- The Alhambra in Granada: a sprawling, Moorish palace and fortress complex that sits atop a forested hill, before the epic Sierra Nevada mountain range.
- Barcelona’s Best of Gaudi: Antoni Gaudi’s whimsical creations are scattered across the city— Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Park Güell, and his masterpiece, la Sagrada Familia.
- Cordoba’s Mezquita: a mesmerizing mosque-turned-cathedral featuring sunlit, striped arches, intricate detailing and a verdant courtyard.
- Madrid’s Royal Palace: the official casa of the Spanish Royal Family—elegant on the outside, decked with famous paintings and frescoes on the inside.
- All the alcázars: these beautiful, ancient castles are everywhere, but the most famous, fairy tale-like alcázars are in Segovia and Seville.
- Contemporary wonders: be wowed by the futuristic shapes of the incredible City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, or the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
- Holy…Spain!: stunning spiritual spots, like the Seville Cathedral, the Toledo Cathedral, Avila’s Basilica de San Vicente and the Convent of Santa Teresa.
- Mad for museums: classic works at Madrid’s Prado Museum or Barcelona’s Catalan National Art Museum, contemporary oeuvres at the Matadero Madrid or the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.
- Malaga man: the Museo Picasso Málaga in the artist’s birthplace or Barcelona’s Picasso Museum for thousands of his works.
- Dalí day-trips: visit Figueres for the Dalí Theatre-Museum, Portlligat for the artist’s house, and Púbol for the castle he built for his wife—all about a 1h30 drive from Barcelona.
- No bull: you don’t have to support bullfighting to admire the arenas, from Ronda’s 18th-century bullring to the gorgeous Real Maestranza de Seville.
- Flamenco fever: witness fiery flamenco dancing in Seville’s tablaos (flamenco bars).
- Festival frenzy: join the party—from classic celebrations like Las Fallas de San José in Valencia and Semana Santa in Seville, to modern blow-outs like Barcelona’s Primavera Sound and Sónar music festivals.
- GOOOOOOAAAL: get into the game at Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s legendary home stadium and Europe’s highest-capacity stadium.
Eat (+drink!) your heart out
- Pile on paella: sample this vibrant, rice-based dish where it was born, in Valencia.
- Tapas time-out: taste these small snacks all over Spain—a typical menu should include Spanish omelette, patatas bravas, croquetas, and so much more.
- In the market: eat your way through Barcelona’s Mercado de la Boqueria, Madrid’s Mercado San Miguel, or Malaga’s Mercado Central de Atarazanas.
- Ham it up: spot these legs of deliciously cured ham, choose from Jamón Serrano (from white pigs) or Jamón Iberico (from black pigs), and enjoy it thinly sliced.
- Say cheese: go beyond manchego and try Quesu Cabrales blue cheese, the cheekily shaped Queso Tetilla, and Idiazábal hard cheese.
- Wine o’clock: enjoy sublime Rioja red wine in the region that harvests it, or travel to the vineyards of Ribera del Duero.
- Nightcaps: sip a Vermouth after dinner, celebrate with sparkling Cava, or cool down with tinto de verano (red wine served with lemon soda).
Answer nature’s call
- Montserrat: distinct rock formations define this mountain range, topped by an iconic monastery and surrounded by a stunning nature park.
- El Tajo Gorge: an epic mountain gorge splits the historic town of Ronda in the Malaga province—follow a path to the foot of the bridge for amazing views.
- High Teide: Mount Teide, Spain’s highest mountain and an active volcano, dominates Teide National Park on Tenerife, a dramatic landscape of volcanic cones.
- Beach, please: coast on the southern shores of Costa del Sol, move it to the island of Mallorca and its gorgeous coastline, or pick the Canary Islands for Caribbean-like beaches.
- A day in Doñana: from Seville, explore the nearby sand dunes and wetlands of Doñana National Park.
- Natural pool party: take a day-trip from Madrid to hike in La Pedriza’s unique rocky landscape cut by a river that offers up tons of wild swimming spots.
- Sierra Nevada: Spain’s largest national park, Sierra Nevada National Park, only hosts a section of this spectacular mountain range, boasting snow-capped peaks and picturesque villages.
Start checking things off the list in Spain!