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Things to do in Spain

Things to do in  Spain

Welcome to Spain

Sandwiched between Portugal to the west and France to the northeast, Spain entices visitors with its rich culture, history, and fabulous cuisine. The sun shines almost all year round, locals pass down traditional tapas recipes through the generations, and people greet each other with warmth and affection. Whether you visit for the food, the weather, the coast, or the history, Spain brims with adventures, all of which can be easily accessed by a host of private and small-group tours. In vibrant Barcelona and Madrid, walking and cycling tours lead you to top attractions such as the Prado National Museum and Gaudí's iconic La Sagrada Familia, and offer skip-the-line access as well as a guide who will help bring Spain's history to life. Food tours, wine-tasting experiences, and cooking classes teach you how tapas delicacies such as Iberian ham, salted cod, and rich chickpea stew complement Spanish reds and whites like Rioja, Montenovo Godello, and Serrana Macabeo. History buffs can explore medieval streets around Besalú, Tavertet, and Rupit on a group tour to see where castle ruins hide among rugged cliffs and dense forests, while culture vultures will want to take in the passion of flamenco, a traditional Spanish dance. Meanwhile, multi-day tours take travelers to far-flung destinations like Cordoba, Granada, Ronda, Seville, and Toledo, as well as the beautiful coast east of Malaga, where ancient olive groves thrive in the Spanish sunshine.

Top 15 attractions in Spain

#1
Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

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Sagrada Familia, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Antoni Gaudi’s magnum opus, is undoubtedly the most iconic structure in Barcelona (and the most popular, with nearly 3 million visitors per year). Construction has been ongoing for more than 135 years, and the surreal structure, with its rainbow-hued stained glass windows, is slated for completion in 2026. Even in its unfinished state, it remains an absolute must-see for every visitor to the Catalan capital.More
#2
Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real de Madrid)

Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real de Madrid)

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Madrid's Royal Palace (also known as the Palacio Real or Palacio de Oriente) is a beautiful baroque structure with some 3,000 rooms, making it one of Europe's largest castles. Although the royal family no longer lives here, the Palacio Real still serves as the king and queen's official residence, a venue for state ceremonies, and a place for tourists to get a peek into the royal history of Spain.More
#3
Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide)

Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide)

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The largest and oldest national park in the Canary Islands and home to Spain’s highest peak—Mount Teide—Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide) is one of the top attractions on Tenerife. The rugged landscape of the park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is magnificent—a geological wonder featuring an expanse of rugged lava fields, ancient calderas, and volcanic peaks.More
#4
Prado Museum (Museo del Prado)

Prado Museum (Museo del Prado)

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The Prado Museum (Museo del Prado) houses one of the finest art collections in the world, specializing in European art from the 12th to 19th centuries. Thousands of European paintings, sculptures, and other works of art are on display throughout its halls, and they represent merely a fraction of the total collection. Highlights include works by Francisco Goya, Diego Velázquez, and El Greco. Perhaps the most famous paintings are “Las Meninas” (The Maids of Honor), an inventive self-portrait by Velázquez, and The Garden of Earthly Delights, a triptych from Hieronymus Bosch.More
#5
Royal Alcázar of Seville (Real Alcázar de Sevilla)

Royal Alcázar of Seville (Real Alcázar de Sevilla)

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Sights across the entire Spanish south have been shaped by centuries of Moorish and Catholic influence, and in few places is this more evident and captivating than at the Royal Alcázar of Seville (Real Alcázar de Sevilla). This UNESCO World Heritage Site’s sprawling complex is made up of several features; the most picturesque is arguably the Patio de las Doncellas, with its tranquil ponds that reflect the intricate mudéjar plasterwork for which the palace is especially noted.More
#6
Park Güell

Park Güell

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Antoni Gaudi spent 15 years designing and building the whimsical fountains, mosaic benches, pedestrian walkways, and gingerbread house-like buildings within Park Güell, one of the seven Works of Antoni Gaudi buildings that together make up a UNESCO World Heritage site. Along with the Sagrada Familia, the hilltop public park sits at the top of Barcelona’s must-see list, and for good reason. The Art Nouveau wonderland adorns many a postcard of the city.More
#7
Alhambra (Alhambra de Granada)

Alhambra (Alhambra de Granada)

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Built on a hill overlooking Granada and set against a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, the Alhambra (Alhambra de Granada) is a sprawling complex of intricately decorated palaces, pristine gardens, and a once-mighty fortress. This UNESCO World Heritage site was constructed during the Nasrid Dynasty and later partially destroyed and rebuilt by King Charles V. With its mix of Renaissance and Moorish architecture, the Alhambra Palace is the most sought-after attraction for visitors to Granada, sitting high on most must-see lists for Andalucia and Spain as a whole.More
#8
Masca Valley

Masca Valley

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Characterized by rugged cliffs, forested trails, and waterfalls, the wild landscapes of the Masca Valley are among Tenerife’s most beautiful. The remote gorge offers a thrilling backdrop for a hike—the trail winds down through the gorge and finishes at a black-sand beach.More
#9
Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede)

Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede)

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The world’s largest Gothic cathedral, built atop the remains of a mosque, the Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede) features a spectacular gold altarpiece in its main altar depicting 36 scenes from the life of Christ, as well as the tomb of Christopher Columbus, works by Goya and Murillo, and the dramatic Giralda Tower.More
#10
Timanfaya National Park (Parque Nacional de Timanfaya)

Timanfaya National Park (Parque Nacional de Timanfaya)

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Spanning 20 square miles (51 square km) of southern Lanzarote, Timanfaya National Park (Parque Nacional de Timanfaya) is a unique and eerie landscape of dormant volcanoes and lava fields. Visitors flock to the park from nearby beach towns to explore the otherworldly terrain that looks more like the moon than the Canary Islands.More
#11
Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

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One of Barcelona’s most fanciful buildings, the elaborate Casa Batlló was built by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and is nicknamed the “House of Bones” for its contorted window frames and skeletal pillars. Casa Batlló’s interior is equally mind-boggling, featuring rippled walls, exquisite tile work, and sculpted fireplaces.More
#12
Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

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Today this central square is a popular meeting place for tourists and locals, but Plaza Mayor’s history goes back to the early 17th century during King Felipe III's reign. The central statue is a nod to the king’s role in overseeing the project's completion. Forming the outer walls are a series of 3-story buildings with balconies overlooking the center.More
#13
Generalife Gardens

Generalife Gardens

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The 13th-century Generalife served as a summer retreat for Nasrid kings when they needed a break from palace affairs. From its perch on Cerro del Sol (Hill of the Sun), the series of terraces, promenades, and gardens spread across 74 landscaped acres (30 hectares) of the Alhambra complex afford some of the best views over Granada.More
#14
Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum

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Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry and opened in 1997, is hailed as one of the most important architectural works of its time. Within its undulating and reflecting walls on the banks of the Nervión River, you’ll find a rotating artistic wonderland of both modern and contemporary art.More
#15
Valencia City of the Arts & Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias)

Valencia City of the Arts & Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias)

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Situated along Valencia’s old Turia riverbed, the visually striking City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) was the work of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The spectacular architecture is just part of the appeal of this futuristic complex though, which is also home to a science museum, planetarium, and more—all popular with families.More

Trip ideas

Around Spain in 15 Dishes

Around Spain in 15 Dishes

Top activities in Spain

Skip the Line: Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia Guided Tour
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Fast Track Sagrada Familia Guided Tour
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The Original Three Countries in One Day: France, Andorra, Spain from Barcelona
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The Most Complete Full Day Private Tour with Sagrada Familia and Park Guell
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Full Day Tour Ávila and Segovia from Madrid with Tickets to Monuments Included
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Barcelona: Kayaking and Snorkeling tour to Costa Brava
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Barcelona in One Day: Sagrada Familia, Park Guell & Old Town with Hotel Pick-up
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Priority Access: Barcelona Sagrada Familia Tour with Tower Entry
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Small-Group Sail Trip in Barcelona with Paddle Boarding
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Girona and Costa Brava Small-Group Tour with Hotel Pickup from Barcelona
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Oceanbeat Ibiza boat party

Oceanbeat Ibiza boat party

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Recent reviews from experiences in Spain

star-5
Incredible Tapas Tour
Mary_W, Jul 2022
Gothic Quarter Evening Tapas Tour with The Barcelona Taste
He helped us fall in love with Barcelona and Spain - he was passionate about the food and wine and introduced us to speciality tapas and local haunts.
star-5
A fun evening out!
Ashley_M, Jul 2022
Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour
We also received some recommendations on other things to do and ended up going on the countryside wine tour.
star-5
Comfortable walking & driving tour in Sevilla
Bill_H, Jul 2022
Seville tour with private car
Spoke very good English and taught us a lot about the city & history of Sevilla and Spain.
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Don’t miss this concert!
PATTY, Jul 2022
Spanish & Flamenco Guitar Concert at the Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona
This was our second time at the musical palace Catalon and we booked the concert just to see the world famous building a second time.
star-5
Surprise
Antonia_D, Jun 2022
Skip the Line: Museo Picasso Malaga Combined Entrance Ticket
I was not expecting to be able to see these two works together!
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Enjoyed Trip
Jason_M, Jun 2022
Avila and Segovia Tour from Madrid with Alcazar Tickets
Enjoyed the bus ride to see Spain.
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Don’t Miss This!
jackie_c, Jun 2022
Highlights of Madrid by Bike
Best way to see Madrid!
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Thanks Caesar and company!!
Dain_S, Jun 2022
Wineries Guided Tour to Ribera del Duero with Wine Tasting from Madrid
The opportunity to see rural Spain was also a great contrast to Madrid.
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Beautiful Spain Coast
George_E, Jun 2022
Excursión a Playa de las Catedrales, Lugo & Ribadeo desde Santiago de Compostela
Being our first time to Spain, it was great to see such a special place.
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Flamenco: traditional and professional
Shirley_J, Jun 2022
Flamenco Show Ticket at Theatre Barcelona City Hall
And no where to see it better than in Spain.
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Great way to 3 cities in 1 day
Isaac_C, Jun 2022
Toledo, Segovia, Optional Avila: Majesty of Medieval Spain Tour
Best way to see different cities in Spain and learn the history.
star-5
Must Do!!!
Sandra_J, Jun 2022
Sagrada Familia and Montserrat Small Group Tour with Hotel pick-up
Got to see so many different aspects of Spain.
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History of Salamanca brought to life
Katherine_W, Jun 2022
Salamanca Walking Tour
He also gave us tips on places to visit and eat to feel the true, local character of Salamanca.
star-5
Amazing trip! 10/10 would recommend!
Kathryn_Z, Jun 2022
Kayak and Snorkel day tour to la Costa Brava from Barcelona
A great trip and great way to see another part of Spain if you’re staying in Barcelona.
star-5
Delightful n Not to Miss Tour
dorothy_D, May 2022
The Original Three Countries in One Day: France, Andorra, Spain from Barcelona
Great way to visit 3 countries France, Andorra n More Spain in 1 day...
star-5
Great.. would definitely...
Homer_C, May 2022
Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes Barcelona in Las Ramblas
Spain is a wonderful place to visit.
star-5
Guide was excellent. ...
Graham_T, May 2022
Skip the Line: Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Half-Day Tour
Good time to visit in the morning before it got too hot.
star-4
long bus ride.
nancy_b, May 2022
The Original Three Countries in One Day: France, Andorra, Spain from Barcelona
guess the hot spring.
star-5
Great service at an afordable price
Eddie_C, May 2022
City Sightseeing Malaga Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
We were able to visit so many places and also learn a lot of the city’s history thanks to Aviator and the hop on hop off bus service they provide.
star-5
Wonderful White Villages Tour
Randolph_C, May 2022
Private Guided Day Trip to the White Villages and Ronda from Seville
The White Villages we’re quite picturesque and wonderful to visit.
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All about Spain

When to visit

Home to some of Europe’s warmest climes, Spain is a sun-suffused destination throughout the year. No matter the season, head to southerly Andalucía, the beaches of the Costa del Sol, and the Balearic Islands for the toastiest temperatures. Other highlights—such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Galicia—are more seasonal in nature.

Frequently Asked Questions