Spain is not just about Bullfighting, tango, or La Liga. Spain is a city steeped in history, with a distinct culture and hundreds of years of gorgeous landmarks. There are so many things to do in Spain, to see, to eat, and to make your time in this country rewarding and removable.
Today, we will help you plan your vacation in Spain like a local. We don’t want to make this one like every traveler. “Okay, guys I have eaten free Tapas, seen La Sagrada Familia, and of course visited Camp Nou in Barcelona, as I am a big fan, you know. But what else?”
You will never ask this question again after reading our guide. You will have many more things to do in Spain, and guess what, “not many people have known about this before.”
So, when you post an Instagram photo, everybody will ask about “why I didn’t go when I was in Spain last year.”
Because you are unique, we make this list post. Ready! Let’s get started.
Tips You Need to Know or Do Before Traveling to Spain
To see the country through the eyes of the locals, we have compiled some essential things you have to know before traveling to Spain, as well as some things you need to do to understand this beautiful country and make the most of your time there.
1- Building a Solid Knowledge of Spain Cities and Where You Want to Go
We recommend reading a great book or maybe two about the history of the city and other regions. You will discover a lot of spots you have never heard of before. You can start with a book like Ghosts of Spain, your beginner’s guide to grasp the country’s brief history, including the civil wars and the ancient nations that once inhabited the region.
With over 16 autonomous regions, Spain is a genuinely complex country. It’s unusual to visit them all, but you have to identify your priorities to help you see through the Spanish soul.
2- There are More Than One Language in Spain
You might think that if you can speak Spanish, you can go anywhere and communicate with strangers in Spanish confidently. But I am not pretty sure of that. Each region has its own language.
There are Catalonia, Galicia, Basque, and Aragonese.
Anyway, all Spanish people can understand original Spanish. But if you aim to make relationships here or chat with locals, show respect for them by learning simple words from their dialects.
3- Spanish People Appreciate Nightlife and Socializing
In Spain, People usually go out in the evening, about 8:00 pm, to sit in a square or just on a bench which refers to “paseo” activity. That means an evening walk before dinner, particularly on the weekends.
So, if you want to get close to Spanish culture, go out in this time strike up a conversation with locals where old ladies walk arm in arm, and people put nicer clothes on often. It’s a beautiful time to engage in some “people watching” or maybe bring a package of sunflower seeds. (Be sure that you have the skill to grab the seeds inside them)
4- August is Not the Best Time to Visit Spain
Spain has Mediterranean weather, which means in the summer, it turns to be extremely hot. However, there is plenty to see in the historical sites, visiting them in the morning of August will be the worst decision you have ever made.
Besides being overcrowded, you will most likely lose your temper because of the hot weather. Instead, it’s better to plan your visit to Spain for a later date or make your historical tour in the evening.
And if you are still wondering about the best time to visit Spain, it’s late May till early July and early September till early October.
5- Not Be Dedicated to the Only Neighborhood You Stay
I know you might feel scared of exploring the surrounding areas of your accommodation. Or you may not be sure that roaming around the most populated metropolitan is a good idea.
But trust me, Spain is totally safe, especially in tourist neighborhoods. But you also need to be around the locals, buy beautiful souvenirs for affordable prices, and you just need to see different angles of society. All books and articles do not present the most accurate picture of real life in Spain, and when you get close enough, you can see it.
Top Things to Do in Spain
1- Hit Up the TripAdvisor’s Most-Visited Attraction: Prado National Museum
Location: Calle Ruiz de Alarcon, Madrid
How to get there: 7 minutes away from Atocha metro station
Price: Around USD 18
It’s an enormous area brimming with the most extensive collection of artworks. If you are one of the highbrows fascinated by unique medieval art, we kindly ask you to add this place to your bucket list.
Why should you visit the Prado National Museum?
Walking through these rooms of the Prado National Museum means being awe-inspiring. You are going to explore the legends and symbols of this marvelous world that last for thousands of years.
It’s the tail across centuries of the entire history, not just here in Spain, but the history of whole Europe. Simply, the Prado National Museum makes Spain one of the top tourist destinations across the world. People are showing up here to see over 8000 art treasures of the masterpieces created by notable artists in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Prado National Museum is the site of memory and a reflection for our present, as all pieces will teach you a different lesson. You can feel that history oozes from every one of its paintings.
Passing from a room to another will take you on a trip through the years. Each area contains a store that will provide you with valuable information through one of the most well-known methods, painting. You will be able to sense the flow of life and history and learn about the secrets of world art.
Things to Do:
- Walking around the halls of the museum to explore the most top-notch artwork in the world.
- Pay for an English-language book guide to learn more about the pieces you’re about to see.
- Before embarking on this spectacular tour, snapping away in the outside space or bringing your coffee.
- Taking a brief walk through the lush grounds that surround the museum.
- Discover royal artifacts such as tables, thrones, and other accessories that belonged to royal families.
Things not to Do:
- Photos and videos are not allowed inside the museum.
- Don’t go there without booking an online ticket to avoid long lines, but if the online tickets are sold out, you can take one from the Museum’s ticket offices.
- Baby strollers are not permitted for security purposes.
Pro Tip: If you want to get free access to the Prado National Museum, go there on Sundays and Mondays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
2- Don’t Miss A Historical Tour: Santiago De Compostela
Location: northwestern Spain, the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia
How to get there: The best way to travel from Madrid to Santiago De Compostela is by train which will take you 5 hours for around USD 50
Price: Free admission for almost all attractions there
Santiago De Compostela is a city where you can never go there without reading about its distinctive personalities. It’s the final destination of a traditional pilgrimage known as Camino De Santiago. This ritual is still so important to many Christians who come here periodically to visit the Cathedral and practice their religious traditions.
Why should you visit Santiago De Compostela?
The main square is the starting point of most visitors, located in the city’s heart and dotted with different landmarks. This dazzling plaza should be your first stop as it hosts the most fantastic attraction here, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It’s a worthy sightseeing spot. Being there will bring a reaction of “My goodness!” with its splined design and impressive towers looming in the skyline of Spain.
Its spellbound facade follows a mix of art styles, but you can say it’s a model of Spanish Baroque art.
Then, plan to visit the Hostal de Los Reyes Católicos, created to be a cozy accommodation for pilgrims. You don’t need to stay here, just a visit to this historical monument is sufficient.
Things to Do:
- Explore the iconic structure of Santiago de Compostela, the Cathedral, home to the tombs of Saint James, and admire the priceless facade, which is a spell of enchantment.
- Take a respite in the vast internal terraces of the Hostal de Los Reyes Católicos, located right close to the Cathedral.
- Pay a visit to the main square of the old city, Plaza del Obradoiro, located on the east side of the Cathedral.
- Learn more about the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, or consider participating in this ceremony, but keep in mind that this journey may not suit you. It’s a 30-day hike covering at least 100 kilometers.
- The Museo de las Peregrinaciones y de Santiago is a museum dedicated to the history of pilgrimage. You’ll discover a lot about Saint James and why this voyage is so significant to many Christians all over the world.
Things not to Do:
- Don’t travel to Santiago de Compostela without making sure that the Cathedral is available for visiting and not closed for any renovation works.
- Wearing something that exposes your shoulders or legs is not a good idea. If you want to see the Cathedral and remain for a while, dress appropriately.
- You wouldn’t be able to see everything in Santiago de Compostela in a single day. Staying in a hotel for a night before continuing your holiday in Spain or as your final stop before returning home would be ideal.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to taste the local seafood, which can be found in plenty at Casco Antiguo. So, take a stroll down the Ra Nueva and Ra del Villarsquare streets, and you will find a plethora of intriguing sights, including old buildings, cozy bars, and coffee shops.
3- Discover Overrated Cities in Spain, Altea
Location: A coastal village located in Costa Blanca
How to get there: The best way to travel from Madrid to Altea is by train which will take you more than 6 hours for around USD 80
Price: Free admission for most attractions there. Just roaming around streets here will give you an amazing experience.
Exploring lesser-known parts of Spain will add an extra dose of joy to your trip here. You now know something other people don’t have any idea about. Most importantly, it is less busy, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time without feeling rushed.
Of course, you need to discover the big cities in Spain, like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, etc. They have a rich experience brimming with history, museums, and large parks.
But have you ever searched online for other beautiful regions and villages? Can you squeeze in and fit in some overrated cities? What do you think of rural experiences and lesser-visited areas of Spain?
Why should you visit Altea?
In Altea, There are so many fantastic adventures waiting for you. When I was putting together this essay for you, I was surprised to discover that practically every article about the best things to do in Spain fails to mention this lovely city.
I am sure your visit here will be filled with an aggregate of small moments of joy while walking alongside the beach or eating delicious cuisine and discovering the hidden gems of Altea in the narrow alleys.
Things to Do:
- Take a walk up to the center of Altea and get the best views of the village overlooking the sea.
- Go shopping and buy all the souvenirs you want for your friends at affordable prices. It’s a great deal.
- The village has a mishmash of excellent restaurants that will offer a stunning view of the Mediterranean while eating your meal.
- Visit the Parroquia Nuestra Senora del Consuelo, a magnificent cathedral in Altea’s heart.
- Chilling out on the beach, and many street performers are playing great music while sipping your beer if you are lucky.
Things not to Do:
- Inside the village, there is a hilltop hike, so be careful and wear comfortable shoes.
- If this is your first time doing such activities, don’t attempt to climb up the very steep slope. Regardless, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view.
- Don’t venture too far on your own on the streets. There are numerous tourist traps in the area.
Pro Tip: If you plan to visit Spain in the summer, Altea is a great option to enjoy pleasant weather and take a good stroll along streets lined with white buildings and bright flowers. Surprisingly, there were no large crowds of tourists.
4- Head for Granada for a Must- Seeing Attraction: Alhambra
Location: Calle Real de la Alhambra, Granada, Spain
How to get there: A few minutes walk from Alhambra – Generalife 2 bus stop which is the last station for bus C30.
Price: There are many types of tickets to enter Alhambra, but the total ticket price to explore all sections of the palace is around USD 37.
If you want to decipher encrypted mysteries of history in Spain, you will spend so much time. Much recognizable information needs you to dig into. Granda is such a place that has a long legacy of Islamic Moors ruling the area from 711, and your visit here will be unlike anything else.
Once you reach here, you can feel that it’s a separate province because of its unique atmosphere.
But if you want to know more about the Islamic society of Granada, without any doubt, go for Alhambra.
Why should you visit Alhambra?
This Islamic age has formed one of the most iconic sights in Spain because of the rare architecture and design represented in the last and most sumptuous Moorish palace, Alhambra. Nowhere else delivers the splendid of that sophisticated civilization, Al-Andalus, which still shines brightly from this epic fortress.
When most of Europe suffered from conflicts and civil wars, this city never gave up and awoke to rebuild its glory. The math rules constructed in this palace had dazzled Europeans at that age. Plus, Alhambra was a public space where society’s brightest minds studied engineering, medicine, and even Greek literature.
Things to Do:
- Walking around this beautiful spot to explore the Islamic history of Moorish kings.
- Admire the interior well-crafted design and aesthetic of this exquisite palace
- Visit the hall of ambassadors, which is flanked by a lovely fountain. It’s another incredible place to explore, with a wooden roof containing almost 8000 inlaid pieces.
- Engage in conversation with a tour guide to learn about the history of each chamber in the palace.
- Observing the sunset from the castle’s roof, testing the forgotten pleasures of a spectacular view.
Things not to Do:
- Don’t pay for an audio guide. Instead, the human tour guide is better than anything else, especially when we are talking about a place that has a plethora of history.
- Don’t be bothered when guards ask for your identification card more than seven times. Instead, hold it in your hand or a nearby pocket.
- Don’t go there in the afternoon. There’s a possibility you’ll be stuck in a crowd, and you’ll lose out on a lot of important information and regions.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to bring your passport or your ID with you for security purposes.
5- A Day to Remember: Visit Seville- Alcázar
Location: Patio de Banderas, Seville, Spain
How to get there: 12 minutes away from Alcazar bus stop.
Price: The general ticket without an audio guide will cost you about USD 13.
As you can see, there are numerous places to visit, attractions to see, culinary experiences to try out, activities to indulge in, and things to do and explore. Spain is a multiethnic country with a wide range of cultures, antiquities, and lifestyles. If you want to build relationships here to help you reach the treasure of the city. Alternatively, you can simply subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here
Back to the top places to visit in Spain, you should not miss out on exploring Alcázar in Seville, including archaeological findings dating back as far as the 8th century. Indeed, Seville has a history buff where there was a huge economic boom in the earlier centuries. You can find out all the fantastic places and other things to do in Seville from here.
Why should you visit Alcázar?
The Alcázar was the royal palace of Seville, renowned as one of the most beautiful buildings in Spain when it served as a fortress and another residence for the Andalusia Empire.
Throughout antiquity and later, Seville attracts millions of visitors to explore this outstanding Mudéjar architecture, a blend of Islamic and Spanish styles and displays very elaborate ornamentation. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has prospered greatly as a must-see attraction while visiting Seville.
Things to Do:
- A lovely place to visit in the morning but be keen to get involved in a local guide to explore all the rambling sections of Alcázar
- Visit all exhibits inside the palace to learn more about the Moorish era of this country.
- Although we encourage you to get engaged with the bustle of the city, you find in Alcázar a place to relax and unwind your mind.
- Take a stroll through the lush landscapes and explore labyrinths of flower-lined paths, and stop for a rest in the shade.
- However, you can eat Tapas for free in Granada, but the mouth-watering taste can only be found in Seville.
Things not to Do:
- Don’t go there without first purchasing a ticket online. Alcázar has a visitation capacity of only 250 people. As a result, you must avoid long lines and enter right away.
- You can’t decide to finish your tour of the palace right away. All visitors must follow the one-way direction rule.
- Suitcases and carts are not permitted entry.
Pro Tip: Between October and May is the most delicate time to visit Seville in general and Alcázar in particular. You’ll dodge the crowds and go inside the palace freely, allowing you to take stunning photos without interruption.
6- Let’s Go for Fun: Head to Valencia – City of the Arts and Sciences
Location: Av. Professor Lopez Pinero, Valencia, Spain
How to get there: 5 minutes away from Museu De Les Ciències bus stop.
Price: To visit the whole city, including three venues, for three days, you will pay about USD 45. You can also ask about another ticket if you plan to visit the city for a single time.
Spain doesn’t stop growth and expansion. So, if you have seen enough of Spain’s attractions and tourist spots, which I doubt, you can head to the Turia Gardens, which is the largest urban garden in the whole of Spain. This space will offer you a sublime mix of varied fun activities, and modern high-rise buildings, the City of the Arts and Sciences, all mingled together with a dash of Spanish life.
Why should you visit the City of the Arts and Sciences?
It’s not just a park for jogging or walking through terraces, or even sitting on benches. The Turia Gardens, which includes the City of the Arts and Sciences, is mainly known for its dramatic history. The whole area used to be a big flowing river, but, during the 50s, a heavy flood-hit Valencia badly.
After rerouting the river path, this fantastic park started to bloom along the riverbed and turned into a massive public park. The Spanish government has utilized this park so well. Vast green spaces everywhere; you can have recreational time here before heading to the City of the Arts and Sciences at the end of the park.
Things to Do:
- Walkthrough green spaces to relieve stress and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
- Relax in this gorgeous environment by running, cycling, skating, or bringing your favorite book.
- Visit the Science Museum to see the ant colony and the display about Mars.
- Visit the aquarium situated inside the museum’s city, including approximately thousands of varieties of aquatic species.
- Attend the dolphin show, especially if you have kids, but arrive well ahead of time.
Things not to Do:
- The City of the Arts and Sciences is located inside the Jardi del Turia or (the Turin Gardens), so you need to wear something comfortable because it is a long walk.
- Avoid long lines, and don’t show up here without booking your online ticket.
- Coming here on weekends during the summer will not be such a brilliant idea. The park turns to be crammed.
Pro Tip: Prices of drinks at the cafe could be pricey a little bit from others outside, but you’ll still have a fantastic time.
7- I think it’s Time to Go to Beach -Tossa de Mar
Location: Located on the coastal Costa Brava, about 103 kilometres north of Barcelona
How to get there: The best option is to book a flight ticket to Girona and then you can make it by bus or car. It takes about 1 hour, according to the season.
Price: Most attractions and beaches will offer you free admission.
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