“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” - Lao Tzu
Tourists are spoilt given the incredible choices of cities to visit when it comes to Spain. Whether it's a pilgrimage to Santiago de la Compostela or dreaming of travelling to Spain to learn the romantic Spanish language, here are some of the most beautiful cities in Spain that you will not want to miss visiting.
Madrid is the centre of Spain, the capital city in the heart of the country. It is full of grand streets or boulevards, but also many traffic jams. However, for you if you wish to avoid the traffic and walk, it’s also home to incredibly beautiful parks like the famous El Retiro Park.
Madrid is also a city known for discovering some great museums like the Prado, where you can see the work of the great Spanish artists from Dalì, Goya, and Velasquez, and at the Reina Sofia museum where you can visit Picasso’s famous work The Guernica.
The capital of Spain, Madrid is definitely on top of the list of places to visit in the country.
Barcelona in the height of summer, is usually filled with more tourists than locals it seems. Visiting Barcelona outside of the summer months is probably the best way to avoid not only the tourist crowds, but sweltering summer heat. Although Barcelona is a city next to the sea and a beach, it’s still very hot in the summer. But there are other things to do besides the beach, there you ca
As the heart of Catalonia, Barcelona is a city that has many attributes different from the other cities in Spain. Both the Catalan and the Spanish language are spoken in the region so you may not recognise some words from your Spanish lessons. The Catalan region also has its own distinct culture, history, art and identity, that you will surely discover on your visit to Spain.
Seville is another well known and popular Spanish city destination. The capital of the region of Andalusia, Seville is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain with its Moorish architecture such as the Royal Alcazar.
In the heart of Seville is the famous Plaza de España, north east of the Luisa Maria park with it's incredible Spanish architecture and centre fountain, it is definitely a must see and easily accessible day or night. The archaeological sites of Italica or the María Luisa Park is a great way to enjoy the sunshine in the south of Spain.
Famous for it's Flamenco restaurants and bars, there is nothing better than an evening at a tapas bar or watching a colourful flamenco show. The richly colourful cultural city of Seville, easily represents what most people think of when they think of Spain!
Cordoba, another city in Andalusia with a tumultuous history, is another must see. During the Roman Empire, it was an important city centre, before becoming an Islamic city during the Middle Ages. It's rich history can be seen in its most famous building, the Mezquita, built in 784 this Mosque turned Cathedral is protected as a World Heritage Site. There are also Byzantine influences within this building, so it's truly one of history's most remarkable monuments.
After a visit of the Mezquita, you should definitely visit along the via the Calleja de las Flores, arguably the most famous street in all of Cordoba.
So many incredible sites like the Plaza de la Corredera, Viana Palace, Plaza de la Tendillas, will leave you amazed as you walk around this historical and beautiful city of Cordoba.
Salamanca, a city with a treasure trove of architectural delights located within the heart of Spain. Its sandstone buildings illuminates the city making it look like its made of gold. This is the reason why the city is nicknamed The Golden City. The buildings are even more impressive when viewed during sunrise or sunset, it's truly magical!
A few days or weeks visit to Salamanca is a great way to get the most out of this city’s youthful student vibe. One of the country’s oldest universities is located there. Spanish and international students can be seen in the evenings having a drink at the Plaza Mayor. Salamanca is listed as a world heritage site and is another must see destination in Spain.
If paella is what you love, then you will love Valencia. In fact, paella originally created in Valencia, and so the best and most authentic dish of paella is found there. However, paella isn’t the only reason to go to Valencia.
Valencia is also famous for the City of Arts and Sciences. The city is home to a mix of small streets, and modern western and some say futuristic architecture, and it also has the Mercado Central where you can find local produce.
Famous for the Fallas festival, the city celebrates local artisans crafting magnificent floats for the festival before burning them at the end. Only the best floats that are deemed worthy of Fallas Museum are spared from the flames.
Make sure you include a visit to the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences within your travel budget.
Girona, although not as well known as some of the other cities of Spain, it's definite charm and history makes it one of Spain’s most beautiful. A great town for leisurely walks, this town has plenty of picturesque places to see and discover.
You should definitely visit the “Tapestry of Creation” found in the cathedral at the top of 90 steps. There you can also enjoy the impressive view. The city of Girona is most famous for its historic ruins, lining it's charming streets. The Roman city walls, it's Gothic churches, and the blend of eras makes walking around Girona a historical travel through time.
Toledo was home to Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and so this city has earned its name as The City of Three Cultures. This incredible mix of cultures means that you can visit synagogues, churches, mosques, cathedrals and also Roman buildings. This richness and mix of cultures is what makes Toledo such an incredibly fascinating place to visit.
So many different architectural and artistic wonders to visit in the city, you really have to spend several days in Toledo to fully appreciate this city. Not too far from Madrid, Toledo is easy to get to.
Find out more about accommodation in Spain.
The famous Canary Islands are also part of Spain and is a popular tourist destination. In the Atlantic Ocean, these islands are a popular destination especially for foreigners. Las Palmas, the capital city is made famous because of Christopher Columbus' visit before his journeys to the Americas and to India. It's arguably one of the most beautiful cities of Spain, as well as it's It's highly recommended that you visit the Casa de Colón, a museum dedicated to Christopher Columbus, it's one of the many museums, theatres and exhibition halls to visit.
Las Palmas is a tourists destination because of it's tropical climate and mild winters, so it's a year round destination. To get the most out of the city and it's beautiful beaches, try and organise a visit during the low season from May to October.
Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean Sea, is a city well known for the nightlife it's lively parties and nightclubs. However, there's more to the city than it's nightlife. The old town (Casco Antigo) has many quiet spots to enjoy along with it's charming small streets by the sea.
Don’t forget to visit the breathtaking Gothic Santa Maria Cathedral in Palma de Mallorca!
The Medieval city of Granada always attracts both young and old, tourists looking to learn about the age of knights. This Andalusian city is also the site of plenty of monuments including the world-famous Alhambra. The Albaicín neighbourhood is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist site.
Granada’s Arab and Catholic history is visible as you walk in its streets. You can enjoy the Medieval, Renaissance, and Western architecture throughout the city. Granada is also a great place for festivals and concerts, and also exhibits.
Find out more about Spain's best monuments.
Spaniards looking to enjoy the sun all year long, head to Malaga. However, the beautiful Spanish beaches have other attractions besides it's famous beaches.
The famous artist Picasso was born in the city of Malaga, so you can enjoy the museums dedicated to him. While the coastline around Malaga welcomes tourists worldwide, it's also cultural Spanish city destination on the Costa del Sol.
The combination of a beach getaway and cultural tourism makes Malaga an ideal city in Spain to visit.
There are many varied and beautiful villages in every corner of Spain, too. Whether in the Basque Country, Catalonia, Andalucia, or in Ibiza, there are plenty of magical places to visit.
Before your trip to Spain, you may want to brush up on some Spanish (or Catalan). Just do a quick search for Spanish tutors on Superprof to find the right teacher for you, and you'll be ready for adventures in Spain!