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The 10 best cities to visit in Spain

Villages, beaches, mountains, deserts, forests, cliffs, prairies—Spain has wonderful places! Among all this, cities are full of history and charm. In this article, we'll take a look at the 10 best cities to visit in Spain. Any of them is a great option for a weekend getaway or, for larger cities, a trip of a few days.

If you have landed on this post, you most likely want to know which is the most beautiful city in Spain. It is very difficult to choose just one. However, I am sure that many people would say that Granada deserves the first place in the ranking of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Do you agree?

Apart from a brief description of each Spanish city I mention, I give you some tips on what to see and do in each of them so you can plan your visit easily and faster. At the end of the article, I have included a map of the Spanish cities you should visit.

Table of contents

Most beautiful cities in Spain

Among the most charming cities in Spain are Granada, San Sebastian, Barcelona, Seville… Discover the complete list!

1. Granada, the most beautiful city to visit in Spain

best cities to visit in Spain
Granada

Which other city other than Granada could be at the top of this list of the best cities to visit in Spain? Backed by the Sierra Nevada and presided over by the incredible Alhambra, this Andalusian city is pure magic and enjoyment. Strolling through its streets and discovering all the treasures it holds is a unique and wonderful experience.

Things to do in Granada, Spain

Granada offers an endless number of places to see and plan. Here are some of the most essential things to do and see:

  • Visit the Alhambra. I recommend you buy the ticket on the official website of the Alhambra as soon as possible because they are usually sold out.
  • Getting lost in the cobblestone streets of the Albaicín neighborhood.
  • Watching the sunset from the Ermita de San Miguel Alto.
  • Walk along the Paseo de los Tristes.
  • Take a tour of Granada to learn more about its history.
  • Enjoy the views from the Mirador de San Nicolas.
  • Get to know the Sacromonte neighborhood.
  • Stroll through the center of Granada and visit places like the cathedral, the Plaza de las Pasiegas, and the Alcaicería.
  • Go to the Calle de las Teterías (Calderería Nueva) and enter one of its tea shops.
  • Take an excursion from Granada: Salobreña, the Alpujarra Granadina, the Sierra Nevada, or the Cahorros de Monachil.
  • Consider a guided tour in Granada.

2. Barcelona, one the best cities to visit in Spain

 best cities to visit in Spain
Gothic Neighborhood
barcelona
Barcelona

Barcelona is the Spanish city that foreign tourists dream of visiting the most, and for a reason. Barcelona is not only one of the most beautiful cities in Spain but also one of the most visited cities in the world. Here, you can enjoy a modern city bathed by the Mediterranean Sea and with an incredible atmosphere. You will be amazed by its cultural and gastronomic offerings.

Things to do in Barcelona

  • Stroll along the Ramblas from Plaza de Catalunya to the Columbus Monument.
  • Visit the incredible Sagrada Familia.
  • Take a walking tour of Barcelona to learn more about its history.
  • Walk through the streets of the Gothic Quarter.
  • Admire the beauty of Casa Batlló and Casa Milà.
  • Enter the boqueria, the most famous market in the city.
  • Visit Park Güell.
  • Visit the Palau de la Música Catalana.
  • Visit Barcelona’s Arc de Triomphe.
  • Take an day trip to one of the most beautiful villages in Catalonia.
  • Enjoy the views of Barcelona from the Mirador de Horta or from the Bunkers del Carmel.
  • Consider a guided tour in Barcelona.

3. Seville, one of Spain’s must-see cities

most beautiful cities in spain
Best cities to visit in Spain

In third place is another Andalusian city, Seville! And it is that Seville not only has the color of special, but all of it is. The capital of Andalusia is one of the most beautiful and charming cities in Spain. Anyone who visits it tends to fall in love with it, so be sure to visit it if you are in Spain. Among the places you can’t miss, the incredible Plaza de España will make you fall in love with it!

What to see and do in Seville, one of Spain’s most beautiful cities

  • Visit the Cathedral of Seville, the largest cathedral in the world.
  • Climb the Giralda.
  • Visit the Real Alcazar of Seville.
  • Stroll through Maria Luisa Park and visit the Plaza de España, one of the most beautiful places in Spain.
  • Stroll through the Triana neighborhood.
  • Book a walking tour of Seville to learn more about the city.
  • Go up to Las Setas.
  • Stroll through the Santa Cruz neighborhood, the Jewish quarter of Seville.
  • Watch the sunset by the Triana Bridge.
  • Consider a guided tour in Seville.

4. San Sebastian, one of the best cities to visit in the north of Spain

san sebastian
San Sebastian

Anyone who has been in this city knows how beautiful San Sebastian is. La Concha Beach, its historic center, its pintxos, its mountains, its viewpoints—San Sebastian is a dream. I myself have visited this beautiful city in northern Spain on several occasions, and I never get tired of returning. San Sebastian, also known as Donostia, is a breath of fresh air.

Near San Sebastian, I recommend you visit the Flysch of Zumaia or San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, two of the most incredible natural landscapes in Spain.

Things to do in San Sebastian

  • Walk along the Paseo de la Concha.
  • Stroll through the Old Town: Constitution Square, San Vicente Church, the Basilica of Santa Maria, and the San Telmo Museum.
  • Visit the Miramar Palace.
  • Climb Mount Urgull and Mount Ulía.
  • Get up to the top of pintxos.
  • Go to Santa Clara Island.
  • Enjoy the views from the viewpoint of Mount Igueldo.
  • Book a walking tour of San Sebastian to learn more about the city.
  • Visit the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.
  • Consider a guided tour in San Sebastian.

Plan your trip to San Sebastian

5. Salamanca, among the 5 most beautiful cities in Spain

best cities to visit in Spain
Salamanca

Salamanca, the university city, is among the five most beautiful cities in Spain. Its old part was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1988 for good reason. If you have not been, it is a perfect destination for a weekend.

Things to do in Salamanca

  • Visit the University of Salamanca.
  • Visit the wonderful Plaza Mayor.
  • Visit the Cathedral of Salamanca.
  • Book a walking tour of Salamanca to learn about the history of the city.
  • The House of Shells.
  • Walk through the gardens of Calixto and Melibea.
  • Visit Puente Mayor del Tormes.
  • Visit Casa Lis (Museum of Art Deco and Art Nouveau).
  • Visit Convent of San Esteban.
  • Visit the Cave of Salamanca.
  • Consider a guided tour in Salamanca.

6. Madrid, Spain’s capital

madrid
Madrid, Spain

What can I say? It’s Madrid! I don’t know if it’s the buildings, its people, or its atmosphere (or maybe all of these), but it is indisputable that Madrid is one of the best cities to visit in Spain. If it is true that there are other cities in Spain more beautiful than Madrid, this city receives foreigners like no other. Madrid is a place where anyone can feel at home from the first minute. You will love that feeling.

Things to do in Madrid

  • Visit the Plaza Mayor and have a Calamari sandwich.
  • Visit the Almudena Cathedral, the Royal Palace and the Sabatini Gardens.
  • Walk along the Gran Vía, from Plaza Cibeles to Plaza España.
  • Watch the sunset from the Temple of Debod.
  • Visit El Oso y el Madroño, in Puerta del Sol.
  • Book a walking tour of Madrid to get to know the city better.
  • Visit Puerta de Alcala and stroll through the Retiro (do not miss the Crystal Palace).
  • Stroll through the neighborhoods of La Latina and Malasaña.
  • Enjoy the views from the rooftop of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, the terrace of the Hotel Riu or from the Gourmet Experience of El Corte Inglés de Callao.
  • Visit the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia or the Thyssen.
  • Have a drink at the San Miguel Market.
  • Consider a guided tour in Madrid.

Plan your trip to Madrid

7. Toledo, one of the most beautiful cities in Spain

best cities to visit in Spain
Toledo

Toledo is another gift of a city and a destination that national or foreign tourists do not want to miss. Get ready to walk through cobblestone streets full of charm. If you want to make a special getaway in Toledo, I recommend staying at Miluna, a hotel located about 50 km outside Toledo. It is one of the most charming hotels in Spain.

Things to do in Toledo, Spain

  • Visit the Cathedral of Toledo.
  • Visit the Alcazar of Toledo.
  • Enter the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes.
  • Book a walking tour of Toledo to learn more about the history of the city.
  • Visit the church of Santo Tomé.
  • Stroll through the Jewish quarter.
  • Enjoy the views of the city from the Mirador del Valle.
  • Visit the Bridge of San Martín.
  • Walk through the Bisagra Gate.
  • Visit the Synagogue of Santa María La Blanca.
  • Visit the Mosque of Cristo de La Luz.
  • Consider a guided tour in Toledo.

8. Cordoba, a Spanish city that will make you fall in love

cordoba
Cordoba

Let’s talk about Cordoba, another stunning Andalusian city! Cordoba is a city that never fails to impress, from its magnificent mosque to its flower-filled patios. It is an absolute must-see on any list of Spain’s most picturesque cities.

Things to do in Cordoba

  • Visit the incredible mosque-cathedral of Cordoba. You can buy the ticket here.
  • Visit the Medina Azahara.
  • Visit the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos.
  • Get lost in its beautiful streets and patios. Do not miss the Calleja de las Flores.
  • Book a walking tour of Cordoba to get to know the city better.
  • Visit the Roman Bridge of Cordoba and the Calahorra Tower.
  • The Corredera Square.
  • Visit the Roman Temple of Cordoba.
  • Viana Palace.
  • Stroll through the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba.
  • Consider a guided tour in Cordoba.

9. Caceres, one of the best cities to visit in Spain

caceres
Caceres

This list of Spain’s most picturesque cities would not be complete without Cáceres. Initially, it could be less noticeable than the other cities covered in this piece. That being said, anyone who visits this stunning city will be astonished. Several traces of the many civilizations that have passed through it can still be found in this Roman-founded city. As a result, Spain has one of its most exquisite old towns.

Trujillo, one of Spain’s most exquisite villages, is located close to Cáceres. Make the most of your trip to Extremadura by stopping by this quaint little town.

Things to do in Caceres

  • Book a walking tour of Caceres, a great way to get to know the city.
  • Stroll through the streets of the old town and discover the Plaza Mayor, the Torre de Bujaco, the Arco de la Estrella, the Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo…
  • Taste the local gastronomy: Iberian ham, migas extremeñas, torta del casar (a local cheese), zorongollo, beans…
  • If you like cultural visits, don’t miss the Museum of Cáceres.
  • Consider a guided tour in Caceres.

10. Santiago de Compostela

santiago de compostela
Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela does not escape this ranking of the most beautiful cities in Spain. The capital of Galicia is probably one of the most charming cities in the country. World famous for the Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, Santiago de Compostela hides a lot of corners that you will love to discover.

Things to do in Santiago de Compostela

  • Book a walking tour of Santiago, a great way to get to know the city.
  • Visit the incredible Cathedral of Santiago, one of the most impressive religious buildings in Spain.
  • Get lost in the streets of the historic center; you will love it!
  • Try the empanada, the pulpo a feira, the caldo gallego, and, of course, the tarta de Santiago. Try some of the most typical dishes while you go for tapas in the city.
  • Walk along the streets of Rúa Nova, Rúa do Vilar, and Rúa do Franco.
  • Visit the Museo do Pobo Galego.
  • Visit the Mercado de Abastos in Santiago de Compostela.
  • Stroll through Alameda Park.
  • Consider a guided tour in Santiago de Compostela.

Plan your trip to Santiago de Compostela, Galicia

Map of the best cities to visit in Spain

In the following map, I have pointed out what I consider the most beautiful cities in Spain: Granada, Barcelona, Seville, San Sebastian, Salamanca, Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Caceres, and Santiago de Compostela.

How many of these cities have you visited? I have been to all of them, but there are some that I don’t know so well, either because I was a child or because I haven’t spent enough time there. Do you think any other Spanish city should have made this list?

Check out my Spain travel guide for all the information you need to travel to Spain.

I hope this article about the best cities to visit in Spain has inspired you to choose your next getaway. If you have any questions, I encourage you to leave a comment or email me. See you next time!

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