Spain is a rewarding travel destination that caters to all types of travelers – be it the culture vulture, adventure traveler or nocturnal animal. From an explosive art scene to the raucous bullfighting culture to the rich tapas tradition, Spain has plenty to offer to both first-time visitors and frequent Spain travelers. As it is the second largest country in Europe, you’ll need some time to explore the country completely and get a good understanding of its culture and traditions.
Most holidaymakers have at least two weeks to uncover Spain, so if you’ve got 10 days on hand and wondering what’s best to see, then this itinerary below might help you plan your vacation. There are plenty of possibilities, but we’ve picked the cities that say more about Spain and portray it at its most authentic.
Madrid, the bustling capital of Spain, is chocked full of world-famous art museums, characteristic tapas bars and cultural spots. Often overlooked by travelers, Madrid doesn’t need to be just an entry point – it can be a destination for anyone looking to learn more about Spanish culture and history. Many of Madrid’s public squares are the core of activities – head to Plaza Mayor on a weekend to catch street performances, or Puerto del Sol to hang out with the local youths.
On Day 1, you could possibly start your visit at the historic center, weaving through charming alleys along the city’s main street, Gran Via, then making your way to Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. The next day, you could explore further down the area to the Opera House and the Royal Palace, where the royal family’s invaluable collections are on display. Madrid’s famous museum duo are nearby:El Prado Museum and the Reina Sofia Art Museum both pay tribute to Spain’s greatest artists. On the last day, head out of the historic centers to visit the city’s bullfighting ring Las Ventas as well as the Real Madrid Stadium where you could join a tour and visit the team’s locker room and practice ground.
Spain’s second biggest city is a world of extreme – avant garde styles mixed with age-old traditions. A sizzling melting pot of flavors and culture, Barcelona’s Boqueria market is a feast for the eyes while its vibrant modern art scene seduces young, hip travelers with fascinating colors. Barcelona is also a paradise for lovers of architecture: from modern, futuristic edifices to charming historical cathedrals, each building has a story to tell.
Start your visit along Barcelona’s main pedestrianised street, La Rambla, where street artists and miming performers gather. Explore La Boqueria market along the way for a feast of your senses and head down to Plaza Catalunya to get your bearings. Port Vell on the end of La Rambla will bring you to the futuristic district of Barcelona. On Day 2, head to the city’s historic center, Barri Gotic and visit the iconic Sagrada Familia Cathedral, a world-known creation of Gaudi. With some spare time, you could hop on a bus to head to the hilltop district of Montjuic and get a panoramic view of the city. Day 3 can be reserved for a special Gaudi tour – exploring the beautifully-sculpted Parc Guell and La Pedrera. End your visit at the Barceloneta beach boulevard where summer revelers hang out and lunch under the sun.
Seville is a warm, passionate city offering a lot of monuments, museums, churches and with a special love for bullfighting and flamenco dancing. Most of all, Seville is a charming city whose character will stay with you for years.
If you’re staying in the historic quarters, you’ll probably find yourself in the charming Santa Cruz neighborhood, weaving through narrow alleys and white-washed houses. Continue on to the Casa de los Pilatos, a beautiful Jewish palace in the area. Then make your way to catch the two most essential cultural performance of Seville: flamenco and bullfights. There are plenty of flamenco tablaos in town, especially in the Santa Cruz district. On Day 2, you can perhaps spend the day exploring the Cathedral and La Giralda, an originally Muslim tower. The Seville Museum of Fine Arts is worth visiting at the end of the day, or you can also choose to wander around architecturally aesthetic Plaza de Espanya.
A charming city bursting with monumental landmarks, exotic bazaars and compassionate people, Granada is a place everyone easily falls for. Every street corner springs a surprise and every alley has a story to tell. Stepping foot into its quaint historical center, one can’t help but linger around its narrow passage ways and secret cul-de-sacs and have fun getting lost. Whether you are visiting for a month or just a short weekend, Granada is so much to offer.
Let’s begin our visit at the city’s Cathedral and then wander through the Arabic bazaar of Alcaiceria, before clambering up the cobblestoned paths of the old town, Albayzin. You’ll probably bump into gypsies on their guitars along the way, follow them up to the Mirador de San Nicolas to catch sunset and mingle with the folks. By night, head out for some tapas, as tapas in Granada are known to be free!
The next day, you should probably rise early to catch the Alhambra Palace in its full glory. It takes half a day to see it all, so take your time and devour every moment. After that, you could perhaps catch your breath along the picturesque Paseo de los Tristes, where Arabic teahouses and quirky boutiques can be found. End your visit with a flamenco show in the Sacromonte caves where the melancholic tunes echo in the darkness.