40 best cities to visit in Spain

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40 Best cities to visit in Spain

Spain is almost like a small continent in itself. Due to its location, Spain is bathed by both the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea. For centuries different civilizations have settled in this territory, shaping the landscape and the cities you will find today. In this section, we will cover the best cities to visit in Spain. Depending on how many days you will be travel to Spain, and also on how much you may want to move you will have chances to visit 1, 2,3 or more cities. Motorway connections and rail connections are fantastic in Spain and they will ease your travel planning.  

Some cities are among the best places to visit in Spain. The diversity of cultures, climate and topography has an impact on the Spanish cities and their people. In this section we cover the best cities to visit in Spain. Enjoy while you discover them! You will find in each city ideas to plan your perfect trip, interactive maps, hotel, restaurants and attractions recommendations. You will be able to filter in our maps by your travel style to ease your trip planning to the cities of your choice. 

Best cities to visit in Spain

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The ESSENTIAL Top 10

To start off this section, we polled our local expert guides to determine the top 10 essential cities of Spain. these cities all feature something unique that you just have to experience at least once in your life. On this list there is everything from exquisite medieval cities, to bubbling modern metropolis’ to otherworldly natural beauty.    

Ibiza City Guide

Ibiza city guide

Ibiza the party capital of Europe but his magical island has so much more to offer from spectacular beaches to charming medieval towns, Ibiza has something for everyone. Plan the perfect vacation for you with our Ibiza city guide.

alcazar of toledo day

Toledo city guide

Toledo may shadow today next to Madrid, the capital. Relatively small in size, Toledo is however large, actually huge, in the nations´s history and it is a must see place for culture seekers.

Toledo used to be the capital of Spain till this honour changed in favour of Madrid. Toledo was once a super religious power and the centre of a multicultural society that, despite not always in peace, managed to live together in the middle ages.

Santiago de Compostela guide thumbnail

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela became famous as a result of the great medieval pilgrimages to the tomb of the apostle James the Great. Santiago de Compostela is today a vibrant university town, with lots of heritage, fantastic gastronomy and the end of El Camino. Located in the North-west, Santiago is for sure of one of Spain´s top cities

Bilbao gate

Bilbao city guide

Bilbao city guide with recommended list of hotels, restaurants, places to visit, weather, prices, monuments, things to see and do, and much more. Bilbao is Spain´s 4 largest city. Its industrial history is being “shadowed” by architectural inspiration, art galleries, and a plethora of cultural and gastronomical activity.

City guide San Sebastian thumbnail

San Sebastian city guide

San Sebastian city guide with a recommended list of hotels, restaurants, places to visit, weather, prices, monuments, things to see and do and much more. With its amazing gastronomy offering, San Sebastian is for sure one of the top cities to visit in Spain

Valencia city guide thumb

Valencia city guide

Valencia, which is the capital of the province of the same name and the third largest city in Spain, is situated on the Río Turia in the middle of an extensive and fertile plain, the Huerta of Valencia. It is a university town and the seat of an archbishop. Various annual festivals are held in this cheerful, lively city. Of these, the Fallas deserves particular mention. Valencia is the homeland of paella, one of Spain´s top national dishes

Granada city guide thumbnail

Granada city guide

Almost unrivalled for its beauty and architectural splendour, the entire city of Granada has been declared a national monument. It lies at the foot of Spain’s mightiest massif, the Sierra Nevada, On the right side of the city lies the Albaicin district, the city’s oldest quarter; on the left rises the imposing Alhambra, which makes of Granada a must visit city in Spain

Seville city guide thumb

Seville city guide

The variety and quality of the artistic heritage in the city of Seville, the mixture of styles, eras and civilizations, and the special color of this city makes it an unforgettable place. White streets and squares, flamenco dancing, the river Guadalquivir and the Cathedral and Giralda are just a few of the reasons why Seville should be in your list!

Madrid city guide

Madrid city guide

Madrid is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.3 million inhabitants but the entire metropolitan area gets to a population of approximately 6.5 million. It is a vibrant city, where art and fun co-exist. In this Madrid city guide you will find ideas to plan your trip and make the most out of it.

Thumb Barcelona city guide

Barcelona city guide

Barcelona is Spain´s second largest city and the capital of Catalonia. The city has something from everyone. Its Mediterranean character contrasts its gothic roots, which also contrast with its wide avenues and beautiful modern buildings.

Barcelona is a place where architecture and art melt together. The influence of Gaudi has been profound and exceeds his masterpieces.

All the cities on this list are great visits. Madrid and Barcelona offer the best airport connections, not just as arrival or departure points, but also to connect with other cities within the country (by plane or railway)

Cities in Northern Spain (San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Santiago de Compostela, etc.), of course,  enjoy cooler weather and greener scenery.  In this region, you can enjoy everything from the amazing gastronomy, to La Concha beach in San Sebastian, to the legendary Camino de Santiago, to the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.

In Andalusia, you will find must-see cities like Granada, Seville, and Cordoba. They are simply amazing and some of Spain´s top tourist attractions are to be found in them: The Alhambra in Granada, the Great Mosque in Cordoba, and the Giralda in Seville. Each of these top attractions justifies any trip. 

Valencia is a spectacular, modern and historic city, surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches and natural landscapes in the country. Valencia is famously home of the paella and a true Mediterranean city with fantastic attractions for family travellers. Nature lovers will also enjoy the Albufera natural park!

Top 30 Cities in Spain

Once we have talked of the absolute essentials, it’s time to go a bit deeper and explore the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. Our guides were now asked to determine the top 30 cities remaining that, might not have “have-to-visit-once-in-you-life” status, but are gems non the less. 

Here you will find cities like Pamplona that hoasts the San Fermín festival and the running of the bulls, places like Málaga and Marbella that offer spectacular beaches and bubbling nightlife or mythic historical cities like Ronda, from where you can also visit iconic white villages like Setenil de las Bodegas or Frigiliana. You will also find quaint, tucked away little towns like Laguardia that is hidden in the Rioja wine country, and spectacular beach towns like Las Palmas in the tropical Canary Islands. 

Salamanca city guide
Cities

Salamanca city guide

The city of Salamanca isn’t always on peoples radar when planning a trip to Spain, but it most definitely should: a beautiful city filled with history and held as one of UNESCO’S world heritage sites, one of the oldest universities on the planet and tons of delicious (and affordable) food and wine. What else could you want?

santander
Cities

Santander City Guide

Santander is the largest city and capital of Cantabria, located in Northern Spain. The North of Spain is lush, green, and mountainous but at the same time is home to some of the most amazing beaches you will find in Spain. Asturias is no different. The city is wealthy and beautiful, full of culture, with all sorts of delicious local delicacies to be enjoyed.

Cities

Merida, Spain city guide

Mérida, also known as the Spanish Rome, was a stage on the silver road from Salmatica (Salamanca) to Italica (Seville). The name of the town is derived from the Roman Emerita Augusta, for it was founded as a colony for veterans of the V and X legions in around 23 BC. This city in Extremadura is a must do for art and history lovers who will enjoy every minute at the Theatre and Amphiteatre, the castle, acueduct, bridge or museum. Merida is a great stop on the way from Madrid to Seville

Burgos city guide
Cities

Burgos city guide

Our Burgos city guide has all the information to plan the perfect getaway to this amazing, historical city of Northern Spain. Discover much more than just the cities legendary Cathedral.

Cáceres
Cities

Cáceres city guide

Cáceres is located in Extremadura in south-west Spain. Cáceres is one of the most “medieval” cities in Spain, similar to Toledo. There are remains of medieval Cáceres are everywhere and the city feels frozen in time. The historic city center is a UNESCO world heritage site and it is an underrated food city.

Marbella
Cities

Marbella city guide

Marbella is known for its spectacular beaches and its amazing nightlife, but this city has much more to offer, discover it for yourself. White houses, squares, traditional restaurants, flowers on the walls…. A part of Marbella has survived to the touristic development and remains authentic.

Sunset Cádiz
Cities

Cádiz city guide

Cuenca is located in Andalucía in southern Spain. Cádiz is a port city that was once the naval “gateway” to Spain. A city founded by the Phoenicians, it is also one of the oldest inhabited communities in Europe with archaeological remains dating back over 3 thousand years.

santa cruz de tenerife
Cities

Santa Cruz de Tenerife city guide

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is located on the island of Tenerife which is part of the Canary Island archipelago, a Spanish territory of the coast of Morroco. It is the capital of the island and its largest and most cosmopolitan city. The Island of Tenerife is a tropical jewel that enjoys amazing weather all year round and features some of the most spectacular beaches you will ever see.

Cuenca at night
Cities

Cuenca, Spain city guide

Cuenca is located in Castilla la Mancha in the center of Spain. Cuenca is brimming with history, culture, and charm. Most people know Cuenca because of its emblematic hanging houses that scarily cling to the cliff that the historic city center is built on. But the city has a lot more to see and experience. Cueca is known for its particular and delicious take on Manchego cuisine and the city is home to several museums and monuments that are absolutely worth a visit.

Seacoast in Puerto de la Cruz
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Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

Puerto de la Cruz was Tenerife´s top tourist resort till the lated 1970s. Despite it is not the most authentic place in the island, there are a good number of interesting buildings and attractions which make it an interesting visit.

gibraltar city guide
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Gibraltar city guide

Gibraltar is a small British territory attached to the south of Spain. This tiny peninsula is odd, beautiful and full of history. check out our Gibraltar City Gide for all the information you need on what is known as The Rock

las palmas city guide
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Las Palmas city guide

Las Palmas is the capital and largest city of Gran Canaria, and the co-capital of the Canary Islands. Las Palmas is the perfect combination of natural beauty, history and modern amenities.

benidorm
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Benidorm City Guide

Benidorm is a popular beach town in Alicante, a province of the Community of Valencia. This laid back beach town is a popular party destination and is home to some of the best beaches on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

palma de mallorca city guide
Cities

Palma de Mallorca city guide

Our Palma de Mallorca city guide is the ultimate tool for exploring the capital city of the island of Mallorca. Or expert local guides have compiled all of the information you will need to plan the perfect visit to this amazing city.

sitges
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Sitges City Guide

Sitges is a beautiful beach town just south of Barcelona, known for its artsy and laid back vibes and spectacular beaches. Sitges is also very well known for its film festival and for its vibrant LGTB community and the cities pride week which is celebrated every June.

Sepulveda
Hidden Gems

Sepulveda

Sepulveda is a beautiful Segovian town that offers the opportunity to enjoy not just the town, but also great trekking opportunities in the natural reservoir of Hoces del Duraton (home to many vulture families). As part of the Hoces del Duraton you will also be able to enjoy La Ermita de San Frutos and its fantastic scenery

Alcazar de jerez de la Frontera
Cities

Jerez de la Frontera city guide

Segovia city guide with recommended list of hotels, restaurants, places to visit, weather, prices, monuments, things to see and do and much more

Hidden Gems

Ciudadella – A picturesque city port in Menorque

Ciutadella is (After Mahon) the second largest town in Menorca and until 1722 the island´s capital. It is today the seat of a bishop but above all a beautiful, attractive and appealing city.Its port is full of restaurants where you will enjoy fish with fantastic views.

puerto del carmen lanzarote
Cities

Puerto del Carmen City Guide

Puerto del Carmen is located on the island of Lanzarote which is part of the Canary Island archipelago, a Spanish territory of the coast of Morroco. Puerto del Carmen is well known on the island for its pristine beaches and laid-back vibes. if you are traveling to Lanzarote and you just want to sit back and relax, Puerto del Carmen is the place for you.

Top 14 Segovia tourist attractions
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Segovia city guide

Segovia city guide with recommended list of hotels, restaurants, places to visit, weather, prices, monuments, things to see and do and much more

Alicante coast line
Cities

Alicante City Guide

Alicante is one of Spain’s top touristic destinations, with good reason. This beautiful city is located on the Mediterranean coast of Spain and is one of the Largest cities in the region of Valencia. Alicante offers spectacular beaches, excellent food, and a vibrant nightlife.

Cathedral of Leon
Cities

León City Guide

León is the Capital of the región of Castilla y León and it’s second largest city. León is located in the north east of the country and is a city that is often overlooked by tourists visiting Spain.

Pamplona, Spain
Cities

Pamplona City Guide

Pamplona is well known around the globe for the running of the bulls that takes place through its streets in July every year. But Pamplona has much more to offer travelers that are willing to take the time to get to know the city. Pamplona and the region of Navarra enjoys a deep and interesting history and a unique local culture unlike anything else in Spain.

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Avila city guide

Segovia city guide with recommended list of hotels, restaurants, places to visit, weather, prices, monuments, things to see and do and much more

las palmas city guide
Cities

Tarifa city guide

Tarifa is a city in the region of Cádiz in Andalucía. Tarifa is well known for its windy conditions which make it one of the best places in the world for wind surfing, surfing, kite surfing, etc. But Tarifa has a bunch of different tricks up it’s sleeves.

Murcia City Guide
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Murcia city guide

Murcia is the largest city and capital of the autonomous community of Spain that carries the same name. Murcia is a spectacular city of Southern Spain that often gets overlooked by tourists planning to visit the southern-most region of the Iberian peninsula.

costa teguise
Cities

Costa Teguise city guide

Costa Teguise is located on the island of Lanzarote which is part of the Canary Island archipelago, a Spanish territory of the coast of Morroco. Costa Teguise is popular and well known on the island for its amazing beaches and turquoise water. if you are traveling to Lanzarote and you just want to sit back and relax,Costa Teguise is the place for you.

Cities

Mahon city guide

Mahón is the Capital of Menorca and one of Spain´s cities with larger British influence.Today it holds a population of around 30,000 and its main highlight is with no doubt its beautiful harbour; one of the Mediterranean most impressive natural harbours. Discover in this Menorca city guide all you need to plan your visit to Mahón.

Lagusardia
Hidden Gems

Laguardia

This small Spanish village was founded in 908 by Sancho Abarca of Navarre to defend the frontier, when it was known as La Guarda. It was originally laid out in the shape of
a ship, with the bow facing North. and the stern South. In 1164 it achieved town status under Sancho el Sabio. In 1194 its fortifications were extended by King Sancho el Fuerte. Cars are not permitted inside the walled city!

Ronda city guide
Cities

Ronda city guide

Andalusia is home to many amazing cities, one of which is Ronda. Find out what makes it so special.

City-break ideas in Spain

Our team of local experts has put together a series of recommendations to enjoy the best of Spain´s main cities in 1 to 3 days. They are a fantastic way to get your trip framework ready in a few minutes and can be easily customised with other things to do in Spain based on your travel style. 

Secrets Lanzarote Resort & Spa

All Inclusive beach resorts in Spain

With so many beaches to choose from, Spain boasts impressive all inclusive beach resorts in all its seaside regions. Great value for money and excellent quality set Spain aside as a top “no hassle” destination

Day trips from malaga

Day Trips From Málaga: Gibraltar, Caminito del Rey and more

In this article are local guides go over the best day tours from Málaga. Málaga is an amazing city in Andalucía, surrounded by many amazing attractions which are best visited using tour companies that operate tours that offer great value for money. Amongst the most popular day tours from Malaga you will find Gibraltar, Ronda, white villages like Frigiliana and the famous Caminito del Rey. One of the most popular day tours from Malaga takes you to Morocco! and you will also be able to visit Granada from Malaga as a day tour.

Best Day Trips from Barcelona- begur

Best Day Trips from Barcelona

A list of the best day trips you can take if you are staying in Barcelona. The Catalonian capital is amazing, but if you are looking to explore outside the city, you are in the right place. these day trips have been hand-picked by our expert local guides. From Barcelona you will be able to enjoy day tours to Montserrat and its famous Monastery, the wine region of Penedes where cava wines are produced, or even combine 3 countries in 1 day with the possibility to visit both France and Andorra in one day!

Málaga trip

Málaga trip – 1 or 2 days city break

Plan a wonderful day or two in Málaga. Málaga is one of the most popular cities to visit in Andalusía and one of the most popular city breaks to enjoy in Spain. Málaga offers amazing beaches, a vibrant historical city center and plenty of activities to enjoy when you have had your fill of crystal clear water and powdery sand. A great city break that combines art, gastronomy and beach relaxation in just 2 days. Find out in this ready to use itinerary all the top recommendations to make the most out of your time during your city break in Malaga, Spain

Day trips from Madrid

Madrid is one of the few cities in the world, if not the only one, that can claim to enjoy so many Unesco heritage sites at less than 1 hour drive from the Capital.

Fascinating medieval villages where local gastronomy remains unspoilt, top palaces and gardens (El Escorial, Aranjuez, La Granja) or one of the world´s most impressive medieval walls in Avila. Add the famous hanging houses of Cuenca, the wines of Ribera del Duero, the windmills of Don Quixote, or the elegance and beauty of Salamanca and you will start to consider Madrid as a perfect base from where to enjoy day after day amazing destinations.

We have left to the end of this list Segovia and Toledo, 2 of the World´s bes preserved medieval cities and, in both cases, ancient capitals of Spain.

valencia trip

Valencia trip – 1 or 2 days Valencia city break

Valencia is one of Spain’s most beautiful cities. Check out our Valencia city break to plan the perfect getaway to this absolutely magical corner of Spain. IN this city break guide to Valencia you will find a ready to use itinerary with recommended things to visit, hotels, restaurants, day trips, and tours in Valencia. You will also find a tentavtive budget for your city break in Valencia. You can also find recommendations to adapt your trip to your travel style

Mirador del Jazmín 3 stars

Granada trip – 1 or 2 days Granada city break

Granada is a magical place and it offers one of the most extraordinary city breaks in Spain. The Alhambra stands on the hill. Behind it the Sierra Nevada and its white peaks. Granada was moorish, but also jewish. Granada was actually known as the city of jews, where they flourished. We are sure you will get lost in the Albaicin district, relax at one of Granada´s baths and envy the dance of gipsys from the Sacromonte. Find in this city break guide to Granada all the information you need to plan your trip effectively and on budget: hotel recommendations, best places to enjoy local food, top attractions, viewpoints and things to see during your city break in Granada.

Roman bridge and Calahorra tower

Cordoba trip – 1 or 2 days city break

A fantastic itinerary to enjoy the best of Cordoba in one day or two days. Cordoba and its Mosque are a Must visit in Spain. Cordoba can be visited in one day, but for anyone who prefers not to rush two days many things await too! Selection of recommended restaurants to fit the itinerary, hotel selection and best things to do

Attractions in Seville : La Giralda in Seville

Seville trip – 2 days city break

A 2 day short break to enjoy Seville in Andalusia, Southern Spain. Ideas, recommendations and itineraries to get the max out of your stay. Discover the fascinating mix of cultures that contributed to the current heritage of Seville. Flamenco, La Giralda, the Barrio Santa Cruz, Calle Sierpes, the “Las seats” modern architecture. Enjoy Seville with this fantastic 2 day plan!

Retiro Park in Madrid

Madrid trip – 2 days city break

Madrid in 2 days. A complete itinerary to enjoy a short city break in Spain´s capital. Stay in Madrid with a plan that includes daily maps, budget and a list of hotels, restaurants and recommended things to do. Adapt the plan to your budget and your travel style and get the most out of 2 days in Spain´s Capital. A simple guide to find all you need to know to enjoy a city break in Madrid.

Park Güell 9

Barcelona trip 2 day city break

Guide to enjoy a city break in Barcelona during 2 or 3 days. A complete itinerary to enjoy a short-break in Barcelona. Day to day activities, recommended hotels to fit the itinerary and restaurants to enjoy local gastronomy. In this complete city break to Barcelona you will find budget per person per day in Barcelona and daily activity plan maps and timing per day. You will also find ideas to adapt the itinerary to your budget and travel style

In-depth stories. Discover the traditions of some of Spain´s top cities

You will be able to enjoy some of Spain´s most important festival in these cities. Learn more about them. If you can make your trip coincide with one of these festivals you will for sure enjoy a great atmosphere. In any case, learning a bit about local traditions will help in making your trip experience more enjoyable. You can find also some general travel tips to Spain in this section. 

Carnival of Tenerife / Carnaval de Tenerife

Carnival of Tenerife: The Ultimate Guide

One of the most colourful festivals in the world, the Carnival of Tenerife is second only to the one in Rio de Janeiro. During two weeks, the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are full of people that take part in parades, dancing competitions, or that simply observe the queens. A great party, with amazing atmosphere and one of the fun guaranteed festivals in Spain

Tarifa orcas

Tarifa orcas : the amazing tuna hunt

Tarifa orcas: Tarifa is continental Europe’s southernmost point and enjoys a unique climate and natural setting that makes it an excellent place for whale watching, the local population of orcas is particularly amazing to watch as they hunt tuna.

Andalusia

Seville Fair in April

After Easter vacation is over, halfway through spring, the city turns into the bride of the world, and for this, the streets tidy up with perfume and orange blossom flowers. It puts on a flamenco outfit, striped white, red and green, with frills to celebrate the Seville April fair.

La Merce in Barcelona, a colourful festival

The patron saint of Barcelona is the Virgen de la Mercé, and is celebrated every September 24TH since the nineteenth century to dismiss the summer solstice and prepare for the arrival of the colder months.

A Mediterranean feast that brings back all the inhabitants of the city to enjoy music, dance and street entertainment with Giants, Castellars and Sardanas that dance to traditional instruments such as the “chirimía” a kind of hornpipe.

Malaga fair

The Malaga fair

The Málaga Fair dates back to the fifteenth century when Málaga joined the Crown of Castilla in the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, who entered the city the 19th of August after the reconquest. Since then the City Council set this date to commemorate the fact, and the Malaga fair is established as the big summer fair every August 15th.

Malaga Fair has a reputation for being a very open and participatory festival, both national and international tourists, given the position of the city as the capital of tourism on the Costa del Sol

Best things to do in Spain in July

San Fermin Festival: the Running of the Bulls

The running of the Bulls of San Fermin, known as the San Fermin Festival, is celebrated each year in Pamplona from the 7th to the 14th of July.

The start of these bull runs at any town festival goes back to the necessity of transporting the animals from the holding pens outside the city to the plaza where they will engage in the San Fermin bull fights later in the evening.

San Isidro Madrid

San Isidro in Madrid festival, Bulls and Rosquillas.

Each 15th of May in Madrid is the festival of San Isidro, the patron of Madrid. For a period of five days, locals take to the streets to celebrate their pilgrimage in the Pradera of San Isidro and also to enjoy music, dancing and Madrid cuisine in the gardens of the Vistillas.
The day before the party, in the streets of downtown Madrid, you can hear the excitement from the Parade of Giants, announcing the arrival of the Proclamation that occurs on the afternoon of the 14th on Plaza de la Villa.

Las Fallas, Valencia

They say that the city´s bonfires originated from wanting to burn everything old: branches of the fields and all the bad things from the past year are burnt to start the spring strong with new strength and optimism for the new harvest. Fallas Valencia. These 2 words, like also paella, go togehter in the minds of Spanish people.

Particularly in Valencia, they say the carpenters cleaned their workshops to have them ready for the San Jose festivities and burned all the remains in big bonfires, that with time got decorated, resulting is the Valencia Fallas.

Christ image during a procession in Seville

Seville Easter festival

Semana Santa is the time of “La pasión” as locals refer to it. Seville Easter Festival or holy week is one of the busiest times of the year. Local sevillanos and Spaniards from other regions alike gather in the streets to encourage the different brotherhoods whilst they parade with heavy and beautiful art masterpieces through the narrow streets of Seville. Locals refer to this week as La Pasion!