Welcome to Spain, where every town and village has its own character and flair. While you plan your trip, you’ll have plenty of places to choose from and things to do. Here’s a list to get you started: some of our favorite tourist destinations in Spain.
1. The Alhambra
Situated above the city of Granada, the Alhambra palace-fortress-garden complex is one of the last and most impressive remnants of the Islamic empire. Wander through the gardens, tour the courtyards and see the ruins of the old medina. Then, enter the palace and prepare to have your breath taken away by the intricate decoration that covers every inch of space and wall. And when it’s all over, sit and look out over the beautiful city from afar. One of the most famous tourist destinations in Spain, the Alhambra impresses from close up and from far away. If you have a chance, walk up one of Granada’s many hills to see it at night, a site that you’ll never forget.
2. The Sagrada Familia
You may be familiar with the name Antoni Gaudí, but until you visit Barcelona’s famous Sagrada Familia Cathedral, one of the best-known Spanish tourist attractions, you won’t truly understand the magnificence of his work. From inside out, the still unfinished cathedral shines with unusual and beautiful design. Take your time examining the outside of the building as well as its interior, because even though there’s so much to see, you won’t want to miss a thing!
When I think island, I think of sandy beaches and warm sunshine. And if you’re looking for an island, Mallorca is one of the best tourist destinations in Spain to choose, as it offers these two things in abundance. But don’t be fooled, there’s lots more to see on the island. From mountains to ruins and from decadent cathedrals to ancient cities, you’ll never be bored during your visit to Mallorca.
4. Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba
Another bastion of the Islamic empire, the Great Mosque of Cordoba (now a cathedral) boasts a combination of incredible historical relevance and stunning architectural beauty. Step inside one of the most spectacular Spanish tourist attractions, and you’ll be greeted with red and white striped horseshoe arches, typical of Islamic architecture. But as you walk further, you’ll see the brightly lit, high ceilinged alter of the cathedral within. This juxtaposition may seem odd at first, but you won’t be able to take your eyes away from the beauty of the Cathedral-Mosque.
If you’re staying in Madrid, make sure you take a day trip to the hilltop town of Toledo. As you walk through the winding and narrow streets, you’ll come upon many architectural beauties as well as the famous paintings of Spanish artists, including El Greco. While you’re there, don’t forget to try the world-famous marzipan! If you’re looking for tourist destinations in Spain, this one is absolutely worth a visit.
6. Palacio Real
A trip to Madrid would not be complete without a tour one of the most famous royal Spanish tourist attractions, the Palacio Real. The royal palace no longer houses the royal family, so its rooms and halls are filled with historical artifacts and intricately designed furniture and décor. This is definitely a must-see attraction in Madrid!
7. Camino de Santiago
Of the many tourist destinations in Spain, the Camino is one of the most flexible. This famous pilgrimage route has been travelled for hundreds of years, and people travel from around the world to walk in their footsteps. The best part about the Camino is that you can start from wherever you’d like, be it in the French Pyrenees or just outside its endpoint, Santiago de Compostela. Take in the beautiful landscape as you go and stay in albergues, special Camino hotels, along the way for cheap accommodation and a home-cooked meal.
Another island with a completely different flavor, Ibiza is one of the top Spanish tourist attractions thanks to its relaxing beaches and non-stop nightlife. Spend your days sunbathing or exploring, then get ready for nights out like you’ve never had them before. There’s something for everyone on the island of Ibiza.
8. Museo del Prado
Another must-see in the city of Madrid, the Museo del Prado is and has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain. The museum houses works from some of the most famous Spanish painters like Velasquez and Goya, along with an impressive collection of artwork from around the world.
9. San Sebastian
Our final Spanish tourist attraction, San Sebastian presents visitors with a mix of beaches and culture. Set in the middle of Spain’s Basque Country, San Sebastian is a quaint beachside city with a lovely old town and an attractive newer section. While you’re there, you can’t pass up the famous Basque pinchos, served up gourmet style in San Sebastian.
You can’t go wrong visiting any of these Spanish tourist attractions, but don’t forget that Spain is one of the most diverse and vibrant countries in the world. There’s always more to do and see!
What are your favorite tourist destinations in Spain?