Travel Ninja

2 Weeks in Spain: Your Perfect Travel Itinerary Revealed

Have you ever wondered how to make the most of two weeks in Spain? Whether you have a shorter or longer time frame for your trip, this guide will help you maximize your experience. Recently, we spent over a month in Spain, particularly in the southern regions, and crafted a detailed Spain itinerary for anywhere from 7 days to two weeks or more. We absolutely loved our return trip and can’t wait to explore more of northern Spain on our next adventure.

This guide is based on our personal experience and focuses mainly on southern Spain, featuring Spain’s major cities like Madrid and Barcelona, and the highlights of Andalucía, which is our favorite part of Spain. At the beginning of this guide, it’s crucial to note that Spain is a huge, diverse country with fascinating regions and distinct identities. Even in two weeks, you won’t see everything. After spending over a month in Spain, we still missed some places, adding them to our list for the next trip.

This guide aims to help you narrow down where to visit and organize your visit based on our personal experience and what we enjoyed. If you have less than two weeks, you can condense the main itinerary into shorter time frames. We recommend choosing fewer places and spending more time exploring each, rather than trying to visit too many places in a shorter period. This approach allows you to truly immerse yourself and enjoy your trip.

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How Much Time Do You Need in Spain?

The question of how much time you need in Spain often comes up, and the answer really depends on how much you can spare. With 14 days, you have enough time to hit the highlights and some off-the-beaten-path destinations. For tourists with two weeks, it might seem like a lot, but guess what? Even after spending over a month there, we felt like we needed more! We recommend focusing on four to five cities or regions in Spain, like Barcelona in Catalonia, Madrid and its surrounding area, Granada, and Seville in southern Spain.

This itinerary serves as a perfect introduction to Spain, and on your next trip, you can explore northern Spain, Basque country, or Asturias. If you’re visiting Spain with less time, it’s better to cut down on the number of places you’re visiting. Spend a day or two in each place rather than trying to fit in too much. It might feel weird to only see a couple of cities and their surrounding areas, but we recommend focusing on fewer places with more time for a deeper understanding of each city, its culture, and its people.

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This way, you’ll get a deeper appreciation of the main sights. Whether you have 7 days or 10 days, our suggestions will help you spend time wisely and follow the main itinerary efficiently.

Where To Start And End Your Trip To Spain

When planning your trip to Spain, deciding where to start and end is crucial for a smooth experience. We organized our trip from east to west, beginning in Barcelona and ending in Seville, but you can do it in the opposite direction. If you fly into different airports, you can take advantage of an open jaw flight, which can save you a train ride back to your starting point.

For instance, fly into Barcelona and out of Seville to return without backtracking. Barcelona’s international airport offers numerous domestic and international flights, while Seville has smaller but adequate options. If you need to connect when flying back to the US or Canada, you’ll find fewer direct flights from Seville, but this can be managed.

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To find a cheap flight deal, use resources like Scott’s Cheap Flights, which sends deals directly to your inbox from your home airport. You can fly in and fly out of the same city if you organize your itinerary accordingly, but be prepared for extra train time and cost. Sometimes the price might work out better if you find a cheap flight.

Getting Around Spain

When traveling through Spain, the best plan involves utilizing the efficient and affordable rail network to explore various places. For instance, between Madrid and Segovia, while a bus can sometimes be more efficient, trains offer a great experience for cities and day trips. Spain’s high-speed rail network makes train travel a fantastic option, especially compared to the US.

Avoid flying domestically between Spanish cities as it tends to be more expensive and time-consuming. Arriving at the airport a couple of hours in advance often takes longer than a train journey, where you can arrive 20 minutes before departure, grab a coffee, and board. Trains also simplify transfers from the airport to the city center, or vice versa.

Using the rail network is easier despite occasional issues with Spain’s rail network website, Renfe, which sometimes rejects credit cards. We’ve found Omio, a private company, to be a more user-friendly package that combines bus and train options in one app with tickets available offline, no payment glitches, all in English, and a small service fee that’s worth it for a better experience.

Should You Rent A Car In Spain?

When considering whether to rent a car in Spain, it’s essential to understand the context of your trip. While trains are excellent for exploring the country, there is one place where having the flexibility of a car can enhance your experience: Andalusia. If you rent a car, our advice is to pick it up after leaving Madrid and drop it off when you arrive in Seville.

You won’t need a car in Barcelona or Madrid, as day trips to Toledo and Girona are easily accessible by train. Check prices and book through AutoEurope, a reliable rental car company in Europe that we used during our three-month European adventure in Sicily. It worked out perfectly both times, giving us the pace and freedom we needed.

The Route For A 2 Week Spain Itinerary

For an unforgettable two weeks in Spain, we recommend a route that takes you through Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, and Seville. This itinerary allows you to experience the country’s rich history and vibrant culture. Start your trip by arriving in Barcelona, where you can explore the city and take a day trip to Girona.

After enjoying Barcelona, take a train to Madrid and immerse yourself in the capital’s charm. Spend a day in Toledo before heading to Granada to discover its unique histories and cultural quirks. Finally, end your journey in Seville, with a day trip to Córdoba.

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This day-by-day breakdown ensures you see the best of each place while allowing flexibility to soak in the special feel of each destination. For your first time in Spain, this route provides a deeper connection with its diverse regions, making your two weeks truly memorable.

Two Weeks in Spain: A Complete Guide to Planning a 14 Day Spain Itinerary

Planning a two weeks trip to Spain can seem daunting, but with the right logistics covered, it becomes an exciting adventure. Here’s an overview of how to structure your 14-day itinerary to make the most of your time. Start in Barcelona for a few days to soak in the vibrant culture and iconic architecture. From there, move on to Madrid, where you can explore its rich history and enjoy a day trip to Toledo.

Continue your journey to Granada, home to the stunning Alhambra, and finally, head to Seville to experience its lively atmosphere and beautiful landmarks. With this itinerary, you’ll have the details you need to plan each day effectively, ensuring you don’t miss any highlights. This guide offers a clear path through Spain, helping you manage your time and fully enjoy each destination.

Days 1-5: Barcelona

Begin your two weeks in Spain by immersing yourself in Barcelona, one of the most famous cities in Europe. You’ll quickly understand its charm through its vibrant food and drink scene, diverse neighborhoods, and numerous day trips. The fingerprints of Antoni Gaudí, a renowned Modernist architect, are visible throughout the city, with his works significantly impacting the look and feel of Barcelona.

Visit Modernist buildings along Passeig de Gràcia and the Sagrada Familia, one of the most impressive religious sites. Spend three days exploring Barcelona, and take a day trip to Girona in Catalonia, one of our favorite cities in Spain.

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Plan for four days in Barcelona, assuming you arrive on the first day of your itinerary in the afternoon. If traveling from the EU, you might experience jetlag, making the first day somewhat lost. If you have less jetlag, you can use the extra day to explore more or save it for later in your itinerary.

What To Do In Barcelona

When planning your trip to Barcelona, make sure you include these essential things to fully experience the city’s charm. The staples of any visit should cover things to see, eat, and drink, ensuring you hit all the highlights. Our detailed guide to planning your Barcelona itinerary includes must-see attractions like the Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell.

It’s an important note that tickets for these sites can sell out during the high season, often months in advance, so it’s wise to book your stay and entrance tickets early. These things will make your trip unforgettable, and our guide will help you navigate the city with ease.

The Sagrada Familia

During our three-month European adventure across Italy, Sicily, Spain, and Portugal, visiting The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona stood out as a favorite. The reason for this lies in the immense amount of thought and care put into every element of the church. With its two facades and stunning interior, it’s truly a masterpiece.

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To fully appreciate Gaudí’s work, we recommend using the audio guide or a guided tour to enhance your experience and learn more about Gaudí’s masterpiece, which remains in-progress and is set to be completed in 2026, exactly 100 years after his death.

Parc Guell

Parc Guell is another Gaudí masterpiece that you simply must visit during your two weeks in Spain. This park is situated on a hill behind the Gràcia neighborhood and offers breathtaking views of the city and the water.

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Although it tends to be crowded at almost any hour, it’s definitely worth braving the crowds to admire its unique Modernist architecture. Make sure to secure your tickets in advance to ensure entry into this stunning park.

Explore Barcelona’s Markets

During your two weeks in Spain, make sure to explore Barcelona’s markets, which are a fantastic way to experience local culture. We especially liked the local markets in each neighborhood, but the most famous is La Boqueria on Las Ramblas. It’s the biggest market and always crowded with tourists, so visit in the early morning to enjoy fresh fruit, fruit juice, or breakfast at Satan’s Coffee Corner for some excellent coffee.

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For a more relaxed experience, head to Santa Caterina or Barceloneta markets, which are just fifteen minutes on foot from each other. These smaller markets are more enjoyable and have an evenly split mix of tourists and locals doing their shopping.

Learn About Catalonian History

One of the highlights of our two weeks in Spain was visiting the Museu d’Historia Catalunya. We enjoyed this multi-floor museum located in Barceloneta near the beach, which offers a comprehensive dive into the history of both Spain and Catalonia. This museum provided a deeper understanding of the region’s complex history and the origins of its unique culture, something we never learned in school.

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Discover The Secret To Perfect Paella

If you love to cook and eat, one of the best things you can do in Spain is take a cooking class. We took a class with Clara and learned the secrets to making perfect paella, which quickly became a highlight at the top of our list. The class is held at her family’s house in Gràcia, where you learn to make two kinds of paella in a beautiful outdoor garden.

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Alongside the cooking, you’ll enjoy Spanish wine and a variety of tapas while the dish cooks. It’s a wonderful way to connect with Clara and other like-minded travelers.

A Day Trip to Girona

A day trip to Girona, located 100km northeast of Barcelona, offers a deeper dive into Catalonia and its unique culture. This gorgeous small town set on a river (actually, multiple rivers) is known for its scenic beauty and its appearance in Game of Thrones for major scenes in Season 6. To get there, take the high-speed AVE train from Barcelona-Sants to Girona, a quick 40 minutes each way. Secure your tickets through Renfe or Omio for a user-friendly experience with a small service fee.

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Arrive early to walk the city walls starting from Jardins de la Francesa behind the massive cathedral (find it on Google Maps), and enjoy climbing the towers for stunning views of the cathedral. For the best coffee and a pastry, head to Espresso Mafia or its sister cafe La Fabrica for a hearty brunch. Join a history-focused walking tour with Raquel, who has immense knowledge of the area, or opt for the Game of Thrones Tour for fans of the TV show.

For lunch, ask your guide for a recommendation in the old town. During the afternoon siesta, visit the Jewish History Museum to learn about the Jewish population expelled in 1492, and explore the Girona Cathedral, with its impressive cloister, huge nave, and the Tapestry of Creation from the 11th Century. Spend the rest of your time wandering the old town before catching your train home.

Where To Stay In Barcelona

When deciding where to stay in Barcelona, you have two main options that come to mind. Our guide to choosing accommodations in Barcelona breaks down five neighborhoods in detail, highlighting the pros and cons for each based on your group, style, and budget.

For a more residential and low-key experience, consider Gràcia, located north of the city center and a personal favorite for its charm and local feel. Alternatively, l’Eixample offers a central location with a mix of convenience and calmness. For more detail, be sure to read our comprehensive guide on the best places to stay in Barcelona.

Staying In Gràcia: Endlessly Charming With Great Food And Drinks

Our personal favorite neighborhood in Barcelona is Gràcia. Although it’s a bit further out from the city center, we stayed there on our latest trip and found the metro made getting around easy and fast. Invest in the fabulous Hola Card for unlimited transportation from 24 hours to a week in convenient increments. Once off the bustling, wide boulevard of Passeig de Gràcia, you’ll find yourself in the narrower streets of Gràcia’s core, a former separate town that retains a unique character despite being part of the Catalonian capital.

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It’s charming, filled with locals, their kids, and dogs, and boasts numerous bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes—all of our favorite things. For accommodations, consider the mid-range hotel Casa del Sol, the boutique hotel Hotel Barcelona 1882, the apartment Be Mate Paseo de Gràcia, or the hostels Casa Gràcia and Generator Hostel, which are tied in our books.

Staying In L’Eixample: Central, Walkable, And Well Connected

L’Eixample is an ideal area to stay in Barcelona, positioned between the Ciutat Vella (the old town and original Roman city dating back two thousand years) and the outlying neighborhoods like Gràcia that were once separate towns. Designed to connect and modernize Barcelona, it features wide boulevards with multiple lanes of traffic and a grid layout, in contrast to the narrow, winding alleys of the old town.

This area offers a great compromise between location, convenience, and calmness. While still busy, it is less chaotic than the Gothic Quarter swarming with tourists at all hours. L’Eixample has a range of places to stay, from affordable hostels to luxury hotels. For a hostel, Yeah Hostel Barcelona offers private rooms and dorms.

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If you prefer a mid-range hotel, Praktik Hotels (Garden, Vinoteca, and Bakery) cater to the modern traveler with themed accommodations like wine or gardens. For a boutique hotel experience, Casa Bonay is highly recommended.

Days 6 & 7: Madrid

Your second stop in Spain after Barcelona is Madrid, offering a striking contrast between the Spanish capital city and its most famous city. While Barcelona dazzles with its vibrancy, Madrid feels more livable with its dense housing and sprawling green spaces.

Here, you’ll notice fewer people speaking languages other than Spanish and encounter charming language quirks like Madrileños frequently saying «vale.» We enjoyed spending two days in this bustling capital, taking in the highlights and appreciating its unique character. Madrid also serves as a great base for day trips to Toledo, Segovia, and Avila.

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If you have an extra day, a day trip to Toledo is highly recommended, where you can explore a city shaped by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures over the centuries. Spending a night in Toledo could offer more depth, but it might add extra time to your trip to Granada.

Getting To Madrid

The best way to reach Madrid is by train, with multiple direct high-speed trains running each day between Barcelona-Sants and Madrid Puerta de Atocha. These stations connect you in about three hours for approximately 40 Euros per person if you book well ahead of your travel dates. This ensures you get the best deals on long-distance train tickets and can save money.

Upon arriving at Atocha Station, you can easily get to the city center using the regional train system, Cercanías. Your train ticket includes a transfer to this system, but you’ll need to scan your long-distance train ticket at a special scanner. If you’re unsure how, ask an attendant for assistance. For detailed information on prices and timetables for the journey from Barcelona to Madrid, check Omio.

What To Do In Madrid

Madrid might not have as many major tourist attractions as Barcelona, but it is an enchanting city filled with lively neighborhoods where you’ll encounter people who actually live there, unlike the heavily touristic Gothic Quarter. One of the most famous things to do is visit the Museo del Prado, home to a stunning collection of paintings curated by the Spanish royal family at the height of their power between the 16th and 19th centuries. We have a dedicated section on the Prado because it is incredibly important and one of the essential things you shouldn’t miss while in Madrid.

Visiting The Prado Museum

Even if you’re not typically art museum people, an expert guide can transform your visit to the Prado into a highlight of your trip to Spain. The Museo del Prado is the premier attraction in Madrid and one of our favorite art museums in Europe. Due to its popularity, tickets are highly competitive, much like those for the Sagrada Familia, so it’s crucial to buy tickets in advance, especially during the high season. The museum features several themes, including the Spanish collection with works by famous painters like Goya and Velasquez, the Italian collection, and the Flemish collection, known for its imaginative, vibrant, and sometimes dark style.

The Prado is one of the best places to see Flemish art, with entire rooms dedicated to the Flemish masters. The museum is massive, and you could easily spend a full day exploring it. To get the most out of your visit, consider joining a guided tour with a knowledgeable guide like Jaime, whose insights into Spanish history and the artist’s life bring the art to life.

If you prefer an independent visit, secure your tickets on the official website and choose a timeslot in the later afternoon to avoid peak crowds. Leave your backpack at home to skip the coatroom long lines. If tickets are sold out for your dates, check options like the ticket office on the day of your visit, or look for skip-the-line tickets on Get Your Guide.

The Royal Palace

One of the biggest palaces in Europe, the Madrid Royal Palace stands on the site of the original Muslim city and became the capital of Spain in the 16th Century. Though it has burned down and been rebuilt several times, it remains a majestic symbol of Spanish history. To avoid the huge lines, make sure to purchase tickets in advance on the official website.

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Tapas In La Latina

Experiencing tapas is a must-do in Madrid, and there’s no better place than the vibrant La Latina neighborhood. Just south of the main center, Calle Cava Baja is lined with numerous tapas bars offering a variety of tapas joints to choose from. It’s especially lively around lunchtime and in the late afternoon before dinner, making it the perfect spot to enjoy traditional Spanish flavors.

A Walking Tour Through Medieval Madrid

To truly understand the context of Madrid and its role in Spanish history, connect with a local expert. Despite not being a big city until the 16th Century when it became the capital, Madrid has seen its share of historical shenanigans. For a deep dive, we have two recommendations.

Join a walking tour with Bradley, an American with a PHD in Spanish history, who will guide you through the origins and evolution of the city over the centuries. Alternatively, Jaime, our guide at the Prado, born and raised in Madrid, possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the city’s history, culture, and art.

Parque El Retiro

Madrid’s best green space, Parque El Retiro, located on the eastern side of the city near the Prado Museum, is a serene escape with a beautiful rose garden, a tranquil lake, and lush greenery providing a refreshing break from the bustling city streets. Start your visit at the northwestern corner by the Puerta de Alcala, then make your way to the rose garden, passing the picturesque lake and the stunning Palacio Cristal along the way.

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Where To Stay In Madrid

There are many fun and unique places to stay in Madrid, and our guide to the best places to stay in Madrid highlights two main areas that rise to the top for different reasons. Malasaña is our favorite neighborhood in Madrid, a hipster haven just north of Gran Vía, the main artery running through the heart of Madrid. It’s charming, hip, and full of amazing places to eat and drink at all hours of the day, from morning coffee to midnight mojito.

For an upscale hostel, try Bastardo Hostel; for a boutique hotel, stay at 7 Islas Hotel; and for an apartment, check out limehome Madrid Calle de la Madera. Alternatively, Sol-Gran Vía is all about the central location. From here, you can walk to the Royal Palace and Prado Museum in 15-20 minutes and to Malasaña and La Latina in about 10 minutes. Plaza Mayor is also just minutes away. For an upscale hostel, stay at TOC Hostel; for a boutique hotel, try Vincci The Mint; and for an apartment, Smartrentals Centric Gran Vía is a great option.

Day 8: A Toledo Day Trip

Before Madrid rose to prominence in the 16th Century, Toledo was the most important city in the region. Today, it’s one of the best examples outside of Andalucía of the coming together of three prominent religions and cultures in Spanish history: Muslim, Jewish, and Christian.

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It’s one of the few places in Spain where you can see a cathedral, a synagogue, and a mosque. Toledo is a beautiful city with the alcazar perched on a hill overlooking the Tagus river. The walk from the train station to the center is stunning, crossing a bridge with the center of Toledo towering above you across the river.

To Day Trip, or Not to Day Trip?

A 30 minute train ride from Madrid makes Toledo a very doable day trip. However, consider investing some extra effort to arrive early in the morning and stay until late in the afternoon to avoid the day trippers and see the city at its beautiful best with just a fraction of the tourists. This allows you more time to go a level deeper and truly appreciate the coming together of three cultures.

Both approaches have their merits, so it comes down to personal preferences. Note that a long train ride to Granada requires going back to Madrid to connect, making the day trip option potentially more convenient. Ultimately, it’s up to you.

How To Spend A Day In Toledo

Among the best things to do during a day in Toledo, consider skipping the interior of the Toledo Cathedral. While it is spectacular, the entrance fee of 12 Euros to enter, plus additional costs for the belltower and cloister, can be quite steep. Despite being a massive and monumental church, beautifully decorated with works from famous Spanish artists like Goya, the fee is still considered steep by many visitors.

The Alcazar & Military Museum

The Alcazar of Toledo, a castle with roots dating back to the 3rd Century, is perched on a hill overlooking the Tagus River which flows to Lisbon, Portugal. Now home to a military museum, it offers more than just military exhibits. The best part is the detailed chronicle of Spain’s history presented in six chapters, using a wider aperture to explore the history of the country.

While there are collections of guns and swords, they are not particularly unique or impressive. It’s worth spending a couple of hours to delve into Spain’s history, especially since the museum is free on Sundays.

The Two Synagogues

In Toledo, two synagogues are worth visiting as they are among the few old synagogues left in Spain. The first, Sinagoga de Santa María La Blanca, is the more famous one, despite the lack of information inside. Its arches and dimly lit interior are captivating. Though no longer a synagogue since the Jews were expelled in 1492, it is now owned by the Catholic Church, which has not returned it to the Jewish community.

The second, Sinagoga del Tránsito, is different and less ornate, housing the Sephardi Museum which delves into the history of Judaism on the Iberian Peninsula. It showcases the Mudejar style, drawing inspiration from Islamic architecture crafted by Muslim artists for non-Muslim buildings and patrons. More on this style can be found in Andalucía.

The Monastery Of San Juan De Los Reyes

Just down the street from the synagogues, the monastery of San Juan de Los Reyes is a must-visit. Its main attraction and highlight is the multi-floor cloister in the middle, originally intended as the burial place for Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, the royal couple responsible for uniting the Spanish kingdoms. However, they chose Granada after conquering the last Muslim kingdom in 1492. Be sure to explore both the ground floor and upper floor of the cloister, and don’t miss the gargoyles on the upper floor.

The Mosque

After exploring Christianity and Judaism, delve into the last of the three major monotheistic religions, Islam, by visiting the small mosque in the center of Toledo near Puerta del Sol, built in 999 AD. This former mosque, now known as the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz, was converted into a church when the Christians conquered the city. Throughout Spain, particularly in Andalucía, you’ll notice the stark contrast between the grandeur of cathedrals and churches, which were designed to project power, and the more humble places of worship like mosques.

Days 9 & 10: Granada

One of our favorite stops in Spain, Granada is renowned for the Alhambra, an impressive feat of architecture that requires half a day to explore. This former fort turned palace atop the hill features the stunning gardens of Generalife, the summer palace of the Nasrid family, and the beautiful Nasrid Palaces. As the last Muslim stronghold on the Iberian Peninsula, Granada fell in 1492 to the Christian monarchs.

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The city’s streets reflect centuries of Muslim influence, especially in the Albaicín, the Muslim Quarter, where mosques turned into churches retain unique architectural elements. Don’t miss the tea houses like the one Alysha loved, offering a glimpse into the mixed cultures. For a comprehensive experience, our guide to 2 days in Granada covers everything you need to spend your days in this historic city and see the Alhambra.

Getting To Granada

Traveling from Madrid to Granada is a scenic journey heading due south through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This circuitous train ride offers endless views of olive trees and takes about three and a half hours. While beautiful, tickets can be expensive, so it’s wise to book in advance.

Check prices and train times on Omio, a more user-friendly option in English for booking trains and buses in Spain, especially when the official Renfe website might not accept your American credit card at random times. Although there’s a service fee, the ease and convenience make it worth it.

Things To Do In Granada

Granada is more than just the Alhambra, although this stunning palace is a must-see. Spend time exploring the Generalife gardens, the Alcazaba, and the Nasrid Palaces. Don’t miss the charming Albaicín neighborhood, where you can wander through narrow streets and enjoy tea in one of the many teterías. Experience the rich history of the last Muslim stronghold on the Iberian Peninsula, and be sure to visit the Granada Cathedral and the Royal Chapel.

For breathtaking views, head to the Mirador de San Nicolás at sunset. Exploring Granada provides a deep dive into its unique blend of Muslim and Christian influences, making it a highlight of any trip to Spain.

The Alhambra

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain, the Alhambra was built by the Nasrid dynasty, the last Muslim territory on the Iberian Peninsula. This magnificent site is part defensive castle and part royal palace, divided into three parts: the Generalife (summer palace and gardens), the Alcazaba (the castle), and the Nasrid Palaces (the most unique and beautiful). You’ll need a ticket with a timed entry reservation for the Nasrid Palaces, while the other areas can be visited at any time.

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This must-visit complex is best explored with a guided tour to fully understand its historical and architectural context. Buy tickets on the official website well in advance for an independent visit, but we enjoyed our guided tour for added insight. Pro-tip: Bring water, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and a hat if you’re visiting in the summer.

Albaicín At Sunset

The Albaicín is the most romantic and charming part of Granada, known as the Muslim Quarter. Perched on a hill that once housed the ruling family’s palace before the Alhambra, this area is full of narrow streets and open plazas offering spectacular views of the Alhambra across the valley. It’s particularly stunning at sunset. Head to the Mirador de San Nicolás (find it on Google Maps), a popular spot filled with people, or the nearby Mirador de la Vereda de Enmedio (also on Google Maps), which we preferred for its fewer crowds and the golden light that bathes the Alhambra. A walking tour here is a great way to learn about the history of the neighborhood.

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Experience A “Tetería”

If you’re a tea enthusiast like Alysha, exploring the teterías or tea houses in Granada is a unique delight. These charming spots reflect the deep influence of seven centuries of Muslim rule in Andalusia. Our favorite was La Tetería del Bañuelo (find it on Google Maps), where the atmosphere is as rich and inviting as the tea itself.

The Granada Cathedral And Royal Chapel

During our walking tour, our guide emphasized that the Royal Chapel is the best part of the Cathedral complex. Here, the first Catholic monarchs of Spain, Isabella and Ferdinand, are buried along with their children, Joana and Phillip. You can descend into the crypt to see their ornamental mausoleums at the center of the Chapel. It costs just 5 Euros to enter, and there’s an audio guide available in English.

Where To Stay In Granada

Granada is relatively compact, making Plaza Nueva a perfect base for easy access to everything within 15 minutes on foot. We stayed at Limehome, one of our favorite places during our month in Spain. These spacious, light-filled apartments come with kitchens and a terrace offering a glimpse of the Alhambra. If we return, we might stay in the charming Albaicín, although it’s less convenient due to its uphill location, which can be tricky when walking with bags.

Days 11 – 14: Seville

Seville holds an important place in world history with its fascinating blend of multiple cultures, making it a capital of Andalucía and a quintessentially “Spanish” city. Its rich history includes Roman times with emperors Hadrian and Trajan born in Italica, Julius Caesar building the city walls, and periods of Visigoth and Vandal rule. The 8th Century brought the Umayyad Caliphate and almost eight centuries of Muslim rule until the Spanish Christians took over in 1248.

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This historical mix impacts modern-day Seville, visible in its main sights like the Alcázar and Seville Cathedral, which feature elements from both the Islamic period and subsequent Christian expansions. Seville is a lovely place with orange tree-lined plazas, lively spots for eating and drinking, stunning architecture like Plaza de España, and ample green spaces, making it the perfect end to your Spanish adventure.

Getting To Seville

Traveling from Granada to Seville is convenient with high speed trains that take about two and a half hours. Some routes involve a change at Antequera-Santa Ana station, which can make the journey slightly longer but also cheaper. This transfer is relatively easy to navigate, ensuring a smooth trip between these two vibrant cities.

What To Do In Seville

In Seville, explore the Cathedral, the Alcázar, and the Archivo de Indias, all part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Dedicate one day to Córdoba, a 40 minute train ride away, to visit one of the most important Muslim sites in Spain, the Mosque Cathedral. This forms a triumvirate of significant Muslim history in Andalucía alongside the Alhambra in Granada and the Royal Alcázar of Seville. It’s well worth the effort and time to see these historical treasures during your trip to Spain.

Royal Alcázar Of Seville

Your first stop in Seville should be the Royal Alcázar, an ideal introduction to the city’s rich history. This palace with an Arabic-inspired name was built for a Christian king by Muslims, blending Muslim and Christian characteristics after the Christian king conquered the Muslim rulers who had been there for five centuries. It features a mix of architectural styles including Gothic, Renaissance, and Mudejar.

Explore its structures, gardens, and the unique water organ that plays every hour. Don’t miss the Palace of Peter, known for its role in season five of Game of Thrones as Dorne. A guided tour with Jose can provide a deeper understanding of this complex site, which might be confusing on your own.

The Seville Cathedral

The Seville Cathedral, built on the site of a mosque, offers a striking contrast between the original humble place of worship made of affordable materials and the massive cathedral that symbolizes power projection. Christopher Columbus is buried here, adding to its historical significance.

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The highlight for many visitors is climbing the bell tower, known as the Giralda, which provides a breathtaking view of the city. The ascent is unique, featuring ramps instead of stairs. Be sure to get your tickets in advance to avoid long lines.

Plaza De España

One of Spain’s major cities, Seville boasts the spectacular Plaza De España, a location so iconic that it featured in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Built in the early 20th Century for the Ibero-American Exposition to strengthen ties between the Americas and Spain, it faced challenges due to the global financial crisis. Nonetheless, its architecture, with its stunning towers, canals, and bridges, each representing a former kingdom of Spain, remains breathtaking.

A Day Trip To Córdoba

Córdoba is the perfect place for a day trip from Seville, with the high speed train making the journey quick and easy. The Mosque-Cathedral is one of the most interesting places you’ll visit in Spain, and the main sights of Córdoba are best enjoyed at a relaxed pace. Consider spending the night to experience the city after the day trippers have gone home.

2 Weeks in Spain

Follow a guide to explore the gardens of the Alcázar and soak in the unique atmosphere of this historic city.

Where To Stay In Seville

Seville is a compact city that’s mostly flat, making it easy to walk through its central neighborhoods. The Casco Antiguo, or old town core, is particularly charming, with the Jewish Quarter of Santa Cruz being a top pick. We stayed at Come to Sevilla – Casa de las Especias, which offers serviced apartments combining the best of a hotel and an apartment complex in the heart of the old town.

They also have properties in Arenal near the river and on the border of Santa Cruz. For a boutique hostel experience with hotel-style rooms and the social aspects of a hostel, consider TOC Hostel in Barcelona—they offer a great experience in Seville too.

What To Do With More Time In Spain

If you have more time in Spain, the answer lies in two possible paths. The first path involves adding more places along your general route, which we highly recommend. The second path is choosing another region, like Asturias in the northwest, the Basque Country in the northeast, or Mallorca, an island off the south coast of Spain. This is only feasible if you have another week or three weeks total due to travel time.

For the first path, consider places like Ronda for 1-2 days to experience one of the famous Andalusian white hilltop towns—perfect for relaxing, walking around, and enjoying the atmosphere. Montserrat is a great 1-day trip from Barcelona for hikers and those who love religious sites.

Avila and Segovia are ideal for 1-day trips from Madrid with their intact medieval city walls and Roman aqueduct. For a beach ending, spend 1-2 days in Cadiz or Malaga in southern Spain, easily accessible from Seville or Granada.

What To Do With Less Time In Spain

If you have 7-10 days in Spain, you can follow a condensed version of the itinerary. Use the detailed information in the relevant sections to plan your trip. For a 10 day Spain itinerary, you can manage three cities, such as Barcelona, Madrid, and Granada. For a 7 day Spain itinerary, it’s best to focus on two cities like Barcelona and Madrid or Madrid and Granada.

Use a single city as a home base for each region to minimize packing and moving around, a key lesson from our three month trip through Europe—reduce packing as much as possible.

7 Days In Spain: Two 7 Day Spain Itinerary Ideas

If you have a week in Spain, consider two fantastic itinerary ideas: Madrid and Barcelona, or Madrid and Andalusia. The contrast between Madrid and Barcelona provides a vibrant blend of experiences, while Madrid and Andalusia offer an immersion into the most “Spanish-feeling” parts of Spain. Spend 7 days exploring the unique charms of these regions, each offering its own slice of Spain’s rich culture and history.

Madrid And Barcelona In 7 Days

Experience Spain’s two most iconic cities – Barcelona and Madrid – while enjoying day trips to nearby attractions.

Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona
Day 2: Explore Barcelona
Day 3: Take a day trip to Girona
Day 4: Travel to Madrid by train
Day 5: Discover Madrid
Day 6: Visit Toledo for a day trip
Day 7: Spend your final day in Madrid and fly home

Madrid And Seville In 7 Days

Day 1: Arrive in Madrid, the vibrant capital of Spain, and explore its bustling streets.
Day 2: Dive into Madrid’s rich history with visits to the Prado Museum and the Royal Palace.
Day 3: Take a day trip to Toledo, a city known for its medieval architecture and cultural heritage.
Day 4: Hop on a train to Seville, the enchanting capital of Andalusia.
Day 5: Discover the charm of Seville, including the stunning Alcázar and the lively Plaza de España.
Day 6: Continue exploring Seville, enjoying flamenco performances and local tapas.
Day 7: Spend your last day in Seville, soaking in the atmosphere before flying home.

10 Days in Spain: Two 10 Day Spain Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days, you can explore a bit more but still need to choose between Barcelona, Madrid, and Andalusia. One itinerary could start with Barcelona, visiting its iconic sites like the Sagrada Familia, followed by a day trip to Girona. Then, head to Madrid to experience its royal palaces and museums, with a day trip to Toledo. Another option is to focus on Madrid and Andalusia, starting in Madrid, exploring its historical landmarks, and then moving to Granada to see the Alhambra, followed by a few days in Seville to soak in the Andalusian charm.

Barcelona, Madrid, And Granada In 10 Days

Embark on a journey through the vibrant cities of Barcelona, Madrid, and Granada in just 10 days, bypassing the charming allure of Seville for now. While Seville remains a favorite among many, this alternative route offers a unique blend of cosmopolitan flair and historical richness. Begin your adventure in the architectural marvels of Barcelona, then delve into the bustling streets of Madrid, before immersing yourself in the Moorish wonders of Granada’s Alhambra. This condensed itinerary promises a taste of Andalusia’s essence, leaving you eager to return for a deeper exploration in the future.

Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona
Day 2: Explore Barcelona
Day 3: Take a day trip to Girona
Day 4: More sightseeing in Barcelona
Day 5: Catch an early train to Madrid
Day 6: Discover the highlights of Madrid
Day 7: Enjoy a day trip to Toledo
Day 8: Travel to Granada
Day 9: Visit the Alhambra and other attractions in Granada
Day 10: Fly home from Granada

Madrid And Andalusia In 10 Days

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Andalusian culture with a focus on Seville and Granada, interspersed with a taste of the bustling capital, Madrid. This itinerary allows you to delve deeper into the captivating history of southern Spain while experiencing the vibrant energy of Madrid.

Day 1: Begin your journey in Madrid
Day 2: Explore the highlights of Madrid
Day 3: Venture on a day trip to Toledo
Day 4: Continue to soak in the sights of Madrid
Day 5: Travel to the enchanting city of Granada
Day 6: Discover the wonders of the Alhambra in Granada
Day 7: Journey to the heart of Andalusia, Seville
Day 8: Immerse yourself in the charm of Seville
Day 9: Explore the hidden gems of Seville
Day 10: Conclude your adventure in Seville before heading back home

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