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Regarding Spain, passion, beauty, and history intertwine to create a magical symphony, tempting you to immerse yourself in its rich culture.
With awe-inspiring architecture, delectable cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes, this European gem is perfect for explorers seeking a unique travel experience. Now, let’s dive into this Spain travel guide and discover the best things to do in Spain.
- Best Things to Do in Spain
- 1. La Sagrada Familia
- 2. Alhambra
- 3. Park Güell
- 4. Royal Palace of Madrid
- 5. Plaza Mayor
- 6. El Retiro Park
- Where to stay in Spain
- How to Get Around in Spain
- Travel Tips for Visiting Spain
- Venture Beyond the Tourist Hotspots
- Attend Local Festivals and Celebrations
- Embrace the Siesta Culture
- Discover the History Through the “Golden Triangle”
- Make the Most of Spanish Cuisine
Best Things to Do in Spain
1. La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona’s crown jewel, La Sagrada Familia, is an architectural marvel that has been under construction since 1882. Designed by visionary architect Antoni Gaudí, this basilica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts over 2.7 million visitors annually.
Step inside, and you’ll marvel at the intricate pillars and column designs that symbolize the Twelve Apostles, the eye-catching stained-glass windows, and Gaudí’s mosaic artworks. Witnessing the play of light and colors within the basilica is an experience; don’t forget to include La Sagrada Familia in your Spain travel itinerary.
Positioned among the picturesque city of Granada, the Alhambra boasts exquisite gardens, grand Palaces, and breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada mountains. This royal palace and fortress, initially constructed in the 9th century, was the residence of the Moorish monarchs until the Catholic reconquest in 1492.
Meander through the enchanting Courtyard of the Myrtles, marvel at the mesmerizing tilework in the Hall of the Ambassadors and breathe in the fragrance of blooming flowers in the Generalife gardens. The Alhambra is an unmissable gem, a testament to the artistic ingenuity of Andalusian Moorish culture.
3. Park Güell
Another architectural wonder by Antoni Gaudí, Park Güell in Barcelona, showcases his exceptional ability to combine nature, colors, and mosaic art to create a fascinating space befitting a fairytale.
This public park, known for its serpentine mosaic benches, winding staircases, and magnificent fountains, offers remarkable views of the city from its hilltop location. A relaxed walk through the lush greenery, dotted with peculiar sculptures and playful artwork, is a must when visiting Barcelona.
4. Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace of Madrid, standing tall at C. de Bailén, is a grand testament to the luxury and power of Spanish royalty. Explore the lavish halls adorned with frescoes, exquisite chandeliers, and ornate ceilings.
The most notable features of the palace include the sumptuous Throne Room, the expansive Hall of Mirrors, and the vast collection of artworks by Goya, Velázquez, and other Spanish masters. Experience the luxurious world of Spanish forebears in this historical masterpiece.
5. Plaza Mayor
Situated in the heart of Madrid, the Plaza Mayor is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. This impressive square, surrounded by lively red buildings, features a bronze equestrian statue of King Philip III at its center.
With many cafes, bars, and restaurants nearby, this bustling hub is the perfect place to savor traditional Spanish tapas or unwind with a refreshing glass of sangria in the Spanish sun.
6. El Retiro Park
A slice of tranquility amid bustling Madrid, El Retiro Park offers a refreshing escape from the city’s fast pace. Covering over 350 acres, this verdant oasis features sprawling lawns, charming fountains, and elegant sculptures. Rent a rowboat to explore the crystal-clear waters of the park’s massive lake or bask in the sun-soaked landscape while admiring the peaceful surroundings.
Where to stay in Spain
Staying in Spain is an experience, with many options that provide comfort and take you back in time, showcasing the colorful history, delicious cuisine and diverse styles of the region. To make your visit to Spain unforgettable, consider staying at one of these exceptional accommodations:
- Casa de Indias by Intur, Seville
- Elia Alojamientos, Benalmádena
- Le Méridien Barcelona
- Andra Mari Apartamentos Turísticos, Bilbao
- Only You Boutique Hotel Madrid
- Hotel 1898, Barcelona
- Hotel Casa Fuster, Barcelona
- TX Barbate, Cádiz
- Meraki Beach Hotel, Valencia
- Astoria7, San Sebastián
How to Get Around in Spain
Navigating Spain is relatively hassle-free, thanks to the country’s extensive and efficient public transportation system.
Nonetheless, car renting offers more freedom and flexibility, allowing you to explore the hidden gems and picturesque countryside at your own pace. For the best rental car options, consider using RentalCars.com to find the perfect vehicle for your Spanish adventure.
Travel Tips for Visiting Spain
Visiting Spain is an immersive and unique experience. Spain offers countless delights, from bustling cities brimming with history to the serene beauty of the countryside.
Venture Beyond the Tourist Hotspots
While visiting Spain, it’s crucial to go beyond the boundaries of popular tourist destinations. Embark on a journey through Catalonia’s diverse landscapes, the Basque Country’s wild beauty, or Andalusia’s poetic charm.
Indulge in the local flavors of pintxos bars in Bilbao, or meander through the whitewashed streets of some of the hidden gems like Ronda and Mijas. Spain’s true beauty lies in its diverse and authentic regional expressions.
Attend Local Festivals and Celebrations
Consider attending a local festival to get a natural feel for Spanish culture and spirit. From the world-famous Running of the Bulls in Pamplona to the lively energy of La Tomatina in Buñol, partaking in these events offers a glimpse into the country’s passionate culture.
Not only do these celebrations provide a warm and lively atmosphere, but they also reveal the deep-rooted traditions and colorful customs that make Spain genuinely enchanting.
Embrace the Siesta Culture
Spain is famous for its siesta culture, and for a valid reason – this midday break offers a refreshing way to recharge and avoid the sweltering afternoon heat.
Shopkeepers, bars, and restaurants often close their doors for a few hours in the afternoon, allowing you ample time to rest or explore less busy sites. In the evening, relish the lively atmosphere as locals spill onto the streets to eat, drink, and socialize late into the night.
Discover the History Through the “Golden Triangle”
The “Golden Triangle” comprises three of Spain’s most crucial historical cities: Madrid, Segovia, and Toledo. Each city boasts architectural marvels and offers a distinctive snippet of Spanish history. In Madrid, explore the Royal Palace for a glimpse into the luxury of Spanish royalty.
Visit Segovia to marvel at its Roman aqueduct and quaint cobblestone streets. In Toledo, wander the atmospheric alleys of the city, soaking in the influence of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian cultures that have intertwined over the centuries.
Make the Most of Spanish Cuisine
Spanish cuisine is famous across the globe for simple yet flavorful dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Focus on regional specialties – tapas bars in Andalusia, indulging in pintxos in the Basque Country, or savoring paella on the Valencian coast.
Basque cuisine is particularly notable, with many Michelin-starred restaurants offering innovative, modern takes on traditional recipes. Pair your meal with a refreshing glass of local wine or sangria, and top it off with a piece of delectable turrón. The gastronomic delights of Spain are genuinely worth savoring.
- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.