Spain is a beautiful European nation that attracts millions of travelers every year for its many bustling cities, coastal towns, and famous landmarks. In addition to idyllic beaches and mouthwatering cuisine, Spain is world-renowned for its amazing architecture. Learn about the country’s history and culture by visiting some of the most beautiful buildings in Spain this summer.
10 La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is perhaps the most famous building in Spain. It’s located in Barcelona and has been under construction since 1882. Antonio Gaudí is the designer behind the structure’s impressive architecture. Once completed, La Sagrada Familia will have 18 towers, with the highest peak reaching 564 ft. Although the project’s completion date has been pushed back from 2026 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains an impressive sight to visit in Spain throughout its construction.
9 The Alhambra Palace
Alhambra Palace is located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain, and is a marvelous work of Islamic architecture. Besides being one of the most well-preserved historic Islamic structures in the world, it also displays architectural features from the Spanish Renaissance. Travelers can visit the Alhambra on a guided tour from Seville, or take a virtual tour to appreciate the beauty of the building from anywhere in the world.
8 Plaza de España
Built in 1928, Plaza de España is located in Seville, Spain. It’s an Ibero-American Exhibition around Maria-Luisa Park and is the most popular square (plaza) in Seville. Also called the Spanish Steps of Seville, Plaza de España was designed by Aníbal González in a Spanish Renaissance style. The plaza is a semicircle surrounded by a narrow row of exquisite buildings.
7 Alcázar Fortress
The Alcázar of Segovia or Alcázar Fortress is a medieval castle in Segovia, Castile and León, Spain. The shape of the castle is what makes it so unique and iconic, resembling the bow of a ship. The fortress can be traced back to the 12th century and was, at one time, the home of Alfonso VIII. During the 13th century the building took on some components of classic Spanish gothic architecture, and it was last altered in 1587 by architect Francisco de Mora.
6 Mezquita Cathedral de Córdoba
Mezquita (mosque) Cathedral de Córdoba, also called Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Andalusia that was formerly an Islamic mosque. The cathedral took more than two centuries to complete, so it encompasses an array of architectural styles. The structure is a testament to the diversity of Spanish culture, representing Roman, Muslim, Jewish, and now Christian groups.
5 Toledo Cathedral
Located in Toledo, Spain, the Toledo Cathedral is an incredible display of Spanish Gothic art and design. Originally, the temple was built atop a Muslim mosque but has only been used as a Christian church since the 19th century. Toledo isn’t always on traveler’s radars, but it’s one of the most intriguing cities in Spain, representing three cultural groups. Christians, Jews, and Muslims have coexisted in Toledo for centuries, contributing to the outstanding beauty and diversity of the buildings in this part of the country.
4 Gaudi's Casa Milà
Casa Mila is a beautiful building in Barcelona, Spain, designed by architect Antoni Gaudí. The gorgeous structure has a unique aesthetic featuring forms inspired by nature, resembling an open quarry. Originally, the building was controversial because residents nearby were concerned the strange appearance of the structure would decrease local property values. It’s thought to be the most iconic piece of civic architecture completed by Gaudí and is used today as a cultural center for hosting exhibitions and conferences.
3 Hotel Marques de Riscal
For architecture enthusiasts who also appreciate a chance to stay in unique accommodations, Hotel Marques de Riscal is a must-visit spot in Eltziego, Álava, Spain. The building is a 5-star hotel that brings together incredible cuisine, wine, artwork, and design for getaway travelers will never forget. The hotel was designed by architect Frank Gehry and features dramatic curvatures in the roof and glass walls in the rooms overlooking the vineyards.
2 Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Also designed by Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum is a contemporary art museum in Bilbao, Spain. The building is an example of architectural modernism with a unique design that attracts visitors as much as the art inside. The museum has a spiral ramp that leads to a domed skylight and a dramatic exterior that combines contemporary and expressionist architecture. It was founded in 1997 and contains over 200 works of art.
1 Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Located in Santiago, Spain, the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is a symbol of the city and an important religious building for the country. The cathedral indicates the end point of a 500-mile pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago route. The cathedral opened back in1211 and is a stunning combination of Romanesque architecture, Gothic architecture, Baroque, and Spanish Gothic styles.