Most popular cities in Spain you must visit
Spain, with its incredibly beautiful landscape and adorable cities and towns, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. From grand Madrid to sunny Seville to bustling Barcelona, there is so much to explore and discover in this country of endless charms.
Every city in this wonderful country possesses its own characteristic beauty. The various historical monuments scattered all across the country fascinate visitors every time they come across it, along with the endless list of exciting activities that are on offer. Planning to visit Spain anytime soon? This blog brings you the most popular cities in Spain.
Madrid possesses a vibrant nightlife, and perhaps for this reason it’s known as the city that never sleeps. Fabulous parks, brilliant museums, curious monuments, and happening cafes – you will find it all here! Plaza Mayor, the main square of the city, attracts a large number of tourists. Prado Museum and Gran Via, an upscale shopping street, are two other places worth exploring and visiting.
This city is also home to the world’s oldest continuously running restaurant, Casa Botin. To fill your boots with tapas and a glass of wine, head to the extremely famous indoor food market called Mercado de San Miguel.
One of the most popular cities in Spain is Barcelona, a Mediterranean and cosmopolitan city with Roman remains, medieval quarters and remnants of the 20th century Modernism. This city is home to symbolic creations by Catalan architects Antoni Gaudi and Lluis Domenech i Montaner – both UNESCO declared World Heritage Sites. Apart from this, the people here also conserve their culture enthusiastically, as is evident in the “fiestas of Le Merce,” and in their culinary habits.
Barcelona also possesses a typical Mediterranean character, one which is in full display at the Barcelona Coast. Nature lovers also have something to rejoice here, for the mountains in the Catalan Pyrenees and Cordillera Litoral range lie in close proximity to the city.
Granada was the last stronghold of the Islamic occupation of Spain, and this legacy is strongly reflected in its peculiar mixture of Spanish and Muslim heritage. The city is set against the mesmerizing background of the snowcapped Sierra Nevada mountain range. Undoubtedly, the main attraction here is the Alhambra, a magnificent palace and fortress complex, and a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site. One can get surreal views of the palace from the Mirador de San Nicolas in the Albayzin Quarter.
Apart from witnessing the fabulous flamenco performances orchestrated here, one must visit the ancient neighborhood of Albayzin, the Granada Cathedral – a masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance style, and the Arabic Baths.
The city of Seville is known as the frying pan of Europe, and is famous for its scorching summers. However, it’s cool city vibe, gracious Moorish architecture and ancient streets make it one of the top cities in Spain worth exploring. There are many leisure options available for a traveler, ranging from museums and art centers, theme parks, clubs, theatres etc.
One of the attractions here is the Santa Maria de la Sede Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site. Visit the Plaza de Espana, which measures the size of five football pitches, or pay a trip to the Jewish Quarter of Santa Cruz.
When it comes to popular destinations in Spain, few can defeat Toldeo. Known as the “city of the three cultures,” it preserves a rich artistic and cultural legacy in the form of fortresses, palaces, mosques, churches and synagogues. This city is also submerged in traditions, as is evidenced by the procession of the Most Holy Corpus Christi. To get a reflection of Muslim art, one should visit the Alfonso VI gate and the Bisagra gate.
Some beautiful churches worth visiting are San Sebastian and Santa Eulalia. Of course, one should visit the Cathedral, considered to be one of the highest points of Gothic art. The Cabañeros National Park, is another favorite with the tourists.
Cordoba, situated in the interior of Andalusia, amalgamates modernity and tradition, past and the present, with unparalleled sophistication. Dating back to a thousand years, this city has been designated a World Heritage destination. After all, not many cities can boast of having served as the capital of two empires.
Walking around the old quarter, one comes across a beautiful network of alleyways, white-washed courtyards and squares that surround the Great Mosque-Cathedral. The city is also home to fabulous buildings of the Andalusia heritage, the highest expression of which is reflected in the Medina Azahara. Parks like Sierra de Cardena and Sierras Subbeticas, besides others, should also be visited.
Valencia, being the repository of trade and culture, museums, theatre and cinemas, easily makes it to the list of most popular cities in Spain. The Valencian coast, with its fine beaches, vast sea and proximity to the coastal mountains, is uniquely attractive. For relaxation, dining and enjoying an evening by the sea, go to the beaches of La Malvarrosa and Levante.
Some other places worth checking out are L’Albufera Nature Reserve, home to the largest lake in Spain. To get splendid views of the city, head to the Miguelete Tower. Once here, don’t forget to taste a dish called Paella, the typical dish of Valencia. This city also has a vibrant nightlife. To experience it, head to a popular area known as Barrio del Carmen.
Spain has some of the most beautiful islands in Europe, and the most popular amongst them are divided between the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. The best part about them is that they all have unique features and characteristics. Whether it’s the glitz and glamor surrounding the beaches of Ibiza or the windswept volcanoes of Tenerife, there is something in store for every traveler.
For the most picturesque and quietist beach in Ibiza, go to Playa Cala Salada. Friendly hiking trails, snorkeling, bird watching etc., experience all this and more at Cala Mondrago beach, located at Mondrago Natural Park. At the Playa de Migjorn beach at Formentera, one can start with a morning paddleboard excursion, enjoy a midday cocktail or take a leisurely stroll.
Malaga is one of Spain’s foremost holiday destinations, primarily due to its mild climate, brilliant golf courses and excellent beaches. One of the prominent symbols of the city is the Alcazaba, the largest Arab fortresses in Andalusia. For complete leisure and relaxation, there is no better option than La Farola seafront promenade.
The historic side of this city is fully represented in various sites and locations like Town Hall Plaza de la Merced square – the site of the house where the famous painter Picasso was born. Festivals like Easter Week and Malaga Fair, brighten up the entire city. No trip to Malaga is complete without trying the pescaito frito, the most popular dish of the region.
Majorca is synonymous with world-renowned coves and beaches, besides being a famous countryside to enjoy culture, golf, countryside, water sports, etc. The landscape here is characterized by contrasts in terms of its physical features. There are places like Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains in the north, where the peaks reach an incredible height of 1400m above sea level.
This beautiful island is full of surprises, and one of the best ways of exploring it is by going for an outing. Possessing several hiking trails and routes, hiking is a highly popular activity here. Besides these, the inhabitants of this island highly preserve their culture, and this is reflected in the various literary events, exhibitions and concerts held throughout the year.
A gateway to Cantabria ensures a trip replete with gastronomic delights, incredible landscapes and a unique architectural heritage. Lying in the northern part of Spain, its home to various prehistoric caves, the most famous one of them being Altamira, designated as a World Heritage destination.
This city also lies on the eminent Way of Saint James pilgrim route, and as such, is dotted with famous monuments like monastery of Santo Toribio de Liebana, Magdalena Palace in Santander and Gaudi’s “Capricho” monument in Comillas. The marvelous coast of Cantabria also contains 60 beaches and holiday resorts like San Vicente de la Barquera and Laredo. Apart from all this, it’s a treat to taste delicious dishes like cocido montanes, sobaos and quesada pasiega cheesecake.