28 Best Things to Do in Spain (in 2023)
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It should come as no surprise that there are a wealth of amazing things to do in Spain. The country boasts spectacular architecture, top art museums, gorgeous beaches, and delectable dishes. There is intriguing regional culture around every corner of Spain.
If you’re trying to nail down what to do when visiting Spain, call off the searches because you’re finally in the right place. I recently spent months traveling to all the highlights of the country, checking out some of the top places in Spain. Now, I’m here to report all the best things to do in Spain right now. Get a pen and paper ready, you’ll need it.
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Best Things to Do in Spain
La Sagrada Familia
Stare in awe at the most famous tourist attraction in Spain located in Barcelona.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (932)080-414 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 6 pm daily | Entrance: $28.44, adults, Free under 11
With more than 3 million visitors every year, La Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular attractions in Europe and easily one of the best things to see in Barcelona. It would be an injustice to not put Spain’s most iconic attraction right at the very top of this list. The intricate little details designed by Gaudi at this stunning basilica will hold your stare for longer than you might think.
Due to its notoriety, expect big crowds, especially during the high season. You’ll also need to book your ticket online in advance. There is no in-person ticket booth (I made this mistake, so take it from me!)
Explore the 29 acres of an otherworldly architectural masterpiece by Gaudi in Barcelona.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (934)-091-831 | Website | Hours: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm daily | Entrance: $10.94, adults, Free Under 6
When you’re staying in Barcelona, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Park Güell cannot be missed. This massive 29-acre park isn’t your everyday romp through the woods.
It is filled with mind-bending structures designed by the brilliant mind of Gaudi himself. You’ll find something unexpected around every corner. It’s a dream come true for photographers and Instagrammers alike.
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Visit a unique cathedral in northern Spain where Saint James The Apostle is buried.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (981)-58-3548| Website | Hours: 7 am – 8:30 pm daily | Entrance: Free
At the very end of the famous Camino de Santiago trek, you’ll discover the imposing Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Santiago de Compostela is a solid stop for anyone interested in architecture, as it’s influenced by a few different styles.
It’s also an important site in the Christian religion because the remains of Saint James the Apostle are actually kept here.
El Caminito del Rey
Hike along a 100-year-old elevated pathway through the El Chorro gorge in Malaga.
📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 9:30 am to 3:00 pm in winter, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm in summer | Entrance: $10.96 | 👉 Browse Tours to El Caminito del Rey
Nature lovers with a bit of the adrenaline junkie gene will love El Caminito del Rey in Malaga. It’s a heart-pumping hike set on a suspended walkway high above the dramatic scenery of El Chorro Gorge. It’s been a popular adventure for over 100 years so far and has some cool history linked to it too.
The trek is nearly 5 miles in total and takes around 2 hours to complete.
Get to know local legend Anotoni Gaudi’s work in this intricately-designed masterpiece.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +(932)-160-306 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 8 pm daily | Entrance: $38.34, adults, Free Under 12 | 👉 Browse Casa Batllo Tours on Viator
Another one of Gaudi’s treasures in Spain is the gorgeous Casa Batlló in the popular Spanish city of Barcelona. The facade of the building alone is ethereal, but the real magic happens once you step inside.
You’ll want to have your camera handy for this Barcelona wonder.
The Royal Alcázar of Seville
Spend some time at one of the most opulent palaces in all of Europe.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (954)-502-324 | Website | Hours: 9:30 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: $14.78, adults | 👉 Browse Royal Alcazar of Seville Tours
The Royal Alcazar of Seville is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the very best things to do in Seville, and the oldest royal palace in all of Europe that’s still in use to this day.
While you’ll be entertained by simply wandering around the palace, you won’t really get the full picture of its influence on Sevillian culture.
That’s why I’d recommend something like this Alcazar and Cathedral of Seville Tour. This one is a great option for travelers short on time because it includes skip-the-line tickets. Plus, it also takes you on a bonus stop to the Seville Cathedral.
📚 Related Reading: Where to Stay in Seville (Best Areas & Places)
Get a glimpse of this renowned, UNESCO-listed Islamic palace located in Granada.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (958)-027-971 | Website | Hours: 8:30 am – 8 pm daily | Entrance: $11.60 | 👉 Browse Alhambra Tours
Just when you think you’ve seen all the surprises of Spain’s architecture, there will be another incredible building to discover. Just look at the Alhambra in Granada for instance.
The Alhambra is signified by its Islamic architecture and the place is breathtaking. It’s actually one of the most well-preserved Islamic palaces on the planet. So, you’ll get to witness something beautiful and take in a bit of culture.
I do recommend booking your Alhambra tickets in advance, however. Depending on when you visit Spain, they can sell out weeks in advance.
Tablao Flamenco Cordobes Barcelona
Catch a traditional flamenco show in a beloved theater that’s been in business for over 50 years.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (933)-175-711 | Website | Hours: Depends on Show | Entrance: $50.38, adults, $25.00 for children aged 4 to 8 | 👉 Book the Best Flamenco Shows
When you’re visiting Spain, there are so many different aspects of the local culture to explore. One of the most fun pieces is the art of traditional flamenco dance. There are so many different venues to catch an authentic flamenco performance in Spain, but I’d highly recommend Tablao Flamenco Cordobes in Barcelona.
This high-energy flamenco venue has been putting on performances since 1970 and you can sense the expertise. You won’t be able to rip your eyes from the stage for the entire 1.5-hour performance.
The Royal Palace of Madrid
Stop by this emblematic Madrid landmark that serves as the official Spanish Royal Family residence.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (914)-548-700| Website | Hours: 10 am – 7 pm daily | Entrance: $13.13, adults, Free under age 5
When you start figuring out the best things to do in Madrid, the Royal Palace of Madrid will likely end up at the top of your list. There are more than 3,000 different rooms each with its own twist. While you can’t aimlessly wander to every single room in the Royal Palace, there are plenty of rooms accessible that will keep you busy for hours.
It’s one of the most famous attractions in the entire country and definitely a must-see in Madrid.
Mercado Central de Atarazanas
Fill up your belly on local Spanish fare at this beautifully-designed marketplace in Malaga.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (951)-926-010 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 3 pm daily, Closed Sundays | Entrance: Free
If you’ve read any of my articles before, you know I’m a huge fan of visiting local markets as a traveler. I think it’s one of the best ways to get in touch with a city’s local culture. In Spain, the market you cannot miss is Mercado Central de Atarazanas in the southern city of Malaga.
Endless rows of fresh, local produce will be splayed out on display, along with a bunch of ready-to-eat tapas bars. While the main pull is all the delicious Spanish cuisine, Mercado Central de Atarazanas is also just a gorgeous building with huge stained glass windows towering over shoppers.
Mercado Central de Atarazenas is one of the best things to do in Malaga, and a beautiful stop that pulls together all the coolest aspects of Spain.
Best Museums in Spain
Museo del Prado
Wander a prominent Madrid art museum featuring artists like Goya, El Greco, and Diego Velázquez.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (913)-302-800 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 8 pm daily, 10 am – 7 pm, Sundays | Entrance: $16.42
Spain is filled to the brim with impressive museums, but one of the most world-renowned is Museo del Prado. This Spanish art museum is distinguished by its enormous art collection with over 8,000 paintings and 700 sculptures to ogle.
Here you’ll get to meet masterpieces by distinguished European artists like El Greco and Diego Velazquez. Whether you’re a big art fan or just a novice, you’ll appreciate Museo del Prado.
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
Dive into the world of science at this futuristic-looking museum in Valencia that’s a big hit with kids.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (961)-974-686 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 7 pm daily | Entrance: $9.52, adults | 👉 Browse Ciudad de las Artes Tours
Ciudad de Las Artes y Las Ciencias is a museum for travelers who are fascinated with understanding the world around them. Located in the coastal city of Valencia, this museum will fascinate you from the very moment you lay your eyes on the façade. It looks like something out of a futuristic, sci-fi universe.
Once inside, you’ll be treated to an enormous complex of museums packed with informative exhibits and hands-on activities.
The Picasso Museum
Learn more about Spain’s most famous artist inside a medieval mansion complex in Barcelona.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (932)-563-000 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 7 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $13.13, adults, Free under age 18
Most travelers will hear the name “Pablo Picasso” ring with recognition in their head, but have you ever seen a treasure trove of his artwork before?
In Barcelona, you’ll have that opportunity at the Picasso Museum. There are over 4,200 authentic pieces crafted by the hands of the Spanish artist here. It’s one of the most beautiful art collections on the Iberian Peninsula.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Take a gander at the hundreds of 20th-century artworks in Spain’s version of this celebrated museum.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (944)-359-080 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 7 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $17.55, adults, Free under age 18
Before I went to Spain, I foolishly thought there was only one single Guggenheim located in New York City. However, there are actually four throughout the world, including one in Northern Spain.
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao contains a respectable collection of 20th-century artwork. This is another one of those Spain attractions that’s a two-for-one thanks to its show-stopping architecture. The giant silvery exterior of the museum looks like waves on the city’s skyline. It’s hard to miss.
Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum
Get a taste of European artwork over the past thousand years at this exceptional museum right on the Art Walk of Madrid.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (917)-911-370 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 7 pm daily, 12 pm – 4 pm Mondays | Entrance: $14.22, adults, Free under age 18
Visitors looking for a huge collection of European art will find everything their heart desires at Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum. The collection contains works from the past couple of centuries.
There is something for every artistic taste at this place, with pieces ranging from strange and humorous to historic and striking. You’re really doing yourself an injustice if you leave this Madrid museum off your Spain itinerary.
Best Restaurants & Bars in Spain
Dine on a menu crafted by 3 master chefs at the #3 best restaurant in the entire world.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (933)-486-896 | Website | Hours: 1 pm – 4:30 pm, 8 pm – 12 am daily, Closed Saturdays and Sundays
When you take a trip to Spain, you know you’re guaranteed some of the best meals of your life no matter where you dine. However, if you want to truly get the cream of the crop when it comes to restaurants in Spain, you want to book a table at Disfrutar. It’s one of the best restaurants in the entire world. Ranked at spot #3 as of 2022, to be exact.
Disfrutar is a fine dining paradise serving dishes that walk the line between art and food. They’re especially well-known for their mindfully crafted tasting menu. It’s best paired with Disfrutar’s series of international and Spanish wines.
Tackle Barcelona’s legendary nightlife at the #1 ranked the best bar on the planet.
📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 4 pm – 2 am daily, Sun-Wed, 4 pm – 2:30 am Thurs, 4 pm – 3 am Fri-Sat
Let’s cut to the chase – Spain’s nightlife is some of the craziest on the planet. Out of all those invigorating bars and clubs, the best one in the whole country is Barcelona’s Paradiso.
Not only is this considered the best cocktail bar in the entire city, but it actually managed to steal the top spot as the #1 bar in the world. The stellar atmosphere and beautifully designed cocktails equally contribute to this impressive ranking.
Get the full fine dining experience at this two Michelin star innovative restaurant in Madrid.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (917)-021-586 | Website | Hours: 1:30 pm – 3, 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm Wed-Sat, 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm Tues, Closed Sundays and Mondays
Madrid’s restaurant scene is extensive, yet no other restaurant in the whole city is quite like DSTAgE. This fine dining restaurant has truly mastered the art of creatively prepared food. Every time your waiter brings you another dish, you’ll be left with your jaw on the floor with both amazement and sometimes a bit of confusion.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that all the food is absolutely delicious.
Best Beaches in Spain
FYI, in addition to the below top beaches, we’ve got a whole post covering the best beaches in Spain.
Rent a kayak and hit the sea in the Andalusian paradise of Nerja.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (952)-521-531 | Website | Hours: 24/7 Daily | Entrance: Free
Nerja is a hidden gem on Costa del Sol on the south coast of Spain. At the heart of this region is Burriana Beach. This lively public beach is the perfect place to kick off a day of water sports. Specifically, renting a kayak or paddle boat is a favorite activity here.
Guided tours can take you out to get a new perspective of the rocky coastline, like this Kayak Route Cliffs of Nerja and Maro Tour. It’s an exciting excursion that will get your heart pumping after endless days of beach relaxation. It even comes with photos throughout the activity to capture the memory forever.
Cala Comte Beach
Take a dip in clear blue waters or grab a cocktail on this striking Ibiza beach.
📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24/7 Daily | Entrance: Free
Ibiza is a notorious party destination, but it’s also known for offering some of the prettiest Mediterranean beaches you can find.
Cala Comte Beach, in particular, is the type of place that looks almost too gorgeous to be real life. The water is crisply blue and it’s one of the nicest spots on the whole island to catch the sunset.
Lounge on the spacious expanse of shore surrounded by delicious food on Gran Canaria.
📍 Google Maps | Hours: 24/7 Daily | Entrance: Free
The Spanish archipelago called the Canary Islands has many gorgeous seasides. However, Gran Canaria’s Amadores Beach reigns supreme. The beach is encircled by places to eat and is immaculately clean. It is one of the nicest places to hang out during the summer in Spain.
Playa De Bolonia
Get away from all the hordes of tourists at this quiet, laidback white dune beach in southern Spain.
📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24/7 Daily | Entrance: Free
Travelers who get overwhelmed by super crowded beaches or just prefer a calmer atmosphere will appreciate Playa de Bolonia. Located near the Costa del Sol region, this beach is a little difficult to get to because it’s in a rather remote part of the country, but it’s worth the effort.
You’ll be rewarded with endless expanses of pristine, white sand dune beaches and plenty of room to make yourself comfortable on a beach day in Spain.
Take a break from the city streets of Barcelona with a swim at this lively seaside.
📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24/7 Daily | Entrance: Free
When most people visit Barcelona, they are not thinking of a “beach holiday”. However, it truly is one of those beautiful cities that has it all, even beaches.
There are quite a few lovely beaches dotted along Barcelona’s coastline, but the best is Barceloneta Beach. It’s easy to get there from the city center and really feels like a full-blown escape to the ocean.
Free Things To Do in Spain
El Retiro Park
Stroll through a Madrid park with hundreds of years of history, impressive monuments, and a lake for boating.
📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 6 am -10 pm daily | Entrance: Free
One of the best spots for hanging out and taking photos in Madrid also happens to be completely free – El Retiro Park. El Retiro is one of the largest parks in Spain with over 300 acres to explore.
Within those bounds are a maze of massive statues, exquisite buildings, and even a huge lake that you can rent a boat on. Although, you’ll have to pay for that privilege.
As you wander around this huge park, there will be new things to stumble upon each day, from food vendors to little street performances. Even though it doesn’t cost a penny, you can easily be entertained by this park for hours, if not days.
Plaza de España
Take photos of this stunning square that’s often considered the biggest landmark in Seville.
📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 8 am – 10 pm daily | Entrance: Free
Between eating at all the incredible restaurants in Seville and visiting the sites, you’ll probably have a fairly packed schedule. Make sure you don’t miss out on wandering Plaza de España, though. This famous attraction is totally free to visit and super photogenic, so have your camera handy.
Puente Nuevo Ronda
Take a hike around Ronda in southern Spain to get various angles of this statuesque bridge.
📍 Google Maps | Website | Entrance: Free
Although Ronda is a little off the beaten path, it’s secretly one of the most beautiful places to visit in Spain. There is one central attraction in this quaint town that just so happens to be free of charge – the Puente Nuevo Bridge.
You walk across this behemoth of a stone bridge to get into the town’s city center. Alternatively, you can also take hikes around the area to get an even better view from below. Either way, it won’t cost you a penny.
Grab some coffee or just enjoy the people-watching at the most famous square in Madrid.
📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24/7 Daily | Entrance: Free
For a major city, Madrid actually has a surprisingly long list of free stuff to do, like visiting Plaza Mayor. Despite its non-existent price tag, this square is actually one of the most famous places to visit in the city.
Technically, a lot of visitors grab a drink or food at one of the places around the perimeter, but it’s equally as fun just to sit down somewhere and people-watch.
Mercado de La Boqueria
Shop for munchies like local cheese and meats at this classic indoor market in the heart of Barcelona.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (934)-132-303 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 8:30 pm daily, Closed Sundays | Entrance: Free
Remember my earlier comment about how much I love markets? Well, another reason for the affinity is that markets are completely free to visit. It’s the perfect filler activity for any travelers on a budget in Europe.
In Barcelona, you absolutely have to spend some time at Mercado de la Boqueria. It’s practically a historical landmark because it’s been in operation for nearly 200 years. There is no better way to end a day of exploring in Spain than stopping by this stunning market and picking yourself up some locally sourced yummies.
FAQs about What to Do in Spain
What is the most fun thing to do in Spain?
The most fun thing to do in Spain is simply getting to know the local culture throughout the country. This includes activities like catching a traditional Flamenco show accompanied by Spanish folk music or getting a taste for the delicious cuisine at little tapas bars. If that’s not enough, the nightlife in Spain is sure to max out your fun-o-meter.
What can visitors do in Spain?
Visitors to Spain can spend their time getting to know the phenomenal cities and cute little towns across the country. Within these places, visitors will have a bunch of things to do.
There are world-known tourist attractions to discover, like La Sagrada Familia and the Royal Palace of Madrid. Between the sites, there are a myriad of top-ranking restaurants and bars to visit. Along with exceptional museums, theaters, beaches, parks, and even lots of free things to do. There really are quite a lot of things visitors can do in Spain.
What is the nicest part of Spain to visit?
The nicest part of Spain to visit is the Andalusia region. The region is home to several of the top places to visit in Spain.
While every district in Spain brings something special to the table, first-time visitors will get the most out of this area in the southern tip of Spain. Andalusia offers visitors sultry weather, magical beaches, and many of the country’s best attractions. Plus, this region has tons of amazing restaurants and unique local specialties to try.
Is Spain cheap to visit?
Spain can be cheap if you choose the best season to visit for low prices. The cheapest time to visit Spain is during the winter starting in January and lasting all the way until the end of March. The weather can be a little less optimal around this season, however, prices drop dramatically. Plus, the scarce visitors have the place mainly to themselves without many other tourists running around.
Thanks for stopping by to read my guide to the best things to do in Spain. Which activity is going at the tippy-top of your to-do list? Don’t get so excited about your trip that you forget to read my ultimate Spain packing list. You don’t want to forget a thing there or you’ll be in trouble. Happy wandering!
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