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Spain is a country rich in history, culture, gastronomy, and beautiful landscapes. There are so many things to do in Spain, from visiting its small towns and wonderful beaches to exploring its vivid cities and landmarks.
If you want to know which tourist attractions in Spain you can’t miss, I’ll share the 30 best places and activities in this guide. Not all of them are so well known, but I can assure you that they’ll leave you speechless.
So, are you ready to discover the best places to visit in Spain?
Things to do in Spain
1. Alhambra of Granada, one of the best places to visit in Spain
Andalusia has a rich Muslim history that’s still present today, which has resulted in some of the best architecture in Spain. The best example of this is the Alhambra in Granada, one of the most famous places in Spain.
This palatial fortress is comprised of a series of Nasrid palaces adorned with white marble columns and muqarnas, which once housed sultans. Moreover, from here, you can see the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the entire city of Granada. Without a doubt, it’s a must-see in Spain, and my favorite part is the Generalife gardens and fountain. If you plan a trip to Southern Spain, you must visit it.
The Alhambra is wildly popular, so if you want full access to the Nasrid palaces, the Alcazaba, the Generalife gardens, and the Partal, I recommend buying your ticket months in advance; especially during peak season when same-day tickets are impossible to get.
- Recommended accommodation: Hotel Casa Morisca, in the historic neighborhood of Albayzin, at the foot of the Alhambra, is the best option. You’ll have impressive views of the Alhambra and the Generalife, and easy access to the palaces.
2. Visit Seville, one of the best things to do in Spain
Seville is one of the best cities to visit in Spain. I recommend spending at least two days here so you can enjoy everything that Seville has to offer. For example, you’ll love La Giralda, a majestic, 800-year-old Almohad tower that crowns the city’s Cathedral.
Furthermore, the Plaza de España is one of the most iconic points of interest in Spain. Dating back to 1929, it was designed by architect Aníbal González for the Ibero-American Exhibition. You should also walk through the labyrinthine streets of the old Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz, visit the Alcázar Gardens, and try some local tapas.
Seville is known as the birthplace of flamenco, and, as probably you already know, watching a flamenco show is one of the best activities in Spain. This Triana tablao flamenco show is, no doubt, the best way to experience this part of the Spanish culture, so make sure you book some time for this activity.
As you can see, there is a lot to do in Seville, so I recommend booking tickets to the Cathedral and La Giralda in advance. You may also like this river cruise along the Guadalquivir River, which goes past the Torre del Oro and Triana Bridge.
- Recommended accommodation: The Meliá Lebreros is located just 0.2 miles from the train station, 0.1 miles from the Nervión metro stop, and a few minutes’ walk from the city center.
3. Timanfaya National Park, a beautiful place in Spain you should see
With its gorgeous scenery, Timanfaya National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Spain, and visiting it is one of the best things to do in Lanzarote.
Walking among the volcanic landscape is like landing on the moon; the geomorphological structures formed from the eruptions of 1730, 1736, and 1824, resulting in one of the top tourist attractions in Spain. Moreover, the combination of red, orange, ochre, and black tones contrast brilliantly against the radiant blue sky. No doubt why this is one of the most popular national parks in Spain.
To see everything that this national park has to offer, I recommend this 1-day tour, which includes admission to the park. It’s an adventurous thing to do in Spain, and you’ll also see La Geria, El Golfo, Charco de Los Clicos, and many other places.
- Recommended accommodation: I definitely recommend the Hotelito del Golfo since it’s the only hotel in the natural park and one of the best places to stay in Lanzarote.
4. Hanging Houses of Cuenca, another famous place in Spain
The Hanging Houses of Cuenca, also known as the King’s Houses, are a series of homes built into a rocky ledge. The houses have large balconies overlooking the Huécar river gorge, making it one of the coolest places in Spain.
The best way to see this historic site in Spain is on a free walking tour with a local guide (it’s in Spanish). Moreover, if you have time, you can visit the Enchanted City and the Cuervo River, two natural wonders in Spain’s Cuenca province.
- Recommended accommodation: I highly recommend the world-renowned Parador de Cuenca, considered one of the most beautiful paradores in Spain. You’ll have spectacular views since it hangs off the cliff, right in front of the Hanging Houses.
5. See the architecture of Gaudí in Barcelona
If there is a Spanish landmark you must see during your trip, it’s the Sagrada Familia. This famous church in Barcelona is Antoni Gaudí’s modernist masterpiece and an example of the best architecture in Spain.
The cathedral has been under construction for over 100 years, yet it remains one of the top places of interest in Barcelona and all of Spain. The line to get in can last for hours, but it’s well worth going inside, so I recommend buying a skip-the-line ticket in advance.
While you’re in Barcelona, be sure to check out another Gaudí masterpiece: Park Güell. Another must-see in Spain, this huge architectural garden is full of native flora, undulating pathways, and colorful mosaics. If you want to avoid the line to get in, purchase this ticket in advance, or book this free guided tour with an expert who will tell you all about this World Heritage Site.
Finally, Barcelona is one of the best cities in Spain and has so much to offer, so you can also do this free tour to see some other important monuments in the historic city center. If you prefer to explore on your own, we have a complete guide on things to do in Barcelona.
- Recommended accommodation: The Ayre Hotel Rosellón is right in front of the Sagrada Familia, and you can see it from the hotel’s rooftop terrace, so I plan to stay there during my next trip. Another high-quality accommodation in the city is the W Barcelona, which boasts spectacular views of the sea.
6. Prado Museum & El Retiro Park, Madrid
As we continue this list of things to do in Spain, we move to the capital city of Madrid. In our guide on things to do in Madrid, you will find that this city has it all: recreation, great food, culture, and incredible museums. In fact, the Prado Museum in Madrid is Spain’s most popular museum, with three million annual visitors.
Not only is it one of the most recognized museums in the world, but the Prado also has famous works like Goya’s Black Paintings and Velázquez’s Las Meninas, and loads of galleries that you can get lost in. The museum often has long lines, so I recommend getting your ticket in advance. Also, if you want to dedicate your day to the arts, be sure to check out the Reina Sofía Museum, which is just a few minutes’ walk away.
That said, the Prado Museum is right next to El Retiro Park, another top attraction in Spain’s capital city. This World Heritage Site is one of the largest parks in Madrid and once belonged to the Spanish monarchy. As such, it’s a lovely place with a big lake, lush gardens, historic monuments like the Alfonso XII Monument, the Fountain of the Fallen Angel, and the Crystal Palace. Without a doubt, this whimsical park is one of the best places to visit in Spain.
- Recommended accommodation: The Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado is in Madrid’s Art Triangle, close to the Prado, El Retiro, Reina Sofía, the Thyssen Museum, and the Barrio de las Letras.
7. Aqueduct of Segovia, a historical Spanish landmark you can’t miss
The Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the most important historical sites in Spain and an impressive feat of Roman engineering. Its construction dates back to the beginning of the 2nd century, to transport water from the Sierra mountains to Segovia (although the legends attribute this to the devil himself).
In addition to the aqueduct, Segovia is a beautiful city with some of the best sightseeing in Spain. During your time here, I recommend taking this guided tour of the Segovia Cathedral and eating a roasted suckling pig at the Mesón de Cándido, a restaurant located beneath the aqueduct.
- Recommended accommodation: The Real Segovia by Recordis Hotels is in the heart of the city, at the Plaza de las Sirenas, and is the best place you can stay in Segovia.
8. See the Lakes of Covadonga & Picos de Europa, a cool thing to do in Spain
Next, we go further north to the Lakes of Covadonga and the Picos de Europa, two beautiful places in Spain that you must visit at least once in your life.
Covadonga was the first capital of the ancient Kingdom of Asturias and is one of the most charming places in Spain, thanks to its religious sanctuary. From there, you can make the ascent towards the Lakes of Covadonga, which offer impressive views of the expansive landscape and, of course, a few Asturian cows along the way.
If you don’t want to drive to the lakes on your own, you can take this excursion from Cangas de Onís, which will take you past the Picos de Europa National Park, one of Spain’s wildest natural treasures.
- Recommended accommodation: The Arcea Gran Hotel Pelayo, with views of Covadonga Cathedral, is a lovely hotel where you can go hiking, cycling, and canoeing.
9. Molinos de la Mancha, another popular place to visit in Spain
If you like literature, surely you know Don Quixote. That means you’ll love visiting the famous Molinos de la Mancha, another cultural point of interest in Spain.
There are a few ways to get there, but I recommend the Molinos de Consuegra so you can see these charming 19th-century windmills. Not only are these striking white windmills a beautiful addition to the Spanish countryside, but they’re a wonderful reminder of the pivotal works by Cervantes.
- Recommended accommodation: El Patio de los Jazmines is a lovely rural hotel recognized by the government’s Junta de Castilla-La Mancha and is perfect for getting lost among the old mills in the countryside.
10. Teide National Park, Tenerife, an incredible attraction in Spain’s Canary Islands
Teide National Park is another must-see in Spain since it has the highest peak in all the Canary Islands, and all of Spain.
It has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you can bet that it offers some of the best views in Spain. We have a guide on how to climb Mount Teide, so if you’d like to do the climb but have doubts, be sure to read it. My suggestion is to take the cable car, then climb the 12,200 feet to the crater summit.
If you prefer to do the climb with a guide, check out one of the best Teide tours. In any case, I think it’s an incredible thing to do in Spain that you should do!
- Recommended accommodation: The Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide, located over 6,500 feet above sea level, offers magnificent views of Mount Teide and the arid volcanic surroundings. It’s the perfect place to start (or end) your day in Teide National Park.
11. Visit the Roman Theater of Mérida, an unforgettable activity in Spain
Another great work left by the Romans is the Roman Theater of Mérida. Its construction was ordered by Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus, between 16 and 15 B.C., and today, it’s one of the most important landmarks in Spain.
Over its 2,000 years of existence, the theater has become the architectural ruins that you’ll see today. Even so, it’s one of the most magnificent parts of the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of Hispania and visit the Roman Theater and other ruins like the Moorish Alcazaba citadel, the Morerías Archaeological Zone, the Casa del Amphitheater, and the Roman Amphitheatre, I recommend this combined pass with a guide.
- Recommended accommodation: The Hotel Ilunion Mérida Palace is a restored 15th-century palace in the Plaza de España with a terrace pool and great views of the city.
12. Burgos Cathedral, another breathtaking place to visit in Spain
The Burgos Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful churches in the country, so it’s a must-see in Spain.
Its construction began 800 years ago, in 1221, following the French Gothic style. Throughout history, it has undergone various restoration efforts that have kept it alive and given it some unique design details. Two standout features are the two exterior towers and the splendid Gothic-Plateresque dome. Inside, you can’t miss the Altarpiece, the Constable’s Chapel, and the Golden Staircase.
If you want to discover all the secrets of this architectural marvel, I recommend taking this guided tour of the cathedral.
- Recommended accommodation: The Crisol Mesón del Cid is one of the best hotels in Burgos, with a central location that makes it easy to explore the narrow historic streets.
13. See the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, an enjoyable thing to do in Spain with kids
The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is a cultural and entertainment complex and one of the best tourist attractions in Spain.
The complex was designed by the famous architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela and houses some of the best activities in Spain that you can do as a family. Among them are L’Oceanogràfic, the largest aquarium in Europe; L’Hemisfèric, a planetarium and the largest laser projection room in Spain; and a three-story science museum. If you get the full ticket, you’ll gain access to all the interactive exhibits and gallery spaces, so it’s worth it.
- Recommended accommodation: The Ilunion Aqua 4 is in front of the City of Arts and Sciences and has a 9th-floor Michelin star restaurant with panoramic views.
14. Great Mosque of Córdoba, one of the most famous attractions in Spain
The Great Mosque of Córdoba is one of the most historic landmarks in Spain and a monument you must see to believe. Don’t be fooled by the name; it’s officially known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption.
Along with the Alhambra, the Mosque of Córdoba is the most important monument of Andalusian architecture. It was declared a Site of Cultural Interest as part of Córdoba’s historic center and, in 2007, was selected by the public as one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. Moreover, it was awarded in a TripAdvisor contest as the best tourist destination in Europe and number six in the world.
As you can see, visiting the Great Mosque of Córdoba is one of the top things to do in Spain, and you can soak up all its history on this guided tour.
- Recommended accommodation: The Hesperia Córdoba is on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, granting you lovely views of the Mosque and the medieval Alcazar fortress.
15. Wall of Ávila, another Spanish landmark you must see
It’s impossible to visit Ávila and not see the majestic Wall of Ávila. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most important monuments in Spain that you should see at least once.
The wall has a perimeter of 1.5 miles and covers an area of 81.5 acres. Its 88 medieval towers reach a height of nearly 40 feet, making it one of the most incredible attractions in Spain. This impressive wall was completed between the 11th and 14th centuries and they’re the most complete fortifications in the country. Also, the wall’s nine gates were finished at different times, so they each reflect a different style.
It’s worth seeing this marvel, and you can learn more about it and other monuments in Ávila’s historic center on this free tour.
- Recommended accommodation: The Palacio de la Velada is an impressive 16th-century palace with luxurious rooms, and it’s right in front of the Ávila Cathedral. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant that serves typical food from the region.
16. Balearic Islands, an unforgettable place to visit in Spain with friends
If you’re looking for the best place to visit in Spain in summer, the Balearic Islands are one of your best options. These islands are comprised of Mallorca, Menorca, Cabrera, Ibiza, and Formentera; and other islets, such as Dragonera, Conejera or S’Espalmador.
The Balearic Islands have some of the most beautiful landscapes and beaches in Spain. There’s a reason why it’s the third most-visited autonomous community in Spain, attracting both national and international tourists.
The most populous city here is the capital of Palma de Mallorca. If you go here, I suggest taking this free tour to learn more about its history. Also, this dolphin-watching tour in Palma de Mallorca is one of the best things to do in Spain with family.
Another island I recommend you see is Menorca, which is known for its lovely beaches, coves, and remains of the Talayotic Culture. Take a walk around the citadel, visit Mount Toro and the Mola Fortress, go to Mahón, or take a boat ride to discover the best coves.
Finally, Ibiza is known for its party atmosphere, but it has much more than that, so I’ll tell you all about that later.
17. Go to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, something to do in Spain if it rains
Going to Bilbao is one of the best things to do in northern Spain, and it has one of the coolest cultural attractions, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Inaugurated in 1997, the museum is guarded by the Puppy, an impressive floral dog sculpture created by artist Jeff Koons. As for the design of the building, it’s the work of architect Frank Gehry and is one of the most representative examples of the avant-garde aesthetic of the 20th century.
If you can, check out the museum at sunset when the play of light on the structure is beautiful. Inside, you’ll find 258,000ft² of space, 113,000 of which are intended for exhibitions. There are collections from local artists like Eduardo Chillida and international artists such as Mark Rothko and Yoko Ono. The museum also has a rotating roster of exhibits ranging from Chinese and Russian art to paintings and sculptures.
It’s best to buy tickets online since they’re cheaper and you’ll avoid unnecessary lines. Also, since you’ll be in Bilbao, take this free tour to learn all about this great historic center and attractions like the Arriaga Theatre, the Begoña Stairs, and the Santiago Cathedral.
- Recommended accommodation: The Hotel Carlton in Bilbao’s famous Plaza de Don Federico Moyúa is less than a 10-minute walk from the museum.
18. Toledo, one of the best cities to visit in Spain
Toledo is known as the City of Three Cultures and is another beautiful place to visit in Spain.
My number-one piece of advice is to not leave this city without seeing the Cathedral of Toledo, one of the most impressive churches in the world. It’s also worth visiting the Mirador del Valle, especially at sunset; the Alcantara Bridge; and the Monastery of San Juan, which is over 500 years old.
If you’d like to visit this city from top to bottom, I suggest getting the Toledo Card, which grants you skip-the-line admission to several monuments and a guided tour of the Cathedral.
- Recommended accommodation: The Eugenia de Montijo, Autograph Collection is named after the empress who owned this former palace, which has been converted into a luxury hotel. You won’t regret staying here!
19. Camino de Santiago, a popular thing to do in Spain
Without a doubt, one of the best activities in Spain is doing the Camino de Santiago, one of the best hikes in Spain. Some people do the route on foot, while others go by bike or even run. Whichever method you choose, I promise you it will be a unique experience.
The Camino de Santiago will transport you to some of the most beautiful places in Spain like the tomb of Santiago el Mayor, located in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.
This route has its roots as a medieval Christian pilgrimage that started from the western Pyrenees. Today, the Camino de Santiago refers to the modern-day routes, such as the Camino Francés and Camino Portugués. As you travel along the route, you’ll meet many other pilgrims making the trek, as well as some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country.
Once you’ve fulfilled your mission and have arrived in Santiago de Compostela, you can receive your official certificate of completion. I also recommend taking this guided tour of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and its museum.
- Recommended accommodation: After such a rigorous journey, the best thing you can do is indulge yourself and stay at the Parador de Santiago – Hostal Reis Catolicos. Here, you can lounge like a king in a four-poster bed and enjoy traditional Galician dishes and seafood.
20. Eat paella in Valencia, a typical thing to do in Spain
One of the best things about traveling to a new place is trying different foods, so if you’re going to Spain, you must try paella. You can get paella throughout Spain, but one of the best places to get this traditional dish is in Valencia since it originated there.
Paella is a rice dish, and its name comes from the shallow frying pan that the original Valencian paella was cooked in. Traditional paella valenciana consists of rice, bajoqueta and tavella green beans, rabbit, chicken, and garrofó, a type of lima bean. The ingredients are cooked in olive oil, chicken broth, and saffron, which gives the paella its distinctive yellow color.
This is said to be the original recipe, although you can find all kinds of variations, including paella de mariscos (seafood paella). If you want the very best paella in Spain, be sure to order it in Valencia. Some restaurants that are known for their delicious paella include Casa Carmela, Casa Roberto, La Pepica, La Riuà, and Restaurante Levante.
Sitting around a table with a huge skillet of paella is one of the best things to do in Spain with friends, so you won’t regret traveling to Valencia to experience it!
- Recommended accommodations: Zenit Valencia has a restaurant, bar, gym, sauna, and it’s a few blocks from Casa Roberto. Another good nearby option is Ilunion Aqua 4 next to the City of Arts & Sciences.
21. RondA & Caminito del Rey, two magnificent places to visit in Spain
German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, called Ronda the city of his dreams, and it’s not hard to see why. Ronda is one of the most beautiful places in Spain, and the best way to discover this town is with this free guided tour. Among the famous monuments here, you’ll get to see the New Bridge, which spans the city’s canyon.
You’ll also walk along the Paseo de Ernest Hemingway on the cliffs of El Tajo, which has a sculpture honoring the American writer. Furthermore, you’ll see the iconic balconies of the hanging houses, which hover almost 500 feet over a canyon gorge.
If you fancy something more active, nearby is the Caminito del Rey, one of the best hiking trails in Spain. You can do the route on your own, but if you don’t have much hiking experience, it’s better to do it with a guide. During the 3-hour excursion, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful landscape of cliffs, gorges, and tunnels.
- Recommended accommodation: To round out your visit to Ronda, I recommend the Parador de Ronda, located in the old town hall. You’ll have spectacular views of the gorge and the New Bridge.
22. Go to the oldest restaurant in the world in Madrid
Talking about food again, if you’re in Madrid, you must visit the oldest restaurant in the world, Sobrino de Botín. The restaurant was founded in 1725, and its cellar dates back to 1590.
Sobrino de Botín has an expansive history, especially among artists and creatives. Ernest Hemingway loved dining here, and he even featured the restaurant in one of his books. Also, the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya waited tables here before he got accepted into the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
This tavern is one of the best places to visit in Spain because it’s like stepping back in time. The kitchen oven’s flame has been continuously burning all these years, and the menu consists of original recipes like cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig), cordero asado (roast lamb), and sopa de ajo (a garlicky soup with poached egg).
Moreover, Sobrino de Botín is very close to Plaza Mayor, another popular attraction in Spain’s capital city. This is one of the city’s main squares and the former center of Old Madrid. It was built during the reign of Philip II, and a bronze statue of the King still stands at the center of the plaza. Throughout the day, you can find tourists and locals passing through, shopping at the stores, or eating at the cafes. Plaza Mayor is also the site of various events throughout the year, including a Christmas market.
- Recommend accommodations: The Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado is a beautiful hotel, or you can stay at the Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid if you’d like to be closer to Plaza Mayor. The hotel has family rooms, a pet-friendly policy, and a spa, so you’ll be comfortable and close to several main attractions.
23. Santiago Bernabéu or Camp Nou, the perfect places to visit in Spain for soccer lovers
Soccer is one of the top activities in Spain, so if you’re a sports fan, there are two places I recommend you visit.
Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid is the famous home stadium for Real Madrid. With a capacity for over 81,000 people, it’s the second-largest stadium in Spain. If there is a game there during your stay, it’s worth going for the camaraderie and experience. Another option is this stadium tour to see the massive arena, exclusive areas for players, and memorabilia about the stadium’s history.
If you’re going to be in Barcelona, check out Camp Nou, the home stadium for FC Barcelona. It’s the biggest stadium in Spain and all of Europe, with seating for over 99,000 spectators. Besides hosting soccer games, Camp Nou is a popular venue for concerts and other events. It also has an on-site museum, so I recommend this tour, which takes you to the soccer pitch, the locker rooms, and the commentary box. You’ll also get to see videos, jerseys, and other items from FC Barcelona’s top players.
- Recommended accommodations: The H10 Tribeca is very close to Santiago Bernabéu and offers modern, sound-proof rooms with free Wi-Fi. If you want to stay near Camp Nou, NH Barcelona Stadium is a sustainable hotel with an on-site restaurant and views of Montjuïc.
24. San Lorenzo de El Escorial, one of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Spain
The Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is one of the most important landmarks in Spain, as it’s the best example of the country’s “Golden Age” ideology of the 16th century.
This World Heritage Site is comprised of the Royal Palace of King Philip II, a convent, a library with thousands of ancient books, and royal burial sites for several former monarchs. The Pantheon of Kings contains the remains of over two dozen royals from the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties.
Throughout its history, El Escorial has served as a basilica, a hospital, a library, a monastery, a museum, a pantheon, and a school. It’s a must-see in Spain thanks to its lovely marble walls, gold-plated accents, and formal gardens.
If you want to know more about this impressive monastery, I recommend you take this excursion, which also takes you to the Valley of the Fallen, an important monument from Spain’s Civil War era.
- Recommended accommodation: If you can, stay at the Exe Victoria Palace, which overlooks the San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the Valmayor Reservoir, and the Sierra de Guadarrama. It also has a garden with an outdoor pool where you can lounge and beat the summer heat in Madrid.
25. Salamanca, a city with lots of fun things to do in Spain
Salamanca is a city with lots of cultural points of interest in Spain, like the New and Old Cathedrals, Plaza Mayor, and the Casa de las Conchas. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998 and is home to the country’s oldest university.
Moreover, Salamanca is known for its historical monuments, so if you don’t want to miss anything here, I recommend this free tour. It’ll take you past the Plaza del Corrillo, the impressive architecture of the New Cathedral, and the Episcopal Palace, which houses the History Museum of Salamanca. Your guide will also point out the hidden figures etched into the façade of the University of Salamanca, which was founded in 1218.
For me, Salamanca is the most beautiful place to visit in Spain’s Castilla y León region, so it’s a city you must visit at least once!
- Recommended accommodation: Stay at the Fenix Gran Meliá hotel, one of the most romantic hotels in Spain. It’s located next to the Plaza de Colón and features classic English furnishings and décor.
26. Visit the beaches of the Canary Islands, something to do in Spain as a couple
If you’re looking for things to do in Spain in winter, I heartily recommend going to the Canary Islands. The Islands are one of my favorite tourist spots in Spain thanks to its year-round temperate climate, its landscapes, and of course, its beautiful beaches.
The average temperature in the Canary Islands is around 68°F, and it rarely rains, so it’s the perfect place to go in the winter. Among all the activities to do here, one of the best things is sightseeing and witnessing the volcanic surroundings of the islands.
When you’re planning your trip, you’ll have to decide which is the best island in the Canary Islands for you. It’s a tough choice, so here are my top suggestions for each island:
- Things to do in Tenerife: Whale tours, Mount Teide, Anaga National Park, and Benijo Beach
- Things to see in Gran Canaria: The beach and dunes of Maspalomas, Roque Nublo
- Things to see in Lanzarote: Timanfaya, Papagayo Beach, and the works of César Manrique
- Things to do in Fuerteventura: Corralejo Dunes and Cofete Beach
- Things to see in La Palma: Roque de Los Muchachos and Caldera de Taburiente
- Things to do in La Gomera: Laurisilva (laurel forest) in Garajonay Natural Park
- Things to do in El Hierro: This quieter island is perfect for scuba diving
Whichever island you choose, you won’t regret it! Without a doubt, the Canary Islands are one of the best places to visit in Spain, so don’t pass them up!
27. San Sebastián, another unique place to visit in Spain
San Sebastián is another lovely city to see in Spain, particularly for its charming La Concha Beach, one of the best beaches in Spain.
That said, the most-visited part of San Sebastián and what makes it one of the best places to visit in Spain is its Old Town (Parte Vieja). Here, you can visit the Plaza de la Constitución and its colorful buildings, as well as Alameda del Boulevard, the main artery that connects the Old Town to the newer Donostia district. This free tour will tell you more about the town’s history and development.
Another great part about San Sebastián is its gastronomy, as it has the best pintxos (tapas) in the country. It’s worth indulging in the specialties here, and you can try all the best pintxos on this food tour.
- Recommended accommodations: I suggest staying at the Zenit Convento San Martin, which is just 500 feet from La Concha Beach. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and terrace, which is perfect for lounging in the summertime.
28. Go skiing in the Pyrenees, a fun activity in Spain you should do
If you like sports and you’re visiting Spain during the winter, you must go skiing in the Pyrenees.
Within the Catalan Pyrenees, I recommend the Baqueria-Beret ski resort, which has a wide variety of slopes and off-trail runs. If this is where you choose to go, stay at the Hotel Val de Neu, which offers free ski storage, as well as rooms and suites with views of the slopes. There is also the luxury Sisley Spa, where you can indulge in massages, beauty treatments, a thermal circuit, and an outdoor hot tub. It’s the perfect thing to do in Spain after spending a few hours on the slopes.
Another option is La Molina, with over 44 skiable miles. La Molina opened its doors in 1943, making it the oldest ski resort in Catalonia, and it was also the first in Spain to install a ski lift. Today, the resort has 69 slopes, 12 ski schools, and 400 instructors. It’s one of the best places to visit in Spain with family, although you can also train here. If you choose to go here, purchase your ski pass in advance here.
Finally, in the Pyrenees of Huesca, you can go to the Celer, Astún, and Formigal ski resorts. If you prefer something further south, check out the slopes of the Sierra Nevada.
29. Wine tastings in La Rioja, another nice thing to do in Spain as a couple
Spain has the most cultivated vineyards in the world and, it’s number three worldwide in terms of wine production. So, you can imagine that doing a wine tasting in La Rioja is one of the best things to do in Spain.
I mention La Rioja because it’s the creme de la creme regarding Spanish vineyards. If you’d like to immerse yourself in this culture, I recommend this tour, which takes you through the Rioja Vega winery’s grounds and barrel room. You’ll learn about the origins of Spanish wine and, of course, enjoy a guided tasting.
Without a doubt, La Rioja is one of the best places to go in Spain as a couple, although it’s also lots of fun with friends.
- Recommended accommodation: For a dreamy visit, stay at the Hotel Marqués de Riscal in Elciego, within La Rioja’s Alavesa province. Most of the rooms have built-in window seats overlooking the valley. You’ll also have access to the hotel’s Vinothérapie Spa by Caudalie Marqués de Riscal, which offers grape-infused treatments. There is also an indoor pool, a hammam, a Finnish sauna, and a gym, making it one of the most charming hotels in Spain.
30. Party in Ibiza, an awesome thing to do in Spain with friends
Ibiza is known around the world for its party atmosphere, and while it’s true that its nightlife is quite the experience, there is a lot more to this place.
Many areas of Ibiza are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so it’s one of the best islands to visit near Spain. Among these sites are the Renaissance walls of Old Town, the Ses Feixes Wetlands, and the remains of the first Phoenician settlement at Sa Caleta.
Another historic site is Dalt Vila, or High Town. It’s also worth visiting the scenic Punta d’es Moscarter on the northern tip of the island. You can learn more secrets about Ibiza’s Old Town and Dalt Vila on this free tour.
As you can see, Ibiza offers plenty of culture and history, so it’s one of the best holiday destinations in Spain if you’re looking for something different.
- Recommended accommodation: THB Los Molinos, located in Dalt Vila, is an adults-only hotel right on the beach. It has a sauna, hot tub, gym, and balcony rooms, as well as Balinese beds and a bar right next to the pool.
Spanish foods you must try
Trying some typical Spanish foods is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Spain. Below are some of the must-try foods I recommend:
- Paella: As I mentioned, paella is a rice dish that originated in Valencia, and it’s traditionally made with special types of green beans, lima beans, chicken, rabbit, and saffron.
- Gazpacho: This chilled soup is typically made with tomato, cucumbers, onion, bell peppers, garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar, water, salt, and crusty bread. It’s most popular in southern Spain.
- Tortilla de patatas: Also known as a Spanish omelet, this dish is made with eggs, potatoes, and onions. It’s often served in smaller portions as a tapa.
- Patatas bravas: Forget French fries; patatas bravas are white potatoes fried in oil, then served with a spicy sauce. They’re often served as tapas, and they’re absolutely delicious.
- Sangria: This red wine mixed with chopped apples, berries, or stone fruits is a staple in Spain.
- Tapas: Tapas are small plates or appetizers that you typically eat with beer or wine. There are different varieties, but the most popular tapas include olives (aceitunas), meatballs (albóndigas), Russian salad (ensaladilla rusa), croquettes, patatas bravas, tortilla de patatas, fried cheese, fried squid rings (calamares), and sauteed prawns (gambas).
My advice is to come to this country hungry because sampling the traditional foods here is one of the most delicious activities in Spain!
How to get around Spain
Spain is great for road tripping and renting a car will help you see the places in Spain that I recommend here, as well as the surrounding areas. Besides, you can often rent a car in one town and drop it off at another, so it’s quite convenient.
If you want to find cheap car rentals, it’s best to read our guide first. In the past, we’ve mostly used Rentalcars to get the best prices. Sometimes they’re up to three times cheaper than other websites, so I recommend to check them out.
Also, take into account that renting a car is not required in Spain since there are plenty of bus and train options if you don’t want to drive. To check the best bus/train/flights options in Spain we always use Omio.
And there you have the best things to do in Spain. If you’d like to tell me about your favorite tourist attractions in Spain, or you want to ask me any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment. Until then, have a safe trip!