The land of delicious tapas, flamenco dance, and gorgeous Moorish palaces, Spain has undoubtedly been a favorite travel destination among many travelers looking for a unique experience. It's a place fused with a rich culture and interesting history which has led to the creation of timeless architectural landmarks. As a first-timer traveler in Spain, it can be a daunting task to find the best Spanish cities to visit. We have compiled a list of the top 10 cities that are worth visiting in Spain.

10 Barcelona

Tucked on the northeastern coast of Spain, Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city lauded for being a favorite among travelers looking for a holistic experience. This city is an epicenter for breathtaking architecture such as the masterpiece Sagrada Familia, a brainchild of Antoni Gaudi. The basilica is endowed with both modern Catalan and late Spanish Gothic designs. The Gothic element extends to the Gothic Quarter, where one can find quaint churches, chic cafés, and some Roman ruins. Those who are into the arts might consider visiting the Picasso Museum to marvel at the beautiful masterpieces of Picasso. In summer, one can appreciate the sun-soaked beaches and enjoy a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean Sea.

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9 Madrid

One cannot leave Spain without visiting its cultural capital Madrid nestled in the River Manzanares right in the central part of the Iberian Peninsula. Madrid is the most populous city in Spain. It is larger than Rome and Paris, which means it is always packed with people. No wonder why it is called ‘la ciudad que nunca duerme' (the city that never sleeps) for a good reason. Here, one can always find some entertaining things to do. Its Puerta del Sol square usually hosts live entertainment. It is also a meeting point for both locals and tourists. The Gran Via is another popular attraction to assist cultural scenes such as the flamenco shows. While food lovers will undoubtedly find a plethora of delicious tapas at the Plaza Mayor.

8 Valencia

The third-largest metropolitan of Spain, Valencia is often overlooked by tourists in favor of Barcelona and Madrid. There are many things to see when it comes to this cultural and futuristic hub. Firstly, it is called ‘Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias’, which means the ‘city of Arts and Sciences. One can visit the iconic scientific and cultural leisure complex designed by the famous designer Santiago Calatrava. The family-friendly complex is composed of a science museum, an opera house, an IMAX cinema, and an aquarium. In addition, there are some sublime beaches where one can choose to unwind after a long tiring day exploring the city. History enthusiasts can visit the old churches and monasteries filled with a rich legacy.

7 San Sebastián

Apart from its typical busy metropolitans, Spain is also home to lush green cities studded with rolling mountains, golden beaches, and a blue sea. Head to the northern coast in the Basque Country and find the charming San Sebastián city. This city is very much lauded for its unspoiled beaches like Playa de la Concha and the numerous hiking trails including Monte Urgell. For adventurous spirits consider indulging in water activities like kayaking or surfing at Playa de La Zurriola. And the best place to relish some delicious tapas (the Basque version) and fine wine is by visiting its pintxo bars.

6 Bilbao

Another city worth considering in the Basque Country is Bilbao City, which sits in the middle of a verdant valley. One can easily reach Bilbao within an hour's drive from San Sebastián. What makes Bilbao enticing is its iconic Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry. It’s an attraction where one can immerse in contemporary art and innovation. From its spiral ramp to its domed skylight, the museum is a real burgeoning art scene. Plus the city is decked out with several green parks such as the Parque Etxebarria overlooking the Old Town.

5 Seville

The historical city Seville was once founded by Hercules some 2000 years ago. Seville is the capital of the sun-baked plains of Andalusia, Spain’s southern region. Here, one can bask in the eclectic range of architecture influenced by its many conquerors in the past such as the Almoravids, Romans, and Almohads Muslims. One of its key attractions is the Real Alcázar, which displays the sublime Mudéjar architecture. And those who are a fan of Christopher Columbus might consider visiting the grand Cathedral of Seville, where lies his monumental tomb.

4 Granada

If one wants to see the real spirit of the flamenco culture and marvel at some of the best Moorish architecture, then Granada is hands down a place not to be missed. Granada is nestled in the southern part of Spain right on the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Granada beckons avid travelers to visit one of its popular landmarks, the Alhambra Palace known for its intricate Moorish architecture and designs. And of course, its well-manicured gardens dotted with water fountains make this attraction a must-see. Flamenco lovers might just find Sacramento, the cave-clad hillside a wonderful place to connect with locals and witness the sheer beauty of flamenco and Zambra dance.

3 Málaga

Málaga city is where there is a beautiful co-existence between the old and new. Founded about 770 BC by the Phoenicians, Málaga is a place where one can reel back in time thanks to its existing archeological remains from the Phoenician, Roman, and Arabic periods. Probably, its ancient landmarks have inspired its creative geniuses such as the painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, and the poet and philosopher Solomon Ibn Gabirol who were both born here. Málaga has a thriving food culture. Visitors can find bars and Michelin stars restaurants offering scrumptious seafood menus that one can swear by.

2 Cádiz

For a laid-back adventure check out one of the oldest cities in Europe, Cádiz is an autonomous community in the southern part of Spain. It was founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC, and today it has become a quaint city praised for its historical landmarks including some of the oldest Phoenician ruins and its majestic 17th-century Castillo de Santa Catalina perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Atlantic sea. Want to see a 360-degree view of the city? Then be ready to climb the stairs of Torre Tavira to see the surrounding, whitewashed town contrasting with the turquoise blue ocean.

1 Córdoba

Another Andalusian city to tick on your bucket list is definitely Córdoba, a city that ignites curiosity in one’s mind. This place is home to the stunning Mezquita, which is a mosque-cathedral. Its gorgeous courtyard is a draw in itself. One can enjoy the shades of orange and lofty palm trees. Visitors can also feast their eyes on the intricate architectural works inspired by the Moorish, Baroque, and Gothic designs. But Córdoba is also more than its landmarks. Just a simple stroll along its narrow streets, and one will be amazed to find whitewashed patios adorned with vibrant pots of flowers. These streets are also home to some of the best cafes and restaurants.