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Best Places to Visit in Spain 💃 Barcelona, Granada, and Beyond

Discover the best places to visit in Spain, from the vibrant streets of Barcelona to the stunning beauty of Granada and beyond Start planning your trip now! 🟥🟨🟥

Spain is one of Europe’s top tourist destinations, offering travelers vastly different landscapes, cultures, cuisine, architecture, and experiences across its regions. From sunny beach resorts along the Mediterranean to historic cities full of museums and landmarks, majestic mountains to lively festivals, Spain has something to delight all types of travelers. Here we discover the most beautiful places in Spain and help you plan your Spanish adventure.

What is the Most Beautiful Part of Spain?

Narrowing down Spain’s most picturesque region is no easy feat. The emerald green mountains and valleys of Asturias in northern Spain offer breathtaking natural beauty. The island paradise of Mallorca impresses visitors with its stunning coves and beaches. Seville’s romantic, flower-filled plazas showcase Andalusia’s magical charm. Ultimately Barcelona takes the top spot for the most beautiful city in Spain. Its location along the Mediterranean Sea provides a glittering coastal backdrop to Antoni Gaudi’s fantastical architectural creations, which make Barcelona one of Europe’s most visually stunning destinations.

Best Places to Visit in Spain

Barcelona

Barcelona sits proudly as Spain’s most popular tourist city, beloved for its beautiful location, vibrant culture, stellar food scene, and works by artistic master Antoni Gaudi. Wander through the maze of narrow Gothic Quarter streets, relax at Barceloneta Beach, sample inventive pintxos and tapas, explore museums bursting with art, and marvel at the weird and wonderful architecture, including La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and La Pedrera. Whether traveling with family, friends or solo, Barcelona captivates all who visit with its lively atmosphere and kaleidoscopic beauty.

Madrid

Spain’s spirited capital enthralls visitors with its golden landmarks juxtaposed against a backdrop of modern skyscrapers, a buzzing food and arts scene from sun-drenched plazas to cool basement cocktail bars, and fun-loving madrileño culture that sizzles all day and night. Stroll grand boulevards dotted with parks and palaces like the Royal Palace and Plaza Mayor, tour top museums including the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza, bar hop for tapas and vermouth, catch a flamenco performance, or cheer with the lively crowd at a festive fútbol match.

Seville

The gorgeous Andalusian capital of Seville casts a powerful spell with its pillar-lined plazas, romantic Alcazar fortress and sprawling Gothic cathedral famed as the world’s largest. Fountain-dotted Maria Luisa Park forms Seville’s grand centerpiece, surrounded by top attractions like Plaza de Espana’s Rococo Revival palace complex. At sundown, flames light up the balconies of Barrio Santa Cruz’s whitewashed buildings and flamenco music echoes through the cobbled lanes as the city becomes even more magical beneath twinkling strings of lights.

Granada & the Alhambra

Granada’s pièce de résistance, the mighty Alhambra, draws over 2 million annual visitors keen to wander around this magnificent 1300s Moorish palace and fortress complex. Set spectacularly against the Sierra Nevada’s snow-capped peaks, the intricately decorated Nasrid Palaces, regal Generalife gardens, and innumerable fountains and reflecting pools represent both an architectural feat and enduring Islamic legacy. Beyond the Alhambra, Granada showcases additional Moorish marvels alongside vibrant tapas bars, Arab-style tearooms and some of Spain’s best flamenco shows.

Mallorca

The glittering Balearic Islands tempt beach lovers from across the globe, yet Mallorca remains at the top among Spain’s sun and sand destinations. Mallorca’s sublime northwest coast captivates with a string of postcard-perfect coves like Cala Formentor tucked between rolling vineyards and craggy limestone cliffs. The refined capital Palma charms with its massive Gothic cathedral and historic buildings framing bustling plazas. Rustic villages like historic Valldemossa add Mallorcan charm, while vibrant beach resorts keep partiers dancing all night.

What Part of Spain Should I Visit?

Northern Spain

The lush rolling hills, jagged peaks and wild coastline of Spain’s Basque Country, Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia regions charm nature-lovers with incredible hiking, rich cuisine focused on the stellar seafood, and fascinating local culture including prehistoric cave art and Celtic influences. Food fanatics flock to San Sebastian to indulge in Basque pintxos bar hopping, as well as the area’s many Michelin-starred restaurants. Santiago de Compostela provides a moving pilgrimage endpoint, while cosmopolitan Bilbao houses the magnificent Guggenheim Museum.

Southern Spain

Andalusia encompasses Spain’s southernmost trio of provinces fronting the glittering Mediterranean Sea. Here whitewashed pueblos cling to lush hillsides, locals dance passionate flamenco accompanied by wailing guitars, narrow lanes bear traces of Jewish, Christian and Islamic rule, while tapas bars serve up free plates of tasty treats with every drink ordered. Must-see Andalusian highlights include dazzling Moorish palaces in Seville, Granada and Córdoba, Jerez sherry bodegas, Ronda’s mountain-cradling Tajo gorge, and Costa del Sol beach resorts like Marbella and Málaga.

Central Spain

Mighty Madrid anchors Spain’s central zone with its Royal sites, spectacular art museums like the Prado, endless tapas bar hopping, and nonstop nightlife. Rustic towns like Consuegra and Cuenca add castles and cave houses to the mix, while UNESCO World Heritage Sites at Salamanca, Ávila, Toledo and Segovia showcase magnificent Roman aqueducts, medieval walls and lavish cathedrals in atmospheric historic centers. Nature shines through at the Monfragüe National Park and pristine Las Batuecas-Sierra de Francia Natural Park.

Eastern Spain

Many underestimate Spain’s eastern autonomous communities edging the Mediterranean, yet this sun-drenched region holds many gems. Valencia charms with Las Fallas festival fury and Paella Valley rice paddies nearby, Alicante’s diverse landscapes range from palm-fringed beaches to pine-forested peaks, Albarracín’s abandoned hill village leaves visitors spellbound, and the paradisiacal Calblanque Nature Reserve sports powder white sand coves surrounded by pine trees. Historical highlights include Roman Tarragona’s well-preserved sites and the monumental Moors and Christians festival.

Spain’s Islands

Beyond the mainland, Spain’s islands bask visitors in balmy sea breezes, sunshine and sensational scenery. Beach bums bliss out on the sandscapes of the Canary and Balearic islands, while enterprising explorers can surf Tenerife’s mammoth Atlantic waves then stargaze at clear night skies beside volcanic peaks. Craggy Menorca dazzles with its UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve and prehistoric monuments, Ibiza offers Mediterranean party madness, Formentera entices with pine forests and powdery Caribbean-esque beaches, while locals welcome visitors to tiny timeworn La Graciosa beside Lanzarote.

How to Spend 7 Days in Spain

Barcelona – 3 Days

Devoting three days to exploring Barcelona’s top sights lets you dive into Catalan culture while seeing Antoni Gaudi highlights Park Guell, La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera plus the Picasso Museum, Gothic Quarter, Barceloneta Beach and more at a comfortable, enjoyable pace.

Seville – 2 Days

Two days gives just enough time to discover Seville’s romantic Moorish Real Alcazar, the world’s largest Gothic cathedral housing Columbus’ tomb, plus Plaza de Espana’s Rococo grandeur and the orange-tree filled gardens, not to mention catching a fiery flamenco performance after sunset.

Granada – 2 Days

A pair of days in Granada includes tackling the sprawling Alhambra fortress and its intricate Nasrid Palaces, fragrant Generalife landscaped gardens, and innumerable fountains, capped off with views from the Mirador de San Nicolas lookout. Wandering the whitewashed Moorish quarter Albayzín transports visitors back in time, while free tapas with drinks provide tasty refueling between explorations.

What is the #1 Attraction in Spain?

La Sagrada Familia undisputedly tops the list of Spain’s must-see attractions. Still officially under construction 140 years after Antoni Gaudi began working on this monumental Barcelona basilica, its towering spires soaring above the already surreal, almost sci-fi-esque sculpted facades continue taking shape thanks to modern technological advances. Inside, rainbow light filtered through immense stained glass windows illuminates the palms tree-inspired columns and intricately carved vaulting bays overhead. An architectural masterpiece generations in the making, there is simply nothing else like it across Spain and the globe.

What Region of Spain is Best to Visit?

Andalusia stands apart as Spain’s quintessential travel destination for soaking up culture, sun and fun in equal measure. This southern autonomous community boasts lively cities filled with impressive monuments etched with eight centuries of transformative Moorish rule, from the mighty Alhambra palace in Granada to Seville’s sturdy former minaret Giralda bell tower. Pure Iberico jamon, prized olive oil, and sherry produced here tantalize taste buds, while sizzling flamenco performances matched with free-flowing sangria capture Andalusian passion at its finest. Add endless golden sand beaches along the Costa del Sol coastline topped off by sundowner drinks on seaside terraces, and travelers find their wanderlust for culture, cuisine and coastline all sublimely satisfied.

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What is the Prettiest City in Spain?

No Spanish city can compete with Seville’s beauty, romance and old-world Andalusian charm. Built along the meandering Guadalquivir River and filled with fragrant orange trees adorning expansive public plazas and parks, Seville enchants visitors with its magical ambience from the moment of arrival. The emblematic Giralda bell tower presides over the UNESCO-listed Gothic cathedral famed as the world’s largest, adjacent to the equally impressive Moorish Alcazar palace whose verdant gardens and tinkling fountains seem lifted from Arabian Nights. Wandering the tangle of narrow lanes making up Barrio Santa Cruz with whitewashed buildings bearing wrought-iron balconies covered in colorful blossoms offers the quintessential Seville experience, especially when heartfelt flamenco song and dance accompanies your stroll.

What is the Most Visited Spot in Spain?

Spain set an impressive tourism record by welcoming a whopping 83.7 million visitors in 2019 before the COVID pandemic hit. Yet out of all Spain’s tourist sites, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia attracts the most annual visitors by far with an average of 4.5 million people touring Antoni Gaudi’s still unfinished Catholic basilica masterpiece each year. Gaudi devoted over 40 years solely to his visionary Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, whose vertiginous spires puncture Barcelona’s skyline alongside the most surreal and unconventionally enchanting church exterior found anywhere across the globe. The incredibly intricate artistic details showcasing Gaudi’s Modernisme flair at this long-running construction site-turned living piece of art make Sagrada Familia Barcelona’s pride and greatest unmissable travel destination for visitors to Spain.

Best Places to Visit in Spain for Families

Spain bursts with vibrant cities, culture and sensational scenery to captivate families traveling with kids of any age. Barceloneta Beach makes waves for water fun beside Barcelona’s old port. Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum awes artsy teens with its contemporary pivoting design. Madrid amusement parks like Parque Warner and Faunia animal park delight youngsters while older siblings indulge in pintxo bar hopping. Costa Brava’s beach towns combine seaside relaxation with medieval villages to explore. Toledo offers fairy tale castles and homemade marzipan sweets. Riding the cable car over Mallorca’s beautiful bay provides breathtaking vistas for the entire family to enjoy.

Best Places in Spain on a Budget

Spain dishes up accessible adventures even for travelers on a tight budget. Lively Granada charms visitors with winding cobblestone lanes in the hilltop Albayzin quarter beneath the Alhambra, capped off by free tapas with each drink order. Seville’s romantic sun-drenched plazas, buildings adorned with ornate Mudejar craftsmanship and soul-stirring flamenco shows entrance without breaking the bank. Many of Bilbao’s top attractions maintain free entry, like the magnificent Modernisme riverside promenade. Hiking routes thread across Mallorca’s rugged northern Tramuntana Mountains, then unwind on pretty Pollença Beach. Even Barcelona unveils free gems between Gaudi paid landmarks, with hilltop views from Parc Guinardó and modern art inside the CaixaForum gallery.

Other budget destinations in Spain include Salamanca with its elegant sandstone architecture, the port towns of Alicante and Malaga, Valencia’s futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex, and the volcanic landscapes surrounding Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

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