I’ve never really shared any posts before about where I want to travel, rather than where I have already travelled, so this travel wishlist all about Spain’s Top Five Cities is something a bit different. I realised that writing this kind of post is actually a wonderful way of researching new places, finding new travel ideas, and getting excited about future travel plans.
Spain is the most popular travel destination for Brits by a mile. In spite of that, I’ve only ever been once – a ten-day backpacking trip around Andalusia with two friends almost ten years ago! It was a spontaneous kind of trip where we arrived with no accommodation or transport booked and made it up as we went along. The accommodation we did find ranged from a tent in the mountains near Ronda to a rooftop bed in Tarifa.
I loved getting a more in-depth view of one area of Spain on my trip, but am itching to head back and explore the countless cities that are bursting at the seams with renowned museums, incredible art galleries, and remarkable architecture. But which cities can you not afford to miss on a Spanish holiday?
Here are Spain’s top five cities that have crept high up on my travel wishlist:
It would be rude not to start with the capital, which manages to strike the right balance between traditional history and contemporary culture. You can spend the days exploring Gran Vía, the various parks around the city, and the historic sights of the Royal Palace and cathedral. Judging by the look of El Rastro flea market, you could easily lose a day treasure hunting there.
By night, there’s tapas feasts, the sounds of fiery flamenco music and endless bars to choose from. Don’t forget about Madrid’s love of art either, as Museo del Prado and Reina Sofía are famous the world over.
Barcelona has to be one of the ultimate ‘something for everyone’ cities. There’s the dreamlike Gaudí’s Sagrada Família to marvel at, a superb restaurant scene and plenty of opportunity where you can soak up the sun on Barceloneta beach before heading out to experience yet another vibrant Spanish nightlife spot.
Spain’s third largest city is often overlooked by those en route to nearby Costa Blanca beach retreats, but to me that’s half the appeal. There’s plenty in Valencia deserving of your undivided attention. Given that the city dates back to 150BC, you will bear witness to buildings with Gothic, Baroque, and Roman influences. However, the City of Arts and Sciences will transport you to a futuristic utopia with its stunning design.
Seville is actually a city I have visited before, but I’d absolutely love to revisit it. The skyline is dominated by the enormous cathedral, while the rest of the architecture ranges from the modern right back to its Moorish roots. Seville’s free-spirited vibe created by its community of artists, writers and composers will make you feel totally at ease. You can get lost in the winding streets surrounding the cathedral and hop between the riverside bars at night.
Surrounded by the imposing Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada gives visitors the opportunity to explore Spain’s mesmerizing landscapes but also enjoy a spot of sightseeing in the city. The ancient Alhambra Palace is Granada’s number one attraction, but the cultural delights of its museums and art galleries come a close second.
Despite the fact each and every one of these cities has its own unique attributes, they sum up everything that Spain is about – culture, cuisine, and colour – and all are thoroughly deserving of being considered on of Spain’s top five cities.
Where in Spain would you put on your travel wishlist?
All images taken from Pixabay, a source of royalty-free creative commons images.