From Barcelona to Madrid: The Best Cities in Spain to Visit

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Spain is a vacationer’s paradise. The country offers so much to see and do, not to mention the weather is great and the culture laid back and perfectly suited to a fun and relaxing holiday in the sun.

It’s not surprising that Spain is the second most visited country in the world, with over 82 million visitors each year.

But with a country so rich in culture and so diverse in terms of terrain and what it has to offer, how can you decide which cities in Spain are worth making it to your itinerary?

Well, keep reading for the definitive list of places to visit in Spain.

Barcelona

Possibly one of the best-known cities in the world, Barcelona has so much to offer everybody that comes to visit.

More than just a football team, Barcelona is a city that offers stunning Mediterranean views, a laid back, and very cosmopolitan atmosphere, and for those that love a bit of culture, there is incredible architecture everywhere.

An amusement park and a zoo make it a hit with the younger visitors also. Barcelona is a must-add destination on any ‘must-visit Spain cities’ list, just be aware that there’s too much to do in a day, so plan to spend the night.

Madrid

The country’s capital and home to some of the world’s greatest pieces of art. With the artistic Golden Triangle boasting some of Europe’s greatest pieces of art, it is reason enough for Madrid to be one of the best places to visit in Spain. Throw in the Royal palace and the abundance of churches and it’s a cultural paradise.

Then, as the sun sets, head down to the La Latina district and treat yourself to some incredible tapas to cap off a perfect day.

Valencia 

For the foodies, then there is no better name of all the cities in Spain than Valencia.

Valencia is the home of Paella, and even if you have eaten is elsewhere, you haven’t truly had Paella until you’ve sat in Valencia and eaten it fresh from the pan.

But the city is about more than just food. While you’re there you need to check out the arts and sciences center. It is a futuristic-looking building built on an old river bed and houses an aquarium, a science museum, an opera house, and an IMAX theatre

Santiago de Compostela 

There are not many places to visit in Spain that have more cultural history to share than Santiago de Compostela.

It is the end stop on the greatest Christian pilgrimage route in the world, the Cathedral Santiago de Compostela. On top of that, it is home to the final resting place of St James himself.

Filled with museums and steeped in an atmosphere and mystery and intrigue, this is one of the best cities in Spain.

Seville

When you think of Spain and that Latin culture, then one thing to cross your mind would surely be flamenco. An art form that is bursting with passion yet laced with an addictive melancholy that lives and breathes in Seville.

One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Seville offers a range of architecture styles from modern to classic. For those interested in the cultural element of Spain then a trip to the Real Alcázar is a must. You’ll find classic architecture that has been preserved but also added to through the years by different rulers.

Seville is also home to the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, which makes it a primary stop on any proposed tour of cities in Spain.

Cordoba

Back in the time of the Moorish rule over Spain, Cordoba was one of the most important cities in the country. Today, it is still home to the Grand Mosque of Cordoba. It’s a stunning building that began as a Mosque but is now used as the city’s cathedral. Despite its functionality change, it has maintained its Islamic design, making it one of the most fascinating Spain tourist attractions.

On top of that, Cordoba also boasts a World Heritage site in the form of its ‘Old Town’ featuring the history Roman bridge which dates back to the 1st century BC.

If you like experiencing culture and history, then this is one of the cities in Spain for you.

Almeria

Did you know that Europe has a desert?

Almeria is not only a desert region, but one that so closely resembles the classic American west that it was the location used to shoot The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly along with the other movies Sergio Leone is famous for.

Any visit to Almeria isn’t complete without spending some time at the Cabo de Gata-Nija National Park. The park offers something for everyone with stunning coastal views, salt flats, small fishing villages, and beautiful sandy beaches.

Special Mention: Ibiza

No list of cities in Spain would be complete without mentioning Ibiza. Yes, it’s an island and not a city, but it deserves a special mention.  To many, it is known as the clubber’s paradise. It’s home to the hottest party places in the world. While that is true, for those looking to have a good time, Ibiza is the place to be, there is another side to the island.

It’s a peaceful place with gorgeous sandy beaches that offer the perfect chance to escape the stresses of life and relax in the sun and recharge your batteries.

So Many Great Cities in Spain You Will Have to Come Back Next Year

With so many cities in Spain, and with each one offering something different, there is more than enough to keep you coming back year after year.

It doesn’t matter if you are after a trip with your friends to party it up, a cultural adventure, a food-driven road trip or a beach-bound rest-cation, Spain has the places to offer you exactly what you need.

Of course, there is more to travel than just choosing your destination. Check out some of our other posts about how to travel the right way and make the most out of the experiences that lay in store for you.

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10 thoughts on “From Barcelona to Madrid: The Best Cities in Spain to Visit

  1. Nice list, Eli. I would also add Granada for the Alhambra palace and stunning views over the Sierra Nevada mountains, plus Bilbao. The north of Spain has the best food and hopping in and out of bars in Bilbao’s old town sampling pinxos as you go is a not to be missed activity.

  2. These are my dream destination places. I have them on my list for a very long time. Your post made me feel as if I was there with you. Now I will only need to go by your steps and see the sights myself. Thank you for your beautiful article.

  3. Spain has been eluding me for a long time now. I was in Europe for 4 months but somehow I could not fit in Spain (so many others) . My wife has been to all the places you mention 🙂 I think you are right about Ibiza’s other side. Peace away from parties.

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