Looking for the most beautiful cities in Spain? It’s so hard to choose! Spain is a mosaic of beauty.
From Gaudí’s whimsical architecture sprinkled across cosmopolitan Barcelona to ornate Moorish palaces in historical hubs like Granada and Cordoba, Spain comes alive.
Sip sangria on flower covered patios, discover the art of flamenco dance, and marvel at ancient colorful tile mosaics that sweep across vast porticos. And that’s just the beginning.
Here’s where to go and what to see in Spain…
Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Spain
Sevilla, the capital of Andalusia—and the fourth largest city in Spain— oozes ambiance. It’s the very best of romantic Spain.
Plus, lovely Sevilla hosts three UNESCO world heritage sites: the gorgeous Alcázar Palace, the famous Sevilla Cathedral, and the General Archives of the Indias (home to history of the Spanish Empire).
After winding your way through intricately tiled rooms and chambers at the palace and admiring the hand-carved altarpiece in the Great Chapel at the cathedral, be sure to walk the Instagrammable Plaza de España.
If you’re wondering what to do in Seville, be sure to take in a flamenco performance. The art of flamenco dance originated in Andalusia.
And Sevilla is the perfect place to see a performance…either at the Flamenco Dance Museum or—if you’re lucky—during your evening “paseo” (walk) when locals share this beautiful art for the sheer joy of it.
If it’s modern art you’re after, climb Metropol Parasol, an enormous wooden structure made from six parasols. It looks kind of like a collection of mushrooms!
Then wander through Barrio Cruz, one of Seville’s most vibrant quarters. Shady alleyways on narrow streets offer glimpses of flower-covered patios at stately homes.
With more time, see the enchanting Palacio de las Dueñas, one of Sevilla’s most stunning sights; in spring and summer you’ll find it covered in vines of bright pink flowers.
Barcelona is easily one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and in the world.
This Catalan city is located on the eastern coastline of Spain on the Mediterrean Sea which makes it both a beach town and an amazing place to taste-test seafood paella.
This city is beautiful year-round, but it is most popular in the summertime. Barcelona has beaches, parks, famous landmarks, and more that make the city truly enticing.
One of the most beautiful churches, The Sagrada Familia, is located in the heart of the city with its stained glass and spiral towers attracting visitors from all around the world.
In the heart of the city, a giant park full of fountains and statues, Parc Ciutadella, showcases the Roman influence over the city as well as the way the city takes pride in its beauty and lively atmosphere.
Another amazing park not to miss: Park Guell. This outdoor wonder celebrates the whimsical mosaic tile work of the famous artist Antoni Gaudi.
From here, you can enjoy expansive views of the whole city. It is the perfect place to take in the true beauty of Barcelona.
Shannon | Adventuring with Shannon
Set against the Sierra Nevada mountain range at the confluence of four rivers, Granada is a site to behold and is one the most beautiful Spanish cities.
Best visited in the months of May and June, the flowers bloom and make the city come to life, enhancing the grand Islamic and Catholic architecture.
The Alhambra, the most elaborate Moorish palace still standing in the world, will be a highlight of your trip to Granada.
Imagine intricately filigreed windows, colorful ceramic tiles, plaster work, stucco stalactite ceilings, and even calligraphy.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the Alhambra is sitting in the lush Generalife Gardens, just outside of the complex walls.
This is where Moorish sultans would escape during the intense heat of the summer months, but this oasis also serves as a place to reflect on your trip to this beautiful palace.
Pop your head into the stunning Catedral de Granada on your way out for a drink.
Another thing that makes Granada unique is the ‘free tapas’ culture.
Saddle up to any bar (Bar Avila is a great option), purchase a beer, and you’ll enjoy a plate of complimentary tapas with your beverage.
Haley | Haley Blackall Travel
Cordoba is a beautiful city in the Andalusia region. While it may not be the first place that comes to mind when you’re considerin where to visit in Spain, it is well worth a stop.
First of all, the Mezquita-Cathedral is reason enough to visit alone. This mosque is the most famous landmark in Cordoba.
The stunning palace has Moorish influences apparent by the architecture and detail inside. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another reason to visit Cordoba is for the popular patio festival in May which also happens to be the best time to visit Cordoba.
This is when locals open up their homes to the public to showcase their beautiful private patios filled with greenery and flowers.
The reason the patios are present in so many homes is to cool things down as the summer months become extremely hot (up to 44C/105F). If you can’t make it to the festival, definitely visit Palacio de Viana, a palace with 12 patios.
Cordoba is truly an amazing place to visit, filled with so much nature, history, and beauty.
Aside from the attractions mentioned, Cordoba is also the ideal place to lose yourself on a walk through the serene white-washed buildings.
Jackie | Jou Jou Travels
One of the top cities in Spain is definitely Valencia! As the third largest city in the country, there are numerous attractions to explore here.
A city trip is recommended all year round, but the spring, from March onwards, is particularly appealing.
During this time, the city is comparatively quiet, and you can experience Valencia with good weather, far away from the hustle and bustle of crowds.
Valencia’s historic old town is unique and fantastic. During a city walk, visitors can explore picturesque squares and stroll through narrow streets as cozy cafés invite lingering.
There are also many exciting things to see on a city break. The Plaza de la Virgen is a must-see, and the cathedral right next to it is also worth visiting.
Insider tip: See the bell tower El Miguelete for fabulous view over the city’s rooftops.
For culinary highlights, be sure to experience the Central Market Hall, a huge indoor market in the city center.
Another must-see is the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, also called Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, where you will find many interesting museums and water landscapes in a single modern complex.
Martina | Places of Juma
A charming medieval city situated in the heart of Spain, Toledo makes a perfect day trip from Madrid. It’s one of the best cities to visit in Spain.
Toledo is also A UNESCO World Heritage site and is known as “the city of three cultures” with its rich religious history of Muslim, Christian and Jewish heritage.
Once a part of Roman Empire, the city is full of historical buildings and memorabilia preserved in several museums.
Walking around and getting lost in the labyrinth of cobblestone alleys feels like getting lost in time.
Toledo’s Cathedral Primada dates back to the 13th century and is one of the most beautiful gothic churches in Spain.
The Iglesia de Ildefonso also offers the best views of Toledo’s historical city. Climb up the tower to enjoy the best panoramic views of Toledo.
Another prominent feature of this city is the El Alcazar, a Moorish fortress situated high up on the hill.
While the city offers many activities, the main highlights can be enjoyed in a day.
Feeling adventurous? Enjoy a zip line over a river near Puente de San Martin for just 10 euros. When in Toledo, don’t forget to try the marzipan, a sweet delicacy made from almonds, sugar and honey.
Although one can visit any time of the year, Toledo is best experienced from April to June.
Sunetra | Globetrotting Su
It’s easy to fall in love with Oviedo, the capital of Spain’s Asturias region and one of the prettiest cities in Spain.
The city is a picture postcard of eclectic architectural styles, lush parks, and broad avenues.
One of the most beautiful and iconic sights in Oviedo is the cathedral of Oviedo, Catedral Metropolitana Basilica de San Salvador.
This amazing structure is a combination of various styles including Renaissance, Gothic, Baroque, and Romanesque. Plus, this unusual architectural style emanates from the cathedral and extends across the cathedral plaza and the surrounding buildings.
On the outskirts of the city is an equally impressive structure that dates back to the ninth century.
Since Oviedo is an ancient city that was once home to Asturian royalty, many of the ancient palaces have been preserved and are today designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Oviedo and the entire Asturias region do not lack for dense, leafy parks throughout the area.
Contrary to the rest of Spain which can be dry, Asturias is in Spain’s northern “green region” which receives lots of rainfall making some parks appear almost tropical. This is the perfect place to include on a 2-week itinerary in Asturias.
Oviedo is easily reachable by road, train or plane. It is well worth a visit by anyone in search of wonderful Spanish cities to visit.
Talek |Travels with Talek
Although a bit smaller than many other of Spain’s best places, Ronda boasts majestic views in nearly every direction. The city of nearly 34,000 residents is built on the cliffs overlooking the Tajo Gorge.
The famous Puente Nuevo bridge spans the 390-foot-deep gorge connecting the two sides of the city.
This picturesque bridge has been an iconic landmark in Spain since it was completed in 1793, and it’s one of the most popular things to see in Ronda.
But the bridge isn’t the only draw to the lovely city. With its white painted walls and rich culture, the mountaintop city is a fascinating place to see.
Known as the birthplace of modern bullfighting, the city is home to an arena, museum, and a lively plaza dedicated to the controversial Spanish tradition.
Directly next to the bullfighting arena and Plaza de Toros, you’ll find one of the best lookout spots in the city called Mirador de Ronda.
The stunning overlook gives you the perfect view of the ravine and the city built up on both sides of it.
Located about two hours from Seville, Ronda is a popular day trip for many visitors, but spend at least one night in Ronda to experience this magical city without the crowds.
Be sure to roam the hilly streets and take in the relaxed atmosphere. Then enjoy dinner with a view at one of the various restaurants adjacent to Puente Nuevo.
Melissa | Parenthood and Passports
9. San Sebastian
In the north of Spain lies one of the most beautiful cities and an absolute must-visit: San Sebastian.
This seaside town is in the Basque region of Spain and is famous for its food and for still using the Basque language: Euskara.
San Sebastian is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to spend some days at the sea and with nature.
It is surrounded by hills, with several amazing viewpoints of the city and the sea, such as Monte Igueldo and Monte Urgell.
There is also a beautiful Old Town with shops and historical restaurants where you can try some pintxos (the Basque version of tapas).
The town is also really popular for surfing, as it’s located on the Atlantic Ocean, and you’ll find several surf spots past the hill on the eastern side of the city, at Zurriola beach.
If you’re more of the sunbathing type, Playa Ondarreta and La Concha are for you!
The best time to visit is definitely the summer, as it tends to rain quite a bit in Northern Spain. Since San Sebastian is located on the ocean, not the Mediterranean, mid-summer is also the best in order to enjoy warmer water.
The weather changes very frequently though, so don’t be surprised if it’s raining one minute and sunshine the next! That’s the beauty of the Basque region!
You will not be disappointed when you visit, as San Sebastian is a sight to behold and truly blows everyone away.
Jori | The Tejana Abroad
Bilbao used to be a not-so-pretty industrial town, but over the course of the last few decades, it has transformed itself into one of Spain’s best places.
It is mecca for art and architecture and offers some of the best tapas (called pintxos in the Basque region) in the country.
The River Nervión winds its way through the center of town, making a perfect centerpiece for the architectural beauty.
The crown jewel has be to the incredible Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. The warped and twisted silver panels shine in the sunlight like something out of a sci fi novel.
Standing in front of it is the enormous Puppy, a whimsical statue of a dog covered in flowers, by Jeff Koons.
Inside, don’t miss the enormous sculpture by Richard Serra; you can walk around inside the curved metal walls of the oversized art.
The museum is on the banks of the river and just outside the old town. The narrow, cobbled streets of the old town, Casco Viejo, make a great place to wander and enjoy the city’s more traditional architecture.
It’s also a great place to enjoy a plate of pintxos at one of many bars there.
If you appreciate architecture, don’t miss the Zubizuri Bridge (“white bridge” in the Basque language).
The narrow foot bridge, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, with simple curved white lines, is breathtaking.
Bilbao melds traditional with envelope-pushing modern architecture, taking advantage of the river that runs through it.
The result is magical. The city is at its best in summer (June- September).
James Ian| Travel Collecting
Located between the two Spanish metropolises of Madrid and Barcelona, Zaragoza is a destination not to be missed.
Also called the City of Four Cultures, Zaragoza offers a great mix of Roman, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures. These influences are especially evident in the city’s remarkable architecture.
Probably the most important sight in the city is the Catedral-basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza, or Pilar for short. It is considered one of the most significant churches of its kind in all of Spain.
However, Pilar’s popularity is hardly surprising when you consider its imposing size and decorative elements.
Tip: When you visit the Pilar, be sure to walk around the church to admire its entire beauty from the stone bridge. Only from here can you really appreciate its greatness.
The basilica is located in the center of Zaragoza. If you follow the city’s alleys from here, you’ll find plenty of excellent tapas, bars, and cafes, where visitors sit on the terraces to enjoy the sun at any time of year.
You will notice that the tapas culture and gastronomy also contribute to the charm of the city.
But even besides the Pilar, there are more beautiful buildings and things to see in Zaragoza.
Just walk through the center of the city, and you will discover many impressive buildings.
Vicki | Vickivaja.com
Salamanca, located in the region of Castilla y Leon, is definitely a must-visit in Spain.
It is best known as a university city; while it reached its peak in the 15th to 16th centuries, it still attracts thousands of students worldwide every year.
The University of Salamanca, the oldest university in the country and the third oldest in the western world, is located here.
Basically, for those who want to learn Spanish, there is no better place to study than in Salamanca, since it is here where the purest Spanish (Castellano) is spoken.
Aside from students, Salamanca also attracts tourists who are interested in history and culture.
Its Old City became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and it was also declared Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2002, tied with Bruges, Belgium.
One of its best attractions is the Plaza Mayor, a historic city square full of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture, among others.
Best time to visit is at sunset, when the square is bathed in the golden light of the setting sun. This is why Salamanca is also known as the Golden City.
Other notable attractions are the 12th-century Old Cathedral, the modernist building of the Museo Art Nouveau & Art Decó, and the Gothic, 15th-century building Casa de las Conchas, built with hundreds of stone shells on its facade.
For those who want to walk the Camino de Santiago, Salamanca is included in the itinerary of Camino de Torres and Via De La Plata, the longest route.
Aleah | The Solitary Wanderer
The Spanish capital of Madrid cannot be missed on the list of famous cities in Spain.
A city as culturally diverse as Madrid has plenty to offer for everyone. Culture fanatics will love the Prado Museum that exhibits some of Europe’s finest art.
Those interested in history will be surprised by Patrimonio Nacional: Madrid’s royal palace, which is also Europe’s largest palace.
Looking for something truly authentic? Head to Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s most famous square.
With many cozy restaurants, cafés and small shops, there is always something fun to do at this stunning plaza.
Escape the city crowds at El Retiro Park, a beautiful park located in the middle of the city.
Hungry after a full day of sightseeing? Join locals at el Museo del Jamón and try Spain’s famous jamón ibérico or sample tapas at one of the many amazing tapas bars.
Looking for a fun night out? Madrid has got you covered! Go to Círculo de Bellas, a trendy rooftop bar that will serve you cocktails with the best view over town.
Stéphanie | Bey of Travel
Malaga is located in the south of Spain at the Costa del Sol with an amazing history and awesome beaches.
It’s one of the most popular tourist cities in Spain because it perfectly combines culture, day trip opportunities to the nearby mountains and, of course, beautiful beaches.
You should definitely stop by La Alcazaba, an old fortress which dates back to the eighth century.
The huge complex is visible from almost everywhere in the city and worth the effort to climb up the hill.
On the way to La Alcazaba, you’ll come across an old Roman theatre; it’s a great place for a photo op and also to learn all about Malaga’s fascinating history.
And remember, you can’t say that you’ve been to Malaga without visiting the impressive cathedral in the city which took over 150 years to build.
To dive into the Spanish culture, stop by the Ataranzas Market, a great spot to buy local fruits and vegetables but also to enjoy some of the best tapas in town.
The best sunset spot in town? Head to the beachy bars and cafes. Enjoy a refreshing San Miguel beer as you melt into the warm sand and let the sun do the rest.
Victoria | Guide Your Travel
Ibiza is a place of immense contrast and beauty, where serene beaches lay within walking distance of swanky nightclubs and the island’s famed party scene.
It’s main center is no different with its beguiling history and bustling port.
Ibiza Town is the capital, and it’s where most travelers start their journey on the Balearic Island.
But while many use it as a jumping off point for exploring further afield, it’s well worth staying in Ibiza and getting to know its secrets.
At the center, high above the thumping nightclubs and super yacht lined harbor, you’ll find the UNESCO listed Dalt Vila.
Encompassed by ramparts and topped with a 13th-century cathedral, its tight-knit streets are a colorful cacophony of museums, boutiques and bistros.
Be sure to pop into the Insta-worthy S’Escalinata Eivissa for the lively atmosphere and delicious, simple food.
Below the old city, you’ll find a wild and rugged headland that’s excellent for a quiet picnic. Keep walking and you’ll eventually end up at the stunning Figueretes beach.
Nadine | Le Long Weekend
16. Santiago de Compostela
Tucked away in the northwest of Spain is one of the country’s most underrated historical cities, Santiago de Compostela.
Its small historic centre is arguably one of the most fascinating and elegant in Spain.
You’ll find a plethora of stunning Gothic and Baroque buildings and quaint little cobbled streets full of local restaurants serving the freshest and most delicious seafood in Galicia.
Many of its most notable buildings can be found scattered around the magnificent Gothic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, allegedly home to the remains of the apostle St James.
While the entire historic center is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is the cathedral and its large Plaza del Obradoiro, that draws the most crowds.
Many of them are pilgrims who arrive in the city as the finishing point of the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage that draws over 300,000 people every year.
Stand in the square and look around at the grandness of its surrounding buildings (including what is said to be the world’s oldest hotel). Notice the relief on the faces of the pilgrims.
It’s the best way to get a real sense of the importance and significance of Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral…to realize the true beauty and uniqueness this special city holds.
Samantha | The Wandering Wanderluster
Which beautiful places in Spain will you explore next?
From castles and culture to stunning cityscapes and pristine beaches, exploring Spain on the Iberian Peninsula is almost always an adventure immersed in beauty.
Whether you’re chasing world-class UNESCO sights or immersing yourself in the simple pleasure of tasting a local specialty with a sunset view, magical Spain never disappoints.