In fact, I’d go as far as saying that Spain’s cities are some of my favourite in Europe!
They all have their own totally unique identity and they’re all so different. Plus, there’s no cookie-cutter mould of how Spanish cities look, which means you’re in for a treat when exploring them all.
With that in mind, take a look at some of the best cities in Spain to visit. Have the best trip!
Okay, let’s start with the most famous of them all. Barcelona!
Not only that, but Barcelona is also home to quite a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites and definitely one those cities where you need to pack comfortable walking shoes and get lost in the sights.
Don’t forget to take a wander around the Gothic Quarter, explore Montjuïc and see the sunset from Tibidabo. The latter is a retro fairground overlooking the whole city. It’s so incredible.
Finally, if you can, plan a visit during the La Merce Festival that’s totally cool, too!
There always seems to be some competition between Madrid and Barcelona! Now, without playing favourites, I’d say they’re both some of the best cities in Spain to visit; but for very different reasons.
The thing that makes Madrid so incredible is the culture and history that the city has within its borders.
For instance, you’ve got the Prado Museum that has artefacts dating back almost 1000 years! Also, you kinda can’t miss the Royal Palace of Madrid that’s just so iconic, too. That being said, if you love art, head across to the Thyssen Museum that’s world-class.
Afterwards, make sure to see the Temple of Debod that’s a reconstructed Egyptian Temple that was gifted by Egypt to Spain.
Slightly more laid back than Barcelona, Valencia also boasts a pretty epic number of things to do and UNESCO World Heritage sites like; La Llotja de la Seda.
Not only that, but Valencia also has one of the largest historic centres in Spain and is well renowned for its food. Paella, for instance, is a Valencian meal that you really can’t miss.
Also, don’t forget to visit the iconic City of Arts and Sciences, too. It’s totally stunning. Oh, and be sure to visit the Mercado de Colón for some tasty treats. We loved wandering all the stalls and buying coffees whilst exploring. It was so nice.
Finally, after exploring one of the best cities in Spain (Valencia, of course), head for a hot air balloon sunrise flight over the Sierra De Mariola. We totally loved this.
Seville is a gorgeous city and the kind of place you can spend a long weekend enjoying!
Once here, be sure to stroll the Space Metropol Parasol and the Plaza de Espana, too. They’re both stunning, just for very different reasons.
Not only that, but Seville also boasts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Cathedral, the Alcázar palace, and the General Archive of the Indies. This alone makes it one of the best cities in Spain to visit.
Another gem in Andalucia, Granada is easily one of the best cities in Spain to visit that’s really easy to visit when road tripping around this region. We included our trip to Granada with a few stop-offs in other cities like Ronda and Malaga, too.
It has a buzzing nightlife and doesn’t lack in spots to see too. For instance, you have to go and visit the incredible Alhambra that’s just so iconic.
Though, one word of advice, get your tickets secured before you arrive. They sell out on most days and they only allow an allotted number of people into some parts of the Alhambra itself.
Also, definitely worth paying a visit is the Cathedral of Granada and Court of the Myrtles, Palacios Nazaries. Granada is a totally stunning city.
Cordoba is one gorgeous city to visit in Spain. It’s the kind of that’s got so many charming places to see.
After arriving, make sure to explore the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, visit the ruins of Medina Azahara (palace) and Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs. The latter is pretty close to the mosque, making it really easy to do most of it by foot.
Not only that, but it’s also relatively close to Seville and Malaga, making it easy to visit for a short weekend trip to explore some of the best cities in Spain.
Toledo is another Spanish gem that’s steeped in history!
Inside the ancient walled part of the city, you can still see the mix of influences from Jewish, Moorish and Christians that all called this ancient city home.
First off, make sure to explore the iconic Cathedral of Saint Mary that’s totally stunning. Oh, and take a look at the Alcazar of Toledo that stands to overlook the city itself.
Finally, be sure to see the intimate and small Mosque of Cristo de la Luz that’s almost 1000 years old.
Oh, and head across to Plaza de Zocodover which is a pretty busy area of the city with lots of cafes and places to wander, too.
8.) Santiago de Compostela
Perched on the western fringes of the country, Santiago de Compostela is one of the best cities in Spain to visit when exploring the north-west of the country. It’s a totally lovely city to spend a few days as part of a wider trip to Spain.
Again, I sound like a broken record but go and see its beautiful cathedral. There’s just something so special and impressive about these spots in Spain.
Afterwards, pop for a stroll around the Mercado de Abastos and grab some snacks and wine. It’s a gorgeous market that’s a total hive of activity. Plus, it’s great for some wine tasting, too!
For me, Salamanca has to be considered one of the best cities in Spain, not just for its stunning buildings but also for its little restaurants and bars, too. It’s the kind of city you can chill and wander, without the added pressure of seeing all the sights like in bigger cities.
Right in the centre of Salamanca is Plaza Mayor where you’ll be able to grab some ice creams and coffee, too. Though, as this can have a heavy footfall with visitors, it’s worth remembering that prices can be a little higher around the plaza itself.
Afterwards, head over to the ancient city walls and explore the museum of Casa Lis. It’s totally incredible, especially if you love the more intricate arts from hundreds of years ago.
Also, for some great views, head to Huerto de Calixto y Melibea (gardens) to see a lovely overlook of the cathedral itself.
10.) San Sebastian
San Sebastian is one of the best cities in Spain to visit for food!
Not only that, but the whole Basque Region is also totally idyllic and pretty different from some of the southerly regions of Spain.
After strolling the promenade and visiting the peak at Urgull, make sure to head into the city streets to grab some of its famously fresh seafood and pintxos.
Quite a few places serve monkfish, which is so tasty! Just make sure to try their ‘cheeks’ it’s the tastiest part.
Honestly, I think we left San Sebastian well and truly stuffed!
Another Basque gem, Bilbao is a historic industrial city that’s become a pretty vibrant place to visit over the last decade. You can easily spend a weekend (or longer) here and we totally loved the laid-back vibe and how easy it was to walk most of the city.
Once here, you’ve got to see the Guggenheim Museum and visit the exhibitions inside.
Also, if just out of the city, you’ve got the Gaztelugatxe island, that’s attached via a bridge and gorgeous to visit.
Oh, and for some local food, pop over to La Ribera Market. We gorged here!
Nestled within the Aragon region of Spain, Zaragoza is one of the best cities in Spain to visit when driving the long route between Logrono and Lleida.
Plus, it’s great in its own right, too!
After arriving, make sure to see the medieval palace of Aljaferia, see the city cathedral (that’s again, so impressive) and stroll the historic area around the Goya Museum.
It’s so lovely and easily one of the best cities in Spain to explore when in the northeast.