Spain is full of beautiful, breathtaking places. So many, in fact, that it may actually be difficult to decide where to go! Now you don’t have to. Instead, just follow this list of the most stunning spots in Spain you shouldn’t miss.
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Insider tip: Buy tickets online ahead of time to avoid waiting in very long lines. After all, this is the most popular tourist attraction in Barcelona, with about three million visitors a year. Alternately, book Culture Trip’s four-day Mini Trip to Barcelona and let our Local Insider take care of the logistics.
Designed by world famous architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao has one of the most unique designs in the world. The exterior, which is covered with giant sheets of glass and titanium, is waved and curved to catch the sunlight. This modern art museum was built in 1997, and its permanent collection includes work by Rothko, Richard Serra, Basquiat, Anselm Kiefer, Louise Bourgeois and Jeff Koons. Located on the banks of the Nervión river, capturing the museum’s spectacular architectural design from different angles is almost as much fun as seeing the art inside of it.
Insider tip: After a day filled with art at the museum, make sure to chow down on some pintxos, which are gourmet tapas Bilbao is famous for – join our four-day foodie Mini Trip to the Basque Country for a pintxos tour.
Insider tip: After you’ve seen the all the tourist attractions, stop at almost any restaurant in town for Segovia’s culinary speciality of roast suckling pig, known in Spanish as cochinillo.
The Alhambra is one of the most unique palaces in the world. Constructed in 889 by the Moors and later changed and renovated by the Christian kings in the 16th century, the palace is a grand example of many different styles of architecture and art. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this castle, which sits perched upon a hill, is not only exciting to explore, but also features stunning views of the city of Granada and the countryside and mountains that lay beyond. The picturesque gardens are a must-see, complete with blooming flowers and Mudéjar–style fountains at every turn.
Insider tip: Buy tickets online well in advance to ensure you get to visit the Alhambra, as only a certain number of visitors are allowed per day. A guided tour of the Alhambra is included on our four-day Mini Trip to Andalucia.
Towering above the Picos de Europa mountain range, the Basílica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga rises out of the greenery with its pink and red steeples. The Neo-Romanesque church is constructed entirely from pink limestone, and if you’ve never seen a pink church before this will more than satisfy your curiosity. The church is really just the beginning of all the beautiful things you can see in this National Park. The Santa Cueva de Covadonga is a sanctuary carved into the side of a cave and mountain with a waterfall, where the Virgin Mary has been said to appear to worshipers. Two spectacular glacial lakes, Lake Enol and Lake Ercina, are located in the park and definitely warrant a visit too.
Insider tip: Be careful when visiting the park during inclement weather, as the lakes may be closed due to difficult curves and poor visibility.
Insider tip: Check out the traditional San Miguel Market located just outside the Plaza Mayor for some tapas and vino.
Thanks to Córdoba’s hot, dry climate, the city’s very first inhabitants (first Romans, then Moors) created homes around a central courtyard, often with a fountain in the middle or a well. Still common today, this style of home is typical in Córdoba, and these small courtyards—now called patios—are world-famous for their stunning decoration and blooming flowers. Whereas you can view many patios year-round, the best time to see them is during the yearly patio festival each May.
Insider tip: Checking out the patios in the early evening is a great way to avoid crowds, especially during the festival, when many go in the morning or afternoon.
Insider tip: Once you’ve snapped the gorge from every direction possible, head into town to eat some rabo del toro (oxtail), Ronda’s speciality.
Rising between 500 and 800 meters (1,640 and 2,625 feet) above sea level, Los Gigantes are enormous cliffs that tower above the ocean. Situated on Tenerife, one of Spain’s seven Canary Islands, the cliffs are truly a natural beauty. Enjoy the gorgeous panoramic scenery by climbing up to the viewpoint, strolling the beach down below, or even do some hikes if you dare. A visit to the nearby black sand beaches (made from volcanic ash) can complete your day of fun on the island.Insider tip: Visiting Los Gigantes (and Tenerife in general) is the ideal trip if you’d like to explore Spain but don’t speak any Spanish. The high expat population guarantees you’ll always be able to find someone who speaks English.
Spain is full of incredible cathedrals, but the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela has a very special component. Not only is the Cathedral the burial spot of St. James, one of the 12 apostles, but it’s also the ending point of the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James), a pilgrimage of about 800 kilometers (500 miles) that many take through northern Spain. Completed in 1211, this Baroque and Romanesque church features 80-meter (260-foot) high bell towers that rise above the city.
Insider tip: Pay the extra few euros to take the rooftop tour. It’s worth it to see the grand views of Santiago de Compostela.
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
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