Spain is well known across the world for its landmarks and sporting activities that lure tourists into the country every year. When it comes to sports, Spain is one of the countries that can boast of an incredible football league with many historic clubs like Real Madrid FC and FC Barcelona. Football is just one of the ways Spain attracts visitors.
Another reason people travel to Spain is because of their landmarks. There are many landmarks in the country, with a few of them as old as 500 years. You can find incredible landmarks in the country, ranging from museums, football stadiums, cathedrals, and even art centres built by many famous architects.
Travelling to Spain and leaving without visiting any landmark is quite impossible to do. Below is a list of a few landmarks you can visit when you are in Spain.
Museo Nacional del Prado translated from Spanish means the Prado Museum. This is one of the most visited landmarks in Spain, and it is located in central Madrid. If you love art, and you are searching for artworks around the world. The Prado Museum should be on your list of destinations.
Museo Nacional del Prado is the home of more than 8600 paintings from Spain and the world. The number of paintings on exhibition at the museum and the artists responsible for them is impressive, names such as Rogier van der Waden, Hieronymus Bosch, and Fra Angelico.
Even if you don't love art, visiting the Prado Museum when you are in Madrid will make your visit to Spain memorable!
Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the English translation of The Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor. This is a Catholic church that can be located on Mount Tibidabo in Barcelona. Spanish architect Sagnier designed the building, but his son Josep Maria Sagnier did the honours by finishing it.
The church located on a mountain is where you need to be when you are in Barcelona. A statue of Jesus Christ made with bronze can be found at the top of the church. The church has an elevator which takes you to the top of the building for viewing purposes. When you are on top of Mount Tibidabo, you get an amazing view of Barcelona.
Granada is one of the cities where you can find a lot of Moors heritage covering more than 700 years. Alhambra is evidence of the rule of the Nasrid Dynasty in the 12th century. It was the location for the Emirs of Granada when they wanted to relax and escape from the summer heat. Today it is a national landmark attracting many visitors to the city of Granada.
Alhambra, when translated into Arabic, is Medinat Al-Hambra, which means the Red City. This is because of the red coloured buildings. Some of the highlights you can look for in Alhambra are the three palaces built for Mohammed ben Al-Hamar, namely the Royal Palace, Palace of Ceremonial Rooms, and Palace of the Lions. There are many sites available at the Alhambra, and including it in your itinerary will be one of the best decisions you can ever make.
The first and largest railway station found in Madrid is the Atocha Railway Station. This is just one reason why it is a landmark in Spain. Atocha Railway Station receives trains from across the country, for example, intercity trains from Huelva and Navarre use this station, and it is the main station for commuter trains in the city.
The station was originally designed by Rafael Moneo and inaugurated in 1851. It was later redesigned by Eiffel Gustave and Alberto de Palacio Elissagne after it destroyed by a fire outbreak. Atocha Railway Station has an unconventional botanical garden which covers an area of 2,000 square metres. The garden caters for more than 5,000 plants of about 260 species. You can go to the train station just to explore some of the plants available.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a royal town located in the Guadarrama mountains near Madrid. There are many buildings in the town, making it stand out as a landmark in Spain. You can find a library, museum, monastery, church, fountains and even a grand palace. The library is so ancient to the extent that it contains manuscripts dating back to the 15th century.
You can do many things when you visit the town. For example, you can go to the grand palace and sit on the king's throne. When you want to explore nature, you can also roam through the woods. Since the beautiful town is in the mountains, you can also go on a hike.
The Casa Milà usually referred to as the stone quarry is one of the modernist buildings in Barcelona. The Casa Milà landmark was the last private building designed by the famous Antoni Gaudi between 1906 and 1912.
This must-see site in Spain gives you a glimpse of the original purpose of the building, which was as a condominium building. It displays the lifestyle of a Barcelona Bourgeois family during the 20th century.
The famous building has an attic that is used as a museum. In this museum, you can learn the Gaudi's architecture skills and his inspiration. There is an exhibition on the main floor of the apartment. This is the place to visit if you want to see how an apartment is used as a multi-purpose building.
La Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona and all of Spain. This landmark is one of the masterpieces of the architect Antoni Gaudi. The architect commenced work in 1883 in Barcelona, but he did not live to complete it. Till this day this historic landmark has not been completed. Jordi Fauli, the architect, working on this project today estimates that they might complete it in 2026.
Even though the building has not been completed, the managers of the landmark opened it for visitors on November 7, 2010. This is because parts of the building have already been completed. For example, the door of El Nacimiento, the crypt, and the chapel of San José can all be explored today.
You can go on a tour around La Sagrada Familia to explore and learn more about its unique architecture.
The Alcázar of Segovia is a historic World Heritage Site located in the city of Segovia. It was constructed by Christian monarchs in the 12th century. The landmark is not as big as compared to others in Spain, but it has its perks attracting many visitors from around the world. Due to its age and grandness, the Alcázar of Segovia is one of the most famous historical landmarks in Spain.
Alcázar of Segovia has the Aqueduct, an amazing building and probably the most iconic building of the landmark. The Romans built the Aqueduct to help them transport water in the River Acebeda to the city. When you study the structure, you realize that no cement or mortar was used, but the building is still stable till date. You can take a walk under or around the place to enjoy the view.
La Rambla is a street that is easily recognized in the centre of Barcelona. Unfortunately, today, many local Barcelonians report that the place is filled with too many tourists. This is because the landmark is such an icon of Barcelona and Spain; it attracts tourists from around the world. So when you get the chance to travel to Barcelona, include this landmark in your itinerary.
If you are with your significant other and you want to do something not so conventional in Barcelona, try Museu de l’Erotica. This experience is mainly for adults; it is not advisable if you are with children. The museum introduces you to the history of sex in Barcelona. There is an art gallery at Centre d’Art Santa Monica for you to check out if you love art. You can also take a walking tour around the busy city to enjoy the view with your family.
Excluding the Mosque of Córdoba from your landmarks to visit itinerary when you are exploring Spain is unacceptable! The Mosque of Córdoba is located in Andalusia, and it is a landmark to admire!
The landmark became a church when Córdoba was retaken in 1236. You can go on tour during the day or at night to explore the landmark and its features. You can also climb to the Bell Tower, which is 54 metres tall to view the town from the bird's eye view perspective.
Santiago de Compostela is a heart-warming destination to travel to either alone or with your family in Galicia, Spain. It is a city with artistic and historical meaning, and also very important when it comes to Catholic history in Spain. You cannot explore the whole of Santiago de Compostela with one day; you need a lot of time to enjoy the full benefits of the area.
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is just one of the historical landmarks this part of Spain has to offer. In the past, many pilgrims walked hundreds of miles to Santiago de Compostela mainly because of the cathedral. The whole city was built around the cathedral, and it is believed that this is the final resting place of St James.
Built between 1900 and 1914, Park Güell is undoubtedly one of the most well-known landmarks in Spain. Park Güell is located in Barcelona, Catalonia.
Park Güell was designed by Antoni Gaudi but was named after the sponsor who goes by the name Eusebi Güell. The park was built to be the family home of Eusebi Güell but was converted into a public site after his demise in 1926.
Park Güell is a tourist site for all ages, from children to adults. With no entrance fee required, you get to have fun with your family at this unique and interesting park. It has many attraction sites for visitors like the Serpentine Bench, the Austria Gardens and the Gaudí House Museum, and many more. The park is a colourful place to take your family for relaxation and site-seeing.
The Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre is a cultural centre designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
You can locate the landmark on the estuary of Avilés in northwest Spain. The Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre was inaugurated in March 2011. Oscar Niemeyer saw the inauguration of his building when he was 103 years old.
The first stone to the educational centre was laid in April 2008. The centre is opened to people of all ages. There is a children's centre where children can learn about Oscar Niemeyer's works and legacies. The Center offers guided tours for visitors who are interested to know more about Oscar Niemeyer and his ideas.
Santillana del Mar is a historic town in Cantabria the home of the Cave of Altamira.
The cave is a showcase of some of the Paleolithic art in the world. It features charcoal drawings and polychrome paintings of contemporary local fauna and human hands. The cave contains many ancient artworks from Europe, some dating back to 40,000 years, some possible created by Neanderthals.
Aside from the caves, you can enjoy beautiful landscapes, fantastic food, and the unique cultures of the people of Northern Spain. One amazing thing about the artwork in the cave was that it was first dismissed as fake. The art that features in the case was so realistic; scientists did not believe that the art was ancient!
Costa del Sol is a region most famous because of its beaches that attract many Europeans to Spain. But the beaches are not the only reason to travel to the province of Malaga, Andalusia.
As well as the beaches, Costa del Sol has many activities for you to enjoy if you visit. You can also engage in water sports, cruises, walking, and golf.
Real Madrid is one of the most famous clubs in the world, and it not surprising that their stadium is considered a landmark in Madrid, Spain.
The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium has a seating capacity of 81,044, and it has been in existence since 1947. It is the second-largest stadium in Spain after the Camp Nou.
If you love football and you are travelling to Madrid, going to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium should be on your list! I recommend visiting the stadium during a match to join the atmosphere and passion from the crowd. Alternatively, if you are not a football fan, you can also wait for the stadium to open for tours and it explore it with a guide. The stadium has a trophy room, showing all the trophies they have won in the past.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the largest palace in Europe. Even though the Spanish royals do not live in the palace, it is still a historic building that attracts many visitors.
Today the building is mainly used for state ceremonies. The palace has about 3,418 rooms across six floors which covers 135,000 square metres of ground space.
One feature of the palace is the main staircase designed by the famous Francesco Sabatini. You are permitted to take photos of this location, unlike some other parts of the palace. The palace also has the Hall of Columns, where most important ceremonies are held. Visiting the Royal Palace of Madrid gives you an experience of how royalty once was!
City of Arts and Sciences is translated into Spanish as Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.
Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the City of Arts and Sciences is the largest of its kind in Europe and an example of modern architecture making it a major landmark in Spain.
The city has six buildings named in Spanish that focus on a particular topic area. The buildings are El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipet (the science museum); Ágora (a recreational centre for holding events); El Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía (arts and performance centre), L'Umbracle (garden and walkway); Oceanografic (an aquarium), and L'Hemisfèric (a cinema, or planetarium). You can visit any or all of these buildings depending on your interests.
If you are visiting Madrid for the first time going to the Plaza Mayor is one of the places you must see. The Plaza Mayor is an arcaded square located at the centre of Madrid, formerly known as Plaza del Arrabal. It was built in the Habsburg period during the 16th century. There is plenty to do when you visit the Plaza.
You can explore the Plaza Mayor by walking around it, and this will not take you all day. The Plaza measures about 129 meters in length and 94 meters in width.
Simply known as Las Vantas, the Plaza de Toros de Las Vantas is known to be the largest bullfighting ring in Spain and the world. It is located in the Salamanca district in Madrid, and it was inaugurated in June 1931. Even though bullfighting is controversial in sports today, it is still part of the history of Spain.
The bullfighting ring was designed by the architect Espeliú in a Neo-Mudéjar style. This style of architecture involves building with red bricks and ceramic tiles. Nowadays bullfights only occur during festivals like the San Isidro festivals that take place from mi-May to June.
The Temple of Debod is a historical Egyptian Temple that was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid and it is one of the most famous monuments in Spain. Many local people visit the temple just to relax and enjoy themselves in the sun. The temple was a gift for Spain by Egypt in 1968, when Spain helped Egypt in the preservation of other temples along the Nile.
The Temple of Debod's interior contains many chapels, a small museum, a hall and other attractions. This is an excellent area to find peace among exploring the busy streets and Plaza de España close by.
The Temple of Debod is also one of the best places to watch the sunset. The landmark is filled with a lot of history, and this is a good place to learn whilst relaxing.
Camp Nou has been the official home stadium of FC Barcelona football club since 1957 when it was completed. Having a seating capacity of 99,354, it's by far the biggest stadium in Spain and Europe and the fourth largest football stadium in the world. The stadium has played an important role in the field of sports, from hosting of the Olympics, the World Cup, and even the European Cup Finals.
Barcelona is a beautiful town to visit to relax. If you enjoy football, you probably know FC Barcelona is one of the best football clubs in the world. You can learn about the history of the football club and the stadium when you visit. For your visit to be efficient, you can book a guided tour to gain access to the changing rooms, and even the tunnel leading to the pitch.
Montjuïc is a well-known hill in Barcelona, Catalonia that has been appearing as the city's natural protection against invaders. Today it does not really serve as protection, but rather a landmark which attracts many visitors daily. As a visitor, you have a variety of activities available to partake in to make your visit memorable.
The Magic Fountain is situated under the Palau Nacional on the Montjuïc mountain, near the Poble Espanyol de Barcelona. It is an area filled with splendour with many viewing spots. To get the perfect pictures for your postcards, you can go to some of the viewing spots around the fountain.
The Parc de la Ciutadella is the oldest and biggest park in Barcelona and is located in the district of El Born, a green refuge in Barcelona.
The park used to be a military fortress during the 18th century. As time went on, Barcelona began to develop, and they needed something to attract investors and visitors. Because of this, in 1869 it was approved that the fortress could be used as a public park.
The main attraction of the park is its zoo, which is located within the park. There is also a lake; which is a nice place to take a stroll or even have a picnic. You can also hire a boat if you want to go rowing. The park has a Geology and Zoology museum, which educates people on nature and the animal kingdom.
Another landmark that attracts many visitors to Spain, especially Barcelona is the Palau de la Música. It is a historic music hall designed by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner in Catalan modernista style. Construction of this historic landmark was between 1905 and 1908 because of the Orfeó Català, a choral society that was formed in 1891.
The Concert Hall is the largest space in Palau de la Música, having a seating capacity of 2,146. One impressive fact to know is that the whole music hall is illuminated by natural light during the day. If you love classical music, you can pay to attend a concert to experience the music hall in full effect. You can also pay for a guided tour if you just want to explore the music hall and its features.
With more than 20 rides and attractions for tourists to visit, Siam Park is a water park located in Tenerife, Canary Islands. It is one of the highly-rated water parks in Spain and Europe at large. The Princess of Thailand opened the park, and it has been named as one of the best waterparks in the world.
Siam Park covers an area of 46 acres, with some of the tallest, fastest, and craziest waterslides you can find in the world. This waterpark is the best place to take your family to escape from a busy year.
The Picasso Museum is an integral part of the culture of Malaga, Spain. It is a landmark that is highly appreciated by the locals in the city. Malaga is the city where Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born, so it is no surprise that a museum has been named after him. The museum was opened in 2003 with 285 works all from Picasso.
Going to Malaga without visiting the Picasso Museum is something I recommend you do not do! When you visit the museum, you get a free audio guide which will guide you through the museum and more. The museum has 233 paintings which are exhibited across 11 rooms.
Tibidabo Amusement Park is the best place to be if you have kids with you in Barcelona. Salvador Andreu, an entrepreneur during 1899, built the part and opened it in 1905. It is one of the oldest and still functioning parks in the world. Specifically, it is the oldest and longest-running amusement park in Spain. You can do many things whiles taking photos with your family.
The park offers a lot of activities related to fun and entertainment. This is the main reason why it is the perfect place to relax and entertain yourself if you have children with you on your travel. You can also visit the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus whiles you are in Barcelona.
The Bellver castle popularly known as Castel de Bellver in Spanish got the name from Catalan, which means lovely view. It is located on a hilltop that is west to Palma on the island of Majorca.
The castle was built for the King Jaume II of Majorca in the 14th century. It is sometimes hard to believe that the castle is more than 700 years old because of how it has been maintained.
The castle served as the royal residence but was later converted into a prison for almost the whole of the 6th century. Bellver Castle has three defence tower, moat and drawbridge all linked to the main castle. You can get one of the best views of Palma from the defence tower.
The Drach Caves are four historic caves located on the Majorca island in Spain. The caves extend to a depth of 25 metres and about 4 kilometres in length. The biggest underground lake in the world the Lake Martel can also be found here. Concerts are held occasionally by classical musicians to lure visitors to the landmark.
The caves are one of the well-known attractions on the island. Even though taking photographs are not allowed, but this does not mean you cannot have a good time. You can combine your visit to the Drach Caves with another visit to the Majorca Pearl factory located in the nearby city of Manacor. You can also explore the fishing village of Porto Cristo, so you are not restricted to only one location.
Spain is a beautiful country to travel to. Spain has many amazing landmarks for you to visit. The list above provided above simply serves as a guide for your journey to Spain.
If indeed you are travelling to Spain, including at least one of these landmarks in your itinerary will make your vacation memorable. I hope you find this guide useful for your travel to Spain.
This article was edited by Loredana Elena.
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