Located in the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is covered with beautiful destinations and landmarks. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most popular countries in the world for travelers. From the works of Gaudi to the museums in Madrid and the dozens of imposing cathedrals, there are loads of famous landmarks in Spain.
This article will focus on the most famous landmarks in Spain, which you cannot miss on any trip to Spain. Though the country is so packed with things to do, monuments, historical buildings, and lovely natural areas, it’s almost impossible to mention them all in a single post.
We have traveled and written extensively about Spain. Still, to make this article as complete as possible, we have invited a few fellow bloggers to share their favorite landmarks in Spain.
Famous Landmarks in Spain – Madrid
Plaza Mayor in Madrid
By Agnes from The Van Escape
Plaza Mayor is one of the most famous squares and Landmarks in Spain in Madrid. It is located near Puerta del Sol and the Royal Palace in the center of Old Madrid.
It was built on a rectangular plan with sides 129 x 94 m. It is surrounded by three-story buildings with 243 fabulous balconies facing the square.
The place has a fascinating history. Plaza Mayor was an ordinary marketplace outside the city walls in the Middle Ages. In 1561, Philip II moved the capital to Madrid and created a representative place for public meetings and celebrations based on the existing marketplace.
He hired the architect Juan de Herrera and Francisco de Mora to rebuild the Plaza. King Philip III continued the changes. In 1617, the royal architect Juan Gómez de Mora continued reconstructing the Plaza Mayor. Under his supervision, the adaptation of the square was completed in 1619.
The shape of a rectangle 120 × 90 m was adopted, surrounded by five-story buildings. But it was a crowded place. About 3,000 people lived there at that time, which resulted in an unprecedented concentration. Buildings on Plaza Mayor burned down three times in a fire, and finally, the square obtained its present form in 1790. The works were led by Juan de Villanueva, who unified the facades and added arches at the entrances to the square.
Plaza de Mayor has witnessed many important events. The coronations of Spanish kings were held here, and essential information was announced. Moreover, executions of convicts also took place.
Now Plaza Mayor outbuildings house cafes and restaurants. Every Sunday in the square, there is a collector’s market to get old Spanish stamps, coins, or photos.
By Isobel from the gap decaders
It’s impossible to visit Madrid without seeing the Prado Museum, even if you only admire the outside! One of the most renowned art museums in the world, The Museo Nacional del Prado, is on the cusp of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site, and both buildings and contents are spectacular. A grandiose 18th-century building, the Prado was opened in 1819 and has been expanded upon over the years. Today, the footprint is over two hectares, and the combined buildings house over 7,000 works of art, including the former Spanish royal collection.
You will see masterpieces by artists such as Spain’s own Velázquez, Goya, and El Greco. You’ll see paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Brueghel, and van Dyck from northern Europe, while familiar names such as Titian, Caravaggio, Botticelli, and Tintoretto represent Italy. There is a permanent exhibition of Hyronemus Bosch art, which is a bit ‘marmite’ and needs a specialist to interpret Bosch’s thinking, or it can be a bit overwhelming. Expect to pay around €30 per person for a two-hour guided tour.
Book tickets in advance to avoid queues, which can be huge, especially in summer. You can visit The Prado for free between 6-8 pm Mondays to Saturdays and from 5-7 pm on Sundays and holidays, although expect a long wait for the privilege.
The Temple of Debod
By Tanya Taylor from Travels & Treasures
The Temple of Debod is a magnificent temple originally built circa 200 BC in homage to the Egyptian god Arun and the goddess Isis.
During the 1960s, the Egyptian government began plans to build a dam to supply electricity to citizens. As a result, the Temple de Debod and several other ancient structures were at risk of flooding. Thus, UNESCO made a worldwide appeal to save them.
The temple was deconstructed and gifted to Spain in 1968 to save this historical legacy. After two years of reconstruction, the shrine now stands in its grandeur at Madrid’s West Park, located at the end of Gran Vía street.
Admission to enter the temple is free. The wait might be a bit long, but it will be worth your time if you love archeology, history, and ancient architecture. To get there, take the Metro (lines 3 and 10) to Plaza de Espana or the Metro (line 3) to Ventura Rodriguez.
Visit the park very early or late afternoon for the best photos. The sunrise and sunset are an incredible backdrop, and you’ll have the most amazing views. The site is most impressive when the reflection pool is filled, and the temple appears as a floating gateway to ancient Egypt.
By Or Amir from My Path in the World
Located in the heart of Madrid, Retiro Park (called Parque del Buen Retiro in Spanish) is a popular park you can’t miss when visiting the Spanish capital. It dates back to the 17th century when it belonged to the Spanish Monarchy, and it became a public park only in the 19th century.
The park is not just a big patch of grass and trees. It is packed with monuments, fountains, and mini-gardens, making it a beloved place by both locals and tourists.
One of the landmarks you must visit in the park is the Crystal Palace (Palacio de Cristal), a uniquely beautiful 19th-century building that hosts some of the Reina Sofía Museum’s exhibitions. Another one is the Estanque del Retiro, an artificial lake (where you can go for a short boat ride) situated right beside the King Alfonso XII semicircular monument.
Other lesser-known but visit-worthy places in the park are the Casita del Pescador (The Fisherman’s House), La Rosaleda rose garden, Cecilio Rodríguez Garden, Forest of Remembrance, Velazquez Palace, and Parterre Garden, housing Madrid’s oldest tree.
El Retiro is a wonderful morning or afternoon stroll park, and you should dedicate at least a couple of hours to exploring it.
Royal Palace of Madrid
By Dymphe from Dymabroad
Another of the best landmarks of Spain is the Royal Palace of Madrid, built in 1735. You can find the palace in Madrid’s city center, so it’s easy to get there, and you can walk there from almost anywhere in the city. It’s a great place to visit throughout the year, but it’s especially great when you visit Madrid in winter.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of Spain’s royal family, but the family doesn’t use the palace a lot. They mainly use the palace for state ceremonies. It’s also a great place to visit in Madrid because you can learn about the royal family and their history. This family played a significant role In Spain and throughout Europe. What’s also interesting about the palace is the number of rooms. There are more than 3000 rooms, making this Europe’s largest palace still in use.
Furthermore, you can see the changing of the guard a few times each week. During this old ritual, guards switch their places with new guards that take over their shifts. Another great thing about this Spanish landmark is that you can also visit the interior. You can tour the building, during which you can see the palace’s most beautiful rooms. There is an admission fee for this, but it’s free to enter on some days. Madrid’s Royal Palace is not a UNESCO site, but it is a Spanish Property of Cultural Interest.
Famous Spain Landmarks – Catalonia
By Antoine and Marielle from Offbeat Escapades
Barcelona is a must-see destination for your Spain itinerary. So many activities within the city represent the uniqueness of the modernist architecture and Catalan culture. From white-sand beaches like Barceloneta Beach Spain, to iconic sights by world-renowned architects, Barcelona is home to some of the best Spanish Landmarks.
The most notorious landmark is the Sagrada Familia by the illustrious Antoni Gaudí.
Regarding Barcelona, Sagrada Familia is probably the first landmark that comes to mind. A UNESCO World Heritage Site – this beautiful Basilica is found in the city center and is one of Gaudí’s greatest yet also most controversial works. The church’s interior is furnished with exquisite details that will surely take your breath away. It has also been under construction for over 100 years and is not foreseen to be completed for another 5 to 10 years.
Since Sagrada Familia is one of Spain’s widely visited attractions, expect long waiting times to enter. More often than not, these lines can even reach around the street. Therefore, it is recommended to buy your tickets beforehand, given that entry times are strictly enforced.
The price for regular admission is 26 €.
By Jyoti from Story at Every Corner
Park Güell is Gaudi’s rendition of a community park. It was meant to be part of a luxury neighborhood of homes designed by top architects like Gaudi and financed by Güell, the iconic businessman and Gaudi’s patron. The homes never took off for reasons beyond their control, but Park Güell remains a top attraction in Barcelona.
The park is Barcelona’s answer to London’s gardens communities and was made better with Gaudi’s genius.
He built it in his signature Catalan art nouveau (el Modernisme) style. Everything in the park is inspired by nature and built with natural materials. Each element is designed to be beautiful and functional at the same time. He paid attention to the tiniest design elements, such as the benches on the upper terrace where the seats taper to the back to allow rainwater to drain easily into the holes at the back. This little design element would have saved all the visitors’ pants from getting wet on the benches.
The park is one of the top attractions of Barcelona. So, tickets must be reserved ahead of time. You can buy tickets online and bring them to the entrance a few minutes early to line up to enter the park. Despite limiting the number of visitors, the park gets quite lively.
To get there, one can use public transportation or take one of the ride-shares or walk.
If you are in Barcelona, it is definitely one of the most important landmarks to visit. Allow for a couple of hours to get transported into a park imagined by none other than Gaudi himself.
The Gaudi Houses of Barcelona
By Karen from Outdoor Adventure Sampler
The Gaudi houses, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, and Casa Vicens, are famous landmarks in Barcelona. Antoni Gaudi designed these architectural masterpieces as private residences for wealthy Barcelona families. They are UNESCO World Heritage sites due to their history and beauty.
Casa Mila is also known as La Pedrera (Quarry) due to its rough stone quarry-like exterior. It is located on Barcelona’s main thoroughfare, Passeig de Gracia. The roof terrace has hooded structures that resemble a garden of warriors. The panoramic views of the city from the rooftop are stunning.
Casa Batllo is a short stroll from Casa Mila. An ornate skeleton façade gives Casa Batllo its nickname of Casa dels Ossos (House of Bones). The spine of a legendary dragon appears along the roofline. Marvel at the changing colored lights on the balconies illuminating the whole house.
Casa Vicens was the first house designed by Gaudi and is also located in the Garcia district. The house has brilliant ceramic tiles and mosaics of many Gaudi masterpieces. Casa Vicens, as well as the other Gaudi houses, can be toured to see the beautiful features and learn about Barcelona’s history. The Gaudi houses are very popular, so skip-the-line tickets are recommended.
Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres
By Dzangir Kolar from DR JAM TRAVELS
Salvador Dali is one of the most prominent surrealist artists of the 20th century. He is known for his works in different areas: painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, writing, film, and jewelry. We can find many of his works in a museum dedicated to his work in the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain.
Figueres was his birthplace, and the theater was where he had his first exhibition and the location of his final resting place. After the Spanish Civil War, the theater was burned, and Dali got it in 1968 and opened it in 1974.
This town is on the way between Barcelona (less than 2 hours ride) and France. You can combine your visit with stops in Girona and Perpignan. The museum is easy to find in the city center at Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5. It is open from 10:30 until 15:00. With an entrance fee of 19 €.
The unique red facade with eggs on the top will greet you upon arrival. Many of his works are set in a dream-like environment full of symbols like melting watches, angels, elephants, crutches, ants, and eggs … Among more interesting pieces and installations is the Courtyard with figurines and Cadilac, Abe Lincoln picture, Mae West room, jewelry collection, and extension dedicated to optical illusions. It is surreal, as one would expect it to be.
The Abadia de Montserrat
By Maureen Spencer from So Many Places! So Little Time!
The Abadia de Montserrat is located high up on a craggy and rocky outcrop on the Montserrat mountain in Catalonia, about 60 km from Barcelona. About sixty Benedictine monks still live in the retreat, which dates back to the 10th century and is Catalonia’s most important religious retreat and pilgrimage site.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Monastery of Montserrat was an important cultural center, and the music school produced some important composers. The French War and the Spanish Civil War caused the monastery to be abandoned in the early to mid-1800s, but in 1844 the monastery began to be restored. The oldest press in the world, Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, is still running. The first book was published in 1499.
Within the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey is the famous Black Madonna wooden statue which is said to have healing powers and is a must-see for pilgrims. There is plenty to see in and around the basilica, the church, and the chapel, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the renowned Escolania de Montserrat, one of the oldest choirs in the country composed of 14 years olds. The basilica also houses a museum with works of art by many prominent painters.
Montserrat is a two-hour train trip from Barcelona. At the Placa Espanya station, hop on the R5 train to either Aeri de Montserrat, where you will take the cable car up the mountain, or to Monistrol, where you will take the funicular or cogwheel train. Both options offer stunning views. Today, Montserrat has been modernized and continues to take care of the needs of pilgrims one thousand years after it was originally founded.
Spain Landmarks – Andalucia
By Bec from Wyld Family Travel
When you see a picture of Granada, Alhambra is one thing you will not be able to go past. Sitting high on a hill, it overlooks everything, it looks stunning from a distance, but it is nothing like the beauty on the inside. It is a must-visit when in Spain.
The Alhambra is a Moorish castle dating back to around 889 AD when it was built on the site of a Roman Fort. The Alhambra that you see dates today back to the 13th-century reign of Yūsuf I when the Moors ruled Andalusia. Alhambra is unique to this day because when the Christians retook the city, they kept the palace and added their own pieces to it. Today Alhambra is a UNESCO world heritage site that thousands visit daily.
The Nasrid palace and the Generalife Gardens highlight your Alhambra visit. The Court of the Myrtles is lined with tiled walls and water features. There is so much color, beautifully carved arches, and sunlight everywhere. Each room in the Nasrid palace brings you something unique to look at and experience. The Generalife gardens are a place where the royal family used to relax. Walk through the well-manicured gardens, and admire the water lilies and fountains. Walk back into Granada and admire the different views of the Alhambra Palace.
Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba
by Anuradha from Country Hopping Couple
Also known as the Great Mosque of Cordoba, the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is an iconic symbol of Cordoba and the entire Andalucian Spain. One of the world’s greatest examples of architecture that features various styles, it blends in the cultural elements of Islam and Christianity.
The history of the Mesquita dates back more than a thousand years when it was originally a Visigothic Church. In the 8th century, Abd al-Rahman I planned to construct a mosque. The construction lasted 200 years and underwent many reforms and constructions. In 1236, Cordoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, who converted the mosque into a catholic cathedral. However, the basic structure of the mosque was left unaltered. In the 16th century, the main cathedral was built in the heart of Mesquita.
One of Mesquita’s prominent and eye-catching features is its horseshoe-shaped arches with red and white stripes. The mihrab arches, intricately designed domes, mosaics, and Kufic inscriptions are the highlights of the Mosque. Also, do not miss the elliptical dome of the Cathedral, the ceiling over the choir sections, and the details of the barrel vault.
Today Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is one of the best examples of Moorish architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the most visited attraction in Cordoba.
Plaza de España, Sevilla
By Lavina Dsouza from continent hop
The Plaza de España is a town square in the Parque de María Luisa, i.e., the Maria Luisa Park in Seville, that was designed by the architect Anibal Gonzalez in 1928 in advance of the Ibero-american Exhibition of 1929.
Getting to the Plaza isn’t too tricky as it’s located right in Seville’s center, surrounded by landmarks such as the Military historical museum of Seville and about a 5-minute walk from the Royal Alcazar of Seville.
Anibal designed the Plaza in a Renaissance style mixed with typical Spanish architectural elements like exposed brickwork and the use of ceramics.
The Plaza is a massive semi-circle with two towers at the circle’s ends. Space is divided into colorful mini areas, each representing a different locality in Spain. Each of the ceramic benches has an attraction unique to the destination, done masterfully in tile art.
The buildings within the Plaza that were previously used for the exhibition are now used as offices by government agencies; however, they still make for a great backdrop combined with the bridges that run over the river surrounded by numerous palm trees.
By Yukti Agrawal from Travelwithme24x7 blog
Any trip to Spain is incomplete if you don’t have Seville Cathedral in your Seville itinerary, as it is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Yet, not only does the size impress, but the marvelous architecture of this cathedral also makes it a masterpiece landmark in Spain. Therefore, it is worth exploring and adding it to the top of the Seville itinerary or must-do things in Seville.
Once inside, you can appreciate the detail and intricacy of the interior walls and facades, with no corner left unadorned. You can also catch up on the views of the whole city from the top of the Giralda tower, which was the minaret from when the building was originally a mosque. The building has an area of 124,000 square feet and 80 chapels inside.
Celebrating Easter in Seville has a lot of significance as during these days, you can witness some exceptional traditions and ceremonies and their significance in Christianity. So if you get a chance, visit this cathedral during Easter. Over one million people visit it annually, making it one of the most popular landmarks in Spain.
El Torcal de Antequera, Malaga
By Linn Haglund from Andalucia Hiking
One of Europe’s unique karst landscapes is found in Malaga’s islands. The impressive El Torcal de Antequera was pressed up from far under the Tethys Sea during an impact in the earth’s crust over 150 million years ago. With the rain end wind, the area has eroded to become what it is today.
Not only is El Torcal de Antequera free to access, but there are also three different hiking routes you can take, varying from 45 minutes to 3.5 hours. You will walk through imposing rock formations, explore natural caves and tunnels, and most likely spot a mountain goat or two. It is extremely important to Leave No Trace and respect the natural reserve’s wildlife.
If you do not fancy walking or have mobility restrictions, there is a nice viewpoint and a visitor center where you can enjoy a hot or cold drink at the café. There are parking spaces by the visitor center, but they fill up quickly, especially on the weekends. If that is the case, you can park below the hill and take a shuttle bus that costs 2 Euros between parking at the bottom and the visitor center. The bottom car park is also where the Orange 3.5-hour trail starts if you fancy doing the long walk.
Famous Landmarks in Spain – Basque Country
The Guggenheim Museum
By Roxanne de Bruyn from Faraway Worlds
When you visit Bilbao in Northern Spain, the Guggenheim Museum is one of the first things to catch your eye. Designed by Frank Gehry, a Canadian-American architect, the museum is as much of a sculpture as a building. Opened in 1997, the Guggenheim Museum has become a pivotal part of Bilbao and one of the city’s most distinctive sites.
Built on the site of the city’s old, dilapidated port, the huge building curves around the riverbanks, creating a promenade along the river. The silver structure is a wonderful example of 20th-century architecture and somehow manages to fit into Bilbao’s old town surprisingly cohesively.
Visiting the Guggenheim Museum is a must on any trip to Northern Spain, even if you don’t necessarily love modern art. Walking through the museum is an experience in itself, with its expansive halls, high ceilings, and, of course, the distinctive spider sculpture, Maman by Louise Bourgeois, at its entrance. The building also showcases beautiful modern and contemporary art collections, with over 9,000m2 of exhibition space. If the building itself is impressive, the art is even better, providing some important insight into the history and culture of the wider region.
La Concha in San Sebastian
By Victoria Heinz from Guide your travel blog
The Playa de La Concha is one of Spain’s most famous beaches and an absolute must-visit for anyone visiting the area. This is an impressive city beach in San Sebastian in the Basque country with crystal-clear waters and white sand. The beach sits directly in San Sebastian and is a popular photo location for tourists. Since it’s located in a sheltered bay, the waters are usually calm and perfect for swimming.
However, San Sebastian is also a popular surf spot, and during rougher seas, you can catch incredible waves here. One of the best activities for tourists visiting the Playa de La Concha is to rent a kayak or Stand-Up-Paddle board. These boards only cost a few euros per hour and will give you the perfect opportunity to see the beach from the water. If you’re up for it, you could even paddle to the little island in the bay called Santa Clara Island. It might be quite small, but it’s the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. After you’ve made your way back, you should have ice cream on the beach or walk along the La Concha promenade.
Located in the Basque Country, about 10 km from Bilbao, the Vizcaya Bridge connects Portugalete and Getxo, crossing the mouth of the Nervion river. So, what makes it so special? Instead of building an ordinary bridge, the basque built a transporter bridge to prevent it from disrupting the huge maritime traffic of the Port of Bilbao and without having to build a massive structure with long ramps.
Designed by Alberto Palacio, an Eiffel disciple, it was constructed in 1893; it is the oldest bridge of its kind in the world, and it is still in use today. With 164 meters long, the gondola can transport six cars and dozens of passengers in an about um minute and a half.
The Vizcaya Bridge was declared a UNESCO world heritage in 2006 in the category of Industrial heritage, and it’s the only Spanish Landmark in this category. UNESCO says the bridge is “the perfect combination of beauty and functionality.” And we add that it’s also one of the most curious landmarks in Spain.
Famous Spanish Landmarks – Other Regions
The Aqueduct of Segovia
By Ucman Scher from BrownBoyTravels
The Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the best Roman monuments in Spain. It is in excellent condition and the first thing you see when you arrive in Segovia.
The easiest way to arrive in Segovia is to take the high-speed train from Madrid Charmatin station, which takes 30 minutes. From Guiomar station in Segovia, a bus will drop you right in front of the aqueduct.
This majestic structure from the 2nd century A.D. is more than 16 km long and is the best-preserved Roman aqueduct anywhere in the world. Not all of it is visible, though, and only a small portion of it in the city is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Right behind us, Plaza Artellaria, a walk through the arches, takes you into this busy square where you can sit and enjoy the view of its beauty with Sangria or coffee. On either side of it, there are opportunities to get even up and close to it. On the left-hand side, a long ramp takes you to a residential area for some peace and quiet. On the left, you can take the stairs up to Postigo del Consuelo for a closer experience.
Alcazar of Segovia
By Chrisoula Manika from All About Castles
The Alcazar of Segovia is a Unesco World Heritage Site located in the Castille and Leon region of Spain, very close to Madrid. The beautiful castle is built upon a rock on top of Roman-era ruins at the confluence of rivers Eresma and Clamores. The first documented record of the castle is from the 12th century. Although it was originally built as a fortress, it was later used as a Royal Palace. King Alfonso VIII and his wife, Eleanor of England, moved there in 1176. Nowadays, this fairytale castle is one of the most popular attractions in Spain.
Due to its proximity to Madrid, only 100km, the Alcazar of Segovia makes a popular day trip from Madrid. The castle is open all year round and can be visited with a guided tour from Madrid, sometimes in combination with Toledo or independently by public transport or car. If you decide to visit alone, your best choice is the bus from Moncloa bus station. The Journey lasts around one hour and 30 minutes. There is also a fast train from Madrid, but the train station is outside the city center, and you need to get a bus to get to the castle.
Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciéncies, in Valencia
By Stéphanie from Bey Of Travel
Valencia is located in the Mediterranean Sea and the Turia River. A visit to the city is perfect if you are in need of a break but don’t have many holiday days left, as you can discover most of its beauty in just three days! In Valencia, you will enjoy stunning architecture around every corner, and both modern and historical buildings will cross your path.
Make sure to visit one of the most famous landmarks in Spain, Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciéncies, better known as the city of arts and sciences. Designed by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava in the dry riverbed of the now-diverted River Turia.
The City of Arts and Sciences is an ensemble of six areas and is an impressive example of modern architecture. The “city” is made up of the following, usually known by their Valencian names:
- El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía — Opera house and performing arts center
- L’Hemisfèric — Imax Cinema, Planetarium and Laserium
- L’Umbracle— Walkway / Garden
- El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe — Science museum
- Oceanografic — Open-air aquarium or oceanographic park
- Ágora — A beautiful space where many events are hold
Attractive streams and pools of water surround the city, and you can enjoy a relaxing walk or a couple of drinks with friends.
By Jane Dempster-Smith from To Travel Too
One of the highlights of visiting Valencia in Spain is its architecture and, in particular, Valencia Cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Valencia Cathedral is located in the heart of the Old City of Valencia in Placa de l’almoina. It was built over an ancient Roman temple. The current building was constructed during the 13th Century and 15th Centuries in Gothic style.
The Cathedral is famous for being the home of the Holy Chalice, which is believed to be used by Jesus in the Last Supper. Over the years, the Chalice was used by many popes, most recently in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.
However, not only does it house the Holy Chalice, but it also has many important artworks from the first Spanish Renaissance and artists such as Maella and Goya. When visiting the Cathedral, you can admire the Renaissance frescoes of the main altar; they represent 12 angels playing musical instruments.
Finally, for the best views over Valencia, you can climb the 207 steps of the Miguelete Tower.
The entrance fee of Euros 8 per person includes an audio-guided tour. To climb the Miguelete Tower is an extra Euros 2. Visiting hours differ from Summer to Winter – you can check visiting hours here.
Mérida’s Roman Theatre and Amphitheatre
By Jan from Leisurely Drives
Mérida, situated in the Extremadura region in Western Spain, preserves more Roman monuments than any other city in Spain. This city was founded in 25 BC as Emerita Augusta and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Amphitheatre, situated a short walk away from the old town of Mérida, is one of the oldest archaeological sites in Spain. This impressive place was built to seat around 15000 spectators. The amphitheater displayed gladiator fights and combats between men and beasts with blood spills and excitement, quite like the Colosseum in Rome. It is well-preserved and has interesting angles for a photographer.
The Roman Theatre, which is almost like its twin, situated just next to the Amphitheatre, is 2000 years old and in a better state of ruin due to renovations. This was originally used for outdoor plays, and today, it hosts the Festival of Classical Theatre of Mérida, featuring productions of the great Roman plays. This theatre was submerged over the years but was excavated in 1910, revealing beautiful statues and stunning Roman architecture.
In addition, there are some beautiful, well-maintained gardens behind the Amphitheatre worth visiting.
If you are a history lover or photographer, Mérida’s Roman Amphitheatre and theatre are two Spanish landmarks for you!
La Seu Cathedral in Palma de Mallorca
By Amy Gilbride from The Florida Travel Girl
Though many think of Barcelona and Madrid as the cities with most of Spain’s best landmarks, the Balearic Islands also have some amazing sights. La Seu, the Cathedral de Santa María de Palma de Mallorca, is one of them located in the heart of Palma Mallorca, overlooking the Mediterranean. The construction of this Catalan Gothic Style cathedral started in 1229, but it took until 1601 to complete. It is not a UNESCO heritage site, but Gaudi did add input to the restoration of 1901.
Once in Palma de Mallorca, it is easy to get to this cathedral as it is in the city center. Many tourists come here each week via cruise ships, and most have shuttles that bring visitors directly to the La Seu Cathedral. One can see it from many points of the island, as it is one of the tallest Gothic structures in Europe. Though the architecture is impressive from the outside, going inside is a must to see the 61 stained-glass windows. The La Seu Cathedral is just one of many gorgeous sights to see in Palma de Mallorca and is open Monday through Saturday for tours.
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
By Bradley Williams from Dream Big, Travel Far
Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain, is a famous pilgrimage site that has come to symbolize the past struggles of Spanish Christians against Islam. Its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to stunning Romanesque and Baroque architecture lines.
As it is a pilgrimage site, visitors used to walk the entire 780 km route from St. Jean Pied-de-Port, France, to here. The easiest way to reach Santiago today is by train or flight, both of which can take you close to the city center.
You could also try walking the Camino de Santiago to experience the place to its fullest. Don’t forget to pack light and smart! The city itself is quite small and has only 95,000 inhabitants, which means it’s easy to get around on foot.
The Cathedral is the beating heart of this heritage site, which medieval legend says is the burial place of the famous Christian apostle St James the Great. It’s actually one of the world’s only three churches erected on top of the tomb of an apostle of Jesus.
A shepherd found this site in 813, and King Alfonso II was immediately notified, who then built the cathedral to honor St. James. To this day, Santiago de Compostela remains a culturally significant landmark in Spain.
Mount Teide volcano in Tenerife
By Ophelie from limitlesssecrets
Mount Teide is one of the most impressive landmarks of Spain! Located in Tenerife, one of the islands of the archipelago of the Canary Islands, this volcano will amaze you for sure! It is still active (its last eruption occurred in 1909).
Mount Teide is famous for being the highest point in Spain and the third-tallest volcanic structure in the world! Mount Teide offers some of the best photo spots in Tenerife and is actually the most visited natural wonder of Spain. Mount Teide National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is one reason why around 3 million visitors come here each year. With 18,900 hectares of stunning landscapes, you will have plenty of places to explore! It looks like Death Valley in California. And in many parts, you can still see the impact of the lava flows.
The best way to reach Mount Teide is by car. In fact, the volcano and the National Park are isolated in the center of Tenerife. So, the car is much better for exploring this remote area. If you want to get closer to the top of the volcano, you can take the cable car. Up there, you will get breathtaking views over the Canary Islands!
Sil Canyon, Galicia
Situated in Galicia, the Sil Canyon (or Cañon del Sil) is one of the most impressive natural landmarks in Spain. This beautiful gorge corresponds to the last 50 km of the Sil River before it mouths in Minho River. Although lesser known, the Sil Canyon reminds us of the Douro Valley, the famous Portuguese landmark.
With almost vertical walls of up to 500 meters from the water level, it is considered one of the most spectacular areas in Spain. Due to its unique climate, it is possible to produce olive oil and wine on its terraces. Wine has been produced here since Roman times, and the region is also known as the Ribeira Sacra.
The Sil Canyon is a wonderful destination for bikers and hikers, with its amazing trails and astonishing beauty. The area is known for its unbelievable lookouts, such as Balcones de Madrid, and a few monasteries mysteriously hidden in the vegetation, such as Santa Cristina. One of the best ways of discovering this natural landmark is by sailing the river on one of the many catamaran tours.
Templars Castle, Castilla y Leon
The templars castle in Ponferrada is one of the most surprising landmarks in Spain. Located in a relatively small city, the castle is an imposing building with a long and interesting history.
Constructed during the 13th century, the castle of Ponferrada was built by order of the templars and became one of the largest fortresses in northern Spain. It is a complex military defense system that was extended and reformed several times over the centuries. Thus, it corresponds to different periods and styles.
With over 8000 square meters, the castle has double and triple battlements, several turrets, rooms, and a large courtyard. Visiting the Castle is a wonderful experience, as one can enter the rooms, climb the towers and walk on the walls. Due to its privileged location, the views from the castle are simply incredible.
To enter the castle, one has to buy a ticket and should reserve at least one hour to tour it. At the end of the tour, there’s a beautiful exhibition of old books with hundreds of works, including codices and religious manuscripts, scientific works, and illustrated literature of famous artists like Picasso and Dalí.
Did you enjoy our Spanish landmarks post? Have a look at our other articles about Spain:
- What is Spain famous for?
- Spain or Portugal? where to go?
- Things to do in Granada
- 50 Things to know before traveling to Spain
- Andalusia road trip
- Basque Country road trip
Pin it for later