Spain is one of the world’s most visited countries with diverse, authentic, and lively cities. From unique culture, incredible beaches, beautiful wine regions, and joyful festivals to fascinating history, stunning architecture, world-class museums, good food, and buzzing nightlife, the country offer so many places to see and things to do.


But deciding which cities of Spain to visit can be overwhelming. Although Madrid and Barcelona are on top of all lists, there are many hidden gems to be discovered in this fascinating country. To help you, we have compiled a list of the 6 must-see cities in Spain and have included all you can see and do in each city. So, let’s get started.



1- Madrid




The Spanish capital city of Madrid is widely known for its ornate architecture, world-class museums and art galleries, wonderful parks and zoos, exciting football matches, buzzing squares, good food, and liveliest nightlife scenes. These all make Spain’s largest city a great destination for a European vacation.



Madrid is well known for the arts and has amazing world-class museums. So, if you’re an art lover, head to the Reina Sofia Museum and El Prado Museum where you’ll find spectacular artworks of Picasso, Velasquez, Goya, Rubens, and other artists as well as artifacts from the 12th century! Also make sure to visit the Thyssen Museum, a world-class museum, and the Temple of Debod, a reconstructed Egyptian Temple gave as a gift to Spain by Egypt.


Plaza Mayor in Madrid
Plaza Mayor in Madrid


After the museum, head down to Plaza Mayor, one of the most iconic squares in Spain known for its many souvenir shops, cafes, and the lively San Miguel Market.


Another important square is the Puerto del Sol, a plaza in the heart of Madrid. It’s a large plaza and one of the busiest and most exciting places in Madrid serving as the scene of festivals, gatherings, and street performers as well as a hub for the public transportation network.


Royal Palace of Madrid


Located within the city center is one of the most remarkable European palaces: the glorious Royal Palace of Madrid. The palace which is the official residence of the Spanish king has more than 3000 rooms, filled with paintings, silverware, and antique furniture.


You also have Buen Retiro Park, a popular destination for tourists and locals. With extravagant water fountains and expansive greenery, the park is among the most beautiful parks in Europe and a great place to escape Madrid’s busy city center. Get on a boat trip on the small lake of Palacio de Cristal in the park to give yourself a romantic inspiration.




2- Barcelona



There are a thousand reasons to visit Spain’s most popular tourist destination. Located in northeastern Spain, Barcelona is the capital and the largest city of Catalonia, and the second-largest city in Spain.


From vibrant culture, historic architecture, buzzing nightlife, and a cosmopolitan atmosphere to a variety of historic churches, world-class museums, gorgeous shops, and pleasant restaurants, this stunning Mediterranean city offers a wide range of things to see and do.


La Sagrada Familia


Unique to Barcelona is the La Sagrada Familia. The historic church attracts millions of visitors each year and is Barcelona’s most extravagant attraction designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. This must-see structure is one of the most stunning cathedrals in the world, featuring combinations of extraordinary designs, shapes, and colors.


After visiting La Sagrada Familia, make sure to check out other marvel creations from Antoni Gaudi, such as Park Guell, Casa Mila, and Casa Batllo.


Ciutat Vella, the Old City, is another must-see attraction in Barcelona. You will certainly need comfortable walking shoes to wander around the Gothic Quarter, visit old churches, explore Roman ruins, and take a stroll down La Rambla, a tree-lined pedestrian avenue with outdoor cafes and restaurants. Make sure to taste lovely street food at the La Boqueria.


Ciutat Vella
Ciutat Vella


If you’re into arts and history, head to Museu Picasso where you’ll find a large collection of the popular Spanish artist. Looking for remains of the old Roman times? Check out the Barcelona City History Museum where you’ll fully understand the history of Barcelona.


If you’re after a place to relax, sunbathe or work out, head to one of the city’s most popular beaches, the Barceloneta Beach. There are plenty of activities by the sea, including a free open-air gym, beach volleyball, table tennis and more. You can also enjoy all sorts of food and drink at the cafes and restaurants along the beach.


Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona


Other highlights in Barcelona include the Fundación de Joan Miro, Camp Nou (Barcelona F.C.’s stadium), Montjuic, and La Placa Catalunya.




3- Seville



As the Third-largest city in Spain and the capital of the Andalusia region, the gorgeous city of Seville boasts endless charm and is considered one of the most romantic cities in the country.


Seville is famous for sunny weather, stunning architecture, lively festivals, buzzing nightlife, flamenco dancing, incredible food and wines, and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are also sensational museums, art galleries, entertainment venues, nightclubs, and urban parks, making Seville a treasure trove to explore.


Real Alcazar of Seville


Seville is home to many beautiful and important historic landmarks including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Cathedral of Seville, the Real Alcazar, and the General Archive of the Indies. Make sure to explore the Old Town of Seville, Centro Historico de Sevilla, with its narrow streets, beautiful shops and cafes, and many gorgeous buildings.


The 16th-century grand Cathedral of Seville, where Christopher Columbus’ tomb lies, is a must-see attraction of the city. This Cathedral is the fourth-largest church in the world as well as the world’s largest Gothic church.


Cathedral of Seville
Cathedral of Seville


Another of Seville’s most popular tourist attractions is the Real Alcazar complex. This extravagant palace was constructed in the Moorish Almohad dynasty era in the 1300s. Make sure to explore the residence and learn about the great kings of Spain and their interesting stories.


The next must-visit place in Seville is the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza. Construction of this 12,000-capacity bullring was completed in 1765. This is where for hundreds of years man has fought the beast in the ultimate test of strength and bravery.


Plaza de Espana in Seville
Plaza de Espana in Seville


Plaza de Espana is another place in Seville you can’t miss. This beautiful square with fascinating architecture and all the horse carriages offers some wonderful photo opportunities.


The city is also home to the world’s largest wooden structure, the Metropol Parasol. This giant mushroom-shaped structure is located at La Encarnacion square, in the old quarter of Seville.


Metropol Parasol
Metropol Parasol




4- Granada



Located in southern Spain’s Andalusia region and in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada used to be one of the world’s main cultural centers for over two centuries starting from the 12th century.


Granada is famous for its ancient fortress, snowcapped peaks, winding cobbled streets, traditional cultures, and buzzing nightlife.


This beautiful city offers plenty of trekking and skiing opportunities. Just outside the city, the Nevada Ski station offers a wide range of activities for all seasons from snow skiing and trekking to mountain climbing, horse riding, and cable car rides.




No visit to Granada is complete without seeing the Alhambra, the city’s most spectacular monuments and one of the great architectural sights of Europe. Alhambra is the only remaining fortress complex from the city’s Islamic period. This Moorish palace sits high over the city, containing some of the best-preserved Islamic art and architecture in the world. It is home to an ancient royal palace, a citadel, serene gardens, and courtyards hailing from the Nasrid dynasty. Even if you are not passionate about history, the Alhambra is breathtaking for the beauty of its lush gardens, beautiful fountains, patios.


You can also stroll through the narrow, winding cobbled streets and whitewashed houses dotted with flower pots and visit the old “Great Bazaar” in the Arabic Quarter of Albaicin. Here in the old city center merchants used to sell all their spices; and today they sell colorful tapestries, wall hangings, exotic teas and spices, and Moorish and Spanish souvenirs.


Great Bazaar of Albaicin


The streets of Granada are packed with tapas bars, restaurants, cafes, and flamenco clubs. Don’t forget to enjoy authentic flamenco shows in the ‘Gypsy Quarter’ in Sacromonte.




5- Cordoba




Located in southern Spain in the region of Andalusia, Cordoba is a gorgeous city to visit with many charming places to see. The city is best known for its Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, but also for its UNESCO-listed old town, Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs castle, the Roman bridge, charming cobbled streets, and many fascinating pieces of architecture.


Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs of Cordoba
Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs of Cordoba


A thousand years ago Cordoba was one of the greatest cities in the world, and many of its treasures are still admired today. Stroll the pretty streets of the Cordoba old town and its white houses with jasmine and geraniums. This old town, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage, is made up of narrow cobbled streets and that’s where most of the sights are found. This includes the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs castle and one of the world’s greatest mosques, the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, also called the Mezquita.


Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba


This unique Mosque-Cathedral, originally built in 785, is now a glorious cathedral retaining most of its original Islamic architecture. Don’t miss the main hall with its 850 double-arched columns.


Throughout the city are many plazas with numerous museums, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Plaza de las Tendillas is the main square with vibrant shopping scenes while the Plaza del Port is associated with Cervantes’s Don Quixote.


Crosses Festival
Crosses Festival


Cordoba is buzzing Every May with festivals including Crosses Festival, the Patios Festival, and the Cordoba fair. Don’t miss these events where the city’s courtyards and plazas are decorated and opened to the public, traditional food and drinks fill the streets, flamenco dancing and various contests take place, and people gather to see who has the best performance.



 6- Valencia


Valencia City of Arts and Sciences
Valencia City of Arts and Sciences


Located in eastern Spain in the region of Valencia and between the Mediterranean Sea and the Turia River, Valencia is one of the largest and most important cities in the country.


Despite going through many constructions and renovations, Valencia has always been known for its pleasant climate, street life, a mix of old and new buildings, the Silk Exchange Market, the Fallas Festival, and the City of Arts and Sciences architectural masterpiece.


La Llotja de la Seda
La Llotja de la Seda


Valencia houses a colorful mix of contemporary and ancient sites. The city is a pleasant place to walk around, with most of its attractions found within walking distance. Thanks to remarkable modern architecture by local world-famous architect Santiago Calatrava and many historic sites such as La Llotja de la Seda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that hosts many celebrations and events, Valencia is a wonderful destination for a city break.


Beyond the city center are beautiful beaches, and the impressive Ciutat de Les Arts complex with its collection of futuristic buildings.


For many, Valencia is well renowned for its food. Paella, for instance, is a Valencian meal that you really can’t miss. If you visit Valencia in March, make sure to see the Fallas Festival, a joyful and exciting celebration for welcoming spring.


Valencia Silk Exchange Market
Valencia Silk Exchange Market


Some other incredible places you should visit in Valencia are the City of Arts and Sciences, the Barrio del Carmen, the oceanarium and planetarium, and the interactive museum.



Ready to Visit Spain?

We hope you enjoyed our list of top 6 must-see cities in Spain, including places to see and things to do. If you’re planning your Spain vacation right now, see our tours designed by our handpicked Spanish destination experts and discover all the hidden gems of this extraordinary country with our fully guided private and group tours.