Looking for some inspiration on where to go for your next vacation? Why not see what other travelers like and follow the trends! Here are the 10 most visited cities in Spain. All of them can be categorized as great travel destinations.
Here’s how we’ve found out which cities are the most visited: By looking into statistics from hotel booking sites, and by using national registry lists of domestic as well as foreign visitors. Ultimately, adding everything together and finding an average.
Overall, Spain is the second most visited country in the world, just after France. In 2018, Spain received 82.8 million visits according to El País. Those numbers are expected to be even higher for 2019, but we won’t know the statistics until the early part of 2020.
Anyway, let’s jump into it – the most visited cities in Spain, by all travelers, Spaniards as well as foreigners:
1. Madrid. To our surprise, Madrid receives more visitors than Barcelona! Well, Barcelona receives more international travelers, but when domestic visits are included, the capital ranks as number one. Measuring by international tourists, Barcelona get a bit over 6 million visitors, while Madrid gets 5. But the Spaniards themselves are more likely to visit Madrid (4 million Spanish visitors) over Barcelona (1 million domestic visits).
This busy city has anything a tourist is looking for, majestic architecture, yummy cuisine, vibrant nightlife, history, culture, leisure among many other things.
If you are in Madrid you cannot miss the Royal Palace, it is just stunning! Here’s a list of all the best attractions in Madrid.
2. Barcelona. Obviously, Barcelona couldn’t be in a lower position! This city also has any tourist is looking for, but what most people who visit this city like the most is the laid-back feeling Barcelona transmits and the open-mindedness!
Foreigners love Barcelona, for very good reasons. In fact, they prefer it over Madrid, number one on this list. A very international city with plenty of things to do.
3. Seville. This city is situated in the south of Spain and it is the fourth largest city by population. There are many things to do and see around Sevilla (Seville in English), so check our guide to Seville city!
4. Palma de Mallorca. Those people looking for sun, beaches and fun… this city is a great option! it also has most of things a tourist is looking for. The city has some interesting landmarks such as the cathedral or the Royal Palace of la Almudena (aka Palau de l’Almudena/Palacio de la Almudena). Overall, there are many things to do, but the beach areas are obviously the main point of attraction.
5. Benidorm. If you are from the UK this should not come as a surprise because this city is full of British tourists during the summer, even throughout the year! But many tourists from a lot of different countries also visit it, especially those who are looking for some sunny and fun holidays! Therefore, it ranks as one of the most visited cities in Spain according to most sources.
6. Granada. Any of you that have not heard of Granada? If not that’s fine, but you have no idea what you’re missing! There’s so much to see and do in this city, Moorish architecture (you can look up the Alhambra), historical monuments, visit the neighborhood of “El Albaizín”, have a view of the whole city from “El Mirador de San Nicolás” (the lookout of Saint Nicholas), see the mountains that surround the city among many other things!
P.S: You cannot miss the article about the city of Granada, it will not let you down!
7. Valencia. This large city, by both population and size, has anything a tourist is looking for! beach, sun, good weather throughout the year, great food, great architecture, a vibrant nightlife or an alive social life at any time of the day, etc.
While Valencia is visited a lot, you could argue that it should be ranking even higher. Maybe because Valencia is somewhat in the shadow of Barcelona – yet it is the cheaper, less-touristy, more authentic version. A gorgeous city in all regards!
8. Málaga. Málaga is very popular among many European tourists, especially those who come from the Scandinavian countries or from the UK. This city is somewhere between medium and large as far as size and population are concerned.
There are beaches, good weather all year round, many beautiful landscapes, ancient stuff such as the Roman theatre or Moorish architecture. Also, you can find breathtaking villages and small towns in this province, so you can do lots of one-day trips from Malaga – an added bonus!
9. Torremolinos. If you look Torremolinos up you will see it is defined as a tourist locality, and it is actually situated in the province of Malaga (Málaga has the same name as its province, as it happens with all the capital cities of all the Andalusian provinces).
This town boasts several Sandy beaches, but it is not just the city what attracts tourists to this town. Here you can find lots of spots to relax, go out at night and anything that you would like to do in your spare time during holidays. The big hotels and the pools within them, the palm trees, and the environment of the city, in general, gives it a summer touch which makes it appealing.
During the summer it is common to see more foreigners than locals in certain areas of the town!
10. Córdoba. And last but not less we have Córdoba! This Andalusian gem that we recommend to visit if you want to travel around the autonomous community of Andalusia. It would be safe to say it is on the top 3 of the most beautiful capital cities of this region.
Córdoba is a perfect place to see some Moorish masterpieces such as la “Mezquita de Córdoba” (the Mosque of Cordoba), the big Roman Bridge of Cordoba, Medina Azahara that is the ruins of a vast, fortified medieval palace-city which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2018, nice and cute buildings in the old town, cute houses with that Andalusian style around the city, among many other things. We highly recommend it.