Best things to do in Spain
Find out more about those top places in Spain
Barcelona is Spain’s “second city” and the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia. Located on the coast of the Rivers Llobregat and Besos, it has a population of about 4.8 million people making it is Europe’s sixth most populous city.
It is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, the city is filled with beautiful architecture and several attractions, such as the famous Sagrada Familia, the Casa Batllo, Camp Nou and Museu Picasso.
Regarded as the crown jewel of Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia is a minor Basilica consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI on November 2010. Designed by Antoni Gaudi who made the building his life project, works on the Cathedral started in 1882 and it has a capacity of 9000. With its Spanish gothic style mixed with Art Nouveau, the Sagrada Familia is often regarded “a pure work of art”. Visitors can explore its Nave, Shop, Crypt, and the Passion and Nativity steeples.
Located at the center of the city on Passeig de Gracia in the Eixample district, the Casa Batllo is another of famous architect Antoni Gaudi masterpieces. The building is sometimes called Casa dels ossos which means House of Bones because of its visceral and skeletal organic quality. Built in 1877, the Casa Batllo is for lovers of 19th century Art Nouveau Buildings.
Home to arguably the world’s best football Club, Barcelona FC. The Camp Nou has a 99,354 capacity, it is the third largest football stadium behind the Rungrado 1st May Stadium and Melbourne Cricket Ground. The stadium is famous for hosting countless exciting football games, most notably the European Cup finals in 1999 and several matches of the 1982 world cup matches. A visit to this stadium is a must for every visitor of Barcelona, the atmosphere during matches is often described as electrifying and emotion packed.
Established on the 9th of March 1963, the museum is dedicated to the works of famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The Museum was the brainchild of Picasso’s lifelong friend Jaume Sabartes, who was in charge of most of his paintings. The Museu Picasso located on Montcada street in the capital has over 4,251 works of Pablo Picasso including paintings form Picasso’s blue period. A must visit for Picasso fans and art lovers in general.
Inaugurated February 9, 1908, the Palau De la Musica is a concert hall in Barcelona. Designed by architect Luis Domenech I Montainer, the building has a modernnista touch to it. The main concert hall is famous for being the Europe’s only auditorium that is lit during the daylight by natural light. The Palau De la Musica is a wonderful place to watch musical performances by local and foreign artists.
Not to be confused for the Caribbean island of Montserrat, the Montserrat is a multi-peaked mountain range, known for being the site of the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary situated between Santa Maria de Montserrat and Benedictine abbey. It's often a primary spot for hikers in the city looking to reach its highest peak Sant Jeroni.
Situated in the remote western districts of Castile, Salamanca is one of Spain’s most unspoiled cities. The city is primarily renowned for its world-famous university, which was founded 1218 and counts Christopher Columbus and the conquistador Hernán Cortes amongst its alumni. Today, Salamanca remains one of the finest ensembles of Spanish Golden Age architecture with its magisterial Plaza Mayor rivaling that of Madrid and iconic sandstone gothic churches blazing in the near year round sunshine. While Salamanca has changed little since the 1500s, the city is not all about history as the vast university attracts students from across the world, which adds a youthful energy to the city’s ancient streets.
The Salamanca Cathedral offers you an eye-opening experience into the architectural designs of this old city with its twin cathedrals. The old cathedral was built in the 26th century in A Gothic style while the new cathedral was constructed in the 18th century, Baroque design and was commissioned by Ferdinand V of Castile of Spain.
An enormous plaza sited in the center of Salamanca, the Plaza Mayor still remains used as a public square. To get a feel of the lifestyle for Salamanca natives, the Plaza Mayor offers the perfect opportunity thanks to the large gathering always present there. It also offers tasty street food and a traditional Spanish Baroque style to admire.
The fact that Spain has a number of historical buildings is public knowledge and the Casa de las Conchas is one of the most important of them. This building was constructed from 1493 to 1517 taking about 24 years in the total before completion. As of now, the building is home to a public library.
The Casa Lis lies within the ancient city walls of Salamanca and is a very historic piece. Bearing other names such as Art Deco and Museo Art Nouveau, the Casa Lis is a museum specially dedicated to the exhibition of decorative arts. Within the museum can be found a series of carefully curated exhibitions which can be backdated from the latter decades of the 19th century up to the times of World War II.
At the center of the Spain is Madrid, “the nation’s pride”, it is no secret that it is one of Europe’s best cities with its famous architectural structures, lovely landscapes, rich heritage and welcoming communities.
Madrid is the capital of Spain, with a population of over 4 million people, it is the third largest city in the European Union behind Berlin and London.
It is one of the leading cities in the world when it comes to tourism and it welcomes millions of visitors yearly.
Located at the center of Madrid is the Museo Del Prado (The Prado Museum), Spain’s main art museum. Established in 1819 the museum features work from famous artists across Spain and Europe and it is also one of the most visited museums in Europe. The building where it is situated was designed by Juan de Villanueva and was initially the residence of Ferdinand VII before becoming Royal museum of Paintings and Sculptures. The museum has thousands of art works in its collection including the famous Van Der Weyden’s masterpiece “the virgin and Child” and Goya’s “Countess of Chichon”.
With a Baroque architectural Style, the Royal Palace of Madrid is the largest functioning Royal palace in Europe. It is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family and it consists of over 3,418 rooms. Designed by several Spanish artists it is surrounded by beautiful gardens, fountains and sculptures. Although the official residence of the Royal Family, they are rarely present deciding to stay in the much smaller Palace of Zarzuela on the city outskirts.
Home to Real Madrid, Spain’s most successful football club, the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is a must visit. The stadium completed in 1947, has a capacity of 81,044 it is one of the most famous stadiums in the world. A Typical visit will include a tour of the team’s dressing rooms, press room, presidential box, dugout and the gallery that displays the trophies won by the team. If you are visiting on a match day, you get to see the football stars play in an erupting atmosphere.
The Spanish are well-known for their dancing, many of which originated from Spain itself. One of those dance styles is the Flamenco, usually performed in a tablao (a platform floor). The Flamenco Tablaos were so famous in the 1960s that they gradually replaced most of the restaurants around. To get immersed in the culture of Madrid, visit one of its numerous Tablaos in the city and watch the Flamenco.
Situated on the Paseo de Recoletos, the National Library of Spain is a place worth visiting. The Library was established in 1712 by King Philip V, features over 26,000,000 items including books, manuscripts, newspapers and serials. The library is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of Spain’s heritage through documentation.
El Rastro is a flea market located along the Plaza de Cascorro, it is one of Madrid busiest markets. The market is held on every Sunday and on public holidays and has over 3500 stores with vendors from different parts of the country. For tourists looking to buy antiques or souvenirs this is the pest place.
See Picasso's famous painting, "Guernica" and other masterpieces of 20th-century art on a guided tour of Madrid's Reina Sofia Museum. Marvel at works by Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró, and get explanations from an English and Spanish-speaking guide.
Just beyond the urban buzz of Madrid, Segovia is a hidden gem of a city too often overlooked by visitors to the Spanish capital. Segovia is a small city packed full of historical attractions and architectural marvels that have quite literally inspired fairy tales. Straddling a series of rocky ridges and plunging ravines, Segovia’s streetscape is defined by classical Castilian mansion houses dating from Spain’s medieval Golden Age, when the city was a summer retreat for royalty. What is more, the city’s ochre colored cathedral is one of the most iconic in the Iberian Peninsula while the romantic Alcazar, which was built in the 19th century, inspired the castle in Walt Disney’s Snow White. To top it all off, Segovia is dominated by one of the world’s best-preserved Roman aqueducts, which boldly spans the city center.
The Alcazar de Segovia is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Segovia, this points to just how significant this site is. It can be found rising out on a rocky crag with the confluence of two rivers which are close to the Guadarrama mountains. The Alcazar de Segovia is also attributed with being one of the most characteristic castle-palaces found in Spain.
The Aqueduct of Segovia maintains its status as one of the most significant and excellently preserved mainly due to how essential it is to the Roman heritage and culture. Of all or the Roman Aqueducts, the Aqueduct of Segovia is greatly essential to Segovia so much so that it can be found on the city's coat of arms where it stands out prominently.
If you are looking to let your eyes feast on some amazing piece of architecture, then the Segovia Cathedral offers you just this opportunity. This Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral that can be found right in Segovia's main square is one of the finest when it comes to Gothic architecture. This structure was built in the mid-16th century and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Whenever you are in the city of Segovia, it's a really wonderful idea to check out some Segovia Royalty. The Royal Palace of La Granja of San Ildefonso was built in the early 18th-century and can be found in the small town of San Ildefonso. A tour of this palace guarantees you a closer look at the luxury of the Middle Ages which have been preserved up until now.
Boasting of a lot of history, this site remains well-preserved considering just how long it has been standing for. The Church of Vera Cruz dates back to the 13th-century and is a historic Catholic church which was built by the rogue Knights Templar. The Church of Vera Cruz has a 13-sided exterior which is unique to it.
Following the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, most traces of Moorish rule were wiped from the map. However, the exception to this rule is the Andalucían city of Granada, which is dominated by the vast Alhambra complex. Set amongst the foreboding mountains of the Sierra Nevada, this fortified palace was built to be the opulent home of the last Moorish dynasty in Spain, the Nasrids. Beyond this swansong of Islamic architecture in Europe, Granada is a city that honors its Moorish roots while looking to the future. In the cramped alleys of the Albayzín, the historic Arab quarter, exotic smells of North African spices and sweet teas fill the air while in the edgy barrios politically charged street art lines the walls.
The Alhambra is a current UNESCO world heritage site and has ruins of Old Roman fortifications serving as its foundation and base of the construction. The original construction date goes back to AD 899 where it was originally a small fortress towering over the city of Granada from the highest point of the palace ground.
The Palacio de Generalife once served as the summer palace and country estate of Nasrid rulers who ruled over the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus. This impressive ground can be found in an autonomous community of Andalusia just beside the city of Granada in Spain.
The Nasrid Palaces are a depiction of the glory and splendor of the Moors. With its magnificent Moorish-style courtyards, royal quarters and reception halls, it shows off the luxurious lifestyle that the Moors live and can be found at the very core of Alhambra.
The colorful and exciting flamenco culture can be found totally portrayed in these shows. If you want to experience Flamenco culture firsthand, then the flamenco shows which are held at an atmospheric tablao in the neighbor Albacín in Granada is your best bet.
Have your mind blown and your breath taken away by the Safari of the Sierra Nevada. Climb as high as 3,000 meters up to the Iberian Peninsula and gradually descend while enjoying the sights. Upon your descent, take in the beautiful landscape and amazing wildlife while on a tour of the Sierra de Huétor Natural Park.
Unlike most Spanish cities, Málaga is not much to look at. Despite its enviable position on the Mediterranean Sea, approaches to the city are generally flanked by towering concrete housing estates and heavy industry. However, while it may not have the architectural elegance of other Iberian cities, Malaga is Spain’s hidden gem with an array of world-class museums, a vibrant yet traditional bar scene and some of the best seafood in the country. Any visit to Malaga would be incomplete without paying homage to Pablo Picasso, the city’s most famous son, at the Picasso Museum, which is housed in a palatial 16th century villa. Moreover, this once down at heel city has received a boost in recent years thanks to the opening of an outpost of Paris’ Pompidou Center, which is entered through a multicolored glass cube. Beyond the arts, Málaga has a buzzing selection of tapas bars, which have served up fresh seafood for centuries, and an imposing Moorish hilltop castle.
Despite the large number of historical buildings that Spain is known for, you should begin your tour with a visit to The Alcazaba whenever you are in Málaga. Constructed in the early 11th century, this fortified palace owes its existence to the Hammudid dynasty. It remains the best preserved Alcazaba and has a history that dates back to the first century.
The Museo Picasso Málaga museum can be found in the Buenavista Palace and it was opened in 2003. This museum was built to honor the Master of Art, Pablo Ruiz Picasso and as such, is located in the town where the art virtuoso was born. Displayed in the Museo Picasso Málaga are 285 works of Picasso.
The construction of this building dates back to the Renaissance period. The Cathedral of Málaga is a Roman Catholic church and the architectural design and tradition of that time can clearly be seen from this building. It is a great way to begin your tour of the exquisite architectural designs that Spain has to offer.
The people of Málaga consider this landmark as a very important one and is very dear to their hearts. The Castillo de Gibralfaro can be easily determined from its emblems. It easily offers a beautiful view of the city and its status as a hilltop fortress remains well-preserved as well.
For starters, a tour of this route is not for the fainthearted. The El Caminito del Rey path has some parts which are so narrow that their dimension is less than 1 m wide. It was built in the early 20th century and can be found suspended between the walls of a gorge with a height of over 100 m from the river below.
Alicante is stereotyped as the Spanish city most impacted by the influx of largely British holidaymakers to the Costa Blanca every summer. While the city certainly has been changed by the onset of mass tourism, most visitors simply hit the beaches and neglect one of Spain’s true hidden gems. As a result, Alicante remains a firmly Spanish city with a fin-de-siècle seafront, buzzy tapas bars and a dynamic old quarter. The cityscape is dominated by the vertiginous Moorish-era Santa Barbara Castle, which sits astride the rugged Mount Benacantil, while the old quarter below offers a fantastic selection of tapas bars serving the day’s catches. While not ready to usurp Malaga’s claim as Spain’s modern art capital, Alicante also has a clutch of world-class art galleries, such as the Contemporary Art Museum, that add a touch of the avant-garde to this traditional city.
Spain owes some parts of its rich history to the influence of medieval Arabs. The Santa Barbara castle is one of such fortresses that shows this influence. The most recent refurbishment of this castle was carried out sometime in the 1500s which you can see from the Mount Benacantil. An experienced eye would easily see some Moorish heritage fixtures around as well.
The Canalobre Caves can be found in Business which is a small town from the city of Alicante. The city of Alicante is well-known for being the location of a large vault of about 70 m high which could be likened to a cathedral. To get to the caves, you would need to prepare yourself for a hike or you could also find less difficult alternatives.
Paella and Flamenco could be cited as one of the most beautiful places in the world. The wonderful view of the sea and the cool sea breeze are some things that you shouldn't pass up on. Similarly, there are a series of local delicacies available to choose from, all with tantalizing flavors during the paella lunch offered by restaurants in the Port of Alicante.
This award-winning Archaeological Museum of Alicante is one of the most respected museums in Spain. The Archaeological Museum won the European Museum of the Year Award in 2004 shortly after an expansion was carried out and reallocation to the antique hospital of San Juan de Dios's renovated buildings.