If you’re going to visit Spain, but not yet certain about the exact destinations, you can find some inspiration here. We are looking into the 10 best places to visit in Spain.
Taking into consideration are the following factors: Authenticity, history, friendliness of people, food culture, amount of unique things to do, level of tourism, and prices.
Ultimately, we believe that these are the best cities to visit if you want the best possible experience in Spain.
First and foremost, we have Vigo. This coastal city in the southwest of Galicia has some beautiful natural sights, along with several nice shopping options and an abundance of bars and restaurants.
If you want to eat out a lot, Vigo is perhaps the best city in all of Spain. With several famous dishes, most notably the grilled octopus, you can get a gastronomic experience out of the ordinary here. Be sure to visit Calle de las Oestras where you can eat oysters, and the many other great seafood restaurants in the historic area of Vigo, close to the harbor.
Another reason why Vigo ranks as number one is the friendliness of the people. The Galicians are very nice and open, much more so than Spaniards in other regions. It feels like a completely different world. In Vigo, it is very easy to socialize, and that is important – especially for solo travelers!
In several ways, A Coruña feels like a higher-class, more calmed down version of Vigo, and they are similar in many ways.
However, it is slightly smaller and slightly colder due to its location in the northern part of the region. Yet, A Coruña remains the second-best place to visit in Spain, and very conveniently you can visit both Vigo and A Coruña on your trip since they are not far apart. In fact, a high-speed train connects the two cities and in a matter of two hours and a few euros, you can go from one city to another. In between we have Santiago de Compostela, also highly worth a visit, but a little bit too touristy and expensive for our taste, and no longer as unique as these other Galician cities that are more vibrant with modern culture.
A Coruña has many classic attractions, such as the Tower of Hercules, and it is easy to find good hotels in the city.
Being in Gijón feels like being in a fairytale. Strolling along the San Lorenzo beach is great at any time of the day, and if you want to experience the local culture up close, then spend a night out in the Cimadevilla area.
Gijón also provides some nice classic sights, some decent shopping options, and many tasty restaurants. It ranks impressively when it comes to the quality of the bars. We recommend you to try some sidrerías – cider bars – at first. After that, move on to get some vermouth or simply visit one of the crazy clubs in Cimadevilla!
The most underrated city in Andalusia is Huelva. It gets very few tourists compared to Seville, Cádiz and Málaga. But in its own right, it is very interesting, especially when it comes to history.
Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón in Spanish) lived in a town just a bit south of Huelva, and the city has several monuments, houses and facilities related to Columbus. But it has much more: Including Spain’s oldest football club (Recreativo Huelva), a nice cathedral, a beautiful seaside and several nearby beaches. It’s a university city, so there are young people and a nice vibe, and the older people in Huelva are always up for a chat if you wish to learn more about the city of Huelva.
DON’T MISS: Huelva – Sights, Attractions & Things to Do
The capital must be included here – not so much because of its history, but rather because of all the cool activities you can do in Madrid.
Madrid is by far the entertainment capital of Spain. It has the best nightlife, and it provides you with a chance to do almost any activity. Want to throw axes around or go to a trampoline park? There are several facilities for that. Want to ride horses or go skydiving? Simply head a bit outside of the city. The entire region of Madrid is awesome.
In Madrid, you will never be bored, so once you’re finished seeing the main sights in the city, you can get started with the unusual attractions and perhaps later find some action in the surrounding towns of the Madrid Community.
For football lovers, Madrid is also a special destination since it is home to Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu as well as Atlético Madrid’s Estadio Metropolitano. A lot of visitors go to Madrid specifically to watch football.
This beautiful town is located in the vicinity of Madrid and you can reach it by bus or car if you first visit the capital.
Navacerrada is surrounded by mountains, and it gets snowy in the winter. The main reason for going here is to experience nature. It is quite extraordinary, so despite the fact that the town of Navacerrada provides few modern activities, you can still expect a great stay. We recommend staying here for a weekend, or for a calm week if you need to rest off from more busy travel activities.
Valencia is a charming city. It is the third-largest in Spain, so there will always be a lot to do. Historically, Valencia is a very important city, particularly during the 1400s. You can see several classic attractions – the main ones are the old Cathedral, the Serranos Towers, and La Lonja.
The best time of the year to visit Valencia is in the spring. During March, April, May and June, the weather is delightful and you can enjoy the city from its absolute best sides. While you visit Valencia, you can also consider a day trip to Alicante – in fact, many tourists fly in via Alicante and then take a train or a car onto Valencia after landing!
One of the largest cities in Spain. Zaragoza is very unique in its culture. In many ways, it feels like a blend of Madrid and Barcelona, with some new things blended in.
A lot of folklore is related to Zaragoza, and it has previously hosted a world fair. It is a beautiful place to go sightseeing. Be sure to see the large basilica by the Ebro River, and take some time aside from walking around in the historic part of the city.
One day is not quite enough in Zaragoza. Many people do visit it for a day-trip when they have some time to spare on a Barcelona trip, but we recommend taking a bit longer. Plan a stay for 3-4 days: With that amount of time, you can properly discover Zaragoza and all of its secrets!
Read our Zaragoza travel guide here!
Mérida was founded as a Roman colony in the year 25 BC by Emperor Augustus. It was meant to be a place to resettle soldiers, and it quickly became one of the biggest cities in the region.
Nowadays, many Roman monuments still remain in Mérida. The most important attraction is the beautiful Roman theatre, but there are several: The aqueduct, the temple, and the Roman art museum should also be visited on a trip to Mérida. One day is rarely enough here, so we recommend spending two or three days if you want to do proper sightseeing.
Even though Mérida is located a bit far away from everything, it is a city highly worth visiting. You can reach it by car or bus from either Madrid or Seville. Mérida is fairly close to the Portuguese border, and if you wish to explore more cities in the nearby area, check out Badajoz and Évora.
Finally, we have a Basque city: The very underrated Vitoria-Gasteiz, a city with beautiful medieval streets, a nice atmosphere, and several nice sights – including two cathedrals!
Vitoria-Gasteiz is often overlooked by tourists. San Sebastián takes most of the attention in the Basque Country, along with Bilbao. And even Pamplona is more frequented by tourists. But perhaps that is a good thing: Vitoria-Gasteiz retains its charm, and it is considered to be one of the best places to live in Spain – therefore it only makes sense to also include it among the best cities for a vacation.