10 Best Places to Visit in Spain for First-Timers

Spain’s breathtaking cities and cultural heritage make it a top tourist destination. The reason why many travelers switch their vacation itinerary is because of Spain’s attractive beaches. People from all over the world come to Spain for a fresh taste of summer sweetness. However, the advantages of traveling to Spain are not only in the summer. While summer months are for relaxing, Spring and Autumn will be the ideal time to explore the beauty of Spain.

First-timers will always find Spain magical, but so will people who have been here multiple times. You’ll never run out of things to do in Spain, even if you’re a seasoned traveler, as Spain is rich in culture, customs, and values. Whether you’re dancing and eating paella, enjoying a glass of wine (or two) and plates of tapas late into the night, or just admiring its stunning architecture, you will always be actively enjoying Spain. 

Here are the top 10 best places to visit in Spain for first-timers:

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1. Barcelona 

Catalonia is one of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities, and Barcelona is its capital. With a population of 1.6 million, it is Spain’s second-largest city. Barcelona is known today as a modern, cosmopolitan city, but it is over 2,000 years old and has an authentic historical and utterly fascinating side. The cosmopolitan city receives all the attention. Many activities revolve around Las Ramblas, a collection of narrow streets and alleyways filled with restaurants, nightclubs, and a vibrant pedestrian market.

Nevertheless, you should also walk through Antoni Gaud’s masterpieces, such as Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, and La Sagrada Familia. The region is also known for its exquisite food, wine, and diverse shopping scene. You can explore Barcelona on foot. Depending on where you stay, you may never use public transportation.

2. Seville 

Seville, the largest city in sunny southern Spain, is overflowing with vibrant Andalusian passion. You will get a taste of flamenco dancers’ passion, bullfighting matadors’ dedication, and the laid-back indulgence of an afternoon siesta while in Seville. These cultural traditions are widespread in Seville and the rest of the country’s southernmost Andalusia region. Seville, a city with Jewish, Islamic, and Christian influences, displays evidence of each religion’s presence in its church facades, minarets, and former ghettos. 

The Royal Alcazar is a “must-see “ in Seville. This UNESCO World Heritage Site maintains the city’s evolution within its walls, from the Arabic and Middle Ages to the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Two of the best times to visit Seville are between the months of September and January. The number of tourists is significantly lower, the extensive lodging selection and airfares are more affordable.

3. Madrid

Madrid is the capital of Spain and a magical door to many cultural assets. As one of the most popular cities in Europe, Spain receives over a million tourists yearly. The usual tourist route through Madrid includes iconic buildings and attractions such as Plaza Mayor, Royal Palace, Teatro Real (Opera Theatre), Almudena Cathedral, and Puerta del Sol. The presence of two world-famous museums, the Prado Museum and the Reina Sofa Museum, significantly enhances Madrid’s past. 

If you enjoy walking, Madrid is the place for you. It’s a big city, yet it’s pretty walkable and has a lot of fascinating areas to explore. Fashionistas will adore wandering the Golden Mile and Gran Va, while foodies will fill their plates in Madrid with tapas and all things Spanish. Metro is one of the cheapest and quickest methods to go from the airport to central Madrid. If you’re visiting Madrid for the first time, you should stay in Centro. You will be in the center of Madrid, near numerous restaurants, cafés, pubs, transit choices, and tourist sites. 

4. Granada

Granada is the capital of the Andalusian region and is one of the most historically rich European towns. Granada will grab your eyes in every way. The impressive monuments around Granada, the Cathedral, and the stunning landscapes seen from the viewpoint of San Nicolas will make you wonder why you didn’t visit Granada earlier. You may see a flamenco show in caves previously inhabited by African gypsies, browse for Moroccan street handicrafts, and walk the slopes of Spain’s largest national park. 

Granada, like other famous Spanish cities, is full of beautiful cathedrals and museums. However, the Moorish Islamic impact on Granada sets it apart from the other towns and cities. The architecture in this city is unique, and Alhambra is the most remarkable example. An Arab Bath is a fantastic experience in Granada. There’s no better spot to do it than the Aljibe De San Miguel, which has seven separate pools with varying temperatures. 

5. Mallorca 

Mallorca, on the east coast of Spain, is the ever-popular star of the Mediterranean. Generally,  Mallorca is a sunny region with beautiful beaches, sky-blue landscapes, and isolated mountains. Although the same blue seas that lap Ibiza’s beautiful coasts also wash into Mallorca’s pure shores, the island’s geography has many more treasures. Mallorca never fails to fascinate you, no matter where your journey leads you. 

For example, Deia is a small village that has been attracting writers and musicians for decades, and when you visit it you’ll understand why. Make sure to enjoy the stunningly magnificent tram ride from Soller to the harbor. Try driving from Valdemossa to Sa Calobra if you want picturesque journeys. There are several museums and art galleries in Mallorca, and local artists frequently display their work in smaller exhibits.

6. Bilbao 

Bilbao, the main city in the Basque Country, is quite contemporary yet preserves the beauty of the ancient areas. Thanks to its splendid architectural heritage, Bilbao has become a bright spot on the European tourist map. Once you arrive in Bilbao, you will encounter many magnificent churches, universities, and museums. In addition to an international airport, Bilbao has various transportation options, including metro, bus, and train systems that connect to other parts of Spain and neighboring countries. 

Bilbao’s unique features include calm natural surroundings as well as historical buildings from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Bilbao takes place in the northern part of Spain and, as such, has pleasant weather and climate. Bilbao is not too chilly in the winter and not too hot in the summer. As a result, you may visit Bilbao any time of the year. The best time to visit this city, though, is in August.

7. Ibiza

Everyone who plans to visit Ibiza intends to have some time of relaxation and amusement. Usually, Ibiza is synonymous with  “white island” and “party capital of the world.” Ibiza has over 60 beaches that draw travelers from all over the world, as well as some of the top nightclubs in the world. There are several ways to enjoy Ibiza’s shore, including the Cala d’Hort beaches near the stunning natural reserve of Es Vedrà and Es Caló d’es Moro. There is something charming about rural places like Benimussa Valley and El Pla de Corona in Ibiza. 

Natural parks such as Ses Salines are also great places to visit. In the south of Ibiza and the north of Formentera, there are saltpans and saltwater marshes. If you’re looking for Ibiza’s cultural World Heritage sites, try to see the upper part of Eivissa, Dalt Vila, since it contains a coastal fortress almost as in its original form. There are also UNESCO World Heritage assets in Ibiza, including Sa Caleta, a Phoenician settlement nearby, and a graveyard at Puig des Molins.

8. Canary Islands 

Spain’s Canary Islands are a perfect example of a tropical paradise. The Canary Islands consist of 7 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean off the southwest coast of Morocco. There is a lot to see and do on the seven most visited archipelago islands – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro. This European dream destination boasts stunning beaches, incredible landscapes, fantastic traditions, and delicious food. Party-lovers should prioritize Gran Canaria.

In addition to having a vibrant nightlife, Gran Canaria is one of the most diverse islands on the island chain. Therefore, you can combine sightseeing with partying during the night. There’s no better beach experience than Playa del Moro’s soft sand. Among the area’s best places for camping, it has an epic, windy setting that gives it a sense of wildness.

9. Valencia 

Another city worth visiting in Spain is Valencia. Most of the city’s attractions are in its central parts, so you can walk around them. However, biking routes will save you time and effort. Valencia’s old district, Ciutat Vella, is probably the best place to stay. When you visit the center of Valencia, you will see the most beautiful streets, historical landmarks, and countless restaurants and bars. If you’re a wine enthusiast, you can also book a full-day wine tour in Valencia’s countryside. 

Valencia, a seaside city in the Mediterranean, has good weather from spring through fall. While July and August are undoubtedly the busiest months, March is when you can visit the magnificent Las Fallas festival. This celebration of the beginning of spring in Europe is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Valencia is also one of the top winter destinations in Spain. You can get into the Christmas mood while enjoying far cooler temperatures than in other European winter towns.

10. San Sebastian 

San Sebastian is a seaside city in northern Spain’s Basque Country. The capital of Gipuzkoa province, it is known as Donostia in Basque and formally as Donsotia-San Sebastian. Tourists usually visit San Sebastian to enjoy its famous beaches and world-renewed cuisine. San Sebastian is made up of multiple districts, although it’s best if first-time tourists spend most of their time in the Parte Vieja or Old Town. It is the city’s historical heart that people love to come across.

People usually describe the historical center as a maze of churches, pintxos bars, and buildings that date back to the early nineteenth century. San Sebastian is a food paradise for food lovers. So many great festivals occur in San Sebastian throughout the year. Three Kings Day, St. Sebastian’s Day, Caldereros, and Carnival are some of the best food festivals. In terms of weather, the months of May through July are great for visiting San Sebastian. The weather is pleasant and one of the nicest times of the year.