Spain boasts an overwhelming number of UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sites and the kind of architecture that people travel across the world to see. Not to mention the incredible works of art and the world-class museums scattered across the country!
If you’ve ever been to Spain, I’m sure you know that you can’t go far without finding a mesmerizing Church or Cathedral, or being awestruck by some incredible landmark or monument. So be sure to pack your favorite Fuji lens for travel, so you can capture all the beauty.
In a country that has so many amazing monuments and tourist attractions that will take your breath away, it’s a tough choice deciding which should be at the top of your list to visit! Especially with fascinating tales and folklore attached to many of them.
Luckily, we’ve compiled this guide to all the famous, iconic places and most visited monuments in Spain! These attractions keep Spain tourism booming, continuously attracting travelers like yourself to experience their enchanting natural beauty!
Read on to discover the Spanish monuments that have gained popularity to become renowned in Spain as the tourist attractions they are today!
Top 11 Spanish Monuments You Have to See
As Spain grows evermore attractive to travelers from around the globe, it’s clear that there’s something more than Spanish sangrias, tapas and salsa dancing keeping Spain tourism booming!
We’ve picked the best 10 monuments in Spain to give you an idea of what all the hype is about, and to edge you on in planning your own Spanish vacation to visit these incredible places!
Aqueduct of Segovia
The Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the most amazing historical landmarks in Spain! Dating back to around 50 A.D, yet standing strong through the test of time!
This exceptional feature of the Segovia landscape features two tiers of arches that span over 800 meters in length in an impressive Roman civil engineering feat!
You’ll find this magnificent landmark just North of Madrid on the AVE train line that runs from Madrid to Bilboa. You can also take a Segovia day trip from Madrid! Visit this awe-inspiring 11th-century Spanish monument that was once a residence for many of the Castile’s monarchs.
The Segovia castle is now a museum that houses military archives, and from the outside, it appears as a fairylike fortress with sharp slate spires and granite blocks laid without any mortar securing them. An incredible contrasting sight to see and one of the most incredible ancient monuments in Spain!
Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Sites
This is without a doubt one of the most amazing architectural masterpieces in the world!
Gaudi was a fanciful talented architect who is responsible for many of the art nouveau style pieces that are found all around Barcelona. They have since become landmarks and signature attractions of the Catalan city.
Foremost is the mind-blowing Sagrada Familia Church, which is one of Europe’s most unconventional and sculptural churches and buildings.
Gaudi was working on this masterpiece at the time of his death, and it is still a work in progress, but nonetheless is the main attraction in Spain for many travelers coming from far and wide.
He has many other famous works in Barcelona that are just as impressive and appealing, like Casa Mila, his last and most famous secular work. Parc Güell overlooks the city from a hillside and is framed by fanciful creatures and a towering house covered in colored ceramics.
Gaudi’s works of art are impressive and spectacular, not only for architecture fans but for anyone who is intrigued by the unique and imaginative forms of the scales and ambition of works that he created!
Check out this guided tour of La Sagrada Familia and Gaudi’s Barcelona.
This 14th Century Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral stands in Palma, Mallorca, in the heart of the city. Mallorca Cathedral, known as The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma and commonly referred to as La Seu is one of the popular monuments in Spain that receives plenty of visitors all around the year. Today, it remains one of the tallest Gothic structures in Europe making it a must-see on your visit to Palma.
Built by the Crown of Aragon on the site close to a Moorish-era mosque, this structure has one of the tallest central naves in Europe. Many locals also term this ‘Cathedral of Light’, mainly because of the 61 stained-glass windows that let the morning light penetrate the interiors flooding it with a spectacular display of natural light. The slimmest load-bearing pillars in the world make it one of the architectural wonders you must visit.
Most of these monuments are at a distance from each other. The city of Palma itself is around 128 miles from Barcelona. Hence, if you don’t have a vehicle of your own you can think of renting a car in Spain that offers you the freedom to explore places outside Barcelona.
In the early 20th Century, Catalan Modernist architect Antoni Gaudi was called to make certain additions to this Gothic architecture. While not all of his ideas were adopted the structure of the Cathedral still has the same 14th Century charm and appeal to it. Therefore, when you are in Spain Mallorca Cathedral is a must-see attraction that can add to your Spain trip.
Tower of Hercules
The tower of Hercules is a lighthouse at the entrance of the La Coruna harbor in north-western Spain. It’s a 55-meter tall tower that is perched atop a 57-meter high rock, so you can’t miss it!
This historical monument in Spain is a truly imposing sight that has been around since 1 A.D, with some major reconstruction done in the 18th-century, but still standing strong and as good as new.
Mezquita of Corboda
This UNESCO-listed incredible monument in Spain was once the principal mosque of western Islam, which is where it gained the name Mezquita. Corboda’s mosque is one of the largest in the world and is an incredible achievement of Moorish architecture in Spain.
This great mosque ranks as one of the finest examples of Islamic art and architecture in western Europe and was created out of building materials from Roman and Visigothic buildings, making it one of a kind in Spain!
No matter where you stand or which direction you look, the rows of columns and rounded Moorish arches line up in symmetrical patterns, making it an incredible architectural tourist attraction in Spain.
This is our favourite skip-the-line guided tour or the Mesquita.
Alhambra is a visually spectacular fortress, palace and garden in the southern city Granada in Spain. This absolutely incredible tourist attraction in Spain attracts millions of tourists to marvel at its glory each year.
This complex of palaces was built around courtyards of flowering trees, pools, and fountains. The 14th century Alhambra Palace was built by the sultans of Granada, who were the rulers of the last Muslim kingdom in Al-Andalus.
A visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site reveals the sweeping significance and brilliance of the Moorish culture in Andalusia at the time and is one of the most exciting and sensual of all historical buildings in Spain, monuments or otherwise.
Check out this ticket and guided tour of the Alhambra!
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
The magnificent Cathedral of Santiago, also known as St. James, was built to honor the relics of the saint and has been the goal of pilgrims since the Middle Ages.
It’s one of the most incredible monuments in Spain of Early Romanesque architecture and was built between 1060 and 1211. Each period had its share of relevant influence on different parts of the impressive church.
You’ll find an amazing 18th-century facade and an Early Romanesque-style interior with awe-inspiring collections of sculptures inside. It’s one of the most astounding Spain monuments and well worth a visit!
Royal Palace Madrid
The Royal Palace Madrid was completed in 1751 and is best known for its painted frescos and the stunning artwork throughout.
You’ll find famous works of art by the likes of Velázquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco, and Caravaggio. There are also plenty of incredible tapestries, and historians and interior decorators will love seeing the bedrooms designed by Sabatini and The Royal Armoury.
Each room represents a period in time and style in fashion, making it one of the most popular historical landmarks in Spain.
This amazing Cathedral of our Lady of Burgos is the only cathedral in Spain that has secured a World Heritage listing on its own merits!
It’s said that the entire history of Gothic art is summed up in the Cathedrals astounding architecture and the unique and mind-blowing collection of artworks that include paintings, choir stalls, reredos, tombs, and stained-glass windows.
It’s worth the visit while in Spain as the craftsmanship is overwhelming and the historical significance can only be realized in person!
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
This titanium-clad art museum is a symphony of shapes that you need to witness when visiting Bilboa in Spain!
The building is stunning and architecturally very interesting, as is the permanent collection that you’ll find inside.
This world-class building has attracted many tourists to admire its magnificence. So much so that they have termed the “architourism” a result of “The Bilboa Effect”, which is the ability for a city to turn its fortunes around by the museums’ construction alone!
Seville Cathedral and Alcazar
The stunning cathedral has more interior space than St. Peter’s in Rome and a 37-meter main altar donned in carved statues and covered in Gold! What a sight to behold. You’ll also discover the mausoleum for Christopher Columbus in the Chapel.
La Giralda and The Alcazar are just as significant and incredible to see and have significant relevance to the history of Spain. It’s also an incredible architectural feat and is definitely one of the most visited monuments in Spain!
Final Thoughts on the Most Visited Spain Tourist Attractions
Spain is a country so filled with historical significance and incredible architecture throughout! There are churches, cathedrals, and museums across the country that are incredibly popular historical places in Spain and astonishing Spain monuments.
With so many of them listed as UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sites, it’s no wonder that travelers flock from far and near to visit them and stand in awe and wonder at the sheer existence of such places.
If you are planning on traveling to Spain and looking for the best Spain tourist attractions and the most visited monuments in Spain across the board, then we hope that this guide has helped you in planning for cultural and historical immersion in such an astounding place!