24 Best Places to Visit in Spain (in 2023)
There are such a wealth of places to visit in Spain that planning a trip can be a little nerve-wracking. You never want to miss out on anything incredible and there are just so many things to see in Spain’s cities and the surrounding countryside.
If you find yourself bogged down by all the destination choices in Spain, I’m here to solve your problems. I traveled around Spain for over two months and experienced a ton of great places along the way.
From well-known cities to obscurPalma de Mallorcae mountain towns, here are my top picks for the best places to visit in Spain. Let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
- 24 Best Places to Visit in Spain
- FAQs on Where to Go in Spain
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24 Best Places to Visit in Spain
Architectural marvels and tons of beautiful beaches dotted along the Mediterranean Sea
📍 Google Maps | Where to Stay in Barcelona | 👉 Browse Barcelona Hotels on Booking
Located on Spain’s stunning Catalonian coast, Barcelona is a must-visit for anyone who’s backpacking Europe for the first time. The historic city center is ripe with art, museums, and some of the most astounding architecture in the entire world. Namely, work from Antoni Gaudi who was from the region – he designed La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.
In addition to the biggest Spain attractions, Barcelona’s nightlife is invigorating. There is a huge club scene with nearly endless options that can appeal to all types of party-goers.
All in all, if you only have time for one city in Spain, make it Barcelona. Get planning now with my guide to the best things to do in Barcelona.
Spain’s capital city and largest metropolis has over 2,000 years of history and lots of high-end shopping streets to indulge in
📍 Google Maps | Best Places to Stay in Madrid | 👉 Browse Madrid Hotels on Booking
Heading into Central Spain, let’s talk about Madrid. It’s the country’s capital, the largest city by population, and one of the best places to backpack in Europe.
So, when you’re making your list of places to visit in Spain, Madrid is another necessity. There are a bunch of beautiful sites and interesting things to do in Madrid. Don’t miss wandering San Miguel Market and Plaza Mayor.
You don’t even necessarily need a destination when you’re visiting Madrid because the city is so stunning. Just discovering the neighborhoods, restaurants, and lively nightlife is an adventure in itself.
👉 Pro Tip: There are a bunch of things to do in Madrid’s famous Plaza Mayor. In the winter, it’s the site of the yearly Christmas market. In the spring, it hosts the drum parade for Easter. Check out what events are happening at Plaza Mayor before you visit!
One of Spain’s most famous cities with tons of artistic attractions, shopping, and the best paella in the world
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There is delicious food all over Spain, but if you’re hungry for a steaming bowl of paella then you need to visit its birthplace – Valencia. Valencia is located in eastern Spain about 3.5 hours south of Barcelona. Making it easy to work both incredible cities into a single trip visiting Spain.
In Valencia, there are lots of places to nab an outfit (or ten). Like the high-end shopping street of Carrer de Colón. Then, grab a bite at the Central Market of Valencia.
I’d recommend checking out the otherworldly tourist attraction of the City of Arts and Sciences. Or, delve into the city’s historic architecture at Plaza de la Reina. There are also plenty of kid-friendly activities like the L’Oceanogràfic aquarium and Platja de Llevant beach.
A quaint, romantic city rich in mouthwatering tapas, Spanish history, and Flamenco dancing
📍 Google Maps | Best Places to Stay in Seville | 👉 Browse Seville Hotels on Booking
The Andalusian capital of Seville is one of my favorite places to visit in Spain. Seville manages to be quaint and homey while also maintaining the liveliness and fun you expect in a major city.
There is a rich Flamenco dancing culture in Seville. As you walk along the narrow cobblestone streets, you’ll pass stores showcasing their colorful Flamenco costumes. From the Seville Plaza de Espana to the Royal Palace of Alcázar, there are many places to take it all in.
My final selling point for Seville is the food. There is no shortage of delicious restaurants in Seville, especially tapas joints. I ate at a different place every meal for two weeks and I was still finding hidden gems among Seville’s restaurants.
Get planning with my guide to the best things to do in Seville.
A beachside municipality with an array of museums that are perfect for families and art lovers alike
📍 Google Maps | Where to Stay in Malaga | 👉 Browse Malaga Hotels on Booking
Malaga is located in the southern region of Spain near Costa del Sol that’s great for families and art lovers. The coastal city is one of the best places to visit for its stunning beaches, Moorish architecture, and rich cultural heritage. There are so many fun things to do in Malaga.
The area is also an art museum hotspot with interesting offerings like the Picasso Museum and the Carmen Thyssen Museum. For history buffs, you might prefer Teatro Romano de Málaga from the Roman Empire days.
When you’re in Malaga, don’t forget to stop by the Mercado Central de Atarazanas to wander the variety of delicious tapas vendors. Not only are there lots of tasty eats, but the former shipyard-turned-market itself is big and impressively beautiful, like many places in Spain.
🎒 Looking for a bag? We tried and tested the top travel backpacks for Europe, and ranked them all for different types of travelers.
This laidback Spanish village is chock-full of mesmerizing views along with places for hiking and rock climbing
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Ronda Hotels on Booking
Ronda, located in the Malaga region of southern Spain, features some of Spain’s most breathtaking landscapes. Truly, there are at least ten different expansive miradors.
The biggest attraction in Ronda is the colossal Puente Nuevo bridge, but there is a surprisingly long list of things to do in this tiny city. Get a sense of the surrounding views at Alameda del Tajo. Learn about a local tradition at the Bullring of the Royal Cavalry Visit the Yacimiento Arqueológico medieval bathhouse.
Or alternatively, just hang out and do nothing at all. It’s a chill town up in the mountains with a surplus of charm and an overall intimate vibe that’s perfect for couples. Even if you do nothing but explore the local gastronomy and enjoy the landscapes, Ronda is amazing.
👉 Pro Tip: Getting into Ronda on your own can be a bit of a headache. If you’re only in Spain for a brief time, I’d recommend opting for a tour to handle all the planning for you. This White Villages and Ronda Day Tour from Seville is a particularly enticing one. They’ll pick you up and bring you to Zahara de la Sierra, Grazalema, and Ronda all in one day without any hassle.
One of Europe’s oldest ancient seafront cities offers loads of interesting historical attractions
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Cadiz Hotels on Booking
Cadiz is a coastal city in the south with some of Spain’s best beaches and thought-provoking historical attractions. Cadiz is a very old city with a lot of Spanish history and places to discover it, such as the Cadiz Museum and the Yacimiento Arqueológico Gadir.
In addition to local history, the city has a bunch of different beaches to choose from and loads of viewpoints to get a better feel for the area.
Cadiz is perfect if you’re looking for an Andalusian city with all the appeal of southern Spain, but want something a little more lowkey than Seville. Alternatively, it makes for an excellent day trip because it’s easy to pop over on the train.
A teenie Andalusian town with a lot of adorable specialty shops surrounded by dreamy landscapes
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In my opinion, Frigiliana is one of the best places to visit in Spain to get away from it all. You know, when you want to take a trip and have it feel like a completely separate reality. Located near the southern coast just 15 minutes outside of Nerja, the white town of Frigiliana has immaculate mountain town vibes.
Unlike some of the bigger cities, you won’t find too many world-respected historic sites or extensive museums in Frigiliana. But, you won’t need them. The hours can get away from you just wandering the skinny streets, artisanal shops, and view-heavy restaurants.
A family-friendly beach paradise that will give you a true taste of Spain’s natural beauty
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Nerja Hotels on Booking
Not far from Frigiliana is the picturesque beachside city of Nerja. There is a lot of natural beauty around Nerja, namely its absurdly beautiful beaches. Like Playa Burriana.
While you could spend all day kayaking in the ocean or lounging on Nerja’s beaches, there is other stuff to do too.
There are plenty of hikes like Rio Chillar and Cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo that will take you through indescribable nature. When you’re done experiencing Nerja’s natural attractions, you can fuel up with food or cocktail at one of the city’s many incredible restaurants.
Home to one of Spain’s most impressive basilicas, this Basque country city is a hub for Roman ruins
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Zaragoza Hotels on Booking
The capital of the Aragon region in northeastern Spain, Zaragoza is flush with Roman historical sights. In the Old Town, you can really get a sense of the city’s rich history. The charming streets of the city are lined with adorable cafes and trendy restaurants.
Or, if you prefer a bustling market, there is the magnificent Central Market of Zaragoza.
👉 Pro Tip: If you have a car during your Spain trip, you might want to consider a day trip an hour outside of Zaragoza to Monasterio de Piedra (Stone Monastery). You can even stay over the night at this 13th-century monastery.
Located in the northern Basque country, this port city’s golden playas are a favorite Spanish summer destination
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Let’s venture over to the Northern Spain city of Bilbao – one of the top beachy, summer destinations in this region of Spain. There are many beaches nearby Bilbao, but my favorite is Arrigunaga Beach
Bilbao also happens to be home to one of the most-visited museums in the entire county: The Guggenheim Museum. Even just seeing the exterior of the Guggenheim Museum will impress you. Inside, you’ll have access to a wealth of contemporary art.
This Mediterranean Balearic Island is a world-known nightlife destination, but it’s more than just a wild party spot
📍Google Maps | 👉 Browse Ibiza Hotels on Booking
Travelers searching for the best nightlife in the world will find their little slice of heaven in Ibiza. It’s the dream destination for young travelers and party seekers.
One of the Balearic Islands, Ibiza town has some of the most exhilarating clubs, bars, and events in all of Europe. Which is saying a lot. The best time to visit Spain for all these happenings is in June.
However, there is more to Ibiza than just the raging nightlife. The island features some of the best beaches in Spain like Cala Bassa and Cala Saladeta. Along with cultural attractions such as the Castle of Ibiza and natural wonders like Cova de Can Marçà.
Ibiza is one of those places that not only lives up to its reputation. It exceeds it.
This ancient city near the Sierra Nevada Mountains features energetic markets and tasty tapas
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Granada Hotels on Booking
Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada is one of the oldest cities in the Andalusia region. Across Granada’s Jewish Quarter, also known as The Realejo, there are places to get a glimpse into this extensive history, like Casa de los Tiros and Cuarto Real.
Anyone who wants a deeper dive into the history of this Spanish region will appreciate a visit to Granada. Not to mention that the city itself is just gorgeous.
A mecca for Spanish culture with a UNESCO World Heritage Site accolade
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Toledo Hotels on Booking
Toledo is situated about an hour south of Madrid. So, it’s an ideal day trip from the country’s capital.
Inside the bounds of Toledo, you’ll discover one of Spain’s most interesting medieval cities. Even today, you can still feel the gothic aura hanging around the city. It’s so impressive that the city center of Toledo is actually ranked as a UNESCO site.
A very little town in the mountains of southern Spain with tasty local wine that’s ideal for a day trip
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The narrow streets of Cómpeta are one of the lesser-known destinations in Spain. It’s located right in the stunning Sierra Almijara mountain range. However, it is one of my favorite places for a quick day trip.
Cómpeta is truly a small town with very few attractions or major sites. Making for a more slow-paced, lowkey experience out in the Spanish mountainside. It’s a perfect place to root yourself if you’re planning on exploring all of Spain’s nearby white towns.
A lesser-known northern Spanish city featuring a number of architecturally stunning churches
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse León Hotels on Booking
León is placed conveniently along Camino de Santiago in northwest Spain. The city provides visitors with some jaw-dropping Spanish architecture. The most notable attraction in town is the Santa Maria de Leon Catedral. There are several prominent churches throughout the city, though. So visitors who want to experience this aspect of Spanish culture will have a ball in León.
The city also features a number of lively plazas to take a load off after wandering the streets.
An intriguing city in the northwestern region with several museums and medieval religious sites
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Valladolid Hotels on Booking
You’ll come to find that Spain is a country with a long history and Valladolid is another terrific city to learn about it all. In particular, Valladolid is on the smaller side but packs a punch. It’s located 2 hours north of Madrid, and there are all types of things to do from museums and plazas to riverside beaches and well-kept parks.
Valladolid is a good option to get a feel for standard Spanish attractions without the rush of Spain’s busier cities.
A lowkey coastal town in the Tarifa region with the chance to spot Africa in the distance from the beaches
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Bolonia Hotels on Booking
Your first instinct might be to visit one of Spain’s most popular beach destinations if you’re itching for a summer vacation. But, I’d actually recommend going for one of the more uncharted little beach towns. Specifically, Bolonia in the Tarifa district on the Atlantic Ocean.
Bolonia is the definition of an easygoing beach town. I actually never would have known about it if I wasn’t tipped off by a fellow traveler randomly. The coastal village has several beaches for visitors to choose from. The biggest of which is Bolonia Beach. There are just a few fun bars and some delicious restaurants. Plus, there are even the Baelo Claudia Roman ruins if you ever want a dose of history.
Bolonia is a beautiful Spain destination. However, this is definitely more of a relaxing destination. Don’t expect all-night parties or an ongoing list of attractions.
Lloret De Mar
A popular resort town along Costa Brava with places to party at night and beaches to recover on in the afternoon
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Need a little more traditional comforts than the more obscure beach towns have to offer? Head over to the beloved resort town of Lloret De Mar on Costa Brava.
Lloret De Mar is one of the best places to visit in Spain for combining lazy beach days with lively parties throughout the night. The town features tons of different beaches along the coastline. Along with over 300 different types of clubs in this coastal town. So, be prepared for a wild time and crowds during the high season.
A Moorish-style white village in the Sierra Cabrera Mountain range with markets and watersports to discover
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Mojacar Hotels on Booking
Another Spanish destination with pristine beaches is Mojacar. Once again, many people won’t perk their ears when they hear about this destination because it’s a tad less known. But, the picturesque town and beach of Mojacar are actually one of the most popular white villages in Andalusia.
Besides the beaches and astonishing views scattered around the town, there are more reasons to love Mojacar. There are a bunch of places to eat good food.
Plenty of opportunities to participate in various watersports and golf courses. Along with some of the region’s best seafood. In Mojacar, you can find an authentic Spanish resort town experience.
A hub of Roman ruins and history beautifully surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Tarragona Hotels on Booking
Let’s say that you want a taste of the history and natural attractions of Spain at the same time. Go for a trip to Tarragona in the Catalonia region.
The city has some of the most impressively preserved ruins from the Roman era, including the Tarragona Amphitheatre, a Roman chariot track, and an ancient aqueduct. The city’s Old Town also has enticing markets, beaches, and shopping streets.
There are enough things to do that you could spend a couple of days getting to know Tarragona. However, Tarragona is only a little over an hour from Barcelona. So, you can get your easily fill of the historic seaside city on a day trip if you’re on a tight schedule.
Palma de Mallorca
📍 Google Maps | Best Places to Stay in Palma de Mallorca | 👉 Browse Palma de Mallorca Hotels on Booking
Mallorca is a Spanish island off the coast of the Balearic Sea, significantly larger than its more famous cousin Ibiza. The main resort city and capital is Palma, which is known for beautiful beaches and historical sites.
Check out Palma’s famous (and absolutely stunning) “Cathedral of Light,” the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, and the 14th-century Bellver Castle.
For more, check out Lea Rose’s guide to the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca.
This northern Spanish city has more Michelin-star restaurants than almost anywhere else in the world
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse San Sebastian Hotels on Booking
San Sebastian is a city in northern Spain that has a lot of different things to offer its visitors. Sweeping landscapes, welcoming beaches, and a rich nightlife scene. However, the thing that San Sebastian is really known for is its delectable food. There are 24 Michelin-star restaurants in this port city with varying types of cuisine.
All you have to do is wander around the city’s Old Town to find some of the most incredible dishes you’ve ever had. As you can imagine, foodies adore San Sebastian and all its mouthwatering food offerings.
A volcanic island chain less than 70 miles from Africa with a plethora of mindblowing natural attractions
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Canary Islands Hotels on Trip Advisor
Spain’s Canary Islands have some of the best weather in all of Europe due to its southernmost location. You’ll almost always have warm weather and continual bright sunny days.
The Canary Islands is home to breathtaking landscapes and incredible beaches. Once you see the ethereal island for yourself, you’ll understand why it’s one of the most popular Spanish vacation destinations.
🇵🇹 Read Next: Best Places to Visit in Portugal
FAQs on Where to Go in Spain
What is the nicest part of Spain to visit?
The Andalusia region is the nicest part of Spain to visit. There are so many enticing destinations throughout Spain, including the regions of Catalonia, the Basque Country, and the Canary Islands. But, the Andalusia region offers visitors everything they could want: beauty, history, and excellent food. It’s a fantastic part of Spain to visit.
Where is the most beautiful city in Spain?
Barcelona is the prettiest city in Spain. The Medeterrian city is perfectly situated between the mountains and the sea. Providing some of the best weather in the country throughout the year. It’s a bustling metropolis, a mountainous urban oasis, and a beach town all at once. Everything visitors could possibly dream of in a Spanish city.
Where should I go to Spain for a week?
Visitors with just a week in Spain should visit Seville, Barcelona, and Madrid. These are the county’s most well-known major cities. Each of these cities is unique from each other and gives visitors the perfect week-long taste of Spain. For more ideas, see our full suggested itinerary for Spain.
What is the number one tourist attraction in Spain?
La Sagrada Familia Basilica is the number one biggest tourist attraction in Spain. The massively impressive church is located in Barcelona. It costs 20 EUR to visit La Sagrada Familia and visitors should book tickets in advance online.
Thanks for reading my list of the best places to visit in Spain. Before you start packing for Spain just yet, read our Spain travel insurance guide to make sure you’re protected on your trip.
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