I recently spent two wonderful weeks traveling around Spain, and although two weeks is a limited time to explore a Country as big as Spain with each city being uniquely different, I was able to prioritize my itinerary and made the best out of my two weeks.
FIRST STOP: 3 DAYS IN BARCELONA
Barcelona is an ideal first stop when roaming around Spain because, 1) If you’re flying from the US into Spain, Barcelona – El Prat Airport is usually one of the cheapest to fly into, 2) It’s easy to move around the country via bus and train from the city, and 3) There’s so much more to do and you will need all that beginning energy and excitement to explore the city. Here’s 3 days in Barcelona itinerary to help you plan your trip.
SECOND STOP: 3 DAYS GRANADA, ANDALUCIA
Let me start by saying, Granada is a must visit/see. The culture, the backdrop of mountain perfect for hikes(and a place to catch the sunrise/set), and of course Alhambra Palace; Spain’s most visited attraction are few reasons to make a stop. It’s also very easy to reach via bus and train.
Spend the first day self-exploring the Cobblestone city and pre-purchasing your tickets to Alhambra(highly recommend) if you haven’t already.
TIP: wear very comfy shoes.
On day 2, book a free walking tour here for a quick crash course on the historical buildings in the city and how it came about. Then, head down to the Albaicin – Granada’s old Arabic district to take a break from the sightseeing by checking out the Morrocan restaurants for some delicious tea, kebab, and falafel.
Day 3, Alhambra! If you did not already purchase your ticket, and very much interested in visiting this famous attraction, I suggest heading out as early as 5:30 am to camp out (think Black Friday sale in the USA) until the ticket booth opens at 8 am to secure a spot. After the Alhambra, without a doubt, you will be very much exhausted and ready for some food; head over to Calle Elvira – a street located in the heart of the city for some delicious and cheap(read: free) tapas with a purchase of a drink (beer or wine).
THIRD STOP: 3 DAYS IN MALAGA
Malaga is the capital of Costa del Sol and birthplace to the famous Picasso. It is less than 2-hour drive from Granada and if I also must add, it’s home to the most delicious Espetos (Sardines) I ever had. Day 1 of your trip can be spent exploring some of the Picasso museums, Cathedrals, and delving into Andalusian delicacies like fried espetos, hams, and local olives. On day 2, head off to Marbella (or any city close to Malaga) for a day trip. Only about an hour from Malaga. Day 3 could be spent laying on the beach (Malagueta beach) relaxing and decompressing all the stress from traveling.
FOURTH(LAST) STOP: 3 DAYS IN MADRID
Day 1: My first day in a new city is usually spent wandering and getting to know my way around. Take a metro to Gran Vïa; Madrid’s busiest street. You will find many international boutiques and stores, pubs, restaurants, bars etc. on this street. Stroll around and enjoy its classic surrounding. You could spend your entire day wandering or visit some museums in Madrid. Most attractions are easily reached from this street because it is located centrally.
Day 2: Explore Lavapiés. This is the most multi-cultural street in Madrid made up of people of African, Middle-eastern, Asian etc descent and a great location to try cuisines from almost any culture. Then head over to the Royal Palace of Madrid about 20 mins (1.5 km) walk from Lavapiés to tour the building where the Spanish Royals stay when in Madrid. You will also enjoy scenic views of the city. For a more relaxing stroll, Parque de El Retiro is a unique and gorgeous park in Madrid. There’s a pond where you could rent a boat and row away the time.
Day 3: Make your way to Mercado de San Miguel. One of the most beautiful markets in Madrid. Here you can sample various foods from tapas, wine, beer etc. Next to it is Plaza Mayor, and Puerta de Sol; two major touristy spots also worth visiting.
NOTE: On the 14th day, if you’re flying out from Barcelona, you can either take a train (2h 30m) or fly directly toBCN (1h) on this day.
I hope these helps and inspires you to plan your trip to Spain! Have you been to Spain? What are some helpful tips and must dos not listed above you would like to share? Please let me know down below:)