55 Famous Landmarks in Spain – the Ultimate Guide
Spain’s histories of conquest, Christianity, and invasion are only a part of what makes Spain a land of famous sites – 55 famous landmarks in Spain to be precise! Spain’s cultural landmarks were created by the genius of architects such as Gaudi but this country is also home to diverse natural wonders and ancient structures. Together you get a list just like this one! See how many you can squeeze into your next trip to Spain.
- Spain Landmarks Map
- 1. Tower of Hercules
- 2. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
- 3. Roman Walls of Lugo
- 4. Niemeyer Center
- 5. Altamira Cave
- 6. Guggenheim Museum
- 7. Burgos Cathedral
- 8. Aljafería Palace
- 9. Dali Museum, Figueres
- 10. Casa Calvet
- 11. Montserrat Monastery
- 12. Park Güell
- 13. Casa Vicens
- 14. La Sagrada Familia
- 15. Casa Milà
- 16. Casa Batlló
- 17. Palau de la Musica
- 18. Las Ramblas
- 19. Museo Picasso de Barcelona
- 20. Palau Güell (Güell Palace)
- 21. (Gaudí’s Crypt) Church of Colònias Güell
- 22. Roman Ampitheater of Tarragona
- 23. Alcázar Fortress in Segovia
- 24. Aqueduct of Segovia
- 25. Walls of Ávila
- 26. Manzanares Castle el Real
- 27. Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas
- 28. Royal Palace of Madrid
- 29. Plaza Mayor
- 30. Puerta del Sol
- 31. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
- 32. Museo Nacional del Prado (Prado Museum)
- 33. Reina Sofia Museum
- 34. Toledo Cathedral
- 35. Hanging Houses of Cuenca
- 36. Windmills of Consuegra
- 37. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
- 38. Majorca Cathedral
- 39. Caves of Drach
- 40. Roman Theater, Mérida
- 41. The Lonja
- 42. Great Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba
- 43. Italica
- 44. Setas de Savilla
- 45. Seville Cathedral
- 46. Royal Alcázar of Seville
- 47. Plaza de España
- 48. Puente Nuevo
- 49. Caminito del Rey
- 50. Antequera Dolmens
- 51. El Torcal de Antequera
- 52. Alcázaba de Málaga
- 53. Alhambra
- 54. Alcázaba de Almeria
- 55. Timanfaya National Park UNESCO biosphere reserve
Spain Landmarks Map
1. Tower of Hercules
The Tower of Hercules, built in the 2nd century BC, is the world’s oldest lighthouse and the only ancient Roman lighthouse still in use. You’ll find it on the north coast of the peninsula of A Coruña.
This article may contain compensated links. Please read the disclaimer for more info.
This monument has stood for over 2300 years and was used to guide ships heading to the British Isles.
The original structure is almost completely intact today and stands 180 meters high.
The 180 meters-high Tower used the plans of the Lighthouse at Alexandria. The Roman parts of the lighthouse can only be seen from inside. Visitors can see the original map and climb the 234 steps to reach the balcony.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am to 8pm (later in summer)
Admission: € 3,00
2. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is one of the most famous buildings in Spain. It’s situated in the historical center of Santiago de Compostela, a city in Galicia, in Northern Spain.
The cathedral plays an important role in Christian culture. It’s known as the burial place of St James the Great, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus.
The cathedral is one of the only three churches in the world built over the tomb of an apostle of Jesus.
Thousands of people every year complete the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago following one of the Camino de Santiago routes.
The construction of the current cathedral started in 1075 and finished in 1211. It was significantly expanded and redecorated between the 16th and 18th centuries.
In 1985, for its cultural value and historical integrity, the cathedral and the historic center of the old town of Santiago de Compostela were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Visiting the cathedral is one of the must-do things in Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral is open to visitors daily from 8 am to 9 pm.
During masses that take place at 9.30am, noon, and 7.30pm, it’s not allowed to walk around and take photos. Anybody can attend the service. Entrance to the cathedral is free.
Opening Hours: Daily, 8am to 9pm
Admission: Cathedral museum is € 6,00
Contributed by Alya from Stingy Nomads
3. Roman Walls of Lugo
The Roman walls surround the Roman and medieval city of Lugo in Galicia, Spain. They were built between the 1st century BC and the 4th century AD from stone and earth.
These walls offered protection for one of the most important cities in Spain, during both Roman and Moorish times.
The Roman Walls of Lugo were declared a World Heritage site in 2000.
The height and length of the Roman wall of Lugo range from 5 to 10 meters and span a perimeter of two kilometers.
It has been estimated that there used to be 100 watchtowers along the city walls. 49 remain whole today and another 39 are partially intact.
The Roman walls also offer a wonderful view of the whole city and the nearby countryside. A walkway has been constructed to allow you to walk the entire length of the walls. The wall is now within the city but is a complete circuit.
Apart from the walls, there were several gates that were used to control who entered or exited the city. Five were built during Roman times, including “Puerta del Bispo” (Bishop’s Gate), “Puerta de Los Leones” (Lions’ gate), and the “Puerta de la Puebla”(People’s Gate).
Opening Hours: Always open
4. Niemeyer Center
The Niemeyer Center in Asturia, Spain, is one of the country’s most unique buildings. Located in Benavente, it is surrounded by a gorgeous garden with ponds and fountains.
It was designed by architect Gerhard NiemeInyer, who gave it its present shape in 1960 after he won an architecture competition for a new cultural center at that location; until then, the area was used as a parking lot.
The building’s architecture consists of 25 million bricks that were handmade by local masons, according to traditional techniques during the construction period of more than thirty years (1955-86).
The edifice was designed to host live theatre, dance recitals, and other musical performances such as symphonies or church choirs.
There are three distinct architectural styles in it: Islamic, Mudejar (a mixture of Arab and Spanish elements), and neo-renaissance, while most of its 80 rooms are used for exhibitions on diverse themes including art deco or folkloric costumes during different periods in history.
It is also used for conferences and seminars on diverse topics and the art school offers different courses for both adults and children.
Opening Hours: 9 am to midnight
Admission: Free to walk around the square, but some exhibitions have ticket prices
5. Altamira Cave
When we think about the most famous Spanish landmarks, we usually think about famous monuments instead of natural Spanish landmarks like caves, megaliths, and natural wonders. The prehistoric cave paintings at Altamira are a tourist attraction near Santanilla in Cantabria, Spain.
The Altamira Museum is located 2 kilometers from Santanilla and a ticket must be purchased for the cave that includes entry to the museum.
In 1985 the Cave of Altamira became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The paintings of animals such as bison have become internationally renowned because of their outstanding archaeological value.
They contain some of the earliest examples of cave paintings found anywhere in Europe dating back 14,800 years. This discovery caused great excitement among archaeologists who believed these images could help shed light on how early humans lived.
Opening Hours: May to October: Tuesday to Saturday 9:30am to 8pm (closing at 3pm Nov-April) Sundays and holidays 9:30am to 3pm
Admission: Tickets available for each day begin to be delivered at 9:30am at the box office on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are free on Saturday afternoons and Sundays.
6. Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim Museum is a world-famous art gallery on the waterfront at the end of Avenida de la Constitución in Bilbao. The building was designed by Frank Gehry and opened to the public in 1997.
It has been described as one of the most important buildings ever built for an exhibition space and a sculptural masterpiece that is a highlight of a trip to Northern Spain. Its exterior walls shimmer with glass, limestone, and titanium.
The three floors of the Guggenheim Museum center on an enormous atrium with walkways, elevators, and stairs coming off it. Twenty Galleries are located along these spokes.
The Guggenheim is filled with extraordinary art and sculpture by modern masters such as Mark Rothko and Lousie Bourgois. If you see only one landmark in Spain besides the Sangria Familia, make it this one.
Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Sunday, 11am to 7pm, open occasional Mondays
Admission: € 16,00.
7. Burgos Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos is a monumental piece of Gothic architecture (88 meters high!) that was begun in 1221 AD. It’s also the first Gothic Cathedral to be built in Spain.
Once you’ve seen a few dozen Gothic Cathedrals in Europe, you might get the feeling they’re all pretty much the same. But there is something about the perfect dimensions and architecture of this Cathedral in Burgos that combines with the art, sculpture, and light to make it a truly extraordinary Spanish landmark.
This current cathedral stands on the site of a previous Romanesque Church. But before it was built there was a Palace of the Kings of Castile.
The dome of this Cathbuilt,edral is spectacular with its filigree stonework. The quality and beauty of the paintings of the Virgin Mary, the Spiral Staircase, High Chapels, Cloisters, Transcoro, and Cathedral Museum make this a must-see stop in Burgos.
Opening Hours: Approximately 10am to 7pm but changes according to the month
Admission: 7.00 €
8. Aljafería Palace
Aljafería Palace is an eleventh-century Arabian palace in Zaragoza, Aragon. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The fortified structure with a moat and towers is laid out on a quadrangular plan with a large central courtyard. The Islamic arches (arabesques), the latticework, and the ornate and restored ceilings show the wealth of the Banu Hud dynasty, its first occupants.
There are three buildings in Spain that are protected because they are such wonderful examples of Hispanic-Moorish architecture: the Alhambra, the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, and Aljafería Palace.
The building was later a residence for the Christian Kings of Aragon and then a Palace for Catholic monarchs, a military fortress, and now a seat of the regional parliament.
The Palace was built outside the Roman Walls of Zaragoza, but now the city has expanded beyond the walls, and it’s a short 20-minute walk from the city center to this astonishing feat of Moorish architecture.
Opening Hours: April 1 to October 31, Monday to Sunday, 10am – 2pm and 4:30pm to 8pm Between 10:30-11:30am and 5:30-6:30pm all visits are guided.
Admission: 14,00 €.
9. Dali Museum, Figueres
Among artists of the 20th century Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquess of Dalí de Púbol was probably one with most talents. He was recognized for his works as a painter, writer, sculptor, and filmmaker. He left his biggest legacy as a painter with his surrealist work.
The biggest collection of his works are in Dali’s museum in Figueres. He was born in that town, later he had his first exhibition in a theater there that was changed into his museum in 1974 after it was burned. And in the end, he has found his final resting place at this spot.
Figueres is located between Barcelona and Perpignan. You can reach it from these locations by car in less than 2 hours. The museum is located in the city center at the address Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5.
When you approach the museum you will recognize it by the red facade and big eggs on the top. Inside is like being trapped inside a surrealist painting in a dream-like world full of symbols (melting watch, eggs, long legs, ants, …). It’s hard to know what will most catch your eye like The Spectre of Sex Appeal (1932), or Soft Self-Portrait with Grilled Bacon (1941).
The many installations are also interesting, like the Courtyard with Figurines and Cadillac, the Abe Lincoln picture, and the Mae West room where the furniture forms a face if observed at a special angle.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:30am – 3pm
Admission: 14,00 €.
Contributed by Džangir at Dr Jam Travels
10. Casa Calvet
Casa Calvet is one of the most important Barcelona landmarks. It is a building designed by Antoni Gaudí. The casa is in Barri Gòtic, the most important part of Barcelona’s old town. It was built for Enric Calvet and his family between 1901 and 1906 as a private residence.
The casa was constructed using only traditional building materials which included volcanic stone from Montjuic taken from an old quarry nearby as well as brick and plaster made from baked sand mixed with stone dust along with other materials such as lime mortar, timber beams, roof tiles and lead for windows.
Considered the most conservative of Gaudí’s buildings, it is perhaps his most beautiful. However, it now serves as a public building that is used to house a number of conferences and exhibitions. The casa has been declared a “National Historic Monument” by the Spanish Government which means it cannot be changed or built upon without permission from government officials unless designated otherwise by the landowner.
Casa Calvet has also been declared an official art gallery and museum because it contains many pictures and sculptures, including 2 paintings featuring the Casa’s architect, Antoni Gaudí.
Address: Casp, 48 – 08010 Barcelona. 55 famous landmarks in Spain – the ultimate guide
Opening Hours: Currently not open to the public, but you can wander around the exterior.
11. Montserrat Monastery
One of the most popular day trips from Barcelona is to the Abbey of Montserrat. This Benedictine monastery is located near the top of the jagged Montserrat mountain range.
The abbey draws tourists and Catholic pilgrims to visit the famous Black Madonna.
Visit the stunning cathedral, see the Black Madonna, and catch the Montserrat Boys Choir that sings twice daily for a treat. Check out the Santa Cova Chapel where the Black Madonna was found, or hike to the top of the highest peak, Sant Jeroni, for incredible views. Though, you can do shorter hikes to enjoy the views from anywhere in this area.
Montserrat is an easy day trip from Barcelona. Take the train then catch the cable car or the funicular to reach the monastery. Or, you could hike it, of course!
You won’t pay to visit though donations are always appreciated. There is a museum with artifacts from the area that does charge a small entrance fee.
It gets quite crowded, so it’s a good idea to go early, especially if you want to see the Black Madonna. Montserrat is an incredible place to visit for its cultural and religious importance.
Opening Hours: Daily 7.30 am to 8 pm
Contributed by Sam at My Flying Leap
12. Park Güell
Park Güell is designed by Antoni Gaudí, a radical modernist who used Park Güell as his testing ground for new ideas in design.
He was commissioned to create this park for a Spanish entrepreneur named Count Eusebi de Güell to use as an observation point and resting place for workers during breaks.
Park Güell is built with only natural resources from Barcelona. It is unique in its use of mosaic tiles to decorate stone pillars that seem to grow out of the land around them.
Park Güell was opened on May 15th, 1902, and was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1984 for its unique artistic and architectural value.
The tile mosaics in Park Güell have become a signature of the Park, and each tile is an individual part of a greater picture. Gaudí used over 30 different types of stone from Park Guell to make this masterpiece.
Park Güell also features statues, benches, and see-through gazebos that were sculpted into the landscape in a way that makes Park Güell seem like the land itself is creating these things for visitors to enjoy.
Other signature elements of Park Güell are the undulating brick paths, towers, and art-nouveau dragon gate that lead visitors to Park Güell’s entrance.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm
Admission: Regular 12,00€. kids under 14 yrs free
13. Casa Vicens
This house was built by Antoni Gaudí between 1883-1885 as his first commission. It was one of the most iconic landmarks that marl the beginning of Europe’s Modernism movement.
This casa was built for Mr. Manuel Vicens i Montaner [1829-1914] (hence its name) who was a Catalan anarchist dedicated to journalism who served as councilman and mayor in Barcelona during the second half of the 19th century.
It’s not just Gaudí’s architectural styles that are unique. He has also designed furniture that you’ll find in various rooms. The smoking room is a riot of colors and patterns on the ground floor. The bedrooms above have papier-mache-pressed ceiling tiles. The whole building shows creativity, experimentation, and novel materials used for decoration.
Opening Hours: Summer hours (until September 30) – Daily, 10am to 8pm. Last admission 6:40pm
Admission: Regular 16€, Concession 14€
14. La Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia in Catalan means “The Holy Family” or “Sacred Family”. It is a large Roman Catholic basilica in Barcelona.
The monumental building is Antoni Gaudí’s greatest work. It is the most visited building in the world, the most famous of all famous Spanish buildings, and a must-see for any visitor to Barcelona!
La Sagrada Familia is one of Europe’s greatest architectural achievements and is considered by many to be one of the greatest buildings constructed since 1500.
Plans for the church began in 1914, with construction starting on the 25th of May, 1926. The designs were completed when Gaudí fell ill in 1925. He died the following year. In 1930, Gaudí’s assistant became the main architect of the project.
In 1984, construction began on a series of towers that are still unfinished. There is currently an agreement in place to build 6 more spires, according to Gaudí’s original plans.
The most incredible features of the Sagrada Familia include the massive columns and the four towers, which represent the four evangelists.
The interior of this church will be covered in 20th-century-style frescoes. They are currently covered in cloth until completion.
The church is scheduled to be finally completed by 2026, the 100th anniversary of its foundation stone being laid, and will then host the remains of Gaudí and his family.
Opening Hours: Friday to Wednesday 9am to 6pm, closed Thursdays and religious holidays Admission: 12,00€ (10,00€ reduced).
15. Casa Milà
This apartment block designed by Antoni Gaudì occupies an entire city block on Passeig de Gràcia which was the most prestigious street in Barcelona. The building is a mix of Art Nouveau and Modernisme styles. It was completed in 1904 and has been a World Heritage Site since 1984.
Built for the Milá family, it sits on a corner with two blocks of apartments, each with an entrance on a different street. A large courtyard connects the buildings.
Casa Milá is another wonderful example of Gaudìs use of asymmetrical shapes and one of his most famous monuments. The incredible facade is a ‘curtain wall’ and not a structural part of the building.
The main characteristic of this building is its roof, made up of four different types of tile and surrealist chimneys and sculptures that make this my favorite rooftop in the world. There are also several other interesting features like balconies, windows, and doors with their incredible ironwork.
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, and holidays: 9am – 6:30pm, night tour: 8:40pm – 10pm
Admission: €27,00 and up for adults
16. Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló is located on the Paseo de Gracia. The original house was extensively remodeled by Antonio Gaudí who designed many buildings in Barcelona including La Sagrada Familia church.
Like six other Gaudí modernist creations in Barcelona, Casa Batlló is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fantastical marine façade makes it one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.
The roof is shaped as waves covered in shining scales, and the front-facing balconies are shaped as masks. It is incredible to think that he built this between 1904 and 1906.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am to 6:30pm. Magic Nights take place between 6pm and 8pm, Tuesday and Saturday.
Admission: €35 and up.
17. Palau de la Musica
One of the most significant architectural wonders in Barcelona started the beautiful Catalan Modernista style that is predominant in the city.
This Unesco site is an iconic building by architect Lluis Domenic i Montaner and built between 1905 to 1908.
You’ll find gorgeous details throughout the interior and exterior of the building with handmade details by local artisans including wood details, stained glass windows, and chandeliers.
A very large and colorful stained glass chandelier adorns the interior hall. An added plus is seeing how stunning the interior is lit up at night.
Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 3.30pm.
Admission: Audio Tour and Visit for 50 mins, € 10,00.
18. Las Ramblas
One of the most famous sights of Barcelona is the promenade Las Ramblas (also called Les Rambles (Catalan) or La Rambla). It connects the city center, Plaça Catalunya, with the city’s old port (Port Vell).
The popular street is about 1.2 km (0.74 mi) long, making it perfect for a relaxed stroll. Along the street, you will find various stores, street performers, and also access to the Barrio Gotico, which is considered one of the best areas to stay in Barcelona. Probably the most beautiful access is through Plaça Reial. With its wonderful fountain and huge palm trees, it is one of the most beautiful squares in Barcelona.
In addition, the entrance to the most popular market in the city is located on Las Ramblas, the Mercat de la Boqueria. Here you will find some of the best Spanish snacks and treats.
At the end of Las Ramblas, you will find the famous Columbus Statue.
Opening Hours: Always Open; Admission: Free
by Vicki at Vicki Viaja
19. Museo Picasso de Barcelona
4,251 works of one of the world’s most famous artists, Pablo Picasso, make up the permanent collection of this museum which opened in 1963. The Museum says that its collection is “practically exhaustive” up until Picasso’s Blue Period.
The interior decoration includes some of Picasso’s own sketches and drawings that he made during his stay in Barcelona between 1921 and 1923.
Although the exhibition space is quite limited, the museum does offer tours of the entire complex which includes a lovely stone cloistered area.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 8pm
Admission: € 12,00. Free entrance Thursdays from 5pm and a few other times per year.
20. Palau Güell (Güell Palace)
Palau Güell is a mansion inspired by medieval Catalonia. It was constructed between 1885 and 1887 in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. lt is considered one of the most important works of Antoni Gaudí.
The Palau Güell fronts onto Carrer Nou de la Rambla, its façade taking advantage of a sloping site to rise over three levels topped by low towers topped with cones made from broken ceramics (called trencadís in Catalan) to decorate its façade.
Designed as a residence and social club for wealthy textile manufacturer Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi (1823-1906), Palau Güell was named after its first owner. It comprises three floors plus a basement and has a neo-gothic interior.
On the ground floor, there is a large hall surrounded by rooms decorated with murals painted by Ramon Pichot. Also here you’ll find the Salons Espais and the Saló del Tinell.
From the second floor, visitors have access to the attic via a spiral staircase. Here you can admire the wooden ceiling made by Pere Romeu. Finally, on the top floor, we find the bedroom and bathroom.
Palau Güell was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 because of its relationship with Modernisme, industrial development, and architecture in Catalonia during the late 19th century.
Palau Güell is also part of the “Catalan Modernista Route.” It’s an unforgettable Art Nouveau building, and even if you only see the outside of the building, it is certainly worth trying to see it if you are in Barcelona.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, summer hours from 10am to 2pm and from 4pm to 8 pm
Admission: General € 12
21. (Gaudí’s Crypt) Church of Colònias Güell
This lovely and utterly unique industrial Church was designed by Antoni Gaudí and was intended to be for the people in a manufacturing suburb just out of Barcelona. It was commissioned by Count Eusebi de Güell in 1898, who encouraged Gaudí to be wildly creative. Unfortunately, a downturn in the textile industry, but the Count ran out of money, and the Church was never finished.
Gaudí used ropes with hemp bags weighted down to figure out how much he could bend pillars into great arcs and still hold up his fantastical structures. The Church of Colònias Güell was the practice space for the techniques he used to create the Sagrada Familia.
The Crypt became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
The Church is most famous for the “Gaudí Crypt,” designed to mimic the forest around the Church.
The brilliant stained glass windows and leaning pillars show the unique genius of Gaudi and the mindblowing beauty of all of his structures.
Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 3pmAdmission: 8,50 € – 12,99€.
22. Roman Ampitheater of Tarragona
The Roman remains of the Amphitheater of Tarragona lie in the Mediterranean city of Tarragona, which was once a Roman colony. It has a capacity of 20,000 and is one of Spain’s largest from Roman times
The amphitheater was constructed by Emperor Augustus as a gift for citizens who had entertained his troops after he conquered Spain in 19 BC.
After several restorations due to damage caused by the roman emperor Vespasian, Roman emperors Probus and Diocletian used this roman amphitheater for gladiator fights in the third century.
At that time the roman amphitheater was dedicated to Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus which is why it is still known by its modern name.
The roman emperor Honorius later banned Roman games, which caused the amphitheater to lose popularity until it was again renovated in 1792.
It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Opening Hours: Weekdays 9am – 8:30pm, Weekends 9.30am – 2:30pm
23. Alcázar Fortress in Segovia
The Alcázar Fortress is a 15th-century palace located on Alcázar Hill in Segovia, Spain.
It is one of the four Alcázar palaces built during Muslim rule in medieval Spain that served as royal residences for the Christian kings from the 9th until the 19th century.
The Alcázar Fortress is an example of Mudejar architecture, with its mix of Christian Visigothic and Moorish styles. It is one of Spain’s best realizations of this architectural trend, combining Islamic and Christian styles throughout its intricate decoration.
These include horseshoe archways, oriels, and Arabic decorative elements on top floor windows on balconies reflected by Romanesque pillars.
The Alcázar that we see today was built during several stages and is a mosaic of different styles such as Almohad, Romanesque, and Gothic with its Alcazaba (fortress) at its heart.
It is one of Spain’s best examples of medieval military architecture, with impressive towers and grandstands positioned around the exterior walls.
It also has traditional Islamic baths inside called Hamman and is influenced by Islamic art in both decor and function, featuring a large space divided into two rooms surrounding a bathing pool covered by a vaulted dome lightened by airshafts.
Opening hours: Daily from 10 am to 14.20 am (free Fri afternoons between October and March).
Admission: € 3,00
24. Aqueduct of Segovia
This expansive structure dates back to Roman times. Its construction began around 1000 AD.
The Romans used the aqueduct to get water from the River Frio. It runs for 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the city. The aqueduct is made up of a series of stone arches that are connected with each other through brick walls.
At first, it consisted only of five arches supported by pillars. Later, other arches were added. By the time it reaches the city, there are over 100 arched bridges and 128 pillars.
It has been declared as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites since 1996. Segovian locals are proud of their Roman aqueduct – it’s even on the city’s coat of arms.
It also includes an underground tunnel that allows water to be transported without having to use any kind of wheel or pump system. Water flows into the tunnels using gravity alone.
There is an Aqueduct Visitors Center in the new Mint and guided tours. At 28 meters high and 5.1 meters wide it’s a stunning sight and a fantastic day trip from Madrid.
Opening Hours: Always open
25. Walls of Ávila
The walls surrounding Ávila, a city in central Spain in Castile and León, are nothing short of spectacular. The wall was built between the 11th and 14th centuries to defend the city against Moorish armies.
There are no other walled cities in Spain with the same completeness of fortifications. The perimeter of the city wall is over 2,500 meters. The wall is 3 meters thick, 12 meters high. There are 9 gates and 88 semi-circular towers along the Wall.
The Walls of Ávila became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985
When you visit, you can walk along about half of the perimeter. You’ll be able to see holes deliberately left by the builders of the Wall for swifts to nest in.
Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 3pm and 5pm to 11pm
Admission: General: € 5, Reduced: € 3.5
26. Manzanares Castle el Real
Manzanares Castle el Real is also known as the Castle of los Mendoza. The present castle was built in 1475 on top of a Mujeda Romanesque Chapel (you can see its remains inside the castle). It’s an excellent example of 15th-century Spanish military architecture.
Like many of Spain’s defensive fortresses, Manzares Castle el Real became a palace owned by the Mendoza family. It is now owned by the Duchy of Infatado
It is the best-preserved castle in the whole Madrid region and is only 45 minutes by car from Madrid.
There have been many restorations over the centuries to its six floors and towers and today you can take tours with guides in period costumes, see plays, and wander through the hallways and rooms.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5.30pm and 10am to 6pm on weekends, closed Mondays
Admission: General: € 4
27. Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas
Plaza de Toros de las Ventas was built between 1771 and 1774 by José del Olmo and is a bullring in Madrid, Spain. It is where Madrid’s bullfighting tradition began and held bullfights until 1931. It was also used for rodeos.
Bullfighting is an important part of Spanish culture and history which began with the coronation ceremony of Ferdinand and Isabella. Plaza de Toros de las Ventas closed in 1931, but in 1995 bullfights returned to the plaza.
The façade is one of the best examples of neoclassical (18th-century) architecture in Madrid. The decoration represents Time overthrowing Tyranny.
Above the entrance stands an equestrian statue of Carlos III, flanked by four allegorical statues representing Glory, Fame, Abundance, and Joy.
There is a museum inside the premises that exhibits items relating to bullfighting.
Opening Hours: Weekdays from 9:00 am, 8:30 am Sundays
28. Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace in Madrid is one of the most famous landmarks in all of Spain. It’s the official residence of the Spanish royal family, although they mostly use it for ceremonies and official celebrations.
At most 1.5 million square feet, this palace is huge and considered the largest still-in-use royal palace in Europe. It has 3400 separate large rooms.
Construction for this impressive building began in the early 18th century. Many parts of the palace are still original, so packing your camera is highly recommended as there are plenty of things to see and do.
Its stunning white exterior is reason enough to visit this incredible palace. There are also regular concerts held at the palace.
Located in the heart of the city, it’s easy to reach both on foot or via public transport.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm (7pm in Summer) and until 4pm on Sundays
Admission: € 12,00
29. Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor in the heart of Madrid is one of the capital’s most famous landmarks. The public square, surrounded by residential buildings, feels quite intimate and is without a doubt among the most beautiful squares in Europe.
Construction started in 1580 during the reign of King Philip III, and the plaza has been the center point of Madrid culture for centuries. The equestrian figure in the plaza is King Philip III himself.
In the past, the plaza was the spot where public executions took place. Today, the Plaza Mayor is a favorite place for Madrilenos and tourists alike, there are always street performers entertaining locals and tourists in the square.
The Plaza Mayor is considered to be the heart of the city, and from here you can explore the city a self-guided walking tour of Madrid.
Opening Hours: Always open
Contributed by De Wet and Jin at Museum of Wander
30. Puerta del Sol
Madrid’s famous square is home to some of the oldest buildings in the country. In fact, the Puerta del Sol dates back to 1561 when King Philip II ordered the construction of the original gate.
Since then, the square has undergone numerous changes and today it boasts over 100 monuments and statues scattered around the perimeter.
One of the most iconic structures in the square is the Monument to Christ the Redeemer. This monument stands at the highest point of the area and offers stunning views across the whole city. The statue weighs approximately 1 tonne and took three years to complete.
The other important sculpture is the Bear and the Madrone Tree, the symbol of Madrid.
Opening Hours: Always open
31. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum houses an extensive private collection of European fine arts including works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, and Paul Klee, to name a fraction of its impressive artists whose work is on display.
It has been described as “the best small museum in the world” due to its unique location within the city center.
Along with the Prado and Rein Sofia museums, the Thyssen-Bornemisza is considered one of the top ten attractions in Europe and is part of Madrid’s Golden Triangle.
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am until midnight
Admission: Prices vary depending on the time of visit.
32. Museo Nacional del Prado (Prado Museum)
The Museo Nacional del Prado is frequently voted as the most popular attraction in Madrid. Like Le Louvre or the National Gallery in London, Prado is one of the most prestigious classical art museums in Europe.
Prado is in the heart of Madrid alongside El Retiro, a historic city park that once belonged to the Spanish Monarchy. Together with Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and Reina Sofía Museum, Pardo is part of the Golden Triangle of Art in Madrid.
Pardo houses an exciting number of world-class masterpieces, with a focus on the classical art of great Spanish artists including Velázquez, Goya, and Rubens, along with other famous international artists.. Check out Las Meninas, the most celebrated artwork created by Diego Velazquez in 1656.
Tourists may enjoy free access to Prado with a Madrid Card, it will save time as there is always a long queue at the ticketing office.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm, Sundays and holidays 10am to 7pm Admission: Regular €15 or free with a Madrid Card
Contributed by Kenny at Knycx Journeying
33. Reina Sofia Museum
Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid is one of the world’s leading museums dedicated exclusively to modern art. It is one of the most visited sites in Madrid and attracts millions of people each year.
This magnificent building was designed by Santiago Calatrava and completed in 2004. Its design incorporates elements of both classical architecture and contemporary style.
Inside Reina Sofía you’ll find three floors filled with stunning pieces of art ranging from ancient Egyptian artifacts to cutting-edge installations.
Visitors should expect long queues at peak times, especially on weekends. If you want to avoid queuing then try coming earlier in the week or later in the evening.
If you’re looking for something different why not take a guided tour? Tours run throughout the day and last approximately 1 hour. A guide will explain all aspects of the collection while taking you behind the scenes of the gallery.
Tours include access to special areas normally closed off to the public.
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday, 10am to 8pm, Sunday closes at 2:30pm
Admission: € 10,00, free Monday and Wednesday to Saturday, 6pm to 8pm and Sunday 1:30pm to 2:15pm.
34. Toledo Cathedral
Toledo was the old capital of Spain and the notable city of three cultures – a place where Jews, Christians, and Muslims used to live in peace many centuries ago.
Its rich legacy of 2000 years includes many Spain landmarks and is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Toledo Cathedral is a major monument in Spain. Also known as Catedral Primada or the Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary, this twelfth-century work of art of French Gothic engineering required 266 years to complete.
At the north pinnacle of the church hangs the famous “Fat Bell”. It is arguably the biggest bell on the planet, however, it rarely rings. Many fables exist about why the bell is not rung now.
The highlight of the other side is the Baroque arch of the Mozarabic church. At the primary entrance are lion sculptures that give it the name “portal of lions”.
This is a Spanish landmark you must not miss even on a one-day trip to Toledo.
Opening Hours: Open daily, with shorter hours Sundays and holidays (4:30pm – 6:30pm)
Admission: 5.50 €.
Contributed by Sinjana at Backpack & Explore
35. Hanging Houses of Cuenca
Just an hour’s drive from Madrid, the capital of Spain, is an unspoiled oasis of peace and relaxation, surrounded by nature, good food, incredible landscapes, and extraordinary architecture. This is Cuenca, a gorgeous town in central Spain, often outside the tourist’s radar.
The whole city appears to be trapped in the past, with narrow streets that make it unique. Cuenca is an off-the-beaten-path destination in Spain. You will fall in love with this cute city, the inhabitants, and the scenic views over the valley.
The ancient city was founded by the Muslims and then conquered back by the Christians. Now it jealously guards a treasure, a UNESCO site, called“Las Casas Colgantes”, or the hanging houses.
This is one of the most popular sightseeing of Cuenca – a series of houses built on the rock, hanging above the Huécar river. The view from the “Puente de San Pablo” is extraordinary.
These unique houses of Cuenca attract tourists from all over the world. Some of the apartments are currently occupied by people living there but others are today Michelin-star awarded restaurants and gorgeous hotels.
You can discover inside these ancient but well-maintained houses, experience how locals live, and keep one of the most precious landmarks in Spain.
No admission costs for this beautiful place, however, a reservation to the restaurant is needed, but feel free to show up at the door, and just enjoy a drink or two on the panoramic terrace.
Opening Hours: Always open; Admission: Free
Contributed by Toti at Italian Trip Abroad
36. Windmills of Consuegra
Lonely windmills and the ruins of solitary castles await lucky travelers who venture off the beaten path in Spain. Castilla-La Mancha is where Cervantes set the journeys of his hero, Don Quixote.
Along the road to the 12th-century Castle of Muela, atop the Cerro Calderico ridge, you’ll find 12 Molinos de Viento (windmills!) They’re called tower mills and were built to grind grain and modeled on Dutch windmills. 13 were built and used until the 1980s.
Now 12 are open for tourists and you can visit two that are still working. The Tourist Office is in one of the windmills, giving you an opportunity to look around inside.
It’s easy to reach Consuegra by car from Toledo (60 kilometers away) or Madrid.
Opening Hours: Always open to walk around; Admission: Free
37. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
One of the coolest and unique landmarks in Spain is definitely in Valencia: The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias). Situated at the end of Turia Park, a visit to this futuristic attraction is a must on any city break.
The complex, which was designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, comprises several modern buildings that were opened between 1998 and 2009 and house museums, exhibitions, and gardens.
The most worthwhile attractions in the City of Arts and Sciences are the 3D cinema L’Hemisfèric, the Science Centre, L’Oceanogràfic, L’Umbracle, and the Opera House.
The integrated water landscapes are particularly beautiful and give this sight that certain something. You can rent a boat and paddle around the water landscape.
There is a fee to enter the buildings. You can save money with combination tickets that include several exhibitions.
Most of the exhibitions, as well as the aquarium, open from 9:30, am and closing at 5:00 pm.
Opening Hours: Always open; Admission: Free, Aquarium entrance fee is € 8,00
by Martina at Places of Juma
38. Majorca Cathedral
‘La Seu’ in Catalan is one of the major landmarks in Spain you can’t miss seeing when holidaying on the spectacular island of Majorca. It was built opposite a large Moorish palace during a time when the Moors had invaded Spain.
Made from gold sandstone in the fourteenth century, you can’t but help but see this imposing cathedral on the Mediterranean Sea in Palma.
But it is the inside of this Cathedral that is so unusual, It has an enormous nave – 44 meters long and its tall ceilings are held upright by some of the thinnest weight-bearing columns in the world. When you consider that this is one of the tallest cathedrals in all of Europe, that’s a major engineering feat!
The massive Rose window you see from the ocean-side creates a vast amount of stained-glass light into the Cathedral/ It’s why the Cathedral got its name as the “Cathedral of Light.”
Opening Hours: 9 am to midnight
Admission: € 20.00 and up
39. Caves of Drach
The Drach Caves (Cuevas del Drach) are on the eastern coast of southern Mallorca, at Porto Cristo. One of the most impressive natural landmarks in Spain, this natural cave formation of four interconnected caves contains a large underground lake (Lake Martel).
Lake Martel is connected to the sea and at high tide, salt is deposited in the caves. Its name comes from a legend of a dragon believed to guard the entrance to the cave rorm the sea.
You can take the stairways yourself or take a short boat ride through the caves on Lake Martel.
A quartet plays classical music at the base of the cave to the delight of unknowing tourists who have taken a boat ride. This concert has been occurring here since 1935.
It takes an hour to travel the 1.2 kilometers underground, past vivid turquoise pools and below a serrated cavern ceiling with lighting effects along the way.
Opening Hours: Tours on the hour between 10am and 5pm, and until 3pm on weekends Admission: €16,00 (includes boat tour and concert)
40. Roman Theater, Mérida
Only a minutes’ walk from the Alcazaba of Málaga, the Teatro Romano is a major landmark of Mérida that was built in 16 – 15 AC on the orders of the Roman Consul, Marco Agrippa.
This was the beginning of the Roman Empire, but for hundreds of years, it was just called “The Seven Chairs” because only 7 stone bleachers could be seen. The rest of the Theater was buried.
When it was finally excavated, the 7 chairs turned out to be part of the orchestra section, with three stands around it. It was discovered in 1951 and the two-tier stage is made up of Corinthian columns.
Sculptures of gods have been found along the two rows of marble columns that make up the stage, including Pluto, Proserpina, and Ceres.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 6pm Sundays and holidays from 10am to 4pm Admission: Free
41. The Lonja
In the center of Valencia is the Lonja. Step inside this lovely building and be amazed at the twisty columns of this impressive space.
This is a building that was built to the god of money – it’s an old Silk Exchange and is one of the best civil gothic monuments in all of Europe.
A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996, the Lonja was built in the fifteenth century when Valencia became so wealthy, it needed a larger exchange.
The lower floors include a wonderful domed ceiling 17.4 meters high with 8 wonderful twisty columns, and a chapel.
The upper floors were where the city imprisoned Valencians who didn’t pay their debts!
Opening Hours: Tues to Sat 10am to 7pm and Sun and bank holidays 10am to 2pm.
Admission: Currently free, but prices are due to change any day now.
42. Great Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba
The Great Mosque-Cathedral in Córdoba is the largest mosque in Spain. It was completed in 987. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is visited for its architecture, beauty, and Islamic history.
The Great Mosque was built on top of Visigothic remains dating back to the early 6th century and obtained its current appearance during an expansion phase between 961 and 966.
It is composed of a series of horseshoe-arched interconnecting prayer halls with the main prayer hall in the middle.
Its double rows of tiered arches in the original section are one of the most photographed parts of this incredible structure. It’s been described as having “countless pillars like rows of palm trees in the oases of Syria.”
The courtyard contains a garden that was planted in 808. This makes it the oldest continually planted Islamic garden in the world. It’s called the Courtyard of the Orange Trees.
The Great Mosque was converted into a Cathedral in 1236 when King Ferdinand III of Castile conquered Córdoba. Muslims have mounted campaigns to try and worship again at the Great Mosque, but Spanish Christians have not agreed.
Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 8pm (closed Fri – 10:30am-12:30pm and 25 Dec and 1 Jan).
Admission: €9 per person.
You would expect a monumental place like this to be located in a grand city in Italy, but it is actually one of the most famous landmarks in Spain, located just out of Seville, and it is spectacular.
Italica was the birthplace of the Roman Emperors, Trajan and Hadrian and it was the first Roman city in Spain. What was once a thriving city is now only in ruins, but as you walk the tree-lined streets, you can get a feeling of how important it was.
The mosaics that lined the floors of the homes of the people that lived there are still bright and easy to see. Columns and even a statue of Trajan are still able to be seen as you wander the straight cobblestone streets.
These are all stunning to see but what will blow you away is the Amphitheatre. Built to hold 25,000, it was the 3rd largest Colosseum in the Roman Empire.
There is a small museum on-site which tells you the story of how Italica rose, thrived, fell, and went into ruin. It will surprise you how the buildings were demolished, and the stone reused in a dam nearby and it will amaze you how artifacts survived so well here from the 2nd century BC.
Opening hours: Vary throughout the year.
Admission: € 1.50 for non-EU citizens.
Contributed by Bec from Wyld Family Travel
44. Setas de Savilla
Las Setas is one of the most modern famous landmarks in Spain. It graces the skyline of Seville in southern Spain. Officially known as the Metropol Parasol – it is a unique wooden structure that almost looks like a mushroom.
The structure was designed by a German architect named Jürgen Mayer and was opened to the public in 2011. It has various names including ‘las setas’, ‘antiquarium’ (which is housed in the same complex), and of course Metropol Parasol. Locals also call it the ‘mushroom’ – due to its shape.
This famous Spanish landmark comprises six large parasols, and a visitor can walk there to soak in the amazing city views of Seville. Consider heading there in the evening for sunset views.
The Antiquarium is located in the basement. It is a museum dedicated to the Roman ruins that were found here.
This complex includes a market, a museum, and a restaurant. It was renovated and revamped to invite visitors to the Antiquarium, and also uplifted Encarnacion square and the nearby area. Today, it also hosts different cultural events here.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9:30 am to 1 am
Admission: €5 entry to the top of the mushroom
by Mayuri from To Some Place New
45. Seville Cathedral
The Seville Cathedral is not only a famous landmark in Spain as the largest gothic cathedral in the world, but this impressive church is also well-known across Europe.
The ornate and expansive cathedral was built as a way to display the city’s wealth and prosperity and to replace the Grand Mosque that stood on the site prior to the Christian rule of Spain.
Also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, the iconic UNESCO World Heritage site is both an architectural marvel and an important historical landmark.
This fourth largest cathedral in the world took nearly 130 years to complete. It houses the tomb of explorer Christopher Columbus.
Its most notable feature is the Giralda Bell Tower which was part of the original mosque. Visitors can climb the 343-foot tall tower via a series of spiraling ramps and stairs. The lookout at the top of the tower offers panoramic views of the city and its other famous buildings.
The cathedral is an easy addition to any Seville itinerary.
Opening Hours: Mon to Saturday 10:45am to 5pm, Sunday 2.30pm to 6pm
Admission: € 10,00
Contributed by Melissa from Parenthood and Passports
46. Royal Alcázar of Seville
The Royal Alcázar of Seville is one of the most famous landmarks in Spain. Seville is a little off-the-beaten-path but full of gorgeous architecture with Moorish and Christian influences.
The Alcázar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight is the beautiful long pool in the center of the palace in the Patio de las Doncellas. Here you can also see the impressive Mudéjar architecture (a form of architecture with heavy Moorish influences).
Don’t miss the exquisite Salón de los embajadores, where Queen Isabella received Christopher Colombus. The gardens surrounding are also enjoyable to relax in and take your time strolling through.
Tickets can be purchased in advance. Booking ahead will allow you to avoid long wait times as it can get busy during peak season.
Opening Hours: 9:30am to 7pm daily
Admission: General € 14.50
Contirbuted by Jackie at Jou Jou Travels
47. Plaza de España
One of Spain’s most charming landmarks is without doubt Seville’s Plaza de España. The city’s most well-known plaza was designed by the famous Spanish architect Aníbal González for the Ibero-American Expo that was held in the year 1929.
With a diameter of almost 200 meters, there are plenty of things for you to explore on this beautifully half-moon-shaped square.
Plaza de España truly regained its glory after its 2010 renovation and has become one of the more modern famous Spanish landmarks. It is best known for its mosaic-covered benches that represent Spain’s various provinces. This is one of the reasons why many Spanish tourists travel to Seville each year – to take a picture with the bench of their own province!
Make sure to take in this reclaimed beauty from the water by renting a small boat and navigating your way through the plaza’s canal. When cruising through the canal, you will come across four bridges, symbolizing Spain’s four ancient kingdoms.
Another thing that stands out immediately when you enter the Plaza de Espana located at Seville’s María Luisa park is the big fountain at the square’s center.
Opening Hours: Always Open; Admission: Free
by Stéphanie at Bey of Travel
48. Puente Nuevo
Chances are that when you have seen pictures of famous landmarks in Spain they would include the soaring arches of the Puente Nuevo in Ronda, Spain, as it spans the gaping chasm that is the El Tajo gorge.
The Puente Nuevo is a magnificent feat of engineering that is situated in Ronda, one of the regions of Andalucia’s most famous white villages, or ‘Pueblo Blancos’.
The town of Ronda itself is one of the oldest in Spain, having been first occupied by the Celts, followed by the Romans and the Moors.
Besides its unique location and exceptionally beautiful natural surroundings, the town is also famed as being the birthplace of Spain’s controversial sport of bullfighting and its 18th-century bullring is one of the town’s most recognizable emblems.
As the town grew, space in the old town became somewhat hard to find, so buildings began to pop up on the other side of the gorge. The old town and the new town needed to be linked and thus the spectacular Puente Nuevo was conceived.
From the bottom of the gorge to the town above, the bridge reaches a whopping 98m and took over 30 years to complete. Many also lost their lives throughout the building project in the 18th century.
Somewhat surprisingly, neither the spectacular Puente Nuevo nor the unique town of Ronda is designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites, but a visit to see both is one you will not likely forget.
Opening Hours: Always open Admission: Free
Contributed by Issey at Issy’s Escapades
49. Caminito del Rey
One of the most impressive landmarks in Spain is El Caminito del Rey, a dramatic boardwalk pinned 100 meters on the vertical wall of Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes Gorge.
It used to be the most dangerous hike in the world, but was rebuilt in 2015 and now has extensive safety measures. You can still see the old path beneath the new one and it gives you an idea about the danger adventure seekers were in as they walked it.
Originally it was built to carry dam-building materials to the end of the gorge at the beginning of the 1900s. The walk was named the King’s Pathway after King Alfonso XII walked the path in 1921 to inaugurate the Conde del Guadalhorce Dam.
Caminito del Rey has quickly turned into one of the most popular hikes in Malaga and tickets often must be booked weeks in advance.
The hike is one-way and takes about 2 hours. There is a bus service that takes you back to the starting point. The hike starts at El Kiosko Restaurant (Ardales) and there are two walks to the checkpoint where the actual Caminito del Ray starts.
One route takes 20 minutes and the other takes 50 minutes. If you come by train from Malaga, you can take the bus from El Chorro to El Kiosko Restaurant before the hike. It ends in El Chorro not far from the train station.
Opening Hours: Daily shuttle bus departs from 8.30am until 4.30pm
Admission: € 10,00 and up
by Linn at Andalucia Hiking
50. Antequera Dolmens
Antequera Dolmens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Andalusia near the town of Antequera, with a difference. There are 3 cultural monuments that are the giant megalithic structures called the Menga and Viera dolmens and the Tholos of the Romeral.
But there are two other natural formations that are part of this World Heritage listing – the El Torcal and La Peña de Los Enamorados mountain features. The Menga dolmen looks at the Peña de los Enamorados and theTholos of the Romeral is built to face El Torcal. This makes the five structures together a unique ancient megalithic site.
The Dolmen are masterpieces of megalithic architecture and it is extraordinary to see inside the Menga Dolmen, a giant structure made 6000 years ago by Neolithic people. UNESCO calls it a “masterpiece of the human creative genius.”
It’s free to visit and there is parking on site but it’s tricky to figure out when they’re open.
Opening Hours: Variable across winter and summer; Admission: Free
51. El Torcal de Antequera
Worthy a mention among the most impressive landmarks in Spain is the unique karst landscape you find at El Torcal de Antequera in Malaga. Formed over millions of years, the area was once under the sea. As the earth’s crust started moving, it was pressed up and now it’s situated at 1200 meters altitude.
With its trails crisscrossing through captivating rock formations revealing natural tunnels, natural sculptures, and even a few fossils, this is one of the most impressive hikes in Spain for the whole family.
There is a parking lot by the interpretation center at the top, but that usually fills up early, so you might have to park at the bottom of the hill and either walk up or take the shuttle bus that costs about a Euro one way.
There are no good options for public transport to get there unless you take a taxi from Antequera.
The site itself is free to visit at all times, but it requires that you respect nature and the local inhabitants, the mountain goats which is another exciting reason to visit this place.
The animals are used to people and might be seen close to the trails, but remember that they are wild animals. Make sure you don’t chase them, feed them, or scare them in any way. It’s extremely important to leave no trace so that they don’t eat human food in any way.
Opening Hours: Always Open; Admission: Free
Contributed by Linn at Brainy Backpackers
52. Alcázaba de Málaga
La Alcázaba de Málaga, located on a hill in the center of Málaga next to another famous landmark, the Roman theatre, is a must-see attraction when you’re visiting this beautiful city in Southern Spain.
This fortress-palace was built in the early 11th century mainly for the military due to its great location close to the port of Malaga.
It’s one of the best-preserved Alcázaba in Spain and you are able to walk on the walls and contemplate the amazing panoramic views – one of the best views in the city.
You’ll learn about the history and Moorish influence of this palace on your visit, but also you can walk through the beautiful gardens decorated with jasmine, fountains, and patios.
Opening Hours: 9am to 8pm from April to October and from 9am to 6pm from November to March
Admission: 3,50€ or 5,50€ if you’d also like to visit Gibralfaro Castle, which is next to La Alcázaba. However, you can visit it for free on Sundays after 2 pm.
Contributed by Cristina at My Little World of Travelling
The spellbinding architectural wonder that is the Alhambra is one of the most famous landmarks in Spain and is a must-visit attraction in Southern Spain. Alhambra means ‘Red Castle’ in Arabic and was named because of its reddish-colored walls.
Built-in the mid-14th century as a hilltop Moorish royal palace, the Alhambra complex consists of fascinating architectural buildings that attract millions of tourists from around the world every year.
With more than 12 centuries of history, the former royal residence consists of different architectural influences which makes Alhambra one of the most unique palaces of the World.
The Nasrid Palaces arethe most beautiful part of this complex but there is also the Alcazaba, a fortress overlooking the spectacular view of Granada, and the Generalife encompassing lovely gardens and a smaller palace.
This world-renowned UNESCO site is perhaps the most famous Spanish monument. It is very popular among travelers and you should purchase entry tickets weeks or months in advance.
Opening Hours: 8.30am to 8pm (1st April- 14th Oct) or 6pm (15th Oct – 31st March).
Admission: € 14,00, children up to 12 are free.
Contributed by Sunetra at Globetrotting Su
54. Alcázaba de Almeria
The Alcázaba de Almeria is high up on the list of essential landmarks in Spain to see on your first visit. It is the largest Muslim fortress in both Spain and Europe, which makes it also one of the most significant Spanish landmarks.
You can discover architecture from the 10th to 15th centuries at the Alcázaba, and learn about the culture of the Moors in Almeria and the Iberian Peninsula. You’ll find shady courtyards, bathing areas, and beautiful gardens.
The Alcázaba is situated at the bottom of Gibralfaro hill and can be seen from any part of the city. The top of the fortress walls offers marvelous views of the port and the city.
This well-preserved fortress is a UNESCO site. It is one of the best things to do in Almeria and a must-visit destination in Southern Spain.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 6pm and 9am to 3pm on holidays.
Admission: €1.50 for no EU citizens.
Contributed by Paulina at Paulina on the Road
55. Timanfaya National Park UNESCO biosphere reserve
Parque Nacional de Timanfaya on Lanzarote is one of the best national parks not only in the Canary Islands but also in all of Spain. In 1993, UNESCO designated Timanfaya a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
You can see unique landscapes, volcanoes, and pristine lava fields in an area of 5,000 hectares. Vegetation and climate have not had time to change the beauty of this black-red earth, which has not been touched by the human hand.
In addition to admiring the unique nature, you can try a volcano barbecue in Timanfaya Park, as there is a restaurant built over the crater of the hottest volcano on the island.
Approaching the National Park from Yaiza, is the starting point of the camel trekking route, Echadero de Camellos. This fun walk takes about 30 minutes.
Many travelers come to Lanzarote just for the Park Timanfaya. So if you are not sure which Canary Island to choose for your first visit, Lanzarote is a great choice.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9:00am 5:45pm
Admission: adults €9; children (7 to 12 years) €4.50
Contributed by Sasha at the Alternative Travel Guide
Every list has to stop somewhere, but don’t let that stop you seeing these other modern landmarks that will, overtime, become famous landmarks in Spain because of their unique cultural or architectural features:
- The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the heart of Basque country
- L’Oceanografic, Europe’s largest aquarium
- Principe Felipe Science Museum
- Castillo de Colomares on the Costa del Sol
- Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid