Top 12 Attractions in Spain
1 The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
The spectacular Basílica de la Sagrada Família designed by Antonio Gaudi in the city of Barcelona is one the most popular attractions not just of Spain but of the world.
The unfinished Basilica is a stunning mixture of Late Gothic, Catalan Modernism or Art Nouveau architecture and has become an iconic and somewhat surreal monument of Barcelona with it’s rainbow hued stained glass windows and it’s much anticipated completion date some 135 years after construction was started by Gaudi’s who lived there in splendid isolation for many years and whose imaginative and colourful architectural creations can also be seen at Parc Guell, La Pedrera and several other locations or UNESCO world heritage sites in Barcelona.
2 Alhambra Palace Granada
The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex used by the Moorish monarchs of Granada between 1238 and 1492 when the Moors were expelled and it was partially rebuilt in Renaissance style and used as the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella the first Queen of Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Emirate of Granada and was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Sultan of Granada.
The Alhambra Palace is an immense and beautiful complex with wonderful views over the beautiful city of Granada. Moorish poets described the Alhambra as “a pearl set in emeralds”, referring to the colour of the buildings and the surrounding woods. Attractions inside the Alhambra include the Royal Complex, the Alcazaba (Citadel) and the Court of the Lions and fountain ( Described by the Poet Zamrak: “Such a translucent basin, sculpted pearl! Argentic ripples are added on it by the quiet dew”). As a world heritage site the Alhambra attracts millions of visitors each year.
Holiday Homes and Villas in Spain, Granada, Andalusia
3 The Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace in Madrid was built in the 18th century and is considered to be one of the finest royal pаlасеѕ іn Eurоре and one of the top tourist attractions in Madrid.
The palace was completed in 1764 on the site of the old Alcázar fortress. Although it is the official residence of the Royal Family it is now used mainly fоr ѕtаtе vіѕіtѕ аnd оthеr important сеrеmоnіеѕ. The rest of the time it is open to the public and palace contain paintings by many artists such as Caravaggio, Goya, and Velázquez, The palace contains 3,418 rooms and 135,000 square meters of floor space making it one of the largest Palaces.
A visit to Madrid would not be complete without a trip to the Plaza Mayor that includes some fine restaurants and architecture. Also not to be missed is The Prado Museum in central Madrid that is home to a fine collection of European art.
Holiday Homes and Villas in Spain – Madrid
4 Historic Seville
Seville is situated in southern region of Spain on the River Guadalquivir and is the capital city of the region of Andalucia. Seville is one of the most popular, breathtaking and charming cities in Spain offering visitors historic sites, culture, art, great food, fun and festivities.
Lord Byron wrote: “Seville” – “a pleasant city, Famous for oranges and women, – he who has not seen it will be much to pity, – and I quite agree; Of all the Spanish towns is none more pretty”.
Seville is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and home to some of the finest monuments and sites in Spain. The rambling Alcazar palace complex and gardens, La Giralda bell tower and impressive Santa Maria de la Sede Cathedral used as the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. The Metropol Parasol that is the world’s largest wooden structure and contains a market and panoramic terraces. The Torre del Oro (Golden Tower), on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the Almohad walls of Seville and the famous La Maestranza bullring.
Santa Cruz, is the primary tourist neighborhood of Seville and offers an abundance of bars, theaters and flamenco performances. Some of the events and festivals around Easter attract over a million visitors a year. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy some of the things we missed this year in the years to come.
Holiday Homes and Villas in Spain – Seville, Andalusia
6 San Sebastian Resort – La Concha
The attractive seaside resort of San Sebastian is on the Bay of Biscay in the Northern Basque region of Spain and is surrounded by green hills, rivers, mountains, beaches and the Bay that opens up to the Atlantic Ocean and popular surfing areas like Playa de Zurriola.
The picturesque Concha Beach in the beautiful shell shaped Concha Bay is centrally located in San Sebastian and probably one of the best urban beaches in Europe. This stylish resort city is deservedly called the Pearl of the North and was joint European City of Culture in 2016.
San Sebastian is popular with Gastronomy fans and has the highest number of Michelin starred restaurants in one city and visitors will find it to be the beating heart of the Spanish cuisine scene and a food lovers dream.
Other places to see are Monte Orgull, the fortress-topped mountain overlooking the city’s harbour and the old town, called Parte Vieja to sample some pintxos said to be the best in the Basque Country.
Holiday Homes in Spain – San Sebastian, Basque Country
7 Roman Aqueduct in Segovia
Segovia is a beautiful historic city full of interesting sights, incredible food and home to one of the finest Roman aqueducts in the world, Built around 50 AD it is an enduring symbol of Segovia, A UNESCO World Heritage Site the Segovia Aqueduct with 167 arches is made from granite blocks and is one of the largest remaining Roman structures in Spain.
Other attractions in Segovia include the Alcázar with it’s with it’s disney like turrets and the Late Gothic cathedral built between 1525 and 1593 in the Plaza Mayor in the Old Town with views over the city.
The city centre of Segovia was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1985 and is a popular destination for day trippers from Madrid in recent years but tourists come from near and far for the many attractions of the central regions of Spain.
There are many holiday homes, villas, apartments and other accommodation options in the central regions of Spain in and around Segovia.
Holiday Homes in Central Spain – Segovia, Castile and León.
8 San Lorenzo of El Escorial
The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial was conceived by King Philip II to serve as a royal burial place for his father, Holy Roman emperor Charles V; a Hieronymite monastery; and a royal palace. It is situated about 45 kilometres northwest of Madrid.
Today, the Escorial is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Spain’s most visited landmarks.
Holiday Homes and Villas in Spain – San Lorenzo de El Escorial
9 The Alcazar of Segovia
The Alcázar of Segovia is one of the most distinctive castles in Spain with it’s with it’s disney like turrets and unique shape like the bow of a ship. The Alcázar was built as a fortress around the 12th century on the site of an old Roman fort by the Berber dynasty on a craggy hilltop overlooking the city and has been used as a Royal Palace and military academy. It is currently a museum and military archive.
Other attraction in Segovia include the Late Gothic Cathedral built o the highest point of the old town between 1525 and 1593 in the Plaza Mayor with views over the city and surrounding Sierra de Guadarrama foothills. The cathedral contains an archive with hundreds of antique books including the first book printed in Spain the Sinodal de Aguilafuente. The surrounding square offers visitors many cafés and a maze of medieval streets.
10 Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is located in the region of Galicia in the northwest of Spain. It is the reputed burial place of Saint James the apostle of Jesus Christ. It has enormous significance in the region as it marks the historical end of the famous Camino de Santiago trails used by many thousands of pilgrims each year. The Camino trails have also spawned thousands of titles, books and life changing stories and films.
Holiday Homes and Villas in Spain – Santiago de Compostela
11 The Great Mosque of Cordoba
La Mezquita Arab Palace is located in the heart of the charming city of Cordoba in Andalusia. The Arab Mosque dates back to 784 A.D and one of the oldest, and largest Islamic monuments standing in the West, it became a World Heritage site in 1984. It is believed to have been built on the site of an old Roman Temple that was converted into a church around 572 before being converted into a Mosque and rebuilt to reflect the ancient grandeur of Damascus in Cordoba.
Since 1236 the mosque has served as the Cathedral of “Our Lady of the Assumption” and is one of the most beautiful and unique architectural heritage sites in the world and one of the top tourist attractions in Cordoba and Spain.
Apart from the Great Mosque the city of Cordoba has many other tourist attractions such as the Judería or old Jewish quarter, the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos or Castle of the Christian Monarchs, The Festival of Los Patios, Palacio de Viana, the Guadalquivir River, the Roman Bridge and many delicious local Tapas bars and places to eat.
Holiday Homes and Villas in Spain – Cordoba, Andalusia
12 Parc Guell Barcelona
Parc Guell in the Northern part of Barcelona was commissioned by Eusebi Guell and designed by Antonio Gaudi, The park is one of Gaudi’s most celebrated, creative and interesting social spaces and built on a hill that offers visitors spectacular views over the city and the sea.
Park Guell is a picturesque park full of colourful mosaics, tiling, the famous Salamander sculpture and other structures in a leafy and magical park that can stimulate and inspire your senses.
Casa Mila otherwise known as La Pedrera ( The Stone Quarry ) built between 1906 and 1912 is another creation designed by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona.
Las Ramblas is one of the most popular boulevards in Barcelona and is lined with bars, restaurants, the amazing Boquería Market, street entertainment and runs from Placa Catalunya in central Barcelona to the port and beach. The boulevard is between the interesting Ravel and Gothic Quarter of the city and is another place that should not be missed when visiting Barcelona.
Holiday homes, villas and other private accommodation can easily be found in Spain and Barcelona but please check for any travel restrictions before booking.
Holiday Homes in Spain – Barcelona, Catalonia