Top 10 Things to Do and to See in Spain

Top 10 Things to Do and to See in Spain

Spain is a beloved destination for people from different backgrounds, countries, ages, and budgets. A country that has something to offer to everyone, Spain is a treasure trove of fun, adventurous, unique, romantic, and cultural events and locations. In our guide, we will explore the top 10 things to do in Spain, from breathtaking hiking routes and unique desert terrains to iconic food destinations and world-renowned art galleries. Read on to learn the top 10 things to see in Spain to fit your interests, circumstances, and budget. 


1. Free Things to Do in Spain

Arguably the best free things to do in Spain is explore the numerous beaches and sights. With over 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) of coastline, Spain hosts the most popular and breathtaking sea destinations in Europe. Beyond the beach experience, you can explore beautiful parks and gardens, enjoy numerous free tours, and indulge in delicious Spanish cuisine. In this part, we will go over some of the free things to do in Spain.



Among the most sought-after spots is Playa de la Concha in San Sebastian. A large beach that stretches over a kilometer along the shore, Playa de la Concha is a stunning vacation place for beach lovers. Another popular beach is located in Galicia and is called Playa de las Catedrales. The incredible rock formations resemble the remains of Gothic-style cathedrals which gave this beach such a unique name. 

For more adventurous spirits, a visit to Tarifa in the southern part of the country will be a blast. Perfect for surfing and other water activities, the beach attracts millions of kitesurfers and windsurfers due to its constant winds. Those who enjoy surfing or would like to try their hand at sailing will find this spot the perfect combination of pristine conditions for both beginners and professionals. 


National Parks

Another item on the list of free things to do in Spain is national parks. One of the most notable parks in Picos de Europa is located in the north. The park is full of gorgeous rivers, mighty waterfalls, and lakes with clear waters perfect for swimming. Tourists can also take up kayaking and even fishing after acquiring the license. You can also spend the day wandering through the park’s forests and meadows and enjoy a picnic in nature. 

Mountain lovers should head to Andalusia to hike in the Sierra Nevada National Park. The park with the highest mountain peaks in the country, it offers a stunning journey through rivers and streams. Visitors can indulge in rafting, kayaking, and numerous other fun water sports activities. 


Free Tours

If you’re looking for free things to do in Spain, you’re in luck. The country offers multiple free adventures across the cities and terrains. For example, check out the free tour in Barcelona. An evening tour that takes you through the corners of the city’s famous Gothic Quarter. Here, you will hear tales about the city’s eventful past, including the Spanish Inquisition, witch trials, ghost stories, and many more. 

Visiting Madrid is not complete without the free walking tour in Madrid. On the tour, you will hear about the culture and history of the city and learn hidden gems. Similarly, you can also explore Cordoba on foot. Hop on one of the tours in Cordoba with family to educate yourself on the city’s historic buildings, courtyards, and gardens. There are numerous free tours in Spain that you can choose from that are worth your time. 


2. Unique Things to Do in Spain

Every country offers a truly unique experience, whether it’s a natural sight or a cultural landmark. In this section, we will investigate the most unique things to see in Spain


Tabernas Desert

The Tabernas Desert is located in Almeria and offers a different sight of Spanish landscape and terrain. A popular location for movies, the area is characterized by rocky terrain, canyons, and hoodoos, also known as rock formations. Visitors flock to this unique desert to explore famous film set locations, spend a night in a desert lodge, and try horseback riding. 

Tabernas Desert

Adventure seekers will also enjoy the numerous themed amusement parks located in the area. The parks convey the vintage Wild West atmosphere and immerse visitors into old-timey saloons, vintage cowboy shows, and various other creative performances. Fort Bravo Texas and Oasys MiniHolllywood are two of the most popular destinations among tourists and locals. 

The desert provides a wide range of outdoor experiences like horseback riding, hiking, biking, and more. Don’t miss a chance to spend a night in this truly one-of-a-kind destination. You can choose suitable accommodation depending on your preferences and budget, from simplistic cave houses to luxurious tents.  



A unique gem located in the western part of the country, Extremadura is among the best Spain things to see. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s famous for stunning Roman ruins. Especially if you’re intrigued by Spain’s ancient history, Extremadura is the destination you cannot miss. Originating from 25 BC, the area boasts a collection of ancient artifacts, buildings, and museums. 

Head to Cáceres, a medieval village in Extremadura to wander through the streets of the old quarter and marvel at the Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Many buildings and structures from hundreds and even thousands of years ago are still intact and welcome tourists and locals. Visit the Roman Theater, Aqueduct of Los Milagros, and National Museum of Roman Art to get a glimpse of the Roman heritage of this Spanish region. 

Nature enthusiasts will enjoy an afternoon at the Monfragüe National Park. The park hosts a wide array of animals, including rare ones like the Spanish imperial eagle, the black stork, and the Eurasian black vulture. If you’re up for a hike, don’t miss a chance to marvel at the breathtaking scenery and learn more about the local fauna and flora from guided tours and safaris. 



Another destination among the best things to do and see in Spain is Gaztelugatxe. A small island near Bermeo, Gaztelugatxe is a serene destination full of windy cliffs, natural beauty, and clear waters. The islet’s pure allure has spread beyond the country of Spain. In fact, you may have seen it in episodes of Game of Thrones. 


Gaztelugatxe is home to a small chapel erected in honor of John the Baptist. According to the local legend, if you make it to the chapel, you should ring the bell three times and ask the saint for a wish. 

Despite the fact that this spot has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows, the Gaztelugatxe remains relatively untouched by humans. When visiting, make sure you do not disrupt the natural way of living and do not leave any trace of your presence behind. 


3. Cool and Adventurous Things to Do in Spain

Have an adventurous spirit and love exciting and outdoorsy experiences? This sunny country offers a slew of audacious and fun Spain things to do that we will discuss in this part of the article. 



Aínsa is a medieval town with a fascinating history, ancient architecture, and an adventurous soul. People from all over the country flock to this region to take up canyoning in one of the most spectacular canyons on the continent. Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park offers breathtaking sights with cascading waterfalls, winding hiking trails, and clear waters. 


The town can also be explored on wheels on one of the bike tours that go through the mountainous scenery. Using the numerous cycling routes, visitors can cover thousands of kilometers, including the popular Zona Zero biking trail. Don’t worry if you’re not the most experienced cyclist as you can choose from various routes depending on the difficulty. 


Canary Islands

The Canary Islands has long become a haven for water sports enthusiasts, from snorkeling and windsurfing to scuba diving. The island is also home to volcano El Teide which is the highest peak in the entire country. Not only can you hike to the volcano and enjoy the surrounding greenery, but also catch the view of the Milky Way from the base of El Teide. 



Another popular destination for adrenaline seekers is situated in the Guadarrama Mountains. Rescafria is a small town near the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, a large forest with numerous hiking paths, refreshing streams, and rugged peaks. 

The biggest draw for tourists is the iconic hiking trail called Bear’s Path or Senda del Oso which stretches over 50 kilometers. The trail follows an old mining railway offering incredible views of the landscape. Aside from the serene nature, you will encounter several obstacles like suspension bridges, tunnels, and other engineering remnants of the old railway. The path is suitable for both hikers and bikers providing numerous resting spots and picnic locations along the way. 



Toledo is a beautiful medieval town in Central Spain known not only for its historical and cultural significance but also for an amazing adventure, namely zip-lining across the Tagus River. This unique experience helps you discover the city from a new angle and take in the breathtaking landscape alongside the majestic fortress and ancient ruins. If you’re seeking adrenaline-inducing experiences in Spain, don’t miss an opportunity to soar through this incredible medieval town. 


4. Fun Things to Do in Spain

Looking for a fun holiday destination? In this section, we will cover a few popular spots for a thrilling vacation on the beach and beyond. From surfing, hiking, and mountain biking to traditional bullfighting, read on to see what this country has to offer. Read on to learn the top things to do in Spain for fun. 



Bullfighting is an old and important tradition in the Spanish culture albeit highly controversial. However, if you’re looking to experience the local bullfighting scene, head to Chinchón, a small town in southeast Madrid. In the center of the city, you will find the iconic Plaza Mayor, a large square that transforms into a bullring during various events and festivities. 


When in town, explore the northern coast for a relaxing vacation under the warm Spanish sun. The area is also known for perfect surfing waves attracting tourists from all over Europe. 



Galicia is among the most popular things to see and do in Spain. Another surfing paradise, Galicia is a Spanish region that brims with coves and beach spots. Pantín is among the most popular destinations and is home to the annual Pantín Classic Galicia Pro, an international surfing competition. Even if you aren’t prepared to take part in the contest, you will enjoy the sights of professional surfing with the magnificent backdrop of the ocean. 

Besides surfing, Galicia is known for its stunning natural beauty, from endless greenery to dramatic cliffs. To witness the unique blend of serenity and thrill, head to Cathedral Beach in Ribadeo to see natural arches and caves ingrained into the cliffs by tall waves. 


Basque Country

Next in the top things to see in Spain is the Basque Country. The town of Zarautz located in the Basque Country is another popular destination for surfers. With its lengthy, sandy beach and relentless waves, it’s an ideal spot for both beginners and professionals. 



If you prefer to have fun on land and not on water, explore the Catalan City of Girona. A mecca for cyclists from all over the world, the city offers a mild climate along with breathtaking natural beauty. 


Among the most popular routes is the Rocacorba ascending over 12 kilometers over the entire city. However, keep in mind that this particular trail is quite challenging and suitable for seasoned cyclists. 

The city itself provides a lot, from medieval architecture and cultural events to delectable food and wine. Don’t miss the chance to explore the Old Town of Girona with its adorable cobblestone stress, ancient walls, and stunning gardens. 


5. Things to Do in Spain with Kids

Tourists traveling with children are always on the lookout for fun and exciting things to do in Spain, from sandy beaches and beautiful hiking spots to hidden treasures. In this section, we will offer you a few options of where to go if you’re planning a vacation with kids. Keep reading to find out the best things to do Spain with children. 


The Windmills of La Mancha

If your kids love the famous novel about the adventures of Don Quixote, you cannot miss the windmills of La Mancha. Made famous by Miguel de Cervantes, the windmills allow visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture and explore the heritage. You can see these structures from Consuegra, a small town an hour south of Madrid. Children and adults can explore the windmills from the inside too and learn about their historic past. 

The Windmills of La Mancha

The town is also known for its medieval architecture, namely the castle that allows visitors to try out royal costumes and explore the premises. 



For a more adventurous spirit, take a tour of the Sierra Andújar Natural Park, a large wilderness brimming with wildlife and diverse nature. You can explore the park on foot and learn about the local flora and fauna from knowledgeable guides. They will take you into the depths of the forests and show you habitats of lynxes, wolves, and other fascinating animals. 

Sierra Andujar Natural Park

In the Sierra Andújar, you can also educate yourself on the local way of living. Visit the Aldeaquemada village where you and your children can stroll across the narrow cobblestone streets, feast on local delicacies, and marvel at the adorable houses. In the adjacent town of Andújar, you can even visit a traditional pottery workshop and try your hand at creating and decorating your own pottery. 



What are some things to do in Spain for a more adventurous spirit? Another incredible park is located in the town of Cercedilla, an hour from Madrid. Adjacent to the town is the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, a huge wilderness area with hiking trails, rock climbing opportunities, and wildlife watching tours. One of the most popular routes is the Poets' Path, or Senda de los Poetas. An easy walking trail, it’s perfect for travelers with younger kids who love nature. Walk along the paths to witness numerous quotes and poems carved into the rocks and trees. 



Treat your little ones to a relaxing vacation on the beach of the island of Formentera. Located off the coast of Ibiza, it’s a small island with stunning beaches, a warm Mediterranean Sea, and a laid-back atmosphere. Nearby, you can also explore local villages and historic sites. Among the most famous ones is the Ca Na Costa dolmen, a prehistoric burial site dating back to between 2,000 and 1,600 BC. 


6. Things to Do in Spain for Young Adults

The next item in the top ten things to do in Spain is ideas for young adults. It can be quite difficult to impress teenagers and young adults, no matter where you go. In this part of the article, we have collected some spots that young adults may enjoy, from exciting food tours to unique cultural attractions. 


Madrid Food Tour

The capital of Spain, Madrid is a haven for foodies of any age or preference. Hop on one of the many food tours to explore Spanish bold flavors, fresh ingredients, and incredible hospitality. From tapas and taverns to history tours, you will get a chance to taste a wide array of local delicacies while learning more about the city’s rich past. 


Barcelona Food Tour

Another prominent food destination is Barcelona, a vibrant city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Known for its unique architecture by Gaudi, lively beach scene, and sunny weather, Barcelona offers a multitude of options for foodies. Pay a visit to the Boqueria Market Tour, one of the biggest food markets in Europe. Here, you can indulge yourself in a variety of fresh produce, cheeses, meats, and snacks. 

Barcelona Food


If you’re looking to feast on the traditional Spanish tapas, you cannot skip a trip to Seville. The capital of Andalusia, this charming city is famous for stunning architecture, dynamic nightlife, and lengthy cultural heritage. 

Tapas are traditional local treats made of tortillas, spicy fried green peppers, and cured ham. However, you can try out different versions of tapas as when it comes to tapas, the limit is only your fantasy. Hop on a Seville walking tour to explore several iconic eateries and markets the city has to offer. 

Beyond the food scene, Seville is a gorgeous town known for Moorish architecture exemplified by the Alcázar palace and the Giralda Tower. The city is also home to numerous cultural events and festivals like Feria de Abril, a spring celebration of flamenco, horse shows, and live music. 



For a more active holiday itinerary, head to Montserrat, a spectacular mountain near Barcelona. Here, you can visit a historic monastery dating back to 1,025 AD where roughly 80 monks reside and practice to this day. Atop the mountain, you will witness breathtaking views of Barcelona and its beautiful natural surroundings. If you’re up for a physical challenge, take up a hiking tour on the Sant Jeroni trail that takes you to the highest peak of the entire range. 


7. Romantic Things to Do in Spain

Spain is among the top destinations for honeymoons in Europe and beyond. Long beautiful beaches, a mild Mediterranean climate, and delicious cuisine draw couples to Spain to celebrate their romantic holidays. In this section, we will talk about the best things to do in Spain with your significant other. 


Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands is an archipelago comprising the most iconic vacation spots, including Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, and Formentera. The largest island is Mallorca, a true paradise for couples looking to relax and unwind. You can loosen up on the stunning beaches and enjoy clear waters as well as partake in various water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and much more. The island also offers a lot more to explore during walking tours in Palma de Mallorca, from charming villages to historic and cultural landmarks. 

Arguably the most romantic spot on the island is the village called Valldemossa, a small area near the Tramuntana mountain. The village is a picture-perfect destination full of stunning views, cobblestone streets, and historic buildings. 

If you’re looking for a more peaceful and secluded experience, head to Menorca, a smaller island in the archipelago. Here, you can enjoy calm and serene days on the untouched beach and a relaxing atmosphere. The island is also brimming with various historic landmarks and breathtaking panoramas. Get on a romantic hike along the Camí de Cavalls to marvel at the trail that goes around the entire island. 

Ibiza is another popular destination on the Balearic Islands that is renowned for its luxurious experiences, wild parties, and spectacular beaches. If you and your loved one are looking for a fun vacation full of vibrant nightlife and unforgettable memories, this island is for you. 


Besides its iconic party life, the island is also known for its charming Old Town which is protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Organization. You can stroll through the streets of the Old Town admiring the stunning architecture while enjoying the views of the Mediterranean Sea in the background. Consider walking Ibiza tours to learn more about the history and culture of this amazing spot. 



What are things to do in Spain to enjoy a romantic vacation yet immerse yourself in the culture? Valencia is another popular destination for couples, attracting millions with its perfect mixture of history, culture, and modernity. Hop on one of the numerous Valencia tours to explore the city’s hidden gems. For example, the City of Arts and Sciences is an oasis of romance and urban beauty, offering a wide array of activities. From opera and science exhibitions to an oceanarium, the complex will not leave anyone bored. 

Another reason for spending your romantic holidays in Granada is its incredible culinary scene. Valencia is the birthplace of paella, a traditional Spanish dish that has since made its way into different cultures and regions. For a more casual tasting experience, visit the Central Market, a large area with fresh produce and artisanal treats. 



Among the best things to see Spain for couples is Granada. This town is among the most famous destinations for couples seeking a romantic getaway with their partner. The city’s architecture is a blend of 13th-century Moorish style and modern chic. Take a romantic walk through the town to take in the majesty of the Alhambra palace, the beauty of lush gardens, and the charm of tea houses and restaurants. 


If you’re looking to spend quality time with your significant other, consider a horseback ride under the sunset. A two-hour tour, this adventure allows you to explore the city and its surroundings from a new perspective. Hot air balloon rides are also popular among couples as they create a truly unique experience and allow you to see the town from above. 



Finally, Cuenca is also among the most romantic places in Spain. The city is famous for its so-called hanging houses, a series of buildings located right on the edge and overlooking the Huécar River. A walk through Cuenca offers mesmerizing views of the medieval architecture, beautiful natural surroundings, and incredible hospitality. 


8. Popular Things to Do in Spain

The 10 best things to see in Spain is not full without the most popular destinations. You haven’t seen the country without visiting such iconic places like Barcelona, Madrid, and Malaga. In this part, we will explore these incredible destinations. 



Barcelona is definitely the number one place for tourists. The region is a unique combination of big-city lifestyle, incredible Gaudi architecture, and a dynamic cultural scene. La Sagrada Familia is the most iconic tourist attraction that amazes everyone who sees it with their own eyes. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, it’s a stunning church that has been under construction for over 100 years. 

Barcelona is located on the Mediterranean Sea, making it a perfect spot for both culture and leisure. The famous La Rambla, a large boulevard leading to the beach, is brimming with boutiques, restaurants, and street performers. Foodies should explore the Boqueria Market, one of the biggest food markets in Europe, to try different local snacks and treats, from simple tapas to high-end cheeses and meats. 


Music Festivals

Music festivals are another draw that attracts millions of visitors each year. Spain is famous for organizing and hosting a multitude of music events with Primavera Sound being the most iconic one. Every May, Barcelona hosts a multi-day festival that features a wide range of musicians across genres, including indie, pop, rock, and electronic music. Another popular music event in Barcelona takes place in June and caters to hip-hop and experimental music. The festival also features the newest technologies and creates immersive audiovisual experiences to wow their audiences. 

Primavera Sound

Outside of Barcelona, you can visit a music festival in Valencia. Every July, the small town of Benicàssim organizes a large music celebration by inviting musicians from all over the world. Madrid also offers its own take on music events with the Mad Cool Festival which features a long list of musical artists from Spain and beyond along with immersive art installations. 



The capital of Spain, Madrid is the hub of history, culture, and nightlife. If you’re interested in art, the city has a lot to offer. The famous Golden Triangle of Art comprises three renowned museums, namely Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemisza. The Prado Museum holds exhibits of the most famous Spanish artists, including Goya and Velázquez, while the Reine Sofia Museum focuses on the 20th-century art scene. 

Even simply taking a stroll through the city is an experience in itself. The Puerta del Sol is a busy square in the city center surrounded by shops, boutiques, and restaurants. La Latina neighborhood invites you to sample Spanish and international cuisine with iconic dishes like cocido madrileño and bocadillo de calamares. 

The city is also surprisingly green offering spots to take a break from the hustle and bustle. The Retiro Park is a popular spot for picnics and strolls. The park features several rose gardens, remarkable sculptures, and a gorgeous crystal palace.



Finally, among the most visited places in Spain is the city of Málaga. Known as the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, this sunny town is home to a museum devoted to the artist’s life and artistic journey. 


Here, you can also spend a day relaxing on the beach and busking in the warm sun enjoying the incredible sea views. Tired of lying around? Go to the city center to witness the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress dating back to the 11th century. The local culinary scene is also quite diverse and vibrant, offering anything from simple street food to expensive seafood meals. 


9. Things to Do in Spain with Friends

Planning a fun vacation with your friends and looking for tips? Spain is full of amazing spots and experiences for a group of friends, no matter the age or budget. Read on to learn the best things to see in Spain for a trip with friends. 


San Sebastian

San Sebastian is a charming town in the Basque Country of Spain. Known for its vibrant nightlife and incredible food scene, San Sebastian is the perfect destination for an exciting holiday with friends. 

Not only is the city beautiful and full of adorable old buildings and cobblestone streets but also numerous pintxos bars and restaurants. Pintxos are native to the Basque Country and are served as small snacks to share with a group of friends. Along with your treats, indulge yourself in the local txakoli, a sparkling white wine. You can even book a guided bar crawl tour to find the best spots to sample local cuisine and learn the history behind each venue and dish. 



Lanzarote is a small island in the Canary Islands archipelago and is an ideal spot for an adventurous friend group. The island’s rugged terrain with volcanic landscapes surrounded by blue waters draws millions of tourists. Here, you can explore unique volcanic caves and tunnels in the underground system created by a lava flow from thousands of years ago. 



You can’t visit Spain without witnessing the traditional dance of flamenco, one of the must-see things in Spain. Originating in the region of Andalucia, flamenco is a passionate and beautiful dance that mesmerizes every viewer. The most adventurous travelers can even take a class to learn the basic steps of the dance to immerse themselves in the culture. 


Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Galicia and a fascinating destination for groups of friends visiting Spain. Camino de Santiago is a network of trails that used to be a historic pilgrimage route. Embark on this incredible journey with your friends to overcome these obstacles and foster a closer bond with your loved ones. 

Santiago de Compostela

In Santiago de Compostela, you will discover the breathtaking Romanesque and Baroque architecture, most of which is protected by UNESCO. Hop on the walking tour in Santiago de Compostela to visit local cathedrals, museums, and other historic buildings. From here, you can also take a trip to Rías Baixas to enjoy a day on the sunny beach. 


10. Cultural Things to Do in Spain

Finally, art lovers will be pleased to learn that Spain is a treasure trove of noteworthy and inspiring art galleries and museums. The next item in the 10 things to do in Spain is culture and art. Nearly every city has something to offer, from local contemporary expositions to classic collections. In this section, we will explore the best spots to learn about the Spanish art scene. 



Guggenheim is among the most noteworthy museums in the entire country. Located in Bilbao, the collection includes the works of David Hockney, Mark Rothko, Richard Serra, and others. Aside from temporary exhibitions that continuously bring new talents from all over the world, the museum hosts paintings of masters like Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Vincent Van Gogh. 


The Picasso Museum

The Picasso Museum was built in the artist’s birthplace, namely, in Malaga. Enclosed in a stunning 16th-century palace, the museum boasts an incredible collection of Picasso’s paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. During a guided tour, you can learn about the artist’s life, inspirations, and influences as well as his remarkable contributions to the world of modern art. 


Baelo Claudia

Explore the remnants of the Roman Empire in the town of Tarifa in the south of Spain. The Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia date back to the 2nd century BC and depict the way of living at the time. The town’s streets are incredibly well-preserved and allow tourists to walk through the winding paths, and explore houses, temples, and public buildings. 

Baelo Claudia

The site is not only well-kempt but even holds the remains of Roman artworks and decorations. The houses are adorned with mosaics and frescos while buildings’ facades are decorated with sculptures and monuments. The city even has an amphitheater that can accommodate at least 2,000 spectators. 


University of Salamanca

The University of Salamanca is one of the oldest educational institutions in Europe. Founded back in 1218, the university remains the center of scholarship for over 800 years. Get a chance to learn the fascinating history of the town and university as well as marvel at the stunning architecture of the campus. 

The university is home to one of the oldest libraries which originated in the 11th century and holds over 160 thousand books and manuscripts. Another highlight is the Escuelas Mayores building, a 15th-century Renaissance masterpiece with breathtaking carvings and sculptures. 
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