Spain is a top tourist attraction in Europe, with a variety of exciting tours and experiences to explore. Imagine exploring picturesque beaches overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, visiting enchanting Moorish palaces, discovering captivating medieval towns, hiking through verdant national parks, and admiring world-renowned museums displaying the works of Picasso and Salvador Dalí.
Spain offers a wide array of travel experiences, ensuring that you will not have any difficulty planning your itinerary. Even travelers have not exhausted all there is to do there! Traveling through this incredible country can take years, or even a lifetime, to fully explore every corner. However, there are certain attractions that visitors tend to favor.
Planning your next travel to Spain and trying to decide what to do? Please look at our list of must-see tourist attractions in the country.
1. La Sagrada Familia
When traveling to Barcelona, make sure to visit La Sagrada Familia, which is widely regarded as one of the most stunning structures on the planet. This stunning cathedral, created by the renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, is a must-see for travelers. It features three beautiful facades that depict various aspects of the life of Christ.
The church’s interiors are reminiscent of a mystical forest, adorned with columns resembling branching trees and multicolored stained-glass windows.
La Sagrada Familia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005 due to its cultural significance and stunning architecture that reflects Gaudí’s evolution.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Barcelona: Best Areas & Hotels
Ibiza, the magical island in the Mediterranean Sea, has captured the hearts of travelers from around the world. The island is one of Europe’s most popular party locations. The island’s population doubles during the summer as visitors swarm to Ibiza to enjoy the nightclubs, beach bars, and restaurants.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Ibiza: Best Areas & Hotels
3. La Alhambra (Alhambra Palace), Granada
Southern Spain’s crown jewel is La Alhambra. The palace, situated in the captivating Andalusia region of Granada, is an ideal travel spot for those who want to explore the fascinating history of Spain.
Travel back in time to the 13th century and witness the transformation of the Alhambra from a small fortress built on Roman remains to a magnificent royal palace. Marvel at the intricate architecture and design, which was rebuilt by the Arab Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada and later converted by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada in 1333.
Experience a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city by visiting the magnificent royal residence. Adorned with intricate decorations such as rich ceramics, plasterworks, Kufic inscriptions, and poems written by various poets of the court, this majestic site also features arches and ornate gardens.
4. The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands should be at the top of your list of locations to visit in Spain. A visit to the volcanic mountain, along with exploring the historic monuments and relaxing on the beaches, will make your travel experience unforgettable. While traveling to The Canary Islands, exploring the museums and archaeological parks would be a great idea.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in the Canary Islands: Best Areas & Hotels
5. Santiago De Compostela Cathedral
The Santiago de Compostela Arch Cathedral Basilica was constructed in 1075 under the rule of Alfonso VI. It is a significant religious structure in Spain. The basilica is a popular travel destination as it is known for being the final stop of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and is believed to be the burial place of St. James the Great, one of Jesus Christ’s apostles.
By the way, it is worth exploring the entire city of Santiago de Compostela while traveling. Located in northwestern Spain, the city is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia. It boasts a charming collection of medieval tenements that are sure to delight any traveler. While traveling, make sure to visit the Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features a variety of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture.
Cuenca, located in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha, is a beautiful city nestled amid the beautiful mountains of east-central Spain. Discover the charming Historic Walled Town of a city founded by Moors in 714, featuring steep cobbled alleys and medieval castle ruins, making it an ideal destination for history enthusiasts.
Cuenca is a great travel destination for those interested in medieval history. The city boasts experience numerous ancient monuments that are sure to impress visitors. When you travel to Cuenca, you can visit the renowned Cathedral of Santa María and San Julián, which were constructed over the old Muslim Mosque starting from 1182. You can also explore the Baroque-style Town Hall that dates back in time to 1733 and the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art located in the Hanging Houses.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Cuenca: Best Areas & Hotels
7. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
Spain is a great destination for travelers interested in culture, with a plethora of museums covering a diverse range of topics. Do not miss the opportunity to visit the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in the Basque Country if you are interested in seeing contemporary art.
The museum, created by Canadian American architect Frank Gehry, is a stunning example of modern architecture. As you travel through the museum, you will be amazed by the stunning collection of around six hundred artworks that were given to the museum by businessperson and collector Solomon Guggenheim from 1937 to 1949.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a top cultural destination in Spain, featuring masterpieces by Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, and Richard Serra.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Bilbao: Best Areas & Hotels
8. Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia
Jerez de la Frontera, a charismatic city, is located fifty-six miles south of Seville. Explore the hidden gem nestled in the Andalusia region, a must-visit destination for travelers seeking to discover the lesser-known wonders of Spain.
Explore the charming Old Town of Jerez de la Frontera and visit several worth-seeing landmarks including the Moorish fortress, San Salvador Cathedral, and the 11th- and 12th-century Moorish Alcázar.
Jerez is a great destination for travelers interested in sherry production. The city is famous for its local bars, called Tabancos, which offer a delicious selection of the city’s signature drinks.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Andalusia: Best Areas & Hotels
9. Plaza Mayor, Salamanca
If you are looking for a stunning travel destination, make sure to visit Plaza Mayor in Salamanca. It is even more beautiful than Plaza de España. Located in the center of the city, the plaza was constructed between 1729 and 1755 and is renowned for its stunning beauty and ornate decorations, making it one of the most exquisite plazas in Europe.
During your travels to Spain, make sure to explore the old city of Salamanca, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The sandstone buildings that dot the area are must-see tourist attractions.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Madrid: Best Areas & Hotels
10. Monasterio de Piedra, Zaragoza
If you are a travel enthusiast looking for an exciting outdoor experience in Spain, you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to explore Monasterio de Piedra (Stone Monastery). Nestled in the Iberian System Mountain range, close to Zaragoza, lies a stunning natural park boasting a series of glistening waterfalls, enchanting rock formations, a picturesque garden, a serene mirror lake, and a mystical monastery steeped in over 800 years of history.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Zaragoza: Best Areas & Hotels
11. La Rambla, Barcelona
On a summer evening, while strolling along La Rambla, it feels like every resident of Barcelona is present with you. It is the place to visit after a day of exploring or on a weekend getaway. A scenic route of trees runs through the heart of the city, curving its way from the Columbus Memorial by the harbor towards the northwest.
The path leading to Plaça de Catalunya is adorned with plane trees, featuring a spacious area for pedestrians and a narrow road on either side. La Rambla offers a variety of experiences for travelers, including visits to its flower and bird markets, browsing book and newspaper stand, and dining at open-air restaurants and cafés. The lively atmosphere is enhanced by pavement artists, street musicians, living statues, and impromptu performers.
When traveling to La Rambla, make sure to visit the Mercat de la Boqueria (91 Rambla), a covered marketplace that offers a variety of fresh produce, meat, fish, bread, cheese, and other specialty foods. Travelers can visit this place to shop for ingredients and experience the local culture by preparing home-cooked meals. Travelers will enjoy experiencing the local cuisine offered at the tapas bars in the market.
12. El Escorial
Located near Madrid, The Escorial is a grand building complex nestled in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama in San Lorenzo de El Escorial.
One of the must-see destinations of Spain, this complex is a significant example of Spanish Renaissance architecture. It was designed by King Philip II with the intention of creating a building that could serve as a burial site for his father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, as well as fulfill other purposes.
The Escorial was built between 1563 and 1584. It is a complex that includes a church, a monastery, a royal palace, a college, and a library. The place was adorned by famous Spanish and Italian artists.
During your travels, be sure to explore the buildings and take in the breathtaking artistic treasures that await you. Admire the stunning frescoes created by Pellegrino Tibaldi and Federico Zuccaro, marvel at the six statues of Old Testament kings adorning the basilica’s façade as well as stroll through the meticulously maintained gardens.
13. Plaza de España, Seville
Nestled within the lush surroundings of María Luisa Park, Plaza de España stands as one of the grandest plazas in Spain. Aníbal González, a renowned architect from Seville, designed this stunning plaza in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.
The Plaza de España, with its blend of Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival, and Moorish Revival styles, is a popular tourist destination. The semi-circular plaza is surrounded by government buildings. Visitors can cruise by boat on the canal featured in the plaza.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Sevilla: Best Areas & Hotels
14. Palacio Real
Madrid’s Royal Palace, also known as Palacio Real, serves as the official dwelling of the Spanish royal family. While it is now only utilized for state ceremonies, it remains a significant landmark in the city. Visitors can embark on a historical journey through Spain by exploring the royal palace, which was constructed on the grounds of the former Alcazar, a Moorish castle that was ravaged by fire in 1734. The old city wall in this area is still visible and worth exploring during your travels.
The Palacio Real is a must-see destination for travelers, featuring over 3000 rooms and built in the form of a square. The palace was inspired by Bernini’s sketches for the Louvre Museum in Paris.
As you explore the grandest operational royal palace in Europe, you will discover a stunning Sabatini-designed staircase, a Throne Hall adorned with a Tiepolo-painted ceiling, and the Royal Armory, where you can view the weaponry and armor worn by Spanish monarchs dating back to the 13th century.
A must-visit attraction at the Royal Palace is the Painting Gallery, which highlights masterpieces by Caravaggio, Velázquez, and Goya.