The 10 Main Cities of Spain

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Joel Fulleda

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Spain is one of the most touristic countries in the world. Its beauty is everywhere, imprinted on the historic buildings, stretches along the long beaches, crosses the lively streets and explodes into the impressive cathedrals. It does not fail to amaze with its modernity, art, traditions and encounters between different cultures!
Here are the 10 most beautiful cities that make Spain a truly fascinating country, beyond any commonplace and false myth.

10 - Granada

With its 917.445 inhabitants, Granada is the city located in the eastern part of Andalusia. It rises at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is located between two rivers, the Darro and the Genil.
Its location, wedged in the mountains and not too far from the sea, makes the climate continental, with very severe winters and quite hot summers.

The most famous monument, which is one of the most visited in Spain, is the Alhambra, the fortress built by the Arabs in the fourteenth century. Also worth a visit is the complex of gardens near the fortress, which extend up over the mountains.
And then in the city is the Spanish Renaissance-style cathedral, the Capilla Real, where the Catholic monarchs, King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile rest, and where there is an art gallery.
Finally, an excursion to the Sacromonte district takes visitors to the ancient abbey and the adjoining museum, passing through the caves where flamenco shows can still be seen today.

Between June and July the International Music and Dance Festival, during which performances of different kinds of dance are set up in the most historic places of the city. For Tango enthusiasts, however, the appointment is in March, with the International Tango Festival.

  • Best time: from mid-April to mid-September, however it must be taken into account that in the summer months the heat is torrid, while at night there are often significant temperature variations - find out more
  • Main attractions: Alhambra Palace of Granada and Gardens, Cathedral of the Incarnation, Capilla Real, District of Sacromonte
  • starting from € 90,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 37,00 per room -
  • Alhambra and Generalife ticket with audio guide Skip-the-line tour of the Albayzín monuments Guided walking tour of the Cathedral and Madrasa

9 - Toledo

Toledo is a city of 687.084 inhabitants, located in central-southern Spain, in the region of Castile, one hour from Madrid. The climate is Mediterranean with transition, with cold or mild winters and hot summers.
It is known as "the city of the three religions", this is because it is among its streets it is possible to find Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious monuments, whose beauty has contributed to the recognition of the city part of the Unesco World Heritage.

Of particular charm are the walls in the historic center, the imposing Puerta de Bisa gra and Puerta del Cristo de la Luz. An equally emblematic building is the Mezquita de la Luz mosque, dating from the th century, later converted into a Christian church.
In the historic center, which is located on top of a hill, you can admire medieval style buildings, with ancient shops, and finally there is the cathedral, in Gothic style.
The coexistence of different styles due to different cultures is the key to understanding and appreciating this multi-historical city.

  • Best time: from April to October is the hottest period, with peaks of scorching heat in July and August
  • Main attractions: Puerta de Bisa gra and Puerta del Cristo de la Luz, Mezquita mosque, Jewish Quarter, Alcázar
  • starting from € 30,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,00 per room -
  • Tour from Madrid with entrance to Alcázaroledo and Segovia From Madrid: Toledo discovery tour and El Greco City tour by night with tapas tasting

8 - Bilbao

Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country, with 349.356 inhabitants. Here the climate is different from other regions of Spain, in fact, it is oceanic, with mild, rainy winters and cool summers.

Its main feature is that it is about a predominantly industrial city, which, however, in recent times, with its historical and artistic faces, has become a very attractive destination for tourists from all over the world.
An emblematic date that changed the image of the city is 1997, when the Guggenheim Museum was inaugurated, a building with innovative, captivating and ultra-modern forms that itself represents a work of art (in addition to those of great value inside).
This city aims for progress, with buildings and bridges with a futuristic design, without neglecting traditions, where the avant-garde walks alongside the Gothic and Baroque churches, located in the old part, the Casco Viejo.
The Cathedral of Bilbao is one of the stops on the Camino de Santiago.
In the city, moreover, there are numerous clubs that animate the nightlife, with a bar where you can enjoy pintxos (tapas from the Basque Country) until late.

The Semana Grande, a deeply felt event, during which shows, concerts, parades are organized for 9 days, in which all the inhabitants participate.

  • Best time: From June to September the weather is warmer and there is little rainfall - find out more
  • Main attractions: Guggenheim Museum, Museo de Bellas Artes, Plaza Nueva, Casco Viejo
  • starting from € 70,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per room -
  • Guggenheim Skip-the-Line Guided Tour Modern Architecture Tour 1,5-Hour Segway Tour of Abandoibarra and the Old Town

7 - Santiago de Compostela

With 96.405 inhabitants, it is the capital of Galicia, a region located in the north-west of Spain.The climate is quite cool, with cold winters and breezy summers. Fog is a recurring phenomenon.
The city is most famous for its pilgrimage which has been held for over a millennium, for which Christians reach the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where the remains of James the Greater, the apostle of Jesus Christ and patron saint of Spain are kept.

The Cathedral of St Jacques de Compostela is certainly the most notable building in the city, with its majestic Baroque facade, the Portico della Gloria by Maestro Mateo and the Capela Major, in which the sumptuous altar stands.
The visit to the roofs of the cathedral is also very suggestive, from which to observe the panorama of Santiago, and then a must the historic center, still intact in its medieval aesthetic, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For those who love museums, visit the Galician Center of Contemporary Art, a modern building and the City of Culture, the ultra-modern buildings that host exhibitions and cultural events.

  • Best time: from June to September, during this period the sunny days are very frequent while the rains are scarce
  • Main attractions: Cathedral of Saint James of Compostela, Galician Center of Contemporary Art, City of Culture.
  • starting from € 75,00-
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 35,00 per room -
  • Lugo and Playa de Las Catedrales Private guided tour

6 - Pamplona

Pamplona (199.066 inhabitants) is the capital of the Navarre region, north of Spain, so the climate is quite cold, with harsh winters and cool summers.
Its origin is very ancient, it was founded by the Romans in 75 BC and today it is famous all over the world for the lively San Fermìn week, held every year in August.
During this traditional festival, a crowd of locals and tourists rush through the streets of the city, in a mad race with the bulls.
Once the bulls return to the appropriate mansions, the real festivities begin, in which the whole city is involved with music and dancing. But during the rest of the year, Pamplona is an enjoyable destination for its peaceful and relaxing air.
Very interesting is the walk in the central Plaza del Castillo, surrounded by elegant buildings, and the visit to the fortress of La Citadella, surrounded by greenery where various cultural events are organized.
Among the most important museums is the Museum of Navarre, where there are Romanesque finds and the Museum of the University of Navarre, which is located in a modern building and which houses photographic exhibitions of famous local and international artists.

  • Best time: during the summer the climate makes outdoor walks pleasant and those who intend to participate in the San Fermín festival must go to Pamplona in August
  • Main attractions: Plaza del Castillo, Museum of Navarre, Museum of the University of Navarre.
  • starting from € 70,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -
  • Tour from San Sebastian Private transfers from the airport

5 - Seville

Capital of Andalusia, Seville is the fourth most populous city in Spain, with approximately 1,945 million inhabitants. The Mediterranean climate makes it one of the hottest cities in Europe, with mild winters and very hot summers.
It is a popular destination for tourists of all the world, attracted both by the numerous historical monuments, with irregular squares and many parks, both from the lively nightlife which mainly characterizes the summer period.
The Cathedral of Seville is one of the largest in the world, thanks to its imposing beauty it explodes on the facade that rises in Avenida de la Costituciòn. Inside there is also the tomb of Christopher Columbus. The entire church was built on the remains of a mosque, of which the Giralda remains today, which forms the bell tower.
Furthermore, in Seville there is a very precious place: the General Archive of the Indies, which contains important documents relating to the Spanish possessions in America, which tell the story and allow us to reconstruct crucial passages and events.
Between March and April the city is in turmoil for the Semana Santa of Easter, the streets are filled with people dressed in traditional costumes. In addition, the most important is held in September of even years Flamenco competition to the world, with shows in suggestive locations.

  • Best time: all year round, the only particularly cold months are January and February - find out more
  • Main attractions: Cathedral of Santa Maria, Giralda, General Archive of the Indies
  • starting from € 55,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 64,00 per room -
  • Skip-the-line Cathedral Tour and Alcázar Seville Cathedral and Giralda Option: Skip-the-Line Ticket Walking Tour and Optional Flamenco Show

4 - Valencia

Valencia (2.531 million inhabitants) is the third largest city on the Iberian Peninsula and is located along the southeastern coast. The city enjoys a Mediterranean climate, for which the sun is present all year round and the only rainy season is only the autumn one.
Founded in the nd century BC by the Romans, the city suffered destruction and various dominations, such as those of the Visigoths and the Srabi.
Its multicultural past is told by the many buildings that arise among its streets, among which the Gothic-style Serranos Towers, the cathedral of Santa Maria, with its Micalet, the bell tower that can be visited by climbing 207 steps, the irregular square that rises on an ancient Roman forum, Plaza de la Virgen .
But the spectacular feature of the city also lies in its modernity: since 2007, in particular, on the occasion of the America's Cup sporting event, the port district has undergone a radical enrichment of works and buildings with futuristic architecture.
The city is also known for its excellent dish: paella, the riot of rice, fresh fish and vegetables grown in these beautiful lands.

  • Best time: all year round, but from July to September it is also possible to relax on the beach and swim - find out more
  • Main attractions: Cathedral of Santa Maria and Micalet, Plaza de la Virgen, Ciudad de las artes y las ciencias, Hemisferic, Oceanografic
  • starting from € 45,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per room -
  • Hemisfèric, science museum and Oceanogràfic Tourist Card for 24, 48 or 72 hours Valencian paella cooking class

3 - Zaragoza

Located in the northeastern part of Spain, Zaragoza is a rather large city with approximately 960.111 inhabitants and the capital of Aragon. Its strategic position makes it the nerve center of the country, since it is well connected to major Spanish cities (Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Bilbao).

Il climate is continentalized Mediterranean typeInstead, with rather cold winters and very hot summers, rainfall is scarce.
The history of the city is marked by continuous dominations, such as the Arab and Christian ones, it was the scene of wars and sieges and all this is well testified by the style of the buildings and monuments that characterize it. The Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar is certainly noteworthy: 4 bell towers, large central dome, interiors embellished with decorations and works by ecclesial artists, such as Goya. Another symbolic building is the Castle de la Alijaferìa, built by the Muslims and then became the seat of the Inquisition under the Christians.
In October the city is celebrating, as the 12th is celebrated Feast of the Pilar, with great shows, bonfires and events that enliven the city. On 24 June, however, very intense and long is thereat night of San Juan.

  • Best time: from May to August the climate is perfect for enjoying the days outdoors
  • Main attractions: Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, Castello de la Alijaferìa, Calle del Coso.
  • starting from € 80,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,00 per room -
  • Private tour with local guide Wine and tapas tasting

2 - Barcelona

Capital of Catalonia, located in the eastern part of Spain and with 5.515 million inhabitants, Barcelona is certainly one of the most visited cities in the world, as well as one of the most cosmopolitan. The climate is Mediterranean, with the sun practically all year round.
In the city there are numerous places that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the art and architecture that characterize it make it famous all over the world.

This is the city of Gaudi, the artist who contributed with his works to make his unique and extraordinary beauty flourish. The Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous and imposing buildings made by the artist, but also Parc Güell, the park that was to become a sort of garden city, and Casa Batllò, the extravagant dwelling that looks like a living and talking being and many other buildings present in the city.
The city is also home to the largest collection of Picasso's works, inside the museum located in the La Ribera district.
E there is no lack of nightlife, clubs open until late, welcoming squares and good food complete the lively picture you take part in when you visit Barcelona.

  • Best time: from April to June is the most suitable period for those who want to walk, while those looking for the beach and the sea must go there in the summer - find out more
  • Main attractions: Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, Casa Battlò, Picasso Museum
  • starting from € 35,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 55,00 per room -
  • Park Güell Barcelona Aquarium Admission Ticket: Skip-the-Line Ticket Sagrada Familia: Skip-the-Line Admission Ticket

1 - Madrid

With its 6,55 million inhabitants, Madrid is the political, economic and cultural center of Spain, therefore it is its capital, located in the heart of the peninsula. The climate is Mediterranean, with contitental influence, so the winters are quite cold and the summers dry and hot.

The history of the city is very long and what is most surprising is the absence of monuments or specific areas of great interest: are the streets, surrounded by beautiful Baroque buildings and elegant palaces to represent the beauty of the city all together.
Certainly some places stand out for their importance, just think of the Prado, one of the most important museums in the world, which houses works by Goya, Caravaggio, Velasquez, and many other European artists of great depth. For those who never tire of art, then, must visit the Reina Sofia Museum, with works from the 900s.
In February it could be very interesting Arco, the Festival that celebrates contemporary art most important of Spain.
The city is famous all over the world for its nightlife!

  • Best time: in spring and autumn - find out more
  • Main attractions: Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum, Royal Palace of Madrid
  • starting from € 40,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per room -
  • Prado Museum: Direct Entry Ticket Royal Palace Guided Tour & Skip-the-Line Evening Walking Tour with Flamenco Show

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