Spain’s Best Culture and Adventure Destinations

By now, I’ve been to over 40 countries, but, at the end of the day, nothing quite compares to Spain. Today’s guest author, Natalia Dwain, explores my favorite country and shares what she thinks are Spain’s four best destinations, plus some of the highlights to be found in each. While my list of favorite Spanish spots would differ (you can’t overlook some of the country’s less-known but stunning locations like Asturias, Cáceres, or Frigiliana!), I always enjoy seeing other people’s takes on the country I where I spent three of my best years. Without further ado, here is Natalia’s take on Spain.

Best destinations in Spain

On a sort of sidenote, I’m in love with this early Christmas present from my grandma (from Etsy).

Spain is an amazing holiday destination with beaches, unforgettable nightlife, excellent cuisine, great architecture and amazing fiestas. Visitors to this country often wish they could consume it all in one magical trip,  experiencing every possible adventure and enjoying Spain’s rich culture. Of course, it’s tough to check everything off the list, so to get the best of Spain, here are the country’s top four culture and adventure destinations.

1. Barcelona

Barcelona is located in northeastern Spain, in the region of Catalonia. It is the second largest city in Spain after the capital Madrid and is quite possibly the country’s favorite holiday destination.

Attractions 

  • Barcelona is home to some of Europe’s most magnificent architectural marvels like Casa Batlló and the world famous Sagrada Familia church, both designed by the great Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi.
  • Barcelona has a vibrant nightlife, fine cuisine, golf courses and an intense love for football and sport, being home to what some call the best team in the world, FC Barcelona. It also is home to the largest football stadium in the world, Camp Nou.
  • Ciutat Vella, or the old city, is among Barcelona’s main attractions. Here lie Roman ruins, cobblestone streets, old churches and famous bridges. The streets are lined with outdoor cafes and restaurants.
  • Barcelona has numerous museums, theaters, art galleries and cinemas and plays host to the Monegros Desert Festival, one of the country’s biggest music events.
  • The city is served by all modes of modern transport, including electric trains, and is accessible by sea.
Park Guell, Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain

Park Guell, Barcelona

2. Madrid

Madrid is the capital city of Spain and also the country’s largest city.

Attractions

  • The beautiful Royal Palace, or Palacio Real, continues to be a major tourist attraction because of its historic significance and majestic beauty.
  • Madrid is sometimes called the cleanest city in all of Europe, and the picturesque residential areas provide a magical blend of old and new architecture, which tourists cannot resist photographing.
  • The national museums of Spain, art galleries, glorious cathedrals, and many historic landmarks certainly make Madrid irresistible.
  • Madrid has a sizzling nightlife and also offers many daytime activities like bull fights, football matches, shopping opportunities and great restaurants with awesome cuisine.
Royal Palace/Palacio Real, Madrid, Spain

Palacio Real, Madrid

3. Valencia

Valencia is a city located in the eastern region of the country with the same name.

Attractions

  • Valencia is famous for old monasteries, such as San Miguel de Los Reyes, and stunning churches.
  • The City of Arts and Sciences, which was built after Valencia redirected the Turia River, is the city’s most impressive landmark. It includes an arts museum, a science museum, a planetarium and an Imax theater.
  • In the old Turia riverbed are artificial lakes, beautiful gardens and artistic athletic parks.
City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain

City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia (photo credit)

4. Seville

Seville is in the southern part of Spain and is the capital city of the region of Andalusia and the region’s cultural and financial center.

Attractions

  • The cathedral of Seville, in which Christopher Columbus is supposedly buried, is one of the region’s top tourist attractions. It is among one of the area’s many historic landmarks.
  • One other notable building is the Real Alcázar, an extensive palace with luxurious gardens where Christopher Columbus planned his voyage to the Americas.
  • The city is home to the world’s largest wooden structure, the Metropol Parasol, which houses a market.
  • The annul April fair is hosted by Seville wherein which the streets are filled by merrymakers clad in traditional costumes revisiting their beloved customs.
Cathedral and Giralda, Sevilla, Spain

Seville’s Cathedral and Giralda

What are your favorite destinations in Spain?

10 Responses

  1. Castilla, Galicia, Asturias or Cantabria are more beautiful, and as for cities Granada is better than Sevilla!

    Spain is a regional country where the most beautiful places are found far from famous holidays destinations.

    • Kirstie says:

      I agree! Although I adored living in Sevilla and Madrid (big holiday destinations), my favorite trips within the country were the ones a bit off the beaten path.

  2. Jesús says:

    Hi Kirstie, I’m an old follower of your adventures and I am sorry that you are not now in Spain. Australia should be awesome but I hope you can return soon.
    Here I leave the link to this announcement for you to remember your second home.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qswkQuMyjPI
    El anuncio intenta levantar la moral de los españoles, también de los que estáis fuera, saludos.
    Jesús de María Zamarriego, http://paseandoporhistoria.blogspot.com.es/

    • Kirstie says:

      I do miss Spain, but it’s fun having a new adventure in Australia (and also lovely being home in the U.S. at the moment). Hmm, I have mixed feelings about that ad, but it is interesting. Thanks for reading!

  3. If you happen to be in Spain in the early part of July, you have got to be in Pamplona. This is the town where the famous (rather, infamous) festival of Running of the Bulls is celebrated.

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  5. Purnima says:

    Good to see that type of amazing and beautiful adventure destinations in Spain. I would like to go there in weekend days. I really like these places. Thanks Kirstie for sharing it.

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