Since the beginning of UK tourism, Spain has long been a favourite vacation spot among many Brits and it’s not hard to see why. Though it is in relatively close proximity to the UK and within easy reach, Spain’s sights, sounds, tastes and scents are very different from our own in many ways. Equal parts influences and influential, you’ll find Spanish language, art, architecture and cuisine all over the world, while also finding traditions from all over Europe and beyond.
Every year, tens of millions of British tourists visit Spain’s many cities and resorts, whether visiting the mainland or its many islands. If your thirst for adventure leads you to book a city break in this magnificent country, or you feel like renting a car for a week and seeing what Spain has to offer, here are 5 cities that are more than worthy of a place on your travel itinerary…
Regular readers of my blog will recognise Barcelona as a favourite destination of mine. It’s a beautiful city in every sense of the word, with stunning architecture, wonderfully friendly people and accommodating locals and more art and culture than you could shake a muleta at.
If you really want to engage with Spain through its art and culture, Catalonia’s capital is the place to do it. Barcelona’s many incredible historic and modern structures (such as La Sagrada Familia, Torre Agbar, Palau de la Música Catalana and La Pedrere) make it perhaps one of the most stunning and idiosyncratic cities in all of Europe.
The nation’s capital has all the class, sophistication and fantastic amenities that one might expect from any European capital. Barcelona may be the more obvious tourist draw of the country’s biggest conurbations, but Madrid still has a great deal to offer.
Art lovers won’t want to leave without checking out the Museo del Prado, one of the country’s most comprehensive galleries. Be sure to check out the opulent Royal Palace and walk through the stunning El Retiro Park.
The capital of the Andalusia region, there’s a lot to love about Seville. Its architecture is every bit as breathtaking as Barcelona’s and its art and culture scene can hold its own with Madrid’s while the city generally has more of a relaxed pace than either of its big brothers.
Head over to the Triana neighbourhood if you want to see some of the country’s best flamenco dancing or check out the Alcázar Castle complex and gothic cathedral if architecture is your thing.
With all the amenities of a major city with a few stunning beaches within easy reach, Valencia is perfect for those who want to pound the pavement in the morning to see the sights before soaking up the sun and surf in the afternoon.
And finally… with a laid back pace, and stunning sights (both natural and man-made) a trip to Grenada is about as authentic a Spanish experience as you can get. With breathtaking views of the stunning Alhambra and Sierra Nevada mountains wherever you go, all the amenities you’d expect from a major city and legendary nightlife, Granada is perfect for those who want to party all night while enjoying warm, lazy days.