These are the 10 best places to visit in Spain by city you should consider if you are taking a trip to sunny southern part of Europe.
Whether you want to relax at the beach, party in clubs or bars, or explore narrow streets in the various medieval cities, these Spanish cities are the ones you should put on your bucket list.
The island of Mallorca is a perfect blend of historic and modern, where you can easily relax at incredible beaches or party all night long.
Mallorca is an ideal destination and Mallorca’s most beautiful beaches are Cala Mesquida, Cala Formentor, Platja de Muro, and Cala Agulla. All these beaches mentioned are on the East side of the island.
If you like lively nightlife and tapas bars, be sure to head over to Magaluf just west of the main city Palma. Port de Pollença, a port city on the east side is more family-oriented and also a great place to stay. Santa Ponsa is another option for those that want to just take things at a relaxed pace.
There are tons of tapas bars nearby any of the best beaches so if you get hungry after swimming in the sea, just pop by one to have lunch or dinner.
If you want to explore the island further, rent a car and go for day trips to nearby towns like Pollensa, which is full of historic architecture and other interesting sites. Alcúdia or Valldemossa are other great options to explore by car.
Best Time To Visit Mallorca: June-September is peak party season in Mallorca so if you are not one to hit the clubs, choose May or September for your trip instead.
Valencia is a Spanish city that lies on the southeastern side of the country. Valencia is one of the best places to visit in Spain if you want to get off the beaten path and discover Spain’s culture.
It has pristine beaches like La Malvarrosa and El Saler but what makes Valencia truly unique is its architectural styles: it boasts of having more bridges than Venice! This beautiful city has tons of hidden gems to explore and the town centre features some breathtaking architectural marvels that visitors must-see.
There is much more to Valencia than beaches and food, however. The old city is historically rich and has some rich cultural heritage: visit the “City of Arts and Sciences” for a great architecture experience, head over to the Town Hall Square for shopping and sightseeing, or walk through Mercado de Colón (Colon Market) for a taste of traditional foods such as horchata (a sweet drink made from tiger nuts, a typical Valencia food).
Best Time To Visit Valencia: September is when everyone comes back from their holidays so prices go up significantly around this time, consider planning your trip in May instead.
Alicante is a port city in the southern region is a well-known coastal city famous for its beautiful beaches, mild weather, and good nightlife.
While not as popular with tourists as Barcelona or Madrid, Alicante offers similar experiences at lower prices. If you are into water sports, Alicante’s marina is your place to go! There are tons of activities here ranging from high adrenaline ones like paragliding over the sea to more relaxed ones like kayaking.
Explore the city center and discover Alicante’s historical sights: visit the Santa Bárbara Castle on top of the hill overlooking the old town for amazing views, walk through El Barrio (the old town), relax at the promenade by Playa del Postiguet where you can see all kinds of people who came here to have some fun. If you are into the club/disco scene, head over to Alicante’s Rambla in summer and party till dawn with locals!
Best Time To Visit Alicante: May-June is best for swimming in the sea due to the warmer water temperatures but if you are planning a trip around Nochevieja, the New Years’ celebrations here are a must!
7. Costa Del Sol
The Costa Del Sol is a well-known hotspot for tourists, with a reason. It has everything one may want from a good beach holiday: there are wide sand beaches, rich history in the old towns upon the hills, and lovely people that will welcome you with open arms!
The best area to stay in Costa Del Sol is Marbella but Malaga, Torremolinos, or Fuengirola all along have something to offer to party animals and families alike.
During the day, relax at the beach while reading your favorite book or go swimming in crystal clear water; if you get hungry you can find tons of places to eat fresh seafood and paella near any beach so just pop by for lunch!
When dusk falls, hit the charming streets and head up to one of the old town’s bars for a drink or two and some tapas before the night falls. In summer many bars put tables outside on the street so just grab a seat wherever you see tables.
Best Time To Visit The Costa del Sol: July-September is the peak summer holiday season in the Costa del Sol so if you are not into big crowds, choose May or June instead.
6. Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands)
Spain’s Canary Islands are a small archipelago of islands located off the coast of Africa, southwest of Spain. There are seven main islands and several smaller ones that make up the Canaries: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. This diversity has led to many different cultures co-existing on the archipelago.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the largest city on all these islands so it hosts not one but two carnivals per year! The first one is held at the beginning of Lent and it’s more family-friendly with artistic parades and decorated cars; this one does not feature female participants as they will take part in the more explicit festival held at the end of August.
During this time, Santa Cruz is invaded by tourists from all around the world who are eager to see what Tenerife’s Carnaval has to offer! During these two weeks, you can barely walk in town due to the number of people but there are many activities for everyone regardless of age or taste.
If you are looking for something more subdued, head over to the Canary Islands’ capital island, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This city has a vibrant nightlife scene and a beautiful historical center to explore during the day.
Regardless of your choice, the Canary Islands are the perfect destination for families and those that want to just relax and do activities in the sun.
Best Time To Visit Santa Cruz de Tenerife: March-April for the family friendly Carnaval and late July-August for the adult version.
The Balearic Islands are another Spanish archipelago off the coast of Catalonia. This one is made up of four main islands: Ibiza, Menorca, Formentera, and Majorca.
If you have been to Barcelona before, it takes around 2 hours by plane to get from there to Menorca so it can be a nice day trip or a base for your vacation in Spain if you want to take a city break and enjoy something different!
As with many islands all over the world, its capital city has been built upon an old fortress so it offers amazing views from all angles! The limestone cliffs surrounding Ciutadella make for spectacular sunsets as well.
You could spend the entire day searching for hidden gems within the many cobblestone streets that you can find in the historic city. The city centre features tons of little narrow streets that are full of life.
If you are looking for some relaxation, grab a book and go to the nearest beach: Cala Macarelleta is one of the most popular ones but if it gets too crowded you can drive on another 20 minutes to get to calas more peaceful such as Cala Fererra or Macarella.
Best Time To Visit Menorca: April-June for the best weather and July-August for festivals.
One of the best places to visit in Spain is definitely Seville. Seville is located in southern Spain and is the capital of and largest city in the Spanish region of Andalusia; located on the plain of the river Guadalquivir.
You’ll find a lot of contemporary art in Seville. Many famous artists such as Velazquez, Picasso, and Lorca lived in Seville at some point in their lives which has helped to create a cultural scene in the old city that is vibrant and fascinating!
The most iconic feature of the old city must be its fine architecture: even though it’s relatively small compared to Madrid or Barcelona, there are many beautiful sights to see during your stay such as the Patio de Los Naranjos, Catedral de Sevilla, Torre del Oro, and the Royal Alcázar of Seville.
If you are into tours, many companies offer flamenco dancing tours that start with a dinner in a typical Severeña restaurant and continue with the visiting of an authentic tablao venue (flamenco dancing venue).
Nature lovers can enjoy the surrounding countryside in southern Spain where you’ll be able to see various breathtaking landscapes. You could also visit some other Spanish cities from here that are off the beaten path.
Best Time To Visit Seville: April-June for good weather and July-September for festivals. If you plan to attend Feria de Abril, book your hotel months in advance!
Ibiza is one of the best places to visit in Spain for those that want to party. The island is the perfect destination to go with friends during the summer period where you can enjoy various parties with world-renowned DJs.
This Mediterranean island is the hotspot of Europe for partying and is the third-largest island of the Balearic Islands. The island’s capital Eivissa is surrounded by a wall built in 1602 to protect from pirates.
In Ibiza, there are so many beautiful locations you can visit, famous ones such as Puig de Missa or Sa Talaiassa but also less known spots like Cala Codolar, a saltwater lagoon with pink sand and a very peculiar bathymetry.
If you want to party, don’t miss the opportunity to go clubbing in one of Ibiza’s many venues: Pacha is world-famous for its musical selection and setting (Pacha was featured in several James Bond movies) while Amnesia attracts people looking for more underground electronic music.
It is however not only the best place to visit for partying, Ibiza town features a ton of historical sights to explore. You’ll also find that on the northern side of the island there are tons of hidden gems to discover. Untarnished beaches, popular restaurants on the beach that overlook the Balearic Sea/Mediterranean Sea, and so many more places to visit.
Be aware though, during the peak season of partying, the prices of everything will be high so if you are looking for a family-friendly vacation in Spain, go just before the peak season starts.
Best Time To Visit Ibiza: April-June for good weather and July-September for festivals.
Spain’s capital city Madrid is a wonderful place to visit because it has something for everyone: history, art, fashion, and nightlife.
Madrid is the second industrial city of Spain and is located in central Spain. This old city is one of the best places to visit in Spain for those that want to explore history related to the middle ages or even the stone age. Madrid has some ancient Roman ruins from the Roman Empire that are still visible today. Nearby the main city, you’ll find the Roman ruins of an outpost which is interesting to see.
Some highlights of the city include the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor (main square), Cibeles (fountain), Prado Museum (home to Goya’s masterpieces), and Museo del Jamon.
If you love shopping, Madrid also offers many possibilities: you can find almost anything from high-end brands in Calle de Fuencarral street or smaller boutiques in Passeig de Gràcia. You can even go window-shopping in the Corso Chueca area where there are several well-known designers’ shops.
Best Time To Visit Madrid: April-June for good weather and September-November for (mostly) sunny days.
The northern Spanish city of Barcelona is by far one of the best places to visit in Spain. Located in northern Spain on the Mediterranean Sea it’s also the capital of Catalonia, one of the wealthiest regions in Spain.
Currently, Barcelona is the second-largest city in Spain, only outgrown by Madrid and features 4 main quarters to explore.
Barcelona’s gothic quarter is a must-see for anyone visiting northern Spain. Several buildings here show the best examples of Catalan Gothic architecture and even some medieval parts of the city wall can still be seen. The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia is a very impressive Roman Catholic church that is still under construction to this day.
The National Museum is another must-see in Barcelona. With over 3 million objects in its collection, the museum offers a unique insight into Spanish culture from prehistoric times to nowadays.
In terms of navigating around the city, it’s incredibly easy as there’s a large network of easy-to-use public transport for you to make use of.
Some must-see attractions include Sagrada Familia (a masterpiece designed by Gaudi), Museu Picasso, Casa Milà (also known as La Pedrera), Palau de la Música Catalana (with stained glass windows by the architect Domènech I Montaner).
Best Time To Visit Barcelona: April-June for good weather and October-November for festivals and events.
That’s all for the best places to visit in Spain. If you are looking specifically for tourist attractions in Spain then be sure to check out our other content about Spain.