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Things to do in Spain

Things to do in  Spain

Welcome to Spain

Sandwiched between Portugal to the west and France to the northeast, Spain entices visitors with its rich culture, history, and fabulous cuisine. The sun shines almost all year round, locals pass down traditional tapas recipes through the generations, and people greet each other with warmth and affection. Whether you visit for the food, the weather, the coast, or the history, Spain brims with adventures, all of which can be easily accessed by a host of private and small-group tours. In vibrant Barcelona and Madrid, walking and cycling tours lead you to top attractions such as the Prado National Museum and Gaudí's iconic La Sagrada Familia, and offer skip-the-line access as well as a guide who will help bring Spain's history to life. Food tours, wine-tasting experiences, and cooking classes teach you how tapas delicacies such as Iberian ham, salted cod, and rich chickpea stew complement Spanish reds and whites like Rioja, Montenovo Godello, and Serrana Macabeo. History buffs can explore medieval streets around Besalú, Tavertet, and Rupit on a group tour to see where castle ruins hide among rugged cliffs and dense forests, while culture vultures will want to take in the passion of flamenco, a traditional Spanish dance. Meanwhile, multi-day tours take travelers to far-flung destinations like Cordoba, Granada, Ronda, Seville, and Toledo, as well as the beautiful coast east of Malaga, where ancient olive groves thrive in the Spanish sunshine.

Top 10 attractions in Spain

#1
Mezquita (Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba)

Mezquita (Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba)

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Originally the site of the Christian Visigoth Church San Vicente dating back to AD 600, the Mezquita (Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba) stands as the city's most proud monument and one of the most exquisite Islamic structures in the Western world. Learn about its rich history while taking in the 850 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite.More
#2
Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum

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Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry and opened in 1997, is hailed as one of the most important architectural works of its time. Within its undulating and reflecting walls on the banks of the Nervión River, you’ll find a rotating artistic wonderland of both modern and contemporary art.More
#3
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Catedral de Santiago de Compostela)

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Catedral de Santiago de Compostela)

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The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Catedral de Santiago de Compostela) is one of the most important shrines in Christendom, believed to be the final resting place of St. James the Greater, one of the Twelve Apostles. The Romanesque, Gothic, and baroque structure is the terminus of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) pilgrimage routes through Northern Spain.More
#4
Alhambra (Alhambra de Granada)

Alhambra (Alhambra de Granada)

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Built on a hill overlooking Granada and set against a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, the Alhambra (Alhambra de Granada) is a sprawling complex of intricately decorated palaces, pristine gardens, and a once-mighty fortress. This UNESCO World Heritage site was constructed during the Nasrid Dynasty and later partially destroyed and rebuilt by King Charles V. With its mix of Renaissance and Moorish architecture, the Alhambra Palace is the most sought-after attraction for visitors to Granada, sitting high on most must-see lists for Andalucia and Spain as a whole.More
#5
Roman Theatre of Cartagena (Teatro Romano de Cartagena)

Roman Theatre of Cartagena (Teatro Romano de Cartagena)

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Built between the 5th and 1st centuries BC, Cartagena’s Roman Theater wasn’t discovered during modern times until 1988, following which a massive restoration took place. Come 2008, the newly discovered theater was opened to the public along with a museum, once again inviting visitors into a grand space that, during Roman times, welcomed some 6,000 spectators.The theater is situated on a vista-rich city hillside, from which the stadium seating was carved out of the actual rock below. During a visit, you can explore the different corners of this conserved space, as well as check out the museum, which offers an in-depth overview of the archeological remains along with informative panels explaining the restoration (all in both English and Spanish).More
#6
Sagrada Família

Sagrada Família

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Sagrada Familia, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Antoni Gaudi’s magnum opus, is undoubtedly the most iconic structure in Barcelona (and the most popular, with nearly 3 million visitors per year). Construction has been ongoing for more than 135 years, and the surreal structure, with its rainbow-hued stained glass windows, is slated for completion in 2026. Even in its unfinished state, it remains an absolute must-see for every visitor to the Catalan capital.More
#7
Royal Alcázar of Seville (Real Alcázar de Sevilla)

Royal Alcázar of Seville (Real Alcázar de Sevilla)

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Sights across the entire Spanish south have been shaped by centuries of Moorish and Catholic influence, and in few places is this more evident and captivating than at the Royal Alcázar of Seville (Real Alcázar de Sevilla). This UNESCO World Heritage Site’s sprawling complex is made up of several features; the most picturesque is arguably the Patio de las Doncellas, with its tranquil ponds that reflect the intricate mudéjar plasterwork for which the palace is especially noted.More
#8
La Caleta Beach

La Caleta Beach

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Given that Cadiz is almost entirely surrounded by water, the desire to hit thebeach is bound to strike you at some point. When this happens, your go-to destination will be La Caleta, the only proper beach in old town. It’s an isolated shoreline that cozies up along the western side of the city, nestled inside a natural harbor once used by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans.Though it’s Cadiz’s shortest sandy shore, it ticks all the beach boxes, offering soft golden sands and calm waters, as well as amenities including lifeguards and showers. Perhaps best of all is that the beach is western facing, which means it’s the perfect spot in town to catch a dreamy Spanish sunset. While there, spy some of La Caleta’s notable sights, including the impossible-to-miss crescent-shaped Balneario de Nuestra Señora de la Palma y del Real, a 1920s spa whose gazebo-tipped arms reach out across the shore. It’s not the only impressive structure here, either, as the beach is bookended to the north and south by two fortresses, San Sebastian and Santa Catalina.More
#9
Serranos Towers (Torres de Serranos)

Serranos Towers (Torres de Serranos)

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The twin stone Serranos Towers (Torres de Serranos), built in the 14th century as Valencia’s main exit toward Barcelona and Northern Spain, are one of only two remaining portions of the original city walls. What once served as prison cells and a triumphal arch are now thought to be the largest Gothic city gateway in Europe.More
#10
Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

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Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor is the Spanish Main Square that your dreams are made of. Home to the city’s commanding City Hall building — and once the site of bullfights until as late as 1992 — the plaza is widely considered the most beautiful square in Spain. Beautiful because of its dramatic Baroque style, its 247 balconies, and its 88 arches behind which hide all sorts of restaurants and shops.Indeed, this is where you’ll want to go to bask in your Salamanca surroundings by sitting al fresco (when weather permits) to enjoy tapas while savoring views of the 18th-century square and its emblematic sandstone buildings. From here, you’ll also have easy access to other city sights, as it’s just a short jaunt from stops such as the Salamanca Cathedral, Casa de las Conchas, and the University of Salamanca. Meanwhile, those looking for a good selection of shops need only head down Calle del Toro, a street just off the northeastern corner of the plaza.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Spain

Barcelona Catamaran Party Sail

Barcelona Catamaran Party Sail

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US$ 55.81
Fast Track Sagrada Familia Guided Tour

Fast Track Sagrada Familia Guided Tour

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US$ 58.24
Mallorca Hot Air Balloon Ride

Mallorca Hot Air Balloon Ride

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US$ 188.07
Day Tour to Formentera from Ibiza

Day Tour to Formentera from Ibiza

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US$ 151.67
Unique Sunset Sailing Experience in Barcelona

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Unique Sunset Sailing Experience in Barcelona

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US$ 75.35
US$ 83.72  US$ 8.37 savings

All about Spain

When to visit

Home to some of Europe’s warmest climes, Spain is a sun-suffused destination throughout the year. No matter the season, head to southerly Andalucía, the beaches of the Costa del Sol, and the Balearic Islands for the toastiest temperatures. Other highlights—such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Galicia—are more seasonal in nature.

Frequently Asked Questions