Travel guide for Spain

The Ultimate Summer Vacation in Spain: How to Get Around, What to Visit and Eat

madrid, spain

Whether you like beaches, islands, thriving cities, mountains, picturesque villages, amazing food, or just a little sunshine, Spain has got something special in store for you.

With so much to do and see, the best way to get around Spain is definitely by taking the bus or train. It’s a great budget-friendly option, and you get to really take in and enjoy some of Spain’s beautiful landscapes.

Take the bus or train in Spain (we love a cute rhyme)

The Spanish train company Renfe offers different types of tickets for local trips as well as regional ones. The Cercanías (local trains) are perfect for short distances. These offer inexpensive fares, depending on how far you need to go. 

If you buy your tickets online, they’ll probably be cheaper than getting them directly from the station. For longer trips, the intercity (regional trains) are ideal. They cover a larger area of Spain and can take you to almost all major cities in the country. Ticket prices vary depending on the type of train and route chosen, but there are often special offers available online or at ticket offices.

alsa bus spain

Another great option is taking the bus to get around Spain. Alsa, the national bus company in Spain, provides regular services between most destinations at very affordable prices. To get an even better deal, book your tickets ahead of time and look out for discounts that might be applicable.

Regardless of how you’re getting around, just know that taking the bus or the train in Spain are definitely more affordable options, and bonus – you’ll get to enjoy great views of the country too!

What cities to visit in Spain

Spain is known for its relaxed vibes, and with so many cities to visit, each of them has its own uniqueness that will captivate any tourist – or local alike! Here are a few key cities to visit if you’re ever in Spain.

Barrio de las Letras, Madrid, España

Madrid

Spain’s capital city is known for its world-class museums, stunning architecture, and lively nightlife. Highlights include the Prado Museum, the Royal Palace of Madrid, and the Gran Via.

Barcelona

This coastal city is famous for its modernist architecture, including the works of Antoni Gaudi such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. The city also boasts beautiful beaches and a vibrant food and cultural scene.

Malaga

Located in the southern coast of Spain, this vibrant and culturally-rich city offers a multitude of activities for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular attractions in Malaga is the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress that dates back to the 11th century. 

Marbella

Located on the southern coast of Spain, this popular tourist destination is known for its sunny beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage. One of the must-visit attractions in Marbella is the Old Town, a charming and picturesque area filled with narrow streets, white-washed buildings, and beautiful orange trees.

Seville

Located in southern Spain, Seville is known for its stunning Moorish architecture, including the Alcazar and the Cathedral of Seville. The city also has a rich cultural heritage and is famous for its flamenco dancing.

Valencia

This coastal city is known for its futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex, as well as its historic center and beautiful beaches. Valencia is also famous for its cuisine, particularly its paella.

Granada, Spain

Granada

This city is home to the Alhambra, a stunning Moorish palace and fortress complex. Granada also has a vibrant cultural scene, with many flamenco shows and live music performances.

San Sebastian

This coastal city is famous for its picturesque beaches and world-class food scene, with many Michelin-starred restaurants.

The best food to eat in Spain

If you’re a foodie, then Spain is the place to be. There are tons of different cuisines that vary by region and feature a wide range of flavors and ingredients. Your visit to Spain isn’t complete  without trying a few of these delicious dishes.

lunch on a boat in spain

Paella: This traditional rice dish originated in Valencia and typically features seafood, chicken, and vegetables cooked with saffron.

Tapas: These small plates of food are a staple of Spanish cuisine and can include a variety of dishes such as croquettes, patatas bravas, and jamón ibérico.

Tortilla española: Also known as a Spanish omelette, this dish is made with eggs, potatoes, and onions, and is a popular breakfast or lunch item.

Gazpacho: This cold soup is perfect for hot summer days and is made with fresh tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and garlic.

Churros: This popular snack is made by deep-frying dough and is often served with a thick hot chocolate dipping sauce.

Pintxos: Similar to tapas, these small snacks are typically served on a piece of bread with toppings such as cheese, ham, and olives.

Cocido: This hearty stew is a traditional dish in Madrid and includes meat, chickpeas, vegetables, and sometimes noodles.

Crema catalana: This dessert is similar to crème brûlée and is made with milk, cream, sugar, and cinnamon.

5 Instagram-worthy spots in Spain

If it’s not on Instagram or Tik Tok, did it really happen? (Just kidding, sort of..)

If you’re looking for some incredible views and picturesque sights, whether it’s to share with the world or just your family and friends, here’s where to go.

1 – Alhambra, in Granada

Granada, Spain

The Alhambra is a beautiful palace and fortress complex in Granada, and is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the world. The beauty of the Alhambra lies in its intricate and ornate designs, from its stunning tile work to its intricate carvings and intricate mosaics. 

The palace’s interior is adorned with stunning stucco, arabesques, and calligraphy, creating a mesmerizing and ethereal atmosphere that transports visitors back in time. The palace’s lush gardens are also a highlight, with colorful flowers, bubbling fountains, and shaded pathways creating a serene and peaceful ambiance. 

Explore the intricacies of the palace’s interior, stroll through the tranquil gardens, and take in the beauty and history of the Alhambra. 

2 – La Sagrada Família, in Barcelona

Sagrada Família is an awe-inspiring basilica in Barcelona, and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, the basilica’s unique architecture and intricate details are a testament to Gaudí’s genius and vision. 

The basilica’s towering spires, intricate facades, and ornate stained glass windows are some of its most notable features, creating a stunning visual display both inside and out. The interior is particularly striking, with soaring columns, vaulted ceilings, and an intricate network of stained glass windows that bathe the space in a warm and colorful glow. 

The basilica has been under construction since 1882 and is still being worked on today, making it a living and evolving masterpiece that captures the imagination for anyone passing by. Sagrada Família is a must-see attraction for its unique architecture and ethereal interior. It’s the perfect spot for a photo if you’re visiting Barcelona.

3 – Real Alcázar, in Seville

Sevilla, Spain

 

Real Alcázar is a stunning palace complex located in the heart of Seville, Spain, and is one of the city’s most beloved and iconic landmarks. Built over several centuries, the palace’s unique architecture reflects a range of different styles, from Moorish to Gothic to Renaissance. 

The palace’s interior is equally impressive, with intricate tile work, ornate carvings, and stunning artwork on display throughout the various rooms and halls. The palace’s lush gardens are another highlight, with fountains, pavilions, and a diverse range of plant species creating a tranquil and peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. 

Also, if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you might recognize the gardens. This royal palace was filmed as Dorne during Season 5! Just another reason to visit Seville and get that Instagram-worthy shot.

4- City of Arts and Sciences, in Valencia

The City of Arts and Sciences

The City of Arts and Sciences is a remarkable complex of futuristic buildings built in 1996 and located in Valencia. Designed by the renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, the complex comprises several buildings, including an opera house, a science museum, an aquarium, and an IMAX theater. 

The buildings’ unique architecture is characterized by sleek, curved lines and striking white façades, creating a visually stunning contrast with the blue skies and the surrounding water. Inside, visitors can explore a range of interactive exhibits, watch 3D films, or simply admire the buildings’ impressive design. 

The complex’s outdoor areas are just as impressive, with serene reflecting pools, sculptural gardens, and a picturesque promenade that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding city.

5 – Vejer de la Frontera

Vejer de la Frontera

Vejer de la Frontera is a charming hilltop town located in the Andalusian region of southern Spain. The town’s winding cobblestone streets and white-washed buildings are the perfect backdrop for your photos. 

The town’s most notable feature is its stunning castle, which dominates the skyline and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can explore the castle’s historic walls and battlements, as well as wander through the town’s picturesque alleyways and squares. 

Vejer de la Frontera is also known for its incredible food, with a range of local specialties on offer, including fresh seafood, hearty stews, and delicious pastries. 10/10 recommend adding this one to your bucket list. Vejer de la Frontera is a hidden gem that offers a taste of traditional Andalusian life.

No matter which cities you decide to visit in Spain, each one is more stunning than the rest. Between the views, the laid back vibe, the beaches, and the gastronomy, you can’t go wrong by adding Spain to your bucket list.

 

So tell us, where are you headed? Book your ultimate summer vacation now!



7 thoughts on “The Ultimate Summer Vacation in Spain: How to Get Around, What to Visit and Eat

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