The Top 10 Places to visit in Spain
Spain is just renowned for its long, sandy beaches, quaint little Mediterranean coves and of course not forgetting the 300 days of sunshine! It is a country that has something for everyone with its amazing history, sporting activities and great food & wine. The beautiful city of Barcelona boasts some of the world’s most unusual architectural buildings and is a pretty good reason to visit Spain.
So whether its sunbathing you are after or exploring cultural places that will take your breath away, do look at these famous top 10 attractions to visit:
Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Sites
Antoni Gaudi took the architectural style known as Art Nouveau a little bit further with his superb and outrageous buildings which have become iconic landmarks and the signature attractions of this fabulous city. It is probably best to get around on the Hop on and Hop off buses which visit all the famous sites.
The Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Granada
This fantastic pleasure palace will simply take your breath away. The Nasrid dynasty’s royal palace is the artistic landmark of Spain’s Islamic period. This when Al-Andalus (known as Andalucía) represented all that is known of the culture and civilization in Europe’s Middle Ages.
The Great Mosque of Cordoba (Mezquita)
This is said to be one of the largest mosques in the world and the finest achievement of Moorish architecture in Spain. Despite the later alterations which saw the centre literally carved out in order to build a Catholic cathedral, the Great Mosque ranks as one of the two most superb examples of Islamic art and architecture in Western Europe.
The Prado and Paseo del Artes, Madrid
The Prado in Madrid is renowned for being one of the world’s top art museums housing unique art collections. For all you historian explorers out there – Madrid’s mile-long boulevard also boasts even more beautiful museums such as the Reina Sofia National Art Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the CaixaForum.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial
This was the summer residence of Spain’s kings. In 1563, work was began building a huge complex, which included a monastery, church, royal palace, mausoleum, library, and a museum monument dedicated to Philip II, thus resulting in a staggering collection of attractions all built around 16 courtyards.
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
This building is simply amazing and to see it is to believe it! The American architect Frank Gehry used blocks of limestone and sheets of titanium to turn modern architecture around. So effective was this architecture – that the famous “Bilbao Effect” was born.
Seville Cathedral and Alcazar
The amazing La Giralda tower, Seville Cathedral, and the Alcazar are all grouped together to form part of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral has more interior space than St. Peter’s in Rome and a boasts a 37-meter main altar of carved statues all completely covered in gold.
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
This remarkable cathedral of Santiago was built to house and honour the relics of the saint, and it has been the sanctuary of pilgrims since the middle ages. The cathedral was built between 1060 and 1211, and despite the transformation of the exterior in the 16th century, the interior still depicts the periods of an earlier Roman style.
Plaza Mayor, Madrid
Situated in the bustling heart of Spain’s capital city, Plaza Mayor has been an important part of Madrid since the 16th century; it has also been used for many ceremonial events including the proclamation of a new king, the canonization of saints, the burning of heretics and even for public entertainment such as tournaments and bullfights.
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia
After the river had flooded Valencia, it was left with a broad, flat riverbed and various bridges enabling the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to create a breathtaking cluster of structures that have become an icon of contemporary architecture. The area is filled with museums, arts venues, and even an aquarium.