Those who have even the least idea of Spain, the country will give them a unique vibrant feeling. A feeling that will associate with an image of sipping sangria (a typical beverage) while watching flamenco or a bullfight. It is one of the fewest countries that has been flourished by several influential civilizations, from the ancient monuments abandoned by the Romans and Moors, the middle ages turmoil between Muslims and Christian, later the Spanish Empire to the modern vibrant cities of Barcelona and Madrid.
It has a diverse landscape for which it earned the name “a miniature continent”. For rich historical background and abundance of natural beauties, Spain became the second most visited country in the world in 2007. It is full of high mountains and good ski resorts that attract the adventure lovers. The nightlife in Spain is also a major tourist attractions in Spain. It has fame to have some of the best nightlife in the world.
Best places to visit in Spain:
It is understandable that by selecting 10 most famous places in Spain will not going to quench your thrust about tourism in Spain. But if you are a first time visitor in Spain, this list will certainly help your decision making about where to go in Spain. Here is our list of top 10 best places to visit in Spain.
10. Palacio Real
The Palacio Real de Madrid or Royal place of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. Located at the city of Madrid, this baroque style palace is one of the best places to visit in Spain. Although it is considered as the residence of the royal family, it is only used for state ceremonies. Formerly it was a royal fortress but destroyed completely by a fire in 1734. King Philips v rebuilt it as a palace from limestone and granite in order to make it fireproof. It is the largest palaces in Europe if only the floor is considered.
This enormous palace is certainly a big figure for tourism in Spain. It was loosely modeled on Versailles Palace near Paris. It is not only one of the best places to visit in Spain but also a magnificent example of baroque arts in Europe. As one of the best tourist attractions in Spain, the palace is open to the commoners except during state functions. The palace was heavily damaged during Spanish civil war but restored later.
9. Running of the Bulls
If you want to take the core of Spanish flavor, then running of the Bulls will always come first. It is like an unconventional way to know Spain. Although remaining a deal of risk of fatal injuries, this age-old tradition never loses a bit of attraction. The running of the Bulls is as important to Spanish as carnival is important to Brazilian or as Dol Jatra to the Indians.
There are several places in Spain where running of the Bulls take place but the most famous running of the bulls is that of the eight-day festival of Sanfermines in honor of Saint Fermin in Pamplona. According to the locals, the origin of the tradition came from a necessity of transporting bulls in the early centuries. To enjoy or join in the Running of the Bulls, Pamplona is one of the best places to visit in Spain although I recommend only to watch.
8. La Concha
If you love beaches and nightlife, then La Concha is one of the most amazing vacation Islands in Spain. It has a luxurious hotel named La Concha resort. It opened in 1958 with an influence of tropical modernism movement. The hotel was closed for a while. It reopened in 2008. The beach is protected from strong winds by steep cliffs and islands.
The exotic beauty of the beach will enchant you. It makes you feel something like paradise on earth. If you want to relax a little, not to engage yourself too much busy in the sightseeing, then La Concha is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
7. Aqueduct of Segovia
Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the most significant and best preserved ancient monuments. It symbolizes the power of the Roman Empire and its reign over a vast area. It is one of the important tourist attractions in Spain. The construction date of the aqueduct is not clear. It is probably in 50 AD during Emperor Domitian who ordered its construction.
It is an enormous construction and surely one of the mastery of Roman construction. 221 colossal pillars bear this gigantic aqueduct. It carries water through 17 km long channel. The aqueduct is an iconic symbol of the city. To see this incredible Roman work, Segovia is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
Cuenca is obviously a unique example of the medieval walled city. Built by the Moors, Cuenca is one the best well-preserved medieval cities in the world. The city is full of historical sites. So as a package tour of historical site seeing, Cuenca might be one of the best places to visit in Spain.
Among the main sights are Cuenca Cathedral, the Church of Saint Michael, Church of Our Savior, Bridge of Saint Paul, Seminary, Old convent of Saint Paul, Bishop’s Palace, The Castle, Mangana Tower, Townhall, Hanging houses, Monument devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, There are several wonderful parks too. The following area is famous for culinary. So if you love food, you should it is the best tourist attractions in Spain.
If you love to spend an amazing nightlife, then Ibiza is exactly the place where to go in Spain. Some of the best nightclubs in the world are in Ibiza. So after visiting some historical places in Spain, it is probably the best places to visit in Spain in order to take a break. Although gaining a party fame, the government is trying to represent it as a quitter tourist spot. Besides the party beach, the large portions of the island are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The rustic beauty of the island draws artists, photographers and movie makers. Ibiza has a large impact on tourism in Spain. Both the loners and party lovers love to come here. A handful of novels and books are written using Ibiza as a setting. Famous British band Pink Floyd even featured a song on Ibiza. It is undoubtedly one of the major tourist attractions in Spain and obviously one of the best places to visit in Spain for you.
4. Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia is an incomplete large Roman Church in Barcelona. It may be incomplete but it does not imply that it should be below in your list of best places to visit in Spain. Designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the major tourist attractions in Spain. Construction was started by local donations and it was heavily interrupted by Spanish Civil War. It also has to face a long dispute with locals.
However, despite all these obstacles, this Church is regarded as the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages. It is a wonder that this famous places in Spain are not as popular among the locals as to the tourists. It has become a symbolic structure of Barcelona. If you are perplexed about where to visit in Spain, this should be after visiting Sagrada Familia.
3. El Escorial
Built between 1563 and 1584 by King Philip II, El Escorial is a residence of the king of Spain. It was built for the purpose of a mausoleum for King Charles v, father of King Philip II and as a reminder of the victory of the Battle of San Quentin. Located in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, this one of the best places to visit in Spain. In a later period, the complex was used as the royal place, monastery, and school. King Philip II had a great enthusiasm to build this complex. He hired the best artists and ensured the best materials to build this complex. As we can see that he succeeded. Now the complex is a major tourist attraction in Spain.
The palace has an amazing art gallery which houses the famous artists work at that time. It also has a rich library with a collection of some of the rare books in the world. You feel no doubt that it is one of the best places to visit in Spain if you know that around 500000 visitors come to visit El Escorial every year. King Philip II, quite a loner and nature lover also built a place for repose and meditation.
2. Mezquita of Cordoba
Originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary, The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (Spanish: Mezquita of Cordoba) is a Catholic cathedral. The uncommon name of the cathedral indicates its early use as a Mosque during Muslim resign in Spain. Associate with its religious importance to two major religions, the cathedral is one of the best places to visit in Spain. It undergoes many changes since its construction due to the fluctuating power of Christians and Muslims for a long period as the Sultans intended to convert it into a Mosque (prayer place for the Muslims).
The design of the cathedral is incredibly diverse. The red marble column and panels of scented woods were fastened with nails of pure gold are so astonishing that it is called the work of God. It is said that the beauty of the cathedral can’t bind in words. It is now a major tourist attraction in Spain. The great poet Allama Iqbal was so amazed by the beauty of this cathedral that he wrote a poem called “The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba”. Spanish Muslims lobbied to say the prayer in this one of the famous places in Spain but rejected by the church authorities in Spain and by the Vatican.
Alhambra is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Spain. It is one of the best examples of Muslim architectures in the world. Its architectural beauty makes it one of the major tourist attractions in Spain. It is declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its incredible architectural design. These wonderful Islamic palaces were built for the last Muslim Amir’s in Spain. Enchanted by the exotic beauty of the palace, the Moorish poets often described it as “a pearl set in emeralds“.
Even willful vandalism, some ill judgment during restoration and long neglect could not ruin its beauty. The tourism in Spain is indebted largely to the Alhambra. It is identical to many medieval Christian strongholds in its threefold arrangement. The palaces have a great influence on the literature, art, music, and movie. For an architectural aficionado, Alhambra is one of the best places to visit in Spain.