Spain is a member country of the European Union (EU) whose territory is organized into a total of 17 autonomous communities, with Madrid as capital and most important city. Spain has nine other cities of great importance in terms of tourism.
The table below summarizes which are the 10 most populated cities in Spain along with their number of inhabitants:
|City||Number of inhabitants|
|8. Palma de Mallorca||399.000|
|9. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria||382.000|
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
Madrid It is the capital of Spain and, at the same time, the most populated city. It is at the same time the capital of the Community of Madrid, which has a GDP per capita of € 29.576 per inhabitant and is the third city with the greatest economic power in Spain.
Here you can find the headquarters of the government along with institutions, ministries and other associated bodies, as well as the official residence of the President of the Government and the kings of Spain. One of the most visited places in the city are precisely the General cuts, where the Senate and the Congress of Deputies meet.
Madrid also offers a very wide range of cultural offerings, since it has some of the most important museums in the world, among which the famous Art Triangle, formed by the Museo del Prado, the Reina Sofía Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
In the Prado you can find paintings by artists of the stature of Velázquez or Goya, among many others, while in the Reina Sofía you can delight yourself with works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí. At the Thyssen you can enjoy the more than 800 works of art that the homonymous family brought together over two generations.
Another mandatory visit if you travel to the Spanish capital is the Royal Palace, located on Calle Bailén s / n. Although theoretically it is the official residence of the King of Spain, the truth is that currently the royal family does not reside in it, so the palace is basically used for state ceremonies.
Its 3.418 rooms and 135.000 km² make it the largest Royal Palace in Western Europe. It is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m. during the months of October to March and from 10:00 a.m. to 14:00 p.m. from April to September.
La Gran Vía Madrid is the Spanish equivalent of Times Square (New York). Built at the beginning of the XNUMXth century, it is one of the busiest streets in the city at any time of the year and, ultimately, the best-known street in the city.
Thanks to this road, better communication was achieved between the city center (Calle Alcalá) and the northwest of it (specifically, Plaza de España). In Gran Vía you can find everything: fashion stores, cinemas, theaters, restaurants ... That is why it is popularly known as the Madrid Broadway.
Barcelona It is the capital of Catalonia and is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the second most populated city in Spain and its income per capita amounts to € 26.531 / inhabitant.
Furthermore, according to The Economist,, Barcelona It is ranked number 15 on the list of the safest cities in the world. Without a doubt, if you are going to travel to Barcelona, you should stop at the Sagrada Familia, its most visited monument.
Another of the great works of the Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí, the highest representative of Catalan modernism, is the Park Güell (Parc Güell in Catalan), a fascinating public park located in the north of the city.
Although its gardens are one of the most striking elements of the park, it is its architectural elements that really characterize this work. The different forms that the elements of the park have represent nature, all with a different creative and imaginative freedom, unique and full of bright colors.
Gaudí left a wide legacy in the city of Barcelona. In addition to the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, the Casa Batllo, a building located at 43 Paseo de Gracia (Sightseeing in Catalan).
Its construction, which took place between 1904 and 1906, is a reflection of the artistic fullness of the modernist architect. It stands out for its facade, made of sandstone, carved according to ruled surfaces in a warped shape and with bone-shaped columns.
All the monuments in Barcelona would not make sense if it weren't for its strategic location in the famous Eixample (in Spanish, Expansion, although this denomination is practically in disuse).
It is the most populated district of the city and it is where you can find numerous points of tourist interest and the main streets and squares of Barcelona, such as the Rambla de Cataluña, Passeig de Gràcia or Avenida Diagonal, among others.
As a whole, the Eixample occupies 7,46 km² and stands out for the grid distribution of its buildings.
Valencia is the capital of the Valencian Community and is located on the banks of the Turia River, on the Levantine coast and a few kilometers away from the sea.
One of the most unique places that is really worth visiting is the lagoon, which constitutes one of the largest lakes in Spain and has a high cultural, ecological and historical value, which has led it to be declared a natural park.
Back in the historic center, we recommend a walk through the Ciutat Vella de Valencia, where there are six neighborhoods of great tourist interest: La Xerea, La Seu, El Carmen, El Pilar, El Mercat and Sant Francesc.
Within this set, the Plaza de la Virgen, where you will find such significant monuments as the Cathedral of Valencia, the Miguelete, the Almoina or the Basilica of the Virgin.
In addition, in this area there are numerous restaurants and typical Valencian places where you can enjoy a classic horchata with fartons, the most typical dessert of Valencia.
The Serranos Gate or Serranos Towers, better known as Torres dels Serrans in Valencian, it is another of the monuments par excellence of the Valencian capital.
It is an old Christian wall in the Gothic style whose construction took place at the end of the XNUMXth century. The towers can be visited and climbed to the top of them to get some excellent views of the entire city.
For its part, the City of Arts and Sciences, located at the end of the Jardin del Turia, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Valencia and even in all of Spain, because it is one of the most spectacular examples of modern art in the world.
This cultural and entertainment complex, designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, has been the winner of the 12 Treasures of Spain competition and has been the setting for the futuristic film Tomorrowland (2015)
In this same area are also the famous Oceanogràfic, where the different marine habitats of the world are represented, and the Hemispheric, an eye-shaped building whose interior room houses a large-format cinema.
When talking about Valencia it is impossible not to mention the Fallas o Faults, a massive cultural event that takes place in the month of March, specifically from the 15th to the 19th.
On the night of March 19, the cream, night in which the Fallas monuments are burned, thus ending this party. Las Fallas are a festival declared of International Tourist Interest in which the typical costume of the Fallas woman also draws attention.
Sevilla it is the fourth most important city in Spain. its old town It is considered the largest in Spain and even one of the largest in Europe.
In short, the capital of Seville is one of the most interesting tourist attractions. Among them, a series of monuments stand out, starting with the Reales Alcázares, which constitute a set of original palaces from the High Middle Ages in which a mixture of Islamic, Gothic and Mudejar styles can be observed.
Restored for the last time in 2005, since then it is known that the shine that characterizes it is due to the fact that its characteristic tile coating is made from a mixture of lime mortar and pressed straw.
Inside is a Naval Museum where you can find models, engravings, charts, navigational instruments and historical curiosities.
La Giralda, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is one of the tallest towers in Europe, even above Big Ben in London and the Tower of Pisa in Italy. Its construction took place in two different periods: the XNUMXth century and the Christian era.
La Cathedral of Sevilla o Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Sede It is also considered an Asset of Exceptional Universal Value since 2010.
If in Valencia the party par excellence was the Fallas, in Seville this role corresponds to the April Fair, a massive annual event that attracts tourists from all over the world because in it you can enjoy the sevillian culture marketing in all its glory.
It is a local festival that takes place in the Los Remedios neighborhood and takes place one or two weeks after Easter. It is the most important fair in Andalusia and in it you can enjoy two of the typical dances of Spain, that is to say, sevillanas and flamenco.
Zaragoza is the capital of Aragon and is located on the banks of the Ebro, Gállego and Huerva rivers, which makes it one of the main communication centers in Spain.
Within the top 10 monuments to visit in Zaragoza, the number 1 position corresponds to The pillar, whose full name is Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar.
It is a baroque-style temple articulated in three naves of equal height and whose facade is made of brick, in accordance with the Aragonese tradition of building in brick.
El Ebro riverFor its part, it is one of the symbols of Zaragoza and, for this same reason, there is the possibility of taking one of the river walks through it to enjoy the magnificent views of the city.
These tours go from the Nautical Club to the Expo pier and each boat has an estimated capacity of 54 people maximum.
These walks are especially appetizing in summer and in them you can see monuments such as El Pilar, the Santiago Bridge, La Almozara or the Volunteer Footbridge, among others.
El Palace of the Aljafería, known simply as The AljaferíaIt is a fortified palace that was built in Zaragoza during the second half of the XNUMXth century, initially as a recreational palace for the Taifa kingdom.
In fact, the importance of this palace lies in the fact that it is the only surviving element of Islamic architecture from the Taifa period, which is why it was declared a World Heritage Site in 2001 as part of the complex called Mudejar architecture of Aragon.
El Natural Park of the Monasterio de Piedra it is a natural space where you can enjoy a landscape surrounded by water, waterfalls and caves. In short, it is considered one of the most extraordinary natural parks in Europe. Hidden in the steep mountain ranges of the Iberian System, within Nuévalos, it is a paradisiacal place that can be covered in approximately two and a half hours.
Malaga is the sixth most populated city in Spain and capital of the province of the same name. It belongs to the autonomous community of Andalusia and is located to the west of the Mediterranean, on the so-called Costa del Sol.
The first thing we recommend visiting is the Larios street, located in the historic center of the city and where you can find the main shops, restaurants and, ultimately, the mecca of tourism in this city.
La Malaga Cathedral o Santa Iglesia Catedral Basilica de la Encarnación is the most important building in the city due to its consideration as one of the most precious Renaissance jewels of Andalusia.
It is popularly known as the one-armed Because its inauguration took place when the works for the remodeling of this old Muslim mosque had not yet been completed. Specifically, when it was inaugurated in 1631, the south tower was still missing, which is why it is given this unique name.
Another of Malaga's star points is The Alcazaba, a palatial fortification of Muslim origin belonging to the XNUMXth century that is located on top of Mount Gibralfaro.
Although today it covers an area of 15.000 m², these measures are not even half the size it had at the time it was built. This has been demonstrated thanks to the preservation of its historical plans.
The Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, where his birth home is still today, currently converted into the Picasso Foundation Birthplace Museum.
Converted into one of the main museums in Malaga, Picasso's birthplace was created by the Malaga City Council in 1988 in the Plaza de la Merced.
In it you can find childhood memories of the artist, part of his work and that of his father, and a documentation center that includes a library specialized in the life and work of the artist.
Outside of the city center, Malaga has several municipalities that are really worth visiting. One of these is Júzcar, located to the west, which is rather a village for its 221 inhabitants.
The importance of this town lies in the fact that the tin industry was formerly there.
In addition, today this town is known as the town of the Smurfs, because when the premiere of the film took place The Smurfs 3D, all the facades were painted blue, which has endowed this town with a uniqueness worth visiting.
Murcia, ranked 7th among the most populated cities in Spain, is the capital of the autonomous community of the Region of Murcia. It is located on the banks of the river Segura, 40 km from the Mediterranean Sea and a city with a great university tradition, since the first university was founded in 1272.
One of the places that cannot be missing on your list of things to see in Murcia is Cartagena, a municipality in which the Roman Theatre belonging to the XNUMXst century BC, which is the most visited monument in the Region of Murcia.
Returning to the city center, one of the main tourist attractions is undoubtedly the Murcia Cathedral or Santa Iglesia Catedral de Santa María, considered by many as the jewel of Murcia.
Its location is in the heart of the old town of Murcia, specifically in the Plaza Cardenal de Belluga. Its style has undergone changes over the years, so, although it retains its original Gothic style, it includes Baroque, Neoclassical and Renaissance elements.
On the other hand, Murcia also has a series of beaches and coves where you can enjoy the Mediterranean Sea in summer. Among the most important coves, we highlight Cala de la Cueva de las Palomas and Cala de la Herradura.
The best beaches in the Region of Murcia include places such as Calblanque Beach, located within the Protected Natural Area of the Calblanque Park, in La Manga del Mar Menor (Cartagena). There you will find golden sand and crystal clear waters.
Another of the star points of Murcia is the famous Castillitos Battery, also known as C-1, located in the Tiñoso cape, within the municipal term of Cartagena.
Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1997, it is a 250 m high coastal artillery support fortification that was recently built, specifically between 1933 and 1936. Its work at first was to protect the entrance to the bay of Cartagena.
Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the island of Mallorca and the Balearic Islands. It is located in the Mediterranean Sea, 250 km east of the Iberian Peninsula and constitutes the eighth most important city in Spain according to its total number of inhabitants.
If you travel to this touristic city, on your list of things to do you cannot miss a visit to the Bellver Castle, a fourteenth century fortification that represents the Mallorcan Gothic style.
Located over 112 m above sea level and surrounded by forest, from the top of the castle you can see the Sierra de Tramuntana and the Pla de Mallorca. In addition, it houses the Museum of History of the city of Palma, which is open to the public.
For its part, the Cathedral-Basilica of Santa María de Palma de Mallorca is the main religious building on the island of Mallorca. It is generally known as Catedral de Mallorca and locally as La Seu.
It is a Gothic-style temple located on the banks of the Palma River that was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1931 and, furthermore, stands out for being the cathedral with the largest rose window among all the European Gothic cathedrals. In short, the Cathedral of Mallorca is an essential visit on any trip to the island.
Our Caves of Drach They are also one of the main tourist attractions in Palma de Mallorca. In addition, they hide a great underground side, Lake Martel, considered one of the largest underground lakes in the world.
In their entirety, the horizontal development of the caves reaches 1.200 m in length and their depth reaches 25 m below the surface at its maximum level. To visit them, you can take a boat trip across the lake, which lasts about an hour.
El Cape of Formentor It is a natural beauty that many Mallorcan people refer to as meeting point of the winds and it is that the varied elevation of this cape has been molded over time due to the collision of winds and waves.
In some areas, the cliffs of this cape are around 300 m high, so the views from above are impressive. It can be accessed by car, through a road that covers a total of 18 km and, at the end of the route, we will find two main points: the beaches with crystal clear waters and the lighthouse of the four winds.
Of course, you cannot talk about Mallorca without referring to the Mallorcan ensaimadas, a traditional sweet of the island for centuries and that today continues to be made in an artisanal way in Mallorca.
In Catalan it is called saïm's ensaïmada, which means that its main ingredient is lard, in addition to other basic ingredients such as sugar dough, strength flour, water, eggs, sugar, etc.
Although there are many variants of this ensaimada in which fillings with angel hair, cream or pastry cream are added, the traditional recipe is known on the island as lisa and does not have any kind of padding.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the ninth most populous city in Spain and, at the same time, the largest and most populated city in the Canary Islands and shares the capital of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands together with Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
If there is something worth visiting in Gran Canaria, those are its beaches without a doubt. Of all of them, perhaps it is the Playa de las Canteras the one that arouses the greatest tourist interest and is that many consider it something more than a beach, due to its golden sand and crystal clear waters, in addition to the isolated rocks that make it up, such as the rock Peña the old.
La Cathedral-Basilica of Santa Ana o Catedral de Canarias is the headquarters of the Diocese of the Canary Islands and is located in the city of Las Palmas, specifically in the Vegueta neighborhood, in the Plaza Mayor de Santa Ana.
The first thing that catches your attention when you see this cathedral are its twin towers, in addition to its mixture of styles resulting from the intervention of various architects and artists since its construction began in 1500.
Las Palmas are also characterized by the variety of neighborhoods in which you can walk and have a quiet drink, among them the most prominent are the Vegueta neighborhood and the Triana neighborhood.
In the first, many are those who say they have soaked in the history of the Canary Islands after their walk, and if you walk through it you will be able to find the main monuments of the old town of Las Palmas.
For its part, the Triana neighborhood is the commercial district of Las Palmas where you can find all kinds of shops, especially in the pedestrian street Calle Mayor de Triana.
If you want to enjoy an impressive panoramic view of the city in its entirety, then we recommend you go up to the Cittá di Martinsicuro viewpoint, from which you can see the bay, the commercial and marina, the city-garden ...
In short, the entire city, including the volcanoes that surround it. Specifically, the viewpoint is located in the Altavista neighborhood and its name in Italian is due to the fact that it was twinned in 2009 with this Italian city.
El Alfredo Kraus Auditorium is another is another of the points of Las Palmas of forced tourist visit. Due to its architectural design, the work of Óscar Tusquets, it is one of the most unique buildings in the city. Its construction took place between 1993-1997 and the original idea was to build a lighthouse for Las Canteras beach, which has been discussed previously.
Every year celebrations of the stature of the international Film Festival Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as well as the Canary Islands Music Festival, among other mass events such as exhibitions, conventions, conferences, etc. In addition, on this same plot is the Palacio de Congresos de Canarias.
If the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium is one of the most unique buildings in the Canary Islands and Spain, the Pérez Galdós Theater It is the main theater venue in Las Palmas, and is also the permanent venue of the Alfredo Kraus Opera Festival of Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.
Located in Plaza Stagno, Triana neighborhood, the building was inaugurated for the first time in 1890 and its reopening took place in April 2007. It has a capacity for more than 1.000 people and, in short, it is one of the most modern theaters in Spain thanks to the new stage body that was built in 2007.
Bilbao is a municipality belonging to Vizcaya, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. The importance of Bilbao already lies in the XNUMXth century, when it became a very important commercial enclave on the Cantabrian coast.
Bilbao has several awards, including the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, awarded by Singapore in collaboration with the Swedish Nobel Academy and considered the nobel of urbanism.
El Museo Guggenheim Bilbao was inaugurated in 1997 and is a contemporary art museum designed by the Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry, who endowed it with his innovative design in which its curvilinear and twisted shapes made from limestone, titanium plates and curtains of crystal.
In total, the museum's surface covers 24.000 m², of which almost half are occupied by exhibitions.
El Euskalduna Palace of Congresses and Music (Euskalduna Jauregia in Basque) is a convention and entertainment center that was inaugurated in 1999.
Located next to the Bilbao estuary, it is the headquarters of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra and, in addition, in 2003 it was rated as the best congress center in the world by the International Association of Conference Centers (AIPC).
Inside the building you can taste the famous restaurant Etxanobe, led by the internationally renowned chef Fernando Canales.
El Arriaga Theater It draws attention both for its interior design and for its facade. On the outside, it is a neo-baroque building that was built at the end of the XNUMXth century by the architect Joaquín de Rucoba.
In fact, its construction was made in honor of the Bilbao composer Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga, hence the name of this building, who was considered the Spanish Mozart.
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