What are the 10 Best Places to Visit in Spain?

  • Spain is a popular tourist destination with a variety of offerings, including historic cities, beautiful beaches, and delicious food.

  • Some of the most popular cities to visit in Spain include Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Seville, and Toledo.

  • Spain also has many beautiful islands, such as the Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca) and the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote).

You might be planning a trip to Spain for its sparkling Mediterranean waters, charming hidden villages, tapas and sangria’s, historical sites, breathtaking views and more.

But with so many things to do and places to travel to in Spain, where do you begin?

To ensure an unforgettable Spanish escapade, here’s a list of the 10 best places to visit in Spain, including its vibrant historical cities, breathtaking coastal escapes, and some hidden cultural treasures.

Most Popular Cities in Spain

Spain boasts a wealth of cities, each offering a distinct charm and experiences for tourists. From the capital, Madrid, to culturally rich destinations like Pamplona, each location offers a unique charm. Let's skim through some of Spain's major cities that consistently draw visitors.

1. Barcelona

If you are visiting Spain, you would not want to miss out on this city on the Catalonian coast. The art and architecture of the city completely captivates the first-time visitors. Even if you have been here, you will again yearn to admire the works of Antoni Gaudi just one more time. Take a leisurely stroll across the city to explore Sagrada Família Basilica, Park Güell, and pedestrian-only La Rambla.

Don't miss out on local specialties like paella (a rice dish with seafood or meat), "pan con tomate" (bread with tomato), and "churros" (deep-fried pastries) at La Boqueria market. If you are a football fan, catch a live match at Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona.

2. Pamplona

It is most famous for the San Fermín Festival (Running of the Bulls) which is held from July 6th to 14th. Around a million tourists visit Pamplona during this festival each year. The city's historic center is a must-visit, featuring the beautiful Plaza del Castillo (6th-century fortress), the Pamplona Cathedral, and the ancient city walls. Even Camino de Santiago, a centuries-old pilgrimage route, passes through the city.

You will find a blend of traditional Navarre dishes and Basque influences in the cuisines here. It hits Calle de Zapateria Street for authentic pintxos bars and shopping for ancient crafts like sandals, wineskins, rope, and pottery.

3. Madrid

Spain’s capital city exceeded expectations for most of the tourists. Lively Madrid offers a blend of history, art, and modernity. We could easily list a thousand things to do in Madrid. Yet here are some of the coolest places to visit in Madrid Spain on your trip:

  • Royal Palace of Madrid: The palace is still used for state ceremonies. Exploring its luxurious rooms and art treasures is one of the most common things to do in Spain.
  • Prado Museum: A stunning building in itself, the museum displays an extensive collection of Spanish art, including works by Velázquez, Rembrandt, and Goya.
  • Puerta del Sol: We won’t judge you if you head down to this central square directly as soon as you arrive in Madrid. This symbolic center of Spain is known for its iconic clock tower.
  • Buen Retiro Park: A peaceful oasis in the middle of the bustling city. It has lush gardens and a beautiful lake with rowboats. You may chance upon some cultural events being held out here.
  • Mercado de San Miguel: Hit this historical market to experience vibrant nightlife and get a taste of a variety of gourmet Spanish food and drinks.

4. Granada

Granada has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its Albaicín neighborhood with its narrow streets and white houses. Its stunning Alhambra palace is one of the best places to visit in Spain for first timers so as to explore the exquisite Moorish architecture and beautiful gardens.

Granada is also renowned for its flamenco culture. You can find traditional "zambra" – intimate flamenco gatherings held in caves in the historic Albaicín and Sacromonte neighborhoods. The atmosphere is raw and captivating.

Use the local bus or simply walk to get around, as the city is relatively small. For a unique experience, visit the historic Arab baths, where you can relax in a traditional setting.

5. Seville

This Andalusian city sizzles with sunshine and flamenco. The temperatures reach 107-109°F during the summers, so plan your sightseeing accordingly. As a visitor, here are must-visit places when in Seville:

  • Seville Cathedral and the Giralda Tower: It is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and one of Seville's most iconic landmarks.
  • The Alcázar Royal Palace: It is a stunning Moorish palace and considered an icon for Seville.
  • Plaza de España: The site is quite grand with its semicircular layout, beautiful architecture and canals.
  • Triana Neighborhood: this riverside area presents visitors with traditional tapas bars, flamenco culture and pretty artisan shops

Seville is a major tourist attraction for people visiting Spain. Its stunning architecture, rich history, and friendly locals ensure a fulfilling trip.

6. Toledo (Castilla-La Mancha)

It is one of the oldest cities in Spain that has seen various civilizations throughout its history. Romans, Visigoths, Moors, and Christians have all added to its culture and architectural charm.

There are many historically significant landmarks like Alcázar de Toledo, Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo, the new Bisagra Gate, the Puente de San Martin bridge, and the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, among others.

Most places of interest are close to one another, so you can easily walk around and cover most of Toledo. Be sure to put on your comfy shoes though. A small train called Zocotren runs around the perimeter of Toledo and offers pre-recorded tourist information in multiple languages.

Must Visit Spanish Islands

Spain boasts two archipelagos with stunning islands - the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea and the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa.

7. Balearic Islands

For travelers on the lookout for a mix of relaxation and excitement, the Balearic Islands are a perfect destination. Below is the best of these in the western Mediterranean Sea.


When traveling to Ibiza, it is best to stay in Ibiza Town or the surrounding areas of Playa d'en Bossa, Figueretes, or Talamanca. They are close to the island’s best clubs like Ushuaia, Club Hi, and Pacha. Make sure to purchase the tickets in advance, as they sell out pretty quickly for the popular clubs.


The island’s charm lies in its coastal villages like Port de Sóller and Port de Pollença, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Serra de Tramuntana. Although public transport is easily available, renting a car lets you explore at your own pace and explore hidden beaches. Add Ensaimada, Frito Mallorquín, sampling local wines, and Hierbas de Mallorca to your must-try local cuisines.


Not only is this site best for relaxing on its pristine beaches with turquoise waters, but it is also a hub for some notable sports events. You can catch events like football matches at the local stadiums, the Extreme Man Menorca triathlon race, and the Trail Menorca Camí de Cavalls ultramarathon. Menorca is also known for its diverse birdlife, with various species like Audouin's gull, blue rock thrush, and Thekla lark.

8. Canary Islands

A group of seven main islands, the Canary Islands, can be accessed by ferry boats from mainland Spain and are also a popular cruise destination. They are usually crowded during peak summer months (July-August). Here are a few not-to-be-missed islands out of these.


It is the largest island among the group and hosts the annual Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Plus, the best places to visit in spain for young adults

Plus, the Mount Teide, which is technically an active volcano, is one of the best places to visit in Spain for young adults and go on a hike. The island also has many stunning yellow and black sand beaches.

Gran Canaria

The best way to describe it is “microcosm of the entire archipelago.” From volcanic peaks and lush valleys to golden sand dunes and dramatic cliffs, you will find everything on this small island. Visit its Mercado de Vegueta market or Casa de Colón (Columbus House), which is believed to have hosted Christopher Columbus on his voyage to the Americas.


From the moment you arrive - it feels like stepping into another world. The place charms you with its unique architecture, volcanic rock formations, lava fields, crystal clear waters and black sand beaches. Lanzarote Bonus Card can get you a discounted entry to many attractions like Timanfaya National Park.

The Best Places to Visit in Spain along the Coastline

Spain's coastline stretches over 3000 miles, offering breathtaking views and an abundance of beaches that attract tourists and locals alike. Let’s explore some cities in Spain that are perfect for a beach trip:

9. San Sebastián

Its infamous crescent shaped La Concha Beach is considered one of the best city beaches in Europe. The city itself is quite elegant with a Belle Époque vibe. While here, try local Basque tapas or pintxos. During certain times of the year, boat tours venture into the Bay of Biscay, offering the chance to spot whales and dolphins.

10. The Costa del Sol

The name literally translates to Coast of the Sun and lives up to it. This sunny stretch of coastline in southern Spain has a lot to offer to tourists. Playa de la Carihuela in Torremolinos is a haven for families with calm waters and shallow areas for little ones to waddle around.

Not far away is Playa El Faro in Marbella if you are looking for water sports like skiing, parasailing, or windsurfing. Resorts like Nerja arrange boat trips to explore hidden coves for an ultimate beach day.

In the evenings, take a stroll along Muelle Uno, Malaga's modern harbor area. It is lined with shops and restaurants. You may take a ride here on a giant Ferris wheel, which gives you a panoramic view of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.

Some Prerequisites for Planning Your Trip to Spain

Your getaway to Spain can be epic with just a little careful planning. Keep the following tips in mind to make your trip a memorable one:

Deciding When to Go

Plan your itinerary on what you expect out of the trip. The best time to visit Spain for sightseeing or hitting the beaches would be during the spring months of March to May or during the autumn between September and November. The weather is pleasant then, and you skip the summer rush.

Consider Travel Insurance for Peace of Mind

Travel insurance is an important consideration for managing risks associated with unexpected events during your travels, such as trip cancellations, delays, or medical emergencies. It also provides assistance if your luggage is lost or misdirected, reducing the inconvenience on your journey.

Before deciding on a policy, research different plans and consider aspects such as the length of your trip, activities you have planned, and any pre-booked flights, trains, or accommodations. This will help you understand which coverage options are most relevant to your needs.

We recommend comparing different travel insurance options, including those offered by AXA, such as AXA Travel Protection Plans . Ensure that the plan you choose provides coverage for key aspects of your travel to Spain. For tailored advice and to receive a personalized quote that matches your specific travel plans, consider consulting with a travel insurance provider.

Disclosure: Always read the terms and conditions to understand what is covered and what is not covered by your travel insurance policy. This will help you make an informed decision that best suits your travel needs.

Learn About Local Transportation

Spain has two major international airports, Madrid Barajas and Barcelona Airport, which connect to destinations worldwide. Additionally, domestic flights are available for travel between major Spanish cities.

But it also has a well-developed railway system which is a convenient and efficient way to travel between major cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Valencia. Buses are another extensive and affordable way to get around Spain.

Meanwhile, major cities have efficient public transportation networks, including metros, and trams. You may also choose to rent a car for your trip.

Start learning some Spanish

While English is spoken in some tourist areas, knowing a few basic Spanish phrases will go a long way. Some basic courtesies like Por favor (please), Gracias (thank you), De nada (you're welcome), Lo siento (I'm sorry) can be helpful.

And so, will some greetings and useful questions like Hola (hello), Buenos días (good morning), ¿Hablas inglés? (Do you speak English?), ¿Cuánto cuesta? (How much does it cost?), etc.

FAQs About the Places to Visit in Spain and More

1. Do I need a visa to visit Spain?

No, generally you don't need a visa for short stays in Spain if you're a US citizen. The US has a visa-free agreement with the Schengen Area, which includes Spain. This allows US citizens to visit for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa.

2. Is Spain safe for tourists?

Spain is generally safe for tourists, but it is advised to be aware of pickpockets in the crowded areas which is true for just any other destination.

3. How much does travel insurance cost for a trip to Spain?

The cost of travel insurance depends upon the coverage plan you choose. Reach out to AXA travel insurance specialists for guidance with insurance plans and coverages.

4. What currency is used in Spain?

Spain uses Euro (EUR)

5. What is the best way to get around Spain?

Trains provide good connectivity in Spain for inter-city travel. Buses or rental cars can take you around the city with ease.

6. What are some things to pack for a trip to Spain?

Sightseeing around Spain involves a lot of walking around. So, bring a pair of comfortable shoes.

7. What are some things not to do in Spain?

There is a culture of siesta time (afternoon nap) in Spain. It would be respectful to not talk loudly or create noise during this time, especially while visiting religious sites.

8. What are the best places to visit in Spain?

For a taste of everything, hit Barcelona for its Sagrada Familia and Gothic Quarter. Art lovers can't miss the Prado Museum in Madrid, while hikers will find paradise in the Picos de Europa mountains. And don't forget the beautiful Balearic Islands, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxation.

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