Home Travel 11 Best Cities to Visit in Spain This Summer

11 Best Cities to Visit in Spain This Summer

by Nina Smith

With summer just around the corner, no arguments are needed for why the vibrant and sun-drenched Spain is the perfect holiday destination.

The country has dozens of brilliant places you may visit, from golden beach towns to historically significant cities. To help you pick your next adventure, here are 11 stand-out destinations in Spain!

1. Madrid

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As the capital city, Madrid is a melting pot of cultural attractions and lively festivities, particularly in the summer months. Besides admiring the grand streets of Madrid’s old town, visitors can explore the infamous Prado Museum, which houses an impressive collection of European art, or the Royal Palace of Madrid for a glimpse into Spain’s rich history.

For a taste of local life, the El Rastro flea market offers a variety of antiques, crafts, and souvenirs every Sunday. The capital city is not only stunning, but also very well-connected, with great flight options, numerous Sercotel hotels, and convenient public transport.

2. Barcelona


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Barcelona is a city where art and architecture collide, famously home to many of Antoni Gaudí’s creations. The Sagrada Família and Park Güell are the key highlights, showcasing unique designs that are unlike anywhere else in the world.

After a day of sightseeing, visitors can relax on Barceloneta Beach, or wander through the Gothic Quarter to soak up the medieval atmosphere that is unique to witness against the city’s more modern architecture.

3. Seville

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Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is celebrated for its Gothic and Moorish architecture, as you will find evident in the Alcázar palace and the Giralda bell tower of Seville Cathedral. Summer is also the perfect time to experience the local flamenco scene in its buzzing bars and tables.

The narrow, picturesque streets of the Santa Cruz district also offer charming cafés and shops, making it ideal for an afternoon stroll.

4. Cádiz

One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Western Europe, Cádiz, does not fail to charm visitors with its ancient forts and beautiful beaches. The city’s old town is home to cobbled streets and quaint squares, offering a laid-back vibe that contrasts the electric atmosphere of the popular La Caleta Beach.

Savoring fresh seafood at local restaurants is also an absolute must when visiting Cádiz.

5. Valencia


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Valencia is a dynamic blend of the old and new. The City of Arts and Sciences, an architectural complex designed by Santiago Calatrava, offers futuristic structures with an aquarium, planetarium, and museum.

Meanwhile, the historic Mercado Central provides an authentic experience of traditional foods and local produce. For a true taste of Valencia, you simply have to try the city’s signature dish – paella.

6. Granada

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Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is a city brimming with culture and history. The Alhambra fortress complex is one of the country’s best-preserved sites, showcasing Spain’s historic Islamic influences.

Additionally, Granada’s Albaicín district offers spectacular views of the Alhambra and is a great place for exploring more of the city’s unique past.

7. Bilbao

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Bilbao, once an industrial heartland, has transformed into a cultural hub, largely due to the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum, which sparked the city’s revitalization. This museum not only houses modern and contemporary art but is itself a piece of avant-garde artwork.

Beyond the museum, Bilbao’s Old Quarter, with its seven historic streets, is a lively area filled with traditional pintxos bars that offer a taste of Basque Country’s renowned culinary arts. Additionally, the city’s riverside setting and green hills provide a beautiful backdrop, enhancing its charm and making it a joy to explore on foot.

8. Córdoba

In May, Córdoba blooms into life with its patios in full floral splendor, celebrated in the annual Patio Festival where residents proudly open their beautifully decorated courtyards to the public.

This city, once the capital of the Islamic Emirate and then of the Caliphate, is home to the Mezquita, an awe-inspiring mosque-cathedral known for its striking arches and evolving architecture that tells the story of its religious transitions.

The blend of Islamic and Christian influences enriches the city’s cultural tapestry, offering visitors a profound glimpse into Spain’s diverse historical layers.

9. Zaragoza

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Zaragoza, located by the banks of the Ebro River, is often overlooked despite its rich tapestry of history influenced by Romans, Muslims, Jews, and Christians. This city is famed for its Baroque Nuestra Señora del Pilar Basilica, a pilgrimage site with connections to St. James and reputed sightings of the Virgin Mary.

Summer festivals and the nearby vineyards of the Cariñena region make it a perfect spot for cultural and wine enthusiasts alike. The city also hosts numerous cultural exhibitions and events that reflect its historical significance and vibrant contemporary art scene.

10. San Sebastián

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San Sebastián, or Donostia as it’s known in Basque, is famed for its well-heeled beach resort ambiance and its unparalleled culinary scene, which boasts more Michelin stars per capita than almost anywhere else on Earth. The Concha Bay, with its picturesque beach and waterfront promenade, is ideal for summer strolls.

The Old Town buzzes with pintxos bars, offering innovative bites that are as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the palate. Additionally, the city’s annual International Film Festival attracts cinema enthusiasts from around the world, further enhancing its status as a cultural hotspot.

11. Santiago de Compostela

This city is the culmination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and a symbol of the Spanish Christian struggle against Islam. Santiago de Compostela’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, dominated by its cathedral where the remains of St. James are reputedly buried.

The city’s atmosphere is imbued with history and spirituality, enhanced by the diverse international community of pilgrims who reach it each summer. The surrounding region offers lush landscapes and traditional Galician architecture, making Santiago not only a spiritual destination but also a place of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Final word

Each city in Spain offers a unique set of experiences, so the choice will undoubtedly be a tough one! However, one thing is sure – no matter where you go in Spain, you will be greeted with mouth-watering dishes, architectural wonders, and lush landscapes!