Destinations | Europe

9 most beautiful cities in Spain you need to visit

30 Jan 2020 | Destinations, Europe, homepage, Spain

Those who have been following my blog for some time know that i have visited so many beautiful cities in Spain already. I have completely fell in love with the country. I visit Spain almost every month, and I still can’t get enough of it. In the upcoming years I will spend even more time in Spain. My husband has been working in Spain for a while and he will need to be more constant in the country. 

What is it about Spain that attracts me the most besides all the beautiful towns? All the little things… I feel so much joy seeing oranges hanging casually in the trees, or from the siestas that bring a palpable calmness to the streets during the day. Everything is magical, from all the delicious tapas with a local twist in every city, to the beautiful squares with rich history covered with terraces packed with people enjoying a carjillo or sangria. Whenever I visit Spain, time and time again, I realise it’s okay to live life a bit slower and to take it all in, enjoying life with friends and family simply in the moment in one of the popular cities. 

Planning a roadtrip in Spain, seeking a romantic getaway in a charming town or looking for some time away with the kids? In this blog, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the most beautiful Spanish cities to tick off your Spanish bucket list – from flamenco in Seville and eating traditional paella in Valencia to sipping sangria in Barcelona. the list of attractive cities in Spain is endless, and every Spanish city has its own charm, here is my write up of the most beautiful Spanish cities to visit! Enjoy…

** Disclaimer: This post contains affiliated links which means that purchases made through these links reward Bey of Travel a small commission without any additional charge for the purchaser.** 

What is the best time to visit Spain?

The best time to visit Spain is during the cooler spring season which starts from March till May and during the fall season which starts from September to November. At this time of the year, the beautiful cities will be less crowded, accommodations will be cheaper and the weather will not be pleasant to fully enjoy your stay.

Keep in mind that most shops, bars and restaurants in you favourite cities will be closed during the month of August. During this month most Spanish people will be leaving on holiday themselves. 

How to travel between cities in Spain?

The best mode of travel between cities in Spain is by train which connects almost the entire country. There are high-speed trains or AVE which runs between the cities. Almost all of the beautiful cities in Spain have their own airport. If you prefer traveling by car, Spain has excellent roads! Enjoy iconic monuments, medieval streets, white houses and ancient architecture along the way…

Is Spain expensive to visit?

The cost of traveling to Spain completely depends on the places you’re visiting and when you are planning to visit them. Some of the popular cities like Barcelona, Seville and Madrid are more expensive than any other smaller cities in Spain. You can easily find hotels for any budget, food and drinks are cheaper than in most other European countries.

Is it safe to travel in Spain?

Spain is generally safe to travel through like most other parts of Western Europe. Make sure to watch out for pickpockets though, especially in crowded places.

 

Most beautiful cities in Spain to visit

The most beautiful cities in Spain to visit

From cities bursting with Spanish culture and tradition to cities famous for historic architecture and historical monuments, Spain boasts an array of cities offering something for everyone. 

Discover 9 of Spain’s most beautiful cities, what gives them their charm and why you should visit them. 

BARCELONA

Barcelona is the ultimate location for a Mediterranean getaway. Spend a few dreamy days by the beautiful beaches and the sea, enjoying great food and a welcoming climate, combined with unique things to do and see. Bask in the unique architecture of Gaudi at Park Güell, the Sagrada Familia or Casa Batlló. 

Want more reasons why Barcelona is one of the best cities to visit in Spain? There are parks, markets, narrow streets and areas to explore on foot such as Montjüic, the Boquería market, the Ramblas, the hip Born district, the medieval Gothic quarter, the delightful seafront or the Art Nouveau masterpieces of Passeig de Gràcia. The city also offers nearly five kilometres of beaches! 

Barcelona offers plenty of other interesting options, too. Visit the Picasso Museum, enjoy the dazzling football of FC Barcelona, take a boat trip around the bay, or discover its alternative cultural spaces. Round off the day with delicious food and drink – the city is full of pavement cafés and restaurants, and cool bars and clubs for nights out enjoying a cocktail with friends.

In short, Barcelona offers it all. Colourful, gothic and contemporary Barcelona is pure eye-candy and will provide you with the most beautiful sights, no matter which direction you look.

Read more about Barcelona here.

 

read next | 2 days in Barcelona

How to reach Barcelona?

The international airport Barcelona–El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport or El Prat Airport (BCN) has flights from many cities around the world. Take the (blue) Aerobús from Barcelona airoport to the city center. The ride will take about 40 minutes and will cost you around 6 euros.

Where to stay in Barcelona?

W Barcelona is a striking sail-like structure next to Barceloneta Beach, offering breathtaking design and fantastic views over Barcelona. It features a spa, infinity pool, rooftop bar and luxurious rooms.

More info and bookings here.

VALENCIA

Valencia is an underrated city worth taking your time, explore every detail and discover all the hidden places, historic churches, cultural heritage and Unesco world heritage sites. 

One of the most famous and beautiful buildings is the City of Arts and Sciences, take the time to enjoy the spectacular views while enjoying a walk in the area. The Miguelete tower close to the city center is also a great place to visit. But to see what really makes a city tick, you have to pause and enjoy the atmosphere in its sunny squares and markets, discover the legends behind the monuments, explore restored neighbourhoods like Cabanyal, or see the light of the Mediterranean suffusing the landscape in La Albufera. 

You can’t help but simply fall in love with this charming city. It’s trendy, but without the mass tourism of Barcelona. Valencia lies by the sea and because of its pleasant climate, you can enjoy the beach almost all year round. (It’s where traditional Spanish paella originated – what’s not to love?!) 

Read all about the top things to do in Valencia here.

How to reach Valencia?

The nearest airport to Valencia is Castellon de la Plana airport (VLC). The Fernanbús (bus line 150) will take you to city center in 40 minutes, the ride will only cost you 2 euros. 

Where to stay in Valencia?

Featuring a restaurant and bar on site, Vincci Mercat is located in Valencia, less than 100 m from the city’s Central Market. This hotel offers free WiFi throughout and a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool and views of the old city.

More info and bookings here.

 

Toledo

Toledo is a beautifully preserved Spanish city, with historic attractions at every corner. Set high in the hills of Castilla La Mancha in central Spain, the ancient city is not as well known, but worth a visit. Spend a weekend in Toledo, perusing inside the walls of the old city with a mixture of medieval Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments.

No visit to Toledo is complete without enjoying the spectacular view of the city from the other side of the river Tagus. Enjoy the beautiful scenery at the most famous viewpoint called “Mirador del Valle“. Make sure to visit the Toledo Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece dating back to the 13th century.

Visit one of the many mosques and enjoy Spanish history to the fullest.

How to reach Toledo?

The closest airport to Toledo is Madrid Barajas airport (MAD). The fastest way to get to Toledo is by booking a high-speed train through Renfe (which can be done online). The ride will cost you around 15 euros and will take about 30 minutes.

Where to stay in Toledo?

Alfonso VI is a traditional hotel in the heart of historic Toledo, opposite the Alcázar and 300 m from Toledo Cathedral. The air-conditioned rooms feature views over the city.

More info and bookings here.

 

Most beautiful cities in Spain to visit

BILBAO

Bilbao is situated in northern Spain, in the heart of the Basque Country. It became world-famous due to the spectacular Guggenheim Museum. The collection of modern art is undeniably fascinating – but what really grabs the attention are the amazing titanium panels and the large-scale spider sculpture outside. There are plenty of interesting exhibitions to view, both at the Guggenheim and at other museums in the city such as the Fine Arts Museum.

The striking modern designs blend surprisingly well with the city’s historic centre, where you can stroll from bar to bar sampling delicious tapas or pinchos accompanied by the local wine, Txakolí. On the subject of food, head for La Ribera Market – you can buy fresh ingredients and have them cooked for you on the spot! Enjoy a beautiful walk along the colorful houses near the water or enjoy the panoramic views on top of a classy rooftop bar .

In the evening, there’s a lovely atmosphere in all the outdoor bars and terraces. To see Bilbao from a different angle, take a trip on the river Nervión on board a tourist boat.

You can find a list of things to do in Bilbao here.

How to reach Bilbao?

The nearest airport is Bilbao Airport (BIO). Four times per hour a bus leaves in the direction of the city and Bilbao Airport, this is Bizkaibus line A3247. A journey from the airport to Bilbao city center takes about 25 minutes, a ticket costs around 3 euros.

Where to stay in Bilbao?

Vincci Consulado de Bilbao features air-conditioned rooms with satellite flat-screen TV in the Bilbao City Center district of Bilbao. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge.

More info and bookings here.

ZARAGOZA

One of Europe’s great cities, known for the stunning Basilica of El Pilar and for its festivities held every October. Zaragoza is the perfect day trip if you want to escape busy Barcelona. It is a less popular destination but the historic buildings and cultural attractions will simply blow you away.

Highlights of a visit to this wonderful Spanish city include a Moorish palace, a Roman forum, avant-garde bridges, a museum dedicated to the great Spanish artist Francisco de Goya, and of course, tapas in the district of El Tubo.

Large squares, spacious pedestrian areas, a huge city park, kilometres of bike lanes… Zaragoza is a beautifully spacious destination where it’s easy to feel at home. The city revolves around the large Plaza del Pilar, the setting for all the major celebrations. El Tubo, the quintessential district for tapas, is just 15 minutes from the iconic square. Throughout this area, there are also plenty of pedestrian streets full of places to shop – they include Alfonso I, the nearby Calle Don Jaime and Avenida del Coso.

Zaragoza stands next to one of Spain’s most important rivers, the Ebro. You can cycle along part of its banks, from the old town to the Agua Luis Buñuel Metropolitan Park. Along the route, you can admire the different designs of its bridges, from the historical Puente de Piedra stone bridge to the avant-garde Pabellón Puente pavilion bridge, created to mark the 2008 International Exhibition. Fancy something a little different? In the park, pay a visit to one of Europe’s largest river aquariums.

 

How to reach Zaragoza?

The nearest airport to Zaragoza is Aeropuerto de Zaragoza (ZAZ). The Airport bus (line 501) runs between Zaragoza Airport and near the centre of the city. A ticket costs about 2 euros and the travel time is 45 minutes.

Where to stay in Zaragoza?

Hotel Avenida is a beautiful boutique hotel located in the center of Zaragoza, only a 3 minutes’ walk from the Basilica del Pilar.

More info and bookings here.

 

7 Spanish cities you need to visit

MADRID

While visiting Spain, spending time in the capital city Madrid is simply a must. During your stay, pay a visit to a museum on the Art Walk, with exhibitions of masters such as Renoir and Sorolla. I also strongly recommend a stroll around the liveliest areas while you’re there, like Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium, the trendy Chueca district, the Gran Vía with its theatres and shops, the historic Madrid de los Austrias, parks like Madrid Río and the Retiro, the exclusive Salamanca district, or the La Latina neighbourhood, a popular place for tapas. There’s also a lot of buzz around the gourmet food markets, such as the Mercado de San Miguel.

The Spanish capital is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Madrid is elegant and classy, overloaded with art, beautiful architecture and many lovely parks. The list of top things to do in Madrid is long, and the city is ideal for a memorable weekend abroad with the whole family.

Discover the best places to eat and find more cool things to do in my Madrid itinerary here.

How to reach Madrid?
Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) is the international airport which connects Madrid to most of the cities in the world. The Exprés Aeropuerto (Airport bus Express), has a 24-hour service which has only 3 stops after the airport: O’Donell, Plaza de Cibeles and Atocha (this last stop only during the daytime hours between 6 am and 11.30pm). The buses run every 15 minutes during the day and every 35 at night, and the journey takes approximately 40 minutes. Tickets cost 5 euros.

Where to stay in Madrid?

7 Islas Hotel is located 200 m from Madrid’s Gran Via. It offers free Wi-Fi, and elegant rooms feature a marble bathroom with amenities, air conditioning and some include a terrace.

More info and bookings here.

 

Madrid tips - A first timer's guide to Madrid

MALAGA

Malaga is situated in Andalusia, on the southern coast known as the Costa del Sol. It’s a seaside town, full of light, stunning beaches and lovely to walk around. 

It is also remarkably rich in art and culture. It has outposts of the prestigious Centre Pompidou and the St Petersburg Russian Museum Collection, but above all, it’s the birthplace of Picasso, and you can visit his Museum House and the Picasso Museum. The Carmen Thyssen Museum, the Cathedral, the Roman Theatre and Gibralfaro Castle are also great cultural spots to visit.

Try some of the most-loved local experiences – sardine skewers or the tiny fried fish “pescaíto”, the sweet dessert wines, the fantastic beaches, or an evening out with tapas after a stroll around Calle Larios, Plaza de la Merced, and the old town. 

If you’re an early riser, how would you like to see the sun rise over the sea? If you’re more of a night owl, make sure you go dancing in the old quarter, or spend a relaxing evening around La Malagueta beach or Paseo de Sancha.

How to reach Malaga?

Malage has it own airport Málaga-Costa del Sol international Airport (AGP). A express line connects the airport with the city centre in just 15 minutes for only 3 euros.

Where to stay in Malaga?

Located between Málaga Cathedral and Paseo del Parque, AC Hotel by Marriott Málaga Palacio features a rooftop swimming pool and views of Málaga’s port. It has a gym and rooms with flat-screen TVs.

More info and bookings here.

7 Spanish cities you need to visit

SEVILLE

Seville is the capital of Andalusia, famous for its monuments and the culture of flamenco and without a doubt on of the prettiest cities to visit in Spain. Any visit must include the Alcázar, the Seville Cathedral and the Giralda. The first two are World Heritage sites and the last is one of the city’s emblems, towering over the River Guadalquivir. 

f you’d like to experience everything in an even more picturesque fashion, we recommend a boat trip on the river to enjoy the stunning views the city has to offer. You’ll want to have your camera with you in the gorgeous Plaza de España or in María Luisa Park! When you’re feeling peckish, try the tapas in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood – and go to a flamenco show in a tablao to experience its real popular culture. 

If you have a little more time, pay a visit to the Fine Arts museum or experience the avant-garde architecture of the Metropol Parasol. In the evening, pop by any of the pavement cafés and restaurants, including roof terraces with views of the Cathedral or the river Guadalquivir.

Seville is by far the most beautiful Andalusian city. Read all about the top things to do in Seville here.

How to reach Seville?

The nearest airport is Seville Airport (SVQ). Getting from the airport to Seville centre is fairly easy thanks to the EA city buses, which let passengers get to downtown (Plaza de Armas) within 35 minutes for only 4 euros.

Where to stay in Seville?

Catalonia Santa Justa is located a short walk from Seville’s historic center, and just 651 m from Santa Justa AVE Train Station. It offers a sun terrace, rooftop swimming pool, and a hot tub.

More info and bookings here

What else is on my ultimate Spanish bucket list? I still have to visit Maska and Ibiza! I hope to squeeze in these locations next year into my schedule.

Do you have any further questions about this article? Feel free to leave a comment below.

 

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