Over the past decade, Spain has seen a surge in traveler interest from all corners of the world. Tourists flock to the country to see, drink, and eat their way through a relaxing vacation. If you’ve been considering adding Spain tourist attractions to your next getaway, these Spain attractions are ones to add to your list. Here are the things to do in Spain when you visit. We’ve listed these Spain tourist attractions in no particular order. Happy travels!
Visit Mount Teide
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. It’s also the home of Mount Teide, a dormant volcano that boasts the title of the tallest peak in all of Spain. The island puts on festivals and is comprised of many beaches, but you can’t go to Tenerife without hiking Mount Teide. From the altitude to the scenery, it’s the closest thing to walking on the moon.
See La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona sightseeing is known for its beaches, nightlife, and shopping, but there are so many other things worth checking out in the capital of the Catalonia region. La Sagrada Familia is an unfinished Roman Catholic church by architect Antoni Gaudi. Now designated a World Heritage Site, the basilica is a big part of Spain’s history. Make sure you bring your camera, this place is extremely photogenic.
Here are a few fast facts about Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.
-The Sagrada Familia has been under construction for over a century, in progress since 1882
-It was supposed to be completed by 2026, but the pandemic pushed it back.
-It’s 170 meters tall and not a meter more, because Gaudi believed that human-made structures should be shorter than God-made structures, and Montjuïc Hill (Barcelona’s highest point) is 171 meters tall
-The name Sagrada Familia translates to the "Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Family"
-In the crypt of Sagrada Familia lies the body of Antoni Gaudi; the main architect was buried here in the chapel of Virgen del Carmen, which is one of four chapels in the crypt
-Gaudi died on the 10th of June 1926 after being knocked down by a tram while making his way, as he did every evening, to the Sagrada Família from the Church of Sant Felip Neri
Take in the sights at La Alhambra
Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ornate Alhambra, located in Granada, is a complex of palaces and gardens, with a view of the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. This beautiful Moorish fortress was originally constructed in AD 889. The ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century.
Go whitewater rafting in Picos de Europa
The scenery in Spain is one of the main reasons people vacation there. One of the country’s spectacular feats of nature are the Picos de Europa mountain ranges located on the northern coast. The peaks, valleys, and rivers, make this area one of the best hiking spots in Spain. It’s also a great place to visit if you’re interested in whitewater rafting or snowshoeing.
Drink the delicious Spanish coffee
Coffee in Spain really takes things to the next level. It’s fresh, delicious, and available almost everywhere when you visit. And the iced coffee - also amazing. While there are great cafes on almost every corner in the big cities, we still recommend taking a look at this list of the best cafes and coffee shops in Spain. It includes stops in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and beyond, so no matter where you fly into, you’ll have java waiting for you. Barcelona sightseeing just got a whole lot tastier. There are spectacular specialty coffee stores and roasters serving the freshest brewed and roasted coffee all over the country.
Tour San Sebastián, Spain
Travel Magazine Contributor Shebs Alom recently visited San Sebastián, and says it's a must-visit: “The city, also known as Donostia to the local Basque people, sits on the north coast of Spain. It’s celebrated for its cuisine and is home to countless Michelin-starred restaurants, pintxo (tapas) bars, food markets, and gourmet food shops. That’s not all that needs to be celebrated about the city. San Sebastián has some incredible museums and art galleries that commemorate the city’s local and renowned artists.”
Read Alom’s full review of San Sebastián, including where to eat, play, and go. You should also consider his guide to visiting Toledo, Spain. It’s an equally impressive example of Spain attractions to visit.
Book a private wine tasting
Because my goodness, the wine in Spain is phenomenal. It’s also pretty darn affordable! Spain is known to make and share some of the best vino in the world. Believe it or not, the country has not one or two, but six unique wine regions to explore: Sherry, La Rioja & Basque Country, Priorat & Penedes, Mallorca, Ribera del Duero, and Galicia.
A private tour is one of the best ways to level up your experience. It also makes things much more romantic, if you’re in need of a nice afternoon with your partner. Take a chauffeur with knowledge of the wines with you, who can help you select which wineries to visit, and can include extras such as tasty food options, lodging for the night, and so much more. We can’t recommending getting out of the tourist buses and into a private care enough. This is your vacation after all! If you do it this way, you’ll understand why a private wine tasting is one of the best things to do in Spain.
Stay at a fabulous hotel
Spain attractions are only better if you’ve had a good night sleep before hand, which is why we think you should make booking a great hotel a top priority. One that we can definitely recommend (it’s consistently ranked as one of the best hotels in the city) in Barcelona is The Mandarin Oriental. There is little concern your stay will have you taken care of and feeling ready for the best Barcelona sightseeing. Oh, and we almost forgot to mention: the spa is a fantastic experience and it comes with your room. It’s a welcome retreat after a long day of seeing Spain tourist attractions.
Take a trip to the islands
When you’re finished Madrid and Barcelona sightseeing, it’s time to hit the islands. You’ve likely heard the stories about nights gone wild on the beaches of Ibiza, and people partying until the sun comes up, but there’s a lot more to these incredible beach destinations like Ibiza and Mallorca than raves and drinking. Though you can find that there too. Ibiza, for example, is a serene Mediterranean escape. The location is as impressive and the sights are dramatic. When you land or step off the boat in Ibiza, you’re going to want to take in the Spain attractions right away. Stroll through the scenic streets of Old Town and lose yourself in the crowd. When you get hungry, there are plenty of restaurants worth visiting, offering tapas and vino to keep you entertained all night. The bohemian ambiance and breathtaking views at Los Enamorados, Ibiza are not to be missed. Be sure you add this to your list of things to do in Spain.
Book a luxury train ride
There are two kinds of train rides, and the kind we’re recommending is most certainly not the full, subway-car-style, can barely move kind. We’re recommending a luxury train ride through Northern Spain, where you’ll see much of the region and eat and drink in style.
The Luxury Train Club in Spain is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Spain. The tour makes stops in Santiago de Compostela, Bilbao, and Santander, offering views that are camera-worthy along the way. Green hills and majestic coastlines follow you throughout your journey, and the food is no joke. You’ll eat well on your trip and see some of the hidden countrysides that the bus tours miss.
If you love to travel by train, this is should be at the top of your list of things to do in Spain.
Top Spain tourist attractions
Here’s a quick list of the most popular Spain tourist attractions to see while you explore. The list is ranked based on the number of Instagram hashtags used in each place.
1. La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
2. La Alhambra, Granada
3. Parc Guell, Barcelona
4. Palacio Real, Madrid
5. Casa Mila, Barcelona
6. Giralda, Seville
7. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia
8. Prado Museum, Madrid
9. Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid
10. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
We hope this list of 10 things to do in Spain is a starting point for all of your Spanish adventures. Spain is a country unique to itself, with the food and drink, history, and culture coming together to create a beautiful place to visit. Some travelers tag on a trip to Portugal, France, or Morocco when they visit, but rest assured that there is plenty to see and do in Spain to occupy as long a trip as you’d like.