Spain is a glamorous, diverse country with so much to offer to its visitors from history, entertainment, nature, food and an overall exceptional experience.
Spain ranked third in the countries with the most international tourist arrivals with 75.6 million arrivals in 2016.
Tourists arriving in Spain increased to 10.51 million foreign visitors in 2017.
The top two destinations when it comes to Spain are Madrid and Barcelona.
However, there are other multiple cities to discover in this incredible country such as: Seville, Granada, Valencia, Màlaga, Córdoba, Toledo, Ibiza and Segovia.
Top attractions in Madrid:
Madrid is the capital of Spain and one of its most spellbinding touristic destinations.
This is Spain’s largest city with numerous captivating attractions to admire including the following:
1-The Royal Palace of Madrid:
This remarkable palace was built in 1764 and it is one of the city’s most remarkable attractions.
Inside the palace, there are valuable paintings and works of art by famous artists in addition to furniture and ceramics.
It is massive in size and it includes more than 2500 rooms, but only 50 of them are open to the public.
The Sabatini Gardens are a part of the Royal Palace and it was named after an architect called Francesco Sabatini who contributed in coming up with the palace’s unique design.
These gardens are made up of a central pond surrounded by numerous trees, fountains and sculptures.
Behind the palace, you will find the Campo Del Moro Gardens with a beautiful fountain as a centerpiece.
2-The Museo Del Prado (Prado Museum):
This museum attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world as it houses an admirable art collection consisting of around 8600 paintings and more than 700 sculptures.
Some of the famous artists whom their masterpieces make up a large part of the museum are Goya, Velázquez and Raphael.
One of the most appealing facts about this museum is that it showcases Spanish, Flemish and Italian styles of art.
Located in the center of Madrid, this is the city’s main square and it is very popular among tourists.
In the middle of the Plaza, there is a statue of Philip III on horseback as Plaza Mayor’s origin dates back to this king’s reign.
This square is where you can find a variety of outdoor cafes and restaurants that are always crowded with visitors from all over the world.
When it comes to food, Plaza Mayor is one of the places where you can have a calamari sandwich which is a culinary specialty in this city.
4-Puerta del Sol:
Puerta del Sol is a central square located near Plaza Mayor and it is a very vibrant area with numerous bars, restaurants and international clothes shops.
One of the reasons why this square is popular is because El Corte Inglés which a huge department store is located there.
El Corte Inglés is actually found in many areas in Madrid and it provides tourists with the ultimate shopping experience by offering a wide display of different brands of makeup, bags, clothes, shoes and so much more.
Visitors are attracted by the 3 valuable statues found at Puerta del Sol including El Oso y El Madroño, the Mariblanca statue and a statue of King Carlos III.
5-Buen Retiro Park:
The Buen Retiro park is Madrid’s largest and most spellbinding park with its tree-lined paths and multiple fountains.
This park is known for its large artificial lake that is located nearby the entrance and the Palacio de Cristal which is a magnificent glass building located at the edge of this lake.
One of the park’s premier attractions is the Rosaleda Garden where you can find different types of roses that will take your breath away.
6-Temple of Debod:
This is an ancient Egyptian temple that was originally built near Aswan then it was rebuilt in Madrid as it was given by the Egyptian government to Spain as a gift.
Temple of Debod includes multiple shrines, a spacious hall, 2 stone archways and a reflecting pool in front of it.
Many tourists find that visiting this temple is quite interesting as they get the chance to see a glimpse of what ancient Egyptian monuments look like and admire the unique carved reliefs on the temple.
7- La Puerta de Alcalá (The Alcalá Gate):
Located near the city center, the Alcalá gate is one of Madrid’s world-famous symbols that was designed by an Italian architect and it took 9 years to be constructed.
This granite gate is 19.5 meters tall and it has three large archways where each of them is decorated by a lion’s head and two small rectangular passageways.
8-Plaza de Cibeles:
This is one of the main squares in Madrid and it includes some of its most well-known attractions.
These attractions include Cibeles Fountain which portrays a roman Goddess named Cibeles and it is considered to be an important landmark in this city.
Actually whenever Real Madrid’s team wins a match, the fans surround this fountain for celebration.
Another major attraction is the Cybele Palace which became the Madrid City Hall starting 2007 and it is such a beautiful building so make sure you visit it on your trip.
Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is the most famous bullring in Spain that consists of a ring and surrounding rows that can take up to almost 23,800 spectators.
You can buy a ticket to watch one of the regular bullfights which is definitely a one of a kind experience.
10-Parque Warner Madrid:
Parque Warner Madrid is located 23 km southeast of Madrid and it is one of Europe’s most popular theme parks.
It is where you can see your favorite cartoon characters wandering in the streets of this huge park in addition to the fact that includes countless rides, roller coasters and other activities designed to suit all ages.
There is much more to this magnificent theme park as it offers daily performances and shows.
You can also find a variety of options when it comes to dining and shops to buy Warner Bros souvenirs including frames and T-shirts.
11-The Madrid Zoo Aquarium:
This zoo is where you can see around 3000 animals including Siberian tigers, koalas, pandas, flamingos and other interesting species.
There is also an aquarium that features professional dolphin shows guided by their trainers and it offers you the chance to view other sea mammals from up close.
If you are visiting Madrid, make sure you put watching a Flamenco show on your list as it is an extraordinary experience.
There are various venues offering Flamenco shows such as: Teatro Flamenco Madrid, Casa Patas, Corral de la Morería Restaurant, Tablao Flamenco Torres Bermejas and Café de Chinitas.
If you want to enjoy a day trip from Madrid, the nearest cities you can visit from there are Toledo, Segovia and Valencia.
This city is almost 40 minutes away from Madrid by train and it is certainly worth exploring.
Walking in its streets, you would notice that it is quite different from Madrid.
Top attractions you can visit in Toledo include Toledo’s cathedral and The Alcázar which is a museum featuring various exhibitions that focus on evolution of military strategy and weapons.
Also, the Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes which is a Franciscan church is another famous landmark in this marvelous city.
Don’t miss the chance to cross the Puente de San Martín which is a bridge built over the Tajo River and it is where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the old town.
If you are visiting Toledo, you should consider having a meal at one of its restaurants as this city’s cuisine is a mixture of 3 different cultures that inhabited Toledo so the food is really unique.
Segovia is such a beautiful city and you can simply enjoy spending a day wandering its narrow pedestrian lanes where you can find different shops, boutiques, restaurants, cafes and so much more.
Segovia includes some famous attractions such as the Ancient Roman Aqueduct which is Segovia’s symbol and its most impressive monumental structure.
This aqueduct is impressive as it consists of 167 arches with a height of 28 meters held together.
Alcázar is an enchanting castle located in Segovia and it looks like a fairy tale castle because of its turreted towers which makes it an important attraction for those visiting this city.
Valencia is a Mediterranean port town and it could be considered like a mini version of Barcelona.
One of the most appealing attractions in this city is its beautiful beaches including La Malvarrosa beach where you can spend some quality time under the sun.
This beach is idyllic with its palm trees and the variety of restaurants and bars it offers where you can try the city’s most popular local dish called “Paella”
Other things to do in Valencia including visiting the Plaza de la Reina which is a fascinating square offering plenty of places to eat or hang out.
Valencia’s cathedral is another popular attraction in this city as tourists admire the great views of the city they can see from the top of the Miguelete bell tower.
Besides Madrid and its neighboring cities, Barcelona is one of the best tourist destinations in Spain.
Statistics showed over 9 million tourists staying in hotels in the city of Barcelona in 2016.
Top attractions in Barcelona:
1-Basilica de la Sagrada Familia:
This church is the most popular sight in Barcelona with its 18 towers rising above all the surrounding monuments.
On the inside, the church is 90 meters long and it has such a beautiful ceiling decorated professionally in addition to the colorful stained-glass windows that allow light to enter.
La Rambla is a broad avenue in Barcelona where you can find countless shops, outdoor restaurants and cafes.
It is the the city’s most famous spot for hanging out and enjoying a walk surrounded by this lively ambiance.
The Mercat de la Boqueria is a market located in La Rambla and it is visited mainly by locals and some tourists to buy vegetables, fruits and other food products.
Another reason why this avenue attracts a large number of visitors is due to the street performances that take place there including live music and mime shows that are really entertaining.
Barcelona is known for having wonderful beaches and Barceloneta Beach is a tourists’ favorite.
This beach offers tourists the chance to enjoy various water sports such as windsurfing and kite-surfing besides swimming.
There are also a variety of options when it comes to food including seaside huts offering fresh seafood.
Barceloneta Beach is usually crowded with tourists as it is the perfect place to spend a day by the sea.
4-Park Guell (Gaudi’s Surrealist Park):
This splendid park is a masterpiece as it includes various structures that are decorated in multicolored ceramic fragments.
Park Guell was designed by Antoni Gaudi which was a Spanish architect.
At the entrance of the park you can find a staircase decorated with a dragon-like lizard statue built with trancadis-ceramics and it is considered to be the highlight of this attraction.
5-The Gothic Qua:
The Gothic Quarter is a neighborhood where you can see buildings dating from Roman times to the 20th century which makes it one of the city’s premier landmarks.
There are plenty of attractions to see in this area including the Gothic Cathedral and Bisbe Irurita Street which a famous street featuring a spellbinding bridge.
This neighborhood is also where you can find Sant Jaume Square where the City Hall is located.
Being one of the most unique residential buildings in Europe is the reason behind why Casa Batlló is a world-famous attraction.
The front of the building is made up of bits of blue, mauve and green tiles in addition to wave-shaped window frames which make it extremely unique and impressive as it is unlike any other building.
7-The Picasso Museum:
For those who admire art, you should not miss visiting this incredible museum in Barcelona.
The Picasso Museum is where you can find an outstanding collection of more than 3500 artworks by the famous artist Pablo Ruiz Picasso.
Other highlights include an admirable set of 42 pieces of ceramic that were donated by the artist’s widow after his death.
8-Illa Fantasia Water Park:
If you are looking for a place to enjoy a sunny day at Barcelona, Illa Fantasia Water Park is your ultimate destination.
It offers more than 20 different water slides and 3 large swimming pools that are designed to suit different ages.
Also, you can find some restaurants, fast food venues and an area suitable for picnics.
Other cities worth visiting in Spain include the following:
Seville is the capital of Andalusia, Spain and it is an impressive city that seems to grab tourists’ attention.
This city has several attractions to discover such as: Catedral de Sevilla which is a Roman Catholic cathedral that is considered to be the third largest church in Europe.
Inside Catedral de Sevilla, you can find stained-glass windows and choir stalls that dates back to the 15th century.
Located just beside the cathedral, La Giralda is an enchanting tower and it is one of Seville’s most admirable monuments.
Barrio Santa Cruz is the most delightful and picturesque neighborhood in this city with its whitewashed houses and cobbled streets.
Parque de María Luisa is a popular park in Seville and it’s the perfect spot if you are looking for a place to enjoy your day away from the hustle and the bustle of the city.
This park includes shady paths and duck ponds in addition to various attractions that are interesting to discover.
One of the highlights of Parque de María Luisa is Plaza de España which is known for its two spectacular towers and its fountains and mini-canals.
You can also visit the National Archaeological Museum of Spain which includes several Roman sculptures and statues.
Granada is located in the Andalusia region of Spain and it is known for its Islamic architecture, monuments and arts.
One of the most visited places in Granada is AlHambra which is a palace complex and a fortress where you can find a large number of palaces including Islamic carvings, towers and gardens.
This complex consists of 4 famous buildings: The Alcazaba, The Nasrid Palaces, The Palace of Charles V and the Generalife.
The Alcazaba is a fortress that dates back to the 13th century and it is the oldest part of AlHambra.
The Nasrid Palaces are some of the most beautiful buildings with decorative tile work on the inside and spacious courtyards.
The Palace of Charles V was used as a summer palace by the emperor and it was built in the 16th century.
Finally, the Generalife is where you can find spellbinding Moorish gardens with fountains, terraces and roses that will take your breath away.
The Cathedral of Granada is another important attraction to visit in this city and adjacent to it, you can see the Royal Chapel which is the burial place of the catholic kings.
Dating back to the 11th century, The Bañuelo is where you will be fascinated by preserved ancient Arab baths.
Sacromonte is one of the most famous districts in Granada and it attracts tourists who are interested in visiting its gypsy caves or seeing one of the Flamenco shows held there.
Located in southern Spain, on the Costa del Sol, Màlaga is a beautiful port city known for its amazing landmarks in addition to its perfect weather and a wonderful stretch of beach.
One of the reasons for Màlaga’s popularity is its countless, mesmerizing beaches including La Malagueta beach on the top of the list.
This outstanding beach is the ultimate spot for swimming and enjoying a day under the sun.
La Malagueta beach offers rental services for parasols, hammocks and pedalos to keep you entertained.
La Caleta is another premier beach in this city with its small beach bars and it is the perfect destination for those who enjoy different water sports.
Other highlights of Màlaga include Alcazaba de Málaga which is an old Moorish castle that was first built in the 9th century and it was originally surrounded by 110 towers but only a few of them exist now.
Al Alcabaza houses the Museum of Málaga which actually consists of 2 interior museums: The Provincial Museum of Fine Arts and The Archaeology Museum.
The Provincial Museum of Fine Arts features an incredible collection of local paintings and 2 of the earliest works of the famous artist Picasso.
The Archaeology Museum is where you can find models of the castle and roman antiques.
You must visit La Concepcion Jardin Botanico which includes the Historical Gardens showcasing a huge collection of topical plants and exotic flowers besides a floral pathway known as the Hibiscus Avenue.
Córdoba is located in the Southern region of Andalusia, Spain and long ago it was the capital of Islamic Spain.
One of the city’s most appealing attractions is La Mezquita which is an incredible mosque that was built in the 8th century and it is considered to be a masterpiece of Islamic architecture.
Judería is the old Jewish quarter and it is a popular area to explore in this city.
Another highlight of Córdoba would be Palacio de Viana.This aristocratic palace includes a collection of leather-work and ancient furniture in addition to surrounding gardens and fountains.
A famous festival takes place in May called the Concurso de Patios which is actually a competition among residents where a prize is awarded for the one with the most beautiful patio.
It is a great time to visit the city during this festival as locals decorate their patios with colorful flowers and potted plants in addition to enjoying this event by singing and dancing.
This island located in the Mediterranean Sea off the east coast of Spain is one of the most popular destinations for beach lovers and clubbers looking for an exquisite nightlife and endless partying.
In the summer, the island is visited by some of the most famous DJs in the world such as David Guetta and Armin Van Buuren.
There is no doubt when it comes to the popularity of this island among tourists as Ibiza drew a record 7.1 Million Visitors in 2016.
Playa d’en Bossa is Ibiza’s longest beach and it includes numerous late-night bars and clubs.
Sant Antoni de Portmany is one of the top nightlife destinations in Ibiza and it is where you can choose from a variety of places to party until the morning.
Being one of the most diverse countries, you can never run out of places to visit in Spain.
Whatever you are seeking, Spain will offer it to you whether it’s history, nature, adventure, incredible food or a glimpse of the Spanish culture.
Start planning your trip to this mesmerizing city and be sure that it will be an unforgettable one.