best cities to visit in Spain

You are planning a trip to Spain but you don’t know which cities to visit.

This article is for you!

You will discover the 10 most popular cities in Spain and the best things to do there!

1)  Madrid

The city of Madrid is the capital of Spain and its most populous municipality, with a population of 3.3 million. The urban area of Madrid extends beyond the administrative boundaries of the city and has approximately 6.5 million inhabitants. Madrid is the third-largest urban area in the European Union, just behind London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area is the third-most populous in the European Union after London and Paris, with 6.5 million inhabitants.

The city of Madrid is located on the Manzanares River, in the center of Spain, northeast of the Castilian plateau and surrounded by mountains, in the center of the Community of Madrid (the Madrid metropolitan area and its extended suburbs and villages), which is bordered by Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León.

The capital of Spain, the seat of government, and residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political, economic, and cultural center of the country.

5 things to do in Madrid:

  • Visited the Royal Palace in Madrid.
  • Take a stroll through the Plaza Mayor of Madrid.
  • Walk in the Royal Botanical Garden.
  • See the Teatro Real.
  • Visited the Prado Museum.

2) Barcelona

Barcelona is a city located in the northeast region of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, as well as the second-most populous municipality in Spain.

Barcelona is one of the world’s major tourist, economic, trade fair, and cultural/sports centers and an important hub for commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts. It ranks second on the list of cities with the most attractions and events (after Paris). Its GDP was 177 billion euros in 2008, making it one of the three largest cities in Europe.

5 things to do in Barcelona:

  • Visited the amazing Sagrada Família.
  • Take a walk in Parc Güell.
  • Batlló House.
  • The Barri Gòtic neighborhood.
  • The Casa Milà.

3) Valencia

Valencia is the capital of the Valencian Community and the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. It is located on the east coast of Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea. The official language is Spanish, but it is common to hear Arabic spoken in the streets. Valencia was founded as a Roman colony in 138 BC. In 714, its people were conquered by Muslims from Morocco and North Africa. The Moors introduced their language (Arabic al-Andalus), their religion (Islam). From 1238 to 1707, it was Christianized by the Aragonese and Catalan conquest. It then became the capital of the kingdom of Valencia.

Valencia is a port city located on the eastern coast of Spain, facing the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea. The historic center of this city, which covers 169 hectares, is one of the largest in Spain. It is known for its heritage of ancient monuments, views, attractions, and cultural landmarks.

5 things to do in Valencia:

  • Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.
  • The Central Market of Valencia.
  • L’Oceanogràfic.
  • Valencia Bioparc.
  • La Lonja de la Seda.

4) Seville

The city of Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. It is located on the plain of the Guadalquivir River. Seville has a municipal population of about 702,000 in 2011 and a metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the fourth largest city in Spain and the 30th most populous municipality in the European Union. The old city, which covers 4 square kilometers, is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcazar palace complex, the Cathedral, and the General Archive of the Indies. The port of Seville, located 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean, is the only river port in Spain.

5 things to do in Seville:

  • Seville Cathedral.
  • Plaza de España.
  • La Giralda.
  • Royal Alcázar of Seville.
  • Torre del Oro

5) Saragosse

The city of Zaragoza, capital of the province of Zaragoza and the autonomous community of Aragon, is located on the Ebro River in northeastern Spain, at an altitude of 192 m above sea level.

In 2006, the population of Zaragoza was 673,317, making it the fifth most populous city in Spain. The population of the metropolitan area was estimated that year at 783,763 people. The municipality is home to more than half of the population of Aragon. The city is located at an altitude of 199 meters (645 feet) above sea level.

5 things to do in Saragosse:

  • You can visit the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar.
  • Observe the magnificent San Salvador Cathedral.
  • Walk along the Ebro River.
  • Aljaferia Palace.
  • Enjoying tapas in the historic center of the city is a sure way to spend an unforgettable night.

6)  Malaga

Málaga is a city in Andalusia, in the south of Spain. It is known for its high-rise hotels, sandy beaches, and excellent seafood restaurants. In the old town, the baroque façade of the 18th century Teatro Romano still stands in front of Roman ruins. The Moorish fortress Alcazaba is entered through a door in its massive walls.

Málaga is the second most populated city in Andalusia, with an approximate population of 570,000. It is located on the Mediterranean Costa del Sol, about 100 km east of Gibraltar and about 130 km north of Africa.

5 things to do in Malaga:

  • Visit the Picasso Museum.
  • The Museum of Flamenco Art of the Peña Juan Breva.
  • Contemporary Art Center of Malaga (CAC Malaga).
  • The Alcazaba.
  • Roman Theatre of Malaga.

7) Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is a large seaside resort located along the Mediterranean coast of Spain. It is the most populous of all the municipalities in the Balearic Islands and has a population of approximately 127,000.

The city’s economy depends on tourism and has a thriving port that serves as a major stopover for cruise ships visiting the neighboring Canary Islands.

5 things to do in Palma de Mallorca:

  • The Llotja.
  • The Arab Baths.
  • Royal Palace of the Almudaina.
  • The Cathedral of Palma.
  • A boat trip.

8) Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a Spanish city and municipality, capital of the province of Las Palmas, on the island of Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands, an archipelago that is part of the Spanish territory in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the third-largest city of the archipelago after Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Arrecife.

5 things to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria:

  • Las Canteras Beach.
  • Bandama Caldera.
  • Plaza de Santa Ana.
  • Casa de Colón.
  • Poema del Mar Aquarium.

9) Bilbao

Bilbao is a beautiful city in northern Spain, serving as the capital of the province of Vizcaya and the entire Basque Country. It is also the largest city in northern Spain, with a population of 345,141. The metropolitan area of Bilbao has a population of approximately 1 million, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain; with a population of 875,552, the Greater Bilbao area is the fifth-largest urban area in Spain.

5 things to do in Bilbao:

  • Plaza Nueva.
  • Azkuna Zentroa.
  • Catedral de Santiago de Bilbao.
  • Begoñako Basilika.
  • Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

10) Alicante

Alicante is a city in Spain, capital of the province of Alicante, and seat of the autonomous community of Valencia. It has a warm Mediterranean climate with dry summers and mild winters. The city has a population of 333,628 residents (January 1, 2015) and is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders the Gulf of Alicante to the north and is separated from Cape Santa Pola by the Serra d’Espadà mountains.

5 things to do in Alicante

  • Playa del Postiguet.
  • San Juan Playa.
  • Santa Bárbara Castle.
  • Explanada de España.
  • Tabarca

I have just presented the 10 most popular cities in Spain and I hope I have helped you find your favorite destination.

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Buen Viaje!