best cities to visit in spain

The top 30 best cities to see in Spain


On this page, you can discover in pictures the 30 best cities to visit in Spain. Some are already well known for their architectural heritage or their geographical location, but others less known are however to discover because they are home to unsuspected wealth and are away from the tourist circuits.

A short description of each city will give you the necessary information to know exactly what to visit.

Although it is impossible to see everything in one trip, this selection may be useful for planning a visit itinerary if you are going to discover Spain for the first time, giving you a taste of cities not to be missed. miss.

Hoping that this selection is useful to you, do not hesitate to leave a comment if you think there are points to add.

Here are the top 30 most beautiful cities of Spain:

1. Córdoba

Once one of the largest Roman cities in Spain, Córdoba (Córdoba) is a very beautiful small town mainly known for the mosque-cathedral, the Mezquita, one of the most beautiful monuments of the country. Apart from that, Córdoba has very nice little streets and a restored Roman bridge where you can walk in the evening, by the river Guadalquivir. To visit also, the remains of the palace of Medinat al-Zahara (7 km from the city).

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2. Salamanca

Located in the center of Spain, Salamanca is a student town with one of the oldest universities in Europe, created in 1218. It has a large number of historical and religious monuments and its old town is a World Heritage Site. UNESCO. It is one of the essential tourist cities in Spain.

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3. Cuenca

About 150 km east of Madrid, Cuenca is one of the most beautiful fortified cities in Spain, set in a grandiose mountainous landscape where one can see houses perched on cliffs. And guess what, it’s still a classified UNESCO site. See also in the surroundings: the source of Río Cuervo and the amazing rock formations of Ciudad Encantada

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4. Tarragona

Located an hour’s drive south of Barcelona, Tarragona is a city with many Roman archaeological remains, including a large amphitheater overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and a beautiful aqueduct. The beaches are beautiful, there is a beautiful modern architecture and old, in short you guessed it … it is a site classified by UNESCO and more!

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5. Granada

Located at the foot of Sierra Nevada, Granada is home to the famous Alhambra, an incredibly well-preserved medieval palace that is Spain’s most visited tourist attraction. Do not miss the view from the Mirador San Nicolás.

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6. Toledo

Former capital of Spain until the mid-fifteenth century, Toledo has many buildings and artwork thanks to its past which has seen several cultures blending for five centuries, and is a World Heritage Site. UNESCO.

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7. Valencia

Nice city near the sea. To see first: the Barrio del Carmen and Plaza de la Virgen, and do not miss the impressive city of arts and sciences that can be reached by the park in the old bed from the Río Turia.

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8. Segovia

A little further north of Madrid is the town of Segovia, located at an altitude of 1000 meters and often ignored by tourists. The castle of Segovia is one of the most beautiful in Spain. There is also a Roman aqueduct 800 meters long rather impressive. And guess what, this is another UNESCO site.

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9. Girona

Located in Catalonia’s North-East Spain, Girona (Girona in French) is a pleasant little town to visit where you can discover ancient and well preserved medieval districts. Colorful houses run along the banks of the Onyar and give it an air of Florence.

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10. Guadalupe

A small town dominated by the Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, which was the largest in the country for more than five centuries (still a UNESCO site). The city itself has traditional houses around the main square and beautiful cobbled streets.

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11. Albarracín

Little known to tourists, Albarracín is a small medieval town surrounded by high walls built over successive periods. The Romans left many monuments.

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12. Jerez de la Frontera

30 km from Seville, Jerez de la Frontera is a charming town best known for the production of sherry, a brandy very popular with the British (you can visit the wine cellars). The city itself is very pleasant to visit, you can see the Alcazar, a Moorish fortress built in 1255 which houses a pretty mosque, Arab baths and beautiful gardens.

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most beautiful cities spain (13)
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13. Zaragoza

Halfway between Barcelona and Madrid, Zaragoza is located on the banks of the Ebro River. It has an important historical heritage: there are Roman ruins, many buildings (the Basilica del Pilar), the beautiful palace of Aljaferia and several art museums. It is also an ideal city to discover it on foot.

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14. Ronda

Located 100 km from Málaga, the city of Ronda is separated in two by a deep ravine of 130 meters. An immense bridge connects the two parts of the city from where one can admire a superb panorama of the valley below. It really is a must to see in Spain.

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15. León

Located in north-west Spain, León is an important stop for pilgrims heading to Santiago de Compostela but it is also a lively student town. It has one of the most beautiful gothic buildings in Spain, the Santa Maria de Leon cathedral.

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16. Antequera

Located 50 km north of Málaga, the city of Antequera has important monuments, baroque churches and a beautiful main square but the most visited site is a set of prehistoric dolmens located on the edge of the city. From Antequera (25 minutes by car) is the El Torkal Nature Park, which is also worth a visit to admire its strange geological formations.

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17. Ávila

The old town of Ávila is known for its imposing medieval wall, very well preserved (2500 meters long and 88 towers encircling the city), which used to protect it from the Moorish invasions. Ávila has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

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18. Barcelona

The second largest city in Spain and capital of Catalonia attracts many tourists for good reasons: its beaches, its many museums, its shopping, its Gothic quarter, its football team, its nightlife and its curious buildings made by the architect Antoni Gaudí as the famous Sagrada Família. Hard to see everything in one go!

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19. Madrid

Few architectural sites or landmark monuments when compared to Seville or Granada, but the lively and modern capital of Spain is best visited for its nightlife, excellent restaurants and atmosphere.

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20. Burgos

Known to be the birthplace of the Cid and modernized under the dictatorship of Franco, Burgos can be visited in one day, the time to see its cathedral, one of the most beautiful in Spain (and another UNESCO site) and its historic medieval center surrounded by green areas and parks, along the Arlanzón River.

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21. Úbeda

Its old quarter is one of the most beautiful in Spain and its Renaissance-style buildings designed by the architect Andrés de Vandelvira among the most beautiful in Europe. Do not miss the twin city of Baeza located 10 km from Úbeda, which also has some beautiful monuments.

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22. Cádiz

One of the oldest settlements of Spain, today a very beautiful sunny city and one of the main ports of the country, it is a pleasant city to explore on foot with large squares and two very beautiful beaches to bathe in the Atlantic. For a great 360 ° view of the city, go up to Torre Tavira.

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23. Consuegra

Little known, the town of Consuegra is at the foot of a hill where were built in the sixteenth century twelve windmills, which inspired the writer Cervantes to write Don Quixote. The ruined castle next door completes this very picturesque picture.

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24. Málaga

At first glance not very attractive, yet it is a very nice city with a promenade at the seaside where there are many restaurants, bars and shops (nice to walk in the evening). The fort located in the middle of the city offers a splendid view and gives a taste of the Alhambra of Granada.

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25. Ourense

To visit in a day, Ourense (or Orense) has ancient Roman bridges that cross the Miño River, but also the modern Ponte Milenio. Like most Spanish cities, visit the cathedral is to do and there are hot springs outside the city.

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26. Bilbao

Spain’s largest port and former industrial city, Bilbao is best known for the Guggenheim Museum, which has had a major impact on the city’s tourist activity. You can also stroll through the historic district and discover some excellent tapas bars.

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27. Mérida

An ancient Roman capital founded in -25 BC which has left many vestiges among the most beautiful in Europe, especially a monumental amphitheater still used for shows and performances.

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28. Palma de Mallorca

A must-see for those arriving in Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands has an imposing Gothic cathedral facing the sea. The historic district is pleasant to explore on foot. See also, the Almudaina Palace which faces the cathedral.

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29. Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela (Santiago de Compostela) is best known as an important pilgrimage site, but it is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain thanks to its beautiful cathedral and its old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. the beauty of its monuments.

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30. Sevilla

Marvelous Andalusian city with exceptional places to visit including the Alcazar and its gardens, the cathedral where the tomb of Christopher Columbus is, and the beautiful Plaza de España (see photo). Count two days to enjoy the city.

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Other cities and towns worth visiting also in Spain:

  • Oviedo
  • Puebla de Sanabria
  • Alquézar
  • Daroca
  • Jaen
  • Huesca
  • Morella
  • Santillana del Mar
  • Valladolid
  • Pamplona
  • Logroño
  • Caceres
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