With balmy Mediterranean weather, world-class cuisine, and a national mandate to nap the afternoon away, Spain is a safe choice for a relaxing holiday. But in between sunning yourself crispy at the beach, living off fresh seafood, and alternating between siesta and fiesta, there’s a cornucopia of culture to experience and a Spain bucket list to tick off.
Everyone will have a slightly different bucket list to match their own personal idea of fun. The good news is that Spain really has something for everyone, no matter what your interests are. Love architecture? Spain has some of the world’s most spectacular buildings and monuments. More into theme parks? Or museums? Or natural scenery? Spain has you covered.
The following 30 museums, attractions, and landmarks were hand-picked based on consumer data (with over 750,000 reviews scanned as part of the Remarkable Venue Awards), as well as recommendations by Spanish culture lovers. From world-famous mountain locales to quirky Surrealist museums, this is the ultimate Spain bucket list!
Spain bucket list destinations: the fan favourites
Each year we look to our reviews to uncover the world’s favourite museums and attractions. This year we combed through over 750,000 customer experiences to find the best of the best, as presented in the 2020 Remarkable Venue Awards. Here are the top-rated destinations in Spain – the perfect additions to your Spain bucket list in 2021.
Most Remarkable Venues in Spain
In a country that has an unfair amount of remarkable cultural venues, it’s always tricky picking a “most remarkable” shortlist. These entries have been selected based on their ability to consistently attract high visitor numbers, while still scoring near-universal positive reviews.
“Beautiful museum. The whole 1900-1945 aisle with Guernica, the Picasso, Miro…..a MARVEL. Renovated building magnificent, internal garden very pleasant as well” – Diane, France 🇫🇷 on Tiqets.com
Named for Queen Sofía, Madrid’s national museum of 20th-century art is (rather fittingly) fit for a queen. Inside this beautiful contemporary art gallery, you’ll see incredible works from the avant-garde movement to Cubism to Dada and Surrealism, with the likes of Picasso, André Masson, Salvador Dalí, and Óscar Domínguez all well-represented.
Speaking of Pablo Picasso, the father of Cubism’s massive masterpiece, Guernica (painted for the 1937 Paris World’s Fair) is exhibited at the Museo Reina Sofía in all its visceral war-torn glory.
Seeing Guernica up close is worthy of any Spain bucket list, so don’t miss your chance if you find yourself in Madrid.
“Incredible experience. I found it profoundly moving to visit and tour this majestic building.” – Susan, United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on Tiqets.com
Someday soon, we’re going to run out of superlatives to describe Antoni Gauí’s jaw-dropping cathedral in Barcelona. It’s difficult to overstate just how mesmerising this architectural fever dream is to behold in-person, but suffice to say the Sagrada Familia needs to be somewhere near the top of your Spain bucket list.
If you are only into sober and functional building design, the Sagrada Familia won’t be for you. But if kaleidoscopic flamboyance and spiritual art are your thing, you’re in for a towering treat! Every square-inch of this monumental building inside and out is a celebration of spirituality, color, and nature, and the results are nothing short of divine.
It’s arguably the coolest church in the world, despite not even being finished yet. But if you buy Sagrada Famillia tickets, you’ll be helping to crowdfund its completion. So you can cross off “UNESCO cultural patronage” from your Spain bucket list too.
“”This was an awesome tour and a dream come true. Got to see the stadium up close, go through the player locker room area and the press box area. Overall it was a great experience for a foot ball fan.” – Linu, United States 🇺🇸 on Tiqets.com
If you’re a football fan in Madrid, your Spain bucket list is never going to be complete without stopping by for a snoop around one of the most sacred sites in club football: the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
This hallowed patch of ground is where Real Madrid’s “galactico” legends like Zinedine Zidane, Gareth Bale, both Ronaldos, Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo, and Julien Faubert have plied their trade over the years. It’s one of the most historic grounds in world football. And stepping behind the scenes where such icons have played is a real treat!
If you can’t get match day tickets, the stadium tour experience is the next-best thing, revealing the inner workings of an elite football club. Stop by the museum and admire the bulging trophy cabinets, sniff around the dressing rooms, get the VIP feeling in the presidential box, walk the players’ tunnel and explore the immersive museum.
“Extraordinary building, it’s really unique experience to visit such place. Highly recommend to plan at least two or three hours for your visit because it’s very interesting both inside and outside.” – Lilyana, Bulgaria 🇧🇬 on Tiqets.com
With its eye-popping exterior and the rooftop whimsy of its charming chimneys, Casa Milà – known locally as La Pedrera (the stone quarry in Spanish) – represents peak-Gaudí. The ornate interior of this modernist masterpiece is just as extraordinary as the fetching facade, and given that it too was designed by ‘God’s architect’, it’s not all too surprising!
For Gaudí enthusiasts, Casa Milà is a must-see, but it should be top of any Spain bucket list for the uninitiated too. With 4,500 m2 of incredible modernist design spread across five floors, it’s one of the most rewarding and comprehensive cultural experiences in Barcelona.
Casa Milà features a museum, the reproduction of an early 20th-century apartment (El Pis de la Pedrera), an attic exhibition of Gaudí’s work, and a grand roof terrace – with its famous chess piece chimney pots. Each ticket comes with the free audio guide, to help you get immersed in the amazing history behind the quirky architecture.
Best Attractions in Spain
Looking for that perfect outing or activity to base an afternoon around? Need something that the whole family can enjoy? Look no further than these nominees for Best Attraction in Spain 2020.
“Amazing experience took it without an audioguide but still it was really worth the money!!! The stadium and the museum were amazing and the boutique really huge!!” – Chrysoula, Greece on Tiqets.com
Whether you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Madridista or a sworn Blaugrana supporter, one thing is beyond dispute: Barcelona has a pretty impressive stadium. The Camp Nou is the home of FC Barcelona, arch-rivals of Real Madrid, and one of the most successful clubs in European football.
It’s not always easy to secure match tickets, so good thing the stadium tour alone is worthy of any Spain bucket list. The Camp Nou Experience is a celebration of the history, stadium atmosphere, and culture of FC Barcelona. But, a lot like the club motto, it’s more than just that: it’s a celebration of the very spirit of football itself.
The Camp Nou museum is as immersive as it is impressive. Featuring giant touchscreens, sound installations, historical stats and one bursting trophy cabinet. You might not get picked for the Barça first team, but you can at least step in the boots of Messi and co by striding down the players’ tunnel and giving an impassioned motivational speech in the changing rooms!
“Make me feel inside the places that was showing in the pictures and back in time to remember how was Barcelona in my early years.” – Ferrer, Spain Spain on Tiqets.com
Another of Spain’s best attractions is located in Barcelona, the IDEAL Centre d’Arts Digitals. Picture this: 2,000 square-meters of exhibition space dedicated entirely to photography and the digital arts. Head inside and explore a unique art space, where technology and science combine to captivating effect!
There’s always a cool exhibition taking place here. For example, you can currently get whisked back to Barcelona in the 1950s and 1960s, with the Catalan capital’s first immersive photographic exhibition, focusing on the work of six of Spain’s best photographers.
Projections of photographs by Francesc Català-Roca, Oriol Maspons, Leopoldo Pomés, Joana Biarnés, Xavier Miserachs and Colita are dynamically cast across the walls and floor, each capturing the spirit of the era.
“Very nice Aquarium. Well taken care of, with diverse species from all over the world. Worth the visit in Sevilla.” – Joao, Portugal 🇵🇹 on Tiqets.com
Given how closely linked Spain is to the sea, it’s not too shocking that two of the best attractions in Spain have marine theme. The Aquarium of Seville is one of the best in the world, with 11,000 creatures big and small from 400 species of fish, crustaceans, mammals, reptiles, and more. From giant green anacondas to cute little clownfish; they’re all here.
Ensure your journey through your Spain bucket list goes swimmingly, and travel through five ecosystems in areas dedicated to the Guadalquivir, Atlantic, Rainforest, Mangroves, and the Indo-Pacific .regions Don’t miss the new Jellyfish Exhibition, where 15 tanks let you observe their hypnotic, gelatinous behavior up close.
This aquatic day out is as educational as it is important, as the Aquarium of Seville also works hard to inform visitors about the dangers facing our oceans.
“Although there was no line to skip when we visited (mid-week), the Aquarium was quite possibly the finest I’d visited. The tanks were imaginatively “furnished” as a reflection of the occupants true habitat. Incredibly clean and very informative signage.” – Scott, United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on Tiqets.com
If you can’t decide between going to the zoo and the aquarium, another of Spain’s top attractions has the solution! As its name suggests, Zoo Aquarium Madrid offers the best of both worlds: a zoo and an aquarium, rolled into one!
Stretching out over 20 hectares in the Casa de Campo, this zoo is one of the biggest and oldest in Europe. It’s home to over 500 different species of animals; there are big names such as pandas, wolves, giraffes, and white tigers, as well as lizards and many smaller mammals.
The 3,000-meter-square Aviario (aviary) has more than 60 types of birds, including bald eagles, vultures, and condors. Catch a ‘Birds of Prey’ show to see them perform flight exercises like they’re nature’s stunt pilots.
If underwater adventure is more your style, the aquarium has one of the most impressive collections of coral in Europe. And if coral doesn’t float your boat, there are plenty of colorful fish, scary sharks, and frequent dolphin and sea lion shows that are guaranteed to make a splash big enough to overfill your Spain bucket list!
Best Museums in Spain
Spain has produced some of the most talented and iconic artists in history, so it figures that the country is also home to a number of the world’s elite museums too. Here are the best museums of 2020 to put near the top of your Spain bucket list.
“Amazing gallery! The exhibits are brilliant, the building is fantastic and we loved the shop too. One of my absolute favourite galleries anywhere in the world.” Ben United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on Tiqets.com
The hometown museum of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists is the outcome of a friendship between two extraordinary creative personalities: Catalan artist Joan Miró, and his friend, the architect Josep Lluís Sert.
The Fundació Joan Miró not only houses the single greatest collection of Miró’s work – the unconventional building is considered one of the most outstanding museum buildings in the world.
Once you step inside, you’ll discover the paintings, sculptures, some textiles and drawings. There are thousands of items here and you’ll be able to pick out the artistic evolution of the artist, with more than 8.000 drawings, 217 paintings, 178 sculptures as well as ceramics, textiles and graphic works.
“”Fantastic Loved it all. Streaks ahead of a lot of other museums/art galleries in the world that claimed they had fine displays of Renaissance and Baroque paintings” Margaret, Australia 🇦🇺 on Tiqets.com
It’s simple; no true Spain bucket list is ever complete without visiting the creme de la creme of Spanish art museums. The Prado is a beautiful old castle with more than a thousand fascinating works on display at any one time, and about 6,000 more waiting in the wings.
Inside, you’ll see masterpieces of Spanish art like Francisco Goya’s El dos de mayo and El tres de mayo, and his dark and haunting Las pinturas negras paintings. Las meninas by Velázquez is another Iberian highlight not to be missed.
It’s not all Spanish art in the Prado though, works by other European masters share the stage, with Peter Paul Rubens’ Las tres gracias (The Three Graces) and Adoración de los reyes magos; and Hieronymus Bosch’s hallucinatory Garden of Earthly Delights being absolute unmissable pieces.
“This is a place you really should visit. Very interesting, unforgettable and unexpected place. You fill yourself like at real theatre. Must see place in Spain.” – Maria, Ukraine 🇺🇦 on Tiqets.com
Located in the Catalan town of Figures, the Dalí Theatre-Museum is home to the largest collection of Salvador Dalí’s kooky Surrealist art. Designed by the artist himself, the museum’s purpose, according to Dalí, was to be “a labyrinth, a great surrealist object. It will be a totally theatrical museum. The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream.”
This crimson, brick-and-mortar hallucination is adorned with giant golden eggs, Dionysian statues, and speckled with uniform rows of golden bread rolls – a knowing nod to art as consumption (classic Dalí!). It also features an enormous glass dome, and is bordered by tall, spindly cypress trees that give it a distinctly Surrealist appearance.
Inside, it’s jam-packed with arresting paintings, bizarre sculptures, and a literal treasure trove of precious sapphires, emeralds, malachite, and other rare gems fashioned into quirky jewelry. There are 3D collages, optical illusions, stereographs, and eye-popping anamorphic art, where objects arranged across multiple spaces form one cohesive image when viewed from a specific angle.
But if you though that was the only Dalí museum on this list, think again!
“Beautiful… Lovely to see how Dali lives with Gala, must see if you are visiting this area. Beautiful house gardens, views.. Loved it!” – Meike, The Netherlands on Tiqets.com
“Beautiful… Lovely to see how Dali lives with Gala, must see if you are visiting this area. Beautiful house gardens, views.. Loved it!” – Meike, The Netherlands 🇳🇱 on Tiqets.com
Much like the artist’s work (and his theatrical museum), the design of Dalí’s home has more than a whiff of surrealism going on. With no window the same shape, blind passageways, and a lamp you won’t find anywhere else, the Dalí House takes you directly into the mind of the manic artist.
Looking out over the Portlligat bay, the house offers a rare window into the daily life of Dalí and his wife Gala. Visitors will also be able to see the studio where many of his timeless works were created.
Keen-eyed visitors will notice the distinctive shapes of surreal giant egg sculptures decorating the gardens. It just wouldn’t be a Dalí residence without giant egg sculptures now would it?
Best Landmarks in Spain
Some cultural attractions need to be delved into to appreciate their riches. Not these ones! These attractions fly the flag for overt dramatic spectacle. And while they do, of course, contain countless treasures within, the sheer majesty of their design makes them landmarks in their own right. Here are Spain’s best landmarks for 2020.
“A beautiful home created by Gaudi bringing nature inside. Great interactive audio tour too. Well worth the entrance fee.” Lisa, United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on Tiqets.com
Perhaps the most flamboyant of all Gaudí’s residential buildings, Casa Batlló is a testament to just how whimsical and otherworldly interior design can be while still remaining tasteful. From scaly dragon-inspired roof tiles to kaleidoscopic floral mosaics and doors that look like they open into Narnia, this colorful house is eye-popping at every turn and is one of Barcelona’s true must-sees.
With a wavy animalistic facade, brilliant colors, and intricate, thought-provoking features everywhere you look, this is a true architectural wonder. A fun recent feature added to the experience is an augmented reality video guide, which lets you see life as it was for Barcelona’s elite at the turn of the 20th century.
If you’re into a more immediate experience, you’re free to simply wander the house and marvel at the stunning artistic details that Gaudí imbued in every square inch of this incredible building. The roof terrace provides quite the view of Barcelona’s rooftops too!
“Beautiful architecture, excellent and inimitable style of Gaudí, a very interesting place. Great price on Tiqets app.” – Malgorzata, Poland 🇵🇱 on Tiqets.com
If Casa Batlló awakens a zest for quirky, dreamlike architecture, Casa Vicens will show you where it all began. This was Antoni Gaudí’s first major commission, and its legacy can be felt throughout all of the master architect’s finest work. It was built as a summer garden house for Manuel Vicens i Montaner, and kickstarted the Modernism movement in Europe. This fascinating museum is a living tribute to one of the greatest creative minds the world has ever known.
Step inside Gaudí’s mind and discover a technicolor tribute to his endless imagination. The renovated building has been repurposed as an architectural museum and cultural space, with two floors of meticulous design, and a truly exquisite rooftop terrace which offers amazing views of the surrounding area.
Don’t miss the Mediterranean garden, dedicated to Saint Rita, and the cavernous Catalan vaults, which now house the La Capell bookshop – the perfect place to pick up a memento of your visit!
“It’s was an amazing experience and Carmen was a very knowledgeable, polite and respectful tour guide! Great job! Highly recommend it!!” – Alberto, Canada 🇨🇦 onn Tiqets.com
The Alhambra is Granada’s monumental complex of fortresses, palaces, and these days, museums. It was left by the Moorish sultans who ruled over medieval Muslim Spain. The Nasrid Palaces, built by the Nasrid dynasty of rulers, are some of the most spectacular examples of Muslim architecture you’ll find in all of Europe.
Showcasing mesmerizing Islamic art as well as architectural grandeur that will make you feel like an extra on Game of Thrones, the Alhambra grounds are home to a number of museums that collectively rank amongst the best museums in Spain. The beautiful fusion of Islamic art and Iberian culture is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and after seeing its opulent palaces, hilltop military fortresses, spellbinding mountain views, and the heavenly summer gardens of Generalife., it’s not hard to see why.
Watch the dramatic water-features sparkle in the sunlight, and gorgeous exotic flora splashing color around the gardens. The surrounding architecture is so ornate that there’s barely a square inch of the buildings not emblazoned with intricate art. You have to see it to believe it.
Told you we’d run out of superlatives! 🤓
Best Onsite Experience in Spain
Not all attractions can get away with just looking pretty; there are those that hang their hat on providing a world-class visitor experience once you’re inside. After mining our customers’ reviews, we found these Spanish venues consistently went above and beyond in 2020 to ensure a comfortable, unforgettable experience for everyone.
“I liked it a lot. The visit was very enjoyable and the guide with explanations was very good” – José antonio, Spain 🇪🇸 on Tiqets.com
Get your Spain bucket list into ship-shape at the Albaola, the Sea Factory of the Basques, a museum and a functioning ship-building warehouse located in Pasaia, in Basque Country. The factory also hosts a number of other projects, including a theater program, a sailing school, and a ship building school.
History deserves to be studied, but inside the Albaola Sea Factory, they’re doing more than poring over old naval blueprints – they’re recreating an original! The San Juan whaler was found in Labrador, Canada in 1978 and after nearly 30 years of studying the wreck, researchers had an idea of how the ship was made.
Now, the town of the ship’s origin – Pasaia – is once again building the ship. During your visit to the Sea Factory of the Basques, you’ll see construction taking place and enjoy a brief tour.
“Amazing building with an excellent view over Barcelona! The audio tour guide is a nice touch to it! Great value for your money” – David, Sweden 🇸🇪 on Tiqets.com
Art is life at Barcelona’s National Museum of Art of Catalunya. It’s home to the world’s finest collection of Romanesque mural paintings, as well as sculptures, modern art and photography. The collection includes work from Gaudí, Casas, Tiziano, Velázquez and lots more worthy of a spot on a Spain bucket list.
As well as its sublime Romanesque collection, there’s Gothic Art from the 13th to 15th centuries, Renaissance and Baroque art, as well as an incredible modern gallery, divided into five sections: The Rise of the Modern Artist, Modernisme, Noucentisme, Art and Civil War, and the Avant-garde Revival of the Post-War Years.
If that all sounds like an incredible visitor experience to jazz up your Spain bucket list, that’s because it is! The reviews don’t lie!
Very good, very entertaining with the visit. The girl explained everything very well in detail. Without fail, if you are in Asturias, stop by to see this wonderful place” –Tsvetomila, Philippines 🇵🇭 on Tiqets.com
Built when he was just 31 years old, Gaudí’s El Capricho is one of the early works of Catalonia’s most iconic architect, and interestingly, is one of the only buildings designed by Gaudí that is not located in Catalonia. Instead, this beautiful summer house is located in pastoral Cantabria, in northern Spain.
The building is unmistakably Gaudí, but also shows clear Orientalist and Mudéjar influences, often seen in his early career. The house features an eye-catching Persian air minaret with a bold green, red, and gold color scheme. It is emblazoned with sparkling sunflower mosaics – a theme that continues around the house’s entire facade.
If you’re a Gaudí fan in Cantabria, make sure you don’t miss this hidden cultural gem on your adventure in northern Spain.
“Amazing! Everything was perfect I really enjoyed every single show when I had tears of joy. What to say… amazing experience!” – Jaroslav, United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on Tiqets.com
When you’re named ‘world’s best zoo’ by more than one source, you know you’re doing something right. No surprise then that Tenerife’s Loro Parque impressed Tiqets’ customers in 2020 too. This is a zoo with a difference, taking animal welfare and happiness just as seriously as it does the incredible acrobatic displays and interactive exhibitions across the sprawling topical park.
Loro Parque doesn’t do half measures either – it’s home to Europe’s largest dolphin pool and shark tunnel and the world’s largest indoor penguin enclosure. It’s also one of only two parks in Europe where you can see orcas!
Aside from our aquatic friends, you can see all the usual suspects – from chimpanzees and gorillas to lions and tigers, as well as reptiles, insects and more. The park’s prize residents are its vibrantly hued parrots, some 4000 of which fill their gigantic menagerie with color and song.
With a commitment to animal welfare and environmental sustainability, you can be sure of a day out that’s as eco-friendly as it is exciting!
Hidden Gems in Spain
“Magnificent garden with an incalculable number of plant and tree species” – Isabelle, France 🇫🇷 on Tiqets.com
Perched atop a steep cliff face on the sun-kissed Costa Brava, Marimurtra Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in the Mediterranean. Every turn in this garden of floral delights reveals a new magnificent vista. If your Spain bucket list is somehow short on spectacular scenery, a stroll around this garden will set things right!
With over 4,000 stunning exotic and endemic plant and flower species to admire, it’s also one of the best-smelling places in Spain too!
“Really good!!! Gardens and house were clean and well maintained A very pleasant visit An experience for my children” – Antoni, Spain on Tiqets.com
Located amid the picturesque beauty of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca, the Jardines de Alfabia is a tranquil haven that transports you to Spain’s Moorish past. The Arabic influence in these stunning gardens is obvious, but it’s mixed with elements of English landscaping and Rococo finery, giving the grounds a unique charm and beauty.
The architecture of the main building is similarly a blend of Arabic, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Roman, and Rococo styles – and all told, it’s one of the most spectacular cultural treasures in Mallorca. So give the beach bar a break, and be swept away to this fairy-tale location.
“We have a great time in this Museum. The garden is so precious! And inside you can find treasures from Gala and Dalí. A beautifull and different space that let us know more about this special couple.” Emi, Spain 🇪🇸 on Tiqets.com
Gala Dalí Castle, or the Castle of Púbol, is a medieval castle located in Púbol, Girona, in the region of Catalonia. It was famously bought by legendary Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, as a gift for his wife, Gala, who lived out her twilight years here, and is buried in the castle crypt.
From the outside, it seems to be a handsome 11th-century castle. On the inside, Gala Dalí Castle is a time capsule of art history with a touching story of romance that is as unconventional as its owner. From the taxidermied horse that first appears as you peer through a glass-bottomed coffee table to Gala’s crypt in the cellar, the castle is distinctively Dalí. Surreal, grotesque, morbid, and strangely beautiful all at once, one might say that Dalí’s memory persists here!
During your visit, you’ll see original art objects created by the enigmatic master of Surrealism, as well as dresses worn by Gala, and plenty of weird and wonderful interior design choices that only the Dalís’ could have thought of!
“Muy bonito!” – Alicia, Malaysia 🇲🇾 on Tiqets.com
One of the largest and oldest-such geological formations in the world, Cardona Salt Mountain is a cultural gem of Catalunya which was formed over two million years ago as dense rock pushed salt towards the Earth’s surface.
This mountain of salt was discovered by the ancient Romans and has been bolstering the local economy ever since. These days, you can plumb the cavernous salt mines with traditional guided tours and theatrical tours that cover the amazing history of the site.
Award-winning venues to add to your bucket list
In addition to rounding up the best-rated museums and attractions, we also went on the hunt for the best hidden gems and the most innovative venues of 2020. Judged by a panel of tourism experts, here are the winners of Best Hidden Gem and Most Innovative Venue in Spain.
Best Hidden Gem in Spain
25. Museo Chillida Leku | Art, naturally
“Once I dreamt of a utopia, of a place where my sculptures could rest, so that people could walk among them as though in a forest.” – Eduardo Chillida
Head to this Spanish hidden gem for a tranquil, art-laden experience. Chillida Leku is a unique museum with a mission to bring nature and art together as naturally as possible. The sculptures are integrated into the landscape so seamlessly, it looks as though they were meant to be there. In the garden, beech, oak and magnolia trees exist peacefully alongside monumental steel and granite sculptures. Once you’ve soaked in all the tranquility of the gardens, head inside the country house for more sculptured bliss.
The Most Innovative Venue in Spain
“A Digital Committee was created and so #ThyssenDesdeCasa (#ThyssenFromHome) was born. This campaign, updated weekly with different themes assigned to each day of the week, was the core of our entire digital presence during lockdown.”
When the Covid-19 forced the Thyssen Museum to close their doors, the staff decided that if their visitors couldn’t come to the museum, the museum would go to them. Though their physical doors were closed, their virtual doors were wide open. The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza did not stop providing content for everyone, offering virtual tours of temporary exhibitions and the permanent collection, online courses for children and adults, musical performances, creativity contests, interviews with artists, as well as all the multimedia content that was already on their website before the pandemic.
Spain bucket list staples
Visiting Montserrat would be a worthy entry on any sightseeing bucket list, but it simply wouldn’t be a real Spain bucket list without Catalunya’s fairy-tale monastic mountain. Located 50 kilometers northwest of Barcelona, this spectacular 1,236-meter eminence of jagged peaks and rounded rock pillars is one of the most epic sites in Spain.
Montserrat’s unique sedimentary rock composition has a pale pink hue and cast against a panoramic backdrop of sun-washed Catalonia countryside, it’s hard to imagine anything more picturesque and it goes some way to explain why Catalunya has produced so many great artists!
It makes for a truly memorable day trip from Barcelona, with the resplendent panoramic views and a stunning mountaintop monastery revealing themselves after a dizzying cable car/funicular ride rising up through the enchanting valleys. You won’t forget it in a hurry!
What’s better than one world-class theme park? Three world-class theme parks! With three full theme parks spread across one massive area of Tarragona, a heat map from space would surely show an adrenaline spike over PortAventura.
Just 90 minutes south of Barcelona, a world of rollercoasters, waterslides, and adventures awaits in PortAvenutra and Caribe Aquatic, while Ferrari Land is full of F1 magic – and plenty of thrilling rides and attractions.
So if your Spain bucket list includes riding the fastest and tallest hypercoaster in Europe, torpedoing yourself down loop-the-looping water sides, and seeing how many Gs of Ferrari-fuelled fun your body can handle, make visiting PortAventura a priority.
Blurring the lines between city garden, theme park, and art installation, Park Güell is a sprawling, technicolor delight with unbeatable views out over Barcelona. The park is bordered by a snaking bench covered in the ‘trencadís’ Catalan mosaic style. It’s guarded by a multi-colored lizard sculpture called ‘El Drac’ (The Dragon), who has become an iconic symbol of the city, and a staple of any Spain bucket list.
Inside, Park Güell is a patchwork of splashing colors and melting shapes, with vibrant viaducts, swaying columns, gingerbread-style houses, and imagery evoking animism and spirituality throughout. Gaudí’s park unites nature and architecture like no one else before him or since. It’s the perfect place in Barcelona to soak up the morning sunshine with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Minimalism is all very well and good, but sometimes more is definitely more. And nobody did ‘more’ quite like the Moors. Spain’s medieval Muslim rulers knew a thing or two about opulence, and nowhere else is this more spectaularly evident than in the Royal Alcázar of Seville.
Built over the course of 500 years, the Alcázar was influenced by Moorish caliphates and Christian kings, so its architectural styles span a wide range. One theme remained throughout, however: extravagant beauty.
Alongside tropical gardens and lavish courtyards, the palace is notable for its tiled altarpieces that serve as frames for tapestries, and often add deeper meanings. Arches with Islamic influences, ornate ceilings that words will always fail to describe, and countless pavilions are spread throughout the grounds, ready for you to explore. Every Spain bucket list needs a pitstop in Seville!