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Spain Travel Guide
Last updated: May 2020
Vacations in Spain often guarantee great weather, warm temperatures, and a good time. It's no wonder that Spain is such a popular place to visit. If you love city life, then visit the vibrant big cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Seville or Valencia. If you are searching for a beachy and sun-soaked vacation, then check out Ibiza, Mallorca, Alicante or Malaga. Those who like to hike can journey along El Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) or explore the Canary Islands with their volcanic origins and black beaches. Wherever you go, you will find plenty of attractions and entertainment. Discover our tips and tricks to prepare for your vacation to Spain!
Best Places to Visit in Spain
Art and culture, museums, impressive architecture, and a vibrant nightlife - this and more awaits you in the major cities of Spain.
- Madrid: As Spain's capital city, Madrid is a lively city with tons of interesting museums, impressive architecture, and beautiful green spaces. Here you will find a vibrant nightlife scene, amazing tapas bars, and lively flamenco clubs. As it is located in the center of the country, it is easy to take day trips from Madrid. Check out our three-day itinerary for Madrid.
- Barcelona: Barcelona is a vibrant and artistic city that is known for its many structures made by famous artists such as Gaudi. Perhaps the best known is the Sagrada Familia, one of the largest and most impressive churches in the world. Barcelona is also home to FC Barcelona, the world-famous soccer team. This Catalan city overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and is the second-largest city in Spain with 1.7 million inhabitants. Check out our favorite things to do in Barcelona and tips for exploring Barcelona.
- Malaga: Situated along the Costa del Sol, Malaga boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. The long history of Malaga is incredibly diverse, with influences from the Phoenicians, Romans, and Moors. Visit impressive historic sites like the Roman theater, the Alcazaba fortress, the Moorish Gibralfaro Castle, and the Malaga cathedral.
- Seville: Located in southern Spain, Seville is the capital of Andalusia. Seville is also very popular among tourists for historic sites like the Royal Palace of Seville, the Plaza de Espana, and the Cathedral of Seville. Seville is also close to the border with Portugal, so a detour to Portugal is therefore certainly one of the options.
- Valencia: Founded in 138 BC by the Romans, Valencia has a long and impressive history. Valencia has become particularly popular due to the very unique mix of modern, art, history, and culture. The City of Arts and Sciences is an impressive modern architectural complex and is one of the 12 treasures of Spain. The charming old quarter and the cathedral of Valencia are prime examples of the city's history and culture. Valencia is also known for the delicious dish, Paella. In Valencia you are guaranteed to eat the best paella, you have our word!
Best Spanish Islands
- Ibiza: It's not surprising that Ibiza is the first Spanish island to come to mind. The hugely popular island is a feast for the eyes and will surely offer you a very exciting holiday. Take note that the island is expensive, so save enough for your Ibiza holiday because you will soon be twenty euros poorer after one beer. An Ibizia all-inclusive vacation is recommended, so you have a better view of your expenses. The most vibrant places on the island are Ibiza Town and Sant Antoni de Portmany.
- Mallorca: Mallorca, also called Majorca, is the largest island of the Balearic Islands. Mallorca is also flooded with tourism and is known for its nightlife. In addition to walking, do not forget to visit Alcudia, Soller and Palma de Mallorca. This way you can escape the nightlife in a beautiful way. Be sure to take advantage and discover the best ways to spend two days in Mallorca while you are in Spain!
- The Canary Islands: The Canary Islands archipelago consists of seven main islands; El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, Lanzarote, La Palma, Tenerife. The islands are located off the southwest coast of Morocco, which guarantees warm weather pretty much any time of the year. The volcanic landscape of the islands means that some of the beaches have distinctive black sand.
- Formentera: Small island within a day trip of Ibiza. Adventure sports like snorkeling, sailing, and boating are popular. Check out
Things to Do in Spain
There are so many unique experiences in Spain to enjoy on vacation. One of the best ways to figure out what there is to do and see in each city is to go on an organized tour. You will see the most popular sights as well as find hidden gems that you might have otherwise missed. The classic bus tour allows you to discover all the places you want to admire without having to walk miles. Remember to book in advance because these tours get very popular during the peak travel season.
- Participate in the Festivities: Many festivals and cultural events are organized throughout the year in different regions of Spain. Madrid’s Carnival happens in February, the Tomatina de Buñol in August, the Feria de Sevilla, Las Fallas de Valencia in mid-March
- Visit the Sagrada Familia: Jaw-dropping cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi, located in Barcelona
- See a Flamenco Show: A classic culture experience, the best shows are in Seville and Madrid
- Tour Alhambra: Moorish palace and fortress in Granada
- Walk the El Camino de Santiago: Famous pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the whole route is 500 miles
- Study in Spain: There are plenty of opportunities to study in Spain. Whether you are looking to do an exchange, study the Spanish language, or study at a prestigious Spanish university, Go! Go! España has all the information you need.
In Spain, there are different dishes and specialties depending on the region and the city. For example, Paella in Valencia is probably the most famous Spanish dish. In Andalusia, you can cool off on hot days with Gazpacho. In Barcelona, you need to try the Crema Catalana for dessert. Almost everywhere are tapas, which are usually shared with friends and family and consumed for hours, usually late at night. Patatas Bravas and Iberian ham (el jamón ibérico) are two other popular Spanish dishes that you are a must-try on your vacation.
Best Time to Visit Spain
The tourist influx to Spain is at its peak in July and August. The most favorable weather months are during May, June, July, August, September, and October. But the Spanish climate is still favorable throughout the year. It will not have the same weather throughout the country, depending on the time of year. The northwest of the country, on the Atlantic side, will be cooler in summer. The temperatures of the country in summer can vary between 48 - 104°F (9°-40° C) in summer
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