Is there any plan you are making to visit Spain for the first time? Despite having famous for its football club, Spain is also the favorite destination of millions of those tourists who want to explore its charming attractions. The same is also known for its beautiful beaches, magnificent palace buildings, shopping tours, culinary tours, and much more.
It is no doubt something very important to start organizing your trip as soon as possible. Let’s propose the guide for you where you will find the 13 best places to visit in Spain for first-timers so you can get to know the destination better and add various attractions to your itinerary. Let’s take advantage of the tips and check out the best places to visit in Spain during your first trip.
1. Alhambra, Granada
Granada has the palace, and fortress in Andalusia. Alhambra no doubt is an exceptional building that is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It has a great Arabic influence, which makes this destination different from the rest of Spain. A great thanks to its history as part of the Moorish Empire, Granada is home to tapas bars and flamenco venues that rub elbows with Moroccan tea cafes and Arab bathhouses. The same confluence allows you to experience two cultures simultaneously. Morever, you must make time to behold the breathtaking local treasures, including the Alhambra and Sierra Nevada National Park.
If you are wandering through the palaces and arcades of the Alhambra decorated with mosaics, you will recognize the influence of Arab architecture. The Spain owes this to the colonization by Moorish peoples from the 7th to the 10th century. Mostly like red for blood, blue for the sky, green for earth, and gold for wealth.
The same monument is the main attraction of the city of Granada, which is located in the Andalusia region. For knowing the entire Alhambra, it will take you more than 3 hours, because the place is really big and all the places are worth the visit.
It’s allure is perhaps its most palpable force, enticing visitors long before their scheduled arrival. It’s tucked away among the Sierra Nevada Mountains in southern Spain. The same Andalusian gem is awash with an infectious European charm as well as a strong sense of mystery brought on by its storied history. Churches in Garanda were once the sites of mosques, bakeries formerly bath houses and shops primarily served tea instead of tapas.
This did not mean it’s not appreciated. Place’s history as a former Moorish empire fascinates, its age-old architecture enchants and its rich culture enthralls the scores of travelers who make the trek to this small Spanish city every year. Visitors may rapidly discover that in Granada, anything is possible. Also, you can catch a flamenco show in caves once inhabited by African gypsies, shop goods that can be found on the streets of Morocco, hike the foothills of Spain’s largest national park. With its thriving tapas scene, you never pay a dime for dinner. Therefore, when in Granada, embrace the city in all its unique forms and if anything, allow yourself to get completely lost in its splendor, you won’t regret it.
2. Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
It’s a beautiful religious building, which may be unfinished. It’s the undisputed emblem of the city of Barcelona. Sagrada Familino doubt is one of the many imprints of the genius architect Gaudi. Started in 1882, the work continues today.
For more idea, you can note that the forecast for the completion of the Sagrada Familia is in 2026. Despite having an unfinished character, it is possible to visit the Sagrada Familia. You will have a chance to climb to the top of the building and will be welcomed by the breathtaking panoramas over Barcelona. You should also reach the top of the building to enjoy the sights of Barcelona.
The style is modernist and reflects Gaudi’s artistic fullness. There is a transverse Latin plan, five central naves, seven chapels, and three facades dedicated to Christianity. After finishing, it will have a total of 18 upper towers: twelve for the apostles, four for the evangelists, one for the Virgin Mary, and the last for Jesus. Summing it all up; the temple will have a height of 172.5 meters.
In the year 2017, it received four and a half million visitors, a number three times greater than the population of the city itself. Church is always packed. It is recommended to have a booking of your tickets in advance so as not to queue.
3. The Plaza Mayor
The Plaza Mayor is one of the most famous and frequented public places in the Spanish capital and s found in the center of old Madrid. Here all the tourists and locals come to walk, shop, have lunch, etc. The same was constructe around the 1600s.
Before, it was the most important market square in Madrid. Now, as of today, it is completely framed by time-honored buildings. All of the 237 balconies offer a view of the Plaza Mayor. In past, these all were the box seats for blasphemers and gossips.
The plaza is perfectly located directly on Calle Mayor, just a stone’s throw from the Puerta del Sol. You surely can enter it through nine entrances. Most popular and famous is the Arco de Cuchilleros (Arcade of the Knife Sharpeners). Picturesque arcades run around the square, and in the middle, there is a lonely equestrian statue of Phillip III.
In the same place, it is recommended to take a walk or sit back and enjoy the foods that are being served at the cafes.
4. Real Alcazar, Seville
The best place i.e. the Real Alcazar, located in the center of Seville. The same UNESCO World Heritage Site stands out especially for its opulent gardens with arches, fountains, palm trees, and more. It is recommended to visit this place if you want to immerse yourself in the history of Spain, but also to stroll through an oasis of serenity in the heart of Seville.
5. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is an amazing place, which is the center for pilgrims. It’s famous as it houses the tomb of the Apostle James, patron and protector of Spain. This is the reason, it is a place of great Christian pilgrimage.
It’s often cited as a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. The place nevertheless has a clever mix of many styles (Gothic, Neoclassical, Baroque, etc.). It’s explained by the many expansion works to which it has been subjected during its history. The same is characterized by its hundreds of statues that represent the Apocalypse.
6. Royal Palace, Madrid
You can never go to Madrid and miss the Royal Palace, one of the main buildings in Spain. Main origins for the same date back to the ninth century when it was built as a fortress to protect the Muslim kingdom of Toledo from Christian invasions. This is the reason why it should be added in the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers.
Royal Palace of Madrid is taken as the official residence of the Spanish monarchy. You can notice the beauty of the place as soon as you see it. This includes works by Caravaggio, Velazquez, and Francisco de Goya.
Out of all the cities in Spain, Madrid is the one that knows how to show travelers the best time. The place is filled with varied, vibrant neighborhoods, plus stunning parks, enviable shopping and some of the best art institutions in Europe, including the world-renowned Prado Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum.
By several ways, Madrid is similar to many other international metropolises. it’s Spain’s largest city and has the largest population. It is the capital and is the center for international business. Madrid, no doubt, is for travelers interested in famous paintings and stunning architecture, but it’s also, and maybe more so, for those looking for an unhurried good time.
7. Aqueduct, Segovia
It’s 14 km long and up to 28.5 m high. It is located in Segovia. You will find the best-preserved Roman aqueduct in the world. The major reason of the construction was to transport water from the Fuenfria spring to the city, about 17 km away.
Aqueduct and the old town of Segovia has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. Along with its 163 arches, it is up to 28 meters high and has been preserved to this day. It perfectly owes this to its ingenious architecture and building materials. It has pillar cores, which are made of antique concrete-walled with granite.
8. Casa Batllo, Barcelona
Barcelona city literally captivates everyone with numerous Gothic architecture and is, therefore, one best places to visit in Spain for first-timers. Spanish Art Nouveau by Antoni Gaudi is the most impressive house in the city. By giving a look from the outside alone, you can hardly overlook the house while strolling through the city.
The architectural work done on it is also called “House of Bones” because of the balconies that are reminiscent of skulls and bones. It’s simply fascinating how Gaudi implemented colors, shapes, and lights in all of his masterpieces.
Barcelona city comprises of both the authentically historic and the wildly bizarre. Starting from scenic trails of the colorful Park Güell to the romantic narrow alleys of Barri Gòtic; from the beachside nightclubs to the city’s dozens of sacred churches and architectural marvels, this city by the sea seems to attract all types ie. the adventurer, the couple, the partier, the culture lover, and much more. They are all with an almost overwhelming variety of things to do.
In city of Barcelona, even the beach is bustling, but it’s really the cosmopolitan city that gets all the attention. Much activity revolves around Las Ramblas, a series of narrow streets and alleys packed with restaurants, nightclubs and a vibrant pedestrian market. You should also visit Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces like Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Familia. You should never miss out on the eclectic shopping scene and the region’s exquisite food and wine. You can notice why it is recommended for a week vacation? You must consider signing up for one of the city’s best guided tours.
9. Plaza de Espana, Seville
The beautiful Andalusian city is awash with romantic allure. During day-time, you’ll find outdoor cafes along cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages meandering through pastel-colored plazas. Amazingly, this is the kind of place you should allow yourself to get lost in, but if you carve out time for popular sites such as the Plaza de España, you will have a great pleasure.
Plaza de Espana in Seville is one of the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers. As per Travelers’ Choice Awards, the same was selected and chosen the second most interesting point in the world.
It’s a square in Seville that has been used as the setting for numerous episodes in well-known films, for example, in Lawrence of Arabia, The Dictator, and Star Wars II. That is why the plaza has been one of the treasures of European film culture since 2017.
The 50,000 meters squares of area of this place are also incredibly impressive. 1000+ workers worked here simultaneously from 1924 to 1928 to get the square ready in time for the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929.
The same was built in the form of a semicircle of brick and ceramic, two hundred meters in diameter. Additionally, it is surrounded by an approximately 500 m long canal spanned by four bridges. The same was symbolized as the ancient Spanish kingdoms. It’s lavishly decorated with marble, clinker bricks, and ceramics.
The cultural traditions such as flamenco dancer and bullfighting matador are prominent aspects of life in Seville and throughout the country’s southernmost Andalusia region. The city marked by Jewish, Islamic and Christian influences, Seville shows evidence of each religion’s presence in its church facades, minarets and former ghettos.
You must try planning to spend your time in Seville indulging in tapas at a street corner cafe or listening to an impromptu guitarist’s tunes in an open-air plaza. The sunshine and laid-back lifestyle may lure you to relax your days away, ensure to make time for visits to the parks, gardens and palaces that showcase the city’s complex history and architectural splendor. If you give a close look, you’ll spot “NO8DO” on city buses, benches, bicycle racks and even manhole covers. Rebus for the Spanish phrase “no me ha dejado,” NO8DO translates to “It (Seville) has not abandoned me.” You should commit that slogan to memory because it’s likely you’ll adapt this mantra yourself especially once you’ve seen the charms of It’s the Seville, which your experience will stick with you for quite some time.
10. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
What about a city trip to the lively city of Bilbao in the Basque Country? You will be particularly drawn to this city with the flair to visit the famous Guggenheim Museum, belonging to the Guggenheim Foundation and is one of four other art museums worldwide.
The same great art museum has made the city shine in new splendor and has become a tourist magnet for the whole region. The metal structure is made of huge corrugated plates of titanium, and glass has been specially designed to capture sunlight.
You may take some time to photograph the exterior of this photogenic building, and inside, you will just admire the contemporary and modern art collections that include works by Richard Serra, Jeff Koons, as well as Basque artists. The same fantastic building will let you discover something new from every perspective. It’s best to see for yourself.
Although, the same northern Spanish city is best known for housing the Guggenheim, there’s more to Bilbao than its famed museum. The Bilbao sits in the middle of a beautiful valley, affording incredible views of the city and its rolling hills. A Visit Casco Viejo (the city’s old town) for delectable pintxos (Basque tapas) and to explore Parque Etxebarria, where you’ll find some of Bilbao’s best vistas. There should be no visit as it would be complete without checking out the world-renowned Guggenheim and other local cultural institutions, such as the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao.
11. Mezquita of Cordoba
It’s in the center of the old town of Cordoba is the mosque-cathedral Mezquita of Cordoba. The same represents another impressive building of the Moors and is at the same time probably the most beautiful and unique form in the world.
Iitially, it was shared by both Christians and Muslims. The same changed in the 8th century with the construction of the mosque after the Islamic conquest.
From outside, its building doesn’t look that spectacular, but you will be more than impressed by the artistic splendor of its interior. Surely, you will be amazed when you stroll through the huge ancient patio under the colored arches.
Cathedral oozes with its Gothic style. The same was considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. If you’re visiting Cordoba, this is the best sites vacation.
12. Prado Museum
Prado Museum with a huge collection of Spanish paintings from the 11th to 18th centuries, is a place you will never miss. Hence, you should plan enough time, because, with several thousand paintings by world-famous artists such as Picasso or Goya, you will quickly forget the time around you. Especially for art lovers and those who want to become one, this is an overwhelming place.
Moreover, P rado Museum has the largest collection of Spanish paintings in the world. Quality and variety of its collections make the museum one of the best art museums on the plains of Europe. For learning more about the great masters and their art, it is certainly an advantage to take a guided tour.
The same neo-classical style museum building is also home to a variety of sculptures, sketches, coins, medals, and decorative arts.
13. Park Guell, Barcelona
The list now is going to an end where the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers are mentioned. The same is one of the most famous tourist spots in all of Spain. It’s incredibly beautiful, surrounded by greenery, fountains, monuments, and several flower beds.
Along with the Sagrada Familia and five other works by Antoni Gaudi, Park Guell in Barcelona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From 1900-1914, Gaudi put all his skills into designing the park, which also houses his former home. Having its innovative landscaping, Park Guell is one of the artistic highlights of modernism and one of the most beautiful sights in Spain.
Mallorca is the largest of the collection of islands located off the east coast of Spain. It is also the most diverse of the Balearics. No doubt, it’s true that the same aquamarine waters that lap Ibiza. They are its southwestern neighbors, which also roll onto Mallorca’s pristine shores. Mallorca’s landscape holds many more treasures. Also, the medieval towns, Palma having its soaring cathedrals and palaces and its quaint streets and squares, are in their own way just as delightful to behold. It’s a couple with a local culture that appreciates good food, good wine and fun. Here, summer is a nonstop party and you’ll start to wonder, why not Mallorca?
The best and ideal time to visit Mallorca is from March to May, when average temperatures are in the 60s and 70s and the crowds of summer tourists haven’t yet descended on the island. The summers have a long stretch in Mallorca – from June to September – and the same is characterized by sweltering temperatures, hordes of tourists and high room rates. Moreover, fall is another nice shoulder season with mild temperatures and cooling rains, but January and February are the best times to score decent deals on room rates.
15. Canary Islands
The cluster of Spanish islands located off the northwestern coast of Africa is one of Spain’s premier beach destinations. Additionally, it has sultry shorelines too. There are the Canary Islands, which are also teeming with outdoor attractions that will make any adventurer swoon, including three national parks. Between hiking and relaxing on the beach, you can take some time to stroll the neighborhoods of Santa Cruz or Las Palmas to get a taste of local life.
You would be right in comparing Spain’s Canary Islands to a tropical paradise. It’s located in the North Atlantic Ocean off the southwest coast of Morocco, all seven islands in this archipelago flaunt enviable strips of shoreline that roll out into aquamarine waters. There are surfers, windsurfers, scuba divers and sunbathers all flock to different shores to revel in the gnarly waves, vibrant underwater world and soft sands. If you are planning to visit some of the bigger islands i.e. Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Lanzarote you will find the requisite plush resorts. These all luxury accommodations boast gourmet restaurants, sprawling golf courses and prime beach access.
You should take the Parque Nacional del Teide on the island of Tenerife, for instance, the same contains the globe’s third-largest volcano and visitors can hike it. Also, there is a Lanzarote houses Timanfaya National Park, where travelers can take camel rides across the almost lunar-looking terrain. After discovering this combination of beautiful beaches, luxurious accommodations and out-of-this-world natural parks, you’re sure to feel like the cat that swallowed the canary.
Well, above are mentioned some tourist attractions in Spain that are very interesting and exotic for first-timers. Keep in mind that the first times always mark and remain etched in our heads. Hence, plan yourself well to enjoy the best attractions in Spain.