Destinations | Europe

12 Most Beautiful Cities in Spain to Visit this year

18 Nov 2021 | 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 fallen 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 as my husband has been working in Spain for a while and he will need to be available in the country. 

Where to stay in Madrid

** 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.** 

Most Beautiful Cities in Spain

 

What is it about Spain that attracts me the most besides all the beautiful towns and cities? 

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 carajillo or sangria. 

Whenever I visit Spain, time and time again, I realize 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 road trip 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…

When 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 your favorite 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 run between the cities. Almost all of the beautiful cities in Spain have their own airport. If you prefer to travel 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 to 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.

Southern Spain road trip

List of the most beautiful cities in Spain to visit this year

 

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 12 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 kilometers 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. Colorful, 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 airport 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 yet beautiful city worth taking your time in exploring every detail and discovering all the hidden places, historic churches, cultural heritage, and the 15th century 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 neighborhoods 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 the 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, a port city, 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 center, 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 to the La Ribera Market where 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 is Zaragoza. 

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, and large kilometers of bike lanes make this city a great spot for both culture and nature lovers. 

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 center 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. It is also the largest city in Spain, and the most populous one as well. During your stay, pay a visit to a museum on the Art Walk, with exhibitions of masters such as Renoir and Sorolla. 

Plus don’t miss a guided tour of the Royal Palace, one of the finest in Europe. 

I also highly 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 neighborhood, 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.

You can 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 that 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’Donnell, Plaza de Cibeles, and Atocha (this last stop only during the daytime hours between 6 am and 11.30 pm). 

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 sunrise 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 its own airport Málaga-Costa del Sol international Airport (AGP). An 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 one of the prettiest cities to visit in Spain. Any visit must include the Alcázar, the Seville Cathedral, and the Giralda. The first two are UNESCO World Heritage sites and the last is one of the city’s emblems, towering over the River Guadalquivir. 

If 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 neighborhood – 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 center 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.

Girona

Girona is a small city, but the impressive medieval cathedral and many other old churches and historic monuments make it a favorite among tourists. It’s here where you can feel the history of the place you visit with its narrow streets, stone walls, and little plazas.

The best way to explore this town is on foot. The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and makes a great place to wander around, discovering the city. 

Girona has some magnificent churches, museums, and excellent restaurants to make your visit complete. When in the city don’t forget to drop by the 11th-century Gothic Cathedral de Santa Maria de Girona!

If you are a Game of Thrones fan you will love Girona’s iconic landmarks. 

How to reach Girona?

Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRO) has flights from many cities in Europe as well as some in the USA. The Aerobus goes directly to Girona town center. The ride will take about half an hour and cost 4.5 euros.

There are trains to connect to Girona from Barcelona as well if you are flying there. And from there you can rent a car and drive 1.50 hours to reach the center of Girona. 

Where to stay in Girona? 

Hotel Ultonia Girona is a nice 4-star boutique hotel in the center of Girona. It features a laid-back cafe and bar on-site, and has a very homey feel.

Plus there is free WiFi throughout.

More info and bookings here.

most beautiful cities in Spain

Granada

Granada is a city with lots of charm, making it the perfect place to visit in Spain. With its Moorish influence, Albayzin area, and narrow winding streets, Granada intrigue visitors from all over the world.

At nighttime, when the heat subsides, these little alleyways come alive with people eating at quaint restaurants, drinking in bars, and sitting outside enjoying the atmosphere.

Do take the time to explore the old town areas and capture their beauty! 

Alhambra is Granada’s main attraction, but what makes this town so special is its hidden gems where you can appreciate the charm of Spanish culture. And when night falls over this beautiful city, it seems that all time has stopped – just like in a movie.

 

How to reach Granada?

Granada is easily accessible by train from Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, or other major cities in Spain. It has no AVE high-speed trains but you can access regional long-distance lines. 

It takes anywhere from 2 to 4.5 hours to get there from various cities, and Seville is the closest. 

Granada has its own airport too. Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén Airport is also known as Granada International Airport and serves the city. The airport is located near Chauchina and Santa Fe. 

Where to stay in Granada? 

Located pretty close to the train station is the Áurea Catedral Hotel in Granada. The property is only 2 km away from Alhambra, and some of the rooms offer views of the cathedral and more. There is also a spa on site.

More info and bookings here.

most beautiful cities in Spain

San Sebastian

San Sebastian city is located on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, in the Basque Country. It’s famous for its gorgeous beaches and laid-back atmosphere. 

The city’s picturesque bayfront promenade is a must-visit when in San Sebastian. 

The city has a number of excellent restaurants offering traditional Basque dishes, featuring the freshest seafood hailing from the bay.

The food alone makes this place worth a visit, but you can also enjoy a number of hiking trails in the surrounding Alavese Mountains. But if you want to relax, there are small coves within walking distance where you can bask in the sun.

How to reach San Sebastian?

The nearest international airport is the Biarritz Pays Basque Airport located about 32 kilometers from the city. You can also make connections from Bilbao Airport. 

Where to stay in San Sebastian?

Located in the heart of Donostia is this 4 star hotel – Zenit Convento San Martín. The property has a restaurant and a bar on-site, along with a rooftop pool.

More info and bookings here.

most beautiful cities in Spain

Cordoba 

Cordoba is one of the most beautiful places in Spain. The city, located in the southern part of the country is a must-stop on your road trip. 

A lively river flows through its center, while narrow streets are lined with vibrant shops selling traditional Andalusian products. However, this city has a lot more to offer than just handicrafts.

Cordoba’s Islamic history is still visible today. The building that was once the main mosque in the city is now the largest building in the whole of Cordoba – La Mezquita, dating from 784 A.D.

Check out other iconic sites such as the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs, Castillo Almodovar del Rio, Roman Bridge, and Plaza del Potro.

How to reach Cordoba?

It is easy to get to Cordoba by the AVE high-speed trains, and it is also the most convenient. It is less than two hours from Madrid and about 45 minutes from Seville, which makes it a great day trip option too.

Where to stay in Cordoba?

Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailío is a stunning 5 star property in Cordoba. This elegant villa has a restaurant and a spa on site.

More info and bookings here.

most beautiful cities in Spain

So here are the most beautiful places in Spain that you must visit. Now, 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.

 

Pin the most beautiful cities in Spain to visit

most beautiful cities in spain

related posts

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This