If Spain isn’t on your bucket list it needs to be added. Right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Spain is an incredibly diverse country with each city boasting it’s own unique charm. If you have the time, just go nuts and visit as many Spanish cities as possible (ugh…I’m so jealous) but if you’re a busy girl, like me, you probably don’t have unlimited time. In that case, it’s important to prioritize your list of cities to visit.
Below is the list of my must visit cities in Spain.
The list has to begin with Seville as that is where I left a piece of my heart during my study abroad adventures. (Read why you HAVE to study abroad here). During your trip to Seville you will have the opportunity to see the incredibly beautiful islamic influence on architecture, the third largest cathedral in the world, paddleboat down the river, frolic in the Alcazar Gardens (Kingdom of Dorne for you Game of Thrones people) where my sister got proposed to (yes you heard me…it was a fairytale), and SO MUCH MORE. This city is very walkable and the locals are kind and willing to point you in the right direction. I recommend three days in this beloved city and what do you know, I have a three day itinerary for you right here.
Just under three hours east from Seville is the city of Granada. Located in Granada is the enchanting Alhambra, a palace and fort complex. Alhambra is Granada’s tribute to Moorish culture and a visit through this impressive structure will transport you back in time. Close your eyes and you’ll hear the delicate trickle of the fountain, the rustling of leaves, and the presence of ancient culture. A trip to Granada is not complete without a visit to the Alhambra, a palace and fortress complex.
Granada is also known for its famous free tapas. Yes, I am not lying. Order a beer and it’ll be served with a variety of different tapas. Who could say no to that? The city is also a little hilly so you’ll get a chance to work off those tapas and beers as you walk around. People who live here must have buns of steel. Just saying.
Also located in the south of Spain, Ronda is a must see city during your trip to Spain. Completely built on cliffs dramatically above a deep gorge, this city will literally take your breath away. From beautiful lookouts with sweeping views of the city to preserved arabic baths to delicious wine, this city is well worth a stop.
Cordoba was one of the greatest cities of the medieval world. Slightly less touristy than Granada and Seville, this is a fantastic stop on your Spain itinerary. All of the attractions are accessible on foot and it truly is a joy to wander among the squares of the old towns. Enjoy a stroll down the alley-thin streets of the old Jewish quarter or explore the Mezquita, the focal point of the city.
Located on the coast, Cadiz is the perfect city for you to get some beach time. Brilliantly blue waters and warm sand greet you in Cadiz. The city has much more than just its beautiful beaches. You can spend the day exploring Plaza de Mina, one of the city’s many squares, enjoy some food at Casa Manteca, and take advantage of some of Cadiz’s fantastic flamenco music and dances.
A unique blend of Catalan and Spanish cultures, Barcelona is an enchanting city. Spend your time here on the beach or enjoying the nightlife options that line the shore. Trust me, you want to check them out. No trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to Antonio Gaudi’s most famous works. Never heard of him? Do a quick google image search and you will be sure to book your ticket so quick that you won’t even have time to say Gaudi’s name three times. See my guide to Barcelona here.
Vastly different than Southern Spain, the bustling capitol is another must see city. If you are an art lover you must head to Museo del Prado, without a doubt one of my favorite museums in the world. Right across the street you will find El Retiro Park which is perfect for a stroll and some much needed relaxation. That’s not all, Madrid has some incredible tapas and their night life will keep you dancing until all hours of the morning.
As you can see, Spain is an incredible country with much to see so get your suitcase out and start packing!