12 Best Cities In Spain To Visit

Spain is a totally stunning country to explore! It’s the kind of place that’s filled with incredible beaches, beautiful wine regions and the best cities in Spain that are dotted all over the country.

In fact, I’d go as far as saying that Spain’s cities are some of my favourite in Europe!

They all have their own totally unique identity and they’re all so different. Plus, there’s no cookie-cutter mould of how Spanish cities look, which means you’re in for a treat when exploring them all. 

Now, obviously, you’ve got your big-hitting cities like Barcelona and Madrid to visit, but it would be a total miss if you didn’t get to explore some of the other best cities in Spain, too.

 

1. Palma de Majorca.

Enjoy coves of turquoise water so clear that boats seem to be floating in the air, venture into hidden caves, visit lighthouses with endless views, and see unforgettable sunsets. That’s life on the largest of the Balearic Islands, a place of idyllic landscapes where the mountains are just a step away from the beach, and the inspiration for generations of writers, musicians and painters.

A trip to the island could start in Palma, its lively capital, and continue in villages where you can forget about the outside world, like Valldemosa or Sóller. The climate is always mild, and everywhere you go, you’ll find the true Mediterranean lifestyle and cuisine. Because Mallorca really embodies the Mediterranean spirit.

2. Barcelona.

With a heap of stunning Gaudi buildings and incredible free things to do, Barcelona Map is easily one of the best cities in Spain to visit on a trip to this incredible country.

Don’t forget to take a wander around the Gothic Quarter, explore Montjuïc and see the sunset from Tibidabo. The latter is a retro fairground overlooking the whole city. It’s so incredible. 

3. Madrid

There always seems to be some competition between Madrid and Barcelona! Now, without playing favourites, I’d say they’re both some of the best cities street in Spain to visit; but for very different reasons.

 

The thing that makes Madrid so incredible is the culture and history that the city has within its borders.

For instance, you’ve got the Prado Museum that has artefacts dating back almost 1000 years! Also, you kinda can’t miss the Royal Palace of Madrid that’s just so iconic, too. That being said, if you love art, head across to the Thyssen Museum that’s world-class.

Afterwards, make sure to see the Temple of Debod that’s a reconstructed Egyptian Temple that was gifted by Egypt to Spain. 

 

4. Bilbao.

Another Basque gem, Bilbao is a historic industrial city that’s become a pretty vibrant place to visit over the last decade. You can easily spend a weekend (or longer) here and we totally loved the laid-back vibe and how easy it was to walk most of the city street map. 

Once here, you’ve got to see the Guggenheim Museum and visit the exhibitions inside. Also, if just out of the city, you’ve got the Gaztelugatxe island, that’s attached via a bridge and gorgeous to visit.

Oh, and for some local food, pop over to La Ribera  Market. We gorged here! 

 

5. MALAGA

Eating just-caught sardines by the sea is one of life’s great simple pleasures, and the beaches either side of Malaga are the perfect place to do it – particularly after a morning at the Picasso and Carmen Thyssen museums.

Unlike some Spanish cities, it does not wind down in summer, and is particularly lively during the Malaga Fair in mid-August, when even the most reserved visitors might find themselves joining the locals for a twirl in the streets. Although there is plenty to see and do, Malaga street is really a place to kick back and just enjoy the laidback Mediterranean vibe.

 

6. Seville

Seville is a gorgeous city and the kind of place you can spend a long weekend enjoying! 

Once here, be sure to stroll the Space Metropol Parasol and the Plaza de Espana, too. They’re both stunning, just for very different reasons. 

 

Not only that, but Seville also boasts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Cathedral, the Alcázar palace,  and the General Archive of the Indies. This alone makes it one of the best cities in Spain to visit. 

 

7. Cadiz.

Our columnist, Sebastian Modak, is visiting each destination on our 52 Places to Go in 2019 list. Before Cádiz, he was enjoying the relaxing pace of Puglia, Italy’s boot heel.

Cádiz, the province and city on Spain’s southwestern edge, is an underdog — and I’m among the many travelers who have spent years overlooking it. I know Andalusia, the southern region it is part of, well. For years, it’s been a meeting point for my family who has just as much wanderlust as I do and is spread across the world.

My memories of Christmas are anchored by evenings spent gorging on plates of thinly sliced jamón iberíco on the Costa del Sol. We’ve done countless road trips through the pueblos blancos, or “white towns,” hidden in Andalusia’s hillsides, and visited all the sites in Granada and Córdoba

 

8. Cordoba.

Cordoba is one gorgeous city to visit in Spain. It’s the kind of that’s got so many charming places to see. 

After arriving, make sure to explore the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, visit the ruins of Medina Azahara (palace) and Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs. The latter is pretty close to the mosque, making it really easy to do most of it by foot.

Not only that, but it’s also relatively close to Seville and Malaga, making it easy to visit for a short weekend trip to explore some of the best cities in Spain. 
Slightly more laid back than Barcelona, Valencia also boasts a pretty epic number of things to do and UNESCO World Heritage sites like; La Llotja de la Seda.
Not only that, but Valencia also has one of the largest historic centres in Spain and is well renowned for its food. Paella, for instance, is a Valencian meal that you really can’t miss.

 

Also, don’t forget to visit the iconic City of Arts and Sciences, too. It’s totally stunning. Oh, and be sure to visit the Mercado de Colón for some tasty treats. We loved wandering all the stalls and buying coffees whilst exploring. It was so nice.

10. San Sebastian.

San Sebastian is one of the best cities in Spain to visit for food!
Not only that, but the whole Basque Region is also totally idyllic and pretty different from some of the southerly regions of Spain.
After strolling the promenade and visiting the peak at Urgull, make sure to head into the city streets to grab some of its famously fresh seafood and pintxos.

 

Quite a few places serve monkfish, which is so tasty! Just make sure to try their ‘cheeks’ it’s the tastiest part. 

Honestly, I think we left San Sebastian well and truly stuffed! 

 

11. PAMPLONA

Ernest Hemingway’s account of the running of the bulls in The Sun Also Rises turned Pamplona into one of the best-known cities in the world – for one week a year. But outside the booze-fuelled craziness of the San Fermin festival in July, the mood changes dramatically.

For the rest of the year, this elegant northern Spanish city is a different prospect. It’s lively enough – especially when the 30,000 students are in residence – but Pamplona’s lovely old town, its stunning vistas and city centre parks and gardens allow you to dictate the pace.

 


12. Zaragoza.


Nestled within the Aragon region of Spain, Zaragoza is one of the best cities in Spain to visit when driving the long route between Logrono and Lleida.

After arriving, make sure to see the medieval palace of Aljaferia, see the city cathedral (that’s again, so impressive) and stroll the historic area around the Goya Museum.

It’s so lovely and easily one of the best cities in Spain to explore when in the northeast.

 

 

 

 

 


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