Spain is one of the most historic countries in the world, but also has a chequered past and a young democracy. This clash of the old and the new makes it a fascinating country to visit, helping to explain why it’s the second-most visited country in Europe.
With a country the size of spain, there’s so much to see and do that it can be impossible to narrow down what you might enjoy the most. The Spanish cities are of particular intrigue, welcoming hundreds of thousands of ‘city break’ travellers – but which city is going to suit you the best?
If You Like Art… Madrid
As the capital, Madrid’s history is also the history of Spain in microcosm. It’s the third-largest city in the European Union, and – as you might expect – there’s plenty for tourists to do here.
It’s the museums and historical sites that stand Madrid apart from the rest, however. The Prado National Museum is considered to have one of the finest art collections in Europe, with featured pieces by celebrated artists such as Hieronymus Bosch, Titian, and Raphael. You could lose hours wandering through these divine creations, then head out into the bustling metropolis for authentic Spanish cuisine.
As you’d expect with a city of this size, traffic can be problematic, so it’s best to rely on your feet, public transport, and taxis via the likes of booktaximadrid.com to get to and from the airport or within the city itself. Public transport is also widely available to help you see as much of the city as possible.
If You Like Nightlife… Benidorm
Benidorm has a long-lasting reputation as the capital of partying in Spain. It’s particularly beloved of the Brits, many of whom make up the large expat population. The accommodation tends to be cheap, the weather good, and there’s beaches and sea views to be enjoyed from around the city.
The peak season is usually between May and August, so be wary of the potential for how busy the resort can be during these times. Spring is a great time to visit Benidorm; the temperatures are still warm, but the party season has yet to fully flow. Transport is great throughout the city and often available in English as well as the native language, which makes navigating it all the easier.
If You Like History… Santiago De Compostela
The old town of Santiago De Compostela has been designed a UNESCO World Heritage site as seen on unesco.org, which should give you some idea of the historical scope on offer here. The beautiful Old Town is untouched from centuries past; you can lose hours exploring the narrow streets and marvelling at the stunning architecture all around you. The famous Cathedral is the host of the shrine of Saint James, making it a popular site for pilgrims as well as tourists.
Tourism is always popular here, so there’s no particular season to take note of. Transport can be difficult, and the narrow streets could pose problems if you have mobility problems. For the most part though, the rewards the city has to offer in terms of views and historical significance make it all worth it.
So which Spanish city is calling your name?