From folk music and flamenco dancing in Andalusia to pintxos and wine in the Basque Country, Spain offers a lifetime’s worth of adventures. While there are an overwhelming number of sights to see, we have narrowed down the highlights of Spain for you to choose from the best.
Each region is impressively unique while still carrying a unifying thread of a passion for good food and human connection. Read on as we celebrate these admirable traits.
Top Places to Visit in Spain by Region
Visit the best regions in Spain on a personalized luxury tour or start planning your own trip. Many of the bucket list Spanish sights fit into a well-planned itinerary. Choose your favorites from the list below:
Galicia makes up the most northwestern region of Spain. Consider visiting the beautiful beaches or, perhaps, set off on foot to Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. It may feel as if all roads in Galicia lead to Santiago as it is the endpoint of the Camino pilgrimage routes.
The focal point of cider culture in Spain is in the city of Oviedo. It is the capital of the Asturias and is located in northern Spain. Oviedo is one of the most underrated places in Spain to visit on vacation. Here you can unwind in the city streets or on the beach in the Bay of Biscay.
Quick Tip: Try the local cider poured from a height and sample the delicacy similar to a crepe called frixuelo.
Known as Green Spain, the area between the Bay of Biscay and the Cantabrian mountains is lush with vegetation. Marvel at late stone age artifacts at Cueva El Pendo or visit the Michelin-starred restaurants and contemporary art galleries in the capital city of Santander.
Set off to the picturesque town of Potes to tour the Santo Toribio Monastery and see a piece of the cross upon which Jesus died.
Arriving in northern Spain in the revitalized city of Bilbao, you’ll be swept up in the flavors and sights of the Basque Country. Visit the striking Guggenheim Museum, walk the once industrial city to enjoy pintxos, or peruse the meats and sweets at Europe’s largest indoor market.
San Sebastian is another must-see Basque city offering interesting monuments and incredible beaches.
Navarre is located in northern Spain and was a medieval Basque kingdom. The region experiences a moderate climate favorable for olive oil and wine production. Pamplona, the capital city of Navarre, hosts the bucket-list San Fermin festival, where brave citizens run through the streets ahead of a dozen bulls.
La Rioja is a world-famous wine region In the north of Spain. The area experiences a Mediterranean climate favorable for growing grapes and the local Pimiento Riojano peppers.
Take part in the summer Batalla de Vino where festival-goers walk from the town to the Hermitage of San Felices de Bilibio to attend a mass. After the mass, the battle of wine begins.
Catalonia borders Andorra and is world renown for its gastronomy and architecture. It is home to Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Basilica, which stands confidently as Spain’s most visited attraction. It was designed by architect Antoni Gaudi whose work permeates many of the top attractions in Catalonia, such as Park Guell.
Another notable attraction is the Dali Theater and Museum in Figueres.
Castile and Leon
This landlocked region of Spain borders Portugal and offers ancient monuments, ski resorts, and cities with modern amenities. The Roman aqueducts in Segovia, the 12th-century university in Salamanca, and the walled city of Avila are all worth visiting.
Aragon in the northeast of Spain has some of the highest peaks in the Pyrenees Mountains and is known for its cities with Moorish-influenced Mudéjar architecture. It is a varied region with the must-see Romanesque church in Huesca, the 12th-century Cathedral in Teruel, and the French-gothic Cathedral in Tarazona.
This region in central Spain has a capital city by the same name. Madrid’s main attractions include the Reina Sofia National Art Museum and the Royal Palace in the nearby city of Aranjuez. Revel in the nightlife and flamenco performances in the capital, or head out on a day trip to a fabulous monastery in San Lorenzo de El Escorial.
Castilla-La Mancha’s capital city of Toledo is known as the city of three civilizations and is a protected World Heritage Site. Set off on a day trip to see El Greco artworks, learn about the city’s history, and take in the views from Mirador del Valle looking over the Tajo River.
This western region of Spain is an important area for wildlife and has a rugged atmosphere. You’ll notice some of the landscapes and castles around the capital city Mérida in the Game of Thrones series. The ancient cities are jaw-dropping to explore, with the still-used Teatro Romano in Badajoz and the 13th-century Trujillo Castle in Cáceres standing out.
This southern region of Spain has a Moorish influence on its food and architecture. The port city of Malaga’s food, Granada’s beautiful Alhambra Palace, and Seville’s bitter oranges and large gothic cathedral are all Andalusian treasures worth experiencing.
Located on Spain’s southeastern coast, Valencia is both the region’s name and its capital city. The two-thousand-year-old capital is the third-largest city in Spain and offers a variety of attractions, expansive beaches, and a buzzing food scene. While visiting, make sure to taste the sweet Valencian clementine.
Murcia is an agricultural and lively region positioned on Spain’s southeastern coastline. Make sure to see the National Museum of Underwater Archeology in Cartagena. Alternatively, try your hand at watersports in the calm waters of Mar Menor in La Manga.
The Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera are the perfect Spanish holiday destinations. The beaches are a big attraction during the hot summers typical of the Mediterranean climate. Explore Palma’s Gothic cathedral, Mahon’s 13th-century church, or settle into Ibiza’s nightlife in San Antonio.
This Spanish archipelago off the northwestern coast of Africa offers visitors sunny beaches and incredible stars at night. Laze about on beaches in Lanzarote, see dolphins on a boat cruise in Tenerife’s Los Cristianos, or visit the art and sights in the capital city of Las Palmas.
Beautiful Spain Attractions
Planning a Spanish sightseeing trip is tricky. The numerous cultures and things to do in Spain’s seventeen regions would take a lifetime to explore. We advise you to use the above popular tourist attractions in Spain to start your bucket list today!