→ Is a trip of a lifetime
- Spain is home to one of the most widely diverse cultures and landscapes on the continent.
- Spectacular beaches, vibrant nightlife, and lively fiestas, delicious cuisine, all make Spain one of Europe’s best destinations.
Best months: April-June and September-November
This is the list of top destinations in Spain where you can have a lot of experience in one trip. This saves your time not only while surfing the internet for the top destinations to travel but also while traveling or exploring that particular location. And of course, this can save your money too.
- Madrid is the city with a diversity of ethnic groups, vibrant culture.
- Madrid is home to numerous art and architecture grandeur, museum and theaters.
- You can enjoy delectable cuisines.
- Palacio Real, the Royal Palace
- The Residence of Spain’s Monarch
- Puerta del Sol
- Puerta del Alcala
- Plaza Mayor
- Plaza de Cibeles
- Gran Via
- Retiro Park
- Museo del Prado, Prado Museum
- Templo de Debod
- Enjoy drinks and local foods at Mercado de San Miguel
- Walk on the Gran Via
- A walk across the famous, iconic royal palace
- Visit Puerta del Sol
- Check out the Prado Museum
- Seville is home to many historic landmarks with great architecture and amazing festivals.
- Seville is the destination for Spanish bullfighting tradition.
- Grand Cathedral of Seville
- Real Alcazar, Moorish Palace
- Metro Pol Parasol
- Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza
- Casa de Pilatos
- Plaza de Espana
- Torre del Oro
- La Giralda Tower
- Walk along the Guadalquivir River
- Walk through the streets of Barrio Santa Cruz
- Watch a flamenco shows at La Carboneria Club
- Watch traditional bullfighting at Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza, bullfighting ring.
- Renowned for its historic architecture
- Lively shopping, vibrant culture
- La Rambla
- Barceloneta beach
- Jean Nouvel or Herzog and de Meuron.
- La Sagrada Familia
- The magic Fountain of Montjuic
- Barcelona FC Museum and Camp Nou Stadium
- La Pedrera
- Park Guell
- Picasso Museum
- Walk along La Rambla
- Stroll around the Park Guell
- Taste some foods at Boqueria Market
- Sunbath on Barceloneta, city’s most popular beach
- Do shopping
- Experience a vibrant culture and nightlife
- Valencia has got the most striking architecture in the country with Art Nouveau buildings that line the streets, Gothic and Renaissance monuments.
- Valencia is also packed with dynamic museums, great restaurants, lively nightlife, great shops, and good beaches.
- City of arts and science
- Turia Gardens
- Valencia Cathedral
- Central Market and La Lonja
- Museum of fine Arts
- Bioparc Zoo
- National Ceramic Museum
- Malvarrosa Beach
- Plaza de Ayuntamiento
- Fallas festival
- L’Oceanografic Aquarium
- Hang out at the Central Squares, Plaza de la Reina
- Visit Valencia Cathedral
- Visit Valencia’s Central Market
- Observe science museum, planetarium, and an aquarium in the City of Arts and science
- Walk around the avenues to see the medieval monuments in golden stone
- Sunbath in Valencia’s beaches.
- Go shopping
- Experience the Fallas Festival
- Granada is famous for world-renowned Alhambra, the great architectural sights of Europe.
- Proximity to the Sierra Nevada, a national park with a mountain range
- The Alhambra
- Cathedral and Royal Chapel
- Monastery of St. Jerome
- The Tapas scene
- Science Park
- Admire Alhambra
- Day trip to the Sierra Nevada
- Experience the international festival of music and dance
- San Sebastian features Michelin-starred restaurants and is famous for the food tapas, also known as pintxos.
- San Sebastian is home to enticing beaches
- Stunning Art Nouveau architecture
- Host the world’s most glamorous film festivals
- Playa de la Concha, the most popular beach
- Playa de Ondarreta
- Museo de San Telmo
- Parte Vieja, old town
- Scenic views from Monte Igueldo
- Basilica de Santa Maria del coro
- International Jazz Festival
- Spent your day on the sandy beach of Playa de la Concha sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, and water skiing
- Visit historic buildings
- Stroll around Parte Vieja
- Short hike to the Monte Igueldo and Monte for a scenic view
- Taste the delicious cuisine especially ‘Pintxos’ and experience its culinary tradition to the fullest
- Spain’s top beach destinations
- Sights of volcanic mountains
- Beaches in Gran Canaria
- The Maspalomas Dunes in Gran Canaria
- Beaches in Tenerife
- Santa Cruz de Tenerife
- Loro Park, Tenerife
- The Teide volcano in Teide National Park (Tenerife)
- Timanfaya National Park
- Beaches in Fuerteventura
- Cueva de los Verdes, Lanzarote
- Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote
- Garajonay National Park
- Relaxing on the beach
- Stroll around Santa Cruz or Las Palmas to get a taste of local life.
For non-European citizens, either a valid passport only or a valid passport with a visa (depending on your country) may be required to enter Spain. But for EU nationals either a passport or any other valid national ID card should suffice.
EU citizens can travel freely to Spain and do not require visa regardless of their visit purpose and length of stay. Citizens from other selected countries can stay up to 90 days (within a 6 months period) without a visa for tourism purposes.
Since Spain is a member of the Schengen Countries, visitors are allowed to travel to all Schengen areas without a visa. According to the category in which your country falls, you may have to apply for Schengen Visa, which is valid for a maximum stay of 90 days in a six month period. Applicants applying for the Schengen visa must also provide bank statements from the previous 3 months along with their application.
Different border control checks will apply for non-EEA nationals, and you may be asked to show a return ticket or onward ticket.
It’s better to check visa requirements (required for the nationals of your country) with the embassy well before you travel.
Credit Cards and Debit Cards are widely accepted. ATMs are available throughout the country. Changing cash or traveler’s check is not that hard. It is better to take a traveler’s check in Pound Sterling/US Dollar.
Since there are lots of international flights to Spain, you should choose one based on where you want to go and what you want to see.
Since the major attractions are well scattered across Spain, domestic flights are convenient and fast for traveling long distances.
In the case of time availability, buses are a fair option for traveling not-too-long distances. Major towns and cities are well connected by good quality roads. City buses/coaches are an affordable option as long as you are a familiar rider.
Inside the city, you can get around on foot or by taxi. Hiring a car or picking up a taxi (registered) can be the best alternatives too. You can rent a bike too.
A well-connected network of railways provides fast service throughout the major cities.
Purchase rail tickets in advance for a cheaper option.
Most of Spain’s attractions are free to visit while others require fees. You can get a special discount with Rail Passes available in Spain.
It is a good practice to always check the latest weather updates before going to mountainous regions. Do not ignore the suggestions given by local people and always follow the instructions given by local authorities.
It’s better to take precautions against tetanus while traveling to Spain. Although immunizations are not required while traveling to Spain, it is advisable to update your standard vaccinations of mumps, measles, rubella, polio, diphtheria, and tetanus.
It’s better to make full travel insurance.
You should be aware of the petty crimes (from pickpockets, thieves, scammers, etc.) taking place inside and outside the cities. You should take care of your travel documents, luggage, and other belongings.
Based on the places and experiences that you will never get in other countries i.e they are uniquely different from other countries, we tried to narrow down the lists in terms of ‘must-see’ places.
Must-visit destinations in Spain:
If you a beach lover:
- Canary Islands
- San Sebastian
If you are art and architecture lover:
- Granada (Alhambra)
If you are foodies and love shopping:
- San Sebastian
If you are nature and outdoor activities lover:
- Canary Islands
- Sierra Nevada (Close to Granada)
If you are museums, galleries and culture lover:
For Art, Museums and Galleries:
For Cultures and Traditions:
From the above list, you can see that Madrid and Barcelona overlap in more than three categories and Seville, Granada and Valencia overlap in two categories. You can make your trip worthy by planning an itinerary according to your priorities and make much out of it by having a lot of experiences in your single trip without having your time and money wasted in traveling and just covering distances in-between.
Our Pick: Since Spain is mostly about historic architecture, buildings, rich culture, lively festivals, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisines, our first pick would be Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Granada, San Sebastian, and the Canary Islands.
Follow these itineraries ideas (below): If you want to make most out of your trip; if you want to have a lot of experiences in one trip missing almost nothing in your whole trip; if you also don’t want to miss the must-see places and if you also don’t want to miss ‘nowhere-else’ destinations on the planet, then follow these tips.
If this is your first-time visit to Spain and
If you have 7-8 days, then we recommend you to choose the following itinerary:
Barcelona (Day 1-2)→Madrid (Day 3-4)→Seville (Day 5-6)→Granada (Day 7)→Return home (Day 8)
If you have 10 days, then you can improvise above itinerary as
Barcelona (Day 1-2)→Valencia (Day 3-4)→Granada (Day 5)→Seville (Day 6-7)→Madrid (Day 7-9)→Return Home (Day 10)
If you have 14 days, then you can extend above itinerary as
Barcelona (Day 1-2)→Valencia (Day 3-4)→Granada (Day 5)→Seville (Day 6-7)→Madrid (Day 7-9)→Canary Islands (Day 10-13)→Return home (Our Pick)
(Note: The Canary Islands are much closer to Africa. It takes about 2 hr 39 min flight time to reach Canary Island from Madrid)
Barcelona (Day 1-2)→Valencia (Day 3-4)→Granada (Day 5)→Seville (Day 6-7)→Madrid (Day 7-9)→San Sebastian (Day 10-13)
(Note: Please note that the itineraries mentioned here are focused on the routes or directions to follow for saving time and money and still not missing the ‘must-see’ destinations. The days mentioned here in-between the places is a rough estimation just to give you general itinerary ideas. You can shorten or lengthen this time according to your interests, season, budget and time available. For example, sometimes you might want to experience the nature, activities, and culture in a relaxed manner without any haste and without feeling cramped.)
We’ve covered our recommendations for ‘must-visit destinations’. The list of other wonderful places throughout Spain can get long. The priorities for a destination to visit can be different from person to person as it depends upon personal preferences and interests. But these are the itineraries covering ‘must-do’ or ‘must-see’ places once in your lifetime.