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Sunday, April 10, 2022

Best Tourist Attractions in Spain


Tourism in Spain has expanded quite a bit in the past decades, and it is easy to see why. The country is widely known for its great history, astounding architecture and numerous vestiges. It also has great food and many traditions and festivals. If you want to visit Europe during your travels, it is a very good idea to check out Spain, since there are so many immersive, beautiful places to see here. These are some of the top destinations you should consider right away!

1. La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is a large minor basilica that was designed by Antoni Gaudi. Antoni Gaudi is a major Catalan architect whose work can be found all over the city. The building is a part of the UNESCO world heritage and it was consecrated by pope Benedict XVI as a minor basilica. The construction began in 1882, however Gaudi is the one that devoted most of his life to create this project. He is actually buried in the crypt. With that being said, work is continually being done on the basilica and they even added an illuminated crystal star in 2021. Despite the fact that it is constantly being worked on, the basilica has become a symbol for Barcelona and it continues to be visited by millions every year. Sagrada Familia is the most popular tourist attraction in Barcelona, it draws more than three million visitors each year.

La Sagrada Familia
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2.  Alhambra

This is located in Granada, Andalusia. It was begun by Muhammad Ibn Al Ahmar, the then Emir of Granada. Alhambra was initially designed as a military fortress in the 13th century which later became a royal court. Alhambra has a great fortified hilltop complex and it continues to stand out as one of the coolest fortresses in the world. You will surely like Alhambra just because it is a very old fortress that was extremely well preserved over the years. Although, this monument is over 700 years old, it still looks very nice for its age. The architecture is a great reflection of the Moorish style, and you will encounter water features in the center of the courtyard. Alhambra’s fortress has Arabic inscription, vegetal motifs and many geometric patterns. Tourists can enter and explore the fortress the entire year, except December 25 and January 1st. However, the idea time to visit is during the late spring and summer, when the weather is great and you can enjoy some spectacular views.  As an Islamic monument, it was among the first palaces to become the object of modem scientific study. Alhambra is also said to be the only Muslim fortress that has remained as perfectly as it was since it was built.

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3.  Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

This is located in the Galician municipality of Santiago de Compostela in the north-east of Spain. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is yet another massive building that’s extremely old and well preserved. It is maybe the most important religious building in Spain, since here you have the burial place of St James the Great. Additionally, the cathedral is an historical pilgrimage location. Also, Santiago de Compostela itself is worth a shot because it has medieval tenements and baroque, as well as Romanesque buildings. 

This basilica was also a place of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages, and it is also one of the three churches in the world that still have the tomb of an apostle. Moreover, this cathedral didn’t always look like this, it's modern look comes after multiple additions during the 16th -18th century. 

The relics of St. James in this cathedral is transforming the town of Santiago into one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the whole world. Apart of the relics of St. James, which is kept here, Santiago Cathedral also habours the remains of two disciples of St. James: Saint Athanasius and Saint Theodore. In Santiago Cathedral, confession is available throughout the day. If there are no priests in the confessionals, penitents are requested to make enquiry from the sacristy.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
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4.  Guggenheim Museum

This museum was opened in 1997, and is located at Bilbao, Basque CountyGuggenheim Museum Bilbao is a cooperative enterprise between the Guggenheim Foundation and the Basque regional administration. Guggenheim Foundation was founded in 1937 by Solomon Robert Guggenheim, and its objective is to promote modern and contemporary arts. There are four other Guggenheim Museum in beautiful cities around the world; New York, Venice, Abu Dhabi, and Berlin.

Many museums in Spain have a very distinct, unique shape, and the Guggenheim Museum is maybe one of the most creative and innovative. There are upwards of 600 art pieces that will impress you with their creativity and quality. It is definitely one of the top travels you can make in Spain. This museum cost roughly $89 million to be made and it was open by Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1997. The Guggenheim Museum features 25k tons of concrete, and its foundation’s depth is 14 meters. It is a massive structure, one that houses some of the most valuable art pieces in the entire region. As a tourist in Spain, if you want to see modern and contemporary art, and massive sculptures; Guggenheim Museum is the right place to visit.

Guggenheim Museum
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5. Costa del Sol Beaches

 Costa del Sol have 125 beaches in all which stretches over a 100 mile. These beaches in Andalusia are large, visually imposing, and they really stand out with the heavenly vistas, numerous restaurants and great weather. On top of that, these are found in an autonomous community. It is ideal to check these beaches during the summer, since that is when you have the optimal weather. Some of the beaches you want to visit here are Marbella, Benalmadena, Estepona, Fuengirola and Mijas. All of them are known for being extraordinary tourist destinations and they are in close proximity to one another too. indeed, The beaches on the Costa del Sol are one of the biggest attractions for tourists in Spain. They are like a paradise bathed in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Costa del Sol Beaches
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6.   Picos de Europa

If you want to enjoy tourism in Spain, then Picos de Europa should be at the top of your list. Picos de Europa is located in the northern part of Spain. The range of Pico de Europa is situated in the region of Asturias, Cantabria and Castile and León. Picos de Europa is a national park with a lot of gorges, mountains, meadows, beech groves, oak and many others. The park has upwards of 30 different routes, amazing views and it is just a peaceful, serene place that everyone will enjoy. It is one of the top places for anyone that wants to enjoy some quiet while relaxing and getting close to nature. This site attraction is Spain's only inhabited nature reserve. Tourists also have the privilege to explore unique rural life and nature in their visit. Large mammals, such as roe deer, and chamois also find their home in Picos de Europa.

Picos de Europa
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7.  Prado Museum

This museum which is officially known as Museo Nacional del Prado is in Madrid. It is the main Spanish national art museum. The construction of the museum began in 1785 during the reign of Charles III and was completed in 1819 when Ferdinand VII was on the throne. The Prado Museum is widely known for hosting more than 8,200 different drawings, prints and paintings, among many others. This is one of the top art museums in Europe, and visitors will get to see original works of El Greco, Francisco Goya, Picasso and many other Spanish artists as well. This is one of the most visited museums in the world and it covers art from Velasquez, Titian, Hieronymus Bosch and many others. Aside from the items listed above, they have 1,000+ sculptures, 4,800 prints and some works are on temporary loan. The museum is also known for the fact that it has special exhibitions very often. Prado Museum is said to be the most famous of the three legendary museums in Madrid. One cannot talk about The Prado museum without talking about the incentive it offers to visitors. The museum offers free entry from Monday through Saturday between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays 5-7 pm. Any other time of visiting, a fee would be paid.  The Prado Museum is reputed to be one of the greatest art museums in the whole world, which made it to be one of the most visited tourist attraction in the world.

Prado Museum
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8. The Great Mosque of Cordoba

The Great Mosque of Cordoba which is now known as the Cathedral of our Lady of Assumption was constructed in 784 by Abd al-Rahman I. This magnificent edifice is located in the region of Andalusia. The great Mosque was later expanded by subsequent Muslim rulers. The mosque was regarded as one of the must accomplish Islamic architecture. However, in the 13th century precisely in the year 1236 this mosque became a Christian cathedral. After its conversion to a Roman catholic church, the great mosque loss some of its Moorish nature.  In the early 2000s Spanish Muslims have requested that they should be permitted to pray in the cathedral; a plea that the church authorities in Spain and the Vatican rejected. Although, the great mosque of Cordoba has lost its Moorish character, there are plenty of interesting vestiges to see inside as well, so it is certainly worth a trip there.

The Great Mosque of Cordoba
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9. San Lorenzo de El Escorial

This is a town in Madrid. It was Built between the year 1563 and 1584 at the order of King Philip II of Spain. San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a massive palace and residence. For many years, it was the summer home for the Spanish kings. Now it is a large complex featuring a museum, mausoleum, royal palace, library and church, as well as a monastery. You have a vast range of attractions in a single place, and you will be amazed with their unique style. The monastery and surroundings here were named a World Heritage Site. If you are visiting Madrid, a day should be really set aside to explore the beauty of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Moreover, reaching the location is quite challenging, since the place is right on the southern slopes of Mount Abantos, at 1000+ meters.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial
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10. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

The Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (also known as the city of Arts and Sciences) is an ultra-modern scientific and cultural complex. It is located in Valencia. The complex was designed by a Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava together with another Spanish architect, Felix Candela. It took almost 10years before it was completed. The complex cost a whooping sum of €900 million contrary to €300 million that was budgeted. This City of Arts and Sciences houses Europe's largest aquarium. It also has various art venues, museums, and beautiful sights to behold. This large oceanographic aquarium is one of the most amazing places where you can see marine and oceanic animals, in fact, it houses over 500 species of aquatic animals. You can find various animals from all over the world, even penguins and whales, among others. Not only that, but the scientific part of the complex has dinosaur skeletons too. The city of Arts and Sciences is the most important modern destination in Valencia and one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. It is also reputed to have become the second most visited tourist attraction in the whole of Spain.

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
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11. El Teide

This is a volcano on Tenerife in the canary Island. It is known for being the highest peak in Spain. It is an ancient volcano that’s still simmering, yet the vistas here are amazing and you can also go on a vast array of different hikes too. On Mount Teide, there is a cable car ride if you want to go to the top. The most recent eruption for the volcano was in 1909, however the region hasn’t seen any volcanic activity or minor signs of it since that time. The surrounding region was made into a dedicated national park spanning over 18900 hectares, and it was named a World Heritage Site as well. Teide is the most visited natural wonder of Spain, and among all the national parks in Spain and in the continent of Europe Teide attracts more tourists. The number of yearly tourists varies, but it is roughly 2-4 million every year. Mount Teide also has the honour to be the world's third-tallest volcanic structure.

El Teide
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There’s no shortage of options if you want to enjoy tourism in Spain, and these are some of the best places you can visit right away. Not only do you get to learn more about Spain and its culture, but you also get to study its history and see many historical vestiges and artifacts. Spain is one of those countries with a rich festival scene and a great range of culinary delights too. Don’t hesitate and check out Spain during your travels, as it is well worth a shot!

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Related Reading; Seven Top Tourist Destinations in Indonesia You should Visit



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