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5 Best Cities to Visit in Spain for First-timers

If we were to pick the best cities to visit in Spain for first-timers, it would be akin to pulling out gems from a treasure trove, and I wouldn’t dare to annoy my Spanish pals. So, let’s take a trip off the beaten path to discover beauties filled with history, superb architecture, and nightlife that never ends. And how about those pristine beaches and fine cuisine? You got it!

We’re your travel compass, so to speak, finding out some of the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers so that your trip is perfect. Let’s begin with this list of travel dreams, not in any specific order.

If we were to pick the best cities to visit in Spain for first-timers, it would be akin to pulling out gems from a treasure trove.

 

Barcelona

Culture, history, and flavor fuse like a magic dream, no wonder it is among the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers every year. I’d dare to say not only it’s among the best cities to visit in Spain, but in the world!

From the Gothic quarter to Gaudi’s marvels, so many things to add to your itinerary in the city. What’s even better, there’s a bit for all of us. Nature lovers can wander the nearby hills and vineyards, while sun seekers surely will enjoy the newly revamped coast. Not only Barcelona is praised for its eclectic culture, but also for its heavenly beaches and tasty seafood. Talking of food, the culinary scene there is world-class. If you ever feel daunted, just start with tapas and local cava to savor the city’s flavors.

Whether you’re a newbie or a hidden gem hunter, level up your adventure in Barcelona with these essential travel tips, which will help you budget and seize your time.

 

Must-visit places:

Culture, history, and flavor fuse like a magic dream, no wonder it is among the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers every year.

 

Madrid

Barcelona and Madrid often share a friendly rivalry, yet each has its unique charm. But this latter, I’d dare say, grasps the essence of Spain. No surprise, it’s one of the best cities in Spain for travelers seeking a European getaway or a short weekend break.

For starters, Madrid beats with life, featuring different architectural styles, from grand palaces to modern buildings. Once funded by Spanish royalty, its galleries and museums hold Picasso, Dali, and Goya’s art – a true joy for art lovers. Besides, it hosts one of the best soccer clubs, the famous Real Madrid.

On the other hand, Madrid is a gourmet treat, a blend of tastes from the best cities in Spain. An experience you can’t miss is “tapear” – stroll down Cava Baja Street or explore La Latina, where old bodegas and wine cellars offer tasty tapas and local wines. Be sure to try local classics like “Bocadillo de calamares,” a crispy squid sandwich, or “Cocido madrileño,” a hearty Spanish stew.

Are you after a thrilling night out? Put on those dance shoes because the party never ends in Madrid! You can kick off in Malasaña for a fun, lively evening. Then, hop between bars to explore the unique music scene – from rock to electronic vibes, and enjoy a mix of live street rhythms!

 

Must-visit places:


Madrid is for travelers seeking a European getaway or a short weekend break.

Seville

Welcome to the heart of Andalusia, the vibrant city of Seville. For many, what truly sets it apart is being the birthplace of flamenco. This passionate dance has conquered so many hearts worldwide, and there’s no better place to feel it than in its home. If you wish to learn the art of flamenco or see the professionals in action, head to Triana, where flamenco legend comes alive.

Still, Seville isn’t just flamenco; it’s also known for its history, culture, and joy, like many of the best cities in Spain. An iconic site is the 18th-century bullring Plaza de Toros, a famed venue where brave ‘toreros’ have tested their courage against bulls for years.

But, maybe, Seville’s allure lies in its seamless blend of European and Islamic styles as a result of centuries under Moorish rule. In that way, and despite time’s toll, the Real Alcazar, stands as the peak of this mix and one of the best places to visit in Spain, as the oldest palace in use in Europe.

Aside from that, the Alcazar Palace has yet another secret that may surprise Game of Thrones fans. It was used as a filming location for the show’s fifth season. Precisely as the realm of Dorne, the Water Gardens, and Sunspear. This is a bit of trivia for any GOT fan!

As you craft your next trip to Spain, let Seville top your list of best cities to visit – where history and culture entwine like a flamenco duet!

 

Must-visit places:

Seville isn't just flamenco; it's also known for its history, culture, and joy.

Valencia

Sure, we all love paellas! But did you know such a Spanish culinary star was born in Valencia? To speak of this city is to speak of art, culture, and exquisite food by the Mediterranean coast. Once there, your visit won’t be complete without tasting the real paella. Find local spots serving “Paella Valenciana” mainly at lunch. Enjoy the flavors of one of the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers!

But it doesn’t end there, Valencia takes you back in time to the charm of old Spain. The ancient walls enclose an Old Town with cobbled squares and tall landmarks offering splendid city views. Be sure to visit the 13th-century Cathedral and the Art Nouveau Central Market. Also, La Lonja de la Seda, a UNESCO-listed site, harks back to the time when it was a silk trade hub.

Fun fact: Valencia briefly served as Spain’s capital during the Civil War in 1936. The capital was moved from Madrid to shield against Francoist attacks.

On the other hand, it’s a real gem for sun and sea aficionados all year round. The city’s beaches stay a top pick, offering endless fun in the sun, as the warmth lasts well into the fall.

Are you a true history fan, a beach lover, or a foodie on the hunt for the perfect paella?  Give Valencia a shot and witness its wonders.

 

Must-visit places:


Valencia takes you back in time to the charm of old Spain, some of the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers.

Córdoba

Close to the cities of Seville and Malaga, Córdoba makes a great destination among the best cities in Spain. It’s truly a beautiful place and kind of a visual symphony, matching the echoes of Roman and Islamic architecture into a picturesque work of art.

Certainly, it shares a rich history with Seville. During ancient Roman times and the Middle Ages, Córdoba played a significant role, serving as a major Islamic center. Hence, the standout attraction in Córdoba is the Mosque-Cathedral. Initially built as an opulent mosque, it was converted into a Catholic Church with Renaissance elements.

Besides, Córdoba offers an array of dining spots and bars. It’s a city that ensures a delightful visit, where you can explore artistic patios and remnants of a distant past. What’s more, when it comes to warm places in Spain, Córdoba tops the list, mainly during July and August. To beat the heat, locals make cool soups like Salmorejo, a tasty tomato-based chilled option.

Simply put, Córdoba is among the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers for history, culture, and tasty food.

Must-visit places:


Close to the cities of Seville and Malaga, Córdoba makes a great destination.

FAQs About the Best Cities to Visit in Spain

1. What language is spoken in Spain?

Spanish is the official language. But many locals speak English and others such as Galician, Basque, Catalan, and Occitan.

2. How to travel in Spain?

Spain’s got a superb transit system – buses, trams, and metro make city travel easy. These are efficient, cost-effective options for moving around.

3. How to stay connected during my trip to Spain?

eSIMs are the best option for seamless connectivity as you travel the world. With this in mind, check out YohoMobile’s eSIM plans for Spain: 100% online, with no roaming charges and full coverage, including calls and texts from $3.29.

4. Is Spain expensive?

Most tourist cities tend to be pricier than less visited ones. So, the answer will depend on the city you are traveling to, for instance, Madrid will be more expensive than Albacete.

5. When to travel to Spain?

The ideal periods are from March to May, and from September to November. During which, you can expect fewer crowds, cheaper lodging options, and nice weather.

 

 

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