Ideal Spanish cities for a break

A favourite destination for UK holidaymakers, Spain caters to different tastes.

Known for its beaches, arts, and diverse culture, the country can often be the ideal city break destination.

Here are some great Spanish cities we thoroughly recommend experiencing on a short break away.

Barcelona

spain cities to visit

One of the greatest cities in the world, Barcelona in Catalonia is a wonderful city break destination.

A city shaped by a number of diverse cultures, this huge city is a fantastically artistic city.

Antoni Gaudí has had a massive influence on Barcelona’s architecture with a number of the most famous city landmarks designed by the Modernist Architect.

Most notably, the tall La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batillo, Park Güell, and Casa Mila, are all magnificent Gaudi landmarks.

Construction was started on La Sagrada Familia in 1882 and yet 137 years later, the unique building is still incomplete. Expected to be completed by sometime close to 2030, what is finished is instantly memorable.

Both the outside and the decorated interior demonstrate Gaudi’s vision.

Intricately designed facades on the outside will immediately command your attention whereas the interior contains a number of wonderfully crafted sculptures.

Walking around inside, you will feel like you are walking through trees.

The columns take inspiration from nature and look quite life-like as they rise up to support the massive church roof.

When visiting, be sure to stop by a scale model resting inside the church that shows how it will look upon completion.

Another Gaudi-designed building is the Cas Battlo apartments building.

Again, a landmark that draws the crowds, this is an extremely important work of art.

There is so much else to see and experience whilst visiting the city including the stretching walkway La Rambla, site of so many great restaurants and cafes, and a museum dedicated to the work of the renowned artist Picasso.

A place where locals tend to gather and relax or celebrate occasions, the Magic Fountain of Montjuic combines water and light in a wonderful choreographed display.

Relax and soak up the atmosphere of the city at Placa de Catalunya. This huge central square is perfect for taking shelter from the Catalan sun under trees or stretching out and enjoying the sunshine to socialise or unwind with a book.

A must for holidaymakers aiming to experience Catalan culture, delicious food, historic works of art, also providing convenient access to the scenic Pyrenees, Barcelona is undoubtedly one of the great Spanish cities.

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Madrid

The Spanish capital, Madrid is a rather grand European city. Home to royalty, the city is another famed artistic hub.

Key highlights include the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, El Retiro Park, and the renowned Museo Nacional del Prado.

When in the capital, we thoroughly recommend stopping by some of the notable royal sights, particularly the Palace.

Madrid also has a great selection of water fountains ranging from the fountain of the Sea God Neptune, the Monument to Cervantes and Cibeles Fountain where a carriage is drawn by incredible-looking lions!

Offering a lovely break away from the streets of the city, El Retiro Park can be a great picnic spot.

Let us set the scene. You find a nice spot by the lake where you can enjoy the sun, admire the monument to the former King Alfonso XII before setting off on a boat on the lake!

You can literally spend a whole day exploring this lovely park that even presents its own art exhibitions inside a glass building known as the Crystal Palace.

Briefly transport yourself away to ancient Egypt with a trip to the carefully rebuilt Temple of Debod.

This ancient shrine was transported to the Spanish capital in the 1960s after the construction of a dam posed a threat to this important archaeological wonder.

A religious shrine, the Temple can be found close to Madrid’s Royal Palace and is the only one of its kind in Spain.

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Malaga

Heading to the holiday favourite Costa del Sol, the port city of Malaga is massively popular with British holidaymakers and is also famously the birthplace of renowned artist Pablo Picasso.

The city wonderfully combines old and new, catering to different tastes.

Along the coastline, you can enjoy the resorts and beaches that are a key reason why so many holidaymakers travel to the region.

Heading further inland, attractions dating back to the time of the Moorish provide a link to Malaga’s past.

The former Moorish palace Acazaba overlooks the city and sits high above the coastline. Formerly a fortress, visitors can now explore Acazaba and learn about its colourful history.

Close to the 11th-century palace, there is also a well-preserved Roman amphitheatre.

Whilst visiting the artist’s hometown, it is worth paying a visit to Picasso Museum Malaga – a museum dedicated to works and life of the notable artist.

The museum is home to a large collection of art, including pieces donated by his family.

A visit here will provide insight into the famous Spaniard and give you the chance to experience some of his magical work up close.

Beyond the art, there are some great alternative attractions in and around the city including one for the brave – a Crocodile Park (with petting area) and theme park perfect for all the family.

Malaga on the Costa del Sol deservedly makes our list of great Spanish cities.

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Seville

Rich in history and Spanish flair thanks to its long association with traditional flamenco dancing and bullfighting, Seville is a magical city.

The city can be a lovely romantic city break away. Exploring this Andalusian gem will take you to some incredible landmarks including the famed Plaza de Espana, Torre del Oro (watchtower) and a symbol of the city – the great tower La Giralda (pictured).

As you wander, you may begin noticing a trend with the buildings. A number of the oldest buildings appear orange in colour.

The city and surrounding region of Andalucía has a strong association with oranges. Prospering in the surrounding hills, oranges are a delicious major export that leaves Spain venturing around the planet.

Nowhere else is the city’s history more evident than at Plaza de Espana. A huge square, complete with its circular waterway, the Plaza is a work of art in itself with large areas decorated in ceramic tiles that catch the eye whilst exploring the square.

Holidaymakers looking to fully embrace the city’s culture should look no further than the bullring Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla.

Bit of Trivia – La Maestranza holds 12,000 spectators.

You can tour the bullring and visit the venues on-site museum to learn more about this key part of Andalusian culture.

The Andalusian capital, our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning historic Seville.

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