There is so much to experience in Spain that a single visit to the country might not be enough if you are running on a timetable. So, to make sure that you do enjoy the most important things that Spain has to offer, we have come up with a list of the most sought-after Spain points of interest.
It doesn’t matter what you are looking for, we are sure you will find something or the other on this list that is fascinating and tuned to your tastes.
For instance, if you are a history buff, we have something for you. If you are into art and architecture, we have something for you. If you are a nature lover, we have something for you. If you are a thrill-seeker, we have something for you.
So, without further ado, let us begin!
Top 15 BEST Spain Points of Interest – Don’t Miss Them!
1. The Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Granada
This Moorish pleasure palace is a screaming testament to Spain’s years of Islamic rule. Built by the rulers of the Nasdir dynasty, this royal palace reflects the epitome of civilization and culture that thrived during the Middle Ages.
Made of a mosque, gardens, walls, towers, and various buildings, the Alhambra complex is known for its intricate artistic work embedded in the architecture. The magnificent ceilings, quiet and sprawling courtyards, the graceful arches – you may spend nights dreaming about them. Head for Generalife’s terraced gardens and enjoy the sweeping views of Alhambra.
2. Sagrada Familia
Never think of ending your Spain trip without visiting the Sagrada Familia. The worldwide community of travelers can get upset with you if they come to know!
The Sagrada Familia is an architectural masterpiece by the famous and world-renowned Antoni Gaudi, who is often considered the forerunner of Art Nouveau.
The Sagrada Familia is the signature attraction of Barcelona and an unfinished work of Gaudi that is destined to be finished on his death centenary. Be there, and you will know what is so special about it.
3. Park Guell
You don’t need to travel far from Barcelona to visit Park Guell. It is another one of several works by Antoni Gaudi that will leave you perplexed! Overlooking the city, the Park Guell sits on a hillside that involves a lot of walking and uphill climbing.
Fantastical creatures like octopus, salamanders, fish, etc. designed and with ceramic-chard mosaic, fanciful towered buildings – the Park Guell is a tiny city on its own. Guess what? You don’t need any interest in architecture to be attracted here. They are just fun to look at!
4. The Great Mosque of Cordoba (Mezquita)
What’s so special about it? It is one of the excellent examples of Islamic architecture across the world. Built using the material from Visigothic and Roman buildings, the Great Mosque went through alterations later under the hands of Christians. They carved out its center and constructed a Catholic cathedral right at its heart!
5. Madrid Golden Triangle
If you love art, you cannot afford the skip the Madrid Golden Triangle. It is one of the world’s most important museum complexes made of three different museums – the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Prado Museum, and the Reina-Sofia Museum.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum houses personal art collections spanning over 13th to late 20th century. The Reina-Sofia Museum is home to modern art. Also, it houses some classics, including works of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, and more.
On the other hand, the Prado Museum is home to European art that spans the 12th century to the 19th century.
6. La Rioja Vineyards
Spain is home to the largest number of vineyards than any other country in the world. This makes Spain an ideal place to experience some of the finest wines in the world.
But if visiting vineyards on your to-do list, make sure you visit the La Rioja Vineyards, which are arguable the most beautiful vineyards in entire Spain. While you can always enjoy some wine there, you will also find some unusually beautiful landscapes that will simply take your breath away!
7. The Prado and Paseo del Artes, Madrid
You already learned about the Madrid Golden Triangle of Art. Add to it another one – the CaixaForum and what you get: a tree-shaded, mile-long boulevard where you are most likely to find the highest concentration of priceless art. It is the reason why it is known as El Paseo del Artes or the Boulevard of Arts.
Prado boasts of the world’s largest collection of Spanish art from the 12th century to the 20th century. The museum also houses works by Dutch and Flemish artists.
8. The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are known for their volcanic origins, but that’s not the only thing special about them.
There you can find profound natural beauty living harmoniously with historical monuments that lay in silence, waiting for you to explore and learn the history of how a segment of human civilization thrived there.
If that’s not enough, a visit to archaeological parks and museums will expose you to a wealth of knowledge that will leave you in absolute awe. Make sure the Canary Islands stay on the top of your list.
9. Seville Cathedral and Alcázar
Did you know that the Seville Cathedral is the world’s largest Gothic church? It, along with the Alcázar, was declared a World Heritage Site in the year 1987. Alcázar, on the other hand, is a grand palace, a fine example of mudéjar architecture in Spain.
The palace was originally built by the Moorish kings of the city, but it is still in use today. The royal family of Spain uses the Alcázar palace as their base in Seville. This makes Alcázar the oldest royal palace in the whole of Europe that is still in use.
10. San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Head northwest from Madrid and travel 45 kilometers. You will come across the San Lorenzo de El Escorial, which was once the summer home for the kings of Spain.
The work for building a huge complex began in 1563. The complex would contain a library, a mausoleum, a royal palace, a church, a monastery, and a museum – all in honor of Philip II and his reign.
The result? The staggering attractions involving 16 courtyards that stay connected with 16 kilometers of corridors. The architect was Juan Bautista de Toledo.
Upon completion, El Escorial became the monument of the central role that Spain played as the center of the Christian world.
11. Valencia City of Arts and Sciences
There was once a river that repeatedly flooded the city of Valencia. Then the people just had enough, and they diverted the course of the river. What was left behind was a flat and deserted riverbed with bridges.
Then came Santiago Calatrava – a famous Spanish architect. He filled the empty riverbed with a stunning collection of buildings with a contemporary design that soon became a tourist hotspot. Only one building – an aquarium was not built by Calatrava. It was designed by Félix Candela. The rest of them – the museums, the art venues were all brainchild of Calatrava.
This is where you find the L’Oceanogràfic – the oceanographic aquarium that was designed by Candela.
12. Santiago De Compostela Cathedral
In case you are looking for some breathtaking architecture from the Roman era, the Santiago De Compostela Cathedral is the place you need to be at! Apart from the awe-inspiring architecture, you will also experience an overwhelming experience of pilgrimage.
Once you are there, you will be greeted with a triple doorway adorning the impressive facade. Go in and be awed by the wooden figure of the Apostle. It is one of the must-visit Spain points of interest if you are a devout Christian.
13. Royal Palace, Madrid
In entire Western Europe, the Royal Palace in Madrid is the largest. While that is quite a reason to visit it, you must also know that it is also one of the great examples of Baroque architecture in Europe.
Unlike other palaces where you need to pass through heavily guarded gates, you can simply walk up to the Royal Palace in Madrid. There is no gate to cross, and it is always open to visitors.
That doesn’t, however, mean that the palace has no importance. The royal family still uses it for state occasions and use the far modest Zarzuela Palace for residence.
14. Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor is one of the most important Spain points of interest, and it is, needless to say, one of the most important tourist destinations of Spain.
The serene environment attracts most visitors, and, as an added benefit, they can sip on some of the most exquisite wines produced in Spain. Within the 1000 meters of the plaza, some historical monuments to attract a lot of people, especially history buffs.
15. Segovia Aqueduct
The Segovia Aqueduct requires no introduction. It is a piece of history straight out of Roman times. Yes, the Romans left it, and it’s one of the best-preserved monuments from ancient times.
With no mortar used, the aqueduct is a massive structure made of 24,000 pieces of enormous granite blocks. It is believed that it was built somewhere in the 1st century CE (most likely 50 CE). However, it is quite difficult to say the exact age because there are no inscriptions found anywhere.
It runs over 15 kilometers of rolling landscape, nicely adjusting to the contours of the hills and the valleys before arriving in the city.
It once transported water from the famous Rio Frio river that is located in the mountains. It is a sight to behold! Be there to understand its true grandeur.
This list of Spain points of interest is nowhere even close to being complete. There are too many options that cannot be included in a single piece. This list will give you a head start, ensuring that your time in Spain is not wasted finding the best Spain points of interest. Instead, visit these and keep looking for the rest whenever you get time!