The collection of 28 most beautiful places in Spain and the best cities in Spain worth visiting
The ultimate list of cities in Spain everyone needs to visit in a lifetime.
THE 28 BEST CITIES IN SPAIN TO VISIT IN 2023
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO.
The best cities in Spain that deserve a place on your bucket list:
Royal Madrid is one of the most fascinating cities in the world.
The Spanish capital is one of the most vibrant European capitals. It is the 5th largest European capital by population (following Istanbul, Moscow, Paris, and London).
Marvelous Madrid is a city of incredible history, rich culture, superb architecture, striking boulevards, beautiful palaces (there are 12 gorgeous palaces in Madrid), amazing parks (Retiro, Capricho Park, Royal Botanical, Sabatini Gardens, Parque Oeste..), fantastic rooftop bars, top-class restaurants, shops, and terrific nightlife.
Madrid is a paradise for shoppingholics, nightlife lovers, art enthusiasts, architecture admirers, gourmets, and bon vivants.
If you are looking for the best restaurants in Spain, you will find them in Madrid. Madrid restaurants offer food from all regions of Spain and food from around the world.
Even the oldest restaurant in the world is in Madrid. The famous Sobrino de Botin restaurant in Madrid was founded in 1725.
Besides that, Madrid is home to first-class museums (Prado, Reina Sofia Museum, Thyssen Museum, Museum of Romanticism, Wax Museum …)
To properly explore the city, you’d need at least a week in Madrid. Every Madrid barrio is a story in itself. The picturesque La Latina neighborhood is one of the most beautiful oldest neighborhoods in Madrid. The bohemian Malasana neighborhood is full of quirky bars and restaurants. The party-friendly Chueca neighborhood is famous for its vibrant nightlife. The arty Barri de las Letras neighborhood is home to Prado, Reina Sofía, and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. The multicultural Lavapies neighborhood with chic bars and interesting street art is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Madrid. And, the upscale Salamanca neighborhood has the wealthiest homes in Spain and luxury shops for the finest shopping.
Madrid is one the best cities in Spain worth visiting for art, nightlife, shopping, and a fantastic culinary scene.
Find your stay in Madrid:: Booking.com; Vrbo, HotelsCombined
Tour Madrid: Check out the best Madrid tours and tickets
Explore Madrid cuisine and eateries: Check out the best Madrid food tours
Sunny Barcelona in Catalonia is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The city of Barcelona is the capital of the region of Catalonia. Barcelona is the second biggest city in Spain by population. But more importantly, the Catalonian capital is a city of special charm and character. Barcelona with its historic sites and eccentric architectural masterpieces is one of the most unique cities in Spain.
Above all, Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city with a bustling beach, vibrant Las Ramblas main street, romantic Barri Gotic neighborhood, Gaudi’s masterpieces (Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Sagrada Familia, and Park Guell), iconic Boqueria market, and fantastic restaurants with international food and tasty local Catalan food.
Barcelona’s cathedral of Sagrada Familia is one of the 12 Treasures of Spain, along with the Cathedral of Seville, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Cordoba Cathedral, Alhambra in Granada, Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Cave of Altamira, Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, La Concha Beach in San Sebastian, Roman Theatre of Mérida, City of Arts and Science in Valencia and Teide National Park in Tenerife.
Visiting Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, and Park Guell is one of my most memorable experiences in Spain, I strongly recommend it to everyone.
Barcelona is one of the best European city break destinations. Barcelona will suit your taste if you are after sun, beach, art, and great nightlife.
Find your stay in Barcelona: Booking.com, Vrbo, HotelsCombined
Tour Barcelona: Check out the best Barcelona tours and tickets
Explore Barcelona cuisine and eateries: Check out the best Barcelona food tours
Royal Seville is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain.
Elegant Seville is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Magnificent Seville is a top tourist destination in southern Spain, and beyond.
Seville is one of the most famous cities in Spain for its beauty. The Andalusian capital has a sublime mix of Andalusian, Islamic, Gypsy, and Jewish cultures with a unique aristocratic vibe.
Seville is home to the Seville Cathedral (the world’s largest Gothic cathedral), the Alcázar of Seville (one of the most extravagant royal palaces in the World), the marvelous Plaza de Espana, and the interesting Metropol Parasol.
The capital of Andalucia is one of the best cities in Spain worth visiting. Today Seville is the popular starting point of the Camino de Santiago Via de la Plata route too.
Seville is one of the cities everyone needs to visit once in a lifetime.
READ MORE: Things to do in Seville, Spain
Are you ready to visit Seville?
BEST EXPERIENCES AND TOURS IN SEVILLE:
Seville Cathedral and Giralda: Skip-the-Line Ticket (the top-selling Skip-the-Line ticket)
Seville: Royal Alcazar, Cathedral, and Giralda Guided Tour (the most popular guided tour)
Seville: Casa de la Memoria Flamenco Show (ticket for the most popular flamenco show)
Seville: Authentic and Romantic Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride (a popular tour)
Seville: Tapas Crawl (for foodies)
BEST HOTELS IN SEVILLE:
Hotel Casa Del Poeta (luxury)
Puerta Catedral Indias Lofts (mid-range)
For You Hostel Sevilla (budget)
4. SAN SEBASTIAN
San Sebastian is arguably the most refined city in Spain.
San Sebastian in the Basque Country is a paradise for beach lovers, foodies, architecture fans, and outdoors enthusiasts.
Glamourous San Sebastian is celebrated for its picturesque setting facing the Biscay Bay, pristine white sand beaches, luxurious beachside mansions, and excellent Basque cuisine accompanied by innovative chefs.
Luxurious San Sebastian was a favorite holiday destination of Spanish and French aristocracy. The architecture of San Sebastian shows the splendor of the aristocratic days from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Queen Maria Cristina set up her royal summerhouse in San Sebastian during the Belle Époque era. Coco Chanel and Leon Trotsky enjoyed spending their holidays in San Sebastian too.
Beautiful San Sebastian tops the list of the best destinations in Spain for foodies. San Sebastian is a top culinary destination in the world with the second-highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants per square meter in the world. San Sebastian is known as the culinary capital of Spain!
San Sebastian’s La Concha beach is voted the most beautiful urban beach in Europe. In addition, La Concha beach is one of the 12 Treasures of Spain.
Without a doubt, San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain!
So, it’s no surprise, that San Sebastian is a popular stop on the Camino del Norte of Camino de Santiago as well. On my Camino del Norte hike I fell in love with it.
Find your stay in San Sebastian: Booking.com, Vrbo, HotelsCombined
Tour San Sebastian: Check out the best San Sebastian tours and tickets
Explore San Sebastian cuisine and eateries: Check out the best San Sebastian food tours
Beautiful Valencia is one of the most popular beach cities in Spain.
Incredible Valencia is famous for its amazing City of Arts and Sciences complex. The complex is one of the 12 Treasures of Spain.
The City of Arts and Sciences complex includes several buildings: the Oceanogràfic (Europe’s biggest aquarium), Hemisfèric (a digital 3D cinema), Umbracle (a garden), Science Museum (with interactive exhibitions related to science and technology), Palau de Les Arts (the Opera House), and Ágora ( an events’ venue).
If you are after the sun, beaches, and modern architecture, you’ll love Valencia.
Find your stay in Valencia: Booking.com, Vrbo, HotelsCombined
Tour Valencia: Check out the best Valencia tours and tickets
Explore Valencia cuisine and eateries: Check out the best Valencia food tours
Bilbao, nicknamed ‘the city of the Guggenheim‘, is the capital of the Basque country.
Bilbao is considered the creative capital of northern Spain. This Spanish city has a unique mix of modern avant-garde and traditional architecture.
Bilbao is cool and traditional at the same time. Bilbao is famed for the jaw-dropping Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, picturesque net of old streets called Las Siete Calles (The Seven Streets), Mercado de la Ribera Market (the largest indoor market in Europe), and the Casco Viejo neighborhood with the Cathedral of Santiago, the Plaza Nueva, and the Churches of San Antón, San Nicolás, and San Juan.
The capital of the Basque country is one of the best cities in Spain, well worth visiting.
Bilbao is one of the top must-see places in Spain. I visited Bilbao on my way to Santiago de Compostela during my Camino del Norte hike. And, I loved it!
Find your stay in Bilbao: Booking.com, Vrbo, HotelsCombined
Tour Bilbao: Check out the best Bilbao tours and tickets
Explore Bilbao cuisine and eateries: Check out the best Bilbao food tours
Glorious Granada is one of the most celebrated cities in Spain.
Picturesque Granada is located in Darro Valley in the foothill of the legendary Sierra Nevada in Andalucia.
Granada is home to the Moorish masterpiece of Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens, the celebrated old Arabic quarter of Albayzin, and the popular caves of the gypsy quarter of Sacromonte. Among other things, Granada is famous for delicious tapas offered traditionally for free in the bars of Granada. Spanish tapas are among the most famous Mediterranean food!
Just to remind you, Alhambra Palace is the most visited site in Spain.
Granada with Alhambra is one of the best cities in Spain worth seeing.
RELATED READ: Tips for Visiting Alhambra
Ready to visit Granada?
BEST EXPERIENCES AND TOURS OF ALHAMBRA:
Granada: Alhambra Skip-the-Line Tour with Nasrid Palaces (the most popular Skip-the-Line guided tour in Alhambra)
Málaga: Alcazaba and Roman Theatre Guided Tour With Entry (the best-seller Skip-the-Line tickets)
BEST HOTELS IN GRANADA:
Alhambra Palace – (luxury; just outside of the ancient walls of Alhambra)
Apartamentos Campo Del Príncipe – (mid-range; 10 min walk from the Alhambra Palace)
Lemon Rock Hostel – (budget, 25 min walk from the Palace Alhambra)
Lovely Cordoba is one of the most beautiful places in southern Spain.
Historic Cordoba was the capital of Moorish Spain. Cordoba is home to world-renowned Mezquita-Catedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), mesmerizing Moorish courtyards full of stunning fountains and exotic flowers, trees, and aromatic plants, gorgeous Calleja de las Flores (Alley of the Flowers), old Jewish Quarter, and beautiful Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos palace with gardens.
If you would like to see one of the most charming cities in Spain, put Cordoba on your itinerary.
Are you ready to visit Cordoba?
BEST EXPERIENCES AND TOURS IN CORDOBA:
Seville Cathedral and Giralda: Skip-the-Line Ticket (the top-selling Skip-the-Line ticket)
Córdoba: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Mosque-Cathedral Guided Tour (the most popular guided tour)
Cordoba Mosque, Synagogue & Jewish Quarter Tour with Tickets (a popular tour)
BEST HOTELS IN CORDOBA:
Las Casas de la Judería de Córdoba (luxury)
Hacienda Posada de Vallina (mid-range)
Mayflowers Hostel (budget)
The Old City of Salamanca is also a World Heritage Site.
Salamanca is home to the Salamanca University (one of the oldest European universities), the Baroque-style Plaza Mayor, the historical Casa da las Conchas built in Gothic and Renaissance-style with some Mudejar elements, the fantastic Museo Art Nouveau y Deco, glorious Old Cathedral and New Cathedral, and elegant Roman Bridge.
Salamanca is a must-visit place in Spain for people who enjoy history, historical sites, and wonderful medieval architecture.
Salamanca is a stop on the Via de la Plata route of the famous Camino de Santiago hike in Spain.
Are you planning a trip to Salamanca last minute?
If you are traveling to Salamanca last minute, I prepared for you a short summary of the best tours in Salamanca, the best hotels in Salamanca, and more!
BEST EXPERIENCES AND TOURS IN SALAMANCA:
Madrid: Tour of Avila & Salamanca (the most popular day tour from Madrid)
Salamanca: Private Tour with a Local (the most popular guided tour)
BEST HOTELS IN SALAMANCA:
Hospes Palacio de San Esteban (luxury)
Soho Boutique Salamanca (mid-range)
Hotel Reyes Catolicos (budget)
Amazing Toledo was the capital of Spain, before Madrid.
The old city of Toledo is renowned for its beauty. Toledo is a World Heritage City in Spain.
Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived peacefully in Toledo for centuries. They left an outstanding architectural heritage of over 100 historic monuments: churches, mosques, synagogues, and palaces in Toledo.
The Toledo Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece. The Franciscan Monastery of San Juan de Los Reyes is a must-see in Toledo, while the Jewish Quarter is one of the most picturesque areas of Toledo. El Transito Synagogue and Sephardic Museum in Toledo provide a glimpse into the interesting history of Toledo and Spain. Besides that, the Alcázar of Toledo features a one-of-a-kind military museum.
Toledo is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain worth visiting.
Visiting Toledo on a day trip from Madrid is one of the most popular day trips from Madrid.
Toledo is only 30 min by train from Madrid. It takes only 1 h by bus from Madrid to Toledo too. Toledo is 1 h by car from Madrid as well.
Charming Cadiz is the oldest city in Spain.
Cadiz on the Costa de la Luz is one of the best beach cities in southern Spain. But, first of all, Cadiz is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain.
Cadiz is one of the best places to visit in southern Spain for great seafood, pretty beaches, and friendly people. For history buffs, let’s say that Cadiz was founded by Phoenicians 3.000 years ago and is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Western Europe. Worth mentioning that the first constitution of Spain called La Pepa was established in Cadiz in the 19th century.
The prettiest sandy beaches of Cadiz are La Caleta beach, Santa Maria Del Mar beach, and La Victoria beach in Cadiz.
Cadiz is a popular stop on Andalusia road trip everyone should make in their lifetime.
Malaga in Andalusia is the capital of Costa del Sol.
Beautiful Costa del Sol is one of the sunniest places in Europe with the most amazing sandy beaches in Europe.
Costa del Sol is a synonym for sunshine, sandy beaches, and flavorsome Spanish food.
Malaga is one of the most vibrant beach cities in Spain. The capital of Costa del Sol is one of the best Spain vacation spots and one of the best cities in Spain for leisure and pleasure. Malaga is a paradise for museum lovers, beach enthusiasts, and foodies.
Malaga has more than 30 museums, among which Museo Pablo Picasso is probably the best known. Malaga is the birth town of Pablo Picasso. Malaga is known for the lovely 11th-century Gibralfaro Castle and Moorish fortress of Alcazaba, numerous Michelin-star restaurants, traditional tapas bars, and upscale cocktail bars.
The capital of Costa del Sol is one of the best cities in Spain that deserves a visit.
READ MORE: Best things to do in Malaga, Spain
Are you ready for visiting Malaga?
BEST EXPERIENCES AND TOURS IN MALAGA:
Malaga: Sunset Sailing Catamaran Trip with Glass of Cava( the most popular tour in Malaga, especially loved by couples)
Málaga: Alcazaba and Roman Theatre Guided Tour With Entry (a top-selling tour in Malaga)
Málaga: Flamenco Show at Tablao Alegría (a top seller show in Malaga, loved by solo travelers and families with kids)
Málaga: Evening Wine and Tapas Tour (the most popular tour in Malaga for foodies)
From Málaga: Caminito del Rey Guided Tour with Bus (the most popular day trip from Malaga)
From Costa del Sol or Malaga: Granada and Alhambra Tour ( a top day trip from Malaga)
BEST HOTELS IN MALAGA:
Gran Hotel Miramar (luxury)
Hotel Eurostars Málaga (mid-range)
Alcazaba Premium Hotel(budget)
Pamplona is the historic capital of the Kingdom of Navarre.
Beautiful Pamplona in the Navarre region is a popular stop on the famous Camino de Santiago Pilgrim’s Route.
Pamplona is probably best known for the San Fermin festival with running bulls. The festival is held from 6-14 July.
Lovely Pamplona is a beautiful medieval town, still partially surrounded by medieval walls. It has a 6th-century citadel, a Baroque town hall, and a Gothic cathedral.
Pamplona is also a famous culinary destination for fantastic pintxos.
Pamplona is close to San Sebastian. It takes 1 h and 30 min by bus from San Sebastian to Pamplona. Pamplona is 1 h by car from San Sebastian. And a train ride from San Sebastian to Pamplona takes about 1 h and 45 min.
Pamplona is not far away from Zaragoza either. Pamplona is about 2 h by bus from Zaragoza, while a train ride from Zaragoza to Pamplona takes 1 h and 50 min.
Segovia is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Beautiful Segovia in the Castilla and Leon region is a World Heritage City, famous for its Roman aqueduct with over 160 arches, wonderful Gothic-style cathedral, and incredible Alcázar of Segovia castle.
Incredible Segovia is often visited on a day trip from Madrid.
Segovia is close to Madrid. Segovia is a 1-hour drive from Madrid. It takes only 1 h by train from Madrid to Segovia, while a bus ride from Madrid to Segovia takes 1 h and 20 min.
Ronda is the most spectacular and dramatic city in Spain sitting on the cliff above the El Tajo gorge in Andalusia in southern Spain.
Ronda is the birthplace of bullfighting. Ronda’s Plaza de Toro, the oldest bullring in Spain. Ronda is one of the most picturesque towns in Andalusia and one of those unforgettable must-see places in Spain. The impressive Puente Nuevo bridge over the gorge and Banos Arabes, one of the best-preserved Arab Baths in Andalusia, are sites not to be missed in Ronda.
Ronda has been especially loved by writers, artists, and alike. Just to say it, Ernest Hemingway and Alexander Dumas praised the beauty of Ronda.
Take a road trip to Andalucia and visit the beautiful Ronda. Read my Andalucia road trip!
16. JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA
Jerez is the heart and the essence of Andalusia.
Jerez de la Frontera is the birthplace of flamenco and the hometown of Andalusian horses and sherry wine.
Jerez is the perfect place to indulge in authentic sherry wine and some extraordinary mouthwatering tapas bites in old sherry stores called ‘tabancos‘ where wines go directly from the barrels to your glass. Take ‘ruta de tabancos‘ for an authentic sherry experience in Spain! Jerez is one of the best places to visit in Spain in May when Feria del Caballo, the annual fair of flamenco, sherry wine, and Andalusian horses takes place.
Unquestionably, Jerez is one of the most authentic cities in southern Spain and one of the unique places to visit in Spain.
Jerez de la Frontera is close to Cadiz in Andalucia, southern Spain. It takes only about 40 min by train from Cadiz to Jerez de la Frontera. Jerez is also 1 h by bus from Cadiz. And, only 20 min by car takes from Cadiz to Jerez.
Gorgeous Girona is a medieval walled town located between Barcelona and Costa Brava in Catalonia.
It’s nicknamed the ‘City of the Four Rivers’. Girona has a beautiful old Jewish Quarter (one of the best-preserved Jewish Quarters in Europe), a lovely baroque cathedral (the filming location of Braavos in Season 6 of Game of Thrones), charming River Onyar, hanging bridges, picturesque arcaded houses along the river, medieval walls walkway called the Passeig de la Muralla, and famous Eiffel bridge over the Onyar River (Eiffel made it before the Eiffel Tower in Paris).
Catalonian Girona is also a gastronomic paradise for fresh fish and shellfish. If you’d love to try fresh seafood in Spain, check out great Michelin-star restaurants in Girona.
Girona is close to Barcelona. Girona is easily visited on a day trip from Barcelona. It takes only 40 min by train, and about 1 h and 15 min by bus from Barcelona to Girona.
Lovely Burgos in the Castilla region is located on the UNESCO Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Compostela.
Burgos is a wonderful stop on the way from Madrid to Basque Country.
Burgos is known for the outstanding French-Gothic style Burgos Cathedral (a UNESCO site), the royal Monasterio de las Huelgas with the tombs of many kings and queens, the Isabelline Gothic-style Cartuja de Miraflores monastery, and Arco de Santa María (former main gates to the old city).
Burgos is about 3 hours by bus and about 3 hours by train from Madrid.
Burgos is also 1 h and 45 min from Bilbao. It takes 2 h and 30 min by train from Bilbao to Burgos.
If you are visiting San Sebastian, Burgos is 3 hours by train from San Sebastian as well.
The Old City of Avila in Spain is a World Heritage Site.
It is called the ‘finest medieval remnant in Spain‘. Avila is nicknamed the Town of Stones and Saints.
It’s probably best known for the impressive 2-km long medieval walls and as the hometown of Saint Teresa of Avila (a Catholic saint and mystic).
If you would love to see the ‘finest medieval remnant in Spain’, head to Avila.
I did a 4-day Camino Teresiano hike from Avila to Alba. The Ruta Teresina (aka Camino Teresiano) follows the footsteps of St Teresa of Avila from her birthplace in Avila to her tomb in Alba de Tormes. I enjoyed visiting Avila and all places on the route!
Avila is one of the most authentic cities in Spain I’ve seen!
Visiting Avila with the abovementioned Segovia on a day trip from Madrid is one of the most sought-after day trips from Madrid.
Avila is easily visited from Madrid.
It takes 1 h and 30 min by train from Madrid to Avila. A bus ride from Madrid to Avila takes also 1 h and 30 min.
Are you ready to visit Avila?
BEST EXPERIENCES AND TOURS IN AVILA, SPAIN:
From Madrid: Avila and Segovia Day Trip with Alcazar (the most popular tour of Avila from Madrid)
Avila: Guided City Tour in Tuk Tuk (the most popular tour in Avila)
BEST HOTELS IN AVILA SPAIN:
Best Western Premier Sofraga Palacio (luxury)
Palacio Valderrabanos (mid-range)
Hostal Alcántara (budget)
20. SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
The Old City of Santiago in Galicia, Spain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s best known for the outstanding Cathedral of St James with the holy tomb of St. James the Apostle. Saint James the Apostle brought Christianity to the Iberian peninsula. St James the Apostle is the saint patron of Spain. The tomb in the Cathedral marks the end of the famous pilgrims’ route of the Camino de Santiago. The sensational Portico da Gloria, the main doors of the Cathedral are known as the greatest masterpiece of Romanesque architecture in Spain.
Santiago de Compostela in Spain is one of the most famous Christian pilgrimage sites, along with Jerusalem and Rome. But regardless of its religious importance, the Old City of Santiago is one of the most picturesque cities in Spain. The Old City has a wonderful mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassicist buildings.
Santiago de Compostela in Galicia is a must-see Spanish city.
Fly to Santiago de Compostela: Check out flights to Santiago de Compostela
Find your stay in Santiago de Compostela: Book a room in Santiago de Compostela
Tour Santiago de Compostela: Check out the best Santiago de Compostela tours and tickets
Explore Santiago de Compostela cuisine and eateries: Check out the best Santiago de Compostela food tours
The ultimate guide to Camino del Norte
Camino de Santiago packing list
The ultimate guide to Camino de Santiago a Fisterra
You might be surprised, but the wonderful Zaragoza on the Río Ebro in Aragon is the fifth largest city in Spain.
Zaragoza is known for the outstanding Mudéjar architecture of Aragon. The remarkable Mudéjar architecture of Aragon is enlisted in UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Some of the most spectacular sites of Zaragoza are Baroque Nuestra Señora del Pilar basilica, the 11th-century Moorish palace of Aljafería, and the 12th-century Cathedral of the Savior (or La Seo Cathedral).
The striking Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pilar is a landmark of Zaragoza. The basilica is dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a famous pilgrim site for Christians of all denominations.
Joyous ‘El Pilar’ festival is the most important annual festival in Zaragoza. It celebrates ‘La Virgen del Pilar’ who is called “Patrona de la Hispanidad” (the patron saint of all Hispanic people). The festival happens in the week of the 12th of October and it attracts to Zaragoza not only people from across Spain but also from Latin America. The population of Zaragoza increases three times during the’El Pilar’.
Gorgeous Zaragoza is a true hidden gem in Spain and one of the most beautiful and authentic cities in Spain.
Zaragoza is easily visited from Barcelona. It takes only 1 h and 20 min by train from Barcelona to Zaragoza. A bus ride from Barcelona to Zaragoza takes 3 h and 30 min.
Zaragoza is also easily visited from Madrid. It takes 1 h and 20 min by train from Madrid to Zaragoza as well. Buts, a bus ride from Madrid to Zaraagzoa takes 4 hours.
Beautiful Alicante is one of the most touristy cities in Spain.
It is located in the heart of Costa Blanca.
Alicante is one of the most beautiful beach cities in Spain. The city has a wonderful marina, a colorful old town, cozy coffee shops, and great seafood restaurants.
Castle of Santa Bárbara, El Postiguet (the main Alicante beach), white sandy San Juan Playa (the most popular beach in Alicante), elegant La Rambla (the main street), marble tiled Explanda de Espana boulevard, and the Baroque style Santa Maria Basilica are the top places to visit in Alicante.
The fascinating Canelobre Caves, the largest and the deepest caves in Spain are only 20 km from Alicante.
Find your stay in Alicante: Booking.com, Vrbo, HotelsCombined
Tour Alicante: Check out the best Alicante tours and tickets
Explore Alicante cuisine and eateries: Check out the best Alicante food tours
23. PUEBLA DE SANABRIA
Puebla de Sanabria is one of the most beautiful places in Spain I have been to.
In the summer of 2022, I hiked Camino de Santiago Camino Sanabres and I got bewitched by the beauty of Puebla the minute I saw it.
The magical medieval town of Puebla de Sanabria is officially listed among ‘Los pueblos mas bonitos de España’ (the most beautiful towns in Spain). Puebla de Sanabria is a national cultural and artistic site in Spain. It is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Spain.
The most famous sites in Puebla are the 15th-century Castle of Benavente Counts, the 13th-century Nuestra Señora de Azogue church, the San Carlos fort, and the 17th-century San Cayetano hermitage.
Puebla is among the top tourist attraction and among the most visited places in Spain. Spaniards are especially proud of and love this medieval fairytale town!
Puebla de Sanabria lies on the two rivers (Tera river and Castro river) in the Castilla and Leon province in Spain.
Puebla de Sanabria is 114 km northwest of the town of Zamora in Castille and Leon and 148 km southeast of Ourense in Galicia.
When you hike Camino de Santiago you discover hidden treasures in Spain.
The town of Zamora was one of the treasures I found on the Camino de Santiago Via de la Plata route.
The medieval town of Zamora is famous for having the largest number of Romanesque churches in Europe. It has 24 Romanesque churches dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries. For the same reason, Zamora is called the ‘Romanesque City‘ in Spain and beyond. Medieval Zamora had a strategic position and stood at a crossroads of trade routes. Today, Zamora is on the famous Transromanica, the Romanesque route of European Heritage, and a major cultural route of Europe.
It is obvious why history and art lovers appreciate Zamora! Zamora represents one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in Spain. Regardless if you are an art or history devotee, you have to appreciate the uniqueness of Zamora! In addition, Zamora is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Spain.
Want to have one of the most memorable stays in Spain? Check out the gorgeous 15th-century Parador de Zamora!
Zamora is 37 km north of Salamanca in the Castille and Leon province. It takes only 45 min by car from Salamanca to Zamora. Zamora is also one hour drive from Valodidad and 90 min train ride from Madrid.
25. SANTILLANA DEL MAR
Camino de Santiago routes have an abundance of historically and culturally significant places in Spain.
In the summer of 2021, I hiked Camino del Norte and visited Santillana de Mar on the route.
Santillana del Mar is a stunning medieval town in Spain. The entire town is a registered National Monument of Spain. Santillana is a top tourist destination in Spain. It is a favorite weekend gateway of Spaniards. Spaniards claim Santillana as one of the most beautiful places in Spain. I have to agree with them! The medieval architecture of Santillana del Mar is absolutely breathtaking.
Besides that, the famous Altamira Caves are only 2 km away from Santillana del Mar.
The celebrated Altamira caves hold some of the most outstanding prehistoric art in the world. They are a UNESCO World Heritage site. So, many people choose to stay in Santillana del Mar on their visit to Altamira Caves.
Santillana del Mar is in Cantabria, only 28 km southwest of Santander. In other words, Santillana del Mar is only 25 min drive from Santander.
26. SAN VICENTE DE LA BARQUERA
When I list the most beautiful places in Spain, it might seem like I am trying to convince you to hike Camino de Santiago.
Well, the fact is that truly incredible villages, towns, and cities are on Camino routes.
No one can deny, San Vicente de la Barquera is among the most picturesque places in Spain. And, it is on Camino del Norte.
San Vicente de la Barquera was once an important port from where expeditions sailed on the discovery of Newfoundland. Today the Old Town is a site of National Cultural Interest in Spain. The town is famous for its historical sites but also for beautiful beaches like Playa de Oyambre, Playa Meron, and Playa De Gerra. San Vicente de la Barquera is a popular beach destination in Spain.
Antonio Banderas is the most famous resident of San Vicente de la Barquera. He was born and raised in Malaga in southern Spain. But, he fell in love with San Vicente de la Barquera and bought a house in this charming town in Green Spain.
San Vicente de la Barquera is in the estuary of the Ria river with a backdrop of the Picos de Europa mountains in Cantabria on the west coast of Spain. San Vicente de la Barquera is only 45 min drive from Santander in Cantabria in northern Spain.
27. TAPIA DE CASARIEGO
Are you interested in more hidden gems in Spain?
If so, wait to see the gorgeous Tapia de Casariego in Asturias!
Tapia de Casariego is one of the most stunning towns in northern Spain. It is a popular beach destination among Spaniards.
Tapia is famous for breathtaking sea cliffs, beautiful beaches, an incredible saltwater pool, surfing and recreational areas, superb restaurants, and traditional seafood taverns with some of the best seafood in Spain you can find. This scenic town between the green sea cliffs is a famous fishing port in Spain with top-quality seafood restaurants and taverns. On top of it, Tapia is a well-known surfing place in Spain. Tapia’s sandy Anguliero beach hosts the World Surfing Championship. Besides that, the area is full of scenic hiking and cycling trails.
Tapia de Casaeiego is a top destination in Spain for sea and beach lovers, nature, and outdoor enthusiasts, and seafood devotees.
Tapia de Casaeiego is also on the El Camino del Norte route in Asturias in Spain. Tapia is about 75 mi (122 km) away from Gijon, 81 mi (127 km) away from Oviedo in Asturias, and 6 mi (11 km) away from Ribadeo in Galicia.
28. A CORUNA
A Coruña or Ciudad de Cristal (City of Glass) is among the most beautiful cities in Spain.
It is a city with a lovely medieval Old Town, beaches, museums, historical sites, and a World Heritage site.
A Coruña is famous for the stunning 19th-century glass galleries (enclosed glass balconies) along the city boulevards, among which the most striking are in Avenida de la Marina. The city was an important fishing port in the 19th century, and the galleries were fishermen’s homes.
The Old Town (Casco Antiguo) is among the prettiest old towns in Spain. The pedestrian alleys of the Old Town are full of trendy cafes, restaurants, and shops.
The 1st-century Torre de Hércules is the world’s oldest working lighthouse. This Roman-era tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site ad a symbol of a Coruna. Visitors can climb 200 steps of Torre de Hércules for spectacular views of the city.
However, Mirador Monte de San Pedro (the best viewpoint in the town) is a must-go for sunset. But one of the most picturesque places in A Coruna is the 16th-century Castillo de San Antón castle. The castle is on an island, and a bridge connects it to the mainland.
A Coruña has two sandy city beaches: Playa del Orzán and Playa de Riazor (popular among surfers). However, that is not all that A Coruna offers to its visitors. The Fine Arts Museum in A Coruna has a notable collection of paintings by Picasso, Rubens, Sorolla, and Tintoretto. Pablo Picasso lived in A Coruña between 1891 to 1895, and today Casa Museo Picasso in A Coruna is open for visitors.
A Coruña lies at the mouth of the Mero River on the Atlantic Coast in Galicia in northwest Spain. A Coruña is 75 km north of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. A Coruña Airport serves the city and Galicia.
In the summer of 2022, after finishing my Camino de Santiago a Finisterre hike and I visited A Coruñaand flew out of Spain from Coruña Airport.