting patios, decorated with great care and flowers everywhere, to the unique Mosque-Cathedral, Córdoba refuses to forget that it was once the capital of Al-Andalus and the most important city in Europe.
7. San Sebastián
Although often ignored by international tourism, northern Spain is appreciated for the exuberance and beauty of its landscapes. San Sebastián is an essential northern destination. The elegance of this seaside city, its gastronomy and its famous La Concha beach seduce all its visitors.
8. La Costa Brava
As Spain is a country famous for its sun and beaches, choosing a favourite sea destination is almost an impossible mission. But if I have to recommend one in particular, it would be the Costa Brava in Catalonia.
This coastline has not only golden beaches but also picturesque and charming towns. It’s worth sightseeing by car. Once there, don’t forget to visit Empuria Brava, sometimes called Spanish Venice.
Known as the city of three cultures, Toledo was the unofficial capital of Spain before Madrid even existed. Here the three great religions coexisted: Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and their cultural legacy still survives in its architecture. Toledo has a panoramic view of the city so beautiful that you will miss the times when sending postcards was common.
This is a day-trip from Madrid that you should include in your plans when visiting the capital.
10. Santiago de Compostela
According to tradition, the remains of the Apostle James (Apóstol Santiago) rest in Santiago de Compostela. Since the Middle Ages, thousands of pilgrims walk hundreds of kilometres every year to this city, where one of the most imposing cathedrals in the country stands.
Galicia, the region of which Santiago is the capital, is reputed to be one of the places with the best gastronomy in Spain (or the best!). You will not only eat incredibly well, but the quantities are usually outrageously large!
This is my selection of the 10 best places to visit in Spain. As a local, I think they are the destinations that best represent my country since they are the highlights of Spain. So don’t forget to include as many of them as you can in your itinerary! 😉
What is your favourite one? Tell me in comments! 👇
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Travelling and learning about other people and cultures opened my mind and gave me a new perception of life. A wiser person said that a language is not only a communication tool but also a way of understanding the world. I agree with that. And that’s why now I want to share with you my language, my culture and my country, Spain, hoping I can bring you something useful for you. Maybe a new recipe you may love or a new place to discover.
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PLEASE, KEEP IN MIND: English is not my native language. I write in English to help English speakers who are not fluent in Spanish, trying to provide useful information, but I keep on learning! If you find any misspellings or mistakes, please feel free to comment or send me a message here. Thank you! Gracias! 😊