Everyone want to visit the best spots in each country, although sometimes we do not know which ones they are until we get there, or worse, after the trip is over. Well, We are here to help you out.
We have been living in Spain for almost 10 months and had the opportunity to visit multiples cities and towns across the country, as well as met tons of locals and asked for their recommendations. We came up with a list of the top 15 destinations in Spain, that provide a good mix of Spanish culture and beautiful landscapes.
You might think that Spain is just another European country with a similar lifestyle across the country. Well, that is just incorrect. Spain has so much diversity, not only in landscapes but also in food, language and lifestyles. What you will see in the South is totally different than the North or the center. Each region is totally different, with its own history and culture. We invite you to visit them all and be amazed by their beauty.
Oh my dear Barcelona. I strongly recommend spending at least 5 days in Barcelona. There are so many things to see. My favorite spots in the city are: Guell Park, Sagrada Familia, Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital de la Santa Creu.
There is so many things to do and see that we even created several different guides to the city. We cover the Must See Gaudi Buildings and the free walking tour on top of our regular Barcelona travel guide. If you want to go shopping or getting lost in the Gothic area you need to visit the Rambla, a pedestrian avenue.
2. San Sebastian
If you love the beach, San Sebastian is the place to go. A lot of people recommend to go to Marbella, but people from Spain do not go as much anymore. It became too touristic and the beaches are not what they used to be. San Sebastian on the other hand is a magic place. The only thing to have in mind is that it is a high end destination. Playa de la Concha is the most known beach in Donostia (San Sebastian in Basque).
Llanes is a traditional fishing port very active with many notable monuments and traditions.
It is a best to visit during the summer by Spaniards for its beautiful and unique beaches.
The most famous thing is Covadonga are the Picos de Europa, a national park with a large mountain range. The first thing you will see when entering the National Park is the sanctuary where the Virgin of Asturias helped the King Pelayo expel the Muslims in 722. To visit the lakes and beautiful landscape you need to drive more into the National Park. During the Summer or in high season dates such as holy week, you cannot drive to the lakes, you can only go there via taxi or public transportation.
Lastres is one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. It is located in Asturias and it has beautiful beaches, sea market, faros and an old town. It is definitely a hidden gem, with a limited number of tourists. You can visit this little town in less than a day. The best places to visit in the town are the San Roque Church, the Jurassic museum, the fontana neighborhood, the clock tower, and the Victorero Palace.
Cudillero is a beautiful town in the north of Spain in Asturias, with a strong fishing culture and beautiful beaches. The main attractions are the amphitheater, the faro and of course its port.
7. Santiago de Compostela
The most well known thing to do in Santiago de Compostella is the pilgrimage called Camino de Santiago. The interesting thing about this route is that you can start it pretty much in different starting points within Spain or outside Spain. The Santiago Cathedral is the main landmark of the city because they believe it is where St. James was buried.
8. Isla Cies Islas
These islands are paradise on earth. They were declared National Park of the Atlantic Islands in 2002. It is important to know that you can get there from the port of Vigo and that only 2,200 people can visit daily. If planning on going make your reservation ahead of time. If you like camping this is the place to do it. It is one of the most beautiful experiences. During summer is packed, so better make the reservations as well.
We lived in Madrid for almost 10 months, and although I had a blast I would not recommend the city for more than 2 days. Unless, you love museums 4 days will do it. It is known for its party life. Clubbing starts at 2:00 am and end around 7:00am. Madrid is the capital and therefore has all the main state buildings, one of them is the Royal Palace.. Places we recommend visiting include: the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol, the Plaza Mayor and if in the mood for tapas the Market San Miguel or La Latina.
What a magical town. Toledo is known for its architecture and the influence of its former Jewish community. You can still visit a couple of synagogues that now are museums. The best place to take a panoramic picture is at the Idelfonso Church (Jesuit Church). Toledo also hosted Christians and Muslims. People sometimes referred to Toledo as the city of the three cultures. The good thing about Toledo is that it is 40 minutes away from Madrid and you can get to see the city in a day trip.
It is a beautiful city it is similar to Seville and Córdoba but it has its own magic. The most popular touristic landmark is the Alhambra. It used to be a Moroccan Palace during the conquest. Granada is known for its tapas. Never pay for tapas in Granada, if you get a drink tapas are free; tip of the year. My favorite view of Granada is from the Mezquita Mayor de Granada, you get the perfect view of the Alhambra and in the background you see the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Either buy your tickets online for the Alhambra or get them at the entrance really early in the morning.
Seville is one of my favorite cities in Spain. It is such a small city, with 3 days you will get the perfect glance. Seville is known for its flamenco shows, the Cathedral of Seville and the Giralda Tower that used to be part of a Mosque. It is part of the Anda Lucía region. This region is influenced by the moroccan culture and Gítanos (romanies), you can still see the influenced in their architecture and lifestyle.
Cadiz is not only known for the rich history it has but also for its beaches. The best place to watch the sunset is in La Caleta beach. If thinking about visiting Cadiz a good time is between August and September when they host the “Rutal del Tapeo”. You can try different tapas and a drink in any participating bar for only €2,7o.
14. Palma de Mallorca
The weather, the natural beauty surrounding the area is what makes Palma a dream destination. You have mountains, beautiful landscapes, beaches and delicious food.
Lanzarote is quite an island, it has a lot of natural breathtaking landscapes. It has volcanic landscapes, the green lagoon at the golf, the valley of 1,000 palms and much more. The most popular sight to visit is the Timanfaya National Park also known as the fire mountains, the green caves (Lava tunnels), the Mirador del Río, and the Cactus Garden.