20 Best Places To Visit In Spain For First-Timers

Spain is a country with a rich culture, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful landscapes. From the sandy beaches of the Costa del Sol to the bustling streets of Madrid, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this diverse and exciting country.

If you are planning your first trip to Spain, you may be wondering where to start. Thankfully, we’ve explored the country a lot over the past two decades and have been able to compile a list of the places we’d recommend visiting.

1. Barcelona

✈️ Nearest Airport: Barcelona-El Prat Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 14km

Barcelona is the largest city in Spain and one of the most popular for tourists.

Given this, the city has an extensive range of attractions suitable for all interests, a wide variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets and is incredibly easy to navigate both on foot or using public transport.

Some of the most popular things to do in Barcelona include;

  • La Sagrada Familia: This UNESCO World Heritage Site church was designed by Antoni Gaudi, and is known for its unique architecture.

  • Park Guell: This beautiful park was also designed by the world-famous Antoni Gaudi and is located on a hill in the north of the city. The park is known for its colourful mosaics, sculptures, and gardens, and offers stunning views of the city.

  • La Rambla: This busy boulevard is located in the heart of Barcelona and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Lined with shops, restaurants, and street performers this is a great place to people-watch and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the city.

  • Museu Picasso: This museum is located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona and is dedicated to the work of the famous artist Pablo Picasso housing a collection of over 4,000 works by the world-famous artist, including paintings, sculptures, and drawings.

  • Camp Nou: Camp Nou is the home of footballing legends Barcelona FC. Depending on when you visit you can catch a match played here, or take private tours around the grounds and museum.

  • La Boqueria: This popular market is located on the city’s famous Las Ramblas boulevard and is known for its wide variety of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other food products.

  • Gothic Quarter: This historic neighbourhood is located in the centre of Barcelona, and is known for its narrow streets, Gothic architecture as well as the many shops, restaurants, and bars.

  • La Pedrera: Also known as Casa Milà, La Pedrea is a famous building in Barcelona. It is considered one of architect Antoni Gaudí masterpieces.

When it comes to finding somewhere to stay, Barcelona has an extensive range of hostels and hotels to suit all budgets and preferences.

However, what really makes this city one of the best for first-time visitors to Spain is the well-developed public transportation links that make it easy to explore the city and take day trips to the surrounding areas of Catalonia.

2. Madrid

✈️ Nearest Airport: Madrid-Barajas Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 11km

Madrid is the capital of Spain, and unsurprisingly, a fantastic place to visit on your first trip to the country.

Known for its vibrant culture and exciting nightlife, as well as its iconic art galleries and cultural attractions there’s something for all types of travellers here.

The most popular things to do in Madrid include;

  • Plaza Mayor: This is one of the most famous plazas in Spain. Located in the heart of the city, it is surrounded by beautiful 17th-century buildings and is a popular gathering place for residents and tourists alike.
  • Prado Museum: Established in 1819, the museum features works from European masters such as Velázquez, El Greco, Goya, and more.
  • Retiro Park: This sprawling 315-acre park features numerous attractions, including a lake where visitors can rent boats, a peaceful rose garden, and the Palacio de Cristal, a beautiful glass pavilion.
  • Puerta del Sol: is a famous square in Madrid, Spain. Located in the heart of the city, it is one of the busiest and most popular areas of the city. It is named for the large, ornate gate that used to stand at the entrance to the square.
  • Royal Palace of Madrid: This ornate building, which served as the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family until 1931, is filled with artefacts from the royal family’s past.
  • La Latina: This vibrant neighbourhood is home to some of the city’s best tapas bars, where visitors can sample traditional dishes such as patatas bravas and jamón serrano.
  • Gran Vía: This is one of the busiest and most famous streets in Madrid and is best known for its shops, restaurants, theatres, and other attractions.

When it comes to accommodation, Madrid has a wide range of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels or budget-friendly hostels, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs.

The city also boasts a well-developed public transport system that makes it both easy and relatively affordable to explore everything the city has to offer.

3. Tenerife

✈️ Most Popular Airport: Tenerife South Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To Capital City: 61km

Tenerife is part of the Canary Islands. These islands are a semi-autonomous region of Spain and are considered part of European Union territory despite being closer to Africa.

This makes one of the best times to visit Tenerife the winter time since, unlike mainland Spain, temperatures on the island rarely drop below 20°C.

Unlike many other suggestions on this list, Tenerife isn’t traditionally a city break and is instead popular with tourists looking for a relaxing beach vacation.

That’s not to say that there aren’t things to do, see and explore here. Some of the most popular include;

  • Playa de las Americas: This is a popular resort town on the southern coast of Tenerife and is most known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and water sports.
  • Teide National Park: This park was named after Mount Teide, which is the highest peak in Spain and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established in 1954 it covers an area of 18,990 hectares.
  • Military Museum: This museum is located in the capital city and focuses on the military history of Tenerife and the Canary Islands. It has a collection of weapons, uniforms, and other artefacts related to the island’s military history, and offers a range of educational and cultural activities.
  • Whale & Dolphin Boat Tour: Tenerife is known for its rich marine life, and there are many boat trips that allow visitors to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat.

Given that Tenerife is predominantly a holiday destination, you’ll typically find more hotels than hostels.

However, there is still a wide range of hotels to choose from with all budgets catered to.

It’s also worth noting that Tenerife has two airports, one in the north and one in the south.

The majority of airlines fly into the airport in the south which could make getting to popular regions in the north of the island difficult and expensive without detailed planning.

4. Mallorca

✈️ Nearest Airport: Palma de Mallorca Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To Capital City: 9km

Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, a Spanish archipelago located in the Mediterranean Sea.

Much like Tenerife, Mallorca is predominantly a destination for holidaymakers rather than those looking for a city break.

However, the island still boasts a rich history and culture. Some of the most popular things to do in Mallorca include;

  • Parc Natural de s’Albufera: This national park is located in the northeast and is known for its wetlands, sand dunes, and rich birdlife.
  • Playa de Palma: This popular region on the south coast of Mallorca, is known for its beautiful sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife.
  • Museum of Mallorca: This museum displays artefacts and exhibits related to the island’s history and culture.
  • Cala d’Or: This is a popular resort town on the east coast of Mallorca, known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters.

The island of Mallorca has a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. This unsurprisingly makes the most popular time to visit the summer months from June to August.

Given that the island predominantly caters to holidaymakers there aren’t many hostels, and instead, the accommodation available is mostly hotels.

However, there is an extensive range of independently owned and chain hotels to choose from across the island catering to all budgets and needs.

There aren’t any trains or trams in Mallorca. Instead, tourists use either the local buses or taxis to get around.

5. Seville

✈️ Nearest Airport: Seville-San Pablo Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 10km

Seville is the capital of the Andalusia region of southern Spain and the fourth-largest city in the country.

Boasting a rich cultural heritage and history alongside beautiful architecture and vibrant nightlife, this city is popular with first-time visitors to Spain and regular tourists alike.

Some of the most popular things to do in the city include;

  • Historic Centre: This is a beautiful and vibrant part of the city, with many narrow streets, squares, and historic buildings to explore. Some of the most popular places include the Plaza de España, the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza, and the Torre del Oro.
  • Real Alcázar: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Originally built in the 11th century, this palace is best known for its beautiful gardens, intricate stonework, and rich history.
  • Triana: The neighbourhood of Triana is one of the most popular for the city’s vibrant nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.
  • Parque de María Luisa: Located in the heart of the city this is one of the most popular and iconic landmarks in Seville, known for its beautiful gardens, fountains, and sculptures.

Given the size and popularity of Seville, you’ll find that the city has a wide range of accommodation options including hostels, Airbnbs and luxury five-star hotels.

Meanwhile, the comprehensive bus and metro system make getting around the city quick, easy and affordable.

6. Bilbao

✈️ Nearest Airport: Bilbao Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 10km

Bilbao is located in the Basque Country of northern Spain. This city blends old and new to perfection, with a variety of historic buildings and modern landmarks.

Better still, it’s just a short drive from the coastline making it the perfect combination of both a beach and city break.

Some of the most popular things to do in Bilbao include;

  • Guggenheim Museum: This museum was designed by the architect Frank Gehry and is best known for its modern and contemporary art collection.
  • Old Town: This is a beautiful and historic part of the city, with many narrow streets, squares, and historic buildings to explore including; the Plaza Nueva, the Casco Viejo, and the Mercado de la Ribera.
  • San Mamés Stadium: This stadium is home to Athletic Bilbao, one of the most successful and popular football clubs in Spain. During the season you can catch a match played here, while outside the season the stadium regularly welcomes guests on a guided tour.
  • Nervión River: This river runs through the centre of Bilbao, and is a beautiful and tranquil spot to enjoy the city’s natural beauty.

Bilbao boasts a wide range of accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels.

Meanwhile, the city itself is incredibly easy to navigate using the affordable and comprehensive public transport system.

7. San Sebastian

✈️ Nearest Airport: San Sebastián Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 21km

San Sebastian is an incredibly popular city beach break location in northern Spain.

This city lies on the Bay of Biscay, close to the French border which has resulted in a unique blend of Spanish and French influences which have been reflected in the city’s culture, architecture, and cuisine.

Some of the most popular sights and attractions in the city of San Sebastian include;

  • Old Town: San Sebastian’s Old Town is home to some of the most historic and popular buildings in the city. This includes; the Plaza de la Constitución, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, and the Church of Saint Vincent.
  • La Concha Beach Promenade: This 5km long promenade is a classic seafront walkway that stretches along the shell-shaped coast of Gipuzkoa.
  • San Telmo Museum: This museum is located at the foot of Monte Urgull in the Old Town and is best known for its collection of Basque art and history which is presented in a wide variety of exhibitions and displays which are rotated throughout the year.
  • Monte Urgull: Located in the heart of San Sebastian, this hill is topped by a castle, which is now a museum and is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the city.

Given that San Sebastian is popular with holidaymakers, hostels are rare. Instead, the majority of accommodation in the city is made up of both independent and chain-owned hotels.

However, despite this, there are still accommodation options available for most budgets and covering most requirements.

The city of San Sebastian is very walkable and is connected to other major cities within Spain using buses, planes and trains.

8. Ibiza

✈️ Nearest Airport: Ibiza Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To Capital City: 6km

Much like Mallorca, Ibiza is part of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of mainland Spain.

This island is popular with holidaymakers, especially those looking to experience the world-renowned Ibiza nightlife scene.

However, that’s not all this island has to offer. Some other, popular things to do here include;

  • Old Town: Located in the centre of Ibiza City, the old town is well known for its narrow streets and historic buildings, including the Gothic-style cathedral and the Renaissance-style City Hall.
  • Playa d’en Bossa: This is one of the most popular beaches in Ibiza and is best known for its vibrant atmosphere, with many bars and restaurants to choose from.
  • Boat Trip: There are a wide variety of boat trips available along Ibiza’s coastline. The most popular, however, is the tour to the nearby islands of Formentera and Es Vedrà.
  • Phoenician Necropolis of Puig des Molins: This museum is home to an extensive display of artefacts left on the islands by the Phoenicians, Punics, and Romans.
  • Hippy Market: This market takes place every Saturday in the region of Es Canar. Running from 10am until 8pm during the summer months it’s best known for its relaxed bohemian atmosphere making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

Ibiza has a wide range of accommodation options to choose from.

However, given that the island is most popular with holidaymakers you’ll typically find accommodation in the form of hotels (which are available at a variety of different price points), luxury resorts, and private villas.

9. Alicante

✈️ Nearest Airport: Alicante-Elche Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 8km

Alicante is located in the popular holiday region of Costa Blanca and is a fantastic destination for first-time visitors to Spain.

The city stretches across 244km of coastline and as a result, has a range of public beaches for visitors to choose from.

This makes Alicante the perfect destination for those struggling to choose between a city break offered by the likes of Madrid and Barcelona and a relaxing beach break offered by the islands of Ibiza and Mallorca.

Some of the most popular attractions in Alicante include;

  • Santa Barbara Castle: Situated on Mount Benacantil this castle was built in the 9th century and expanded in the 13th. The castle is home to a museum that displays artefacts, as well as offers guided tours, exhibitions, and other activities.
  • Tabarca Island: This small island is a protected nature reserve located off the coast of Alicante and is best known for its crystal-clear waters and rich marine life.
  • Elche’s Palm Groves: In the nearby city of Elche is Elche’s Palm Groves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, best known for its palm groves, which are believed to be the largest in Europe.

While Alicante itself has a lot to offer, what makes the city all the more appealing is how easy it is to take a day trip to other nearby destinations including;

  • Valencia: Best known for its beautiful beaches, historic centre, and modern architecture.
  • Murcia: Well known for its baroque architecture, parks, gardens, and museums.
  • Guadalest: Boasts beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

10. Malaga

Malaga is a vibrant coastal city in southern Spain that boasts a rich history, beautiful beaches, and a thriving arts scene.

This city is perfect for a 3 – 5 day Spanish break and offers a wide range of things to do including;

  • Picasso Museum: This museum is dedicated to the work of the famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, who was born in the city. The museum features a large collection of his works, including paintings, drawings, and sculptures.
  • Alcazaba Fortress: This historic fortress was built in the 11th century and is located in the city centre of Malaga. It offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding area. The fortress also has a museum, which displays artefacts and other items related to its history.
  • Malagueta Beach: This nearby beach offers a wide range of activities including surfing and jet skiing.
  • Malaga Cathedral: This historic cathedral is located in the city centre of Malaga. Built in the 16th century it’s a fantastic example of Renaissance architecture.
  • Roman Theater: Built in the 1st century AD, this s one of the best-preserved Roman theatres in Spain.

Given the popularity of Malaga, the city offers a wide range of accommodation options for visitors to choose from including hostels and hotels.

The city itself is easy to navigate both on foot or using the public transport system, which is efficient and affordable.

11. Granada

✈️ Nearest Airport: Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 16km

Granada is a fantastic city in southern Spain that offers a unique mix of Spanish and Moorish culture and history.

Some of the most popular things to do in the city include;

  • The Alhambra: This palace and fortress were built in the 13th century for the Nasrid Dynasty and 1984 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The Royal Chapel: This historic chapel was built in the 15th century and is perhaps most known for its beautiful Gothic architecture alongside its elaborate tombs and sculptures.
  • The Bazaars: Granada boasts several bustling bazaars that are a fantastic reflection of the culture of the region. Here you’ll find locals shopping for fruit, vegetables and herbs as well as tourists shopping for handmade souvenirs.
  • Mirador San Nicolas: This popular viewpoint is located in the Albayzin district of Granada and boasts stunning views of the city, the Alhambra, and the Sierra Nevada mountains.
  • Flamenco Museum: This unique museum is dedicated to the art of flamenco and displays a collection of costumes and instruments with live flamenco performances taking place multiple times throughout the day.
  • Sierra Nevada National Park: This is one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Spain offering a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, climbing, and skiing. It is also a great place to see wildlife, such as ibex, eagles, and vultures.

You’ll find a range of hotels in Granada, however, hostels in the city are limited. Thankfully, however, accommodation costs overall are significantly cheaper when compared to Spain’s more popular cities of Barcelona and Madrid.

12. Valencia

✈️ Nearest Airport: Valencia Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 10km

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and offers an extensive mix of both history and culture.

Some of the most popular things to do in the city include;

  • City of Arts and Sciences: This modern complex is located in the heart of Valencia and is best known for its stunning architecture which houses a range of museums and galleries including the Oceanogràfic, the Hemisfèric, and the Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía.
  • Old Town & Gothic Quarter: Valencia has a rich and fascinating history, and there’s no better place to learn about it than the old town and Gothic Quarter of the city.
  • Central Market: One of the most popular markets for tourists visiting Valencia is the Central Market. This is the largest market in the city and boasts a wide range of fresh produce including meat, and fish alongside handmade souvenirs.
  • Malvarrosa Beach: This beach is the most popular in the city and is the perfect spot for swimming or simply just relaxing and enjoying the Mediterranean climate.

While on its own the city of Valencia has a lot to offer what makes it all the more appealing is what a great base it is for exploring the Valencian Community region.

Many day trip destinations, such as the Albufera Nature Reserve and the Sierra Calderona National Park are all within easy reach.

13. Pamplona

✈️ Nearest Airport: Pamplona Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 6km

Pamplona is a popular historical city situated in the north of Spain which is best known for its rich culture and tradition.

Some of the best things to do, see and explore in Pamplona include;

  • Running Of The Bulls Festival: This unique traditional event takes place annually in the summer over the course of nine days and sees roughly six bulls released into sectioned-off streets and chased by runners.
  • Old Quarter: This historic area of the city is lined with elegant buildings and is incredibly popular with tourists offering an extensive range of local, independently-owned restaurants, bars, and shops. Free concerts also take place here regularly.
  • Citadel of Pamplona: This historic fortress was built in the 16th century, and offers incredible views of the city. While the citadel itself is now a museum and a fantastic place for tourists to learn about the city’s history and culture.
  • Arga River: This river flows through the heart of the city and is lined with parks, gardens, and other green spaces, offering both a peaceful and relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

A range of both hostels (offering shared and private rooms) and hotels are available in the city of Pamplona catering to a wide range of budgets and requirements.

Meanwhile, getting around the city can be easily done either on foot, by using the trams or by taking a taxi.

14. Cadiz

✈️ Nearest Airport: Jerez Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 42km

Cadiz is the oldest city in Europe, and therefore unsurprisingly an incredibly popular destination for tourists looking to learn more about the city’s long history.

Located in the coastal region of Andalusia, in the south of Spain. The city offers the perfect blend of history and culture and boasts a variety of attractions for visitors to explore during a short break to the city.

Some of the best things to do in the city of Cadiz include;

  • Old Town: This picturesque jumble of narrow, cobbled streets is lined with historic and pastel-coloured buildings. One of the most significant buildings here is the Cathedral of Cadiz, an imposing Baroque and neoclassical masterpiece from the 18th and 19th centuries that’s crowned with a dome of glazed yellow tiles.
  • Local Markets: Cádiz boasts several street markets that take place throughout the week. These markets have something for everyone from food to second-hand goods, handmade souvenirs to antiques.
  • Boat Trip: Cadiz is a coastal city, and its bay is one of its most beautiful and iconic landmarks. Visitors can take a boat trip around the bay, to admire the stunning coastal scenery, the city’s landmarks, and the rich marine life.

Cadiz has a wide range of accommodation options to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly hostels and guest houses to luxury hotels.

The city is also incredibly easy to navigate on foot with plenty of pedestrian-friendly streets and a well-developed public transportation system.

15. Almeria

✈️ Nearest Airport: Almeria Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 10km

Almeria is a vibrant and colourful city located in the Andalusia region of Spain.

This city is somewhat of a hidden gem and is often overlooked in favour of other more popular cities in the region. However, we think this is all the more reason to visit.

Some of the best things to do in the city of Almeria include;

  • The Alcazaba: This incredible fortified complex is the biggest citadel built by the Arabs in Spain. Even if you don’t fancy exploring the now museum held here, be sure to head up here for incredible views of the city.
  • Old Town: Almería’s Old Town is home to the city’s most popular museums and historical attractions as well as excellent nightlife, restaurants and some of the best accommodations in the city.
  • Playa del Requexón: This is one of the most popular beaches in the city and offers a wide range of watersports including sailing and windsurfing.
  • Museum of Almeria: This museum hosts an extensive collection of artefacts from the city’s long history.
  • Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park: This protected area is the perfect day trip from the city, boasting beautiful beaches and hiking trails.

Almeria is a very walkable city, however, taxis and public buses are also available.

Meanwhile, when it comes to accommodation Almeria has a range to choose from including both hostels and hotels to suit all budgets.

16. Cordoba

✈️ Nearest Airport: Cordoba Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 10km

Cordoba was an important Roman city and a major Islamic centre in the Middle Ages and is best known for La Mezquita, an immense mosque dating from 784 A.D.

However, despite its steep history, the city is often overlooked in favour of other more popular cities in Spain despite having plenty of incredible things to do, including;

  • Old Jewish Quarter: This well-preserved Jewish quarter is located in the historic centre and is part of the area named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.
  • Roman Bridge: This beautiful bridge spans the Guadalquivir River and offers stunning views of the city.
  • Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos: This incredible fortress was once the residence of the Christian kings of Spain.
  • Sierra Morena Mountains: Take a day trip to the mountains for beautiful hiking trails and outdoor activities.

The city of Cordoba has a wide range of accommodation options to choose from, including budget hostels and luxury hotels.

Better still, the city is easy to navigate, with most of the sights located within the old city centre.

17. Burgos

✈️ Nearest Airport: Burgos Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 10km

Burgos is one of the largest cities on the route of the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrim route in Northern Spain and is best known for its French Gothic Cathedral of St. Mary, whose 3 main doorways are flanked by ornamented bell towers.

Some of the best things to do in the city of Burgos include;

  • Burgos Cathedral: This incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its Gothic style and stunning stained glass windows.
  • Monastery of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas: This Monastery of Cistercian nuns is one of the original monasteries dating back to 1187.
  • Miraflores Charterhouse: This 15th-century monastery is best known for its beautiful gardens and Gothic architecture.
  • Burgos Castle: This castle and alcázar is situated on the hill of San Miguel, 75 metres above the city.

The majority of major sights in Burgos are within the old town which makes the city incredibly walkable.

However, given the size and popularity of the city with tourists, you’ll generally find that the majority of accommodation options here are either independently owned bed & breakfasts or hotels.

18. Zaragoza

✈️ Nearest Airport: Zaragoza Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 12km

Zaragoza is the capital of northeastern Spain’s Aragon region. The city boasts more than 2,000 years of history which makes it a fascinating place to visit.

Some of the best, most popular things to do in Zaragoza include;

  • Roman Remains Museum: The museum is located underneath what is now the square of La Seo (the cathedral), and displays archaeological remains from the old Roman Forum.
  • Modern Art Museum: The futuristic-looking Aragonese Institute of Contemporary Art and Culture is a centre dedicated to modern and contemporary art.
  • Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar: This Roman Catholic church venerates Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title, Our Lady of the Pillar praised as “Mother of the Hispanic Peoples” by Pope John Paul II.
  • Aljafería Palace: This fortified medieval palace was built during the second half of the 11th century and was the residence of the Banu Hud dynasty during the era of Abu Jaffar Al-Muqtadir.

Zaragoza has several accommodation options to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly hostels and hotels to more luxurious apartments and villas.

Better still, the city is relatively easy to navigate with many of the city’s major attractions within walking distance of each other.

19. Gijon

✈️ Nearest Airport: Asturias Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 43km

Gijón is a large coastal city in northern Spain best known for its maritime heritage and the old fishermen’s quarter of Cimadevilla.

Some of the best things to do in the city of Gijón include;

  • Old Town: Cimadevilla is Gijón’s Old Town and is not only one of the most charming neighbourhoods in the city but also a witness and protagonist of significant historical events that took place here.
  • Playa de San Lorenzo: This is the first beach you come to walking from the city centre and is popular for swimming, surfing and sunbathing.
  • Plaza Mayor: Take in the historical charms of Gijón in the main square which offers a range of boutique stores and independently owned coffee shops alongside important government buildings.

Gijón has a variety of accommodation options, ranging from luxurious five-star hotels to budget-friendly apartments. Meanwhile, the city is easy to navigate, thanks to its well-maintained roads and public transport system.

20. Santiago de Compostela

✈️ Nearest Airport: Santiago-Rosalía de Castro Airport
🗺️ Distance From Airport To City: 15km

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region. It’s known as the culmination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, and the alleged burial site of the Biblical apostle St. James.

Some of the best things to see and do in the city of Santiago de Compostela include;

  • Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela: This is the reputed burial place of Saint James the Great, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ and subsequently a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Old Town: All aspects of the historic Old Town are perfectly preserved and a near invisible group of litter collectors ensure that it is always spotless.

  • Museum of the Galician People: This is an anthropologic centre, although it also includes painting, sculpture and sacred art halls. The most important collections here are devoted to traditional culture, hosting precious funds of the marine and farm world.

  • Rúa do Vilar: This is one of the most important streets in the old city and runs between Rua Nova and Rua do Franco ending at the Plaza de las Platerias.

  • Monastery of San Martiño Pinario: This is the second largest monastery in Spain (after San Lorenzo de El Escorial). Although little remains of the original medieval buildings, as the monastery has been largely rebuilt since the sixteenth century.

Santiago de Compostela has a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels and hotels to luxury resorts. Better still the city is easy to navigate, with a well-developed public transport system.

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