How does each city differ from one another?
Spain is a treasure trove of diverse cityscapes and townships, blending modern additions and natural wrappings with local culture. Here are some cities that will fit your personality and meet your travel criteria!
Barcelona is the epitome of this mish-mash art piece, breaking boundaries between the ancient architectures of the Gothic quarter and 14th-century cathedrals, and the energetic music that sweeps the streets at night. The glistening coast and looming Collserola hills are dwarfed by the majestic Montjuic botanic haven, all of which delivers to our tables flavorful ham, fresh seafood, hearty paella and innovative tapas. And in contrast to the calm sun-heated beaches are the cool sculptures and dramatic art by the likes of Gaudi, Picasso and Joan Miro.
Madrid appeals with the transience of the sunset; it is calm, it is anticipatory. Blessed with impressive art history, Madrid is a collector of famous talents that include Goya, Velazquez, Dali and Picasso. Visit the renowned galleries of Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Centro de Arte Reina Sofia to admire legendary art pieces, before sweeping the city and marveling at its dynamic contemporary, medieval, baroque and belle époque architectures. But after sunset, it is the crowds that move you. Happy masses will tempt you with nightlong dancing and smoky midnight eats – the party never ends in Madrid.
Granada is a deep dive into vibrant if gritty Spanish Moors. Strong Islamic influences dedicate the spicy aromas of street markets and the serene lines of architectures that are offset by incredible details. The crowning jewel of this city is the mystical Alhambra that stuns with every stroke on its walls; the historic Arab quarter is no less beautiful either. Where tradition reigns, try to idle in the bohemian cafes and flamenco clubs for a taste of the Spanish exotic.
San Sebastian is cultural collages, seaside charm and culinary flair, a light-hearted destination that will leech away your stress. Let the waves of Playa de la Zurriola freshen you up, or hike up Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo for views that will cement your love for nature. Got energy to burn? San Sebastian hosts folk fests, music festivals, food fairs and more events that span the year. When you’re tired from all the exploring, kick back at a pintxos bar and satiate your cravings.
Bilbao is San Sebastian’s Basque Country sibling, a city that broils over with stunning landscapes, innovative art and delicious cuisine. The world-class Guggenheim museum steals the spotlight, although Zubizuri Bridge, the art nouveau train station and classic cathedrals are strong contenders. Plaza Nueva is another must-visit destination – it is the heart of Basque cuisine. Michelin-starred restaurants feature alongside pintxos bars and humble eateries for you to eat your way through traditional fare with modern twists.
Seville seduces you with slow, intense charm. Cobblestone lanes wind around Mudejar palaces, ornate churches and Moorish mansions. Marvel at the stunning arches of Real Alcazar and the colossal Catedral de Sevilla & Giralda; Parque de Maria Luisa on the other hand brings nature within its sun-tanned walls. Within the park is Plaza de España, another grandiose attraction comprised of Venetian-style décor and mini-canals. Seville preserves the past like an open air museum.
What should you expect on your Spanish travels? Well, just about everything!