What’s in Spain? All the pleasures of life. Unique wealth of architecture, art, culture and history, beautiful panoramas, delicious culinary delights, community warmth, and of course football!
The Spanish national team won the 2010 World Cup. La Furia Roja has also won the European Cup 3 times. Who doesn’t know Barcelona and Real Madrid? El Classico is the duel of two Spanish giant football clubs that is most eagerly awaited.
Spain is also a tourist destination that tourists have been waiting to open soon. As one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus in Europe, foreign tourist arrivals to Flamenco’s homeland fell by 80% last year.
However, on June 7, 2021, the Matador Country began to receive foreign tourist visits on the condition that they had been vaccinated. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced it on May 21 in Madrid.
Want to go to Spain? Here are 10 charming cities that will make your vacation memorable.
The Spanish capital has many extraordinary tourist attractions such as the Royal Palace, aka the royal palace, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Gran Via, wide and comfortable pedestrian-only streets, and the green open space of Buen Retiro Park. There is also the Monastery and Escurial Site of Madrid which was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
In every corner of the city of Madrid, you could say there are bars, churches, and museums. The Prado Museum exhibits a collection of royal Spanish art.
The Reina Sofia Museum displays the masterpieces of Dali and Picasso. The best Thyssen-Bornemisza museum in contemporary art. This area is known as El Paseo del Arte – Boulevard of the Arts.
Barcelona has 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of the most famous is the Sagrada Familia Cathedral which was designed by the famous Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi. The other six buildings on the UNESCO list are Gaudi’s works, namely the Parque Guell, Palau Guell, Casa Mila, Casa Vicens, Casa Batllo, and the Church of Colonia Guell. While the other 2 are Palau de La Musica Catalana and Hospital de la Santa Creu I de Sant Pau.
Want to enjoy the city atmosphere while walking? La Rambla is a popular area for walking and meeting fellow townspeople. This tree-lined avenue connects the Columbus Monument and Placa de Catalunya. Catalonia Square is the hub of all roads in Barcelona. You can go anywhere from here with the various modes of transportation available.
If you want to get a spectacular view of the city of Barcelona with its countryside and beaches, you can go to Tibidabo, a hilly area of 512 meters high. You can be satisfied looking at the city by the Mediterranean Sea, which once hosted the 1992 Olympics.
This is where Indonesia won its first Olympic gold medal, presented by badminton players Susy Susanti and Alan Budikusuma.
Valencia was a port city that connected Spanish trade with the world, especially with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, known as the Silk Road.
The silk trading place in Valencia is known as La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia. The area with Gothic-style architecture built between 1482 and 1533 was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Some of the places that you must visit are the Valencia Cathedral which was built in 1238, the Museum of Fine Arts (Museu de Belle Arts de Valencia), Mercado Central, or the Art Nouveau-style central market, and L’Oceanogràfic, one of the largest oceanographic aquariums in Europe.
Granada is a famous tourist destination in Andalusia. Here there are outstanding Islamic architectural relics, namely the Alhambra Castle and its gardens, and the Generalife, the summer palace. Both were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1984.
Meanwhile, the Moorish old town area called The Albayzin or Albaicín was recognized by UNESCO in 1994.
Granada also has top universities, delicious food, and special music and flamenco dancing. You can also visit the beautiful Granada Cathedral which was built in 1523.
In the chapel are the tombs of King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I, who captured Granada from the Moors and also sponsored Christopher Columbus’ voyages.
This ancient city in southern Spain was once part of the Roman Empire. Córdoba was also the most important Islamic city in the West in the Middle Ages. During Moorish rule in Spain, the Great Mosque of Cordoba known as La Mezquita was built from 784 to 786.
In the 13th century when Islam was conquered by Christianity, the Cordoba Mosque was converted into a cathedral but still retains the originality of Islamic architecture. Its stunning beauty and uniqueness that is preserved made UNESCO recognize the Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral as a World Heritage Site in 1984.
Ten years later (1994) the UNESCO list of Cordoba was added to the Historic Center of Cordoba which includes the Alcazar fort, the banks of the Guadalquivir River, and the 16-arch Roman Bridge crossing the Guadalquivir River, and the Calahorra Tower. In 2018 Medina Azahara, a miniature Palace of Versailles in Arabic style was listed as a UNESCO site.
Islamic history and culture are very rich here as Seville was the capital of the former Moorish dynasty. Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede) along with La Giralda (Bell Tower), Real Alcazar (Alcazar Palace), and General Archive of the Indies (Archive Building) were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987. La Giralda, built in the 19th century These 15 were formerly the minarets of the Almohad Mosque.
Real Alcazar is the oldest palace in Europe which is still in use today when the Spanish Royal family visited Seville. Its construction was started by the Moors in 712 and continued after the reconquest by the Christians under King Pedro in the 1300s.
Seville is also home to flamenco dancing. This typical Spanish dance can be enjoyed in Tirana, an area filled with small cafes and performance venues.
The Basques are an autonomous region of Spain that feels like another country. As an “autonomous community”, its language, cuisine, architecture, arts, and culture are different from the rest of Spain. Bilbao is the capital of the Basques.
In Bilbao there are tourist attractions Arriaga Theatre, Deusto University, Plaza Nueva, Bilbao Town Hall, Begoña Basilica, Santiago Cathedral and Mercado de la Ribera Market.
You should visit the city’s landmark, the Guggenheim Museum, which was designed by American architect Frank Gehry. Because of its popularity, two new terms emerged, namely “The Bilbao Effect” and “architourism”, a trip to visit various contemporary architectural landmarks.
- San Sebastian
The Basque region in Spain is known as one the tourist destinations that have beautiful beaches and stunning views. In the north, there is the province of Guipúzcoa which has the most beautiful beaches and one of them is San Sebastián.
Located on the Bay of Biscay, not far from the border with France, this resort town directly overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. A surf haven with stunning Zurriola Beach and charming La Concha beach, the town is known as Donostia to Basques.
In San Sebastián there are also some interesting tourist attractions such as the San Telmo Municipal Museum, Miramar Royal Palace, Basilica Santa María del Coro, Buen Pastor Cathedral, and the Church of San Vicente. You can also hike Monte Orgull, visit the old town of Parte Vieja, or sit in the garden enjoying pintxos (the Basque version of tapas).
Beach lovers and music fans certainly don’t hesitate to call Ibiza a dream tourist destination. The largest of the Balearic Islands, a major resort island group in the Mediterranean Sea, Ibiza’s biodiversity and culture were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
Ibiza is a place of pleasure for everyone. As a small fishing village with quiet beaches, Ibiza is also a popular destination for yoga and relaxation. Like Bali in Indonesia, whether you want to party all night or relax while enjoying the beauty of nature, it’s all here on the island.
Malaga has a very strong Moorish or Islamic civilization influence in architecture and art. Built-in the 11th century, Alcazaba is one of the largest Moorish forts in Andalusia. The beautiful Gibralfaro Castle was built in the 14th century. At the foot of the castle is the old town and theater of Roman heritage. There is also a large Renaissance-style cathedral known as ‘La Manquita’.
Malaga is also the hometown of the great painter Pablo Picasso. You can visit the Picasso Museum which exhibits an impressive collection of his works.
If you want to go to the beach, you can visit Costa del Sol, the sunniest place in Europe. With stunning cliffs, bays, and dunes as well as beautiful views of the Mediterranean sea you will surely be amazed to enjoy it.
Well, that’s 10 cities in Spain that captivate the heart. I hope you have the opportunity to visit all of them.