What to do in Spain you ask? Spain is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, and if you love the Mediterranean vibes, the sun, the stunning seasides, parties, and great food, well, there’s a lot to do in Spain! We’ll be sharing today some of the top places in Spain and some unique places to visit in Spain. We’ll also discuss some of the best places in Spain to visit in December, and the best cities to visit in Spain. Discover the land of Mudejar architecture, the land of Gaudi, the land of orange trees, and, amazing Spanish food, and crystal clear waters. Here are the 20 best places to visit in Spain!
What to do in Spain? 20 best places to visit in Spain
The beauty of Spain, just as in Italy, is that each region is different, and each region has its own history, culture, art style, and so on. Just think about the Mudejar architecture in Andalusia how much different is compared to the architecture in Barcelona for instance. With this article, we want to show you the diversity of the country, and some of the best places to visit in Spain. If you’re looking for the best cities to visit in Spain, we’ve got you covered with some of the top places to visit in Spain!
Also, if this is going to be your first visit, we’ve highlighted for you some of the best places to visit in Spain for first timers! And last, but not least, you’ll find some great ideas for the best places in Spain to visit in July, or December, or other parts of the year! Let’s dig in!
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Almeria is one of the most underrated places to visit in Spain. Yet it is also one of the best places to visit in Spain! The magnificent fortress of Alcazaba is actually the second largest Muslim castle remains in Europe. Not far from there you find the remains of Castillo San Cristobal.
Almeria also hides a network of tunnels dating back from the Spanish Civil War where you can learn more about the city’s history. Wander the streets of Almeria old town and visit its Gothic cathedral. Unlike other cathedrals in Spain, this was built as a fortress to protect the city from attackers from the sea, so the look of it is really unique.
Almeria also boasts amazing beaches which makes it the perfect summer destination but for active travelers, the good news is that you find some of the best hikes around Andalucia around the city. From the breathtaking coastal walks in Cabo de Gata Natural Park to 2000-meter peaks in Almeria’s side of Sierra Nevada National Park. If you’re asking what are the best places in Spain to visit in July, considering its beaches, Almeria is definitely the answer on what to do in Spain!
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If you are looking for the best places to visit in Spain, you can’t go wrong with the beautiful Kingdom of Asturias. Asturias is definitely one of the most unique places to visit in Spain!
Asturias is part of what is referred to as “Green Spain” an area in the country’s north region that receives substantial rainfall, contrary to the rest of Spain. It is dotted with national parks like “Picos de Europa” Europe’s first national park and home to natural beauty like the lakes of Picos de Europa as well as man-made marvels like the Church of Covadonga.
The towns of Asturias are equally impressive with many can’t miss sites making for an ideal 2-week itinerary. The capital city of Oviedo boasts ancient royal structures, dating from the 9th Century, once home to the Asturian royalty and today UNESCO World Heritage sites. The medieval part of the city at its center showcases the cathedral, Catedral Metropolitana Basilica de San Salvador built in a dizzying combination of architectural styles like Renaissance, Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque.
The area is famous throughout Spain for its cuisine, especially the traditional “Fabada Asturiana.” The region’s typical drink is the “sidra” a lightly alcoholic cider that is served about 3 feet from the glass in order to aerate it!
Barcelona is definitely one of the best places to visit in Spain! When it comes to the best cities in Spain, Barcelona will always be one of the best! If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Spain for first timers, this city is just perfect! There are many tourists, expats, freelancers, and solo travelers in Barcelona all year long. It’s a stunning destination for a city break, to explore Gaudi’s work, and to enjoy great tapas and good vibes!
Luxury travel or budget one, city or beach lover, everyone can find everything they could be looking for in Barcelona. The Catalan capital is just stunning. There are many places to explore, the Sagrada Familia, the Guell Park, or the charming Gothic Quarter. You can also enjoy a beach day in Barcelona, or wander around the city center, go to a F.C. Barcelona football game, or hike to the el Carmen. Whatever you choose to do, this city will not disappoint you!
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Benidorm is a coastal town in Spain and one of the most popular holiday resorts in the province of Alicante. If you’re looking for the top places to visit in Spain, you definitely want to add Benidorm to your options! Often referred to as “Little Manhattan”, the city has the highest density of skyscrapers (in relation to the number of inhabitants) in the world! Every year, countless tourists come to spend their summer in this holiday paradise.
Benidorm is famous in Spain for its endless sandy beaches, but also for the beautiful quiet bays of the region. Along the coast, imposing skyscrapers line up and, together with the blue sea, form an impressive backdrop. So if you’re asking what are the best places in Spain to visit in July, this might be just for you!
Another highlight is the vibrant nightlife in Benidorm and if you love to party, then this city is the ultimate place to be visited. There are really cool clubs and discos, countless pubs, restaurants, and cafés just perfect for going out in the evening. But families with children also love Benidorm, which has really cool amusement parks, water parks, and zoos around the city.
But not only the skyline and the colorful hustle and bustle in Benidorm are impressive, the surrounding area with its countless excursion destinations is also worth seeing. Right next to the city is the Sierra Helada National Park, where you can go on wonderful cliff hikes. The white town of Altea is also beautiful, as is the colorful Villajoyosa, not far away!
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Bilbao, a city in Spain’s northern Basque country, is at times overlooked because it isn’t on the main tourist routes. That is no surprise, given its turbulent separatist history, but today it is known far beyond its borders for its food, architecture, and exceptional culture. If you’re looking for one of the best places to visit in Spain for first timers, Bilbao can be a great option!
Basque chefs are famous worldwide for their culinary skills, but you don’t have to go to a restaurant to sample their creativity: just walk into any Bilbao bar and pick some pintxos, the Basque equivalent of tapas. You can turn them into a meal, or just use them to whet your appetite for what follows. Bilbao is stuffed with excellent restaurants – you decide. If you’re a foodie, Bilbao for you might just be one of the best places to visit in Spain!
The city is ideal for walking, not only because it is relatively compact but because of the variety of architecture you’ll come across, from the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum (which you must visit) and Calatrava bridge to the Art Nouveau theater in the center. For older sights, wander through Casco Viejo, the Old Town.
If you have the time, take a day trip to Guernica (or Gernika, as it is spelled locally). The village is now modern and rebuilt, but in 1937 it was strafed and razed by the German Air Force, a sort of practice run for World War II, in an attack that killed more than 1000 people. The village is home to the Gernika Peace Museum Foundation, which retraces the village’s destruction, an event so shocking it empowered Picasso, then living in Paris, to create his famous painting of the same name. Definitely one of the best cities in Spain!
When it comes to the top places to visit in Spain, especially for the best places in Spain to visit in July, Cadiz is definitely a top pick! Cádiz is an ancient port city in the Andalucia region of southwestern Spain. The home of the Spanish Navy, the port boomed in the 16th-century as a base for exploration and trade. It has more than 100 watchtowers, including the iconic Torre Tavira, which was traditionally used for spotting ships.
On the waterfront is the domed, 18th-century Cádiz Cathedral, featuring baroque and neoclassical elements. Cadiz is one of those unique places to visit in Spain that are a great option for a summer vacation. Being a seaside destination with a charming city center, and beautiful beaches, it can be great for a combined trip to Seville, or as a seaside stop for a round trip in Andalusia, or if you’re planning a Spain and Portugal itinerary.
Jackie of Jou Jou Travels
Still looking for one of the best places to visit in Spain? Frigiliana is one of the most beautiful villages in Spain located in the Andalusia region of Spain. The tourism board of Spain has recognized it as the prettiest town in Andalusia and you can clearly see why when you visit. It is known for the many white-washed buildings that line up a hill path.
There are many photo opportunities in this beautiful town. The quaint streets will have you fall in love with this place right away. You can find the best views if you head towards the top of the city. Speaking of which, be sure to eat at La Venta de Frigiliana to enjoy authentic local food and the best view in town.
The closest airport is Malaga and you can arrive at Frigiliana by taking a one-hour bus to Nerja. From Nerja, you can take another bus or a taxi and arrive in only 15 minutes. If you need more options for what to do in Spain, let’s see another beauty from Andalusia!
Granada is definitely one of the best cities in Spain. A place down in Andalusia, that has a colorful history that reflects on the neighborhoods of the city. It’s one of the best cities to visit in Spain for history, architecture and nightlife as well. If you don’t like the heat, Granada can be one of the best places in Spain to visit in December too!
Explore the Moorish neighborhood, the stunning white city of Albaicin. Listen to Flamenco artists that stroll the streets of Albaicin, singing and playing on the guitar. Visit the stunning Mudejar castle, the Alhambra, that’s overtopping the valley in Granada. One of the most authentic, most stunning places to visit in Spain!
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One of the best places to visit in Spain for first timers is the island of Ibiza. This is an island that is part of the Balearic Islands group and you find other great islands near it. Ibiza is famous for its nightlife and you find many clubs on the island that are great for a night out! Many famous DJs perform at these clubs. This is definitely one of the top places to visit in Spain for nightlife!
Besides that, there is much more to do in Ibiza, it’s not only a party island. For example, you find lots of small villages throughout the island that are wonderful to visit. Also, there are many beautiful beaches in Ibiza that are great to explore. Ibiza hides some of the most unique places to visit in Spain!
Another great place to visit on the island is Ibiza Town. This is the island’s capital and you find here lots of restaurants, shops, and historic sites. Also, because of the beauty of many places on the island, there are many Instagrammable places in Ibiza that are great for taking photos Also, since it’s a summer destination in Spain, if you’re looking for the best places in Spain to visit in July, Ibiza might just be the right pick!
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When it comes to the best cities in Spain, Madrid is always in the spotlight. For those looking for the best places to visit in Spain for first timers, the Spanish capital is definitely a great choice! Visitors to Madrid are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing between a range of fantastic day trip options.
The historic and architecturally stunning city of Segovia, to the northwest of Madrid, is one of the very best. There are three structures you simply can’t miss on a visit to Segovia; the Gothic-style Roman Catholic Segovia Cathedral, the fairytale-like Alcazar of Segovia, and one of the best-preserved Roman aqueducts anywhere in the world.
Segovia Cathedral is centrally located in Plaza Mayor, the perfect place to grab lunch. The Alcazar is a UNESCO world heritage site and was once a royal palace for the kingdoms of Castile and Leon in the Middle Ages.
But it is the extraordinary Aqueduct taking the plaudits in Segovia. It is hard not to be blown away by the unique double-arched granite masterpiece built around the end of the 1st century. Suckling Pig is something of a phenomenon in Segovia, so if you’re looking to eat local, it doesn’t get any better than Cochinillo de Segovia. If you’re looking for the best places in Spain to visit in December and you can’t stand the heat, Madrid might just be the right pick!
Sun, palm trees, many English speakers, colorful streets and great food? Malaga is one of the best cities in Spain if you’re looking for the best places in Spain to visit in July, or well, all around the summer. The hometown of Pablo Picasso, the vibing Andalusian city is also one of the best places to visit in Spain for first timers! If you’re planning a party vacation, well Malaga is your place!
The nightlife is incredible, the streets remain full until the morning hours, and there are many clubs to go to! Malaga also has stunning beaches, which makes it once more one of the best cities to visit in Spain. The beaches are clean, safe, and beautiful. You can combine Malaga arts with fun, and culture with parties. The perfect destination for the summer!
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If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Spain for first timers, or simply just for the top places to visit in Spain, Mallorca is definitely one! The largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Mallorca is a destination with so much to offer. From the bustling capital, Palma de Mallorca, to the village studded countryside, to the glistening shores of Mallorca’s best beaches, it has something to offer every kind of visitor.
Hire a car to make the most of your time on the island, and get out exploring. Visit the historic hilltop town of Soller, before jumping on a tram to the port below. Drive out to the Far de Formentor lighthouse and be blown away by the sweeping views across the bay of Alcudia, and see if you can spot neighboring Menorca in the distance. Discover an underground world of stalagmites and stalactites at the Drach Caves in Porto Cristo, and take a walk to hidden coves in the Mondragó Nature Park.
It is definitely one of the most unique places to visit in Spain! Inland, you’ll find the land crisscrossed with vineyards, olive groves, and citrus orchards, intertwined with villages where time seems to have stood still. However you decide to spend your days, Mallorca will be a place that captures your heart, and your imagination… Mallorca is also a great destination for those looking for the best places in Spain to visit in July.
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One of the most unique places to visit in Spain is Definitely Monserrat! If you’ve been asking what to do in Spain, and you love the outdoors and unique places in nature, this is your place! Montserrat is located in the northern part of Spain. Known for the monastery that is nestled in the Montserrat mountains, the unique landscape and the greenery surrounding it will blow your mind.
The monastery is Catalonia’s (or Northern Spain) most important religious site, and people from all over the world come to visit – for views, hikes, and for religious reasons. You can easily visit Montserrat on a day trip from Barcelona. For those who love the outdoors, hiking Montserrat can definitely be a great option!
Montserrat is the highest point of the Catalan lowlands. The monastery and abbey can be accessed from the city of Barcelona via cable car. This ride takes 90 minutes and is super scenic, and it costs about 20 euros.
Santa Maria de Montserrat is an abbey of the Order of Saint Benedict located on the mountain. It is known for the ancient wooden statue of the Virgin and Child located there. There are fees to enter the abbey and that is 7.00 € per person. Add soaking in the sunrise from the heights of Montserrat to your Spain bucket list.
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When we speak about the best places to visit in Spain, we must speak a bit more about Andalusia! One of the most unique places to visit in Spain is definitely the Andalusian town of Ronda. Ronda is one of the famous Pueblos Blancos (White Villages) in the Andalusian hills. Its whitewashed houses are incredibly beautiful, but it is also filled with history and has a location second to none.
The town is perched on the edge of a deep, dramatic gorge. This is best seen from the famous Puente Nuevo (New Bridge). Not so new (it was built in 1793!), it spans the gorge, and provides great views of the town and surrounding countryside. Another major attraction in Ronda is the beautiful neoclassical bull ring, the Plaza de toros de Ronda.
Dating from 1784, it is actually the oldest bullring in Spain. You can take a tour and imagine yourself a matador. History buffs will also love the well-preserved 13th Century Arabian baths. After all that sightseeing, head to the main square, Plaza del Socorro, which is a great place to sit, eat tapas and watch the world go by. Ronda is definitely one of the top places to visit in Spain!
15. San Sebastian
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When it comes to the best cities to visit in Spain, or the best places in Spain to visit in July, this stunning sight can’t miss! San Sebastian is a renowned tourist destination in Spain’s northeast, just 20 kilometers from the French border. San Sebastian is a lovely historic town with numerous old buildings, some dating back to the early 1800s. You should definitely pay a visit to the Plaza de la Constitución, which has been converted from a bullring into a market plaza with cafes and restaurants.
Another beautiful sight to see is the Iglesia de San Vicente, a church dating from the 12th century and the city’s oldest structure. While you’re still in the old town, get a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or bars. San Sebastian is famed for its tapas and has a fantastic selection of traditional eateries.
The Castillo de la Mota is probably San Sebastian’s most well-known landmark. On top of a former protective fortification, stands a big Jesus statue. The fortress itself is also over a thousand years old and was built in the 12th century. The trek to the top takes some time, but the sights are definitely worth it. Another great activity in San Sebastian is to take the funicular up to Monte Igueldo, San Sebastian’s tallest mountain, for the best views of the city. The round-trip ticket is only 3€ per person and it’s more than worth it.
Now, this is definitely one of our favorites, and one of the best places to visit in Spain. Seville is definitely one of the best cities in Spain, and we’ve learned that even before we arrived. The capital city of Andalusia is one of the most charming, most unique places in Spain. The stunning Mudejar architecture, the white-orange buildings, the 25.000 orange trees are just the beginning!
Watching the sunset from the top of Metropol Parasol, or seeing a Flamenco show on the street are some of the best things to do in Seville. Then, visiting the famous Real Alcazar castle, which is one of the most stunning pieces of Mudejar architecture is just unmissable. Especially if you loved Game of Thrones! Then, explore the Cathedral of Seville, the stunning La Giralda bell tower, or going for a walk along the Gualdalchivir river will make you fall in love more and more with Seville. It’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Spain for first timers as well! And, if you can’t stand the heat, Seville can be one of the best places in Spain to visit in December or other cold months.
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Still looking for some of the top places to visit in Spain? Tarifa is one of the most popular places for kitesurfing and windsurfing in southern Spain and one of the liveliest white villages in Andalucia during the summer months. Packed with surf shops for surf essentials, and cafes, and surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, Tarifa draws travelers from all over. Interestingly, you find the division between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean in Tarifa.
But you can also visit old medieval remains like the Castillo Guzman el Bueno and the astounding church of San Mateo. Tarifa’s Old Town is also incredible to walk through with colorful pot plants decorating the whitewashed buildings. Just a short drive from the village, you can get to the protected Bolonia sand dune cascading down to the massive beach of the same name.
By the dune, you will also find some of the most well-preserved Roman ruins in southern Spain, Baleo Claudia. For animal lovers, it’s the perfect spot to go whale watching too, especially in the summer months of July and August when the Orcas swim through the Strait of Gibraltar.Tarifa is definitely one of the most unique places to visit in Spain!
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Here’s another of the top places to visit in Spain! Tarragona is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. With its fantastic mix of modern gastronomy, ancient Roman buildings, and Gothic and Modernist architecture, the city on the Costa Daurada offers an exceptional time for every kind of visitor.
Many visit Tarragona as a day trip from Barcelona, but it is also worth staying longer in this unique city.
One of the must-sees of the city for any visitor is the Amphitheater de Tarraco. This impressive theater was built and used during the Roman period and was considered one of the most important in the Iberian Peninsula.
But not only the arena, but also the Roman Circus and the path along the ancient city walls are not to be missed. After a long day of sightseeing, the surrounding coast is just the right place to relax. The region around Tarragona is famous for its beautiful beaches. Because here you can find some of the most stunning beaches of the Costa Daurada. If you’re asking what to do in Spain, we suggest to consider Tarragona!
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If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Spain, you have to add Tenerife to your Spain bucket list. Located in the Canary Islands, just 100km off the coast of West Africa, this gorgeous island has something for everyone. Tenerife is a summer destination so those looking for the best places in Spain to visit in July, this is an amazing option!
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and is blessed with an incredible variety of landscapes and things to do. In the middle of the island, you will find Mt. Teide, a dormant volcano that is 3,715 meters high. Landscapes on the island range from sea level to the volcanic deserts of the highest peak in Spain. It is indeed one of the most unique places to visit in Spain!
The southern coast of the island, from Adeje to Los Cristianos, is the most popular amongst tourists, as it’s the warmest and sunniest all year round. However, there are many other awesome places to visit and stay in Tenerife, which many travelers often don’t get to.
My personal favorite is Parque Rural de Anaga in the north of the island. Here you will find dramatic green cliffs that will make you feel like you’re in a Jurassic Park movie. It’s also home to many gorgeous hiking trails.
Besides exploring beaches and hiking, in Tenerife, some of the best things to do in Spain are exciting activities like surfing, paragliding, windsurfing, and exploring cute towns like Masca. It’s without a doubt one of the most beautiful places to visit in Spain.
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When it comes to the best cities in Spain, and the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers, you really want to consider Valencia! Valencia has absolutely everything you could wish for in a Spanish city break; lots of interesting things to see, great food and lively and exciting city life. The old town and cathedral are as beautiful as the ones you’ll find in Seville or Barcelona, but there’s fabulous, otherworldly modern architecture too in the form of the City of Arts and Sciences. There are also many hidden gems in Valencia to explore!
The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia sits at one end of the city’s winding, 9km-long urban park, the Turia Gardens. The park’s unusual form nods to its past; it’s the old river bed of the Turia river which was diverted in the 1950s after a devastating flood. The old bridges still cross the park, while different zones for relaxation, play, culture, and sport make it one of Spain’s most interesting green spaces.
Valencia is the home of paella, and you’ll find steaming pans of delicious paella all over the city. Valencia’s other specialty is horchata, a sweet, cool drink made of tiger nut milk and served with a long, doughnut-like finger of cake called a farton. There are horchateria cafes throughout Valencia, but the best is Horchateria Daniel, in the lovely, art nouveau Mercado de Colón. Valencia is definitely one of the best cities to visit in Spain!
Wrapping up the 20 best places to visit in Spain
If you want to hit the road, and plan some road trips, even in two countries that are one next to the other, you can see some Spain and Portugal itineraries too! We’ve covered some of the best cities in Spain, some of the top places to visit in Spain, and some ideas for the best places to visit in Spain for first timers! We hope you’ve found your answer for what to do in Spain, even if you’ve been searching for the best cities to visit in Spain, or you were trying to find out what are the best places in Spain to visit in July. From Mallorca to Seville, and from Granada to San Sebastian, there are many unique places to visit in Spain that now you know about!