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9 best cities to visit in Spain this year

Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

Counting reasons why you should include Spain in your next trip will seem to be endless when you think of its vibrant main cities and small charming villages. Whether you are in for nature, culture, food or shopping… Spain will surely charm and win your heart.

That said, here are our top picks for the best cities to visit in Spain, where you can switch off from your daily routine, discover delicious cuisine and immerse yourself in the local culture:

1. Valencia

Most famously known as the birthplace of paella and home to futuristic sights like the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and one of the most attractive destinations in the world. 

Things to do in Valencia: 

Interesting fact: the Holy Grail, the cup from which Jesus drank at The Last Supper, is thought to be kept in a chapel inside Valencia’s cathedral. If that’s not reason enough to visit, we don’t know what is.

2. Barcelona

Barcelona, the capital city of Catalonia, is one of the most popular Spanish cities among tourists and for good reason. For starters, it’s got one of the most amazing architectures in the world. The city’s most iconic landmarks (like La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, and Park Güell) were designed by the famous Antoni Gaudi, a Spanish architect known for his innovative buildings, influenced by neo-gothic styles, modernism and art nouveau. Aside from its unique architectural style, Barcelona charms through its delightful weather, delicious food and incredibly friendly locals.

Things to do in Barcelona:

Interesting fact: Barcelona is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, with 180 km of bicycle lanes and one of the most well-thought-out bike-sharing programs out there.

Check out this article to learn more about Barcelona and why you should visit: https://www.spain.info/en/route/barcelona-two-days/

Image source:Contiki

3. Madrid

With extraordinary architecture, countless galleries, amazing cuisine and vibrant nightlife, Spain’s capital does know how to capture the hearts of tourists worldwide, which makes it one of the best cities to visit in Spain.

Stumped for ideas? Here are some of the best things you can do in Madrid: 

 

Interesting fact: Madrid is on its way to becoming one of the greenest cities in Europe. The authorities have banned all diesel cars from the city centre and the municipal government has a strategic plan to use plant power to tackle climate change.

4. Seville

Probably one of the most beautiful and enchanting cities in Spain, Seville is one Spanish destination you will not want to miss. With vibrant neighborhoods and historic buildings at every corner, but also loads of delicious tapas and fun evening activities, your trip here is guaranteed to be a success.

Things to do in Seville:

Interesting fact: Seville was one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

5. Cordoba

While it’s not necessarily on the bucket list of many people who visit Spain, this beautiful Andalusian city should not be overlooked. It features all the best cultural aspects of Spain, but without the crowds of tourists that usually go along with it. If you’re a fan of Roman ruins, Cordoba has a few iconic landmarks that you need to check out, like the Roman Bridge over the Guadalquivir river or the Roman Temple.

The best time to visit Cordoba is in the spring or autumn, when the temperatures are mild, as opposed to summertime when the temperatures can easily exceed 40C.

Things to do in Cordoba:

Interesting fact: it’s the place of birth of the great philosopher Seneca

6. Granada

Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is an enchanting city located in the south of Spain, which offers the type of travel experience you will not easily encounter anywhere else. 

Things to do in Granada:

Interesting fact: Granada was a Muslim kingdom for 800 years

Check out this article to learn more about Granada and why you should visit: https://www.spain.info/en/destination/granada/

Bite-sized is best: 12 best tapas in Spain you NEED to try

Bite-sized is best: 12 best tapas in Spain you NEED to try

by Chantal Ford Aug 03, 2015

7. Ibiza

While there’s a lot of hype about its music mecca status and the quality of clubbing and socializing that goes on in Ibiza, there’s more to this Spanish island than just its party scene. Ibiza boasts beautiful, pristine beaches, some amazing restaurants, gorgeous scenery and delightful weather (for more than eight months of the year). What’s more, the island is actually a World Heritage site, partly because of the exceptional interaction between its coastal and marine ecosystems, but also because of its cultural and historical value.

Things to do in Ibiza:

Interesting fact: there’s sunshine on the island 10 hours a day, 300 days a year.

Check out this article to learn more about Ibiza and why you should visit: https://www.spain.info/en/top/ibiza-fun-nights/

8. San Sebastian

San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Spain, blessed with golden beaches, exquisite architecture and amazing dining options. Surprisingly or not, many people actually come to San Sebastian for the pintxos (pronounced as pinchos). These are sort of like tapas (small snacks typically eaten in bars), but fancier. Some of our top recommendations for pintxos are Borda Berri, Bar Zabaleta, A Fuego Negro.

Things to do in San Sebastian:

Interesting fact: San Sebastian has more Michelin stars per square meter than any other city in the world

9. Santiago de Compostela

Last but not least on our list of best cities to vist in Spain is Santiago de Compostela. Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Galicia and is located in the far north-west of Spain. It’s a famous Catholic pilgrimage site, but that’s not all it’s got going for it. The Galician cuisine is famous in its own right. Most of the dishes served there are prepared naturally to retain their freshness and unique aromas. Some of the most popular foods and ingredients are empanadas, seafood, cheese or tortilla de patatas. 

Things to do in Santiago de Compostela:

Interesting fact: Santiago de Compostela produced the world’s first guidebook, which offered guidance to pilgrims on their holy pilgrimage to the Cathedral.

For more and updated Travel Safe information about Spain, please visit: https://travelsafe.spain.info/en/

In partnership with Turespaña

 

Ready to plan your trip to Spain? Check out Contiki’s in-depth group trips and book your favorite one today. Exclusively for 18-35 year olds.

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