Spain’s histories of conquest, Christianity, and invasion are only a part of what makes Spain a land of famous sites. You need to add the cultural landmarks created by the genius of architects such as Gaudi but also a diverse landscape of natural wonders and ancient structures. Together you get a list just like this one! See how many you can squeeze into your next trip to Spain.
Spain Landmarks Map
Here’s a map of the 55 most famous landmarks in Spain to help you plan your next trip.
- Spain Landmarks Map
- 1. Tower of Hercules
- 2. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
- 3. Roman Walls of Lugo
- 4. Niemeyer Center
- 5. Altamira Cave
- 6. Bilbao Guggenheim Museum
- 7. Burgos Cathedral
- 8. Aljafería Palace
- 9. Dali Museum, Figueres
- 10. Casa Calvet
- 11. Montserrat Monastery
- 12. Park Güell
- 13. Casa Vicens
- 14. Sagrada Familia
- 15. Casa Milà
- 16. Casa Batlló
- 17. Palau de la Musica
- 18. Las Ramblas
- 19. Museo Picasso de Barcelona
- 20. Palau Güell (Güell Palace)
- 21. (Gaudí’s Crypt) Church of Colònias Güell
- 22. Roman Ampitheater of Tarragona
- 23. Alcázar Fortress in Segovia
- 24. Aqueduct of Segovia
- 25. Walls of Ávila
- 26. Manzanares Castle el Real
- 27. Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas
- 28. Royal Palace of Madrid
- 29. Plaza Mayor
- 30. Puerta del Sol
- 31. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
- 32. Museo Nacional del Prado (Prado Museum)
- 33. Reina Sofia Museum
- 34. Toledo Cathedral
- 35. Hanging Houses of Cuenca
- 36. Windmills of Consuegra
- 37. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
- 38. Majorca Cathedral
- 39. Caves of Drach
- 40. Roman Theater, Mérida
- 41. The Lonja
- 42. Great Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba
- 43. Italica
- 44. Setas de Savilla
- 45. Seville Cathedral
- 46. Royal Alcázar of Seville
- 47. Plaza de España
- 48. Puente Nuevo
- 49. Caminito del Rey
- 50. Antequera Dolmens
- 51. El Torcal de Antequera
- 52. Alcázaba de Málaga
- 53. Alhambra
- 54. Alcázaba de Almeria
- 55. Timanfaya National Park UNESCO biosphere reserve
- Further Links and Information
1. Tower of Hercules
The Tower of Hercules, built in the 2nd century BC, is the world’s oldest lighthouse. You’ll find it on the north coast of the peninsula of A Coruña.
This Monument has stood for over 2300 years and at first, was used to guide ships heading to the British Isles. The original structure is almost completely intact today and stands 180 meters high.
The Tower of Hercules used the plans of the Lighthouse and Alexandria. it is the only ancient Roman lighthouse to still be in use in the 21st century. The Roman parts of the lighthouse can only be seen from inside.
Visitors can see the original map and climb the 234 steps to reach the balcony. If there are strong winds, the lighthouse is closed.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10 am to 8 pm; Admission: € 3,00
2. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is one of the most iconic Spanish landmarks. It’s situated in the historical center of Santiago de Compostela, a city in Galicia, Northern Spain.
For centuries the cathedral has been playing an important role in the Christian culture. It’s known as the burial place of St.James the Great, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus.
The cathedral is one of the only three churches in the world built over the tomb of an apostle of Jesus.
Thousands of people every year complete the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago following one of the Camino de Santiago routes.
The construction of the current cathedral started in 1075 and finished in 1211. It got significant expansion and redecoration between the 16th and 18th centuries.
In 1985 for its cultural value and historical integrity, the cathedral and the old town of Santiago de Compostela were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Visiting the cathedral is one of the must-do things in Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral is open to visitors daily from 8 am to 9 pm.
During masses that take place at 9.30 am, noon, and 7.30 pm, it’s not allowed to walk around and take photos. Anybody can attend the service. Entrance to the cathedral is free.
Opening Hours: Daily, 8 am to 9 pm; Admission: Cathedral museum is € 6,00
Alya from Stingy Nomads
3. Roman Walls of Lugo
The Roman walls surround the Roman and medieval city of Lugo in Galicia, Spain. They were built between the 1st century BC and the 4th century AD from stone and earth.
These walls offered protection for one of the most important cities in Spain, during both Roman and Moorish times.
The height and length of the Roman wall of Lugo range from 5 to 10 meters and span a perimeter of two kilometers.
It has been estimated that there used to be 100 watchtowers along the city walls. 49 remain whole today and another 39 are partially intact.
The Roman walls also offer a wonderful view of the whole city and the nearby countryside. A walkway has been constructed to allow you to walk the entire length of the walls. The wall is now within the city but is a complete circuit.
Apart from the walls, there were several gates that were used to control who entered or exited the city. Five were built during Roman times, including “Puerta del Bispo” (Bishop’s Gate), “Puerta de Los Leones” (Lions’ gate), and the “Puerta de la Puebla”(People’s Gate).
The Roman Walls of Lugo were declared a World Heritage site in 2000.
Opening Hours: Always open; Admission: Free
4. Niemeyer Center
The Niemeyer Center in Asturia, Spain, is one of the country’s most unique buildings. Located in Benavente, it is surrounded by a gorgeous garden with ponds and fountains.
It was designed by architect Gerhard Niemeyer who gave it its present shape in 1960 after he won an architecture competition for a new cultural center at that location; until then, the area was used as a parking lot.
The building’s architecture consists of 25 million bricks that were handmade by local masons according to traditional techniques during the construction period of more than thirty years (1955-86).
The edifice was designed to host live theatre, dance recitals, and other musical performances such as symphonies or church choirs.
There are three distinct architectural styles in it: Islamic, Mudejar (a mixture of Arab and Spanish elements), and neo-renaissance, while most of its 80 rooms are used for exhibitions on diverse themes including art deco or folkloric costumes during different periods in history.
It is also used for conferences and seminars on diverse topics and the art school offers different courses for both adults and children.
Opening Hours: 9 am to midnight; Admission: Free to walk around the square but some exhibitions have ticket prices
5. Altamira Cave
The prehistoric cave paintings at Altamira are a tourist attraction near Santanilla in Cantabria, Spain. The Altamira Museum is located 2 kilometers from Santanilla and a ticket must be purchased for the cave that includes entry to the museum.
In 1985 the Cave of Altamira became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The paintings of animals such as bison have become internationally renowned because of their outstanding archaeological value.
They contain some of the earliest examples of cave paintings found anywhere in Europe dating back 14,800 years. This discovery caused great excitement among archaeologists who believed these images could help shed light on how early humans lived.
Opening Hours: May to October: Tuesday to Saturday 9:30 am to 8:00 pm (closing at 3 pm November to April), Sundays and holidays 9:30 am to 3:00 pm;
Admission: At the museum box office on the day of the visit. Tickets available for each day begin to be delivered at 9:30 a.m. at the box office on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are free on Saturday afternoons and Sundays.
6. Bilbao Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim Museum is a world-famous art gallery located on the waterfront at the end of Avenida de la Constitución. The building was designed by Frank Gehry and opened to the public in 1997.
It has been described as one of the most important buildings ever built for an exhibition space and is a sculptural masterpiece that is a highlight of a trip to Spain. Its exterior walls shimmer with glass, limestone, and titanium.
The three floors of the Guggenheim Museum center around an enormous atrium with walkways, elevators, and stairs coming off it. 20 Galleries are located along these spokes.
The Guggenheim is filled with extraordinary art and sculpture by modern masters such as Mark Rothko and Lousie Bourgois. If you see only one landmark in Spain besides the Sangria Familia, make it this one.
Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 11 am to 7 pm, open occasional Mondays; Admission: € 16,00.
7. Burgos Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos is a monumental piece of Gothic architecture (88 meters high!) that was begun in 1221 AD. It’s also the first Gothic Cathedral to be built in Spain.
Once you’ve seen a few dozen Gothic Cathedrals in Europe, you might get the feeling they’re all pretty much the same. But there is something about the perfect dimensions and architecture of this Cathedral in Burgos that combines with the art, sculpture, and light to make it a truly extraordinary Spanish landmark.
This current Cathedral stands on the site of a previous Romanesque Church. But before it was built there was a Palace of the Kings of Castile.
The dome of this Cathedral is spectacular with its filigree stonework. The quality and beauty of the paintings of the Virgin Mary, the Spiral Staircase, High Chapels, Cloisters, Transcoro, and Cathedral Museum make this a must-see stop in Burgos.
Opening Hours: Approximately 10 am to 7 pm but changes according to the month;
Admission: 7.00 €
8. Aljafería Palace
Aljafería Palace is an eleventh-century Arabian palace in Zaragoza, Aragon. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are three buildings in Spain that are protected because they are such wonderful examples of Hispanic-Moorish architecture: the Alhambra, the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, and Aljafería Palace.
The fortified structure with a moat and towers is laid out on a quadrangular plan with a large central courtyard. The Islamic arches (arabesques), the latticework, and the ornate and restored ceilings show the wealth of the Banu Hud dynasty, its first occupants.
The building was later a residence for the Christian Kings of Aragon and then a Palace for Catholic monarchs, a military fortress, and now a seat of the regional parliament.
The Palace was built outside the Roman Walls of Zaragoza, but ow the city has expanded beyond the Walls, and it’s a short 20-minute walk from the city center to this astonishing feat of Moorish architecture.
Opening Hours: April 1 to October 31, Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 2 pm, 16:30 pm to 20:00 pm; Between 10:30 to 11:30 and 17:30 to 18:30, all visits are guided; Admission: 14,00 €.
9. Dali Museum, Figueres
Among artists of 20th century Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquess of Dalí de Púbol was perhaps the mosed talents. He was recognized for his works as a painter, writer, sculptor, and filmmaker. He left his biggest legacy as a surrealist painter.
The largest collection of his works can be found in Dali’s museum in Figueres. He was born in that town, later he had his first exhibition in a theater there that was changed into his museum in 1974 after it was burned. And in the end, he has found his final resting place at this spot.
Figueres is located between Barcelona and Perpignan and can be reached from either city by car in less than 2 hours. The museum is located in the city center.
When you approach the museum you will recognize it by the red facade and big eggs on the top. Inside is like being trapped inside a surrealist painting in a dream-like world full of symbols (melting watch, eggs, long legs, ants, …). It’s hard to know what will most catch your eye like The Spectre of Sex Appeal (1932), or Soft Self-Portrait with Grilled Bacon (1941).
The installations include the Courtyard with Figurines and Cadillac, the Abe Lincoln picture, and the Mae West room where the furniture forms a face if observed at a special angle.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:30 am. – 3:00 pm; Admission: 14,00 €.
by Džangir at Dr Jam Travels
10. Casa Calvet
Casa Calvet is one of the most important Barcelona landmarks. It is a building designed by Antoni Gaudí. The casa is in Barri Gòtic, the most important part of Barcelona’s old town. It was built for Enric Calvet and his family between 1901 and 1906 as a private residence.
Considered the most conservative of Gaudí’s buildings, it is perhaps his most beautiful. The casa was constructed using only traditional building materials which included volcanic stone from Montjuic taken from an old quarry nearby as well as brick and plaster made from baked sand mixed with stone dust along with other materials such as lime mortar, timber beams, roof tiles and lead for windows.
However, it now serves as a public building that is used to house a number of conferences and exhibitions. The casa has been declared a “National Historic Monument” by the Spanish Government which means it cannot be changed or built upon without permission from government officials unless designated otherwise by the landowner.
Casa Calvet has also been declared an official art gallery and museum because it contains many pictures and sculptures, including 2 paintings featuring the Casa’s architect, Antoni Gaudí.
Metro: L4, Urquinaona stop, Address: Casp, 48 – 08010 Barcelona.
Opening Hours; Currently not open to the public but you can wander around the exterior.
11. Montserrat Monastery
One of the most popular day trips from Barcelona is to the Abbey of Montserrat. This Benedictine monastery is located near the top of the jagged Montserrat mountain range.
The abbey draws tourists and Catholic pilgrims to visit the famous Black Madonna.
Visit the stunning cathedral, see the Black Madonna, and catch the Montserrat Boys Choir that sings twice daily for a treat. Check out the Santa Cova Chapel where the Black Madonna was found, or hike to the top of the highest peak, Sant Jeroni, for incredible views. Though, you can do shorter hikes to enjoy the views from anywhere in this area.
Montserrat is an easy day trip from Barcelona. Take the train then catch the cable car or the funicular to reach the monastery. Or, you could hike it, of course! You won’t pay to visit though donations are always appreciated. There is a museum with artifacts from the area that does charge a small entrance fee.
Montserrat is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. It does get quite crowded so it’s a good idea to go early, especially if you want to see the Black Madonna. Montserrat is an incredible place to visit for its cultural and religious importance.
It’s worth visiting the abbey and this stunningly beautiful area.
Opening Hours: Daily 7.30 am to 8 pm. Admission: Free
by Sam at My Flying Leap
12. Park Güell
Park Güell is designed by Antoni Gaudí, a radical modernist who used Park Güell as his testing ground for new ideas in design.
He was commissioned to create this park for a Spanish entrepreneur named Count Eusebi de Güell to use as an observation point and resting place for workers during breaks.
Park Güell is built with only natural resources from Barcelona. It is unique in its use of mosaic tiles to decorate stone pillars that seem to grow out of the land around them.
The tile mosaics in Park Güell have become a signature of the Park, and each tile is an individual part of a greater picture. Gaudí used over 30 different types of stone from Park Guell to make this masterpiece.
Park Güell also features statues, benches, and see-through gazebos that were sculpted into the landscape in a way that makes Park Güell seem like the land itself is creating these things for visitors to enjoy.
Other signature elements of Park Güell are the undulating brick paths, towers, and art-nouveau dragon gate that lead visitors to Park Güell’s entrance.
Park Güell was opened on May 15th, 1902, and was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1984 for its unique artistic and architectural value.
Park Güell is open from Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am-5 pm. Admission is €12 per person 14 years or older. Children under 14 years enter free of charge.
Park Güell is easy to reach from the center of Barcelona and is open late at night during special events.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm; Admission: Regular 12,00€.
13. Casa Vicens
This house was built by Antoni Gaudí between 1883-1885 as his first commission. It was one of the buildings that began the Modernism movement in Europe.
According to the Catalan culture website: “Casa Vicens is one of Antoni Gaudí’s most personal works. It is a private house with no apparent link to the outside, but with friendly and welcoming areas inside.”
This casa was built for Mr. Manuel Vicens i Montaner [1829-1914] (hence its name) who was a Catalan anarchist dedicated to journalism who served as councilman and mayor in Barcelona during the second half of the 19th century.
The house has undergone extensions and renovations. A major extension in 1925 was designed by Joan Baptista Serra de Martínez. A cultural center, services, and garden have been added, but none of Gaudí’s original rooms have been altered.
Furniture that was designed by Gaudí is in various rooms. My favorite room is the smoking room which is a riot of colors and patterns on the ground floor. Bedrooms above have papier-mache-pressed ceiling tiles. The whole building shows creativity, experimentation, and novel use of materials for decoration.
Opening Hours: Summer hours (until September 30) – Daily, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 pm. Last admission 6:40 pm; Admission: Regular 16€, Concession 14€
14. Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia in Catalan means “The Holy Family” or “Sacred Family”. It is a large Roman Catholic basilica in Barcelona, designed by world-renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
The monumental building is Gaudí’s greatest work. The most visited building in the world and a must-see for any visitor to Barcelona.
It is also one of Europe’s greatest architectural achievements and is considered by many to be one of the greatest buildings constructed since 1500.
Plans for the church began in 1914, with construction starting on the 25th of May, 1926. The designs were completed when Gaudí fell ill in 1925.
He died the following year. In 1930, Gaudí’s assistant Domènec Sugrañes i Gras became his successor as the main architect of the project.
In 1984, construction began on a series of towers that are still unfinished. There is currently an agreement in place to build 6 more spires according to Gaudí’s original plans.
The most incredible features of the Sagrada Familia include the massive columns and the four towers, which represent the four evangelists.
The interior of this church will be covered in 20th century-style frescoes. They are currently being held by a large cloth so they cannot be tarnished or damaged until completion.
The main floor is designed to hold up to 10,000 people for services. The whole church spans about 157 meters in length.
The church is scheduled to be finally completed by 2026, the 100th anniversary of its foundation stone being laid, and will then host the remains of Gaudí and his family.
Opening Hours: Friday to Wednesday 9 am to 6 pm, closed Thursdays and religious holidays; Admission: 12,00€ (10,00€ reduced).
15. Casa Milà
This apartment block designed by Antoni Gaudì occupies an entire city block on Passeig de Gràcia street which was the most prestigious street in Barcelona. The building is a mix of Art Nouveau and Modernisme styles. It was completed in 1904 and has been a World Heritage Site since 1984 and opened to the public in 1996.
It was built for the Milá family who wanted to live on the main floor and rent out the apartments above. It is built on a corner block and there are two blocks of apartments, each with an entrance on a different street. There is a large courtyard that connects the two buildings.
This building is one of the most famous works of Antoni Gaudí. Its distinctive shape has earned it many nicknames over time: “The Whale”, “the ship”, or simply “la pedrera”.
Casa Milá is another wonderful example of Gaudìs use of asymmetrical shapes. The incredible facade is a ‘curtain wall’ and not a structural part of the building. The main characteristic of this building is its roof, made up of four different types of tile and surrealist chimneys and sculptures that make this my favorite rooftop in the world. There are also several other interesting features like balconies, windows, or doors with their incredible ironwork.
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, and holidays: 9:00 am – 6:30 pm; Night tour: 08:40 pm – 10:00 pm; Admission: €27,00 and up for adults
16. Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló is located on the Paseo de Gracia. The original house was extensively remodeled by the man known as “God’s Architect”, Antonio Gaudí, the famous Spanish architect who designed many buildings in Barcelona including La Sagrada Familia church.
Like six other of Gaudís modernist creations in Barcelona, Casa Batlló is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fantastical marine façade makes it one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.
The roof is shaped as waves covered in shining scales, and the front-facing balconies are shaped as masks. It is incredible to think that he built this between 1904 and 1906.
The Bernat family has restored to its original glory with a lot of attention paid to detail.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9:00 am to 6:30 pm. Magic Nights take place between 6 pm and 8 pm, Tuesday and Saturday. Admission: €35 and up.
17. Palau de la Musica
One of the most significant architectural wonders in Barcelona began the beautiful Catalan Modernista style that is predominant in the city.
This Unesco site is stunning and one of the iconic buildings by architect Lluis Domenic i Montaner and built between 1905 to 1908. One of the main drivers of the modern architectural movement in architecture at Barcelona the concert hall was inaugurated in February 1908.
You’ll find gorgeous details throughout the interior and exterior of the building with handmade details by local artisans of wood details, glass windows, chandeliers, and other gorgeous detail work throughout the concert hall.
A very large stained glass chandelier adorns the interior hall that is grand, colorful, and imposing from all levels of the interior hall.
You can sign up for tours of the concert hall to visit all the various rooms and interiors or better yet book any of the fun music venues that are offered daily from classical, folk music to a variety of guest performers to the concert hall.
An added plus is seeing how stunning the interior is lit up magically at night time and really a jewel in every detail you can imagine. It feels very special to attend any of the performances at the Palau de la Musica and enjoy a wonderful concert or special performance.
Prices for each performance is varied but reasonable for Barcelona standards unless it is an international and famous performer which commands higher prices.
For a smaller fee, you can easily upgrade to a local performance and enjoy a complete experience at this place which is worth the small splurge and experience.
Opening Hours: Daily 10.00 am to 3.30 pm. Admission: Audio Tour and Visit for 50 mins, € 18,00.
18. Las Ramblas
If you travel to Barcelona, you shouldn’t miss the beautiful old town. One of the most famous sights of the city center is the promenade Las Ramblas (also called Les Rambles (Catalan) or La Rambla). It connects the city center, Plaça Catalunya, with the city’s old port (Port Vell).
The popular street is about 1.2 km (0.74 mi) long, making it perfect for a relaxed stroll. Along the street, you will find various stores, street performers, and also access to the Barrio Gotico, which is considered one of the best areas to stay in Barcelona. Probably the most beautiful access is through Plaça Reial. There are lots of great restaurants, cafes, and bars waiting for you in this square. With its wonderful fountain and huge palm trees, it is also one of the most beautiful squares in Barcelona.
In addition, the entrance to the most popular market in the city is located on Las Ramblas, the Mercat de la Boqueria. Here you will find some of the best Spanish snacks and treats.
There are also plenty of restaurants in Las Ramblas. However, it is not recommended to eat here as the restaurants are highly overpriced.
Eventually, at the end of Las Ramblas, you will find the famous Columbus Statue. If you want, you go up and enjoy the view over the city’s port while sipping a glass of Catalan cava.
Opening Hours: Always Open; Admission: Free
by Vicki at Vicki Viaja
19. Museo Picasso de Barcelona
4,251 works of Picasso ate housed in this museum which opened in 1963. The Museum says that its collection is “practically exhaustive” up until Picasso’s Blue Period.
The interior decoration includes some of Picasso’s own sketches and drawings that he made during his stay in Barcelona between 1921 and 1923. In fact, the artist spent almost two months living in the house before moving into the Hotel Continental where he stayed until 1925.
During those days, Picasso worked hard creating numerous portraits of friends and family members. He even painted the walls of the hotel room himself!
After leaving the hotel, Picasso moved into Casa Amézqueta, another property owned by the same owner. Here he created what would become known as “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” painting.
Although the exhibition space is quite limited, the museum does offer tours of the entire complex.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 8 pm; Admission: € 12,00. Free entrance Thursdays from 5 pm and a few other times per year.
20. Palau Güell (Güell Palace)
Palau Güell is a mansion inspired by medieval Catalonia. It was constructed between 1885 and 1887 in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
lt is considered one of the most important works by Catalan Art Nouveau architect, Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926).
The Palau Güell fronts onto Carrer Nou de la Rambla, it’s façade taking advantage of a sloping site to rise over three levels topped by low towers topped with cones made from broken ceramics (called trencadís in Catalan) to decorate its façade.
Designed as a residence and social club for wealthy textile manufacturer Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi (1823-1906), Palau Güell was named after its first owner. It consists of three floors plus a basement and has a neo-gothic interior.
On the ground floor, there is a large hall surrounded by rooms decorated with murals painted by Ramon Pichot. Also here you’ll find the Salons Espais and the Saló del Tinell.
From the second floor, visitors have access to the attic via a spiral staircase. Here you can admire the wooden ceiling made by Pere Romeu. Finally, on the top floor, we find the bedroom and bathroom.
Palau Güell was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 because of its relationship with Modernisme, industrial development, and architecture in Catalonia during the late 19th century.
Palau Güell is also part of the “Catalan Modernista Route.” It’s an unforgettable Art Nouveau building, and even if you only see the outside of the building, it is certainly worth trying to see it if you are in Barcelona.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, Summer opening hours (from 1 April to 31 October): from 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 8 pm, Winter opening hours (from 1 November to 31 March): from 10 am to 1.30 pm and from 2.30 pm to 6 pm Closed: non-holiday Mondays, 25 and 26 December, 1 and 6 January and third week of January; Admission: General € 12
21. (Gaudí’s Crypt) Church of Colònias Güell
This lovely industrial Church was designed by Antoni Gaudí and was intended to be for the people in a manufacturing suburb just out of Barcelona. It was commissioned by Count Eusebi de Güell in 1898 who encouraged Gaudí to be wildly creative. Unfortunately, a downturn in the textile industry but the Count ran out of money, and the Church was never finished.
Gaudí used ropes with hemp bags weighted down to figure out how much he could bend pillars into great arcs and still hold up his fantastical structures. The Church of Colònias Güell was the practice space for the techniques he used to create the Sagrada Familia.
The Church is most famous for the “Gaudí Crypt.” Gaudí created a Crypt which is not underground but is actually the lower Nave of the Church. The Crypt is designed to mimic the natural environment of the forest around the Church.
The brilliant stained glass windows and leaning pillars show the unique genius of Gaudi and the mindblowing beauty of all of his structures.
The Crypt became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
Opening Hours: Daily 10 am to 3 pm; Admission: 8,50 € – 12,99€.
22. Roman Ampitheater of Tarragona
The Roman remains of the Amphitheater of Tarragona are a major landmark in Spain and are situated in the Mediterranean city of Tarragona, which was once a Roman colony.
The amphitheater was first constructed by Emperor Augustus. It was built as a gift for citizens who had entertained his troops after he conquered Spain in 19 BC.
After several restorations due to damage caused by the roman emperor Vespasian, Roman emperors Probus and Diocletian used this roman amphitheater for gladiator fights in the third century.
At that time the roman amphitheater was dedicated to Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus which is why it is still known by its modern name.
The roman emperor Honorius later banned Roman games which caused the amphitheater to lose popularity until it was again renovated in 1792.
The Roman amphitheater of Tarragona has a capacity of 20,000 and is one of Spain’s largest from Roman times. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site not to miss when traveling in Spain.
Opening Hours: Weekdays 9 am – 8:30 pm, Weekends 9.30 am – 2:30 pm; Admission: Free
23. Alcázar Fortress in Segovia
The Alcázar Fortress is a 15th-century palace located on Alcázar Hill in Segovia, Spain.
It is one of the four Alcázar palaces (the Alcázar of Toledo, the Alcázar of Madrid, and Alcázar of Saragossa) that were built during Muslim rule in medieval Spain that served as royal residences for the Christian kings from the 9th until the 19th century.
The Alcázar stream next to the Alcázar palace reaffirms the importance that water played in its construction in an arid landscape often ravaged by drought.
The Alcázar Fortress is an example of Mudejar architecture, with its mix of Christian Visigothic and Moorish style. It is one of Spain’s best realizations of this architectural trend, combining Islamic and Christian styles throughout its intricate decoration.
It displays features that are characteristic of both cultures such as horseshoe archways, oriels, or Arabic decorative elements on top floor windows on balconies reflected by Romanesque pillars.
The Alcázar that we see today was built during several stages and is a mosaic of different styles such as Almohad, Romanesque, and Gothic with its Alcazaba (fortress) at its heart.
It is one of Spain’s best examples of medieval military architecture with impressive towers and grandstands positioned around the exterior walls.
It also has traditional Islamic baths inside called Hamman and is influenced by Islamic art in both decor and function featuring a large space divided into two rooms surrounding a bathing pool covered by a vaulted dome lightened by airshafts.
Opening hours: Daily from 10 am to 14.20 am (free Fri afternoons between October and March).
Admission: € 3,00
24. Aqueduct of Segovia
This expansive structure dates back to Roman times but was rebuilt during the reign of Alfonso X el Sabio. Its construction began sometime around 1000 AD.
The Romans used the aqueduct to get water from the River Frio. it runs for 15 kilometers (just over 9 miles) before it reaches the city. At first, it consisted only of five arches supported by pillars. Later, other arches were added until reaching their current form. The aqueduct is made up of a series of stone arches that are connected with each other through brick walls.
It has been declared as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites since 1996. Segovian locals are proud of their Ramon aqueduct – it’s even on the city’s coat of arms.
By the time it reaches the city there are more than 100 arched bridges and 128 pillars. This makes it possible for water to flow freely throughout the entire length of the aqueduct.
It also includes an underground tunnel that allows water to be transported without having to use any kind of wheel or pump system. Water flows into the tunnels using gravity alone and this is how the water found its water through the city.
There is an Aqueduct Visitors Center in the new Mint and guided tours. At 28 meters high and 5.1 meters wide it’s a stunning sight and a fantastic day trip from Madrid.
Opening Hours: Always open; Admission: Free
25. Walls of Ávila
The walls surrounding Ávila, a city in central Spain in Castile and León, are nothing short of spectacular. The wall was built between the 11th and 14th centuries to defend the city against Moorish armies.
There are no other walled cities in Spain with the same completeness of fortifications. The perimeter of the city wall is over 2,500 meters. The wall is 3 meters thick, 12 meters high. There are 9 gates and 88 semi-circular towers along the Wall.
This has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and when you visit you can walk along about half of the perimeter. You’ll be able to see holes deliberately left by the builders of the Wall for swifts to nest in.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 11 pm; Admission: General: € 5, Reduced: € 3.5
26. Manzanares Castle el Real
This castle makes a great half-day trip from Madrid because it’s the best-preserved castle in the whole Madrid region and only 45 minutes by car from Madrid.
Manzanares Castle el Real is also known as the Castle of los Mendoza. The present castle was built in 1475 on top of a Mujeda Romanesque Chapel (you can see its remains inside the castle). It’s an excellent example of 15th-century Spanish military architecture.
Like many of Spain’s defensive fortresses, Manzares Castle el Real became a palace owned by the Mendoza family. It is now owned by the Duchy of Infatado
There have been many restorations over the centuries to its six floors and towers and today you can take tours with guides in period costume, see plays, and wander through the hallways and rooms of this well-preserved castle-fortress.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 5.30 pm and 10 am to 6 pm weekends, closed Mondays; Admission: General: € 4
27. Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas
Plaza de Toros de las Ventas was built between 1771 and 1774 by José del Olmo and is a bullring in Madrid, Spain. It is where Madrid’s bullfighting tradition began and held bullfights until 1931. It was also used for rodeos.
Bullfighting is an important part of Spanish culture and history. Plaza de Toros de las Ventas closed in 1931, but in 1995 bullfights returned to the plaza.
The façade is one of the best examples of neoclassical (18th-century) architecture in Madrid. The decoration represents Time overthrowing Tyranny (a rather ironic statement considering its fate under Franco’s dictatorship).
Above the entrance stands an equestrian statue of Carlos III, flanked by four allegorical statues representing Glory, Fame, Abundance, and Joy.
You can visit the former bullring and learn about the history of bullfighting in Spain, which began with the coronation ceremony of Ferdinand and Isabella.
The stadium includes a ring where young matadors train themselves before graduating to other locations. It is known as Las Ventas because there was an old slaughterhouse at this location until 1778. Today it’s used only during the summer months.
There is a museum inside the premises that exhibits items relating to bullfighting.
Opening Hours: Weekdays from 9:00 am, 8:30 am Sundays; Admission: Free
28. Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace in Madrid is an absolute must-see and one of the most famous landmarks in all of Spain. It’s the official residence of the royal family although they don’t live here year-round and mostly just use it for ceremonies and official celebrations.
At most 1.5 million square feet this palace is huge and considered the largest still-in-use royal palace in all of Europe. It has 3400 separate rooms which are unimaginably large. Located in the heart of the city it’s easy to reach both on foot or via public transport.
Tickets cost 12€ per person and sell out frequently so booking in advance is highly recommended. You can buy tickets online or in-person but online is much more convenient.
There are also regular concerts held at the palace for which prices tend to vary.
For an extra charge, you can also hire a guide to take you around the palace which will be helpful in order to understand all the different parts and their historical significance.
Construction for this impressive building began in the early 18th century. Many parts of the palace are still original so packing your camera is highly recommended as there are plenty of things to see and do.
Its stunning white exterior is reason enough to visit this incredible palace.
The opening hours of the palace vary from Winter to Summer. From October to March you can visit between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm and until 4:00 pm on Sundays. From April to September the palace stays open until 7:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Sundays.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm (until 7 pm in Summer) and until 4 pm on Sundays; Admission: € 12,00
By Victoria at Guide Your Travel
29. Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor in the heart of Madrid is one of the capital’s most famous landmarks. This beautiful public square, completely surrounded by residential buildings, feels quite intimate and is without a doubt amongst the most beautiful squares in Europe.
Construction started in 1580 during the reign of King Philip III, and the plaza has been the center point of Madrid culture for centuries. The equestrian figure in the plaza is King Philip III himself.
In the past, the plaza was the spot where public executions took place, but thankfully times have changed since then. Today, the Plaza Mayor is a favorite hang-out place for Madrilenos and tourists alike.
There are always street performers entertaining locals and tourists in the square, or you can choose to have a drink or bite to eat at one of the cafes in the plaza while basking in all that beautiful architecture and European culture.
Being a public square, the Plaza Mayor is open all day, every day, and is free to enter. While the plaza is one of the most important landmarks in Madrid, it is not UNESCO recognized.
The Plaza Mayor is considered to be the heart of the city, and from here you can explore almost all the other major sights the city has to offer on foot by following a self-guided walking tour of Madrid.
Opening Hours: Always open; Admission: Free
by De Wet and Jin at Museum of Wander
30. Puerta del Sol
Madrid’s famous square is home to some of the oldest buildings in the country. In fact, the Puerta del Sol dates back to 1561 when King Philip II ordered the construction of the original gate.
Since then, the square has undergone numerous changes and today it boasts over 100 monuments and statues scattered around the perimeter.
One of the most iconic structures in the square is the Monument to Christ the Redeemer. This monument stands at the highest point of the area and offers stunning views across the whole city. The statue weighs approximately 1 tonne and took three years to complete.
The other important sculpture is the Bear and the Madrone Tree, the symbol of Madrid.
Opening Hours: Always open; Admission: Free
31. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum houses an extensive private collection of European fine arts including works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, to name a fraction of its impressive artists whose work is on display.
It has been described as “the best small museum in the world” due to its unique location within the city center.
Along with the Prado and Rein Sofia museums, the Thyssen-Bornemisza is considered one of the top ten attractions in Europe and is part of Madrid’s Golden Triangle.
Opening Hours: Daily, 11: 00 am until midnight; Admission: Prices vary depending on the time of visit.
32. Museo Nacional del Prado (Prado Museum)
Madrid, the capital of Spain, has an abundance of history to show to the world, and it manifests in government buildings, cathedrals, monuments, and palaces.
Art museums like Museo del Prado are frequently voted as the most popular attraction in Madrid. Like Le Louvre or the National Gallery in London, Prado is one of the most prestigious classical art museums in Europe.
Prado is in the heart of Madrid alongside El Retiro, a historic city park that once belonged to the Spanish Monarchy. Together with Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and Reina Sofía Museum, Pardo is part of the Golden Triangle of Art in Madrid.
The museums showcase European artworks in many different genres and eras, inspiring tens of thousands of art lovers and students who visit these premises every day.
Pardo houses an exciting number of world-class masterpieces, with a focus on the classical art of great Spanish artists including Velázquez, Goya, and Rubens, along with other famous international artists in Germany, Italy, Britain, and France. Check out Las Meninas, the most celebrated artwork created by Diego Velazquez in 1656.
Tourists may enjoy free access to Prado with a Madrid Card, it will save time as there is always a long queue at the ticketing office. Another great time to view the artwork is in the early afternoon because it usually gets crowded in the morning.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10 am to 8 pm, Sundays and holidays 10 am to 7 pm; Admission: Regular €15 or free with a Madrid Card
by Kenny at Knycx Journeying
33. Reina Sofia Museum
Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid is one of the world’s leading museums dedicated exclusively to modern art. It is one of the most visited sites in Madrid and attracts millions of people each year.
This magnificent building was designed by Santiago Calatrava and completed in 2004. Its design incorporates elements of both classical architecture and contemporary style.
Inside Reina Sofía you’ll find three floors filled with stunning pieces of art ranging from ancient Egyptian artifacts to cutting edge installations.
Visitors should expect long queues at peak times especially on weekends. If you want to avoid queuing then try coming earlier in the week or later in the evening.
If you’re looking for something different why not take a guided tour? Tours run throughout the day and last approximately 1 hour. A guide will explain all aspects of the collection while taking you behind the scenes of the gallery.
Tours cost €10 and include access to special areas normally closed off to the general public.
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday, 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday closes at 2:30 pm; Admission:
€ 10,00, free Monday and Wednesday to Saturday, 6 pm to 8 pm and Sunday 1:30 pm to 2:15 pm.
34. Toledo Cathedral
Toledo was the old capital of Spain and the notable city of three cultures – a place where Jews, Christians, and Muslims used to live in peace many centuries ago.
Its rich legacy of 2000 years is safeguarded wonderfully and gives it the honor of a UNESCO world heritage site.
Situated in Toledo, the Toledo Cathedral is a major monument in Spain. Also known as Catedral Primada or the Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary, this twelfth-century work of art of French Gothic engineering required 266 years to complete.
At the north pinnacle of the church hangs the famous “Fat Bell”. It is arguably the biggest bell on the planet, however, it rarely rings. Many fables exist about why the bell is not rung now.
The highlight of the other side is the Baroque arch of the Mozarabic church. At the primary entrance are lion sculptures that give it the name “portal of lions”.
The first plan was to construct two twin pinnacles for the house of prayer. But because of moving grounds found at the time of construction of the subsequent tower, the shorter Baroque arch was raised instead.
This is a Spanish landmark you must not miss even on a one-day trip to Toledo.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am. – 6:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 10:00 am – 2:30 pm, Sundays and Public Holidays 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm; Admission: 5.50 €.
by Sinjana at Backpack & Explore
35. Hanging Houses of Cuenca
Just an hour’s drive from Madrid, the capital of Spain, is an unspoiled oasis of peace and relaxation, surrounded by nature, good food, incredible landscapes, and extraordinary architecture. This is Cuenca, a gorgeous town in central Spain, often outside the tourist’s radar.
The whole city appears to be trapped in the past, with narrow streets that make it unique. Cuenca is an off-the-beaten-path destination in Spain. You will fall in love with this cute city, the inhabitants, and the scenic views over the valley.
The ancient city was founded by the Muslims and then conquered back by the Christians. Now it jealously guards a treasure, a UNESCO World Heritage site, called“Las Casas Colgantes”, or the hanging houses.
This is one of the most popular sightseeing of Cuenca – a series of houses built on the rock, hanging above the Huécar river. The view from the “Puente de San Pablo” is extraordinary.
The hanging houses of Cuenca attract tourists from all over the world. Some of the apartments are currently occupied by people living there but others are today Michelin-star awarded restaurants and gorgeous hotels.
You can discover inside these ancient but well-maintained houses, experience how locals live, and keep one of the most precious landmarks in Spain.
No admission costs for this beautiful place, however, a reservation to the restaurant is needed, but feel free to show up at the door, and just enjoy a drink or two on the panoramic terrace.
Opening Hours: Always open; Admission: Free
by Toti at Italian Trip Abroad
36. Windmills of Consuegra
Lonely windmills and the ruins of solitary castles await lucky travelers who venture off the beaten path in Spain. Castilla-La Mancha is where Cervantes set the journeys of his hero, Don Quixote.
Along the road to the 12th-century Castle of Muela, atop the Cerro Calderico ridge, you’ll find 12 Molinos de Viento (windmills!) They’re called tower mills and were built to grind grain and modeled on Dutch windmills. 13 were built and used until the 1980s.
Now 12 are open for tourists and you can visit two that are still working. The Tourist Office is in one of the windmills giving you an opportunity to look around inside.
It’s easy to reach Consuegra by car from Toledo (60 kilometer away) or Madrid.
Opening Hours: Always open to walk around; Admission: Free
37. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
One of the coolest and most unique landmarks in Spain is definitely located in Valencia: The City of Arts and Sciences (Valencia) also known as Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Situated at the end of Turia Park, a visit to this futuristic attraction is a must on any city break.
The complex, which was designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, consists of several modern buildings that were opened between 1998 and 2009 and house various museums, exhibitions, and gardens.
As one of the highlights, the opera is also located here! The integrated water landscapes are particularly beautiful and give this sight that certain something.
The most worthwhile attractions in the City of Arts and Sciences are the 3D cinema L’Hemisfèric, the Science Centre, L’Oceanogràfic, L’Umbracle, and the Opera. If you like, you can also rent a boat and paddle around the water landscape. You should plan some time for a visit here to see the best attractions.
It’s also great that the area can be visited completely free of charge. However, if you want to visit the buildings from the inside, you have to pay an entrance fee. You can save money with combination tickets that include several exhibitions.
The area can be visited at any time of day, most of the exhibitions, as well as the aquarium open from 9:30, am and closing at 5:00 pm in the evening.
Opening Hours: Always open; Admission: Free, Aquarium entrance fee is € 8,00
by Martina at Places of Juma
38. Majorca Cathedral
‘La Seu’ in Catalan is a major landmark you can’t miss seeing when holidaying on the spectacular Spanish island of Majorca. It was built opposite a large Moorish palace in a time when the Moors had invaded Spain.
Made from gold sandstone in the fourteenth century, you can’t but help see this imposing cathedral on the ocean in Palma.
But it is the inside of this Cathedral that is so unusual, It has an enormous nave – 44 meters long and its tall ceilings are held upright by some of the thinnest weight-bearing columns in the world. When you consider that this is one the tallest Cathedrals in all of Europe, that’s a major engineering feat!
The massive Rose window you see from the ocean-side creates a vast amount of stained-glass light into the Cathedral/ It’s why the Cathedral got its name as the “Cathedral of Light.”
Opening Hours: 9 am to midnight; Admission: € 20.00 and up
39. Caves of Drach
The Drach Caves (Cuevas del Drach) are on the eastern coast of southern Mallorca, at Porto Cristo. This natural cave formation of four interconnected caves contains a large underground lake (Lake Martel).
Lake Martel is connected to the sea and at high tide, salt is deposited in the caves. Its name comes from a legend of a dragon believed to guard the entrance to the cave from the sea.
You can take the stairways yourself or take a short boat ride through the caves on Lake Martel. A quartet plays classical music at the base of the cave to the delight of unknowing tourists who have taken a boat ride. This concert has been occurring here since 1935.
It takes an hour to travel the 1.2 kilometers underground past vivid turquoise pools and below a serrated cavern ceiling with lighting effects along the way.
Opening Hours: Tours on the hour between 10 am and 5 pm, and until 3 pm on weekends; Admission: €16,00 (includes boat tour and concert )
40. Roman Theater, Mérida
Only a minutes’ walk from the Alcazaba of Málaga, the Teatro Romano is a major landmark of Mérida that was built in 16 – 15 AC on the orders of the Roman Consul, Marco Agrippa. This was the beginning of the Roman Empire,
But for hundreds of years, it was just called “The Seven Chairs” because only 7 stone bleachers could be seen. The rest of the Theater was buried.
When it was finally excavated, the 7 Chairs turned out to be part of the orchestra section, with three stands around it. It was discovered in 1951 and the two-tier stage is made up of Corinthian columns.
Sculptures of gods have been found along the two rows of marble columns that make up the stage including Pluto, Proserpina, and Ceres.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays and holidays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; Admission: Free
41. The Lonja
In the center of Valencia is the Lonja. Step inside this lovely building and be amazed at the twisty columns of this impressive space.
This is a building that was built to the god of money – it’s an old Silk Exchange and is one of the best civil gothic monuments in all of Europe.
A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996, the Lonja was built in the fifteenth century when Valencia became so wealthy, that it needed a larger Exchange.
The lower floors include a wonderful domed ceiling 17.4 meters high with 8 wonderful twisty columns, and a chapel.
But the upper floors were where the city imprisoned Valencians who didn’t pay their debts!
Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm and Sundays and bank holidays 10 am to 2 pm. Admission: Currently free, but prices are due to change any day now.
42. Great Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba
The Great Mosque-Cathedral in Córdoba is the largest mosque in Spain. It was completed in 987. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is visited for its architecture, beauty, and Islamic history.
The Great Mosque was built on top of Visigothic remains dating back to the early 6th century and obtained its current appearance during an expansion phase between 961 and 966.
It is composed of a series of horseshoe-arched interconnecting prayer halls with the main prayer hall in the middle.
Its double rows of tiered arches in the original section are one of the most photographed parts of this incredible structure. It’s been described as having “countless pillars like rows of palm trees in the oases of Syria.”
The courtyard contains a garden that was planted in 808. This makes it the oldest continually planted Islamic garden in the world. It’s called the Courtyard of the Orange Trees.
The Great Mosque was converted to a Cathedral in 1236 when King Ferdinand III of Castile conquered Córdoba. Muslims have mounted campaigns to try and worship again at the Great Mosque, but Spanish Christians have not agreed.
Opening Hours: Daily 9 am to 8 pm (closed Friday prayer times – approximately 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and 25 December and 1 January). Admission: €9 per person.
You would expect a monumental place like this to be located in a grand city in Italy but this one is located just out of Seville in Spain and it is spectacular.
Italica was the birthplace of 2 Roman Emperors, Trajan, and Hadrian and was the first Roman city in Spain. What was once a thriving city is now only ruins but as you walk the tree-lined streets you can get a feeling of how important it was.
The mosaics that lined the floors of the homes of the people that lived there are still bright and easy to see. Columns and even a statue of Trajan are still able to be seen as you wander the straight cobblestone streets.
These are all stunning to see but what will blow you away is the Amphitheatre.
Built to hold 25,000 it was the 3rd largest Colosseum in the Roman Empire and as you stand in the center looking out you wonder what the walls would have seen.
There is a small museum on-site which tells you the story of how Italica rose, thrived, fell, and went into ruin. It will surprise you how the buildings were demolished and the stone reused in a damn nearby and it will amaze you how artifacts survived so well here from the 2nd century BC.
Opening hours: Vary throughout the year so it is best to check their website for detailed opening times.
Admission: Free for EU citizens with the presentation of ID and € 1.50 for residents of other countries.
by Bec from Wyld Family Travel
44. Setas de Savilla
Las Setas is one of the newer landmarks to grace the skyline of Seville in southern Spain – Andalusia. Officially known as the Metropol Parasol – it is a unique wooden structure that almost looks like a mushroom.
The structure was designed by a German architect named Jürgen Mayer and was opened to the public in 2011.
The structure has various names including ‘las setas’, ‘antiquarium’ (which is housed in the same complex, and of course Metropol Parasol. Locals also call it the ‘mushroom’ – due to its shape.
This landmark structure is made up of six large parasols, and a visitor can walk there to soak in the amazing city views of Seville. Consider heading there in the evening for sunset views.
The Antiquarium is located in the basement of the structure. It is a museum dedicated to (Roman) archaeological remains that were once found here.
This complex includes a market, a museum, and a restaurant. It was renovated and revamped to invite visitors to the Antiquarium, and in turn, also uplifted the Encarnacion square and the nearby area. Today it also hosts different types of cultural events here.
Its exact address is Pl. de la Encarnación, s/n, 41003 Sevilla, Spain, and is located at La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville. Las Setas is free to explore from the market, entry to the top of the mushrooms is 5 euros.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9:30 am to 1 am; Admission: €5 entry to the top of the mushroom
by Mayuri from To Some Place New
45. Seville Cathedral
The Seville Cathedral is not only a famous landmark in Spain, as the largest gothic cathedral in the world, but this impressive church is also well-known across Europe.
The ornate and expansive cathedral was built as a way to display the city’s wealth and prosperity and to replace the Grand Mosque that stood on the site prior to the Christian rule of Spain.
Also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, the iconic UNESCO World Heritage site is not only an architectural marvel, it is also an important historical landmark.
The church, which remains the fourth largest cathedral in the world, took nearly 130 years to complete and houses the tomb of explorer Christopher Columbus, who is often credited with discovering the Americas and opening the door for European colonization in the “New World”.
Its most notable feature, the Giralda Bell Tower was once part of the original Muslim mosque. Visitors can climb the 343-foot tall tower via a series of spiraling ramps and stairs. The lookout at the top of the tower offers panoramic views of the city.
Located in the heart of Seville and directly across from the Real Alcazar, the cathedral is an easy addition to any Seville itinerary.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:45 am to 5 pm, Sunday 2.30 pm to 6 pm.; Admission: € 10,00
by Melissa from Parenthood and Passports
46. Royal Alcázar of Seville
The Royal Alcázar of Seville is a must-see landmark located in Seville, Spain. Seville itself is not the first destination people think to travel when visiting Spain making it more off-the-beaten-path full of gorgeous architecture with Moorish and Christian influences.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of visiting is seeing the beautiful long pool in the center of the palace in the Patio de las Doncellas. Here you can also see the impressive Mudéjar architecture in Seville. Mudéjar is a form of architecture with heavy Moorish influences.
The gardens surrounding are also enjoyable to relax in and take your time strolling through.
Tickets can be purchased onsite or on the official website (https://realalcazarsevilla.sacatuentrada.es/en) in advance. Booking ahead will allow you to avoid long wait times as it can get busy during peak season.
Opening Hours: It is open from 9:30 am to 7 pm daily; Admission: General € 14.50
By Jackie at Jou Jou Travels
47. Plaza de España
One of Spain’s most charming landmarks is without doubt Seville’s Plaza de España. The city’s most well-known plaza was designed by the famous Spanish architect Aníbal González for the Ibero-American Expo that was held in the year 1929.
With a diameter of almost 200 meters, there are plenty of things for you to explore on this beautifully half-moon-shaped square.
However, it is most known for its mosaic-covered benches that represent Spain’s various provinces. This is one of the reasons why many Spanish tourists travel to Seville each year, as they simply want to take a picture with the bench of their own province.
Although it was after the much-needed restoration of 2010 that the Plaza de España truly regained its glory. Make sure to take in this reclaimed beauty from the water by renting a small boat and navigating your way through the plaza’s canal.
When cruising through the canal, you will come across four bridges, symbolizing Spain’s four ancient kingdoms.
Another thing that stands out immediately when you enter the Plaza de España located at Seville’s María Luisa park is the big fountain at the square’s center.
It’s the combination of all these charming elements that make Plaza de España a place that you can simply not miss when visiting Andalusia’s capital. Besides, you can admire the square’s astonishing beauty for free at any given time of the day.
Opening Hours: Always Open; Admission: Free
by Stéphanie at Bey of Travel
48. Puente Nuevo
Chances are that you may have seen pictures of the soaring arches of the Puente Nuevo in Ronda, Spain, as it spans the gaping chasm that is the El Tajo gorge, but you never quite knew where in the world it was.
Puente Nuevo is a magnificent feat of engineering that is situated in Ronda, one of the regions of Andalucia’s most famous white villages, or ‘Pueblo Blancos’.
The town of Ronda itself is one of the oldest in Spain, having been first occupied by the Celts, followed by the Romans and the Moors.
Besides its unique location and exceptionally beautiful natural surroundings, the town is also famed as being the birthplace of Spain’s controversial sport of bullfighting and its 18th-century bullring is one of the town’s most recognizable emblems.
As the town grew, space in the old town became somewhat hard to find, so buildings began to pop up on the other side of the gorge. Old town and the new town needed to be linked and thus the spectacular Puente Nuevo was conceived.
From the bottom of the gorge to the town above, the bridge reaches a whopping 98m and took over 30 years to complete. Many also lost their lives throughout the building project in the 18th century.
Somewhat surprisingly, neither the spectacular Puente Nuevo nor the unique town of Ronda are UNESCO world heritage sites, but a visit to see both is not only very worth your while but an experience you will not likely forget.
Opening Hours: Always open Admission: Free
by Issey at Issy’s Escapades
49. Caminito del Rey
One of the most impressive landmarks in Spain is El Caminito del Rey, a dramatic boardwalk pinned 100 meters on the vertical wall of Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes Gorge.
It used to be the most dangerous hike in the world, but was rebuilt in 2015 and now has extensive safety measures. You can still see the old path beneath the new one and it gives you an idea about the danger adventure seekers were in as they walked it even when it was illegal.
Originally it was built to carry material when building the dam at the end of the gorge at the beginning of the 1900s. The walk was named the King’s pathway after King Alfonso XII walked the path in 1921 to inaugurate the Conde del Guadalhorce Dam.
Caminito del Rey has quickly turned into one of the most popular hikes in Malaga and tickets often must be booked weeks in advance.
The cost is 10 Euros for self-guided walks and 18 Euros for guided walks in Spanish or English. Tickets include a mandatory helmet and a safety brief.
The hike is one-way and takes about 2 hours, but there is a bus service that takes you back to the starting point if you have your car there. The hike starts at El Kiosko Restaurant (Ardales) and there are two walks to the checkpoint where the actual Caminito del Ray starts.
One route takes 20 minutes and the other takes 50 minutes. If you come by train from Malaga, you can take the bus from El Chorro to El Kiosko Restaurant before the hike. It ends in El Chorro not far from the train station.
Opening Hours: Daily shuttle bus departs 8.30 am until 4.30 pm Admission: € 10,00 and up
by Linn at Andalucia Hiking
50. Antequera Dolmens
Antequera Dolmens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Andalusia near the town of Antequera, with a difference. There are 3 cultural monuments that are the giant megalithic structures called the Menga and Viera dolmens and the Tholos of the Romeral.
But there are two other natural formations that are part of this World Heritage listing – the El Torcal and La Peña de Los Enamorados mountain features. The Menga dolmen looks at the Peña de los Enamorados and theTholos of the Romeral is built to face El Torcal. This makes the five structures together a unique ancient megalithic site.
The Dolmen are considered masterpieces of megalithic architecture. It is extraordinary to see inside the Menga Dolmen, a giant structure made 6000 years ago by Neolithic people. UNESCO calls it a “masterpiece of the human creative genius.”
It’s free to visit the Dolmens and there is parking on site. It’s just trickier to figure out when they’re open.
Opening Hours: Varies according to day and month; Admission: Free
51. El Torcal de Antequera
Worthy a mention among the most impressive landmarks in Spain is the unique karst landscape you find at El Torcal de Antequera in Malaga. Formed over millions of years, the area was once under the sea. As the earth’s crust started moving, it was pressed up and now it’s situated at 1200 meters of altitude.
With its trails crisscrossing through captivating rock formations revealing natural tunnels, natural sculptures, and even a few fossils, this is one of the most impressive hikes in Spain for the whole family.
There is a parking lot by the interpretation center at the top, but that usually fills up early, so you might have to park at the bottom of the hill and either walk up or take the shuttle bus that costs about a Euro one way.
There are no good options for public transport to get there unless you take a taxi from Antequera.
The site itself is free to visit at all times, but it requires that you respect nature and the local inhabitants, the mountain goats which is another exciting reason to visit this place.
The animals are used to people and might be seen close to the trails, but remember that they are wild animals. Make sure you don’t chase them, feed them, or scare them in any way. It’s extremely important to leave no trace so that they don’t eat human food in any way.
Opening Hours: Always Open; Admission: Free
by Linn at Brainy Backpackers
52. Alcázaba de Málaga
La Alcázaba de Málaga, located on a hill in the center of Málaga next to the Roman theatre, is a must-see attraction when you’re visiting this beautiful city in Southern Spain.
This fortress-palace was built in the early 11th century, and its purpose was mainly for the military due to its great location – close to the port of Malaga.
Nowadays, not only can you learn about the history and Moorish influence of this palace, but also you can walk through the beautiful gardens decorated with jasmines and fountains, patios, and other parts of the building that will remind you of the famous Alhambra in Granada.
One of the best things to do in La Alcázaba is walk on the walls and contemplate the amazing panoramic views – one of the best views in the city.
Another reason to visit this palace is that it’s one of the best-preserved Alcázaba in Spain.
Opening Hours: 9 am to 8 pm from April to October and from 9 am to 6 pm from November to March; Admission: 3,50€ or 5,50€ if you’d also like to visit Gibralfaro Castle which is next to La Alcázaba. However, you can visit it for free on Sundays after 2 pm.
by Cristina at My Little World of Travelling
The spellbinding architectural wonder that is the Alhambra is one of the most famous landmarks in Spain and is a must-visit attraction in Southern Spain. It was so-called because of its reddish walls which mean ‘Red Castle] in Arabic.
Built in the mid-14th century as a hilltop palace for the Moorish royals, the Alhambra complex consists of fascinating architectural buildings that attract millions of tourists from around the world every year.
With more than 12 centuries of history, the palace consists of different architectural influences which makes Alhambra one of the most unique palaces of the World.
The complex consists of Nasrid Palaces, the most beautiful part of this complex; the Alcazaba, a fortress overlooking the spectacular view of Granada; and the Generalife encompassing nice gardens and a smaller palace.
Because it is a World-renowned UNESCO World Heritage site, this unique palace is very popular among travelers and hence one needs to reserve tickets days in advance, sometimes even months.
The price of general entry for adults is 14 euros while children below 12 years have free admission. Each ticketed entrance includes a visit to all the parts of the complex with Nasrid Palace access only during the time slot indicated on the ticket.
The Alhambra can also be enjoyed through a guided tour and it is open daily from 8:30 am to 8 pm (1st April- 14th October) or 6 pm (15th October – 31st March).
Opening Hours: 8.30 am to 8 pm (1st April- 14th October) or 6 pm (15th October – 31st March).
Admission: € 14,00
by Sunetra at Globetrotting Su
54. Alcázaba de Almeria
The Alcázaba de Almeria shines over the city and is an architectural symbol of Spain’s Moorish history. Its construction on the Iberian peninsula originated in the Andalusian city.
The fortress dates back to the Muslim period and is situated at the bottom of Gibralfaro hill. It can be seen from any part of the city.
The Alcázaba fortress is the largest Muslim fortress in both Spain and Europe, which makes it significant.
It is among the most important places to visit in Spain because tourists can discover the architecture from the 955 to the XV century, and learn about the culture of the Moors in Almeria and the Iberian Peninsula.
The top of the fortress walls offers marvelous views of the port and the city. Additionally, tourists can discover shady courtyards, bathing areas, and beautiful gardens, or go back.
Even though the glory of the original Alcázaba can’t be recovered, it is still a relic of Spain’s history and that is why it is an important striking monument to visit.
This well-reserved fortress is a part of UNESCO’s listing and is a must-visit destination in Southern Spain. Travelers have to climb up the zig-zag ramp to reach the fortress but it’s definitely worth it as it is one of the best things to do in Almeria.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9 am to 6 pm and 9 am to 3 pm on holidays. Admission: Free for European citizens, €1.50 for others.
by Paulina at Paulina on the Road
55. Timanfaya National Park UNESCO biosphere reserve
If it were not for the deep blue sky, many photos taken in Timanfaya Park on Lanzarote could pass for landscapes of the planet Mars.
Timanfaya is one of the best national parks not only in the Canary Islands but also in all of Spain. In 1968 this fascinating area was declared a national park: Parque Nacional de Timanfaya. In 1993, UNESCO designated Timanfaya a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Many travelers come to Lanzarote just for the Park Timanfaya. So if you are not sure which Canary Island to choose for your first visit, Lanzarote is a great choice.
In Timanfaya, you can see unique landscapes, volcanoes, and pristine lava fields in an area of 5,000 hectares. Vegetation and climate have not had time to change the beauty of this black-red earth, which has not been touched by the human hand.
In addition to admiring the unique nature, you can try a volcano barbecue in Timanfaya Park, as there is a restaurant built over the crater of the hottest volcano on the island.
Approaching the National Park from Yaiza, it is impossible to miss the starting point of the camel trekking route, Echadero de Camellos. This walk takes about 30 minutes and is a fun thing to do.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9:00 am 5:45 pm; Admission: adults €9; children (7 to 12 years) €4.50
by Sasha at the Alternative Travel Guide
Further Links and Information
- Read about the Best Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona, where to find them, which to choose, and how to visit.
- See all of the best things to do in Spain, from Get Your Guide
- Read about all the best destinations in Europe from Trip Anthropologist
- For other great ideas for visiting the world’s best landmarks, see 45 Best Italy Landmarks, Best Northern Ireland Landmarks for History and Culture, Best Scotland Landmarks for History and Culture, and Best Cultural and Historical Places to Visit in England.