Our March expedition through Spain began with a fabulous Catalan Stuffed Peppers recipe to give you a taste of the traditional cuisine. Then we offered a peek into the Las Fallas Festival to give you some perspective on their customs. Now we want to give you an overview of the top ten cities to visit in Spain according to TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice. While the cities that top the list may seem obvious, we hope that you will come across a few lesser-known locales that may have never crossed your mind before!
10. Benidorm, Spain
Location: Western Mediterranean seaside city located in the Province of Alicante on the Costa Blanca.
Claims to Fame: Benidorm boasts four miles of golden beaches, access to Mediterranean Sea recreation including scuba diving and waterskiing and a historic city center with blue-domed 18th-century churches and alleyways.
Top Attractions: Levante Beach, Balcon del Mediterraneo, Placa del Castell
9. Salamanca, Spain
Location: Northwestern capital city of the Province of Salamanca located alongside the border with Portugal.
Claims to Fame: Salamanca is referred to as Spain’s “golden city” and is rich in architectural, religious and gastronomic culture. Renaissance and Gothic style architecture are prominent in both the old and new cathedrals.
Top Attractions: Salmanca’s Plaza Mayor, St. Stephen’s Convent (St. Convento de San Esteban), Casa Lis (Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco)
8. Marbella, Spain
Location: Southern coastal city in the Province of Malaga on the Mediterranean Sea.
Claims to Fame: Marbella is a sunny beach town with plenty of modern-day resort amenities. The city is famous for La Fontanilla Beach, theme parks, wildlife parks and a historic quarter filled with whitewashed buildings and remnants of a ninth-century Arab fortress.
Top Attractions: Marbella Old Quarter, Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion, Puerto Banus Marina
7. Malaga, Spain
Location: The capital of the Province of Malaga lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean Sea.
Claims to Fame: Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the entire world, founded in the 8th Century by the Phoenicians. The city is rich in art of all kinds including glass, crystal, contemporary installations and the works of Picasso, who was born in Malaga.
Top Attractions: Museum of Glass and Crystal, Alcazaba, Kelipe Centro de Arte Flamenco
6. Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Location: The capital city of the Province of Balearic Islands is situated on the south coast of the island on the Bay of Palma.
Claims to Fame: Palma de Mallorca is often considered the economic and cultural hub of Majorca and a great place to experience the island’s many gold and white beaches. This city was once a Moorish casbah, or walled city, and has a maze of narrow streets that can be quite fun to explore on foot.
Top Attractions: Soller Railway, Cathedral (Le Seu), Bellver Castle (Castell de Bellver)
5. Valencia, Spain
Location: The capital city of the Province of Valencia is located on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula facing the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea.
Claims to Fame: Valencia is home to many monuments, City of Arts and Sciences, a highly modern complex of museums, cinemas and theaters. The local food, namely the paella, is also something that every visitor should experience!
Top Attractions: Bioparc Valencia, Oceanografic, Palacia del Marques de Dos Aguas
4. Granada, Spain
Location: Capital of the Province of Granada located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and at the confluence of four major rivers. The Southern Spanish city is just one hour from the Mediterranean Coast by car.
Claims to Fame: The Alhambra citadel, a Moorish fortress with epic archways and ornamental mosaics, one of the most famous buildings in the nation is located in Granada. The nightlife is also quite vibrant with the bars of Calle Elvira being the most notable hotspot.
Top Attractions: The Alhambra, Carrerra del Darro, Generalife
3. Seville, Spain
Location: The capital and largest city in Province of Seville, located on the plain of the River Guadalquivir.
Claims to Fame: Seville was founded as a Roman City and is the home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Alcazar palace complex, Cathedral where Christopher Columbus was buried and Metropol Parasol are just a few of the amazing sites that ooze with antique charm.
Top Attractions: Alcazar, Plaza de Espana, Giralda Tower
2. Madrid, Spain
Location: Spain’s capital and largest city is located on the Manzanares river in the center of both the country and Community of Madrid.
Claims to Fame: Many of Madrid’s buildings are so grand that they appear to be castles straight out of classic fairytales. The architecture here is quite impressive and the splendid sites like Retiro Park and numerous museums make it one of the most interesting places to visit in Spain.
Top Attractions: Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza), Royal Palace of Madrid
1. Barcelona, Spain
Location: This capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia within the Province of Barcelona is located on the eastern coast at the mouths of the Llobregat and Besos rivers to the west near the Serra de Collserola mountain range.
Claims to Fame: Famous residents included Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali and Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, who designed several of the city’s architectural amazing buildings. Park Guell, street performers and numerous tapas bars make Barcelona a great place to spend a leisurely day.
Top Attractions: Guell Palace, St. Mary of the Sea Cathedral (Iglesia de Santa Maria del Mar), Camp Nou
Are you overwhelmed with all that Spain has to offer yet? I know that my “bucket list” grew quite a bit after composing this blog.
If you’re looking to book an incentive travel trip or meeting in Spain, or simply need some advice about what to see and do while in Spain, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By JNR Incorporated
Written by Kristopher Hewkin