Visiting Spain is an unforgettable experience. This small country has a lot to offer between its rich history, warm weather, and amazing natural landscapes. However, it’s important to plan your visit in advance and choose which landmarks you want to visit. Here are some Spain tourist attractions you won’t want to miss.
How We Chose Our Ratings
We looked at different popular attractions and landmarks and selected some top things to do in Spain according to these criteria:
- Different geographic areas. We looked for landmarks in different cities and different areas of Spain.
- Variety. We included historical places, natural landmarks, and other things to do.
- Significance. We selected the most well-known Spain tourist attractions and gave higher ratings to the landmarks that most people would consider as very significant.
- Fun and interesting. We chose landmarks that are fun and interesting to visit. You will learn about Spain’s history, discover some new things, and have a blast.
Top Eight Tourist Attractions In Spain
These are landmarks and attractions you should consider adding to your itinerary.
The Alhambra is perhaps one of the most well-known tourist landmarks in Spain. This is a palace in Granada that was built by Ibn Al-Ahmar during the Moorish occupation of Spain.
The palace is built on a plateau that overlooks the city. The setting is stunning and you are going to love strolling through the park around the palace.
The Alhambra was partially destroyed and rebuilt by Charles V. The result is a unique mixture of Moorish architecture and rooms and facades influenced by a style that evokes the Italian Renaissance.
The palace features a lavish interior with marble statues, paintings, and mosaics. The gardens are another staple of this landmark.
Make sure you sign up for a guided tour so you can learn more about the history of the palace and how it was used as a court of justice and seat of government.
The Sagrada Família is a temple located in Barcelona. It’s a unique landmark because it has been in construction for more than 100 years.
The construction began in 1882 back when the Neo-gothic style was popular. Josep Maria Bocabella I Verdaguer came up with the idea of building a temple to honor the Holy Family.
Architect Anthony Gaudí took over the project and dedicated his entire life to adding towers and facades to the temple. The construction continued after Gaudí died. New foundations were added to support additional facades and towers.
The Tower of the Virgin Mary, a 450-feet tower, is the newest addition to the temple and additional towers are still in construction.
Museo Nacional Del Prado
The Museo Nacional del Prado is the most important art museum in Spain. It was built in the 18th century to display the Spanish Royal Collection that included a little over 300 paintings.
The museum now has thousands of paintings from the 12th to the 20th century. You will see the famous Las Meninas from Velázquez as well as paintings from artists such as Goya, El Greco, Titian, or Rubens.
Keep in mind that it’s difficult to see everything the museum has to offer, even if you spend an entire day visiting the Prado. It’s best to plan your visit in advance and decide which sections you want to see.
The museum is organized in different sections with the work of a specific artist or paintings from a time period. There are free hours in the evening if you want to take a stroll through the museum and look at a section before coming back for a guided tour.
There are other art museums in Madrid, including the Reina Sofía Museum where you will find modern art, the Sorolla Museum, and the Romanticism Museum. The Reina Sofía Museum is a popular landmark since this is where you can see some of Picasso’s paintings.
La Concha Beach, San Sebastián
San Sebastián is a small city located on the north coast of the country. The Concha Bay is a popular destination due to its sheltered beach.
The Concha Bay gets its name from its shape that resembles a shell. The bay is protected by the Urgull mountain on one side and the Igueldo mountain on the other. The mountains shield the beach from winds and waves.
You can relax on the beach or swim to Santa Clara Island across the bay. The Concha beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe with its white sand and mountains.
The promenade along the beach is also a fun attraction. The downside of the Concha beach is that it is usually crowded.
If you decide to stay near San Sebastián, you should know that the northern region is a popular spot for wine-tasting tours. There are also other beaches in the area, such as Ondarreta Beach and Zurriola Beach.
Ibiza is a small island off the eastern coast. This is a popular destination due to the nightlife the island is known for.
Ibiza is home to several popular dance and electronic music clubs such as Privilege, Amnesia, or Pacha Ibiza. If you are curious about discovering the Mediterranean nightlife and love EDM, this is the right destination for you.
There are plenty of other things to do on the island. You will find beaches, old ports, art galleries, and archeological sites dating back to the Phoenician period. Scuba diving and boat trips are also popular activities.
Old Town Of Girona
Girona is a small city located north of Barcelona. Parts of the city are more than 2,000 years old.
The downtown area features a fascinating mix of medieval architecture, Gothic buildings, and fortifications that date back to the Roman Empire. You will also see examples of Baroque architecture.
The Girona cathedral is probably the most important landmark of the downtown area, but make sure you visit the Arab baths and take the time to explore the narrow streets. A lot of these streets have stairs and the Old Town isn’t built on an even surface.
If you love cinema, Girona has a Cinema Museum that should be interesting to visit. The Esglesia de Sant Feliu and museum of Sant Pere de Galligants are other landmarks to look for if you enjoy Gothic architecture.
You can sign up for guided tours to make sure you don’t miss out on any interesting landmarks.
Mount Teide is an active volcano located on the Island of Tenerife. Tenerife is one of the Canary Islands off the western African coast.
The Canary Islands are a part of Spain. You can decide to include them in your itinerary if you are planning a long trip, or simply decide to vacation to the Canary Islands.
Mount Teide is a significant landmark because it’s the highest volcano in the world with a height of 24,600 feet from the ocean floor.
The volcano is accessed via a cable car. You can also visit the Teide National park that surrounds the volcano.
The island is worth visiting because of the breathtaking landscapes and unique flora and fauna. Whale cruises are a popular tourist activity in the area.
Seville is worth visiting if you stay in the south of the country. The historic downtown area is particularly interesting.
You will find many antique shops, markets, and cafes. You could spend days exploring the area and enjoying the old architecture.
You will also find museums of art and archeology and some landmarks such as the Cathedral of Seville with its Gothic and Moorish architecture.
Other landmarks include the Giralda tower and the Real Alcázar palace. You will also want to visit the Plaza de Espan and the Barrio Santa Cruz.
Seville is a very dynamic and popular tourist destination. If you visit in the summer, there are plenty of shows and festivals worth attending.
How To Plan Your Trip To Spain
Visiting a foreign country requires some planning. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your trip to Spain.
Planning Your Itinerary
We recommend that you plan on spending at least one entire afternoon on each of the landmarks listed above. You can easily spend a day or more to visit the cities or natural landmarks listed.
Spain is a relatively small country, which means you can easily travel from one region to another and see more of the country if you are staying for a week or more.
You should spend a few days in the central region to visit Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, and other old cities. Plan on spending at least a day in each city, but don’t hesitate to spend more time in Madrid.
The southern region has a few must-see landmarks such as the Alhambra in Granada. The cities of Cordoba, Jerez, Granada, and Seville are worth visiting. You can easily spend an entire week on a circuit that will take you through this region.
The east coast is interesting because of Barcelona, Valencia, and the many beaches.
If possible, try visiting these different regions so you can see as much of the country as possible. You will want to spend the most time in Madrid, Barcelona, and on the southern part of the country if you want to see some older cities.
It’s best to plan activities in advance but don’t try to do too much. Plan one main activity for each day of your trip and have a backup plan.
Take the weather into consideration when planning your trip. If you visit Spain in the winter, you will probably encounter some rain. It’s best to have some indoor activities as a backup plan.
The weather can be very hot and dry in the summer. If you plan on hiking or visiting natural landmarks, do so in the morning.
How To Find Affordable Accommodations In Spain
Booking your accommodations in advance will help you save money on your trip. You can typically find hostel rooms for $17 to $35. Be ready to spend closer to $35 per night while staying in major cities.
Airbnb is another option you should explore. The app is very popular in Spain, and you can find rooms and apartment from anywhere to $25 to $90. Booking a small apartment means you will be able to cook and save money on food. You will also find campgrounds where you can stay for less than $20 a night.
Look for accommodations outside of large cities to find lower prices.
Traveling In Spain
You can drive in Spain if you have a foreign license and are at least 18 years old. Renting a car is a flexible option if you want to travel between cities, but keep in mind that traffic and limited parking space can make driving difficult in large cities.
You will find that most cities have a very reliable public transit system. You can use buses to visit different landmarks. BlaBlaCar is a ride-sharing app that is very popular in Spain. Use it to find rides to landmarks or to travel between cities.
You can also ride trains and buses to get from one city to another. Purchase a rail pass to save money on train travel, and book your seats in advance.
Buses tend to be more affordable, even though trains are much faster. For instance, traveling between Barcelona and Madrid will cost you $40 by bus and $165 by train. Compare train and bus tickets to figure out how to travel within your budget.
Plan your trip itinerary in advance and try seeing at least half of the Spain tourist attractions listed above. Keep in mind that there are many other landmarks worth seeing as well as plenty of festivals and events that will make your trip special.
Featured Image via Pixabay