20 Best Cities to Visit in Spain

Which are the best places to visit in Spain? Luckily, Spain, just like Italy is packed with incredible places, and not even a month would be enough to visit everything that’s really worth it. The sunny country boasts delicious food, wines, gin tonics, more food, and even more culture. The architecture in Spain is something absolutely apart, and there are plenty of worldwide famous monuments to check out in all Spain cities, towns, and even in the middle of nowhere. So, to make it more trackable, in this article we’ll present 20 of the best cities in Spain to visit!

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. Just think about the Mudejar architecture in Andalusia and 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 the absolute best city in Spain, and another 19 to pick from. Visiting Spain is pretty easy, and for English speakers, some parts of the country are even easier to get around speaking only English, than in many other countries in Europe. The reason being, that many brits visit or live in Spain, and therefore in those areas English is stronger.

If you’re looking for authentic places, with fewer tourists, you’ll find plenty of those cities in Spain too! Overall, we are going to speak about every place that’s worthy to be visited. Some of these cities don’t have their own airports, but you can always rent a car, take a bus or a train, and be there in no time.

1. Almeria

Our list of Spain cities is organized alphabetically, so first, we start with the marvelous Almeria. A very underrated destination, so it’s great to explore without crowds! The magnificent fortress of Alcazaba is actually the second-largest Muslim castle in Europe. You can find in the area also the remains of Castillo San Cristobal.

In Almeira you can also discover an underground network of tunnels dating back to the Spanish civil war. The historic center of the city is worth exploring, and when you’re there, you should visit the gothic cathedral too. An interesting fact is, that the cathedral was built to serve as a fortress, to protect civilians from those attacking from the sea.

Almeria also boasts amazing beaches which make this place a perfect summer destination! For outdoor lovers, we’ve got good news too! Some of the best hikes of Andalucia are actually around Almeria, so make sure you explore what routes you’ve got there! In this city, you can get from the beautiful beaches to 2000-meter peaks in the Sierra Nevada National Park, which is great news for both beach lovers and hikers.

2. Asturias

If you are looking for the best places to visit in Spain, you can’t go wrong with the beautiful Kingdom of Asturias. When it comes to famous places in Spain, Asturias might be forgotten by some, but we didn’t forget it! This is a northern region, which receives substantial rainfall, so it’s called the “Green Spain”, given that most of the country is dry. In Asturias, you can find national parks like “Picos de Europa”, which was Europe’s first national park.

This gives a 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 stop points, which is making it an ideal 2-week itinerary. The capital city is Oviedo, which boasts ancient royal buildings, dating from the 9th century, once home to the Asturian royalty and today UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Catedral Metropolitana Basilica de San Salvador is in the medieval part of the city center. It was 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!  

3. Barcelona

best places to visit in Spain

Now when it comes to the best cities in Spain to visit, Barcelona is always the second one I personally suggest to people. Let’s start with the most important reason why everyone should visit Barcelona! This is a beautiful Mediterranean city, right by the sea, with fantastic temperatures all around the year.

A historic city with the most incredible architecture, and structure. Then, if we’re already speaking about architecture, let’s not forget Antoni Gaudi and the over 15 masterpieces he created in Barcelona, such as the Sagrada Familia, the Guelle Park, the Casa Battlo and Casa Mila, and many others.

Gaudi’s architecture is worldwide famous for its imaginative designs that would stop everyone and make them wonder for hours. Moreover, there are other fantastic places to discover, such as Tibidabo hill, and the bunkers of el Carmel, where you can have the most incredible panoramic view over the whole city, all the way to the sea.

This is especially beautiful at sundown. Barcelona is a very developed city, while it maintains a warm Iberian vibe. There are endless landmarks, the beach, and fantastic day trip possibilities too! Then, of course for football lovers there’s the F.C. Barcelona. Tapas, parties, amazing rooftop bars, fantastic cocktail bars, and great nightlife is promised in Barcelona. We also cover the best restaurants and best rooftop bars in Barcelona!

4. Benidorm

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 Spain cities, 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 one of the best cities to visit 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. 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. Also, 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!

5. Bilbao

best places to visit in Spain

Bilbao is one of the best cities in Spain to visit, a northern Basque country, which 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.

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.

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.

6. Cadiz

When it comes to the best 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 a great place to go1 You can easily get within an hour to Cadiz from Seville. Therefore, you can do a city break plus a coastal town itinerary. Or you can add Cadiz to an Andalucia round-trip itinerary too. Or, if you’re doing a Portugal-Spain road trip, Cadiz is once again easy to stop by.

7. Frigiliana

If you’re looking for small towns, specifically famous places in Spain, Frigiliana is one to look for! 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!

8. Granada

best places to visit in Spain

Granada is definitely one of the best cities in Spain to visit! A beautiful town at the feet of the Sierra Nevada, with a colorful history that you can still explore in the neighborhoods of the city! Granada is about one and a half hours away from Malaga by bus, and about the same time if you rent a car too!

This is one of my personal favorite destinations in Spain because it has such a unique culture. Wandering in the beautiful Moorish neighborhood, Albaicin is a must! This is a unique neighborhood that is built on a hillside and hilltop, with mostly white houses, and only walking around is already magical. However, there’s more!

In Albaicin you can spot all the time local Flamenco artists, who are wandering from one restaurant to another, performing mostly Rumbas, the local favorite type of Flamenco. It is indeed fabulous to sit on a small square in this ancient neighborhood, under orange trees, and have Flamenco artists sing and play the guitar near you! Oh, and of course, the most important landmark of Granada, one of the best-preserved Moorish castle, built in Mudejar style, the Alhambra. This is a place that you can’t miss. Moorish architecture is spectacular, indeed!

9. Ibiza

best places to visit in Spain

One of the most famous places in Spain for first-timers is the island of Ibiza! This is an island that is part of the Balearic Islands group. Ibiza is known as the best party island on the Mediterranean, and it’s the best party island in Spain for sure! The island is packed with clubs of all budgets, and some of the most famous DJs perform here every summer.

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. 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. Many people come here to spend weeks and enjoy the relaxing and fun part of the island too. You can do loads of watersports, do hiking around the island, and enjoy the beautiful beaches with crystal-clear water.

10. Madrid

best places to visit in Spain

When it comes to the best cities to visit in Spain, Madrid is always in the spotlight. For those looking for the best Spain cities for first-timers, the Spanish capital is definitely a great choice! Visitors to Madrid are spoiled for choice when it comes to picking between a range of fantastic day trip options and things to do in the city!

First of all, Madrid is more sophisticated than one would think, yet it’s very fun too. During the summer, there are neighborhood festivals, where the whole neighborhood is on the streets partying. It’s an experience of a kind! There are plenty of landmarks, the royal palace, and stunning architectural masterpieces too to explore.

Then, visiting a food market in Madrid is a must-do! Nightlife and cultural events offer endless possibilities, and those who love city breaks would find everything in Madrid! We suggest looking for spring and autumn visits if you’re not used to the heat, as in the summer Madrid can become pretty heavy, with 40 C degrees every day, easily…

11. Malaga

best places to visit in Spain

If you’re looking for a more developed, more tourist-friendly city in Spain, there is no better city for that than Malaga! Sun, palm trees, many many English speakers, colorful streets, and great food. That’s just a slice of what Malaga can offer, but it’s already pretty convincing right? This is the perfect summer destination who want to enjoy city life and the beach at the same time.

Malaga is the hometown of Pablo Picasso, and indeed, you can visit the house where he was born, as well as the Picasso museum, where you can find some of his masterpieces. If you’re planning a vacation with the girls, or with your mates, Malaga is a great budget-friendly option! There are dozens of bars in the historic center, and the streets at night get overwhelmed with people having drinks, dancing, and getting ready for the nightlife.

At 1 am the nightclubs get packed, and there are indeed plenty of them, right in the city center too, as well as along the beach. Nightlife in Malaga is one of the best I’ve ever seen! Streets remain packed until even 4-5 AM. I wasn’t afraid to walk all by myself in the middle of the night since a hundred others were doing the same.

Moreover, Malaga has some stunning beaches along the coast, clean and beautiful water, and IT’S NOT CROWDED! Besides the fun things to do, there’s a lot of history and culture to explore in Malaga. Landmarks, to discover. And, you’ve got so many options for day trips in Malaga to Mijas, Fuengirola, Marbella, Benalmadena, and many other places along the coast, as well as towns like Granada for example.

12. Mallorca

best places to visit in Spain

If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Spain, Mallorca is definitely one amazing place, where even I myself am traveling back 2nd summer in a row! 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.

Rent 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. 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. Of course, outside beautiful crystal clear water on beaches that take your breath away, don’t forget that Malaga is also a party island.

Starting in Palma de Mallorca, which is packed with pubs and bars that transform into discos at the night, all the way to towns like Magaluf. Magaluf is the best destination for those who want to party in Mallorca. There’s the biggest club on the island, the BCM where during the summer, some of the biggest DJs from around the world perform.

13. Montserrat

One of the most famous places in Spain is definitely Monserrat! 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 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 in 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.

14. Ronda

When we speak about the best Spain cities, 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

best places to visit in Spain

When it comes to the best cities in Spain to visit, San Sebastian is unmissable, especially if you love surfing too! San Sebastian is a renowned tourist destination in Spain’s northeast side, 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.

16. Seville

best places to visit in Spain

And here’s what we at Wandering Zone would name the number one absolute best city in Spain, Seville! The capital city of Andalusia is one of the most charming, most unique cities I have ever seen, and I’ve seen quite a few. The stunning Mudejar architecture, the white-orange buildings, and 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, visit the famous Real Alcazar castle, which is one of the most stunning pieces of Mudejar architecture, featuring breathtaking rooms with even more breathtaking architecture, and gardens that we’ve seen only in movies.

Actually, if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you did see on screen the Real Alcazar! Then, explore the Cathedral of Seville, and the stunning La Giralda bell tower, or go for a walk along the Guadalquivir river, and visit the ancient Torre del Oro. Don’t miss Seville’s most authentic neighborhood, Triana, either! Find a local bar in the morning, have cafe con Lecce (coffee with milk), fresh orange juice (remember it’s the city of actual oranges), and some tostada with tomato sauce.

Book a table at a restaurant with a Flamenco show, and indulge in the amazing cuisine of Andalusia! If you’re a football lover, you might want to check the F.C. Sevilla or the Real Betis games too. And don’t forget the nightlife! Seville, just like Malaga, it’s a place to enjoy the night out. Though here, you’ll find more locals than visitors, and fewer English speakers too!

If you’re visiting in April, make sure you check the dates of the Feria de Abril, the biggest city party ever! A beautiful event where people dress up in traditional dresses, and Flamenco dresses, and everyone is on the streets celebrating. Unmissable! Whenever you’re going to visit, the magic of this city will remain with you forever.

17. Tarifa

Still looking for some best cities 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!

18. Tarragona

Here’s another of the best 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 Costa Daurada.

19. Tenerife

If you’re looking for famous places in Spain, you have to add Tenerife to your list of places to consider! 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 for 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 on 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.

20. Valencia

best places to visit in Spain

When it comes to the best cities in Spain to visit, 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, 9 km-long urban parks, 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 cities in Spain to visit

Now, that we’ve been through the 20 best places to visit in Spain, and we unveiled which one we consider the best city in Spain to visit, we hope you’ve found ideas, and you’re ready to start planning for your vacation in Spain! Don’t forget that we covered many places in Spain, in different articles that we’ve linked to this one! Scroll up again, and check them out! Spain has so much to offer, and it’s a country where you just want to go back over and over again. I definitely do! So, if you’re ready to explore the cities, the islands, and the coasts, find on our website the itinerary, and enjoy! In case you’d fall too much in love with Spain, we also talk about the best cities to live in Spain!

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