Top 10 Destinations in Spain
Located on Spain’s Catalonian coastline, Barcelona is a city that truly has something for everyone. The beautiful beaches are just the beginning for this multi-faceted destination that’s also brimming with culture, Gothic architecture and nightlife that attracts people from all over the world. The city has many sights to visit, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Sagrada Familia, Antonio Gaudi’s Park Guell and the streets of the city’s Gothic Quarter. No visit to Barcelona is complete without strolling down Las Ramblas, a 1.2 kilometre stretch that boasts the best of everything Barcelonan. Make a stop at the large public food market La Boqueria for delicious Spanish snacks.
Famous for flamenco dancing, tapas and Moorish architecture, southern Spain’s sunny Seville will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time. Its old town boasts an impressive three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Alcazar of Seville, the Gothic Seville Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. The Alcazar was first developed by Moorish Muslim Kings and today the palace is rich in history and architectural beauty. Allow time for the palace’s beautiful gardens. The Plaza de Espana is also well worth a visit, the picturesque lake complete with two towers on either side, and is a perfect spot to relax by. While you’re in town make sure you don’t miss a visit to a flamenco show.
No trip to Spain is complete without a visit to the capital city, Madrid. After London and Berlin, Madrid is the third-largest city in the European Union. With bars and restaurants that exemplify traditional Spain, you can really feel the beating heart of this city. Be sure to visit Madrid’s vibrant main square - the Plaza Mayor, and walk along the other famous plaza, Puerta Del Sol. Spend some time relaxing in Buen Retiro Park. And make sure you stop in at Spain’s national art museum, the Prado, which is considered to have one of the finest collections of European art in the world.
Granada has unique Spanish beauty, a rich history and a vibrant food scene. It’s said to have been populated since at least 5500 BC. Located in Andalusia, it’s just over a two and a half hour drive from Seville. Granada’s Alhambra is the second most visited site in the whole of Europe and is most definitely worth the visit. It’s a real blend of history, combining its Moorish origins with the Renaissance Christian period and a bit of modern architecture. Other spots to visit include the Palace of the Generalife, the Royal Chapel of Granada and the lookout Mirador de San Nicolas. Free tapas is also a charm of this city - when you order a drink in a bar in Seville, they will include some delicious tapas, on the house.
This destination is for the wine lovers. Situated in northern Spain, the Rioja Region is renowned for its wine industry and picturesque vineyards. Located below the Cantabrian Mountains, this area boasts over 500 wineries and the quality of wine will not disappoint. Like any good wine country, visitors can also enjoy horse riding, hot air ballooning and fine food against a backdrop that will take your breath away. The region is home to a number of beautiful cities to stay in including Logrono, located on the Ebro River, where you can pay a visit to Calle Del Laurel to enjoy some pinxtos or tapas with your wine.
The industrial port city of Bilbao has become famous for its modern and quirky architecture. Chief among the city's architectural delights is the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which opened in 1997 and is home to a massive variety of modern and contemporary art. The unique design has become synonymous with Bilbao’s cultural landscape. Take a walk through Casco Viejo and the local food markets in the old quarter and enjoy some of the freshest fruit and vegetables the Basque country has to offer. The area is the perfect place to spend some time strolling around, immersing yourself in the city’s charming culture. For art and history lovers, the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum is also definitely worth paying a visit to.
In what is yet another gem of Andalusia, Cordoba is a truly charming city. Its main attraction is the Mezquita (Mosque of Cordoba) and it’s not hard to see why. This sight is Islamic architecture at its very best, hailing from a time when Cordoba was the capital of Islamic Spain. This is not the only thing Cordoba has to offer as the city is full of great places to eat and drink, and old buildings and narrow streets to explore. It’s easy to walk or bicycle ride around the Historic Centre of Cordoba or the Jewish Quarter and really feel the Spanish city's past and cultural heritage.
In Spain's northern Basque Country you'll find San Sebastian, known for its sandy beaches and world-famous food scene. Take the cobbled stoned streets down to the popular La Concha Beach and have a dip in the crystal clear water or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants that line the promenade. Visit the old town of Parte Vieja and be sure to visit the pintxo bars for the small snack food made with regional produce that San Sebastian’s culinary scene is known for. Walk to the top of Monte Urgull that was once used as a military fortress in the 12th century and soak up panoramic views of this Spanish gem.
A diverse city that is somewhat overlooked by tourists, Jaén is a destination that has something for everyone. Think beautiful architecture, monuments, nearby mountains and olive groves surrounding the city. Jaén has some of the best olive oil to be found in Spain, which gives a great flavour to the traditional Andalusian dishes. The Castle of Santa Catalina is a great spot for sweeping views of the city. From the top you can not only see the city, but the surrounding olive groves and sweeping mountains too, giving a more accurate picture of everything Jaén has to offer. Other sights to visit include the Jaén Cathedral and the Centro Cultural Banos Arabes.
Spain's northern city of Pamplona is best known for hosting the Running with The Bulls festival (Feast of San Fermín) every July. Each year the city fills with people wanting to take part in the week-long celebrations that include parades, singing and the bull runs. But there's far more to the city than this one festival - Pamplona is home to excellent restaurant and bars with a number of interesting historic sites worth visiting. Within the medieval city walls you'll find grand cathedrals and churches that date back to the 14th century. Pamplona is also a well-known spot on the Camino Santiago pilgrimage walk.