12 Incredible Destinations in Spain

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Spain is truly one of the most incredible countries to visit. Figuring out where to go in Spain can be overwhelming since there are so many great destinations! History, culture, and delicious cuisine await visitors in Spain’s exciting and diverse regions. Below, I’ve broken down my favorite places in Spain from the tourist hotspots to some of the country’s delightfully hidden gems. Let me know where you’re dying to go in the comments!

PS: If you’re looking for the best food to eat on your trip to Spain make sure to check out the Best Ever Spanish Food Guide.

Big Cities & Good Eats: Top Places in Spain

aerial view of barcelona
Aerial view of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.


Barcelona is the most well-known of all Spain’s cities and should be at the top of your list of where to go in Spain. There’s a lot to learn here about the independent Catalan identity, and so much incredibly unique architecture. Gaudi’s work is truly fascinating. Barcelona has it all from top-notch Spanish cuisine to gorgeous Mediterranean beaches and world-class cultural sights and museums. Not to mention, there are so many great day trip options from Barcelona. Book that trip ASAP.

Check out the Ultimate Barcelona Travel Guide to learn more!

Best Time to Visit: Shoulder seasons
Recommended Visit Length: 4 days
Main Attractions: Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Gothic Quarter, Food & vermouth scene

aerial view of gran via
Gran Via at sunset in Madrid, Spain.


Next, we have the bustling capital, Madrid. Just a few hours from Barcelona, this is another popular big city but with a totally different draw. It’s less touristy than Barcelona and is a great place to go to get a feel for everyday life in Spain. My favorite thing to do in Madrid is go on an epic tapas crawl or explore hip neighborhoods like Malsana, La Latina, and Lavapies. In my opinion, this cosmopolitan city is best as a quick stop before exploring some of Spain’s more unique destinations. It makes a great in and out point as flights to Madrid are often cheaper and the city is close to plenty of other places you’ll want to visit.

Check out these resources to start planning your trip to Madrid:

Best Time to Visit: Shoulder seasons
Recommended Visit Length: 1-2 days
Main Attractions: Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Park Retiro, El Prado Museum, Malasana

flamenco dancer at plaza espana
Flamenco dancer at Seville’s Plaza Espana.

Where to go for culture & history in Spain


Sultry Seville is the unofficial capital of Southern Spain. Less than 3 hours from Madrid by train, Seville is the birthplace of flamenco, a dazzling improvisational style of music and dance. If you’re looking for lots of culture and history, this is exactly where to go in Spain. The city is full of flavor and excitement!

Seville contains three UNESCO World Heritage sites and is famous for its Mudéjar architecture (a type of Moorish architecture). No trip to Seville is complete without a day spent marveling at the beauty of spots like The Real Alcazar and Casa de Pilatos.

Want to know what to do in Seville? This guide has got you covered!

Best Time to Visit: Shoulder seasons
Recommended Visit Length: 2-3 days
Main Attractions: Real Alcazar, Plaza Espana, Las Setas, Parque Maria Luisa, Flamenco

arches in cordoba's mezquita
The interior of Cordoba’s Mezquita.


Cordoba is another Andalusian gem littered with Moorish architecture and photogenic spots. Famous for its beautiful flower-adorned patios and whitewashed buildings, Cordoba is home to the Festival de Los Patios which takes place every May.

Don’t even think about leaving this southern city until you’ve explored The Mezquita, Calle de Las Flores, and seen your fair share of patios in Palacio de Viana and the San Basilio neighborhood. Easily doable in a couple hours, Cordoba makes a fabulous day trip from Seville.

Best Time to Visit: May
Recommended Visit Length: 1 day
Main Attractions: Patio Festival, The Mezquita, Calle de Las Flores, Palacio de Viana

exterior of the alhambra
A beautiful courtyard in Granada’s Alhambra.


Granada is the Spanish word for pomegranate, a fitting name for this sweet, laidback southern Spanish city. Granada is famous for The Alhambra. A stunning example of Moorish architecture, the grounds and palace are the perfect place to daydream away a full afternoon. Make sure to hit the bars afterward. Whereas most Spanish cities have done away with the tradition of free tapas, Granada has not!

Granada makes a great day trip or stop between Malaga and Nerja. Spain has so much to offer and while the Alhambra is certainly worth a visit, I don’t recommend spending that much more time in Granda.

Best Time to Visit: Shoulder seasons
Recommended Visit Length: 1 day
Main Attractions: Alhambra

Where to find Spain’s hidden gems


A charming beach town on the sunny Costa del Sol in southern Spain, Nerja is halfway between Malaga and Granada, making it both a fabulous day trip or 2-day beach retreat.

Without a doubt, the best views of Nerja are from the Balcón de Europa. With gleaming white arches, hanging potted plants and the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Mediterranea Sea, you won’t want to miss this photogenic hotspot. If you’re still in the photo-snapping mood after soaking up some sun at Playa Burriana, head to the Instagrammable rainbow stairs leading to Torrecilla Beach, near the Rui Monica Hotel.

Best Time to Visit: May-November
Recommended Visit Length: 1-2 days
Main Attractions: Balcón de Europa, Playa Burriana


Frigiliana has got to be the prettiest town in all of Spain! Just 15 minutes away from Nerja, Frigiliana is a picture-perfect little cliff town adorned in blue and white with flowing orange and purple vines.

If you want to experience some of Spain’s hidden gems, this is the place to go. Come here and do nothing but wander the cobbled streets and marvel at the beauty surrounding you. You’ll be glad you did.

Best Time to Visit: May-November
Recommended Visit Length: Forever. JK. 1-2 days

Where to find the best beaches in Spain


Malaga is a fabulous city along the Costa del Sol where you can experience all the history Andalusia has to offer alongside sunny beach days surrounded by yachts and highrise resorts. The birthplace of Pablo Picasso, Malaga has a lot to offer art lovers including the Picasso Museum and the colorful, contemporary Pompidou Museum.

Personally, I prefer the stunning architecture of Seville and Cordoba, or the charming seaside beauty of Nerja and Friligiana, but if you’re looking for luxury and relaxation, you’ve found the right place to go in Spain!

Best Time to Visit: May-November
Recommended Visit Length: 1-2 days
Main Attractions: Beach, Alcazaba, Picasso Museum


The supreme of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is one of the Mediterranean’s most beloved islands. The capital city of Palma de Mallorca draws an international crowd and is a definite summertime hotspot. Valldemossa and Deià are also popular spots, but you’ll need to fly through Palma to reach them.

Soak in the old-world charm of this idyllic island and enjoy some famed Balearic pastries. You’ll fall in love with Mallorca as you swim through the sparkling azure bays and dance the nights away. Be warned, once you’re there, you may never want to leave.

Best Time to Visit: May-November
Recommended Visit Length: 4 days
Main Attractions: Palma, Valldemossa, Deia


Hola, Ibiza! Famous for its nightlife, this Balearic island is also full of stunning beaches, historic towns, and natural wonders. You’ll enjoy your time in Ibiza no matter what you do. Soak in the glory of the white sand beaches and gorgeous blue water or get lost in a trance in some of the world’s best nightclubs.

Also, make sure you set aside some time to discover the charming old town and shop for some Ibicenco clothing, the Ibiza-specific style that’s both laid-back and glamorous.

Best Time to Visit: May-November
Recommended Visit Length: 3 days
Main Attractions: Beaches, Nightclubs, Es Vedra

Where to find the best fine dining in Spain

San Sebastian

Last, but not least is San Sebastian. San Sebastian is a small city on the Basque Coast, just south of the French border. It used to be the favorite vacation spot of the Spanish royal family. Let the grandeur of the belle epoque architecture draw you in as you explore this culinary gem. If you have extra time, take a day trip to Biarritz, France.

While in San Sebastian, you’ve got to try the pintxos. Similar to tapas, these bite-sized appetizers are served in bars and are a huge part of Basque country culture. A pintxo crawl is a must, but reserve at least one night for dinner at any of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants.

Best Time to Visit: May-November
Recommended Visit Length: 2 days
Main Attractions: Concha Promenade, Funicular, Pintxos Bars

Where to go in Spain
What to see in Spain before you die


Sydney is a solo travel expert who’s extensively explored Spain, Portugal, Morocco, California, and more! She creates travel guides and itineraries to share everything she's learned about the Iberian peninsula through personal experience and exploration.

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