10 Days in Spain The Perfect SpaIterary
10 Days in Spain: The Perfect Spain Itinerary
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Theres just something about Spain. Everything about the country is extremely inviting for travelers looking for new experiences, new foods, and to see things theyve never seen before. With a culture all its own and a remarkable blend of histories, it can seem like no two places in Spain are quite the same.
Of course, that makes it tough when youre trying to decide what to do in Spain in 10 days. How do you pack in all these different experiences and make it to all the best places to visit in Spain in just 10 days? Well, you start right here with our Spain itinerary and let us guide you through the planning process for your trip. That way, you can quit worrying and jump right to counting down the days until you arrive.
Spain is part of the Schengen Area, which means that citizens of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and many more countries cantravel to Spain visa-free for up to 90 daysin any 180-day period. If you are not from one of thevisa-exempt countriesor if you want to stay longer to work or study, you will need to apply for a visa at your local Spanish embassy or consulate.
Of the many things you need to work out when planning your trip is when to visit. Depending on the season you come, youll be greeted with different weather and levels of crowdedness. That makes the best time to visit Spain harder to pin down as its strongly tied to your own travel style and preferences.
Many seem to think that summer is the obvious choice for a trip to Spain. Longer days and sunny skies can be perfect for sightseeing and outdoor dining at restaurants. But dont underestimate how hot Spain can get in summer or the problems destinations like Barcelona have had with over-tourism. Summer is also when locals often take their holidays, amplifying the feeling of too many tourists.
A far more enjoyable time to visit Spain is the shoulder season, either side of summer. By coming for a visit in April through June, or September and October you will skip the crowds and sweltering heat of high season. In their place, you should be met with perfect weather for the outdoors, and more reasonable lines at major attractions.
Now, if youre looking for a winter escape then Spain may well be your answer. Noticeably warmer than most of Europe at this time, you shouldnt have any problem sightseeing in the cool weather or finding more affordable accommodation. The only thing to keep in mind with winter is that certain attractions may have reduced opening hours.
Check flights to Spain from theUSA(from $252) andUK(from 20)
Though you may not realize it before visiting Spain, Spain is actually a fairly large country. With an Spain itinerary like this one, youll be doing your fair share of travel to get from one place to another and you have options of how you choose to do so.
For the most freedom in following and personalizing your Spain itinerary,renting a car is the way to go. With a rental car, you have the ability to leave when you want, stop when you want, and go where you want. Of course, that does mean shouldering the responsibility of navigating and finding parking places. If you are driving, always check with your accommodation whether they have parking available and whether or not its free.
Recommendation:To get the best rate on your rental car, we recommend youcheck out m. They search and compare rental prices from all major rental companies in Spain, so you can rest assured that youre getting the best possible price on your rental car.
Driving isnt for everyone of course, and thats where Spains public transportation networks come in. Spain actually has a high-speed train network that easily rivals its neighbors in western Europe. WithRenfeyou can hop aboard intercity trains and actually get from point A to point B much faster than if you were driving. The downside is that you pay for that convenience.
A far more budget friendly approach to traveling around Spain is to use the various bus companies which connect the country. Taking the bus is generally much cheaper than the train, but has the downside of being by far the slowest means of transport.
A better alternative in some cases is to use a carpooling service like BlaBlaCar which helps you cut costs without losing too much time on the road.
Just as important as figuring how to get from one place to the next is working out where to stay in Spain. Finding the right accommodation can not only save you time and money, but can also drastically influence the enjoyment of your trip. Theres nothing worse than winding up in rotten accommodation and having it sour your holiday.
It goes without saying that you should book in advance if you plan on going to Spain during high season. Do that and youll have your pick of accommodation, no matter your budget or the style of accommodation you prefer.
Part of whats great about the best places to stay in Spain is that they arent limited to budget hostels or high-end hotels. You can find all sorts of places to stay, although you may need to search for them through different websites. If youre looking for budget, backpacker accommodationHostelworldis where youll find hostels with dorms and private rooms. Otherwise, just check out our list of thebest hostels in MadridandBarcelona.
Booking.comon the other hand, has everything from guesthouses and bed & breakfasts to hotels and apartments. With a huge selection for each of these destinations, you wont have trouble finding a place to stay. If you want to enjoy a more local experience, staying with others or in a furnished apartment,Airbnbis the place to look. Also, with Airbnb, you can save money withour $55 off coupon!
If sifting through page after page of listings doesnt appeal to you, there are recommendations for accommodation at each stop on your Spain itinerary included here.
Following this guide, youll journey from the nations capital of Madrid, down to the intoxicating Andalusian city of Seville. With a stop in Granada to take in the Alhambra, youll then head to the cultural dynamo that is Valencia before finishing up in beloved Barcelona.
This trip will take you across much of Spain, seeing all the variety and complexities of the Iberian peninsula. Youll soon find that this is a wonderful first glimpse into the country and no doubt leave you eager to return for more.
However, before we get to our Spain itinerary, we just wanted to remind you topurchase travel insurance. You never know what will happen and, trust us, you do not want to get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills. As a wise man once said, If you cant afford travel insurance, you cant afford to travel. So dont leave home without it.
SafetyWingoffers travel insurance for only about $10 a week, making it a no-brainer to get. You can get a quick, non-binding quote below:
SafetyWingis, of course, not the only option available. Two other popular alternatives areWorld NomadsandHeymondo.
Ok, now here is our Spain travel itinerary that will show you how to plan for your 10 days in Spain so that you experience as much as possible.
Your journey through Spain begins inMadrid. Spains capital city, Madrid is often an underrated destination despite being a modern center of culture and home to a fair share of grandiose landmarks. Madrid makes a great place to start as you begin to familiarize yourself with Spain and its way of life.
As good a place as any to start in Madrid is thePuerta del Sol, a lively square in the center of the city. As you get a sense for the citys bustling energy, head to the other prominent square nearby,Plaza Mayor. Right in Madrids old quarter, this square is surrounded on all sides by grand buildings that have portico arcades running through them.
Continuing on, its not long until you reach theRoyal Palace of Madridwith its 3,000+ rooms inside. Walk around its gardens outside or tour through the interior rooms of this royal residence. Just across the way the sight ofTemplo de Debod,an ancient Egyptian temple moved here,provides quite the contrast. Both give you great access toGran Va, the striking boulevard which pierces through much of Madrid.
Over on the massive grounds and gardens ofParque del Buen Retiroyou can stroll around, away from the noise and bustle of the city. A walk in the park can also bring you through to thePrado Museum, a world-famous art museum full of masterpieces by artists from the Spanish Golden Age, as well as the Italian and Flemish schools. This is definitely ahighlight of Madrid. Keep in mind that the lines for the Prado Museum can get quite long, especially during high season, so it might be a good idea toget your skip-the-line tickets in advance.
Way HostelAyre Gran Hotel ColnApartamentos Caballero de Gracia
On day two you have the chance to shape your Spain itinerary however most interests you. Madrid has plenty more cultural attractions and activities that you could spend the day exploring, but so do the surrounding parts of Spain. There are somefantastic day trips from Madrid, so the choice of one or combination of a few of the following is yours to make:
A vast art museum, the Reina Sofia Museum is full of works by 20th century Spanish masters like Picasso and Dali showing the depth of talent in Spanish art.
Football is beloved in Spain and in Madrid theres no better place to experience that passion than at the home ground of Real Madrid. You dont need to show up on game day as you cantake a tour of the stadiumand see the dressing rooms, the presidential box and more on most any other normal day.
A classic day trip from Madrid, the ancient city of Segovia delights with its historic sights. Be sure to see the spectacular Roman Aqueduct that somehow still stands, or walk the streets of the traditional Jewish Quarter. Be sure not to miss the mighty Alczar fortress where you can see the castle rooms and sweeping views from the tower.
If you want to see a city which has fully retained its historic character, a day trip to Toledo is a great idea. Inside its city walls and among its narrow medieval streets, there are two huge landmarks which dominate Toledos skyline, the Cathedral of Toledo, and the Alcazar. Through Toledo you can also find remnants from the citys historic Christian, Jewish, and Arab communities, true to its multicultural past.
Recommendation:To get the most out of your second day in Madrid, take a look athis full day tour to Toledo and Segovia. Not only do you get to admire the main attractions of these two cities, but also get to visit the Alczar which was the inspiration for Walt Disneys famous castle. This tour is perfect for people who are short on time but still want to visit all the best of Spain.
Down in the region of Andalusia we arrive in the superb city of Seville. Thanks to its exciting mix of Spanish and Moorish architecture, but also due to its cultural traditions of flamenco and tapas, Seville easily wins over most who visit.
In Seville, youll want to see theReal Alcazarpretty much as soon as you arrive there. This incredible royal palace and gardens with spots like the Patio de las Doncellasare a sight to see and recognizable to Game of Thrones fans. Just across the street youll spot the enormousSeville Cathedral, once the city mosque and now third largest church in the world. While there youll want to climb upLa Giraldatower for unparalleled city views.
Recommendation:To get the most out of your visit, we highly recommend youbook this guided tour. Not only do you get to learn more about the history of the Real Alcazar, the Seville Cathedral, and the La Giralda tower but you also get to skip the long lines. The tour is super cheap so there is no really reason not to do it.
Back at street level, its nice to wander about theSanta Cruzneighborhood with its traditional homes and streets lined with orange trees. Finding your way to the major pedestrian thoroughfare of Avenida de la Constitucin, youll soon pass theRoyal Tobacco Factoryand other buildings of the University of Seville.
Before you end your day, take a walk along the leafy boulevards ofParque de Mara Luisaand visit the photographers dream,Plaza de Espana. The incredibly ornate pavilion on this square was built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition Worlds Fair but still enchants visitors today.
Hostal JentoftHotel Fernando IIIAyre Hotel Sevilla
Theres still muchmore of Sevilleto be explored, to start off, make a beeline for theMetropol Parasol, a great new modern architectural addition to the city. Once youre done climbing over this beehive-like pavilion, head down the road to theSeville Museum of Fine Arts. Inside this old convent, the museum hosts many masterpieces created during Sevilles Golden Age of painting.
Another important cultural past-time of Seville is bullfighting, which you can learn more about in theReal Maestranza Bullring. Here you can not only see the historic arena but a museum about the sport. Next, simply cross the road from the bullring and you can walk along the waterfront of the Guadalquivir River down to theToro del Oro, once an important city watchtower.
Having spent so much time on one side of the river, its time to cross over and explore everything that theTriananeighborhood has to offer. One thing you wont have trouble finding here areflamencobars, where you can experience this powerful art form of music combined with dance. Afterwards, hunt down some tapas either here in Triana or back in the city center.
Next on our Spain itinerary, we have a short stop in another Andalusian gem, Granada. Though you could spend several days discovering all the sights of Granada, theres really only enough time on this trip for a single day.
Start off your day in the city center at theGranada Cathedral. This colossal building stands out from a mile away and feels just as daunting from inside its hallowed, echoing halls. From there you could head through the old IslamicGrand Bazaar, see theRoyal Chapel,or roam the streets of the whitewashedAlbaicnneighborhood.
Ultimately though, withone day in Granadayoure going to spend most of your time at the world famousAlhambra. An immense hilltop fortress, the Alhambra is almost the size of an entire town all on its own and it is where youll see most of Granadas most incredible spots. Take, for example, the gardens of theGeneralife, full of fountains, hedges, and panoramic terraces.
The real star attraction of this former Moorish palace complex though are theNasrid Palaces, due to their exquisite Islamic design and reflecting pools. Make sure topurchase tickets well in advance, even if you can only get nighttime tickets, a visit here is a must while in town.
AnacapriHotel AlixaresHotel Granada Center
Journeying north, your next stop is the city of Valencia. Spains third largest city, Valencia doesnt have the same level of name recognition as other destinations on this Spain itinerary. Nevertheless, you wont regret visiting.
To mix things up, begin your visit with the bustlingCentral Market of Valenciainside its beautiful art nouveau building. Once youre done looking at the jamon and chorizo, step out into the citys historic centre and walk over to theLa Lonja de la Seda, a UNESCO recognised architectural wonder.
Heading past thePlaça de la Reina, a fixture of the city, venture over to theValencia Cathedraland theEl Migueletetower. Its inside this Gothic cathedral that you can see a chalice said to to be the Holy Grail itself. Of course, the views from the top of the bell tower arent bad either. From there, wander over to theSerranos Gate, a gargantuan set of towers once part of the city walls.
The rest of the afternoon or evening, wander throughEl Carmenand soak up its bohemian atmosphere. Youll come across all sorts of bars and restaurants inside converted palaces here. Plus, theres no other way to round out your first day here than with a helping of Valencian paella, the citys signature dish, for dinner.
Hostal VeneciaSorolla CentroVincci Lys
While weve seen the historic side of Valencia, theres much more to the character of the city than that. This becomes immediately obvious once you reach theCity of Arts and Sciences, a vast, hyper-modern complex of cultural venues and architectural gems. Firm favorites include theLOceanogrficaquarium and theHemisfricplanetarium. Ideal for families with young kids.
Immediately next to the City of Arts and Sciences and curving right around the historic center is theJardn del Turia. Believe it or not, this used to be where the River Turia flowed through Valencia and now is a perfectly landscaped park ideal for a break from the city.
Theres several ways you can spend the rest of your time in Valencia. The city is home to countless great museums, with fine art on display at theMuseu de Belles Arts de Valncia, history on the citys silk trade atMuseu de la Seda,and history from the Stone Age at thePrehistory Museum of Valencia. Alternatively, pop over toMalvarrosa Beachand take it easy with the sun and the surf.
For even more info on what to do, where to stay, and how to get around take a look at our detailedValencia itinerary.
Your last stop on this trip through Spain is the ever-popular city ofBarcelona. Over on the coast of Catalonia, this is the perfect place to end your Spain trip on a high note.
Beginning in the downtown area of Barcelona, you can start with the first of many surreal buildings in Barcelona designed by the famous local architect Gaudi at theCasa BatllandCasa Mila. Make sure to pop up to the rooftop of Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera. Head through the downtown area, past the lively Placa de Catalunya, and youll soon be onLa Rambla, the citys main leafy boulevard.
La Rambla will eventually bring you into BarcelonasGothic Quarter, the citys atmospheric Old Town. Walking its medieval streets, theres plenty of sights to take in here including theCathedral of Barcelonaand the picturesqueBridge of Sighs. Another popular spot for tourists in this part of town is theBoquera Market, full of food and produce.
Its also not far from theGell Palace, another Gaudi-designed mansion that youll want to see inside and out. From there, make your way across the historic center to celebrate another creative Spanish mind at thePicasso Museum. Youll be hard pressed to find a bigger collection of artwork by Pablo Picasso with thousands of his pieces exhibited here.
After all of this, end your day here with a trip down toLa Barceloneta, the citys fun and vibrant beachfront. Whether you choose to lie on the sand, go for a stroll or get a drink while you watch the sunset, its the perfect place to unwind.
Hostel One SantsHotel Lloret RamblasExe Cristal Palace
On day two there are still some of thebest things do in Barcelonayet to be uncovered.
In Barcelona, you really cant get away from Gaudi and nor would you want to once you seeParc Gell. Situated in the foothills near the edge of the city, Parc Gell is best known for the Dragon Stairway and mosaic covered viewing terraces designed by Gaudi. Here youll also find theGaudi House Museum, where the acclaimed architect lived for a time.
Not all of Gaudis works were completed, as famously can be seen at theLa Sagrada Familiabasilica. Unfinished for over a 100 years, this church is a beautiful sight to behold regardless, especially when viewed from inside its dazzling central nave.
Recommendation:Getting askip-the-line ticket for La Sagrada Familiais highly recommended, as lines can get crazy long. You can alsobuy your ticket to Park Gellin advance here, if you want.
Back towards the city center, make your way to theArco de Triunfo. Besides being a majestic 19th century archway, it also leads you through to theCiutadella Park. This park is not only home to green space and fountains like the Cascada Monumental, but also major landmarks like theCatalan Parliamentand theCastell dels Tres Dragonsexhibition center and museum.
A great way to finish the day is with a trip across the city again, this time up toMontjuïc Mountain. Home to Montjuïc Castle with its military museum and reached by cable car, you should come up for the views of the port and coast.
With plenty of other places to visit in Catalonia, Barcelona is an ideal starting point for day trips. Whether you explore the countryside, the beaches, or other cities in the region is up to you. To give you somewhere to start though, some more commonday trips from Barcelonaare:
Off in the mountains outside of Barcelona, this mountain range is great for hiking as well as general sightseeing. With plenty of trails across different difficulties, you have your pick of peaks to hike and rocky scenery to take in. For a gentler time, seek out the Abbey of Montserrat and visit the statue of the Virgin Mary thats said to perform miracles. You can reach Montserrat by train or on aguided tour from Barcelona. The tour also includes tapas and wine tasting at the 10th-century Oller del Mas castle.
Catalonia is not short on beautiful cities, as is shown by the historic city of Girona. Known for its charming riverfront views, Girona also boasts enchanting medieval walls, an atmospheric Jewish Quarter, and quite the striking Cathedral. Youll happily get lost among its city streets even though its nowhere near the size of Barcelona. Its also another filming location that Game of Thrones fans will want to see up close. You canbook a guided tour to Gironafrom Barcelona here.
Spains most famous beaches and coastline tend to be found much further south, yet you cant argue with the beach town of Sitges. With multiple beaches within easy reach, Sitges is unsurprisingly quite a popular resort destination. You wont mind though as you walk around its idyllic historic center. The big decision though is whether you stick around to revel in the towns lively nightlife or head back early.
With this 10-day Spain itinerary, the idea is to take you through as much of the best of Spain as is possible in that timeframe. Weve shown you the destinations that you simply cant miss, but that doesnt mean there arent plenty more great places out there. If you have the time in your Spain itinerary to visit more places in Spain, then other great destinations include:
Even after youve visited Seville and Granada, there are countless other great cities and towns that you canvisit in Andalusia. This fantastic region in the south of Spain is just bursting with cultural, historical, and beautiful places to visit. Theres the ancient Roman and Moorish landmarks of Cordoba, the dynamic coastal city of Malaga, little Ronda with its magnificent bridge and all the beaches along the Costa del Sol.
The two major cities found in Basque Country up north, San Sebastian and Bilbao, couldnt be more different. One is a stunning beachfront city with Belle Epoque architecture, the other is a city full of big cultural institutions and strikingly modern buildings like the Guggenheim Museum. What they have in common though is their celebrated food and bar scene, so you could spend all your time eating and drinking and still have a good time.
To see a different side to Spain, consider a visit out to Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands. While it may be best known for its beachfront resorts and habit of attracting young partiers with places like Magaluf, Mallorca is full of sights and character all their own. Among its rugged countryside and seaside coves, there are scores of quaint little villages begging to be explored. And lets not forget the main city of Palma which mixes cultural attractions with a good dose of shopping and bars.
Youve now got everything you need to know about how to see Spain in 10 days. Hopefully now planning your trip to Spain is an absolute breeze and the hard part will be the wait until you get there.
Good itinerary, but Im from Spain and I think that you should include more Northern places such us Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral, or the Basque Country.
Barcelona is a great place to stay and there are lots of things to do but I think that 2 days are enough.
i have a question, on your best estimate how much would this whole itinerary cost?? i have been wanting to go to Spain but i would like to know approximately how much to take.
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