Are you planning a trip to Spain, but not quite sure where to go? A great way to build your itinerary is by basing on which famous landmarks in Spain you want to see. Spain has no shortage of outstanding buildings and landmarks to tick off your Spanish bucket list!
This guide features 36 incredible must-see places in Spain as recommended by travel influencers.
Naturally, this list includes the stunning Spanish landmarks such as the Sagrada Familia, Alhambra and Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral. However, this list also includes a ton of stuff you’ve probably never heard of, including a bubblegum-coloured pink lake, houses built inside caves, buildings hanging on a cliff face and a cathedral created singlehandedly by one man from salvaged materials! This is a pretty epic list of amazing things to see in Spain.
To make it easier to navigate this monster of an article and to help you work out which Spainish landmarks to add to your trip, the places featured in this list are divided into categories based on their location.
So, go grab a Tinto de Verano and find out which famous landmarks of Spain you need to add to your to-see list.
What you can expect in this article...
Top 10 Landmarks in Spain
Everything listed in this article has earnt its place here as some of the best landmarks in Spain, but of course, there’s going to be the best-of-the-best! Below are the 10 best things to see, and 100% need adding to your Spain bucket list!
- La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
- The Alhambra, Granada
- Park Güell, Barcelona
- Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba
- Royal Alcázar of Seville
- Plaza de España, Seville
- Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
- Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca
- Aqueduct of Segovia
- The Puente Nuevo, Ronda
For more articles on destinations, attractions and itineraries for Spain, click here.
Incredible Landmarks in Spain to add to your Spanish Bucket List
South Spain Landmarks
Magnificent Alhambra Palace in Granada is a World Heritage Site in Spain, and one of the most famous landmarks in Spain as well as one of the most visited sites in the World. As a matter of fact, the spectacular Alhambra Palace in Granada is the most visited site in Spain. More than 2 million people visit Alhambra a year. Needless to say, visiting Alhambra is one of the must-do things in the lifetime!
Glorious Alhambra Palace stands gracefully on the top Al-Sabika hill and dominates the city of Granada and the valley of the river Darro. Moors named it, and Alhambra literally means ‘the Red One’ in Arabic. At first, Alhambra was built as a Roman fort. But in the 8th century during the Al Andalus era, the Moors made a true architectural and artistic masterpiece of it. Additionally, in the 15th century, Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella changed some parts in the Renaissance style.
The main and must-see parts of the complex are the beautiful Court of the Myrtles, breathtaking Nasrid Palaces, lovely Generalife Palace with Gardens, elegant Partal Palace with the Partal Gardens, grand Palace of Carlos V, and impressive Alcazaba.
Remember, this is one of the most famous buildings of Spain. A staggering 2 million people visit Alhambra a year. So, it is not surprising that visits to Alhambra are limited. Only 6.600 visitors a day are allowed. During peak season, buying the tickets in advance is recommended.
This is one of the best places to visit in southern Spain, however try to avoid the summer. The best time to visit Granada and Alhambra are spring and autumn for the pleasant temperatures. Be aware, air temperatures in Andalucia in summer go above 40ºC. Therefore, if you want to witness the Alhambra complex, buy your flight to Granada for spring or autumn.
Location: Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada
Explored by Milijana Gabrić from World Travel Connector
Related Article: How to see Granada in a Weekend – The Complete 2 Day Itinerary
Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
The city of Cordoba in Andalucia is one of the best places to visit in south Spain. The city features a vibrant architecture from Roman, Islamic, Jewish and Catholic civilisations, all fused into one of the most alluring cities in the region.
One of the most famous buildings in Spain is the UNESCO listed Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba or Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba. Naturally, this sits at the top of the list of things to see on any Cordoba itinerary.
Situated in the heart of the old town, this gigantic building is jaw-droppingly stunning! As you wander about the external walls, you can see a mix of renovated intricate plasterwork. In its heyday, this building would have been something else! Wander into the orange tree-clad courtyard. If you have time, it’s worth climbing the bell tower for a stunning panoramic view of the city.
Once inside, it’s difficult not to stand there with your mouth wide open in awe. It’s beautiful and no picture I had ever seen of the Cordoba Cathedral has ever done it justice. You’ll find 856 columns supporting the vaulted ceilings. The iconic pink and cream colour arches stretch back to as far as the eye can see. In the centre, you’ll find the enormous dome of the Capilla Mayor. The equally stunning Marsura Dome is also a must-see. It’s certainly worthwhile hiring a guide to talk you through everything here.
Location: Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba
Prebook now: Cordoba Mosque and Guided Tour Tickets
Related Article: The Perfect One Day in Cordoba Itinerary
Plaza de España, Seville
When you search up any image for the city of Seville, more than likely the Plaza de España will be the image you’ll see. This plaza ranks highly as one of the most beautiful places in Spain. This truly is one of the most visually striking monuments in Spain.
The enormous, semi-circular Plaza was built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. The style of this building is based on both Renaissance and Moorish styles. At peak times, the Plaza is a myriad of bustle, the huge fountain is the centrepiece, you’ll find street entertainers milling about, with horses drawn carriages making the circuit around it and rowing boats on the small moat which runs parallel to the building. You’re also likely to see live flamenco somewhere under the gigantic alcoved building.
Plaza de España, is a must for any Seville itinerary, with its ornate towers, wide-open balconies, decorative vibrant bridges and colourful tiled seating all around the edge. Each of the seated areas represents a Spanish province.
Adjacent to the Plaza de España you’ll find the gorgeous Parco de Maria Luisa. The enormous 100-acre park is filled with fountains, tropical trees and flora as well as lakes and gazebos. Meandering pathways lead you off into the cool shady canopy, as little parakeets squawk overhead, which makes for a welcome break from the heat of the sun.
Location: Av de Isabel la Católica, 41004 Sevilla
Related Article: The Complete Seville Bucket List
Puente Nuevo, Ronda
The Andalusian city of Ronda is set on a mountain plateau 40 miles west of Málaga. At its heart is the El Tajo gorge, a narrow rocky chasm plunging 110 metres to the Guadalevín River, and this is where you’ll find Ronda’s most famous sight – the Puente Nuevo, one of the most spectacular bridges in Spain.
The Puente Nuevo one of three bridges linking the two sides of Ronda – the Moorish La Ciudad on one side and the 15th-century El Mercadillo on the other. There were already two bridges but they were built lower down so a plan was made to build a ‘new’ bridge. New is a relative term in Ronda though, and the Puente Nuevo was actually completed in 1793 after taking 34 years to build.
It wasn’t the first bridge on the site, the previous one only lasted six years before collapsing, killing 50 people. So the Puente Nuevo was built with three thick vertical supports connecting it to the gorge, the central of which is a chamber. Once allegedly used for torture, now it houses an exhibition about the bridge’s construction.
There are views of the Puerto Nuevo from both sides of the gorge, but for that perfect postcard shot, follow the path down into the gorge from the Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora for around 10 minutes until you reach the Arch of Christ. Looking up from below gives you a real feel for the scale of this beautiful bridge.
Location: Calle Armiñán, s/n, 29400 Ronda
Explored by Lucy from On The Luce
Punta de Tarifa, The Most Southernmost Point of Continental Europe
There are several reasons why Punta de Tarifa needs to be on your Spain Bucket List. First, this point is the most southernmost point of continental Europe, any further south and you’ll end up in Africa!
Which leads on to the second amazing thing about this site. You can see the coast of Morocco. In fact, on a really clear day you can even make out individual buildings as the closest point is only about 20km away.
If those two facts weren’t enough, then Punta de Tarifa is where the two different seas meet! Walk along the raised wall footpath out towards the Fortress on the Isla de Tarifa. You’ll probably be able to notice that one side of the wall the sea is greyer and often choppier. The other side looks much bluer and is calmer This is because to the right of you is the Atlantic Ocean, and to the left of you is the Mediterranean Sea leading into the Straits of Gibraltar. There’s even a sign here to prove it!
The beaches also reflect the look of the seas, on the Mediterranean side of the causeway, it’s a lot more sheltered. The beach is called Playa Chica de Tarifa. Because of its size and the fact that this is the more sheltered beach of the two, it does get busy on this side. On the Atlantica side, you’ll find a wide expanse of sand, however, it’s also a lot windier on this side. This is also why Tarifa is the capital of Kite Surfing with numerous surf schools in the area.
Location: Calle Alcalde Juan Núñez, 7, 11380 Tarifa
Seville Cathedral & Giralda
One of the most stunning cities in Andalucía hands down is Seville. With a plethora of stunning architecture and the mazelike photogenic cobblestone streets, there is plenty here for lovers of towns oozing with history.
One thing to be sure to add to your Seville bucket list is the gigantic Cathedral of Seville and the Giralda. This landmark is one of the most famous Spanish buildings. Not only is the cathedral the biggest in the world by volume, but it’s also where you will find the tomb of Christopher Columbus. It’s no surprise Seville Cathedral has gained UNESCO heritage sites.
Seville was once under Islamic rule, and during this reign, a mosque once stood on the site of the now Gothic-style cathedral. When the Christians conquered Seville, they used the Mosque as their own place of worship, this was in 1248. Around 250 years later, in 1506 construction finished into what you can see today. Two parts which remain from the original structure are the intricate looking Giralda and the Orangery courtyard.
A pathway spirals up to the tower of the Giralda, there are no steps as instead, it’s a ramp which leads up. This was so that a horse could carry priests up for prayer. There are no horses today, but the uphill climb is worth it for the views that overlook the old town. Don’t forget your camera to capture some great panoramic shots!
Location: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla
Prebook now: Seville Cathedral Guided Tour with Priority Access
Related Article: How to spend three days in Seville
Torrevieja Pink Lake, near Alicante
Ever seen a bubble-gum pink-coloured lake? If not, then definitely add Torrevieja Pink Lake to your must-see landmarks in Spain. Called Laguna Rosa in Spanish, it is a salt lake that gets its pink colour from bacteria and algae usually grown in salty areas.
Visiting the lake is possible from the neighbouring cities of Torrevieja or as a day trip from Alicante. Unfortunately, there is no direct public transportation to the lake. One option is to travel to the town of Torrevieja by bus and then either walk or hire a taxi. Therefore, renting a car is the best way to get to the lake.
The lake is relatively big and free to visit. There are several entrances to get closer to the water according to Google Maps. However, one of the best ones is from Via Verde de Torrevieja and Calle Munera. The bank here is more apparent and clear from bushes compared to some other entrances.
When travelling to the Pink Lake, note that some sources state it is forbidden to bathe, and violators of the rule might get a big fine if caught, while others say it’s okay. In order to avoid any uncomfortable situation, be mindful, and pay attention to the signs.
Location: Calle de las Lavanderas, 10, 03185 Torrevieja, Alicante
Explored by Baia from Red Fedora Diary
Setenil de las Bodegas, Cadiz Province
Setenil de las Bodegas is one of the most interesting and unique white villages in Andalucia. Whilst most of the white villages are built on hills and surrounded by castles and city walls, Setenil de las Bodegas has been built inside a canyon, with its houses carved inside caves, in the rocks.
Setenil de las Bodegas is located close to Ronda, and it is easily accessible by car. The road to Setenil is so pretty, through olive tree orchards and between the rolling hills of Andalucia.
There are quite a few things to do in Setenil de las Bodegas, which makes it a desirable day trip from either Ronda or Malaga – the closest two larger cities. Besides walking along the streets, passing underneath large boulders which cover the narrow passageways, you can also explore some of the caves in the village.
All the restaurants on Calle de las Cuevas have been built inside caves so, if you choose to eat at one of them, you will get to experience the inside of the caves. One of the local specialities which you should try whilst visiting Setenil de las Bodegas is the sopa cortijera, a wild asparagus soup made with rustic bread, chorizo and hard-boiled eggs. Even if Setenil de las Bodegas is somehow on the touristic map, the prices here are quite low.
For a more authentic experience, you can stay overnight in one of the caves transformed in B&Bs.
The best time to visit Setenil de las Bodegas is in the morning or in the afternoon, as it does get quite busy around lunchtime. There are a couple of tours that reach the village at noon, and, because the village is quite small, it gets quite crowded during this period.
Location: 11692, Cádiz
Explored by Joanna from Andalucia In My Pocket
Real Alcazar of Seville
Up there, with the likes of the Cathedral and Giralda, the Real Alcázar is one of the best things to see in Seville. And a must for your Spain bucket list.
Originally, there was a Moorish fort on this site when Seville was under Islamic rule. The Christians then conquered Seville, and with it, took the fortress. The fortress then became home to Spanish Kings, each wanting to put their own mark on it. The Real Alcazar was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
The style of the palace is Mudéjar, which is a mix of both Moorish and Christian design. There are countless buildings in this style in both Seville and around the region. The palace features pretty columned courtyards which have beautiful lattice-like plaster detailing stretched between them and colourful tiles also don every surface.
Some of the must-see room are the Courtyard of the Maidens, Salon de los Tapices, Mudéjar Palacio de Don Pedro and Salon de Embajadores.
You’ll want to spend a decent amount of time inside the palace, but don’t forget there are the grounds that go with it. The gardens consist are immense, some featuring sculptures and fountains, orange trees, low lying shrubs, ponds and of course, an enormous gallery walkway to look down on the gardens.
To do the palace and the gardens justice, I’d suggest allowing 2-3 hours.
Location: Patio de Banderas, s/n, 41004 Sevilla
Related Article: Beginners Guide to Seville
Amphitheatre of Italica at the Italica Ruins, Santiponce
Wandering around ruins like Italica is an experience that should not be missed. It’s one of the best historical landmarks in Spain. Not only have they lasted the test of time, but they have also seen time over hundreds of years. Visiting Italica Spain should be on the top of your list when you visit Seville.
The ruins are located 8km north-west of the city in a town called Santiponce. You can get there by taxi for a small fare or you can take the local public transport that drops you right near the gates. You do need to make sure if you are taking the public transport that you are able to get it back into Seville as the times change.
Italica is the birthplace of two Roman Emperors, Trajan and Hadrian and more recently, it was chosen as a film set in the Game of Thrones. Originally developed to house the veterans from the wars with Hannibal and the Carthaginians you can tell by the wide tree-lined roads that are still there it was a bustling city back in its day. You can even see some of the original mosaic tiled floors that the Romans were known for.
The one thing that drives home how important this city was is the Amphitheatre. The Amphitheatre at Italica is believed to be the 3rd biggest Colosseum in the Roman Empire and in it’s prime could hold up to 25,000 people. Once you step out into the middle and you are surrounded by the high sides and you can only imagine what it would have been like when it was filled to the brim with people.
On the site, there is also a small museum which is fantastic and should not be missed at all. It gives you a history of the site and information on some of the findings that have happened over the years. Visiting Italica should be on your list of things to do in Seville.
Location: Av. Extremadura, 2, 41970 Santiponce, Sevilla
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 09.00-18.00 | Sunday 09.00-15.00 | Closed Monday
Explored by Bec from Wyld Family Travel
Cádiz Cathedral, Cádiz
The new Cathedral of Cádiz is not really a new Cathedral. Construction started on the impressive baroque-neoclassical building in 1722 and was not complete until 1838. Architect Vicente Acero was the winning designer. However, as years passed with sometimes no work being done on the building at all, the Cathedral is not as grand, nor exactly what Acero designed.
Throughout the 116 years of construction, the dome was reduced in size, the towers were made shorter, and a neoclassical style was added. You will notice various shades of the façade due to different stonemasons and wearing of the stone from mother nature.
The Clock Tower offers beautiful views of the entire city and the Atlantic Ocean. The interior Latin Cross floorplan of the Cathedral contains grand Corinthian columns. The raised altar sits above the crypt, which is the resting place of gaditano composer Manuel de Falla (1876–1946). You will see beautiful sculptures of Luisa Roldán, San Germán, and San Servando
along with two large organs. The interior is made with marble and the choir area with intricately carved wood.
Tickets start at €6 with discounts given to retirees, disabled people, and students. Children under 12 are free. Tickets include access to Casa de Contaduría (the museum of the Cathedral), Chorus, Clock Tower, Crypt, Sacristy, and the Cathedral.
Location: Plaza de la Catedral, s/n, 11005 Cádiz
Explored by Sally Pederson from Loving Life In Spain
Santa Barbara Castle, Alicante
Spain is full of diverse history and it’s reflected in their landmarks and must-see attractions. One such must-see landmark is Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante. The historic fortress is enormous and lies atop Mount Benacantil overlooking the city of Alicante and the Meditteranean Sea. Visitors to Santa Barbara Castle marvel at the sweeping views you see from the walls. The enchanting Meditteranean coastline below the castle is something you won’t forget especially if you visit at sunset.
Hiking to Santa Barbara Castle is a must-do activity while on an Alicante city break. There are tours available once you reach the top or you can arrange a guided tour from vendors in the city. You’ll learn about the history of the castle which was built when the Moors ruled Southern Spain and changed hands many times through its history. The castle gets its name from the date on which it was captured by Castilian forces, 4 December 1248. It happened to be the feast of Saint Barbara and was thus named for that date.
The castle has been open to the public since 1963. If you have the time, hiking to the top is a wonderful way to reach the castle but you can also opt for one of the funiculars built into the mountain. They cost a few Euros each way and can save you time and the effort of climbing to the top by foot.
Location: 03002 Alicante
Opening Times: April, May, June and September from 10:00 to 22:00. Daily
Explored by Derek and Mike from Robe Trotting
Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs, Cordoba
The Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs, or Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, is an important historical and cultural site in Spain. In fact, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. This former palace in the centre of Córdoba dates back to the 1300s when the king of Spain ordered its construction.
The medieval palace is one of the most beautiful places in the city, and because of its central location, it is an easy addition to any itinerary, even if you only have one or two days in Cordoba.
The fortress once serves as one of the primary residences for Spanish royalty. It is also where Spanish monarchs commissioned Christopher Columbus for his voyage to the Americas. The alcazar’s pristine gardens are one of the major tourist draws to the palace. The impressive gardens in the centre of the fortress boast several elegant fountains and ponds surrounded by decorative, manicured landscaping and beautiful fruit trees.
With square towers on each of the palace’s four corners that were once used to defend the fortress, the exterior of the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs has an iconic castle appearance. It’s interior features a Hall of Mosaics, Royal Baths, Reception Hall and several courtyards.
Over time, this alcazar has served as royal palace, prison and now stands as one of the top tourist attractions in Cordoba, Spain.
Location: Plaza Campo Santo de los Mártires, s/n, 14004 Córdoba
Explored by Melissa from Parenthood and Passports
Prebook now: Cordoba Alcazar Skip-the-Line Guided Tour and Ticket
East Spain Landmarks
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
The basilica of Sagrada Familia is probably Spain’s most famous landmark and should certainly be at the top of your Barcelona bucket list. The cathedral is located in the Eixample neighbourhood. Sagrada Familia is a true masterpiece and very unique in its architecture. Expect to be in complete awe at its beauty.
It was designed by Antoni Gaudi who spent most of his life working on his most significant project. Today Sagrada Familia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is due to be completed in 2026. It’s taking 150 years for the work on basilica to be finished and what interesting is that funds come entirely from visitors and donations. Sagrada Familia’s central tower will be a whopping 170 meters tall when finished, and the whole basilica is rich in intricate carvings and symbolism. It is a Roman Catholic church; however, a lot of symbols are taken from nature because Gaudi believed that nature has crucial importance.
Becasue this is one of the most famous monuments in Barcelona, it can get busy. It’s worth buying tickets in advance online, which is cheaper and, in that way, you can skip the queue. I recommend spending a little more and getting access to the towers from where you can get some spectacular views of Barcelona.
Location: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona
Explored by Mal from RawmalRoams
Prebook now: Skip The Line Guided Tour of Sagrada Familia with Towers
Parc Güell, Barcelona
Parc Güell is one of the largest public parks in Barcelona, composed of beautiful gardens and stunning architectural elements. Located on Carmel Hill, the park is easily accessible with the combination of public transportation and a little bit of walk from the metro station/bus stop. This is probbaly the second most famous landmark in Spain (after nearby Sagrada Familia).
Being one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona, the park is usually very busy with locals and tourists alike. Although the park has free entry all day, the most popular part of the park – the Monumental Zone, where you can find the works of Gaudi – requires tickets most of the day. It’s recommended to buy your ticket well in advance because only 400 people can enter the park each half-hour, therefore tickets can quickly sell out.
The park has different opening times depending on the season, it usually opens around 7.30 am and closes around 8.30 pm in the summer. If you’re visiting outside these hours, you don’t need a ticket and you can even enter the Monumental Zone for free as well. Therefore, it’s best to visit the park early in the morning around sunrise, because this way you can stay in the park as long as you like without having to pay for a ticket and you can also avoid the tourist crowds.
There are several trails in the Monumental Zone so you can easily spend a few hours inside. Make sure to visit the Dragon Stairway, the Greek Theatre, the Laundry Room Portico and the Porter’s Lodge Pavilion!
Location: 08024 Barcelona
Explored by Krisztina from She Wanders Abroad
Prebook now: Park Guell Admission Ticket
The Gothic Quarter, Barcelona
The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, El Barri Gòtic in Catalan, is an enchanting pedestrian area, which constitutes Barcelona’s historical city centre. Parts of it were built during the times of the Roman Empire and it thrived during medieval times too. The Gothic Quarter is located right in the centre and the famous La Rambla Boulevard lines its western side.
Not everything that looks beautifully old and authentic is truly so at the Gothic Quarter. That’s why it’s fun to stroll throughout this labyrinth of tiny streets armed with the knowledge of what’s truly genuine because there are many “fakes”. El Pont del Bisbe is typically the no.1 thing everybody rushes to see. The unique-looking bridge connects two buildings and while it appears to be old, it’s not. It was constructed only in 1928.
Most of the Gothic Quarter was rebuilt majorly in the 1920s since Barcelona took on the enormous task of hosting the World Expo in 1929. Boulevards were enlarged, houses were torn down or moved – one such example is Casa Padellàs, a house currently hosting the Barcelona City History Museum. Also, the beautiful Barcelona Cathedral had its front façade completely remade in a Gothic style, which the famous artist Gaudí loathed.
Still, you can find many ancient remnants in the Gothic Quarter – e.g. the Roman pillars housed in a residential block. Taking a walk through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is thus more than just “plain old” sightseeing, it turns into a treasure hunt exploring what’s truly old and what only pretends to be.
Location: Ermita de San Juan de Gaztelugatxe – 48370
Explored by Veronika from Travel Geekery
Prebook now: Barcelona Gothic Quarter and Old Town Walking Tour
Montserrat Monastery & Mountain
Santa Maria de Montserrat Monastery should be at the top of any Spain Must-See list. This ancient 11th-century Benedectine Abbey is tucked 1236 meters up into the side of Montserrat mountain in Catalonia Spain.
Montserrat is located an hour and 15 minutes Northwest of Barcelona or a short hour from Spain’s rolling vineyards and is accessible by car, train or private tour. A serpentine road winds through the unusual rock formations and scenic vistas along the route up the mountain. Park at the base of the mountain to take a 5-minute ride in the Aeri de Montserrat Cable Car instead.
Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey is free to visit and is known for its stunning location. It is also home to La Moreneta, a rare Black Madonna, the patron saint of Catalonia. The 12th-century Romanesque polychrome carving sits above the high altar in the basilica and is said to possess healing powers. Over 70 monks currently reside at Montserrat and the L’Escolania boy’s choir performs daily.
Outside the monastery, the Funicular Sant Joan takes visitors up an additional 300 meters, almost to the summit of Montserrat mountain. Hiking trails and a nature park with a breathtaking panorama of Catalonia wind through the rock. Several small chapels can be found along the mountain paths. No trip to Spain is complete without an unforgettable visit to scenic Montserrat.
Pro tip: Go early. Long lines form to visit La Moreneta.
Location: 08199 Montserrat
Explored by Carol from Is This Even A Road
Gaudi Houses, Barcelona
Stunning architectural masterpiece houses designed by Antoni Gaudi line the streets of Barcelona. The three UNESCO World Heritage house sites are Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, and Casa Vicens. They are some of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona. These spectacular private residences were built for wealthy Barcelona families from Gaudi’s modernist plans.
Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera (Quarry) due to its rough stone quarry-like exterior, is one of the most popular of Gaudi’s works. It is located on Barcelona’s upscale Passeig de Gràcia. The unique hooded structures on the roof terrace resembling a garden of warriors are a must-see attraction. In addition to seeing these forms that inspired Star Wars costumes, the views of the city from the rooftop are tremendous.
Casa Batllo is a short walk from La Pedrera. An ornate skeleton façade gives Casa Batllo its nickname Casa dels Ossos (House of Bones). Look for the spine of a legendary dragon along the roofline. Changing coloured lights on the balconies make this Gaudi masterpiece a dazzling site to visit.
Casa Vicens was the first house designed by Gaudi. Also located in the Garcia district, this house astounds with brilliant ceramic tiles and mosaics. Casa Vicens, as well as the other Gaudi houses, can be toured to see the intricate features and learn the history of Barcelona’s development. Skip-the-line tickets are recommended due to the popularity of these magnificent houses.
Location Casa Batillo: Calle Muñoz León, 41009 Sevilla
Location Casa Mila: La Pedrera Carrer de Provença, 261 – 265, 08008 Barcelona
Location Casa Vicens: Carrer de les Carolines, 20, 08012 Barcelona
Explored by Karen from Outdoor Adventure Sampler
Prebook now: Skip-the-Line Casa Batllo and Casa Mila Gaudi Tour
Sant Pau Recinte Modernista Hospital, Barcelona
Barcelona is every art history & architecture enthusiast’s must-visit destination and has very many splendid buildings of Catalan Modernist movement. Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is one of the exceptional examples of the era, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, who also designed Palau de la Música Catalana. Today both these buildings have been listed together as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Visiting Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is possible only by guided tours and every day there are a certain number of guided tours per language so pre-booking is recommended. This was built in 1902-30 and this was a functioning hospital till 2009. Since 2009, the hospital has been moved to a new facility nearby and this beautiful heritage building is open for visitors.
The entire place is so colourful and filled with impeccable tiles, mosaic work and stained-glass work. The dome-shaped circular ceiling stained glass of the seminar room is an exquisite piece of art. The guided tour is necessary to understand the function of each room as a hospital and the pieces of art in each room. True to its Catalan Modernista art style, most of the motifs have been inspired by nature with a lot of use of flowers, rabbits, ducks, etc.
Location: Carrer de Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167, 08025
Explored by Bhushavali from My Travelogue
Amphitheatre of Tarragona (Amfiteatre de Tarragona)
Catalonia is best known for its beautiful coastline, great food, and modernist architecture. But did you know that between all of these things, you can also discover ancient Roman ruins and relics?
The amphitheatre de Tarraco in Tarragona is probably one of the most famous sights from Roman times. This spectacular theatre once had space for up to 15,000 people to watch gladiator fights and similar events. Today the theatre is also a popular destination for Christians. Because it was here that Bishop Fructuós and his deacons were burned as martyrs for their faith.
If you look at the amphitheatre walls, you can hardly imagine today that this impressive building was built in the 2nd century.
The special thing about this theatre is that it is located by the sea. So that the amphitheatre could already be seen from the sea and admired by visitors.
As one of the most important port cities in the region, Tarragona, known as Tarraco in antiquity, was full of unique, exclusive buildings. In addition to the Amphitheater de Tarraco, you can explore other Roman ruins and impressive remains from ancient times when you visit the city. Tarragona is around an hour by train from the Catalan capital, so you can visit Tarragona as a day trip from Barcelona.
Location: Parc de l’amfiteatre, s/n, 43003 Tarragona
Explored by Vicki from Vicki Viaja
City of Arts and Science (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias), Valencia
The City of Arts and Science is an impressive ultra-modern scientific complex consisting of six different areas. The interesting buildings are located in the dry river bed of the Turia river in Valencia. This cultural and architectural building is one of the 12 treasures of Spain and the most important tourist destination of Valencia. Inside there are endless options for entertainment and to stimulate the mind.
You’ll find Oceanogràfic which is Europe’s largest aquarium with about 500 different species of marine life in seven different marine environments. You can see sea lions, penguins, sharks and much more. Next to the aquarium, there’s a science museum, opera house, IMax Cinema and a beautiful garden where you can roam freely. The different interactive, hands-on exhibits are both fun and educational for all ages. A perfect family day out.
The surrounding area of the City of Arts and Science is beautifully located in the Turia park which makes it a perfect location to relax during the day. Visit the open-air bar outside El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe during the evening for a drink and chat with the locals.
Location: Av. del Professor López Piñero, 7, 46013 València, Valencia
Opening Times: 10.00 – 18.00 (low season) /19.00 (mid season) /21.00 (high season) | 365 days a year
Explored by Ilse from Digital Travel Couple
Prebook now: Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias Entry
The Silk Exchange (La Llotja de la Seda), Valencia
The Silk Exchange of Valencia is an important landmark in Spain. This stunning building has been given the designation of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Silk Exchange, or Llotja de la Seda, was built in the 15th Century when Valencia experienced great commercial prosperity. Important trades included silk and various oils. This trading post was part of the famous Silk Road -the network between Asia and Europe. Silk came from China, and it was sold to Europeans as a luxury item (as it remains even today). Valencia, being a port city, was an excellent location for a trade centre.
At that time, there was a main hall, an Orange Garden and a financial centre. The main hall is the most famous part of the Silk Exchange. It was named “Hall of the Columns,” for the remarkable twisted columns that give it a grand and ominous appearance.
The Silk Exchange is considered one of the most famous examples of Gothic architecture in a civic building in Europe. It’s located near the centre of Valencia. A great bit of insider information is that it’s free to enter on Sundays.
Location: Carrer de la Llotja, 2, 46001 València, Valencia
Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00-14.00 | additional hours of 15:00-19:00 on Friday & Saturday | Closed Mondays
Explored by Valentina from Valentina’s Destinations
Prebook now: The Silk Exchange Silk Trade Guided Tour
Dalí Theatre-Museum, Girona
The Dalí Theatre-Museum is an eccentric yet fun museum in Figueres, a small town near Girona, Spain. It features the art of the world-famous artist, Salvador Dalí. The surrealist artist was born in this small town, south of the French border. He opened the theatre in 1974, years after the original building, which was a municipal theatre, burned down in 1939.
The Dalí Theatre-Museum also has the single most complete collection of Dalí in the world. His original vision for the museum was for visitors to leave it “with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream.” That, it does.
The museum displays a furniture installation in the shape of Mae West’s face, stereoscopic paintings, and Cadillac Plujós, a real-life Cadillac car that’s topped with a nude full-figured woman. It also features a crypt, where you can pay homage to the master of surrealism. When you arrive, you can’t miss the museum for its outlandish outside decor. Its pink walls are covered with croissants, and it’s topped with gigantic eggs and Oscar-like statues.
Expect to spend two to three hours here. If you were hoping to find any famous Dalí paintings from your art textbooks, you may be out of luck. Dalí’s most famous pieces, such as The Persistence of Memory, are spread out throughout other museums. Nevertheless, the Dalí Theatre-Museum will be one of the most memorable museums you’ll have visited in Spain.
Location: Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5, 17600 Figueres, Girona
Explored by Justine Ancheta from Latitude 41
Prebook now: Girona and Figueres Full-Day Tour with Hotel Pick Up
Central Spain Landmarks
Aqueduct of Segovia, Castile & Leon Region
An absolute must for your Segovia itinerary is the city’s most notable and unmissable landmark, the Aqueduct of Segovia; El Aqueducto.
There are a few fascinating stories as to how the UNESCO listed Aqueduct got here. Two of the more intriguing ones are that it was built by Hercules while other fables say it was created by the Devil. As enchanting as these stories are, they are just myths because it was the Romans which built the gigantic bridge at around the 1st century AD.
One of the most jaw-dropping facts about the Segovia Aqueduct it doesn’t have any mortar holding it together. The blocks have been cut strategically, and gravity is doing its own wonderful thing. The 160 arches of the structure still stand after thousands of years, and although renovations have happened over the years, the aqueduct still to this day works and delivers water to the city of Segovia!
There are a couple of viewing platforms for the Aqueduct, head towards the steps just behind the Tourist Information centre in the Plaza to get some great panoramic shots of it.
Location: Plaza del Azoguejo, 1, 40001 Segovia
Prebook now: Full-Day Trip to Segovia from Madrid
The Alcázar of Segovia, Castile & Leon Region
The UNESCO World Heritage Alcázar of Segovia is a fairy tale castle located in the Castile and León region of Spain above the confluence of the Eresma and Clamores rivers. Dating back to Roman times, the Alcázar of Segovia is a grand castle structure built atop a towering headland whose ship-like design makes it look as though the fortress is sailing towards you through the sky.
The Alcázar complex features a courtyard, keep drawbridge, and spired turrets as well as a chapel, Gallery Room, and the Queen’s Chamber where King Alfonso VIII and his wife, Eleanor of England, resided.
The design and location of this castle are what makes it so special, with Romanesque and Gothic style detailing, velvet walls, intricate murals, portraits and friezes, and Mudejar domes and ceilings. It is even thought to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney World’s original Cinderella’s Castle!
The castle is open year-round (aside from 24th, 25th, 31st December and 1st, 5th, 6th of January) and tickets can be purchased in advance or from the House of Chemistry next door to the fortress. It’s best to get to the castle as early as you can (opens at 10 am) so you can spend as long as you like exploring the grounds.
Location: Plaza Reina Victoria Eugenia, s/n, 40003 Segovia
Explored by Chrysoula from All About Castles
Prebook now: Full-Day Trip to Segovia from Madrid
Hanging Houses of Cuenca
You might never hear about Cuenca, but it is a lovely place to spend a few days in Spain. Located just an hour away from Madrid, in the middle of the awesome Spain Region of Castilla La Mancha.
You can recognize the landscape from the stories written by Spanish author Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra about Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. The ancient city of Cuenca was founded by Muslims who conquered the area back in 714.
Cuenca is well known in Spain for its ancient religious past but also for the natural beauties covered by a characteristic basin. This city is built on the rocks in a strategic place, 946 metres above sea level, overlooking the surrounding valley.
One of the most important places to visit in Cuenca is “Las Casas Colgadas” better known as the hanging houses. Those have been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and are a must-see while in the city. Some of the houses are currently inhabited but others are open to tourists to be visited.
The interiors are very simple and the view you will get from there, it’s breathless. A really unique experience is to enjoy a delicious lunch inside of Las Casas Colgadas while admiring the surroundings. This place is hosting a 2-star Michelin Restaurant and a B&B.
Another amazing point, where you can appreciate this stunning architecture, it’s from the San Pablo Bridge which connects the Religious Monastery of St. Pauls to the ancient city, crossing the Huécar river.
Location: Calle Canónigos, 16001 Cuenca
Explored by Alessia & Toti from Italian Trip Abroad
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid
The Museo Reina Sofia is Spain’s National Museum of 20th-century art, and anyone with just the slightest interest in either art or history should include it on a self-guided walking tour of Madrid.
Located near Atocha train station, the Reina Sofia forms part of Madrid’s famous Golden Triangle of Art (together with the Prado and Thyssen museums). The Reina Sofia is one of the largest museums of modern art in the world, and an absolute must-visit when in Madrid. The museum houses mainly Spanish art, especially big names like Picasso, Dali and Miro.
The highlight of the Reina Sofia is without a doubt Picasso’s Geurnica. The Geurnica is arguably the single most important and representative piece of art in modern Spain. It is an incredibly powerful work.
The enormous painting (more than seven meters long) portrays the bombing of the Basque town of Geurnica during the Spanish civil war, ordered by Franco. Picasso painted the Guernica while living in Paris, and he refused that the painting be displayed in Spain until Franco was gone and the people of Spain free again.
Taking the Reina Sofia’s reputation as one of the best modern art museums in the world into account, it is deservedly popular and one of the top ten visited art museums in the world. It’s definately worth adding to your Madrid bucket list.
Other than the extensive permanent exhibitions, the museum also hosts regular contemporary exhibitions, both from Spain and abroad. Photography is allowed everywhere in the Reina Sofia, except for the Geurnica room.
Location: Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid
Opening Times: Monday & Wednesday – Saturday 10.00 – 21.00 | Sunday 9.00 – 14.30 | Closed Tuesdays
Explored by De Wet & Jin from Museum of Wander
Prebook now: Skip-the-Line Madrid Reina Sofia Museum Entrance Ticket
Cathedral of Justo, Mejorada del Campo
Think of a cathedral and your mind will conjure up images of decadent facades, ornate altars and artworks made by the hands of a master, but not this one, this one is different, it’s . . . well . . . it’s rubbish.
Justo Gallego is an ex-monk who, after contracting tuberculosis in his 20’s, had to leave his monastery due to the fear of infecting others. He moved back to his hometown of Mejorada del Campo, just outside of Madrid, and decided to create his own monument to his God by building a cathedral . . . on his own.
The cathedral has been under construction for more than 50 years using donated or recycled goods. A lot of the material comes from finished construction work, some is literally rubbish, but every bit is used.
At 95 years old, Justo is still getting up at 3am every morning to start work. No-one knows how much longer he will be able to continue, or what will happen to his cathedral when he passes away. It is built on his family land, but no permission was ever given for a building of this magnitude. But one thing is for sure, the legend of the Cathedral of Justo will live on for many generations. It tops the list of one of the more interesting landmarks in Spain to visit.
The cathedral is open for visitors with a nominal donation for entrance. You are free to wander and explore this unusual building, but wear non-slip shoes if possible, health and safety is not a thing here.
Location: Calle de Antonio Gaudí, 10, 28840 Mejorada del Campo, Madrid
Opening Times: Everyday 08.00 – 19.00
Explored by Matt from The Travel Blogs
Cardona Castle, Catalunya
Set on a hill, stands the leading example of the Catalan Romanesque style of architecture, Cardona Castle or Castell de Cardona. The castle is located in a small town of Cardona in Catalunya in northern Spain. Shortlisted in the European Commission’s EDEN programme (European Destinations of Excellence) in recognition of its sustainable tourism, this castle has some distinguished features including the walled fortress in its castle.
Founded in around the 10th Century, Cardona was once the seat of a province ruled by the dukes of Cardona. They lived in this castle on top of a mountain. It also has a simple Roman church, the Church of San Vicente. It was constructed in 1040 and still retains simplicity and beauty with Romanesque arches built in Catalan Romanesque style when most of the castle was rebuilt after the war.
It can take several hours to explore the castle as the complex includes several attractions including the Church of San Vicente and a tower, where the daughter of the Viscount of Cardona was imprisoned by her brothers because she had fallen in love with a Moor.
The vistas from the castle are remarkable as on one side is the salt mountain that was once the source of Cardona’s wealth, and the other, the arch-like structure devil’s bridge built over the Cardener River, the vast agricultural plains leading toward distant, craggy mountains, and the crowded old town of around 7,500 people. The entry to the castle is free. Best would be to explore the castle first before heading towards the little town.
Location: Lloc Parador Nacional Turisme, 506, 08261 Cardona
Explored by Nisha and Vasu from Le Monde, the Poetic Travelers
Prado Museum, Madrid
Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid is Spain’s leading museum of art and one of the country’s most famous landmarks. The building itself was built by well-known Spanish architect Juan de Villanueva, who was commissioned to design a science museum by Charles III in 1785. When it was first built, little did they realise it would one-day house one of the world’s finest art collections!
When the neoclassical building was finished in 1819, it opened as Spain’s Royal Museum of Painting and later became the Museo del Prado (museum of the meadow) in 1868. These days, three million people visit the museum every year to admire its 8000-plus paintings and to see the famous works of the old Spanish masters like Goya and Velázquez. There is also an extensive collection of European, Italian and Flemish art.
The museum’s most famous painting is Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez, which was painted in 1656 of the royal family when Philip IV was the king of Spain. Other notable works are Peter Paul Rubens’ ‘Garden of Love’ and ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ by Hieronymus Bosch.
Location: Calle de Ruiz de Alarcón, 23, 28014 Madrid.
Explored by Christina from Travel2next
Prebook now: Prado Museum Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
North Spain Landmarks
Guggenheim in Bilbao
Located in Basque Country in Northern Spain, the Guggenheim is a must for anyone interested in arts, culture or architecture. This is one of the best places to visit in Bilbao, Spain. The iconic building that houses a modern contemporary art museum is a work-of-art in itself!
The person behind the unique design was Canadian Architect, Frank Gehry. He’s renowned for his interesting designs featuring unusual shapes twinned with unique materials to create awe-inspiring buildings. The Guggenheim in Bilbao is 24,000m squared. Inside it houses 9,000 square metres of exhibition space. It was opened in 1997 by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
Inside the museum, you’ll find both temporary and permanent exhibitions featuring world-class artists. Some of the more notable pieces is the spiralling rusted steel sculptures called “The Matter of Time” by Richard Serra. The otherworldy bronze, marble and stainless steel giant spider-like sculpture called “Maman” by Louise Bourgeois and the colourful bedding plant clad oversized “Puppy” by Jeff Koons. Artwork aside, it’s also worth spending some time admiring the outisde of one of the most iconic landmarks in Spain.
Fans of the author Dan Brown will be familiar with the Guggenheim (along with other landmarks in Spain) as one of the early scenes which set the tone of the rest of the book ‘Origin’ is set here.
Location: Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Avenida Abandoibarra, 2 48009, Bilbao
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia is one of the best places to visit in Northern Spain and one of the most iconic buildings in the country. The Cathedral is one of the three churches in the world built over a tomb of an apostle of Jesus which makes it one of the most important Christian buildings in Europe and in the world.
The construction of the current cathedral started in 1075, 250 years after the discovery of what’s believed to be the tomb of the Apostle St.James. The building of the Cathedral influenced the further development of the pilgrimage to Santiago. Pilgrims from different parts of Europe on foot or on horses started arriving at the Cathedral following the route nowadays known as the Camino de Santiago or the Way of St.James. Every year more than 300 000 pilgrims from all over the world arrive at the Cathedral after completing one of the Camino routes.
The entrance to the Cathedral is free. The Cathedral is open daily for tourists though during masses it’s not allowed to take photos or walk around. The best time to visit the Cathedral de Santiago is during the famous Botafumero ceremony when a massive silver censer filled with charcoal and incense is swung from side to side by six specially trained monks. Santiago de Compostela censer is the largest censer in the world, it weighs 80 kg. The ceremony takes place a couple of times a year during special religious holidays such as Resurrection Sunday or Christmas.
Location: Praza do Obradoiro, s/n, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña
Explored by Alya & Campbell from Stingy Nomads
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Basque Country
Game of Thrones fanatics might know it as Dragonstone, but San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is one of the most intriguing landmarks in northern Spain.
Sitting on the Bay of Biscay in the Basque Country region, this is a unique little islet whose name translates to ‘Castle Rock.’ It’s connected to the mainland by a bridge and a narrow path of over 230 steps, and it houses a small hermitage dating back to the 10th century that is dedicated to John the Baptist.
The small church was rebuilt a few times after suffering attacks and fires, so the current one standing is not the original, but that doesn’t matter when the raw natural landscapes around it are so scenic. Because of its strategic location, the islet was also used as a defensive bastion.
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is reachable by bus from Bilbao or by car. From the parking area (where one can already feast on the magnificent views of the Basque coast and the islet), hike down through a path that leads to the bridge and steps that connect San Juan de Gaztelugatxe to the mainland. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is free to visit all year round, but during busy seasons like Easter, summer, and Christmas, it is mandatory to make a reservation.
Fun fact: A local legend says that after the climb to the hermitage, one should ring the bell three times and make a wish.
Explored by Or from My Path In The World
Ride the Fuente De Cable Car & Hike in Picos De Europa National Park
For adventure lovers, Picos De Europa National Park is a stunning destination to explore in Northern Spain. It stretches across the Cantabrian Mountain range passing through the provinces of Asturias, Cantabria and León. The region is famous for its dramatic rocky landscape, beautiful hiking trails, deep caves and challenging rock climbs.
With rugged mountains, dense forests, pretty villages and great food dotted throughout the region, there is plenty to do and explore.
Some of the most popular hikes in Picos De Europa include the Cares Route through Cares Gorge, Covadonga Lakes trail and the Puertos de Aliva trail, which starts with a ride on the Fuente De Cable Car, considered one of the longest single span lifts in Europe.
The cable car ride is spectacular, sweeping you up over 750 metres from the valley floor to the mountain top in just 4 minutes. It is a very popular experience, so you are best to arrive early to avoid long queues. From the top it is a leisurely 14km hike back down, weaving your way through fields of wildflowers, hopping over streams and wandering through oak forests.
The pretty rural town of Potes is a good place to base yourself to explore the region. Once you tire yourself outdoors, there are plenty of great restaurants for you to sit back and enjoy tasting the local food and drinks.
Location: Fuente De Cable Car, Calle Fuente la Riega, 0, 39588 Camaleño, Cantabria
Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 10:00 – 17:00 | Saturdays and Sundays 9:00 – 18:00
Explored by Rachel from Adventure and Sunshine
Concha Bay, San Sebastian
San Sebastian may not be the most obvious place when it comes to visiting Spain, but there is one reason above all why you should visit, La Concha Bay. The bay is a gigantic beach that is, without a doubt, one of the best in Spain. It curves around the shore and is located right next to the city centre. As a result, La Concha can get very busy during the summer months. Despite it being a big beach, it’s not uncommon for it to be full most days.
If you want to see the beach without the crowds, it might be better to visit outside of the summer season. This way you can appreciate the beach and look out on to the Bay of Biscay and take in the stunning view without it being obscured by hundreds of people! What makes the bay special is the view you get if you hike to the top of Monte Igeldo, which is located over the water and opposite the bay. From the vantage point, you get a spectacular view of the bay and the surrounding area and a true sense of how incredible the bay is. This alone is a good enough reason to visit San Sebastian, and this view may be one of the best in Spain!
No matter whether you visit during the summer or the winter, a walk along La Concha Bay will blow you away with its beauty.
Location: 20005 San Sebastian
Explored by Tom from The Travelling Tom
Spainish Islands Landmarks
Catedral de Mallorca (Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca)
Catedral de Mallorca, also known as Palma Cathedral is located in the capital city of Palma, a coastal city in the Balearic islands group.
The cathedral is the main landmark of Mallorca island and a symbol for anyone considering visiting. To trip to Palma is complete with a visit to Palma cathedral, which is known as La Seu by locals. The structure was dedicated to San Sebastian – the oldest patron saint of Mallorca.
Construction of the cathedral started in 1229 after a successful voyage to the island by James Aragon but not finished until 1601. Palma cathedral is located in the old quarter of Palma overlooking the harbour and the city walls. It’s one of the prettiest historic landmarks in Spain.
The best time to visit is during the winter months or in low season where there are fewer tourists, and you can enjoy more of the beauty of the cathedral. If possible, visit during the late morning/early afternoon to avoid the crowds. Try to set back 1-2 hours to look around the cathedral.
Location: Plaça de la Seu, s/n, 07001 Palma, Illes Balears
Opening Times: Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM (closing time is season dependant) and 10:00 AM – 14:15 on Saturdays.
Explored by Sylvie from Travels with Eden
Prebook now: Skip the Line Palma Cathedral Entry Ticket
La Lonja de Palma, Palma de Mallorca
La Lonja, or La Llotja as they say on Mallorca, is one of the most surprising and stunning buildings in the island’s capital, Palma de Mallorca. The sandstone building stands, surrounded by palm trees, facing the sea, perched on one of the prettiest squares in the city. The grand gothic La Lonja looks like a church, or maybe a university, but it actually used to be the old seat of the Colegio de la Mercaderia, the guild of merchants of Mallorca. It’s the pinnacle of civil gothic architecture on Mallorca.
The building of La Lonja started in 1421 and was designed by sculptor Guillem Sagrera. He was a very influential master who worked on famous buildings like La Seu (the cathedral of Mallorca), the Perpignan cathedral and Castel Nuovo in Naples. He left La Lonja in 1446, almost finished, after a disagreement with his sponsors. But the building was ready to open after some last details were added in 1448.
Nowadays, La Lonja is no longer a place of trade, but a space for contemporary exhibitions. When no exhibits take place, you can simply visit La Lonja (for free!) when the doors of the building are open. Inside the beauty is far from inferior from the outside of the building, with six slender, twisting columns leading to the ribs of a groined vault. Each corner of the building has an octagonal tower. The flanks are marked with arches and the space is decorated with gargoyles and statues.
Location: Plaça de la Llotja, 5, 07012 Palma, Illes Balears
Explored by By Esther from Mooistestedentrips
Where to stay in Spain
Whichever major landmarks in Spain you plan on visiting, there’s no shortage of great accommodation ideas. Check out AirBnB for some great options on where to stay in Spain.
Final Thoughts - Incredible Landmarks in Spain to add to your Spanish Bucket List
If you’ve made it to the end of this monster of an article, well done! Wherever you travel in Spain, I hope you’ve found some inspiration in reading this and have added some of these iconic Spanish landmarks to your own itinerary.
I’d like to thank all the contributors to this article who made it possible for me to create this pretty epic Spain bucket list.
For more fantastic ideas on what to visit in Spain, check out this page here.
If you want to download this list to view offline, click here.
Pin it for later
If you found this Spanish Landmarks article useful, or know someone what will then please like share or pin for future reference.
Any questions? Then drop a comment below. Don’t forget you can also download your FREE Landmarks in Spain checklist here.