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  • Writer's pictureNaureen Chhipa

Best Places to Visit in Spain for First Timers

We'll start by exploring the culinary delights of Madrid, then take a day trip to the medieval city of Toledo. Finally, we'll immerse ourselves in the art and culture of Barcelona. This Spain travel blog will empower you to travel like a pro with tips for traveling to Spain. It will give you the ultimate Spain travel itinerary for 7 days, filled with delicious food, leisurely strolls, and authentic Spanish experiences. If you have over 7 days to spend in Spain (highly recommended), I will also provide optional add-ons to create an ultimate Spain travel itinerary for 14 days! Here's the best Spain travel itinerary for first-timers visiting the Iberian Peninsula and tricks for finding the best way to travel in Spain.

Woman outside La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Best Places to travel in Spain.
Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. Barcelona, Spain.

There's something for everyone in Spain. Whether you're a foodie, art lover, or a night owl, you'll fit right in, from welcoming Madrid with its local feel, fantastic food, and friendly people to the Metropolitan City of Barcelona, full of art and nightlife.


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Did you know Toledo (once the capital of Spain) is only a 30-min train ride from Madrid?— Making it an unforgettable day trip! This small town's scenery will take you back to Medieval times with its stunning churches and a fantastic spa.

Best Places to Visit in Spain for First Timers

Table of Contents

4.2 Toledo



Best Time to Visit Spain

I've had an incredible time visiting Spain during the enchanting months of May, September, and October, considered the shoulder seasons. These months offer a perfect combination of pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and reasonable prices. April and May provide an ideal climate for invigorating hikes as the temperatures begin to rise without reaching the scorching heat of summer, and there's less rain. Additionally, September and October are excellent for exploring the southern parts of Spain and taking a dip in the refreshing, still-warm summer seawater. If you're visiting Spain for the first time, I highly recommend visiting during the shoulder season. Traveling to Spain for the first time can be pretty magical in Spring when the flowers are starting to bloom, and there's an energy of "freshness" in the air, and first-time travel to Spain can be fun and adventurous during fall when you get to soak in the last rays of sun before winter hits. Visiting Spain during the shoulder season is also great for those traveling on a budget, as travel costs in Spain are more reasonable than during the peak season. Whether you visit northern Spain or the beautiful places in Spain by the sea, May, September, and October are excellent months to visit.


How Long Should You Spend in Spain

To truly experience Spain, spending at least 4 days in the country is best. With 4 days, you can explore major cities like Madrid and Barcelona. If you have 7 days, you can add day trips to your Itinerary. For a more in-depth experience, plan for 10-14 days, allowing you to visit the southern and possibly the northern regions. If you have 3 weeks to spare, consider adding popular islands like Ibiza and Mallorca to your Itinerary.


Transportation and How to Get Around in Spain

If you're traveling to Spain by air, you will likely arrive at one of the two major airports in the country, either in Madrid or Barcelona. While other airports are in the southern regions, flights to Madrid or Barcelona are more frequent and affordable.


If you land in Madrid, you can take the yellow Express Aeropuerto bus from the airport to the town center. You can find these buses outside the terminal, which costs only 5 euros. The buses operate every 15 minutes during the day and every 35 minutes at night. The trip from the airport to the city center will take approximately 40 minutes. You can purchase your bus ticket on board. Alternatively, you can take the train from Madrid Airport to Madrid City Center. Taking the train is the fastest way to travel (30 minutes) and the most affordable ($3) way of getting into the city. Trains run every 30 minutes from early morning until late at night. Two train lines operate from Madrid Airport to the city center: the c-1 and c-10 lines. You can purchase your tickets from a Renfe machine. Traveling by train in Spain is the best way of saving time and money while exploring the country. You can reach most of the best places to travel in Spain by train and day trips, including the beaches and countryside. Spain is one of my favorite European destinations to explore via train!


If you land in Barcelona, I recommend getting a T-Casual ticket from one of the vending machines at the airport for €11.35. A T-Casual ticket can save you lots of cash. A T-Casual ticket is a prepaid transport card that you can use for ten journeys across Barcelona. You can use a T-Casual on the TMB metro system (excluding the metro to the airport), the FGC, the tram, the RENFE train from the airport, and the TMB busses from the airport. Remember to validate your ticket on each journey. Alternatively, you can also take the Aero Bus. The Aero Bus is affordable (7.25 euros) and fast, with regular departures every 10 minutes.


You can rent a car in Spain and embark on a road trip to explore the country. You can click here to check the latest car rental prices in Spain. Alternatively, you can choose to travel within Spain by train. Spain boasts a comprehensive rail network connecting major cities and many secondary and tertiary ones. The high-speed trains are frequent and budget-friendly, making them an excellent option for travelers looking to save money. I love using Trainline to book all my train tickets in Europe. With Trainline, all your journeys are saved in one place, and you get regular updates/ train statuses, making traveling by train a hassle-free experience. I recommend booking your tickets at least a month ahead of time to get the best deals. You can click here to check the latest train ticket prices in Spain.


Best Places to Visit in Spain for First Timers

Madrid

Madrid is one of the best places for first-timers to visit in Spain. Madrid is also home to one of the most budget-friendly airports in Spain, and its central location makes it the perfect starting point for exploring all other cities and towns in Spain. We loved eating tapas and seafood at the local markets in Madrid and found many hidden gems when exploring the city on foot. Madrid is relatively small compared to other cities like Barcelona.


How Long Should You Spend in Madrid?

2-3 days is enough time to see the best of Madrid.


Top Things To Do in Madrid


Upon arriving in Madrid, I started my visit with a food tour! Food tours provide a local perspective on the must-try culinary delights of a city, allowing you to immerse yourself in the culture of your destination. Being a foodie, I discovered that Madrid offers amazing food tours in Spain. Click here to check out my favorite food tours in Madrid.


I love Spanish cuisine, and a cooking class in Madrid is at the top of my to-do list. Learn to prepare Paella and Sangria while in Madrid, and impress everyone back home with your new cooking skills. The best part about joining a cooking workshop in Spain is that no previous experience is required! Click here for the latest prices for Paella and Sangria Cooking Workshops in Madrid as part of your Spain Travel Itinerary.


Watch a live flamenco performance. There's nothing like it! I've never seen so much passion on stage, and I frequent Broadway plays in my hometown, NYC. When the dancers take the stage, you can feel their intense passion emanating through every movement. The swirling ruffled skirts, the rhythmic clapping, and the powerful sound of heels tapping on the stage all create an unforgettable evening, embodying the essence of a vibrant night out in Spain. Click here now to check out the latest prices for live flamenco performances in Spain.


Accommodations | Where to Stay in Madrid | Madrid Hotels Spain


Casa du Solei is ideal for those looking for affordable accommodation in the heart of the city center. Its prime location makes it perfect for exploring Madrid's nightlife and bar hopping. During the day, guests can easily walk to many popular attractions and unwind at night at one of the many surrounding restaurants. With its excellent value for the price, Casa du Solei is a great choice for budget-conscious travelers looking for a beautiful place to stay while not breaking the bank. Click here now to check the latest prices.


Woohoo Rooms Boutique Hotel is a charming mid-range boutique hotel in Madrid's bustling city center. This boutique hotel offers a prime location close to popular attractions, an array of shopping stores, and a variety of delightful restaurants to explore during your trip. Experience the vibrant atmosphere and nightlife of Madrid right at your doorstep.


Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid is a luxurious retreat ideal for couples. It features a poolside bar, on-site restaurant, and fitness center in a historic building. The hotel offers stylish rooms and a romantic ambiance. Click here for more information and the latest prices.


Madrid, Spain Travel Itinerary


Couple in Madrid. Top cities in Europe to visit.
Madrid, Spain
DAY 1

We love re-eye flights that let you arrive in the cities you're visiting at the peak of dawn. We took an overnight flight from NYC to Madrid, arriving in the capital at 6:35 am. Upon arrival at the airport, we boarded a yellow express Aeropuerto bus, which took us to the town center near our hotel for only €5. These buses are available outside the terminal. From there, it was about a 20-minute walk to our hotel.


Best places for tapas in Madrid.
Los Gatos

Madrid has plenty of taxis, but we wanted to familiarize ourselves with our surroundings. We travel light with backpacks, so walking was the way to go. We found Madrid an effortless and safe city to navigate on foot and via public transportation. TIP: always carry cash for a taxi after a night out drinking, and for little hole-in-the-wall Tapas spots you'll find along the way as most don't take cards, and it's where the good food is! You'll find locals eating at these spots, which is always a good sign! Also, don't shy away from crowded restaurants. If a restaurant is super full, it means the food is good. There's always room at the bar; even if packed, push your way through and order like a real Spaniard; they'll make room. Finally, don't be alarmed if you see people tossing their garbage on the floor after eating, as this is a common practice in Spain.


Having tapas at Los Gatos in Madrid.
Tapas and Vermouth on Tap

We started our Madrid experience with a 10:15 am Food Tour. We highly recommend booking a Get Your Guide Food Tour for this. They took us to so many local spots. You can opt for a morning food tour or an evening food tour. For the early birds, I recommend booking the Secret Food Tours Madrid. The Secret Food Tours Madrid is a 3-hour-long guided food tour that will have you exploring the old town. This food tour is also great for those wanting to try the local beer and sweet vermouth on tap! The tour includes all food, drinks, and a local guide. Click here for more information and the latest prices.


I recommend The Madrid Wine and Tapas Walking Tour for my night owls traveling through Europe. The Madrid Wine and Tapas Walking tour is about 3 hours long, and you will experience an evening of tapas in Madrid's oldest bars. You'll enjoy 12 tapas at four different bars, with a glass of wine at each location. The tour includes all food, drinks, and a local guide. Click here for more information and the latest prices.



Mercado de Anton Martin, Madrid, Spain.
Ham Tasting at Mercando de Anton Martin
Ham tasting at Mercado De Anton Martin

Ham tasting is a popular activity in Spain, and unless you're a vegetarian, it's a must-do during your first time to Spain. Spain has a handful of main jamón- producing regions and villages. But you can find an excellent array of hams to taste in Madrid! You can plan on trying three different types of ham at Mercado De Anton Martin-- an indoor food market and my favorite market in Madrid for ham tasting! Food markets are among the best places to visit in Spain for food if you want to taste what the locals eat. Food markets are also some of the best places to visit in Spain on a budget to buy food to cook yourself for extended stays. The hams we'll be trying at Mercado De Anton Martin are:

1. Jamón Serrano - Jamon Serrano is a cured ham made from conventional pork, which you'll get in tapas and popular Spanish restaurant dishes.

2. Jamón Iberico de Bellota - Jamón Iberico de Bellota is made from acorn-fed pure breed Iberico pigs and is considered one of Spain's sumptuous delicacies.

3. Cecina de Leon - Cecina de Leon is a beef ham salted and dried using air, sun, or smoke.



Largest park in Madrid, Spain.
El Retiro Park

After, walk off your food coma at El Retiro Park. Here, you can take a stroll, rowboat, and gaze at the statue of the falling angel. Admission to El Retiro Park is free; you can also take a guided tour to learn more about the park's history and the local animal and plant life. Click here for more information and the latest prices for a guided walking tour of El Retiro Park. Bring comfortable shoes; this park is huge!


Continue to the Royal Botanical Gardens (€4 entrance fee), where you can marvel at more than 5,000 species of live plants.


Head on to the Prado Museum after. The Prado Museum is the main Spanish national art museum. You can join a Prado Museum Small Group Tour with Skip the Line ticket, or if you don't mind a late visit and waiting in line, the museum is free to visit from 6 pm to 8 pm Monday to Saturday and from 5 pm to 7 pm on Sundays and holidays. Be sure to line up early as the queue can be long but moves fast. Click here for more information on a Prado Museum Skip the Line Tour and the latest prices.

Circulo de Bellas Artes rooftop. Madrid, Spain.
Birds-Eye View from Circulo de Bellas Artes

After dark, take a leisurely walk around the La Gran Via area. Make a stop at Circulo de Bellas Artes, where you can see some art exhibitions and visit the rooftop for cocktails while enjoying a panoramic city view. The rooftop has an entrance fee, and the drinks are expensive, but what you're paying for are the best views in town.


For an evening nightcap and to wrap up day 1, explore the nightlife in Madrid and visit the bars and tapas offerings in the neighborhood of "Barrio la Latina." I've created a DIY bar hopping route with my favorite bars for tapas, wine, and beer. The walking route only takes 21 minutes, making ten stops. Here are the bars on our list: La Osita Craft Beer, Taberna La Concha, Taberna La Cava, El MoNo Bikers and Beer Bar, Hopper, Lamiak Cava Baja, Pajaritos Mojados, Mezcaloteca Corazón Agavero, Taberna Almeria, and Ástor Gastro-Place. Feel free to modify the order depending on your location.

Map of a self guided bar hopping bar tour in Madrid. Best places to visit in Spain for food.
Bar Hopping Guide To Madrid | Nightlife in Madrid

If you find yourself in the center near Plaza Mayor, our favorite spots are Los Gatos, Casa Gonzales, and Bodegas Ricla. If you come across an interesting spot, stop by for a drink and a tapa. One of the things I love about Spain is that every time you order a drink, you get a complimentary tapa! It should be like that everywhere.


The streets in Madrid
Street View- Madrid, Spain.
DAY 2

On the second day of our Itinerary, we plan to explore the Royal Palace. Did you know that Spain still maintains an active monarchy to this day? Even though the royal family doesn't reside at the Royal Palace, visitors can still experience its grandeur by exploring the palace, the royal collection, and the beautifully maintained gardens. I recommend booking your tickets in advance to make the most of your visit to avoid long waiting lines. Opting for a guided tour led by a professional guide allows you to skip the line and includes the entrance ticket to the royal palace and gardens.



As you continue a few blocks ahead, you will arrive at Templo de Debod, our second destination. The Templo de Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid. This stunning shrine was gifted to Spain by Egypt as a token of appreciation for Spain's assistance in saving the Abu Simbel Temple. Visitors can explore the temple free of charge. The most captivating times to visit are during sunset and at nighttime when the shrine lights are on, although the temple still offers a beautiful view during the daytime.

Woman in from of temple de Debod in Madrid. free things to do in Madrid Spain.
Temple de Debod Madrid, Spain

Time for lunch: many Madrid bars and restaurants serve a mid-week menu del dia - a prefix three-course lunch for €10-€15. Find a local spot full of people and blend in! After lunch (If you have not done so), it is a great time to head back to the center and visit the top plazas: Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, and Plaza Santa Ana. You can then check out Reina Sofia Museum (Open from 10 am- 9 pm) with free entrance after 7 pm. Click here for more information on visiting the Reina Sofía Museum with a guided tour.


If you love seafood and are wondering what to eat in Spain, you've got to check out Mercado San Miguel for dinner--our absolute favorite upscale market in Madrid, for your first time in Spain. We loved it so much that we couldn't resist visiting twice! At the market, you'll find an incredible variety of food options, including fresh seafood, delicious sweets, and a great selection of wine. Our go-to spot was Mariscos Morris, where we indulged in the best food in Spain through a wide range of local and fresh seafood, some for the first time! After our fantastic tasting experience, here are my top 3 recommendations for you to try:

Mercado San Miguel, local market in Madrid.
Eating Barnacles (Percebes) for the first time!


1. Percebes, or barnacles, were something I never thought I would try, but here in Spain, they are a prevalent delicacy, costing about €25 a plate. I enjoyed them and believe that everyone should give them a try. They're one of those things to eat in Spain when visiting. Barnacles are related to crabs and lobsters, with similar nauplius larvae. The only edible part of the barnacle is the meat on the inside. Barnacles taste like a combination of lobster and Oyster; adding a touch of sea salt and lemon and pairing them with a refreshing glass of champagne enhances the local Spain for foodies experience!

Mercado San Miguel, Madrid.
Sea Urchin




2. Sea urchin is incredibly fresh and soft, with a pudding-like texture that melts in your mouth. It almost tastes like a dessert. I first tried it at this market and instantly fell in love. While I've had it in Japan and New York City, my favorite place to enjoy it is still at this market. It's the freshest form you can find. They open it in front of you, sprinkle a dash of salt on top and a squeeze of lemon – all it takes to savor this delicacy in its raw form at its best.




Local Oysters from the south of Spain.
Concha de Malagá


3. Forget happy hour oysters; Concha de Malaga is where it's at—caught in the South of Spain in Malaga's beach town. I've never seen Concha de Malaga sold in the States, but it's a local find in Madrid, so it's a great place to try it. During our seafood adventures, we also became obsessed with Boquerones - well, Fernando more than I, but I recommend trying those. The stall right across from this one has great ones. You must order a full plate, though, as the market doesn't sell individual units. But they are small, so it's doable between two people. Another great place to try Boquerones is at Mercado de Anton Martin (where we went ham tasting), and any tapas bar will have them as they are prevalent in Spain.



End your night with a live Flamenco show. A staple of Spaniard culture!


Toledo

Mirador Stop View Point in Toledo Spain. Medieval towns in Spain.
Toledo Spain Day Trip

We are visiting Toledo, once the capital of Spain. This charming medieval picturesque town will transport you to another era. With its cobbled streets, ancient historic sites, and impressive religious structures, this town looks more like a movie set than a functional town. Yet, life here is led regularly with typical day-to-day activities. We were so happy we had the opportunity to visit this place! We assure you this will be a day trip you'll never forget. Whenever we think of Spain, we still talk about the food in Madrid and the sights in Toledo.


How Long Should You Spend in Toledo?

You can easily visit Toledo as a day trip from Madrid. If you have extra time, I recommend staying overnight. The vibe of any small village changes when the day tourists are gone. After dawn, you see the authentic Toledo and experience its intoxicating charm.


How To Get from Madrid to Toledo

Toledo City View Point in Spain. Safest places in Spain to visit.
Mirador del Valle Toledo Spain

To get here, take a 30-minute train ride from Madrid. Trains depart every hour from Atocha Station between 6:50 am and 9:50 pm, and a one-way ticket costs €16. A day trip to Toledo, Spain, from Madrid is fast and affordable! I suggest booking your ticket in advance as the station may have long lines. For train ticket information and the latest prices, click here.


Once at the train station in Toledo, take a taxi into town as the town is remote, and the road is rocky and full of hills. If you're into hiking, wear comfy shoes and take off on your Toledo, Spain, day trip adventures! Stop at Mirador del Valle to get a bird's eye view of the town if you opt for cabbing. You can request a short stop here from your taxi driver. Taxis run from €5 to €15 to town. Making it an easy DIY Toledo day trip from Madrid.


Another option is to book a guided tour from Madrid to Toledo. The tour will pick you up and drop you off in Madrid, so you won't have to worry about getting to Toledo on your own! Click here for the latest prices on guided day trips to Toledo, Spain, from Madrid.



Top Things To Do in Toledo, Spain


Toledo is a small city, and with the help of a local guide, you can explore its highlights in just 3 hours. The Essential Toledo Tour includes visits to historic monuments, churches, and monasteries. For more information and the latest prices, click here.


Toledo After Dark (Guided Walking Tour of Immortal Toledo) is an excellent option for those spending the night in Toledo. At night, you'll see a more ominous side of Toledo, full of mystery and folk tales. Click here for more information and the latest prices.



Accommodations | Where to Stay in Toledo | Toledo Hotels Spain


Riad Medina Mudejar is my top pick for affordable accommodation in Toledo. This Spa hotel is perfect for unwinding and relaxation. I recommend staying overnight and taking your time on your Toledo trip. Riad Medina Mudejar has a prime location-- in the heart of the historic city of Toledo, and its medieval Moroccan ambiance (which made me want to take a Morocco day trip from Spain) provides a peaceful escape for a memorable vacation. The hotel features a swimming pool, sauna, and Spa. When we visited Toledo, we decided to go to the Spa without realizing it was part of a hotel, and we immediately regretted not staying the night! For more information and the latest prices, click here.


Aurea Toledo is a mid-range hotel that offers a luxurious experience at an affordable price. Your stay includes complimentary breakfast and access to the rooftop, providing a bird's-eye view of Toledo. The hotel also features a fitness center, pool and Spa.


Toledo, Spain Travel Itinerary


Day 3
Monastery in Toledo, Spain.
Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes

Once in Toledo, our first stop is visiting the Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes and Sinagoga Maria la Blanca. Both are open from 10 am to 5:45 pm, and the entrance fee is €4 each. If you spend the day in Toledo, I highly recommend getting the Toledo Tourist Bracelet, which gives you access to 7 monuments up to 3 times each. The Toledo tourist bracelet is a great way to save a few bucks! Click here for more information and the latest prices.


Afterward, go into town and visit the Santa Cruz Museum, which is open from 10 am to 7 pm. The entrance fee is €4. Be sure to find and visit El Pozo de los Deseos (wishing well) in a small shop's basement – watch for the signs. While you're there, take a moment to make a wish in this magical town. You never know; it might just come true! Lastly, take your time and enjoy the colorful streets as you stroll through the city.

Alley street in Toledo Spain. Cheapest places to visit in Spain.
Toledo Spain

Take some time to explore the old town of Toledo. Toledo is very photogenic and filled with small shops where you can grab some tapas, enjoy a drink, and relax. You can go wine tasting at Enodiffusion. Have tapas and wine at Taberna Tecnica de Vinos Amboades a great spot to try the local foods in Toledo, Spain. Or keep it trendy and visit La Malquerida de la Trinidad. 1 day in Toledo, Spain, is enough to highlight this charming medieval city.


Religious sites in Spain.
Main Cathedral in Toledo



Remember to visit the main cathedral of Toledo; it's breathtaking and one of my favorite churches in Europe. The entrance fee is €10, open from 10 am to 6:30 pm. Make sure to visit during regular hours to enjoy all the activities, such as climbing on top of the bell, taking an audio guide, etc. If staying overnight, consider returning when the locals hang out at night, and the town truly comes alive. The Christmas markets and street fairs are also set up in this area during the holiday season.







Interior of a Spa in Toledo, Spain.
Medina Mudejar

After a day full of activities and exploration in Toledo, you can relax at Medina Mudejar Baños Arabes, an underground Turkish bathhouse and boutique hotel that is truly out of this world! I highly recommend it as a budget hotel option if you stay overnight in Toledo. I suggest making a reservation before arriving, as they have limited space, especially if you want to get a massage. You can stay overnight in Toledo or end your day with a leisurely stroll at night. If you're heading back to Madrid, check the schedule for the last train departing so you can catch it. Taking a taxi from Toledo to Madrid could be very expensive.



Barcelona

Beautiful Street in Barcelona. Where to visit in Spain for first time travelers.
Barcelona, Spain

I've wanted to visit Barcelona ever since I saw the movie "Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona." That was one of the movies that made me want to take off and travel the world! The freedom of being at a new destination, eating great food with friends, and drinking wine in an alfresco setting surrounded by art opened my appetite, engulfed my senses, and liberated the travel bug within me. Barcelona is a fun little getaway with friends, but a solo trip to Barcelona can be just as fun! A Barcelona solo trip will allow you to connect with yourself and make new friends at a fun cultural destination. Barcelona is also a great city to fly into if you're looking for a budget flight. But, what I love the most about Barcelona is that due to its location, you can easily take weekend trips from Barcelona by train to explore the northern region of Spain, including the Basque Country and Costa Brava.Or take a short flight and visit the famous Ibiza island to get your summer-perfect tan! This travel guide will provide some Barcelona tips and tricks to make the most of your time there.


How Long Should You Spend in Barcelona?

3-4 days in Barcelona is enough time to see the city's highlights and even take a day trip to the epic Montserrat mountain range near Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain.


How To Get from Madrid to Barcelona

We decided to fly from Madrid to Barcelona. Our flight from Madrid to Barcelona was an hour and fifteen minutes, costing us $43. You can also take the train from Madrid to Barcelona. The journey by train from Madrid to Barcelona will take about two hours and thirty minutes. I recommend booking your tickets ahead of time for the best prices, as last-minute tickets tend to cost up to 3 times more. Click here for the latest prices for train tickets from Madrid to Barcelona. I recommend more than a day trip to visit Barcelona as you'll need a few days in this city to truly experience it.


Top Things To Do in Barcelona, Spain


Explore the best of Barcelona's culinary scene with a 4-hour small group wine and tapas tour. This tour includes visits to top restaurants where you'll enjoy gourmet Spanish tapas at three stops, including dinner at a high-end restaurant. Indulge in 14-16 servings of delicious tapas throughout the tour! For more information and the latest prices, click here now.


Visit the Sagrada Familia with an expert guide, with skip-the-line access and learn about the life and work of Gaudí. Click here now for more information and the latest prices.


Get fast-track entry to Park Güell, a UNESCO Heritage Site in Barcelona, and delve into the work and legacy of Gaudí. The park is an intriguing blend of whimsy and practicality, with every detail designed intentionally, solidifying Gaudí's position as one of my favorite architects of all time. Explore the captivating work of Park Güell with a knowledgeable local guide. Click here for more information and the most recent prices.


Embark on a breathtaking boat trip along the stunning coastline of Barcelona. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters and indulge in delicious drinks and snacks while enjoying the scenic views. For more information and the latest prices, click here now.


For those seeking an adrenaline rush, adventure off to the Mediterranean Sea and get a bird's eye view of Barcelona from a parachute. If this is your first time parasailing, there's no problem! An expert guide will help you have fun in no time! Click here for more information.


Accommodations | Where to Stay in Barcelona | Barcelona Hotels Spain


Arya Stadium Hotel offers mid-range accommodations in a charming 3-star hotel setting. Situated just a 15-minute metro ride from the bustling city center, you can enjoy the tranquility of a quieter neighborhood while having easy access to the main attractions. The hotel features a stylish rooftop restaurant, offering a sophisticated dining experience with panoramic views and a swimming pool for you to relax and unwind. Click here for more information and to check out the latest prices and availability.


Casa Camper Barcelona offers mid-range accommodations in a luxurious 4-star hotel setting. Casa Camper is in the heart of Barcelona, in the trendy neighborhood of El Raval, perfect for walking and nightlife. For more information and the latest prices, click here.



Barcelona, Spain Travel Itinerary


Picasso's favorite café in Barcelona.
4Cats Café

Day 4

We took an early flight from Madrid to Barcelona. Unlike Madrid, Barcelona is a big city, so you will rely on public transportation much more. We checked into our hotel, settled in with refreshments, and took a mini siesta (part of Spanish culture, a mid-day or afternoon nap) before heading out again. We try to blend in as much as possible when traveling ;)


After taking a siesta, head out for a drink in the Gothic Quarter at 4cats and walk the same streets as Picasso did in the early 1900s. 4cats, established in 1897, was Picasso's favorite restaurant. He would visit daily and even commissioned his first work as an artist here, which was the restaurant's menu. If you ask the staff, they'll bring out the original menu for you to see. How cool is that? This restaurant also holds one of Picasso's original paintings.


Not too far from the gothic quarters is las Ramblas, another great neighborhood to check out, stroll around, and grab a bite. If time allows, head on to the Picasso Museum after, open from 9 am - 7 pm. Click here for more information on the Picasso Museum.



Antoni Gaudi's Park Guell in Barcelona.
Park Güell

Day 5

Start your day early with a hike and head to Bunker del Carmen to witness the breathtaking sunrise and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. This public park is free to visit, making it a great place to kick off your day. Bring a blanket and some breakfast for a revitalizing morning picnic.


After that, it's time to explore the works of Antoni Gaudí, an architect who has become one of my favorites after my trip to Barcelona, despite knowing little about him. His work is so impressive and way ahead of its time. In Gaudi's world, magic, nature, and architecture intertwine.

Rooftop of Casa Mila in Barcelona. Architecture by Antoni Gaudí.
Casa Mila "La Pedrera"

All of Gaudí's designs were "out-of-the-box" creations. This talented artist found inspiration in nature, neo-gothic art, oriental techniques, and his upbringing in the small village he was from. Everything Gaudí created intended for the comfort of humans, so it all had a practical purpose, making his work beautiful yet useful. I consider myself fortunate to have had the chance to experience his work all over Barcelona's old town. Buy your tickets in advance to avoid long lines and the possibility of them being sold out. These attractions are top-rated and require scheduled time slots for visits. Click here for the latest information and prices.

Best Places to Watch the sunset in Barcelona.
Casa Mila "La Pedrera"

Here are my top 3 Gaudí sights to visit. Start with Park Güell, open from 8 am to 8:30 pm. Make sure to allow enough time before your entrance time, as they group you into sections, so arriving on time is essential. After visiting Park Güell, head over to La Sagrada Familia, open from 9 am to 8 pm. Finish your Gaudi history day with a visit to Casa Mila "La Pedrera," open from 9 am to 6:30 pm. Instead of boring you with details about these locations, I recommend renting an audio tour headphone set for each spot.


Finish your fifth day in Barcelona by immersing yourself in the city's vibrant nightlife. We recommend checking out "El Quinto Moño," a cozy bar with an excellent variety of cocktails and cheese boards. The attentive staff can also suggest the best bars to visit based on your mood. Barcelona ranks in the top 5 cities to visit in Spain due to it's food, art, and nightlife.


Human made beach in Barcelona.
Barceloneta

Day 6

Take it easy on your last day in Barcelona, especially if you enjoyed the nightlife the night before. Start your day with a relaxed breakfast, then head to Montjuic to see the magic fountains. Keep in mind that these fountains light up at night, so you should visit again after dark. Behind the fountain is a giant staircase leading to the Catalan Art Museum, which has an entrance fee of €12, but is free on Sundays. Behind the museum, you'll find cable cars heading in opposite directions. The cable car going up leads to Montjuic Castle, an old military fortress, while the one going down leads to Barceloneta, a man-made beach in Barcelona. You can choose to go up, down, or do both – it's up to you! We decided to visit the beach.


Squid Ink Paella dish.
Barraca Restaurant


We took the cable cart down and enjoyed a fantastic city and beach view. Once we reached the beach, we could rent a bike or stroll around the diverse restaurants and bars. For our final meal in Spain, we tried the famous Squid Ink Paella, which turned the paella black. It was delicious! We dined at Barraca in Barceloneta, and I highly recommend this restaurant if you are in the area. Barcelona is one of the best places to go in Spain for couples that enjoy nightlife and dining out. And Spain is ideally one of the best European cities for first-timers.



For days 7-10, I recommend taking day trips from Barcelona. Here are my favorite guided day trips with pick-up/drop-off from Barcelona:



Or visit the nearby islands of Ibiza, Mallorca, and Menora (Day 7-9)


Or head to the South of Spain and visit Valencia, Costa del Sol, and Seville (Day 8-14)


Thanks for reading. I hope you found this guide helpful and that you have an unforgettable time in Spain. Till next time!

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