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Where to Go in Spain: 7 famous places you need to see!

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Where to Go in Spain: 7 famous places you need to see!
Needless to say, Spain is filled with amazing sceneries and things to do. But where exactly should you go visit when you're traveling to Spain? Keep reading, or you might miss out on our list of top places to visit and why they're so awesome!
Sarah Hartness
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Sarah is a freelance travel writer whose goal is to inspire others to leave their comfort zone and see the world. She believes there is adventure to be found everywhere, and you should try everything once. In her writing, she highlights underrated places and adventures and helps make travel easier for everyone.

Read more about this author

So, you want to go to Spain, but you need to figure out where to go...

Since Spain is so culturally-diverse and has many different areas to see, I understand why you may have difficulties choosing the best places to see during your trip. In my opinion, most cities in Spain will have a great mix of history, fun, and delicious food.

So where is the best place to go in Spain? Lucky for you, we've listed the 5 best places to visit in Spain

Best Places to Visit in Spain

7. Barcelona - Vibrant City Lifestyle

If you've never been to Spain before, and aren't sure where to go, you should visit Barcelona. Barcelona has a little bit of everything that Spain has to offer, and there is great food, parties, beaches, arts, and history. 

Things You Should Do in Barcelona

The best thing to do in Barcelona is to visit Park Güell. This colorful park was designed by Spain's famous architect Antoni Gaudi, and it has the best views in Barcelona. Gaudi has other architectural phenomena in the city, like La Sagrada Familia. 

In fact, some people would title Barcelona as the "City of Gaudí's Masterpieces"!

The next activity on your Barcelona itinerary should be the Gothic Quarter. Spend time walking around, shopping, and eating in this historic and breathtaking area of Barcelona.

Right by the Gothic Quarter are two other places you cannot miss when visiting Spain. First, Las Ramblas, a great street with lots of shops. On Las Ramblas, the second place you can't miss is the Boqueria Market. It's a massive market with Barcelona's freshest and best food!

If you're in a rush but you want to visit all that Barcelona has to offer, give Barcelona's Hop-on hop-off busses a try! It's a quick and easy way to tour the city with a local guide.

Before going to Barcelona, I suggest you do specific research about this Spanish city. You should at least know where to stay and where to avoid in Barcelona so that you can fully enjoy your trip while you're there!

Who Should Visit Barcelona?

Since Barcelona is known as one of the biggest and most popular cities in Spain, it's no wonder that partiers enjoy visiting. But, I'm here to tell you that there's something for everyone in Barcelona!

If you fall into any of the following, I would definitely make Barcelona a stop on the Spain itinerary: Partier, foodie, history buff, football fans, and even beach lovers.

If you're looking for a calm and relaxing vacation, you can also find this in Barcelona, but expect big city vibes for the most part!

Fellow tourists looking out over the skyline of Barcelona at dusk
Captured by ©Pilot

6. Madrid - Traditional Meets Modern

The next city you have to visit in Spain is Madrid—it's the country's capital city! Filled with unique historical landmarks and museums, you'll have a great time exploring all the things to do in Madrid.

Quick Overview on What to See in Madrid

Like Barcelona, Madrid has an incredible party scene. It's well-known to be one of the bests the city has to offer.Clubs and bars are known to stay open until the early morning hours, like 6 AM. People stay at the clubs until the metro starts running again and get home. 

An easy way to enjoy the city's party scene is to stay in one of Madrid's many hostels. There are lots of wonderful hostels in Madrid, and many of them will introduce you to the party scene. Since many hostels are close to the best bars in the city, they host bar crawls and other free events. Sometimes they'll even host in-hostel parties at their own bars!

Based on your needs, remember to research the places to stay in Madrid. You'll want to minimize the time you spend commuting and choose the right area for what you're looking for while visiting Madrid!

For those of you who want a more lowkey stay, there are also great hostels for that as well. After all, there is more to do than party when you're in Madrid. What are those things, do you ask?

One of the most popular places is Retiro Park, a massive park in the city that is great for relaxing and enjoying a picturesque day in Spain. You also shouldn't miss the Prado Art Museum, the Royal Palace of Madrid, and all the plazas scattered throughout the city. 

No matter how much time you have to spend in Spain, you can't miss out on a few things when you stay in Madrid.

What Type of Traveler Should Visit Madrid?

Travelers who enjoy the vibes of Barcelona will also enjoy Madrid. Spain's capital city has something to offer for foodies, art lovers, and night owls alike.

But why would someone want to visit Madrid instead of Barcelona? If you're a history and art buff then Madrid has more to offer you. I would pick Madrid over Barcelona if you're short on time!

City of Madrid
Photo by Florien Wehde on Unsplash

5. Ibiza - Party the Night Away

Are you a party animal who's wondering where to go in Spain? Ibiza is well known for being the nightlife capital of Spain.

What to Experience in Ibiza

Anyone who loves a good time should party in Ibiza, especially those who love EDM festivals and clubs, which the island specializes in. When you go to Ibiza, Spain, you can party in 2 main places: Ibiza Town, which is the island capital, and Sant Antoni on the west coast.

But Ibiza isn't all about partying, and there are some other fun activities that you shouldn't miss when you're on the island. For instance, thanks to its excellent climate and beaches, surfing is popular on the island. 

You can also take a hot balloon ride that will give you some amazing views of the island, or go out on a boat ride and admire Ibiza from the sea. Ibiza also has many restaurants with some of the best Mediterranean food in the world. 

Type of Visitor Who'll Love Ibiza

I feel like I've already given you the hint, but anyone who loves to party needs to come to Ibiza! If this isn't your scene, Ibiza may not be the best place to put on your itinerary.

Pool party in Ibiza
Photo by David Svihovec on Unsplash

4. Mallorca - Beach Bums, Rejoice!

Mallorca is another island in Spain that shows off everything that's right with the Mediterranean Sea. When you go to Mallorca, Spain, you have a few great options for places to go on the island. 

Why Visit Mallorca?

Mallorca is one of the beautiful Balearic Islands that Spain has to offer. The island itself is popular for their beautiful beaches, resorts, and limestone mountain to name a few. Let's dive a bit more in depth about Mallorca!

First, Palma, Mallorca's capital city, has a lot of history. You can visit and tour the Palma Cathedral called La Seu. Near the Cathedral in the Old City. Here you can see beautiful buildings, bridges, and city walls that were built when Spain was under Moorish control. Within the Old City are the 10th Century Arab Baths you can explore.

Outside of Palma, Mallorca has coastlines full of some of the world's most beautiful beaches. The entire island is surrounded by coves, resorts, restaurants, and perfect beaches. No matter where you are on the island, you will have a great time filled with good food, culture, and views.

Mallorca and Ibiza are only a short ferry ride away from each other, so you can visit them both to make your trip to Spain the best. 

Who Will Enjoy a Vacation on Mallorca?

This may not be the one of the most famous places in Spain, but an island visit is definitely worth it if you love spending your days by the beach! 

Mallorca view of the river and city.
Photo by Yves Alarie on Unsplash

3. Seville - Heartbeat of Andalusia

I'm sure you'll love Seville if you're a fan of lively music and delicious smells going through the streets.

This Spanish destination is a place where vibrant traditions meet a pulsating nightlife, and where ancient landmarks paint a picture of a fascinating past. This Andalusian gem has a magical quality that draws you in and captivates your heart.

What You Should Do in Seville

Seville is a city brimming with historic and cultural treasures. The crown jewel of these is arguably the Real Alcázar, a stunning Moorish palace with lush gardens, ornate tilework, and breathtaking architecture. It's definitely one of the must-see places in Spain!

And, for the history buffs, there's also the majestic Seville Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in the world and home to Christopher Columbus' tomb!

Next, I recommend looking for a taste of local life... Take a stroll through the vibrant Santa Cruz neighborhood—you won't regret it! The labyrinthine streets are packed with quaint shops, traditional tapas bars, and bustling cafes where you can savor local flavors like salmorejo, a rich tomato soup, or pescaíto frito, fried fish.

Don't miss a traditional flamenco show before you go either! Seville is the heartland of this passionate dance style, and watching a live performance something you won't forget.

And if you're a night owl, keep the night going! You'll be able to enjoy the city's buzzing nightlife since it's got many lively bars and clubs offering entertainment till dawn.

Who Should Visit Seville

Seville is a dream come true for history enthusiasts and cultural explorers. The city's rich tapestry of historical landmarks, combined with its vibrant traditions and flamenco rhythm, offers a deep dive into Spanish culture.

There's lots for everyone though, and if you're a night owl who thrives in energetic nightlife, Seville's late-night flamenco shows and buzzing bars will keep you entertained till the early morning light.

Tourists on a boat at the Placa Esapana in Spain
Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash

2. San Sebastián - Foodie's Paradise

This Spain destination could be out of a movie!

Imagine a city where the mountains meet the sea, creating a dramatic backdrop for a culinary scene that's second to none. That's San Sebastián for you.

And what's better than the views? Well, I think it's got to be the delicious food! Nestled in Spain's Basque Country, this city is a gastronomic heaven, renowned for its innovative cuisine and a remarkable number of Michelin-starred restaurants.

What to Do in San Sebastián

When in San Sebastián, eating pintxos, Basque-style tapas, is not just a meal, but a social ritual. Ie. You need to do this!

To find the best options for this, venture into the Old Town and you'll find pintxos bars at every corner. Don't forget to eat these bite-sized delicacies paired with local wines. You should also try the city's signature dish, the creamy cheesecake at La Viña.

But once you've filled your stomach on San Sebastián's culinary delights, there's more to see and do...

The city is home to stunning beaches like La Concha, perfect for a day of sunbathing or a leisurely stroll along the promenade. For the best views, take a funicular ride up to Monte Igueldo, where you'll be treated to panoramic vistas of the city and the sparkling bay.

San Sebastián also boasts a vibrant cultural scene. Be sure to check out the San Telmo Museum, housed in a 16th-century convent, showcasing Basque history and art. And if you're visiting in September, you might catch the famous San Sebastián International Film Festival, a major event on the European film calendar.

Who Should Visit San Sebastián

San Sebastián is a culinary adventurer's dream destination. If you're a foodie who delights in exploring local flavors and loves the idea of a city where food isn't just sustenance, but an art form, then San Sebastián is your culinary dreamland!

San Sebastián beach at sunset - best of spain's vacation spots
Photo by Ion Flecha on Unsplash

1. Valencia - Best of the Spanish Coast

What if you want to go to mainland Spain but still want to see the islands' amazing beaches? You have to visit Valencia!

Valencia sits on the Mediterranean on the eastern side of Spain, and it has three stunning beaches. Other outdoor activities include the city's miles of parks and the nearby national park called Albufera Natural Park south of the city.

What's There to Do in Valencia?

If you love history and culture, Valencia has amazing attractions for you to see. There is a massive arts and science museum to explore and the traditional churches.

There are restaurants with delicious Mediterranean food all over the city. Plus, the Central Market has fresh, unique foods at one of the oldest markets in Europe. This is a great place to shop in Valencia if you are staying at a hostel with a kitchen and want to cook your own meals but still get a taste of Spain's food.

When you are out exploring Valencia on foot, you will run into many Plazas. These Plazas are all picturesque, so they're great for getting good pictures for social media. These plazas also have plenty of local events, street vendors, and shops that will help you immerse yourself in Spain's culture. 

Who Should Go to Valencia?

Want a nice mix of relaxing and exciting on your beach vacay? Valencia's got you covered. If you want a bit of a slower-paced destination, this city in Spain will be great. You can spend time sunbathing on the beaches, enjoying the authentic Mediterranean dishes, and strolling through the city's rich historical sites.

Amazing places to visit in Valencia, Spain.
Photo by Jurre Houtkamp on Unsplash

Ready to Visit Spain?

Spain is one of the most fun places to visit in Europe, and these 7 cities and islands are some of the best places to go in Spain.

Make sure you stop by these top 5 locations when you're in Spain so that you're not missing out on any major attractions! After all, you wouldn't want to feel regret after coming back from your trip knowing you could've gone to the places you should've gone.

Plan Your Trip to Spanish Adventure With Pilot

Now you know some of the best places to visit in Spain if you like famous and popular Spanish destinations. But, you may also be looking for the coolest cities in Spain as well. No matter where you decide to go, I'm sure when you visit Spain, you'll have a wonderful time.

If you want to make sure of this, remember that it's always best to plan! Get all of your upcoming destinations, itineraries, and activities organized with a reliable trip planner.

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Sarah Hartness
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Sarah is a freelance travel writer whose goal is to inspire others to leave their comfort zone and see the world. She believes there is adventure to be found everywhere, and you should try everything once. In her writing, she highlights underrated places and adventures and helps make travel easier for everyone.

Read more about this author
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