28 things everyone should do in Spain

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AP/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Spain is known for its unique architecture, beautiful coastal beaches, and fresh seafood, among other things.

In fact, the country has so much to offer that it can be overwhelming for visitors to choose what to do and see. It’s impossible to hit all of the country’s highlights in a single visit.

Keep scrolling for a list of must-sees all over the country, from the aqueduct of Segovia to the Mosque of Cordoba.

Did we miss your favorite spot in Spain? Let us know in the comments.


Wander the rooms of Granada’s Alhambra, a fortified palace with gorgeous gardens and opulent Muslim-influenced architecture. Be sure to plan ahead if you choose to visit; tickets to the Alhambra must be purchased in advance.

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Shutterstock / Marques

Dance the night away at one of Ibiza’s famous clubs. The Balearic Island is also a great place for some quality beach time since it sits right on the Mediterranean.

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Flickr / David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliott

Marvel at the brightly colored mosaics of Barcelona’s Park Güell, a public park that includes gardens and unique architecture designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.

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iStock / Luciano Mortula

Climb to the top of the Giralda Tower at Seville’s cathedral for incredible city views. The Roman Catholic church is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.

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iStock / bpperry

Lounge on the bright, white sand beaches of Costa del Sol, a region in the coastal community of Andalusia.

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iStock / Fotomicar

Sample a variety of Spain’s delectable cuisine at a traditional tapas restaurant. Tapas are small plates of everything from olives to ham to seafood.

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Flickr / Moyan Brenn

Visit the Dalí Museum in the town of Figueres in Catalonia. Besides housing much of Salvador Dalí’s works, the museum is also built above the crypt that houses Dalí’s tomb.

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iStock / Photoprofi30

Gaze at the archways of the Great Mosque of Córdoba, a structure that is both a cathedral and a mosque. It’s regarded as one of the best examples of Moorish architecture in the world.

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iStock / Sean Pavone

Catch Real Madrid play a game of soccer at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

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Flickr / Darrell Arnone

Marvel at the aqueduct of Segovia, which was built by the Romans and considered today to be one of the Iberian Peninsula’s most well-preserved monuments.

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iStock / Sean Pavone

Explore the Zahara de la Sierra, a municipality in Spain’s Cádiz province. Picturesque white homes are nestled into the hills of Andalusia, making for a particularly stunning backdrop.

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Flickr / Shemsu.Hor

Browse the artwork at Madrid’s Museo Nacional del Prado, which was founded in 1819 and houses one of the best collections of European art in the world. The museum’s collection dates from the 12th to 19th centuries, so give yourself at least a couple hours here. There’s a lot to see.

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Flickr / Wenjie, Zhang | A Certain Slant of Light

Get covered in tomatoes at La Tomatina, a massive food fight festival that takes place every August in the town of Buñol in Spain’s Valencia region.

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Wikimedia Commons / flydime

Look up at the towers and stunning stained glass windows of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, another one of Gaudi’s masterpieces. The church is set to become the tallest religious building in Europe once the construction of its six new towers is completed.

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Shutterstock / Semen Lixodeev

Hike up Montserrat, a mountain with uniquely shaped rock pillars that were formed by rain, frost, and wind. Only 30 miles from Barcelona, it’s a great day trip, and visitors can also stop by the historic benedictine monastery nestled right into the cliffs.

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iStock / taratata

Haggle your way through El Rastro, a massive flea market that happens in Madrid every Sunday.

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Wikimedia Commons / Duncan Rawlinson

Eat paella, a flavorful dish consisting of rice and seafood that originated centuries ago in Valencia.

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Flickr / Jonathan Pincas

Feel like royalty at the Alcázar of Seville, the oldest royal palace in Europe that’s still in use. The intricate, Moorish-inspired architecture of the palace was built mostly in the 1300s by Muslim kings.

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iStock / Sean Pavone

Feel the rhythm at a flamenco performance in Seville. Performances include beautiful costumes, mesmerizing dance moves, and exciting guitar music.

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Reuters / David Moir

Stroll through one of Madrid’s largest parks, Buen Retiro, which is home to 15,000 trees — one of them being the city’s oldest, at around 400 years old. Stop by the breathtaking crystal palace, a glass structure that was built in 1887 to house flowers from the Philippines.

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iStock / Jorgefontestad

Tour the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which houses modern and contemporary art. The building itself is just as impressive as the art inside; it was designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry.

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iStock / luisrsphoto

Savor the best ham in the world. Spain produces a variety of different kinds, such as jamón ibérico and jamón serrano — eat it by the slice or on a warm, toasted baguette.

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Flickr / Kevin Krejci

Go to a concert at the Palau de la Música Catalana, a colorful concert hall and UNESCO World Heritage site in Barcelona that has been described as “an architectural jewel of Catalan Art Nouveau.”

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Flickr / kkmarais

Ski the snowy slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the Andalusian provinces of Granada and Almería.

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iStock / Soyazur

People watch at a cafe in Madrid’s main square, the Plaza Mayor.

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iStock / Angelafoto

Catch a bullfight in Pamplona, if you don’t mind the gore.

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Spanish bullfighter Alvaro Lorenzo performs with an Alcurrucen ranch fighting bull during a bullfight in Aranjuez, near Madrid, Spain.
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AP/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Treat yourself to fresh seafood in the northwestern region of Galicia. Pulpo — octopus — is a popular delicacy there.

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Flickr / José Antonio Gil Martínez

Ride on one of the roller coasters at PortAventura, the largest theme park in Spain, located just south of Barcelona in the town of Salou.

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Flickr / Pavlo Hryhorash