With 65 million tourists visiting in 2015, Spain is the 3rd most popular tourist destination in the world, and with its rich cultural and historical heritage, beautiful cities, and stunning beaches this is no surprise.
Perched on the southern tip of Europe, Spain offers excellent weather almost year-round, with the option of even going skiing in the north. Barcelona and Madrid are also among the top city destinations for a quick weekend getaway in Europe. Get your passport ready, buy travel insurance for Spain, and discover what all the fuss is about.
Barcelona is definitely Spain's most popular city, both for tourists and locals alike.
Downtown Barcelona is conveniently organized around its iconic central square, Plaça Catalunya. From here most of the city radiates out in all directions.
Ramblas de Barcelona:
Walking towards the harbor you encounter Barcelona's main drag, the famous Ramblas de Barcelona. The Ramblas is a wonderful mix of old and new, of tourist trap and local favorite, so it definitely is quite a sight to behold. You can buy anything from newspapers to exotic lizards, there are many iconic buildings on the way, and there are many possibilities to turn right or left and start exploring.
Alongside the Ramblas run some of Barcelona's most famous areas - the old town (Barrio Gotico) and the arty modern hub (El Raval). Both are well worth exploring, and could not be more different from one another.
Paseo de Gracia:
If you head towards the mountains from Placa Cataluyna you will end up on Paseo de Gracia, the best shopping street in town.
You will also pass by the 2 amazing and must see houses of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi: la Pedreira and Casa Batllo.
But Barcelona is not just about sightseeing.
If you wait until the evening, this city really starts pulsating and there will be parties and people hanging out everywhere. There is a plethora of clubs and bars throughout every neighborhood, and the best way to find out more is to speak to the people standing around - the Spanish are very friendly and helpful.
A must see for any visitor to Barcelona is the famous Sagrada Familia.
Initially planned by Antoni Gaudi, the story of this church alone is amazing.
A new architect was recently hired to finish this iconic building, and it is estimated that by around 2030 the Cathedral should be completed.
With its artwork and amazing curving towers, it is truly spectacular!
The hardest part about coming to Barcelona definitely is leaving again! However, there is more to Spain than just Barcelona.
If you travel north from Barcelona you arrive in the heartland of Catalunya, where you can visit the house and now museum of Salavdor Dali, the famous surrealist artist.
Close to Roses (where the museum is), is also one of the most hidden gems of Spain: Cadaqués, which is an old pirate city that is absolutely breathtaking to explore.
The city was designed at odd angles and on multiple levels, to allow pirates to escape.
This makes walking around wonderfully exciting, as you never know where the roads actually lead.
Cadaqués also has some great restaurants once you are done walking around, but as with all travel, before you go exploring anywhere, buy travel insurance for Spain.
The Basque country is on the northwest coast, around the cities of San Sebastian.
The Basque country is a beautiful region to explore and it extends well into Southern France, so you may be forced to hop over the border and explore over there as well.
Life is tough sometimes!
Southern Spain – Mallorca and Ibiza:
The South of Spain with its subtropical climate and endless beach resorts is a favorite summer destination for half of Europe, and that is just the mainland.
The islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, which are usually quiet and cozy, turn into international party capitals during the summer months. Ibiza has some of the biggest clubs on the planet, and if you come around July or August you will see the party season in full swing.
Mallorca and Ibiza are definitely well worth visiting, but takes quite a bit of planning as accommodation is limited on the islands.
Spain is very safe for travellers. Bigger cities do give rise to petty crime and occasional bag snatchers and pickpockets, but generally those are the biggest problems. While exploring the cities by night is beautiful, and the light displays in Barcelona are definitely among the best in the world, avoid walking down small alleyways on your own. Before embarking on your journey, take out travel insurance for Spain.
For more information on Spain, visit the Spain Tourism Website.