By Jebulon – Wikimedia

10 Most popular Icons and Landmarks to visit in Spain


From gothic castles to serene mosques and futuristic museums, Spain is nothing short of enchanting. The cities in Spain each has a beautiful tale to share and memories to take with you.

Spain has a rich history, beautiful monuments and incredible landmarks. Another popular sporting activity in Spain is football, clubs like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are well known for their stellar performance.   

The landmarks in Spain have been there for many centuries, a mark of an ancient civilization. They range from football stadiums, cathedrals, museums and bridges.

Here are the most popular Icons and Landmarks to look out for when you go to Spain.

1. La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

By C messier – Wikimedia

La Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular landmarks in Spain, and Barcelona.

This majestic cathedral was designed and built by architect Antoni Gaudi. Construction work began in 1883 but architect Gaudi did not live to see it completed.

Although the cathedral is open to the public, it is not complete. Several architects have worked on this building to maintain the original design.

The current architect, Jordi Fauli, estimates the completion date to be 2026.   

2. Alhambra, Granada

By Jebulon – Wikimedia

The Alhambra is the world’s greatest Moorish castle. It attracts millions of tourists each year, making it the number one most visited location in Spain.

This Castle was used fortress by the Moorish and the last Islamic palace. Its location is quite strategic on a Hill made it easy to spot enemies.  

This palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, preservation of the elegant architectural style of the Moorish civilization.

There are interesting sites to see at this palace like the Nasrid Palace, Charle V’s Palace, the Alcazaba, and the Generalife Gardens.

While at the palace, you will be able to get a sweeping view of Granada and beyond.  

3. Reina Sofia, Madrid

This is one of the biggest and most famous modern art museums in Spain and the world. The museum was named after Queen Sofia of Spain.

There are modern art installations, sculptures, paintings by Pablo Picasso, José Gutiérrez Solana and Salvador Dali. Guernica, Picasso’s most famous painting is found here. You will find Spanish contemporary art from the 20th century here.

The museum is located in Madrid’s Golden Art Triangle.

Other than the permanent exhibitions at the museum, there are several other temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

4. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

By Tony Hisgett – Wikimedia

The next landmark to check out while in Spain is the Guggenheim Museum. You will be drawn to this building by its futuristic architecture.

This building is hard to miss because of its innovative design, one of the 20th-century architectural masterpieces.

The chief architect for this building is Frank Gehry an American. He used titanium and limestone to create a magnificent building.

This building has brought with it good tidings to Bilbao attracting millions of local and international tourists annually. 

There are travelling exhibitions and rotating displays inside the museum.

5. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Santiago

When in Santiago, you cannot miss visiting this cathedral. The Santiago cathedral is the true definition of the Romanesque style fused with several other architectural designs.

The foundation of this cathedral was dug in 1075 during the reign of Alfonso VI. Esteban was in charge of the construction work which was done on the foundation of an old church.

There have been several extensions to the church that includes Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Plateresque and neoclassical.

This church is an important religious symbol and is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985.

6. Altamira Caves, Cantabria

By Museo de Altamira – Wikimedia

The Cave of Altamira is a cave located near the historic town of Santillana del Mar in Cantabria. This was a prehistoric site that has charcoal drawings and polychrome paintings.

These paintings are believed to be more than 36,000 years old during the Upper Palaeolithic period. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Modesta Cubilla discovered this site in 1868. These cave paintings were the first of European origin. Sautuola studied the paintings and had the research published in 1880.

Access to this site is strictly limited to small private tours.

7. Seville Cathedral, Seville

By Ingo Mehling – Wikimedia

Seville Cathedral is a massive Gothic affair. It’s the largest cathedral in the world. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella renovated the cathedral after taking over from the Moors.

They intended to splurge on the cathedral displaying the wealth, power and influence they had.

To paint a picture of what to expect when you visit the cathedral is that: it has 15 doors, an elaborate altar and 80 chapels.

Murals are depicting biblical events that are dedicated to saints. A large mirror reflects the complex ceiling. The tomb of Christopher Columbus is found in this cathedral.

8. Costa del Sol Beaches

Spin has some of the best beaches in Europe. It is also one of Europe’s sunniest places.

The Costa del Sol beaches are the best place to go to soak in the sun. For more fun away from the beach, head over to Malaga where you can access the marina or play golf and Nueva Andalucia.

9. Windmills of Consuegra, Toledo

By Hugo Díaz-Wikimedia

Consuegra is well-known for its windmills that were popularized by Miguel de Cervantes’ book Don Quixote in the 17th century.

The windmills were used to grind grain and were handed down from fathers to sons. They would carry grains of wheat up to the top floor of the mill.  

10. Torre de Hercules, La Coruna

The Tower of Hercules is an ancient lighthouse built by the Romans between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.

It is said to have been constructed as an offering to the Roman god of war, Mars. This tower is 55 metres tall and one of the oldest landmarks in Spain.

It is also the world’s oldest functioning lighthouse and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.