Spain Bucket List: the Most Beautiful Places in Spain That You Have to Visit

Spain has got a little bit of everything and it’s just bursting with energy. Whether you are looking for beautiful beaches, great nightlife, incredible art and architecture, culture or just good food, you’ll find it in Spain. Here’s the most beautiful places in Spain worthy of being on your bucket list. 

If you have ever been to Spain (even just one city!), you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that it is just one of those places that you instantly love. There’s just something about it that makes you so happy to be there. It might be relaxing on the beach in Barcelona or sipping a Sangria with an epic paella in Madrid, but whatever it may be, I guarantee it’s great.

I first visited Spain in July 2018, and started planning a trip back the minute I left. Because I only just scrapped the surface and there’s so much more to see! It was refreshing and just so much fun. I loved the art and the architecture, the sun and the beach, the good food and the even better nightlife. The good vibe and of course, the shopping.

So, let’s get into this epic Spain bucket list, filled with the most beautiful places in Spain that you need to visit in your lifetime.

What is the Nicest Part of Spain to Visit?


1. Madrid

Obviously Madrid is in this list, and for good reason. The Spanish capital is one of my favourite places that I have ever been. It’s filled with a art, good food and nightlife, and it’s just bursting full of energy.

The people are nice, the vibe is good, and everything just feels good, if you know what I mean. One way to sum it up is charming. You can easily spend several days (or weeks!) in the Spanish capital, because there’s so much to take in and so many incredible things to do in Madrid.

Madrid Highlights

You absolutely can’t miss a visit to The Prado, one of the most impressive art museums in all of Europe, with the likes of Bosch, El Greco and an incredible collection from the Spanish romanticist Goya. You can also relax in the city park of El Retiro, visit the Royal Palace and just enjoy the vibe of Plaza Mayor.

Oh, and don’t forget, shopping on Gran Via, enjoying the night life and eating your way through the city! Some of the best and most authentic Tapas are on offer at Estado Puro, and make sure to try a Paella, one of the most epic dishes that you will easily fall in love with! If you are a massive foodie (like me!), I recommend taking a food tour. There’s lots to fit in during your time in Madrid, so make sure to stick to a jam packed itinerary if you don’t have much time, like this epic 3 day Madrid itinerary.

Madrid Highlights
Where to stay in Madrid
  • Luxury: The Pavilions Madrid
  • Mid-range: Novotel Madrid Centre
  • Budget: Hostel One Madrid

Getting around Madrid

Getting around Madrid is super easy thanks to it’s excellent Metro system! The Metro runs frequently between all major spots in the city, and the system is super easy to use.

There’s also multi day passes you can buy to save money if you are going to be using the system frequently (which is what I did!). You can also book hop on hop off bus tickets for Madrid, which are great if you have limited time!


2. Barcelona

Barcelona may be a tourist hot spot, but it’s still an incredible place. It’s all hustle and bustle but dig a little further and find so much more. It’s easy to spend lots of time in Barcelona too, and I recommend at least 3 days in the city.

It’s the kind of place that you need time to just explore after you’ve seen all the major sights. Wander the streets of the gothic quarter, stopping for coffee at a cute hidden spot, wander along the beach and wander the city looking for epic lunch deals that you just can’t say no too.

Barcelona highlights

You can’t miss admiring Gaudi’s architecture – think the La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Mila and Casa Batlo, and should also pay a visit to the Museo Picasso. Relax on the Barcelonetta Beach and sip a sangria or grab an ice cream beach front afterwards. Sports lovers can rejoice at Camp Nou Stadium, and you can shop to your hearts content along Las Ramblas.

Find secret spots by exploring the gothic quarter, and make sure to stop by at Mercardo de la Boqueria for some epic local eats. Some of the best Tapas in town are at Tapas 24, and you can’t miss a rooftop drink with a view at Yurbban Trafalgar Rooftop bar. Barcelona can be a little expensive, but there’s also loads of free things to do in you are travelling on a budget!

Another great way to save money and a great option in Barcelona is to get a Barcelona Card, which gives you skip the line entry to over 25+ attractions with transport included!

Where to stay in Barcelona
  • Luxury: H10 Madison
  • Mid-range: Secrotel Amister Art Hotel
  • Budget: Casa Garcia Hostel

Getting around Barcelona

Again, the Metro is the quickest, easiest and most affordable way to get around the city. With lines running between every major spot in the city, you can use a combination of the Metro and walking to get everywhere you need to go with ease. Grab a HOLA Barcelona Metro card for 2,3 or 4 days which allows you unlimited trips and will save you a ton of money!


3. Seville

Seville is full of history and so beautiful. The home of flamenco and known for its excellent food (especially tapas), and beautiful buildings filled with history, you won’t be disappointed in Seville. it’s a city worthy of being on not only your Spain travel bucket list, but also any Europe travel bucket list too!

Seville Highlights

Plaza de Espana is an easy highlight of the city, and is one of the cities post-card worthy, instantly recognised sights. The perfect spot for photos, make sure to read up on the history.

Make sure you also stop by at Seville Cathedral, Real Alcazar (a UNESO world heritage site), and Triana, a gorgeous area across from the Old Town which is filled with colourful buildings and cute spots. Casa Morales is one of the oldest and best spots for tapas in town! While you are in town, why not try your hand at making a your own Spanish dish.

Where to stay in Seville:
  • Luxury: Hotel Casa Del Poeta
  • Mid-range: H10 Corregidor Boutique Hotel
  • Budget: For you Hostel Seville

Getting around Seville

Seville has a pretty good Metro system which is easy to use and affordable and will get you between the major spots in the city. It’s also common to rent bikes in Seville if you are up for some exercise!


4. Toledo

A beautiful and historical town in Central Spain, Toledo sits a top a hill towering over the plains below, just 75km south of the capital city of Madrid. Toledo is known as the Imperial City as it was the main court of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V and the home of many historic events. If you are limited on time, Toledo is a great day trip from Madrid. 

Toledo Highlights

There’s lots of history to soak up while you are in Toledo, so visits to Cathedral Primada, the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes and Puerta de Sol are a must.

You should also head to the Mirador del Valle lookout for those epic post card worthy views of the city and explore Plaza de Zocodover which is the beating heart of the city, filled with amazing cafes, bars and eateries. Bar Trébol is one of the classic spots in the city for good tapas and drinks.

Where to stay in Toledo
  • Luxury: Courtyard by Marriott Toledo West
  • Mid-Range: Hampton Inn & Suites Toledo-Perrysburg
  • Budget: Oasis Backpackers Hostel Toledo

Getting around Toledo

Toledo is smaller than some of its neighboring cities, meaning you can cover a lot of ground and major sights on foot easily. Most sights are within walking distance of each other. Otherwise, you can opt to take a taxi or use the local buses. You can also get a ticket for the hop on hop off bus to see lots in a short period of time!


5. Granada

Located in Southern Spain in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada is a picturesque medieval city.

Granada’s moorish heritage dates back over 700 years, and the heart is of course the Alhambra, a gorgeous compound filled with palaces, gardens and pretty courtyards, all with a stunning mountain backdrop. And, just 3 hours on the train from Seville, it’s well worth a visit.

Granada Highlights

The biggest highlight of Granada is the Alhambra, which is a truly beautiful sight to take in and explore. Make sure to book in advance to make sure you don’t miss out. You should also make sure to visit Granada Cathedral, The Royal Chapel and Sacramonte, a gorgeous traditional neighbourhood worth exploring.

Head to Alcaiceria for some traditional shopping, and try some traditional tapas at one of the endless spots in town (Bar La Buena Vida is a good choice!). Head out to the Sierra Mountains for your nature fix where you can ski during the ski season, or head out hiking.

Where to stay in Granada
  • Luxury: Oro del Darro Suites
  • Mid-range: Hotel Saray Granada 
  • Budget: White Nest Hostel 

Getting around Granada

Granada has a great hop on hop off train system which runs through the city with 14 stops near major points of interest, running daily every 20 minutes. For only 8 Euro for a one day pass, it’s a great way to explore the city. You can also opt to explore the city by bike or bus.


6. Ibiza

One of the Balearic Islands of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, Ibiza is home to both night life and quiet escapes. Although it is well renowned for its nightlife, having cemented itself at the top of Europe’s party scene for some time now, there’s also beautiful beaches and gorgeous villages to explore.

Ibiza Highlights

Playa d’en Bossa is one of the most popular resort beaches and is where all the action happens. With plenty of room to lay in the sun, plenty of places to grab some delicious foods, and lots of options for water sports (did someone say jet skiing?), there’s something for everyone. For a quieter beach day, head to Talamanca or Santa Eulalia.

Going on a island and beach hoping tour is also a great option! You can also explore the numerous villages, Dalt Vila UNESCO site and visit Ibiza Cathedral. For an epic night out, there’s no shortage of options. The party continues till morning at places like Ushuaïa  and Hï Ibiza. You can also head out on a boat party for the day, with an open bar!

Where to stay in Ibiza
  • Luxury: Destino Pacha Resort
  • Mid-range: Ibiza Rocks Hotel 
  • Budget: Ceibo Ibiza 

Getting around Ibiza

There’s lots of ways to get around Ibiza, depending how far you are going. Walking or biking is a great option for shorter distances, otherwise opt for a local bus or taxi, which have reasonable fares.


7. Valencia

Valencia is a beautiful seaside city with a little bit of everything. Well known for its art and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s the perfect place to get a good balance between exploring and relaxing (by the beach, of course!).

Valencia highlights

The City of Arts and Sciences is one of Valencia’s impressive attractions, and it’s filled with modern architecture and structure, which is made impressive with reflective ponds. Check for what exhibitions is on while you are there! Valencia Cathedral is beautiful, and the surrounding areas are worth exploring, and you should also wander through Caso Historico and stop by the Central Market which is a food lovers paradise.

Head to the beach for some relaxing in the sun, the stunning Mediterranean Malvarrosa Beach stretches along the front of the city. Any morning (or anytime of the day) coffee urge can be cured at Federal Valencia, a local favourite cafe.

A Valencia tourist card is a great way to save money on attractions and transport. 

Where to stay in Valencia
  • Luxury: The Westin Valencia 
  • Mid-Range: Hotel Cosmo Valencia
  • Budget: Red Nest Hostel Valencia 

Getting around Valencia

Most of the main sights and areas in Valencia are close together, which means walking is a great option. You can also opt to use the Metro for longer distances, which is affordable and easy to navigate. A hop on hop off tour is also a great option for getting around Valencia.


8. Córdoba

A gorgeous city in Southern Spain, Córdoba has lots of history due to it’s importance during the Middle Ages as a Roman city and major Islamic Centre. What was once the largest city in the world, Córdoba is now a beautiful city well worth getting lost in.

Córdoba Highlights

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba is easily one of the highlights and is one of Spain’s amazing cultural wonders. Visit Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and appreciate the beauty of the compound and it’s gardens, and make sure to leave plenty of time to just explore the Historic Centre, which is now a UNESCO site and is filled with amazing spots to discover.

There’s so much more to explore too – such as the Jewish Quarter, the Roman bridge and Plaza de la Corredera. To learn about the cities history while you explore, opt for a city tour. 

Where to stay in Córdoba
  • Luxury: Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailío
  • Mid-Range: Hotel NH Collection Amistad Córdoba
  • Budget: Funky Córdoba

Getting around Córdoba

The best ways to get around Córdoba are either to walk, bike or use the local buses. Otherwise, you can grab a taxi for a reasonable price that will take you anywhere in the city.


9. Mallorca

Majorca, also known as Mallorca, is another one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, well known for it’s beautiful beaches and resorts, limestone coves and cliffs, and remains. It’s the largest island in Spain,  and the perfect place to spend equal time exploring and relaxing.

Mallorca Highlights

Visit the beautiful secluded spots of Port Sa Calobr and Torrente de Pareis (it’s best to have a car for this), and enjoy the views along the way. Explore the beautiful and historic old town of Palma de Mallorca filled with architecture, shopping, cafes and cute streets.

Soller is another great spot to explore, and visit the magical Calo Des Moro beach. Of course, you should leave plenty of time to just relax on the beach with a cocktail in hand, too. If you want a little more luxury, opt for a cruise off the island for the day.

Where to stay in Mallorca
  • Luxury: Sant Francesc Hotel Singular
  • Mid-range: Hotel Sant Jaume
  • Budget: Hostel Fleming 

Getting around Mallorca

It’s actually recommended to rent a car on Mallorca, because it gives you lots more freedom to explore everything on the island, which can’t always be done by public transport. If you aren’t up for this, you can use a mix of local buses and taxis to get around.

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria

The second most populated of Spain’s Canary Islands, Gran Canaria sits of North-Western Africa and is a beautiful island filled adventure. Think beaches, mountains and everything in between. it’s well known for it’s white sandy beaches and black lava, all surrounded by mountains. There’s plenty of quiet spots, and also major hubs such as the capital city of Las Palmas, which is a cruise port.

Gran Canaria Highlights

There’s so much to see and do on Gran Canaria, and truly something for everyone. The Maspalomos dunes are a must visit, and walking along them makes you feel like you are in the dessert. For more adventure, there’s plenty of hikes and treks, and the Roque Nublo trek is a good choice.

Go dolphin watching, and you can also relax and party in the party epicentre of the island, Playa del Ingles, or head to Playa de Las Canteras beach which is a local favourite. You can also visit the Old Town, and spend a day at the beautiful Amadores Beach if you aren’t staying there.

Where to stay in Gran Canaria
  • Luxury: Radisson Blu Resort
  • Mid-range: Occidental Margaritas
  • Budget: Columbus Rooftop Hostels

Getting around Gran Canaria

One of the easiest ways to get around Gran Canaria is hiring a car as it gives you plenty of freedom. There’s also plenty of taxi’s running, and some bus services.


10. Girona

Located in Spain’s Catalonia region in the North, Girona is situated on the River Onyara and is a medieval beauty. Full of history, the city has faced 25 sieges in the past, and is framed by its huge city walls which are still standing today. Game of Thrones fans will unite to see the walls which have been featured in the series. If you don’t have much time, Girona is a great day trip from Barcelona. 

Girona Highlights

Walking the old city walls is a must, and you should read up on the history before you do so, to get the full experience. Visit the Catedral de Girona and head to the footbridges of the River Onyara for some epic views of the city. You can also visit, Plaça de la Independència and the museum of Jewish History to learn what it was like in the Girone Jewish Quarters.

Head to the bustling Rambla de la Llibertat, a pedestrian street filled with places to shop, eat and drink. On a Saturday, you’ll find an amazing flower market here. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll love this Game of Thrones Walking tour. 

Where to stay in Girona
  • Luxury: Nord 1901 Hotel
  • Mid-range: Hotels Ultonia Girona
  • Budget: Hostel Alhambra

Getting around Girona

Getting around Girona by foot is pretty easy, with many places within the city centre within walking distance of each other. There’s also local buses and taxi’s for longer distances.

San Sebastián

11. San Sebastián

Located in the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s Basque Country, San Sebastián is a beautiful resort town known for it’s beaches and of course, its picturesque sea-side boulevard. Set amongst scenic mountains and filled with gorgeous beaches, it is filled with amazing food, having one of the highest concentrations of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world.

San Sebastián Highlights

La Concha Promenade is an easy highlight, where you can stroll along the beach front stopping at one of the many beach front bars, restaurants or cafes for an epic bite to eat with a view. It is also one of the best beaches in San Sebastián. Explore the stunning Old Town, and visit the Basílica de Santa María del Coro.

One of the best beaches to relax on is Playa de la Concha, which is a gorgeous strip of beach with a beautiful back drop. For those post-card worthy views that you have no doubt seen, head up to Monte Igueldo. And of course, leave plenty of time to eat your way through the city, with its huge range of Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as amazing cafes and bars. Take a food tour to make sure you experience the best of this food filled city.

Where to stay in San Sebastián
  • Luxury: Mercure San Sebastián
  • Mid-range: Far Out Collective
  • Budget: Koba Hostel 

Getting around San Sebastián

The best way to get around San Sebastián is by walking, it’s a city made to be seen on foot. With most beaches and points of interest within walking distance, you’ll hardly need to worry about any other form of transport.


12. Málaga

Located on the Costa del Sol in Southern Spain, Málaga is a seaside port city that is so much more than just that (although, it is a great part of it!). Málaga has so much to offer and has so much history. The birthplace of Pablo Picasso, the home of Andalusian culture and a whole lot of history makes the city what it is.

Málaga Highlights

Visit the fortress of La Alcazaba, the ancient Roman Theatre and Málaga Cathedral. Málaga’s very own central market, Ataranzas Market, is the heart of the city, and the beautiful building is home to many tapas bars as well as a huge range of stalls to pick up fresh produce and is well worth a visit to see it for yourself (and eat some great food!).

Relax on La Malagueta beach and explore Picasso’s early life at points around the city. It’s also the perfect place to watch a traditional flamenco show. Opt for a hiking tour of the Caminito del Rey for your dose of exercise and some epic views.

Where to stay in Málaga
  • Luxury: Gran Hotel Miramar Málaga
  • Mid-range: Hotel Soho Boutique Bahía Málaga
  • Budget: Oasis Backpackers Hostel Malaga

Getting around Málaga

There’s plenty of options for getting around Málaga, particularly the city centre. Walking will get you a long way, with many of the best places to see within walking distance of each other. There’s also plenty of local trains, buses and the metro to help you get around easily.


13. Ronda

A mountaintop city in Málaga, Ronda is well worth a couple days stay or at least a day trip from Málaga. Balancing on the edge atop a deep gorge, this magical place is so beautiful and so impressive. There’s epic views, history, old villages and lots of wine. If you don’t have much time, it makes for a great day trip from Seville or Málaga.

Ronda Highlights

Admire Puente Nuevo, one of the most epic things in the whole of Spain and enter the old city through the old moorish arch way. Relax at Alameda del Tajoa, and leave plenty of time to explore at least a couple of some 20 wineries the area has to offer.

One of the best things to do is just explore the Old Town and surrounding areas, taking in the epic views from every angle.

Where to stay in Ronda
  • Luxury: Hotel Catalonia Ronda
  • Mid-Range: Hotel Ronda
  • Budget: Casa Ronda Centro Histórico

Getting around Ronda

Once you are in Ronda, the best way to get around is to walk. If you need to travel a longer distance, your best bet is a taxi.

I honestly think I could of added so many more beautiful places in Spain to this list, and gone on all day. Because honestly, everywhere in Spain is so beautiful and unique and well worth a visit. If you are planning a trip to Spain, check out some of my other blogs and my favourite trip planning resources below!

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Happy travelling,