Places You Need To Visit In Spain
Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world. This comes as no surprise as there are a lot of tourist attractions in Spain. These attractions, combined with the great weather conditions, make for a great trip on your vacation.
Spain has a rich cultural history with numerous sites and landmarks to remember. Spain also has a long coastline which means that you can enjoy the Spanish sun at any of its beaches. The people are warm and welcoming, and there is no shortage of things to do in Spain. A tour around Spain will give you a great feel of its unique cultural heritage sites, glittering beaches, and beautiful blue Mediterranean waters. We know you will be spoiled for choices, so we have created this list.
Here are our 7 picks for the top destinations in Spain:
Museo del Prado and Paseo del Artes, Madrid
Located in central Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado is the foremost Spanish national art museum. It is said to house the most exceptional collection of Spanish and European art.
The rich collection of artworks at the Museo del Prado covers a long artistic period. The artworks range from 12th-century medieval artworks to 20th-century avant-garde. The collection comprises 8,200 drawings, 7,600 paintings, 4,800 prints, and 1,000 sculptures. It is also home to numerous historical documents.
Museo del Prado, on its own, is one of the top destinations in Spain and the world at large. However, you will find that Museo del Prado is situated at a place referred to as El Paseo del Artes. That translates as “the boulevard of arts”. This mile-long boulevard is also home to Museo Reina Sofia, Caixa Forum, and Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum. This boulevard is one of the best places to visit in Spain. A visit to El Paseo del Artes will put you where the highest concentration of artistic treasures exists. If you want to do things in Spain, visiting El Paseo del Artes or the Prado museum should be high on your list.
Plaza Mayor, Madrid
Plaza Mayor is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain. Since the 16th century, when it was first built, it has been a big part of the lives of the madrileños. Today, with the ease of travel, you can get to experience the taste of Spanish culture it has to offer.
Situated in the heart of the Spanish capital, Plaza Mayor is a town square bustling with activity. It is one of the best places to visit in Spain if you want to get a little bit of everything. There are cafés and restaurants where you can experience the local cuisine. You could also go shopping at any of the shops. You can also visit Plaza Mayor just for the sights. It is an architectural masterpiece, after all.
A fun cultural detail to note about the Plaza Mayor is that it has always been a site for events. It used to be the stage for ceremonies such as the proclamation of new kings, chivalric tournaments, and the canonisation of saints. Today it still serves as an event centre. Here, you can participate in cultural festivals and other forms of entertainment, such as concerts. It is also home to seasonal markets. Plaza Mayor is one of the top destinations in Spain for a rich cultural experience.
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
It will be difficult to find a church that comes close to the Basilica de La Sagrada Familia. The architectural quality of the building’s design is unmatched among churches worldwide. The wondrous sight makes it one of the best places to visit in Spain.
The initial constructions began in 1882 under the architect Fransisco de Paula del Villar. However, he resigned the next year, and Antoni Gaudi took over and revamped the project. It was quite an ambitious project, as Gaudi spent the rest of his life committed to the project. He died in 1926 but had only completed less than a quarter. He is buried in the crypt of the church.
The construction has moved slowly and has been delayed at different points. One of the most significant delays came when anarchists partially destroyed Gaudi’s original plans and models. This happened in 1936, during the civil war. It took 16 years to put together the pieces of the master model.
The basilica remains uncompleted today, with projections indicating a 2026 completion, 100 years after Gaudi’s death. However, the currently-standing structure makes it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain. It truly is a sight to behold.
Ibiza Beaches, Ibiza
Ibiza is a Spanish island off the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Widely regarded as the world’s party capital, Ibiza has gained a reputation as one of the top destinations in Spain. People troop worldwide for vacations, concerts, festivals, yoga retreats, and weddings.
Due to the island’s popularity, a lot of real estate development has taken place. More resorts and areas of residence have popped up in Ibiza. However, the main factors that make Ibiza one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain are the beaches. There are various beaches in Ibiza with different environments to explore. You can enjoy soft, sun-kissed sands or explore the more rocky beaches.
The beaches have numerous side attractions, including restaurants, clubs, party boats, and lots more. If you’re at a loss for things to do in Spain on your vacation, you won’t be once you get to Ibiza.
Alhambra Palace, Granada
As one of Spain’s UNESCO-designated world heritage sites, the Alhambra Palace in Granada stands out. The site has existed for over 800 years and stands as one of the remnants of the historical influence of Islam in Granada.
The Alhambra Palace has been well-preserved and still demonstrates the elegance of medieval Moorish architecture. It is indeed one of the best places to visit in Spain for a cultural experience.
The complex consists of different buildings, walls, gardens, towers, and mosques.
The magnificence of the palace is marked by intricate detailing in the stone carvings and ornamental work. There are stylish arches, elegant tile-lined ceilings, and massive courtyards. Exploring the Alhambra complex is one of the most fun and enlightening things in Spain. Tour companies offer organised exploration of the Alhambra complex to tourists. If you are visiting Granada on holiday, the Alhambra Palace is a site that you must not miss.
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
Pictures that you will see of the Guggenheim museum are beautiful, but they fail to do justice to the magnificence of this building. You have to see the Guggenheim Museum in person to admire the grandeur of this museum fully.
The Bilbao-based museum was inaugurated in 1997 by the then-King of Spain, Juan Carlos I. It was built along the Nervion River and is home to numerous permanent and visiting artworks. The art pieces displayed include those of Spanish and international artists and mainly feature modern and contemporary art.
The exhibitions change periodically, with the museum known to host thematic exhibitions too. There is only one permanent exhibit, known as “La material del Tiempo” (The Matter of Time) by Richard Serra. It features a series of weathering steel sculptures incorporating his previous work, “Serpiente”.
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is an incredible work of art itself. You might visit the museum and end up gazing in awe at this wonder of architecture. The museum is lauded as one of the most revered contemporary architectural masterpieces. Visiting this museum should be on your list of things to do in Spain.
Plaza de España and Parque de Maria Luisa, Seville
The Plaza de España (Spain square) is located in the Parque de Maria Luisa in the city of Seville. It was built for the Ibero-American exposition of 1929 to celebrate the various regions of Spain. This cultural landmark mixes different styles of Spanish architecture. Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival, and Moorish revival styles are represented in this elegant semi-circular building.
Maria Luisa Park is a half-mile with gardens, lawns, tiled fountains, benches, and shaded walks. The gardens were designed in a Moorish paradisiacal style, stretching along the river opposite central Seville.
If you’re planning things to do in Spain on vacation, you should include a visit to Seville. Here you can ride or walk through Maria Luisa Park or explore the Plaza de España. It is also a great place to picnic with family, friends, or your partner.
Spain is a beautiful country with a lot to offer its visitors. With a rich blend of art, culture, architecture, nature, and cuisine, you can surely enjoy your trip to Spain. We have helped you with a list of our top destinations in Spain to help guide your travel plan.