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Top 10 Things You Absolutely Must Do in Spain

Top 10 Things You Absolutely Must Do in Spain

Passionate, sophisticated, and devoted to “living the good life”, Spain is a sunny and colorful destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list!

From dancing the night away and eating paella, to enjoying a glass of wine (or two) and plates of tapas till late into the night, or just admiring the amazing architecture, Spain has a never-ending collection of attractions for even the most experienced traveler!

And, best of all, Spain is a destination open for you to travel to now! Currently, vaccinated travelers can enter Spain from Canada with no restrictions, and unvaccinated visitors from Canada can enter Spain with a negative COVID-19 test result.

So, is it time to start planning your amazing getaway to Spain? If so, read on to learn about our top recommendations of the ‘Top 10 You Absolutely Must Do in Spain”!

Admire Barcelona’s Beautiful Architecture

No trip to Spain would be complete without a day or two in Barcelona! Barcelona is a captivating seaside city with endless culture, renowned architecture, and a world-class nightlife scene.

Highlights

  • Discover Gaudi’s unique and iconic architectural style, such as the infamous La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and more!
  • Enjoy delicious tapas. These “small bites” are served with drinks in bars and is considered a culinary signature of Barcelona.
  • Visit the historic Gothic Quarter. From the famous pedestrian street known as Las Ramblas to the Mediterranean seafront, the Gothic Quarter earned its name from the architecture popular during that time.
  • Barcelona is one of the world’s fashion centers! Fashionistas will love Barcelona’s world-class boutiques and charming, tree-lined shopping streets.
  • Foodies and wine enthusiasts can also find an abundance of Michelin-rated restaurants run by cutting-edge chefs.

Visit Seville

Seville is one of the most beautiful cities in southern Spain. It’s widely known for its entertaining flamenco shows, delicious cuisine, and Mudejar, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture.

Highlights

  • The Alcázar castle complex is one of the city’s most enchanting and popular historic monuments. It is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Seville Cathedral, another UNESCO world heritage site, is a must-see when visiting Seville.
  • La Giralda is the belltower opposite the Cathedral. There are 25 bells in the Giralda and they are rung during important holidays and events.
  • Plaza de España, along the entire perimeter of the beautiful plaza, is a canal which you can travel by boat – a truly romantic experience!

Eat at the World’s Oldest Restaurant

Sobrino de Botín can be found in the center of Madrid and has been welcoming guests since 1725. That makes it officially the oldest restaurant in the world! The restaurant has notably served Mozart and Clint Eastwood, and it has also been mentioned in an Ernest Hemingway novel! It’s one of the best please to experience in Spain as a tourist. The restaurant is very popular and always fully-booked weeks in advance, so make sure you plan ahead and book a reservation!

Fun Fact

The name “Sobrino” comes from the Spanish word for “nephew”. It’s also believed that the flame in the oven has been burning continuously since the restaurant first opened.

Visit the Canary Islands

This Spanish archipelago off the coast of Northwestern Africa boasts haunting volcanoes, sandy coves, and stunning beach resorts.  There are plenty of activities to fill your days, such as dolphin-watching, visiting the Timanfaya National Park, sailing, or hiking.

  • In Teide National Park, Tenerife sees the third highest volcano in the world! Taking a trip inside the immense crater is definitely a destination highlight.
  • Relax on the beautiful golden sand beaches of Gran Canaria. It’s one of the island’s liveliest beach scenes at any time of day or night. Find beaches covered in bright umbrellas and backed by a promenade lined with restaurants, cafés, shops, and attractions.
  • Dolphin and Whale Watching: the Atlantic Sea off Tenerife is known for its whales and dolphins, and a whale-watching cruise is a must-do! Many cruises include a stop at a secluded bay for swimming or snorkeling.
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of Tenerife and is a lively and attractive city, marked by some outstanding architectural attractions like the Auditorio de Tenerife, an opera house overlooking the sea. Santa Cruz has manyy other fascinating cultural highlights, including the Museum of Fine Arts and more.

Spend a Couple of Days in Madrid

Madrid is one of those cities you have to experience at least once because of its gorgeous weather, delicious tapas, great shopping, and vibrant nightlife. If you’re looking for more cultural and local activities, some of the main things you can do in Madrid are:

  • Visit the Museo del Prado. Truly a world-class museum, the Prado Museum has a collection of more than 8,000 paintings and 700 sculptures! Perfect for any art lover.
  • Wander through Plaza Mayor, an important gathering place in Madrid. The cobblestone square is a pedestrian area, surrounded by cafés and restaurants shaded by its arcades. In the evenings, the square has a lively ambiance and is a popular hangout spot for both tourists and locals.
  • Visit the Royal Palace. This extravagant palace is the Spanish version of Versailles, a royal court designed to impress. However, unlike Versailles, which is now a museum, the Royal Palace of Madrid is still the official residence of the King of Spain and continues to be used for official State events.
  • Explore El Rastro, the largest flea market in Madrid. It is a bustling shopping area in the city center that’s open every day of the week and stands out for its jumble of specialist shops, typical bars, historic sites, and interesting places like the Museum of Popular Art.
  • Catch a flamenco show. Flamenco is probably Spain’s most famous art form and is a great way to experience Spanish culture.

Visit the Alhambra

The name Alhambra comes from Arabic and signifies ‘red castle’ or ‘vermilion’, due to the color of the tower walls, which happens when the light of the sun catches a golden tone.

Located in Granada, one of the most charming cities in Spain, Alhambra is located on top of the hill al-Sabika, on the left bank of the river Darro, to the west of the city of Granada. The castle became a military fortress with a view over the whole city and in the 13th century, Alhambra became a royal residence for the first king of the Nasrid dynasty. It is a must-see for anyone who is visiting Granada!

Travel Tip

You can be turned away at the castle even with a ticket. The Palace is the most popular landmark in Granada. Missing your time slot or showing up late may result in denied access. Tickets to the Alhambra sell like hotcakes and some people buy their tickets months in advance!

Soak Up the Sun in Ibiza

With over 5,000 miles of coastline, Spain has some of the most beautiful and diverse beaches in the world. There are loads of great options when it comes to catching some rays!

Highlights

  • Ibiza is the party capital of the world! You can party during the day or wait for nighttime clubbing; either way, there are dozens of places you can party here.
  • The weather is perfect all year round. Ibiza boasts 300 days of sunshine a year, so you can plan your holiday whenever you want and still enjoy the beach!
  • There are plenty of amazing dive spots around the island, the most notable one being the Cala d’Hort Marine Nature where you might bump into a few dolphins.
  • Enjoy other watersports such as jet-skis, parasailing, water-skiing, snorkeling, stand-up paddling, kayaking, and more.
  • Relax and one of the amazing spas on the island and indulge in a yoga class, pamper yourself with anything from peels, facials, mani-pedis, and a variety of massages.

Visit the World Heritage City of Salamanca

Any history buff should have the following UNESCO World Heritage site on their bucket list. The Old City of Salamanca is one of the oldest university towns in Europe, located northwest of Madrid. Salamanca’s historic center still has a significant number of Baroque, Gothic, Romanesque, Moorish, and Renaissance monuments, which is the main reason many tourists visit each year.

Fun Fact

The University of Salamanca dates back to 1218 and is the oldest university in Spain and the third oldest university in all of Europe.

Conquer the Picos de Europa

This is one of Spain’s most underrated tourist attractions. This mountain range is located in northern Spain and extends about 20km. If you’re a seasoned hiker or a photography enthusiast, the Picos de Europa National Park will amaze you with dramatic scenery and some of the best hiking trails in the country!

Highlights

  • Diverse walks and hikes in Spain’s oldest national park
  • Visit traditional mountain villages in the valleys of Green Spain (a lush natural region in Northern Spain)
  • Interesting wildlife like Chamois, Golden eagles, and Griffon vultures
  • View the famous mountain peak Picu Urriellu
  • Try tasty regional dishes such as Cabrales blue cheese and sparkling Asturian apple cider

Discover the Wine Region of Rioja

With 60,000 hectares of vines spread over three provinces, Rioja might be vast — but if you know where to go, it can make for an unforgettable getaway.

Indulge in easy winery-hopping by heading to Haro Train Station Wine Quarter and find the highest concentration of century-old wineries on the planet!

Fun Facts

In September this region holds the Haro Wine Festival, or if you want to get involved with people throwing over 100,000 liters of red wine at one another, arrive June 29 for the Batalla del Vino, or ‘wine battle’!



When you’re ready to plan an exciting adventure to Spain, Our TierOne Travel Consultants are here and ready to help you plan. Give us a call to plan your dream getaway at the best possible price – we’ll make sure you don’t miss any bucket list item for that destination!
One call; endless experiences!
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous

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