Top five places to visit in Spain

Ayushi Balan, Staff writer

 

Spain’s numerous beaches, flavorful cuisine, vibrant nightlife and rich history all make Spain one of Europe’s best vacation destinations. With seventeen autonomous regions and several islands, the country boasts diverse culture and terrain. Here are the best places to visit in Spain:

 

  1. San Sebastian

Located in the Basque region of northern Spain, San Sebastian is a beautiful seaside city with excellent beaches and world-renowned cuisine. The city is a perfect family destination, with a blend of historical sites and fun activities. The Old Town (Parte Vieja) features 19th century buildings that were reconstructed after the Napoleonic Wars. On the other hand, San Sebastian is also famous for its beaches on the Bay of Biscay, with the most famous being the Playa de la Concha, which offers kayaking, swimming, sunbathing and water skiing.

 

  1. Seville

Seville is Andalucia’s cultural capital, home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is home to magnificent historic landmarks, including the Cathedral of Seville, which has the famous Giralda and the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Another important building is the Real Alcazar, a stunning Moorish palace with beautiful gardens. Seville, full of rich historical significance, is also full of thriving nightlife and its Triana neighborhood is home to the flamenco dance.

 

  1. Madrid

Spain’s capital, Madrid, is one of Europe’s most diverse cities and has a decadent assortment of cuisine, making it a must-visit for anyone travelling to Spain. Most of Madrid’s main tourist attractions are in the city center. The Puerta del Sol is the heart of Spain and the main scene for festivals and street performers. From the Puerta del Sol, The Royal Palace, which is the current home of Spain’s royal family, is within walking distance. The Plaza Mayor is also close by, and is known for the lively San Miguel Market, with some of the best tapas in Madrid. Something to look out for is a chocolatería, where you can try churros and melted chocolate. Madrid is also home to the Museo Nacional del Prado, famous for its Las Meninas by Velázquez and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, which is the home of the Guernica, the renowned Picasso painting.

 

  1. Granada

Most famous for the World Heritage Site, the Alhambra, Granada is a spectacular city full of Moorish influence. The Alhambra, a pinnacle of Moorish architecture, offers cascading water features, a panoramic view of the city below, and the extravagant gardens in the Generalife. Walking the narrow streets of Albaicín in the Old District of Granada boasts a unique atmosphere due to the strong Muslim influence in the region. Finally, for all the adventure lovers, the Sierra Nevada provides one of Europe’s longest ski seasons and almost guaranteed sunshine.

 

  1. Barcelona

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is one of Spain’s top travel destinations for a reason. Barcelona offers everything from historic and unique architecture to lively shopping and thriving nightlife. Unique to Barcelona is the work of Spain’s famous architect, Antoni Gaudí, which includes the Casa Milà, Park Güell, and the famous unfinished Sagrada Familia church. All of the architectural marvels of Gaudí feature fascinating designs inspired by nature. Popular activities in the city include strolling along Las Ramblas and exploring the Gothic quarter of Barcelona, which includes the Picasso museum.