Spain has an infinite number of tourist attractions with a great wealth of heritage and culture, not to mention its enormous historical legacy. The most intellectual travelers find in our country a real treasure to explore.
Choosing the best cultural destinations to visit in Spain is a complicated task, since there are hundreds of places of outstanding beauty and rich heritage. However, here are some of the places you should visit at least once in your life.
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Barcelona, tied with Madrid, ranks first as the capital of Spanish culture. Reasons to be in that position are not lacking, full of art galleries, libraries, theaters, museums and even opera spaces to delight the eardrum with a performance. In this city alone it is possible to visit nine monuments declared World Heritage Sites, such as Casa Baltlló, Park Güell or the Sagrada Familia.
The cultural visit to Barcelona could not be more complete. It has 104 museums with a great cultural value, although it is worth a stop at the National Art Museum of Catalonia to discover one of the most complete collections in the world or the Picasso Museum in Barcelona with numerous works by the famous artist.
It is difficult to make a list with all its attractions, walking through its streets is to discover amazing modernist buildings, majestic gardens, even archaeological remains. Barcelona is a star destination to enjoy a cultural getaway.
The second in the ranking of the most cultural cities in the country is the most traditional capital, a safe bet for any self-respecting intellectual traveler. Starting with its three cultural sites declared World Heritage Sites: Cultural Landscape of Aranjuez, University of Alcalá de Henares and the Monastery of El Escorial.
Also worth mentioning is Madrid’s Art Triangle, also known as the Golden Triangle, the city’s most popular group of museums. Located on the Paseo del Prado: the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum. A perfect tour of some of the most complete collections in the world.
Finally, the capital stands out for its great importance in theatre, with a long history from the Golden Age to the present. A must in the city is the Barrio de las Letras, the literary heart of the capital.
It is one of the favorite cities for tourists from all over the world who are interested in culture, history and the vast monumental legacy. If you are wondering things to do in Granada, the city boasts a great cultural offer that will not leave you indifferent. The capital has witnessed the passage of numerous cultures that have left their mark on its corners and monuments, thus forming a route that seduces any traveler.
From the Realejo, the old Jewish quarter, through the historic center of the city, being this the Christian quarter, Sacromonte, a gypsy neighborhood where flamenco originated, to the Albaicin, the old Muslim quarter. We recommend our private Granada Tours to squeeze every corner of these neighborhoods with so much magic and charm.
It has more than 50 cultural sites, but the jewel of Granada is the Alhambra and the Generalife, declared World Heritage Sites. Enjoy its majesty with an exclusive visit with Alhambra Tours for a guided tour of its secrets and most fascinating history.
Discover the legacy of Federico García Lorca, the world-renowned Andalusian playwright, immerse yourself in the skin of a scientist in the Science Park or relax in one of the best preserved Arab baths.
To finish falling in love with the charm of Granada, watch the sunset from the Mirador de San Nicolas with the Alhambra and Sierra Nevada in the background. The flamenco art of the street artists will put the soundtrack to the moment.
Known for its art worldwide, Seville is one of the most visited cities in Spain. Full of mythical neighborhoods, amazing museums, a charming historic center and tradition. All this around the Guadalquivir River.
The Andalusian capital boasts three monuments declared World Heritage Sites: the Cathedral, the Reales Alcazares and the Archivo de Indias. The cultural tour is not complete without a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the most important art galleries in the country, with works by artists such as El Greco.
A walk through the Barrio de Triana is a must, since here you can get to know the purest essence of the city. Highlights include the alley of the Inquisition, the Triana Bridge, the Market and its many churches with the most famous saints of the Holy Week of Seville, known throughout the world.
San Sebastian is one of the most cultural cities that cannot be missing in a list of the best destinations in Spain. In fact, it was awarded as the European Capital of Culture in 2016 thanks to its numerous museums, art galleries, festivals and fascinating Basque culture.
The city itself is a contemporary open-air museum thanks to the fact that it has art in open spaces so that it is accessible to all. A simple stroll through its streets allows you to admire works by great artists such as Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza.
It is also a city of cinema, since in September the most famous international stars arrive at the International Film Festival.
Toledo is one of the cities with the greatest wealth of monuments, so much so that it is known as “the city of the three cultures”. This title helps visitors to know what they will find, since the city has witnessed the passage of Christians, Arabs and Jews.
For this reason, the old town has been declared a World Heritage Site and an Asset of Cultural Interest, since it has a great artistic and cultural legacy. From churches, palaces, mosques, fortresses and even synagogues. All in a perfect state of preservation.
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is visited by millions of people every year, the end point of the Camino de Santiago and with the aim of accessing its majestic Cathedral, but the city has much more to offer.
The bustling old town has been declared a World Heritage Site, its gastronomy is known for its typical dishes and it has numerous contemporary art exhibitions in its museums.
In addition to the impressive monuments of Santiago, with a strong religious connection, it is possible to visit the Museum of the Galician People and the Galician Center of Contemporary Art. A city full of tradition, but also of renewal, as can be seen in both places.
Valencia is a city that sometimes goes unnoticed, but it is home to numerous treasures and a vast cultural legacy that is well worth discovering. Its most famous jewel is La Lonja de la Seda, declared, along with the Fallas, a World Heritage Site.
In addition, you cannot miss a visit to the City of Arts and Sciences, a large cultural complex in which it is possible to spend several days to discover all its charms. Visiting the charming Barrio del Carmen is one of those pleasures that you cannot miss, full of medieval buildings and palaces.
And for a wide cultural offer, the 34 museums of the city. From the second largest art gallery in Spain, the Fallero to immerse yourself in Valencian culture, to the modern art of IVAM.
Merida, known as “the little Spanish Rome”, a jewel that has gone unnoticed for years, but is regaining its popularity. It is a real open-air museum, the streets of the city hide a great wealth, from Roman mosaics, archaeological remains of great value, stone monuments and some other architectural treasures.
The Roman Theater and Amphitheater is Mérida’s most emblematic tourist attraction, a vast ensemble that is in a perfect state of preservation. The remains of past times do not end here, from the Portico of the Forum, the Temple of Diana, the Alcazaba, the Roman Bridge and even the Aqueduct of Miracles. Visiting Merida is to enjoy a walk in which it seems that you have traveled back in time.
These are the best cultural destinations to visit in Spain, now you just have to decide where to start your route to enjoy the country’s rich heritage and culture.