Tourism is a significant boon for Spain, as nearly 30 million tourists visited the country in the first five months of 2023. With stunning landscapes, savory food, exciting festivals, and impressive cities, Spain is a logical destination to add to your bucket list. Exploring the hidden gems throughout your adventure is part of the joy of taking a European vacation.
Many of those hidden gems can be found in the best Spanish cities to visit during your next trip across the pond. From the Spanish Coast to the Sierra Nevada mountains, you’ll find something to love.
Fortunately, you’ve uncovered this helpful guide to the top nine cities in Spain to explore and indulge in during your next vacation. Continue reading to start making your travel plans today!
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Teruel is one of the best-hidden gems in Spain when creating a travel itinerary. It’s a beautiful city nestled deep into the mountains of Spain, creating a dramatic backdrop. The town’s legend states that a love story similar to Romeo and Juliet unfolded there, making it a romantic and tragic town to visit.
Teruel is also famous for its impressive architecture. It features Mudejar architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Plaza del Torico is another beautiful part of the city to visit during your travels in Spain.
Avila is the perfect city to visit in Spain if you love history and architecture. It’s a city with a medieval wall surrounding the outskirts, which remains intact and stunning today. The city’s wall is another UNESCO World Heritage site to check out.
The cobbled roads and old cathedrals will take you back in time. It’s also a city well-known for delicious cakes, making it a perfect place for food lovers to check out. Meat lovers will also be happy during the time spent in Avila, thanks to menu options like suckling pigs, veal steaks, and more.
Burgos is a must-see destination in Spain, and much of its beauty is attributed to its massive Gothic cathedral. As impressive as the exterior is, the cathedral’s interior will blow you away. Plan to spend a few hours exploring the cathedral upon your arrival in Burgos during your Spanish vacation.
Walk the cobbled streets to find colorful homes, buildings, and businesses throughout town. Burgos Castle is another feature worth visiting. It features an impressive view over and across the city that’s perfect for taking photos.
The most famous aspect of Cordoba is the incredible Mosque, which ranks among the most beautiful buildings around the globe. The other notable feature you’ll love in Cordoba is the numerous patios you can sit on and enjoy.
The town’s residents love decorating the patios with local flowers to add color and life to the space. It creates a beautiful image when paired with the whitewashed walls of the homes in town. If you visit Cordoba in May, you can witness the competition between residents to determine the best courtyard.
Granada stands out on this list coz of its location in the heart of Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. The town was the last stronghold of the Muslims living in Spain during the Middle Ages.
Much of the city’s architecture maintains Islamic stylings and flourishes, creating a unique experience you’ll want to enjoy in Spain. A visit to the town’s citadel is also worth the time, presenting a chance to explore twisting alleyways and see the churches built on the foundations of ancient mosques.
4. San Sebastian
If part of your reason for traveling is to try delicious cuisine, San Sebastian is the place for you. It’s viewed by many as the culinary capital of the world. It’s a town filled with Michelin Star restaurants.
Exploring these restaurants and trying new cuisine during your vacation is worth the stop. The city is located in the heart of Spanish Basque territory, providing a distinct cultural experience different from other parts of the country.
San Sebastian is part of the country that the Romans or Moors never conquered throughout history. It’s also the perfect place for a pintxos crawl. A delicious cider accompanies each savory food item you eat to wash it down. The traditional pouring method is high above the glass you’ll drink from.
Valencia is one of Spain’s largest cities, famous as the birthplace of paella. The city is perfect if you want to escape reality with time spent on the beach. It has endless miles of pristine sand beaches to relax, play, swim, or read on. Consider adding Valencia to your Costa Brava Itinerary.
The food is one of the top aspects of a visit to Valencia. Visit the Old Town to find more UNESCO sites during your trip.
Madrid is the capital of Spain and a city worth a visit. The size is overwhelming for some, but it’s home to plenty of history. It’s a city like New York that never goes to sleep. Bar hopping is a popular activity to participate in during your stay.
Sites like the Royal Palace and El Prado make Madrid an excellent way to learn more about Spanish culture and history. The restaurants are also excellent in Madrid.
Barcelona is famous for its iconic architecture and Mediterranean beaches you’re sure to love. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, making it one of the best Spanish cities to visit.
The atmosphere is an incredible blend of food, art, and culture. Stop at Camp Nou to watch Barcelona FC put on a show.
Explore the Best Spanish Cities to Visit
Planning a European vacation is a blast, and finding the best Spanish cities to visit during your time across the Atlantic is worthwhile. Barcelona is home to delicious food and impressive architecture, while Madrid is the hub of Spanish culture and history. San Sebastian is the place for foodies, while Granada provides dramatic landscapes.
Exploring the world is an excellent way to gain knowledge and become cultured. Explore our Travel content for the inspiration to plan your next adventure today!