Spain sights: 25 best places
Spain is a beautiful and diverse country. It has everything for a rich and unforgettable vacation: huge beaches, lots of entertainment, beautiful European architecture and even ski resorts. Every year, Spain is gaining more and more popularity among Russian tourists. The most popular tourist destinations of Spain are Barcelona, Canary Islands, Madrid, Seville and some other famous places. Here are the most important and most famous tourist attractions of Spain, which should see every visitor to this beautiful country.
The best places in Spain
The Alhambra (Granada)
It is the largest architectural and park complex located in the east of Granada. It is a whole complex of palaces and parks with a rich history and stunning views. The main development of the Alhambra was during the Muslim dynasty. Over the period of its existence, the ensemble has been actively developing, replenishing itself with new constructions. Today the Alhambra includes numerous towers, palaces, halls, several squares and even a full park, the road to which goes through the Pomegranate Gate. The Alhambra is a World Heritage Site and is one of Spain’s major tourist attractions.
2. Sagrada Familia (Barcelona)
Sagrada Familia is the most beautiful church in Spain and one of the most beautiful in the world. The construction of this building started in 1882. The chief architect was Antonio Gaudi. The architectural style of the church is Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau. The cathedral is still under construction today. When finished, it will have 18 towers. The central tower of the temple is 170 meters high. Sagrada Familia has a rich interior decoration. It uses different geometric forms and the most unusual architectural solutions.
3. Royal Palace (Madrid).
The main attraction of Madrid, the Royal Palace is deservedly one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe. This majestic architectural structure serves as the official residence of the kings of Spain. Construction of the palace was carried out from 1738 to 1764. The palace has a luxurious interior decoration, which includes frescoes by great artists, luxurious crystal chandeliers, large tapestries, furniture of different styles, etc. The Royal Palace in Madrid consists of many halls, each of which has its own features. This is simply a must-see place to visit in Spain!
The Alcázar in Segovia
The Alcázar in Segovia is not only an important landmark in Spain, but also one of the 10 most impressive castles in the world. This stunning fortress has witnessed many historic events: its rooms were the resting place of Alfonso X the Wise, Isabel I the Catholic was crowned here, and the castle chapel was also the site of the marriage between Philip II and Anne of Austria.
5. Mesquita in Cordoba
The Cordoba Mosque is one of the most important monuments of Islamic architecture in Spain and the most emblematic example of Umayyad Spanish-Muslim art. Its construction began in 785 and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the historic center of the city. It is now a Catholic cathedral, known as the Córdoba Cathedral Mosque.
6. Sacromonte Abbey (Granada)
One of the most famous and beautiful sights in Spain that must be seen in Granada is the Abbey of Sacromonte. It was built on top of Mount Valparaiso. Until the beginning of the XX century the abbey was completed and expanded. Today it consists of three parts – an abbey, a seminary and a collegiate church. Each of these structures has its own noteworthy places. In the abbey there is an interesting museum with a rich collection of paintings and tapestries. A wonderful place is the patio. Its decoration is magnificent: arches decorated with stucco, galleries with columns and a large fountain in the center – all this attracts crowds of tourists.
7. Gothic Quarter (Barcelona)
Gothic Quarter is an ancient district of Barcelona and one of the most attractive places of this beautiful Spanish city. You can say that it is the birthplace of Barcelona. The layout of the streets here is the same as in all medieval cities – intersecting, winding and very narrow mostly pedestrian streets. In the Gothic quarter amazingly old buildings, preserving the spirit of the Middle Ages, coexist next to the buildings of the last century. This is a major tourist magnet!
The neighborhood is famous for its large number of architectural and historical buildings, ancient temples. One of the most famous is the Cathedral. The architecture of its facade simply fascinates visitors.
The beautiful plazas of the quarter are worth special attention:
- Plaza Nova was founded in 1355.Fragments of ancient walls are still preserved here.
- The Royal Square. All the buildings, including the Royal Palace, were built in Romanesque and Gothic style. It was here that King Fernando received Christopher Columbus after his voyage to the Americas.
- The Plaza de San Jaume. It now houses the main administrative buildings, the City Hall of Barcelona and the Parliament of Catalonia.
Walking from one historical structure to another, suddenly you find yourself in a cozy square. In the Gothic Quarter there are many. Here you can relax, listen to street musicians, sit in a cozy cafe. Among the attractions of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter is one of the most popular.
8. Museo del Prado (Madrid)
There are not a few sights in Spain for art lovers, but the Prado Museum, one of the most visited museums of fine arts in the world, deserves special attention. Now in the spacious halls of the Museo del Prado the visitor can admire the best paintings of the Spanish school, world masterpieces, sculptures and decorative art. In the permanent exhibition there are more than 7 thousand paintings, thousands of sculptures. Among them you can see the works of Rubens, Rafael, Durer, Titian, Goya and other great masters, who left their mark on the art.
9. Park Guell (Barcelona)
Park Guell is the most unusual and beautiful park in Spain and a favorite destination for many travelers in Barcelona. It is the masterpiece of the great Antonio Gaudi, who was able to transform the failed project of industrialist Guell to create a garden city. What are just two houses at the entrance, giving the impression of gingerbread houses. The main staircase is decorated with fountains, animal figures and, of course, the symbol of Barcelona – a mosaic salamander. The “Hall of a Hundred Columns”, decorated with a mosaic of colored glass, is impressive. In the central part of the park is the famous winding bench decorated with collages of shards of ceramics and glass. While relaxing here, you can admire the opening views of the city.
10. Alcázar in Toledo
This is one of the most beautiful castles in Spain and the main attraction of Toledo, proudly towering over the entire city. You can see it from everywhere, no matter what part of Toledo you are in. The grandeur of the austere architecture of the Alcázar is stunning. Throughout its history this beautiful Spanish building has been destroyed and burned down several times, and rebuilt just as many times. What ever happened within these walls. It was once home to the kings of Castile. After that, in the 17th century it was the state prison. Located on the highest point of the city, the Alcazar was an ideal place for defense during the war. Today, the palace houses the Army Museum and the regional library.
11. the Las Ventas arena (Madrid)
Plaza del Toros Monumental de Las Ventas is the full name of the first largest bullfighting arena in the whole country. Besides bullfighting all kinds of festivals and holidays are held here. Capacity of the arena is more than 23 thousand spectators. Built almost a century ago, the building of the Arena Las Ventas is striking for its interesting architecture in the neo-Moorish style. The walls are made of red masonry, the arched entrances in the shape of a horseshoe are decorated with tiles. In the square in front of the arena there are two sculptural compositions.
Another attraction is the bullfighting museum, opened in 1951. Visitors here can see many unusual exhibits, up to the heads of the slaughtered bulls and blood-soaked costume of the dead matador.
12. Alcázar Palace in Cordoba
What is a must-see in Spain are the numerous palaces and fortresses. One of these beautiful sights is located in the ancient city of Andalusia – Cordoba. The history of the ancient historical complex begins with the times of the Roman Empire. Alcazar in Arabic means “palace”. But originally the fortress was a defensive bastion, and only in 1328, during the reign of King Alfonso XI, it was transformed into a residence of kings.
The architecture of the Alcázar in Córdoba combines features of Arab and European cultures. The palace building is a regular square, topped with four towers. Each of these towers has its own name and purpose. The Alcázar’s unquestionable adornment is its stunning gardens with fountains and ponds. This fortress was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and is a tourist hot spot in Spain.
13. The Walls of Avila
The 11th-century Romanesque fortress walls in the city of Avila are among the most important historical sites in Spain. Their dimensions are: 2,537 meters in total length, 12 meters high, 88 towers, 9 gates and three gates.
There is some disagreement about the date of the walls, but all agree on their artistic and historical importance. Ávila is the best preserved medieval fortress city in Spain and probably in all of Europe. The old city and city walls have been declared World Heritage Site.
14. Escorial Monastery
The Escorial Monastery is a palace complex, a basilica and a monastery. The palace was the residence of the Spanish royal family, the basilica is the burial place of the kings of Spain, and the monastery is the current residence of the monks of the Order of St. Augustine. It is one of the most unique sites of Renaissance architecture in Spain and Europe. Its construction in the second half of the sixteenth century was initiated by King Philip II. This, as they call it, “the eighth wonder of the world”, certainly deserves to be part of the list of the best tourist sites in Spain!
15. Plaza Mayor (Madrid)
Plaza Mayor is on the list of the best attractions in Madrid, and it is also one of the two main squares in the city that every tourist visits. Its appearance dates back to the beginning of the 17th century. Plaza Mayor has a very rich history. In the beginning it was just a market square outside the city. Later there were military parades, and knightly tournaments, and even the Inquisition trials. The first equipped place for bullfighting was also the Plaza Mayor. Today this beautiful square is especially popular with visitors from Spain and locals. The square is bordered by many arches with cafes, restaurants, and stores. It is always lively.
16. Montserrat mountain (Barcelona)
Montserrat is a picturesque mountain range, located 50 km from Barcelona. The area is famous for its catholic temple which is located on the top of the mountain and bears the same name. Next to the monastery there is a natural complex which is under special protection of Spain. The mountains of Montserrat have spectacular views and rich flora. There are more than 1,500 species of plants. A walk through this natural complex is sure to be very exciting and memorable.
17. Mount Tibidabo (Barcelona)
Tibidabo is one of the parts of the Collserola mountain range. The mountain is 512 meters high. It is the highest point of the whole of Barcelona. It offers beautiful views of the city, which is why it is so popular with tourists. On one of its slopes is the picturesque Tibidabo Park, which has an observation deck and the oldest attractions in Europe. At the top of the mountain is the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, which was built between 1902 and 1961.
18. Aquarium of Barcelona
This structure is located in the area of the Old Port of Barcelona. It is a highly sought-after destination for visitors and residents alike. Today the Aquarium of Barcelona has a well-deserved title of one of the largest aquariums in the world. Its dimensions are amazing. It consists of 35 individual aquaria, with more than 5 million liters of water. Each aquarium is home to a different aquatic species. In total, there are about 11 thousand sea creatures in the aquariums. The main attraction of the building is a huge oceanarium, through which a transparent pipe 80 meters long. A visit to the Barcelona Aquarium will be great for both adults and children.
19. Spanish Village (Barcelona)
A great solution for those who want to see the most important places in Spain without leaving Barcelona. The Spanish Village is a complex that contains exact replicas of famous Spanish landmarks: temples, palaces, monasteries, castles, etc. On the territory of the village there are copies of buildings in reduced and natural size. Each structure was built with the same materials as the originals. This museum was built in 1929 by famous Spanish architects.
20. Teide National Park (Tenerife)
The largest and most popular nature reserve in the Canary Islands. Visit this natural Spanish landmark is a must for every tourist of the island of Tenerife. The total area of the park is 18.9 hectares. The main object of the reserve is the volcano Teide and its majestic crater. Teide is a mountainous area, so tourists can see incredible contrasts. Sub-tropics reign in the lower areas, while at the peaks there is snow and a completely different nature appears. Teide Park is located at 2,000 meters above sea level.
21. Cathedral in Seville
This is the largest and one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in Europe. It was built between 1401 and 1519. The temple consists of the main chapel and five side chapels. One part of the cathedral preserves many ancient treasures: paintings by famous artists, precious items, church relics and much more. It is in the Seville Cathedral that the tomb of Christopher Columbus is kept. This is a must-see landmark in Spain.
22. La Seu Cathedral (Palma de Mallorca)
One of the majestic Gothic cathedrals in Spain. It was built on the site of a destroyed mosque in honor of the liberation of Mallorca from the Moors. The height of the Cathedral is 121 meters, width – 55 meters. The construction of the cathedral was carried out over more than ten years, so its appearance was influenced by many architectural styles: classical Gothic, late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Mannerism. The restoration of the cathedral was led by Antoni Gaudi from 1904 to 1914.
23. City of Ronda
Ronda is the most beautiful city in Spain, located in the province of Malaga. The city is characterized by stunning views, many sights and small cozy streets. Ronda literally hangs over an abyss, being located at the very edge of a precipitous hill. This is one of the oldest bullfighting rings in the city. Here you can see ancient weapons, ammunition, and other ancient relics. The city has many cozy cafes where you can eat traditional snacks and enjoy the quietness of the European streets.
24. Vila Velha Fortress (Tossa de Mar)
One of the largest and most important fortresses on the coast, the main attraction of Tossa de Mar. More than 800 years ago a full-fledged city of the same name stood here. A winding stone path leads to the top of the fortress. This place has a rich history and beautiful views. From the fortress walls offer a stunning view of the sea and the nearby beach.
25. Plaza de España (Seville)
The main park ensemble of Seville, located in the southern part of the city. Made in the Neo-Mauritanian style with elements of Art Deco. It was built in the 1920s. On the square there are many old buildings and several museums. The main attraction of the square is the central fountain, designed by famous Spanish architects. Plaza de España has a stunning view both during the day and at night.
Sightseeing in Spain
Unforgettable experience, a lot of positive emotions and quality service. This is how Spain is greeted. No matter where you are going – to the north or south of the country – the colorful state will present a lot of pleasant memories. Ideal vacation spots and the best resorts… The list is endless and it is impossible to visit everywhere, but you can see the main attractions of Spain, and learn a lot about the culture, history, art and architecture of this country.
Locals warmly welcome guests and impress foreign tourists with originality and love for traditions. Today, the Internet, brochures and posters allow you to see entertaining things about any country. But you would probably agree that a photo does not allow you to experience the whole gamut of unique emotions.
In what area are the significant attractions? Where to go in Spain with children? Where to visit to remember the trip of a lifetime? We will tell you what sites and interesting places to visit, how they appeared and when it is best to come to Spain. Let’s go!
Where to go in Spain in the spring
The country has dozens of unique monuments that have stood for centuries. You can visit the most interesting and important places that are memorable not only for the Spaniards, but also for the culture of the world as a whole. And where to go in Spain in the spring?
The heat is coming, which means it’s time to wind down the ski resort. At this time there are often real showers, indicating that spring is coming. But you can still go skiing (especially since the discounts start in March) or start the beach season. Of course, in early spring you can explore the natural attractions.
In the south of Spain is a nature reserve Coto de Doñana. It is also called “Birds Paradise” because it is home to a wide variety of feathered creatures. Hundreds of species of birds migrate through this site and can be seen here all year round.
Slender pink flamingos, herons, storks, and stern Imperial eagles. Hardly any place on the planet is home to such a variety of birds at the same time.
Tourist boom is in full swing. Pleasant spring weather, blooming plants, cool air and a concentration of colorful and ancient sights. This is how the Spanish capital welcomes guests.
There are many interesting places in Madrid, and one of them is Plaza Mayor. It is the central square of the city. If you are thinking what to see in Spain from the list of historical sites, this is your option. In the early 17th century, Plaza Mayor was built for bullfighting. Spanish playwright Lope de Vega called Plaza Mayor the “navel of Spain”.
Hundreds of years ago it was the site of jousting tournaments and executions, and today it hosts the main festivals and celebrations. It’s the busiest place in town.
The Spanish sun is coming on and many people are heading to the sea. On your first trip to this country, you can combine business with pleasure – to sunbathe on hot sand, swim in warm water and see the sights. For this you can go to the city of arts – Barcelona.
One of the most popular places in the capital of Catalonia is the Spanish Village. This is an open-air museum, which appeared in 1929. The site is located on Montjuïc hill and represents a typical village of Iberia: there are full-scale replicas of 117 architectural objects – streets, buildings and squares. In the Spanish Village you can appreciate the diversity of architecture from all regions of the country.
Among the most significant historical monuments are the 16th century palace of Galicia, a 17th century farmhouse from the Basque Country and an example of neoclassicism – a luxurious mansion in Asturias.
What to see in Spain in the summer
The beach season runs from May to October, which means summer is the peak vacation time. You can lie lazily on the beach and swim in the warm sea, and then head out to explore interesting places. So where to go at the beginning of summer to explore Spanish attractions on your own?
Get a little shelter from the scorching sun in a building. Especially cool would be an interesting structure with an incredible history.
Such a place may be for you Almudena Cathedral in Madrid. This unique temple impresses with its grandeur and beauty. In the life of this architectural treasure a lot of mystery and mystery, although it was built relatively recently – in 1993. Construction began in 1884, but the wars and civil strife in the country allowed to complete it only at the end of the XX century.
Visitors are impressed with the interior decoration of the cathedral. There are dozens of statuettes made from expensive materials, bronze doors and a huge dome with original paintings in the cathedral. The main relic of the temple is the figure of the Virgin Mary, which appeared in Spain in the 16th century. She is the Virgin of Almudena and the patroness of Madrid.
It’s dry and hot outside, but there are more and more tourists. Some come to enjoy a beach holiday, some enjoy the local festivals. And you can add sightseeing to the list of things to do.
In the middle of summer you can go on a trip … to the market, which earned the title – the pride of Spain. Boquería Market is spread out in the center of Barcelona, on an area of 2500 square meters. It’s the oldest bazaar in the city and a hearth of an abundance of different vegetables, meats, fruits and sweets.
At the entrance is a huge arch, from which hang images of different products and a colorful mosaic. It’s a beautiful place in Spain where you can’t get enough of the food. All the products are stacked in long, beautiful rows. The best time to arrive is at 9-10am, when the vendors have already unpacked the goods on the shelves, and there are not so many people yet. The food at Boquería market is for all tastes, colors and wallets. Everyone will find something to feast on here.
The hottest month of summer when the beaches are packed to capacity. But you don’t have to spend days lying by the sea, because you can go in search of interesting places. Get in touch with Spanish culture and art in Barcelona.
One of the most popular attractions of the Catalan capital is the Calvet house. It is a residential building built by the famous architect Antonio Gaudi in 1898. The building is located in the quarter of fabricators, where at the end of the XIX century, architects embodied their most daring and extravagant ideas.
The style of the building is restrained, but the Calvet house differs from the neighboring buildings by its unusual details and symbols. Gaudi has always loved the elements of nature, which are also present in this building. For example, the façade of the first floor is decorated with images of mushrooms.
Here you can not only admire the view of the beautiful building, but also to eat delicious – in the house Calvet is one of the best restaurants in Barcelona.
What to visit in Spain in the fall
The beach season is winding down and it’s time to explore all over the country. Historical buildings, traces of ancient civilizations and rich architectural treasures – every Spanish city is worthy of attention. Tourists are unanimous that the beginning of autumn is the best time to take a walk and enjoy the beauty of the capital.
The luxury of the velvet season and pleasant weather. Madrid welcomes visitors who are ready to enjoy the local attractions. On the list of must see is the Escorial Palace.
Residence of Spanish kings and the monastery are in the suburbs of Madrid at the foot of the mountains. It is a unique architectural monument. The first stone was laid during the reign of King Philip II in 1557. A gigantic palace complex with more than 300 rooms and ten chapels.
One of the main attractions of the Escorial is the famous library. There are many valuable ancient books and manuscripts. On the volume it is second only to the Vatican repository. Fresh mountain air and romance of the Middle Ages will not leave you indifferent.
It is warm in Spain, but it is already cool to swim. Although at this time you can still go to the resort. Especially since it is a discount time, and the rest will come out quite budget. To combine relaxing on the beach and sightseeing you can on the island of Menorca. If you are wondering what to see in Spain by yourself, here is a hint – in this little corner of paradise was a haven of the old tomb of Naveta de Tudons. Scientists believe it dates back more than 3,000 years.
The unique burial was discovered relatively recently – in 1975. After the research, scientists have brought to light the ancient buttons made of ceramics and bronze jewelry. Today, anyone can visit the tomb, because it has been fully restored to its former appearance. The remains of the people found in Naveta de Tudons have been reburied in a nearby cemetery.
The tomb of Naveta de Tudones is a unique archaeological find and the main attraction of the Balearic Islands archipelago. And if the age of the structure is correct, the tomb is the oldest structure in Europe.
Autumn is coming to an end and it rains a lot. But this is not a hindrance for true travelers and sightseers. At this time you can go on vacation and explore Spain in Valencia. Here is the park “Royal Gardens”.
Hardines del Real is a protected area by the banks of the river Turia. Once it was a full-flowing river, but today the water flow has dried up. The large area has about 3,000 trees and several hundred species of plants native to Spain and dozens of cities around the world. Rare varieties of magnolias and hibiscus are grown here. For visitors throughout the park there are cute benches to sit and observe nature.
On the territory of the Royal Gardens of Valencia are architectural monuments – arches, columns and statues. A nice addition – artificial ponds and waterfalls. The park is also home to representatives of fauna. You can see how the peacocks walk or feed the ducks.
Beautiful places in Spain in winter
Magical time of holidays and togetherness with the family. Already from mid-December you can go to ski resorts to enjoy winter sports. However, in the cold season it is nice to visit some nice Spanish town. So where to go at the beginning of winter to experience Spain?
In the Sierra Nevada, near Granada, you can enjoy the snow and explore one of the city’s main attractions, the Alhambra. An object of Islamic culture has settled in the heart of Spain.
The structure is called the Red Castle because clay dried in the sun was used during construction. However, they say that the complex got its name because of the torches that lit up the Alhambra buildings for hundreds of years.
The Muslim conquerors who made Granada their capital left such a legacy to the country. The Alhambra was once the residence of the emirs and was much larger. Not all the structures have survived, just a few courtyards and halls. Although the structure is still impressive in its grandeur. Arabic ligature, ceramics, Moorish ornaments, and the smell of citrus – in this place it is easy to lose your head in the beauty and nature around it.
With the big festivals around the corner, it’s time to hit Madrid. This is a particularly exciting time in the main city, as well as a lot of interesting sights to see in Spain. Go around all the important places hardly manage and a week, but there are objects that are worthy of attention.
The capital is the National Museum Prado with the largest collection of European art. The structure is famous throughout the world, and the Prado Gallery appeared in 1819. The building itself, which is designed in the style of late classicism, is also interesting.
The building with an area of 53,000 square meters holds a huge collection. The permanent exhibition is 1,300 images, and 7,000 canvases are hidden in the storerooms. In all, the Prado Museum has more than 8,000 paintings, 1,000 sculptures and 4,800 engravings.
Good weather encourages long walks. Spanish cities offer many excursions. In late winter, you can go explore Barcelona and one of the world’s most majestic structures, the Sagrada Familia.
The unusual Catholic temple was the last creation of the famous architect Antonio Gaudi. The building also has an official name – the Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family. One of the most important features of the temple is that construction began in 1882 and lasts to this day.
The first architect was Francisco del Villar, but it was Gaudi’s work that made the Sagrada Familia one of the most unique buildings in the world. It is planned to be completed in 2026. Services have been held in the temple since 2010.