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With its incredible diversity and handy location close to the UK, Spain has long been a popular destination with the British. As well as its famous bucket-and-spade destinations, Spain is home to an incredible array of cities bursting with charm. We’ve selected some of the countries top cities that offer fantastic attractions for those seeking a cultural break in beautiful Spain…
One of Spain’s trendiest cities, Barcelona attracts tourists of all ages with its beautiful beach, rich culture, unique architecture and world-class dining scene. The Catalan capital has long tempted UK tourists to embark on a Barcelona city break, and although summer is the most popular time to visit, the city welcomes plenty of visitors year-round. Must-sees include the magical and iconic Sagrada Familia, the incredible Gothic Quarter with its 14th century cathedrals, and the atmospheric Park Guell. Barceloneta Beach is also well-worth a visit and makes a lovely place to unwind after a day of exploring.
Spain’s capital is the heart of Castilian Spain and is world-renowned for its incredible art scene, attracting art lovers from all around the world. The top-notch art galleries are home to works by legendary artists such as Picasso and Dalí. Other must-sees include the beautifully green El Retiro Park (where you can hire a boat on the lake), the Royal Palace of Madrid and the fascinating Temple of Debod. Ideal for a culture-rich long weekend, visitors can expect great food and plenty of attractions to take their pick from.
With its golden beaches and lush mountain scenery, San Sabastian is an undeniably beautiful destination and it’s this beauty that attracts many visitors to its shores. Located in the north of Spain, about an hour’s drive from Bilbao, the city is world-famous for its incredible dining scene, with three Michelin star-restaurants. Foodies will also find a whole host of delights throughout the city - from fresh oysters at seaside cafes to inexpensive tapas bars lining the streets. Visitors on a break to San Sabastian shouldn’t miss La Concha Beach, the cobblestoned Old Town (Parte Vieja), and San Telmo Museum.
Considered one of the great treasures of the Basque Country, Bilbao is home to incredible architecture, a fantastic dining scene and an enviable location surrounded by lush, rolling hills. Named the European City of the Year in 2018, the city’s popularity is on the increase, and Bilbao city breaks offer visitors an interesting mix of classic architecture and innovative, modern design. If you take a break in Bilbao, you’ll find plenty of museums to explore and a popular excursion includes a boat ride down the Ría de Bilbao. Spend your evenings exploring the city’s food scene - with a whole host of tempting pintxos bars to choose from.
This fascinating Catalonian city is awash with Gothic architecture, cobbled alleyways and plenty of museums and art galleries. Located beside the picturesque Onyar River, this is a city with two sides: a walkable historic section and a glistening commercial side. Spend your days walking across the pretty bridges, the city walls and exploring the numerous cathedrals. The Jewish Quarter is also well worth a visit, with mesmerising maze of cobbled streets, patios and archways. In the evening, Girona’s nightlife is up there with Barcelonas, and you’ll find a whole host of bars, pubs and clubs to choose from - everything from snazzy jazz clubs to character-filled Irish pubs.
With its small but stunning centre, Seville boasts a surprisingly vast number of historic and pretty sights to explore. Must-sees during a Seville city break include Parque de Maria Luisa, Plaza de Espana and The Metropol Parasol - which offers incredible views across the city. However, the most famous (and arguably) most impressive site of all is the stunning Royal Alcázar of Seville. Given UNESCO World Heritage Site status back in the eighties, this 16th century cathedral with its incredible Gothic architecture is a site to behold and recently featured in Game of Thrones.