5 Cities to visit in Spain
Considering the history behind this interesting country and its people, it should not be surprising the many and varied alternatives when deciding on cities to visit in Spain. Have a look at the ETIAS requirements while planning your trip. ETIAS Spain has all the information you will need before leaving home to embark on all the thrills and sights of the cities in Spain.
Slow and easy or sonorous immersion excursions, there are cities to visit in Spain to satisfy every whim or want. In Spain cities are diverse and dynamic, each with its own unique traditions, celebrations, and pace. While Barcelona and the capital city of Madrid are obvious choices, it is worth considering the possibilities and attractions of those cityscapes and urban environments in other cities in Spain!
San Sebastian (Donostia)
There is nothing quite like the incomparable Spanish Basque Country for beauty, energy, ambiance, and positive vibes. Of all the cities to visit in Spain, you could probably satisfy the Eat part of your Eat, Pray, Love breakaway right here, if that interests you. This is because more Michelin-star restaurants are to be found here per square meter than in any other city anywhere in the world.
The narrow streets typical of cities in Spain are just alive with eateries tempting one and all with the promise of dining delights. Move out of the city limited for a breath of country air on a cheese tour. Take the opportunity to visit producers on a Basque farm out in the surrounding countryside.
After spoiling your tastebuds with the endemic edible treat that is a Pintxos – a baguette topped with just about anything you can imagine – take time to unwind on the beach of La Concha. Named because of its shell shape (concha is Spanish for shell), it’s renowned as among Europe’s most delightful beaches.
Right here, tucked away between the beaches and mountains, the resort town of San Sebastian brings to the table culture, scenery, architecture, and year-round leisure interests. In summer it offers surf and sun. In winter there is a veritable smorgasbord of interesting things to do and see.
- San Sebastián Day between 19 and 20 January sees the city revel in 24 hours of celebrations and partying. Basque dinners and the flag-raising in Plaza de la Constitución, the main town square, are a must. Until the sun sets on the city on the 20th, the streets reverberate with marching bands and tamborrada, traditional drum parades.
- January’s moderate weather means strolls through the parques, along cobbled streets, and through San Sebastián’s Parte Vieja, or Old Quarter are quite pleasant. Get a look-see at the outdoor Peine del Viento sculpture in January for the best point of view all year.
- Michelin-starar restaurants are almost impossible to get into over the summer months. Come January, however, securing a table at any of those popular establishments whose doors remain open for your dining pleasure becomes a can-do. If you are lucky…
- Luxury accommodation is likely ‘marked down’ in the winter season. You only live once – make that booking!
Menorca is one of Europe’s prettiest islands and forms part of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The best holiday destination for those who enjoy a leisurely and scenic perambulate surrounded by natural fauna and flora. There are literally miles of trails, free of the maddening crowds in this UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Little sister to the island of Mallorca, its attraction is its beaches and coves, deliciously fresh seafood, historical locations, and locally produced gin. This is where quality of life meets the perfect getaway for one and all.
In Spain cities are at times the place of movies. Point of fact being Girona in northern Catalonia, the filming location of King’s Landing, the capital city of Westeros in The Game of Thrones.
With a rich heritage, picturesque architecture, and exciting food scene, tourist allures abound right here, among all the cities in Spain. Girona’s local cuisine is influenced by both France and Spain. The city as its own peculiar dishes and delicacies that are simply a must for visitors to sample:
Coca is the local answer to pizza; xató is a vegetable soup featuring black beans; fesols i naps is really just beans with garlic, and escalivada is a dish of deliciously roasted veggies.
But there’s more. Medieval walls and one of the continent’s best-preserved Jewish Quarters call out for tourists to take to the narrow winding streets of this city to explore.
- El Call made up the Jewish Quarter, home to the Jews of Girona between 982 and 1492. The maze of winding, narrow, cobblestoned lanes remains very much as it was more than a half a century ago. Preserved in time, the streets welcome exploration and the Jewish Museum welcomes those wanting to learn more.
- Of all the cities to visit in Spain, Girona could have been made especially for cycling enthusiasts of every riding style with its perfect roads and trails and the best cyclist amenities around. This is where pro cyclists choose to train and live in the off-season.
- The city’s most famous bridge, Pont de les Peixateries Velles or the Eiffel bridge, was built by none other than the creator of the Eiffel tower, Gustav Eiffel. It spans the Onyar River and is even older than its infamous stable mate, the Eiffel Tower!
- The Girona Cathedral provides the focal point on the skyline of Girona, sitting as it does atop a hill, this scenic spot is reachable only by climbing the many stairs. Game of Thrones enthusiasts will recognize the cathedral from Season 6.
The Andalusian city in southern Spain simply sparkles. The lush gardens of Real Alcazar are a must for those looking to stroll. Historical monuments the likes of the Cathedral of Seville and the Giralda take the visitor back to a time long past. Catch an authentic Flamenco show or make a proposal during a romantic moment sailing the Plaza de Espana.
Cuenca is a fortified medieval walled city built many moons ago by the Moors, towering still today above the magnificent countryside. It is home to Spain’s very first Gothic cathedral, and the famous casas colgadas or hanging houses.
The Cathedral of Cuenca started off as a fortress built by the Muslims, known as Conca. It is therefore not at all as Roman as its appearance might suggest! Alfonso VIII reconquered the city of Cuenca for the Christians on the 21st of September 1177. In 1183 it was established as Episcopal See. French stonemasons began construction of the cathedral in the 12th century over what had been the Arab mosque, starting in 1182 and 1189. Construction continued throughout the 13th century.
The walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of only 16 Spanish towns/cities to be so honored. The three Hanging Houses still surviving include Las casas de los Reyes – The houses of the monarchs – and La casa de la sirena – The house of the mermaid. The colgadas hang magnanimously above the Huécar River gorge.
To be among those enjoying these and other cities to visit in Spain, check whether you need to apply for an ETIAS visa. An ETIAS application is easy to complete and paves the way to a European adventure and a visit to these and many more cities in Spain.