The Best Places
to Visit in Spain

The Best Places
to Visit in Spain

A vacation in Spain means warm nights on lively plazas and sangria-fueled sunsets surrounded by the bright blossoms of geraniums and bougainvillea. Spain’s historic role as a crossroads of the Mediterranean guarantees an ever-captivating cultural feast. Moorish and Basque influences weave their magic, transforming the architecture and the flavors. A trip to Spain promises rich history, fascinating art and architecture, natural beauty, and delicious food. Here some of the most amazing places and iconic sights to see while on your Spain vacation.

Top Cities to Visit in Spain

Spain Madrid Plaza De Cibeles Fountain Of Cybele Flag Lion Chariot Bank Headquarters Army Spanish (2)

Madrid

Rooftop bars, flea markets, tapas cafes, theaters, sculptures, incredible parks, and a beautiful literary quarter are just some of the top sights of Madrid. In this city, the plazas are the place to be. One of the top sights of Madrid is the Plaza de Cibeles. As well, don't miss a chance to visit Buen Retiro Park, which houses gardens, sculptures, and the Crystal Palace (see photo to the left). Of course, you'll want to visit Spain’s renowned art museum, The Prado. The museum features work by the European greats of the 12th to 19th centuries, including Francisco Goya, El Greco, Diego Velázquez, Raphael, Titian, and Rembrandt. 

Spain Seville Plaza Espana Flamenco Dancer

Seville

Spend some time in Seville and you're bound to learn the passion behind Flamenco. You'll also want to visit the Seville Cathedral, the burial place of Columbus. Give yourself some time, maybe even an afternoon, to view the symbolic Giralda Bell Tower, see the tiled fountains, pavilions, and lush palms in the Maria Luisa Park, and wander through the famous Plaza de España with its little river and surrounding buildings. You're also going to want to visit as many outdoor markets as you can where you can find tapas made from fresh, local produce. 

Spain Barcelona Antoni Gaudi Sagrada Familia Reflection Masterpiece Cathedral Spires Unfinished

Barcelona

If one artist loved just one city and left it with their heart and soul behind, it's Antoni Gaudí's Barcelona. From his ornate architectural masterpieces to colorful mosaics, Gaudi offered whimsy and wonder to Barcelona's citizens and visitors. To enjoy his art, all you have to do is visit the fantasy of Park Güell for a stroll above the city. To truly understand, though, gaze up at any angle of his stunning, and famously unfinished, Sagrada Família. Outside, its spires like spilling candles pierce the sky, and inside beautiful rainbows flood in the intricately stained-glass windows of the central nave. 

Spain Toledo Fortress Street Lane Architecture City Tajo Castilla Castle Monument

Toledo

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Toledo changed hands many times—from Romans to Visigoths to Moors to Catholic monarchs. The mingling of ethnic and religious groups throughout the Middle Ages yielded a fascinating culture, and Toledo remains an important cross-section of Spanish history. A walk along its narrow, cobbled streets, past medieval castles, Gothic cathedrals, and ancient mosques and synagogues, will transport you back to the time of Don Quixote.

Top Sites to See in Spain

View through an arch of the Alhambra, Grenada, Spain

The Alhambra

"There is no pain in life so cruel as to be blind in Granada," can be read on the walls of the Alhambra. Bathed in the morning light, the Alhambra Palace awaits - a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains, and stone cut like lace. Overlooking the city of Granada, this staggering hilltop fortress was built by the Moors in the 13th century. The Christian Reconquista and the Napoleonic Wars brought changes to the complex—the Moorish citadel still stands, but the original mosque was replaced by a church, and new palaces were built in the 16th century. The spectacular blend of architectural styles, the Generalife palace and gardens, and the panoramic views are truly a sight to behold.

Spain Barcelona Sagrada Familia Ceiling Arches Stained Glass

Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Familia

Gaudí’s eclectic, modernist buildings have become synonymous with Barcelona. The colorful mosaics, serpentine curves, and whimsical shapes would look at home in a fairy tale. La Sagrada Familia was Gaudí’s magnum opus: He worked on the project from 1883 until his death in 1926 and construction continues today. Visitors can take in the soaring spires and central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. It's truly a masterpiece worthy of awe, and one you have to see to believe. 

Spain Seville Cathedral Christopher Columbus Gothic Front Entrance

Seville Cathedral, Catedral de Sevilla, and the Tomb of Christopher Columbus

The Seville Cathedral, Catedral de Sevilla, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world's largest Gothic cathedral. The Giralda Tower of the cathedral is one of the most emblematic landmarks in Seville. From atop the tower, you can view the Murallas de Sevilla, defensive city walls dating to Roman times. However, the Seville Cathedral is perhaps more renowned for housing the tomb of Christopher Columbus - the famous Spanish explorer. Directly inside the doors, there is a monumental statue of four figures representing the four kingdoms of Spain during Columbus’ life. They each shoulder the tomb of Columbus and tower above the heads of the cathedral's visitors.