Tapas on tables, sunset by the ocean, a rich cultural history, and dozens of points of interest — these are some of the things that pop up when people think of Spain. While one week in Spain isn’t enough to see everything, you’ll be able to see some incredible attractions nonetheless.
Given the dozens of things to do here, it can seem impossible to plan a trip to Spain for just a week. What must you see, and what can you skip? Which Spanish cities should you visit and which cities should you ignore? What about getting around in this beautiful country?
These are some of the questions that may be racing through your mind while thinking about your visit. Relax; this guide is here to help.
When planning a Spain itinerary, 7 days certainly isn’t enough to see everything, but it’s enough to have a visit you’ll never forget. You just need to know where to go, and this guide will give you exactly that.
Getting Around in Spain
As one of the most developed cities in the world, getting around Spain is easy. Not only does the country have efficient public transportation, but you also have the option of traveling privately.
Getting Around by Train
Spain has an efficient rail system that travels from city to city using high-speed and regular trains. It’s the most expensive public transportation option, but Spain’s trains are also the most convenient way to see Spain in a week.
While you can book tickets in person, booking online ahead of time is recommended as tickets aren’t always available in person.
Getting Around by Bus
Riding a bus is the most financially savvy way to travel around Spain. Sometimes, a bus is the only public transport system available in smaller towns and cities. However, traveling by bus has the disadvantage of being uncomfortable, especially for longer distances.
You can get tickets in person or purchase them ahead of time to save yourself any logistical headaches.
Getting Around by Tram
While scarce and only found in the major cities, traveling by tram is a possibility in Spain. The country has just a few operational tram routes, found in Barcelona, Tenerife, Madrid, Bilbao, Majorca, Zaragoza, Seville, Valencia, Alicante, La Coruna, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and Murcia.
The nation plans to add more routes in the coming years, so keep an eye out for that.
Getting Around by Car
Driving yourself around Spain is easily the most convenient way to travel in the country. This option offers the most flexibility and ensures you can explore Spain at your own pace without worrying about departure times.
You can rent a car here or bring your own vehicle; just read up on the rules of driving in Spain. The main disadvantage of driving around is that you’ll often feel tired while trying to see Spain in 7 days, since destinations aren’t close to each other.
Getting Around by Plane
If time is of the essence, you’ll want to travel around Spain by plane. The country has over 40 airports that fly domestically from city to city.
Spain 7-day Itinerary
Without further ado, here’s how to spend a week in Spain.
This Catalonian seaside city is arguably the most popular Spanish destination. Barcelona has a beach, globally-renowned delicacies, and a rich history highlighted by some of the best architecture.
It’s also the most common landing spot for international tourists, so this 7-day Spain itinerary begins here.
The first day here should be spent sightseeing. You can join in on a Barcelona biking tour or go on self-guided days out.
Your first stop should be the world-famous La Sagrada Familia to see the work of Antoni Gaudi, with Casa Batllo as another possible destination. You can also get a Barcelona museum pass to get in touch with the city’s rich cultural heritage. With that in hand, you’ll have access to Museo Picasso and Gaudi House Museum to see the most iconic work from either artist. The former is in the Gothic Quarter, but you can leave that for day two.
If you have time, head to Bunker del Carmel to enjoy scenic views of the sun setting behind the city, or substitute that for a beach visit.
In the evening, grab supper at one of the many Barcelona restaurants, including seafood specialists Disfrutar, authentic Restaurant can Culleretes, and Brugarol Barcelona. There’s also nightlife fun here, with clubs and bars lining the streets.
Before that, though, do try to catch a show at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Wake up and breathe in some fresh air at Park Guell or the Horta Labyrinth before enjoying breakfast at one of the cafes on La Rambla. Afterward, stroll around the Gothic Quarter to marvel at more architecture, including some Roman ruins and the cathedral, with La Boqueria nearby for purchasing snacks.
On this day, you should venture just outside of Barcelona. We recommend a Montserrat day trip from Barcelona. This wondrous mountain range has an incredible number of things to do. This includes cable car rides, watching a performance by a boys’ choir, or visiting the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey for picturesque views.
Alternatively, plan a day trip to Costa Brava to visit its beaches and the Dali Theater Museum, and stroll through the Medieval City.
Sleep in a luxury hotel in Barcelona or Valencia. A high-speed train will transport you between the two cities in about 3 hours, so plan accordingly. We recommend sleeping in Valencia, so keep your day trip short.
Depending on what time you arrive here, a ton of fun awaits.
Your first few hours in Valencia should be spent exploring the historic city center. Here, you’ll find the UNESCO World Heritage Site La Lonja, which is a Gothic masterpiece. Afterward, explore the cathedral or the Palace of the Archbishop for a piece of Spanish history.
For something wacky, find the second-narrowest building in the world (107cm), where you’ll enter via the La Estrecha restaurant. End your time in Valencia’s Old Town by going to the Central Market to enrich your tastebuds with Spanish delicacies.
In the afternoon, head to the City of Arts and Sciences, which boasts otherworldly architectural marvels. Here, you’ll find a planetarium, the Valencia Aquarium, an IMAX theater, and a host of other entertainment options. There are also pools and a verdant garden as alternatives.
Enjoy the sunset by Valencia’s palm-lined promenade or by swimming in the ocean if the weather permits. We recommend swimming at either Playa de las Arenas or Playa de la Malvarrosa, two Blue Flag beaches.
Refresh at your hotel or Valencia Airbnb before heading out to end the evening by enjoying a show at the Palosanto Flamenco. You can also choose to be lowkey and just enjoy a delicious meal at one of many restaurants in Valencia.
On the fourth day of your Spain 1-week itinerary, wake up and enjoy a filling breakfast at one of Valencia’s cafes. Afterward, head to El Carmen to hunt for incredible street art that you can post on your Instagram.
Substitute street art for an art gallery boasting dozens of artworks at the Fine Arts Museum San Pio V. Or, visit the Museum Centre del Carmen, both of which are some of the best free things to do in Valencia. If you’re more interested in animals, head to the Valencia Bioparc, which is home to giraffes, monkeys, leopards, and more.
As the day closes, go on a wine tasting tour before returning to enjoy a sunset with uninterrupted views at the Serranos Tower, El Miguelete Bell Tower, or Quart Towers. Afterward, take a high-speed train to Madrid that lasts 1 hour and 35 minutes.
While many may just look at Madrid as the capital without much to offer, this city is as good as many in Spain.
After breakfast, go on a Madrid segway tour with a guide that takes you to attractions like the Royal Palace and the Cathedral of Almudena around the historic city center.
Afterward, it’s time to visit Madrid’s best museums. For your first stop, join a skip-the-line Prado Museum tour and view over 8 000 artworks and sculptures. There’s also the Reina Sofia Museum waiting, with walls draped in artworks by Picasso, Dali, Juan Gris, and more. You can visit these places using a Madrid museum pass.
Your next stop should be the Royal Palace, which used to be home to royalty and has rooms that prove that. Next to the palace is the Plaza de Oriente, one of the best plazas in Madrid.
Plaza de Oriente features a fountain with a statue of Philip IV, which is worth taking a picture with. There are also statues of Spanish monarchs dotted around the peaceful plaza garden. Another treat here is the Royal Theatre, where you can catch opera performances later in the day.
As the day winds down, head to El Retiro Park for fresh air, boating, and visits to a glass palace. Shop ‘til you drop at Gran Via, before heading to the bustling Puerta del Sol for a light snack.
For dinner, opt for a Madrid cooking class over dining at a restaurant. This will teach you how to cook Madrilenian delicacies — and you can take a piece of Madrid with you forever.
Wake up early and take a high-speed train to Seville, with the journey lasting approximately 5 hours. You can also opt for an overnight ride to make the most of day six.
Seville is most famous for its cathedral, tapas, and iconic square.
Day 6 & 7
You’ll likely arrive here in the early morning to afternoon, meaning you have to make the most of your half-day visit.
On the sixth day of your one-week in Spain itinerary, start your exploration with a visit to the La Giralda cathedral. You can either go here on your own or join in on a Seville cathedral tour to admire in awe the architectural masterpiece.
Combine that with a visit to the Real Alcazar palace, and you’ll have learned quite a lot of Seville history.
As the day winds down, head to Plaza de España, which boasts dramatic architecture, awe-inspiring water features, and artistic tiling. Before retiring to your hotel, fill up with dinner at Bodega Santa Cruz, which sells tapas, fried bites, draft beer, and other Seville food. Alternatively, enjoy tapas and a flamenco performance with this tour.
Parts of day 7 will be spent in Seville. After refreshing for the day ahead, start your final day by visiting the Santa Cruz neighborhood for its narrow cobbled streets and bright houses. If you’re a movie buff, you’ll be happy to know it was the filming location for that Romeo and Juliet balcony scene.
Another famous filming location is the Baths of Maria de Padilla, where Game of Thrones was shot. As your final action in Seville, head to the Metropol Parasol (or the “mushroom building” as it’s commonly known). Take a picture here, then dash to Malaga afterward.
After a 2-hour high-speed train ride, you’ll be in Málaga, having been in Spain for a week. It should be later in the afternoon now, and you should have a few hours before your flight back home (we recommend an evening flight).
The must-do activity in Málaga is a visit to the Museo Picasso, which houses over 200 pieces of Picasso artwork. Book a guided tour and spend your time here reflecting on his incredible talent.
Step back in time with a visit to the Roman Theater for some snaps before ending your journey at the Jardín Botánico Histórico La Concepción. This exotic garden offers stunning views of Malaga and the Mediterranean — perfect for ending your 7-day trip to Spain.
Final Thoughts on Spending 7 Days in Spain
If you only have 7 days, Spain is able to offer you some incredible attractions to ensure your short time in the country is memorable. With this guide, you should know where to go and what to do.
With the activities laid out in this guide, all travelers will be catered for. Art lovers have several art galleries waiting, history buffs have many buildings to spot, and gourmands will leave the country having tasted some mouth-watering dishes with this Spanish itinerary.
Now, start making preparations for how you’re going to see Spain in one week. Use our Spain packing list guide so you’re well-prepared for the journey.