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DESTINATION GUIDES & ITINERARIES / EUROPE

The Best of Spain: Ultimate 10 Day Spain Itinerary

Spain flag hanging from building

Are you planning a trip to Spain? This popular destination has so much to see that it can be tricky to plan the perfect Spain travel itinerary for a short amount of time. The first time I visited Spain, all I knew was Barcelona and Madrid. So that’s all I visited! But after living in Spain for over two years now, I have put together this perfect Spain itinerary for ten days.

Alcazar gardens in Sevilla, Spain

This ten day Spain itinerary of course hits the two big destinations of Barcelona and Madrid. But it also includes the arguably much more interesting destinations of Seville, Granada, and Cordoba. That way, you can return back home from Spain having seen more than just the basics!

But, I must warn you. This Spain itinerary is very detailed. Like, how-on-earth-do-you-have-time-to-write-all-this detailed. That’s on purpose. You can go to any old travel blog to get a vague “two nights in here” and “one night here,” bare-bones itinerary for Spain. But those itineraries don’t tell you what to do in each destination, or how to get from each city to city. You would have to go look that up after. But not with this itinerary.

In short, what I am trying to say is: get ready for a long article! (About a 20 minute read.) You will probably want to save this for later right now by bookmarking it or saving it on Pinterest, just in case you don’t finish all in one go. Then, sit back, kick your feet up, and let’s get to it!


The Perfect 10 Day Spain Itinerary


Let’s begin with an overview of this epic, ten day Spain itinerary, so that you can have an idea of what to expect for your trip.

DaysCityOvernight In
Days 1 – 3: BarcelonaBarcelona
Days 4 – 5:MadridMadrid
Days 6 – 7:GranadaGranada
Days 8 – 9:SevilleSeville
Day 10:CordobaSeville

What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Spain?

Spain has the reputation of eternal warmth and sunshine. It’s true Spain’s weather is quite good year round in many places. But after having lived here, I can report back that winter definitely gets chilly in many of the destinations in this ten day Spain itinerary. I can also report that summer gets unbearably hot in many of these destinations! People say that about a lot of destinations in Europe. But trust me – avoid doing this Spain itinerary in summer. Because of that, I recommend you visit Spain during the shoulder seasons of April – May and September – October. This lets you enjoy every destination in this ten day Spain itinerary in mild weather.

Red flowers in blue pots on white wall in southern Spain

BUT, I do recommend avoiding the week leading up to Easter. This week, called Semana Santa, is a very big deal in the region of Andalusia (which includes Seville, Granada, and Cordoba). Streets get blocked off for daily processions that last through the night. Hours change for even the most popular of attractions. Everything shuts down except restaurants on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. And the cities are just very crowded overall. So unless you particularly want to see the processions (because they are quite interesting!), I recommend avoiding Easter time for this ten day Spain itinerary.

What is the Best Way to Get Around Spain?

There is a lot of debate about the best way to travel around Spain. For some parts of the country, a car is definitely ideal. But for this ten day Spain itinerary, you won’t need one. This Spain itinerary is completely car-free, relying solely on Spain’s extensive train network. You can purchase all the train journeys I mention in this itinerary in advance at the official Renfe website. You can also download their app (Apple and Android) so that you have all your tickets in one, convenient place.

(Finally) The Actual Ten Day Itinerary for Spain

Beforehand, I just want to let you know you can do this itinerary in the order I have it or in the exact reverse. Just look up flights and see which direction is cheaper. Also, at the very end of this page, I have a section on how to adjust this itinerary if you need to. Ready?!

Barcelona

Barcelona is Spain’s most-visited tourist destination, boasts unique Gaudi architecture, and is home to one of the most famous football (soccer) clubs in the world. Thus, it is an absolute must on any first-time Spain itinerary! Located towards the eastern end of Spain’s southern coast, Barcelona offers all the perks of big-city life, but in a setting of palm trees, ocean breezes, and sandy beaches. Barcelona is also the capital of Catalonia, a region which has been trying to separate from Spain since 2017.

Sagrada Familia church interior in Barcelona

How to Get to Barcelona

As the starting point of your Spain trip, you will need to fly into Barcelona. Barcelona’s international airport is Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN). To get from BCN airport to the city center, you have three options.

  • Option 1: Take a bus. From BCN, you can take the Aerobus to Plaça de Catalunya in the Barcelona city center. This leaves every 5 minutes during peak hours, costs €5.90 one way (€10.20 roundtrip), and takes around 30 minutes. From Plaça de Catalunya, you can either walk to your accommodation, or use the Metro to take the subway if your accommodation is further away. Be very careful of pick-pocketers in Plaça de Catalunya and on the Metro! You can find the Aerobus schedule and purchase tickets in advance at the official site. Be careful to purchase your ticket for the correct terminal (A1 for Terminal 1 and A2 for Terminal 2) if you select this option.
  • Option 2: Take the train. Follow signs in the airport to the Renfe train station. (If you arrive in Terminal 1, you will need to take the free airport shuttle bus to Terminal 2 first.) From BCN, take the R2 Nord line to either the Barcelona-Sants or Passeig de Gràcia stops. This train leaves every 30 minutes, costs €4.60* one way, and takes around 25 minutes. From either of these, you can walk to your accommodation if it is nearby, or use the Metro to take the subway if your accommodation is further away. These stations are a little less central than Plaça de Catalunya. *If you select this option, consider buying the T-Causal 10-ride ticket for €11.35 instead.
  • Option 3: Take a taxi. Taxis from BCN are not a fixed fare. The price ranges from €25 – €30. You can find the official yellow-and-black taxis lined up outside the arrivals terminals. The drive should take 20 to 40 minutes.

What to Do in Barcelona (Three Days)

Three days in Barcelona is the minimum amount of time to “see everything.” Take it easy on day one, since it’s the day your flight gets in. But feel free to interchange days two and three as works best for you. If you get in way too late on day one, you can tack the first three bullets onto day two and the fourth bullet onto day three.

Day One

Walking straight through this route as I have it below is 45 min (3.5km or 2.25 miles), just to give you an idea of total distance on day one.

  • Plaça de Catalunya: This plaza is considered the center of Barcelona. You may find yourself here without even trying, since it’s the starting point for many tours and where many forms of transport meet. It marks the northern end of the famous La Rambla street. You should be very careful of pickpockets in this square!
  • La Rambla: This wide, tree-lined pedestrian street is the most famous in Barcelona and runs right through the heart of the city. It is often referred to in the plural, “Las Ramblas,” and it marks the western edge of the Gothic Quarter. Again – be very careful of pickpockets on this extremely busy street!
  • Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boquerìa: While making your way down La Rambla, be sure to stop by Barcelona’s most famous and beloved food market. It is more often simply called Marcet de la Boqueria. Here, you’ll find the quintessential €2 fruit smoothies and juices, along with other food items like jamon, empanadas, sweets, and more.
  • Playa de La Barceloneta: There’s already so much to do in Barcelona, ignoring the fact that it’s on the coast. But it is indeed on the coast! I have to say, Barcelona city is not home to the best beaches in Spain. But a stop at La Barceloneta beach is still an absolute must. Even if you don’t care to walk on the sand or get in the sea, you can walk along the long promenade.

Day Two

  • Basilica de la Sagrada Familia: This still-under-construction church is the most famous thing to see in Barcelona. It was designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, and he is buried in the church’s crypt. He is also responsible for designing many other popular attractions in Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia is definitely his most famous work and an absolute must to visit. Be sure to purchase tickets that include both the Sagrada Família and Towers! These come with an app audio guide and will set you back €36 per person. Definitely purchase your tickets in advance online from the official site during high season, as certain time slots do sell out.
  • Parc Güell: If you’ve ever watched the Cheetah Girls 2, or had anyone on your social media study abroad in Barcelona, this is that mosaic park! This UNESCO World Heritage site is an absolute can’t-miss thing to do in Barcelona and – surprise, surprise – was designed by Antoni Gaudí. You can buy tickets, which are €10, in advance from the official site to ensure you get a time slot that works for your schedule.
  • Gràcia: On your way towards the historical center from Parc Güell, wander through one of Barcelona’s most beloved neighborhoods. Gràcia is a lot calmer than the touristy parts of town, but has many less-popular Gaudí works hidden inside it.
  • Casa Milà: Casa Mila is the last private residence designed by Antoni Gaudí. You can enter this UNESCO World Heritage site for €25 if you purchase tickets online from the official site, or for €3 more in person. But if you are short on time, even just admiring it from outside is better than nothing!
  • Casa Batlló: Located not too far away from Casa Mila, Casa Batllo is another Antoni Gaudí masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage site. Like Casa Mila, you can also enter. Tickets are €35 if you purchase tickets online from the official site, or for €4 more in person. Again, you can simply admire from outside if you are short on time.

Day Three

  • Barri Gòtic: Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is the city’s historical center. This charming area of the city is many visitors’ favorite part of the city, due to its narrow streets and bustling atmosphere. It might be worth doing a free* walking tour of this area, depending on your group’s travel style. But whether you join a tour or wander solo, be sure to pass under the famous Pont del Bisbe while in this neighborhood! *Tips are expected at the end of these tours.
  • Catedral de Barcelona: Finished in the 15th century, the Cathedral of Barcelona is worth a stop while in the Gothic Quarter. Entry is €9 and dress code (no shoulders, no knees) is enforced.
  • Museu Picasso de Barcelona: Consider a stop by this museum to enjoy the work of (arguably) Spain’s most famous artist. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of modern art, it’s fun to view his many different styles and debate works which you like best – or perhaps which works you even consider “art!” Tickets for the main collection plus temporary exhibits are €15 at the door or €14 if purchased online from the official site in advance. ​​
  • Parc de la Ciutadella: In this park, you’ll find some more iconic structures of Barcelona. These include the Arc de Triomf and the Cascada del Parc de la Ciutadella. Entry into the park is free.

Madrid

Though Madrid is the capital and largest city in Spain, it is not known for as many impressive monuments as some of the other destinations in this ten day Spain itinerary. With only one week in Spain, I would actually recommend skipping Madrid. But for a ten day Spain itinerary, I really do think a quick stop in the heart of the nation is necessary! Madrid has the liveliness of a big, international city. But its tourists don’t overrun it, allowing you to feel like you are experiencing it authentically. 

Madrid Spain during sunset

How to Get to Madrid

Take the high-speed AVE or AVLO Renfe train from Barcelona-Sants station to Madrid Puerta de Atocha-Almudena Grandes station. This takes between 2.5 and 3 hours. If you purchase an AVLO journey a few months in advance, it only costs €7 for the earliest AVLO train in the morning or the latest AVLO train at night! It costs €15 for the other AVLO train times. But the ticket prices increase as each fare sells out, so if you purchase on the day of, expect to pay anywhere between €40 and over €100, depending on the day of the week, time of day (more inconvenient times usually are cheaper), and the time of year (tickets sell out faster for holidays).

From within Puerta de Atocha-Almudena Grandes train station, you can take the Metro or Cercanias to get to your accommodation if necessary. Or, you can exit the station and take a taxi.

What to Do in Madrid (One and a Half Days)

As the capital of Spain, you might think Madrid would warrant more days than some of the other destinations on this ten day Spain itinerary. And while I’ve loved living in Madrid (I could never see myself living in Barcelona!), it doesn’t boast as many tourist draws as some other cities in Spain. Between one and two days is the perfect amount of time to “see it all” and get a small flavor for the city before moving south!

Day One

I know the below will look like a lot to squeeze into just half a day in Madrid. But central Madrid is super compact! Walking straight through this route as I have it below without stops is 50 min (3.7km or 2.3 miles), just to give you an idea of total distance you’ll be covering.

  • Gran Via: Gran Via is Madrid’s most famous street. Its name translates into “Great Way,” and it boasts a host of eateries, international shops, and even Broadway hits like The Lion King. Some of Madrid’s most famous buildings line Gran Via, like the Edificio Metrópolis, the Fundación Telefónica, and the Schweppes Sign on Edificio Carrión. I recommend starting at Plaza del Callao and walking east along Gran Via until reaching the next spot on the list – Plaza de Cibeles.
  • Plaza de Cibeles: Palacio Cibeles was once the headquarters for the Spanish Post Office. It is literally my favorite building in Madrid! It’s the first image of Madrid that I ever had in my head, back from when the Spanish national soccer team won the Euro Cup, then the World Cup, then the Euro Cup back-to-back-to-back. The team always passed between this building and the majestic Fuente (fountain) de Cibeles in front of it on their victory parade route. So I began to view the building as emblematic of Spain well before ever arriving! It is also where Real Madrid FC passes by during their celebration parades.
  • Puerta de Alcalá: This triumphal arch was once the main entrance to the city of Madrid, putting into perspective just how much the city has grown over the centuries! It’s located right outside the most popular entrance to El Retiro Park.
  • El Buen Retiro Park: This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been called “the Central Park of Madrid,” and you can understand why. Set right in the heart of Madrid, this green oasis is popular with locals and tourists alike. The most famous area of El Retiro is the artificial lake, where you should definitely rent a rowboat. I personally also love the Jardín del Parterre and would recommend either entering or exiting El Retiro park through this garden.
  • Palacio de Cristal: Also in El Retiro is the Palacio de Cristal. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and such a pretty building, especially from across the pond in front of it. But ironically, its history is nowhere near as pretty. The Palacio de Cristal was built as a greenhouse for plants and fauna from the Philippines, which was a colony of Spain at the time. Some sadly like to claim that was all, but it soon went on to become the site of one of Europe’s many human zoos. Igorot people were brought from the Philippines and made to live and fish in a replica village while visitors watched. To see some photographs and sketches of the human zoo, definitely check out this post.
  • Museo Nacional del Prado: The Prado Museum is definitely the most famous art museum in Madrid, and probably all of Spain, too. It is home to the most extensive collection of Spanish painting in the world. Some of its most famous works include those by Murillo, Velázquez, and Goya. Tickets are €15 and can be purchased in advance online at the official site. Entry is free during the last 90 minutes (online it says the last two hours, but you must leave the building 30 minutes before close time). You should still book the free entry online to secure your time slot (they book out).
  • Fuente de Neptuno: Real Madrid has the Fountain of Cibeles, and Atletico Madrid has the fountain of Neptune, located just down the road. It’s not an attraction by any means, but it’s a pretty fountain that you might as well pass by, since it’s nearby the Prado Museum.

Note on Day One: The order listed above allows you to visit the Prado during the free hours towards the end of the day. If you love paintings more than I do and want to spend several hours at the Prado Museum, consider doing this day one itinerary in the exact reverse order of how I have it above.

Day Two

  • Puerta del Sol: The Puerta del Sol is located smack dab in the center of Madrid. And if you’ve looked at a map, you’ll see that Madrid is located smack dab in the center of Spain! So this square is literally the center of Spain. There is even a plaque in the ground called Kilometre 0, from which all major radial roads in Spain leave. It’s quite popular to take a picture of your feet standing at the bottom edge of the plaque! But the most famous part of Puerta del Sol is the building behind Kilometre 0 – the Casa de Correos. It is home to Madrid’s regional government, and its famous clock is part of a huge Spanish NYE tradition. Be ultra on-alert for pickpockets everywhere in Madrid, but particularly in and around Sol!
  • El Oso y el Madroño: While in Puerta del Sol, be sure to check out the statue of el Oso y el Madroño (the bear and the strawberry tree). These two together are the official symbol of the city of Madrid, so keep an eye out for them as you tour the city! 
  • Plaza Mayor: This is Madrid’s main square and has been for many centuries. Three of the four sides of the square are lined with eateries and outdoor seating, though most will recommend that you skip a full meal here, simply opting for a coffee or another drink instead. The third side of the square boasts a pretty fresco of zodiac signs and gods. 
  • Mercado de San Miguel: This gourmet indoor gastronomical market is located right outside the western end of Plaza Mayor. It boasts fine foods from all of the country, and some food stands have even been awarded Michelin stars! If you’re not hungry, you can still just pass through and gaze into all the various food stands.
  • Catedral de la Almudena: Be sure to stop by this cathedral while visiting the Royal Palace (they’re located right next door to each other). There is often some sort of performance happening outside the steps facing the palace. And to the side, there is also an observation deck offering sweeping views. For those who want to view the inside as well, the cathedral requests a €1 donation.
  • Palacio Real de Madrid: Madrid’s Royal Palace is the largest in Western Europe by building size (i.e. gardens excluded). It was built under King Phillip V, who was born in Versailles and designed it to be his Versailles. Tickets are €12 and can be purchased in advance at the official website.
  • Plaza de España: This square recently just completed a redesign to make it more pedestrian friendly! It’s now the perfect intersection between Gran Via, the Royal Palace, and the Temple of Debod. Across the square also happens to be the largest Zara in the world, for any fans of the store.
  • Templo de Debod: This real-deal Egyptian temple may feel a little random on this list of things to see in Madrid! It dates back to around 200 BC and was donated to Spain by the Egyptian government. Entry is free. Afterwards, take a lap around Parque de la Montaña (where the Temple of Debod is located) to enjoy views over the Royal Palace and Catedral de la Almudena. The view is especially nice during sunset.

Granada

Located in the Andalusia* region of southern Spain, Granada is most famous for its architecture dating back to when the Muslim Moors of northern Africa ruled much of modern-day Spain and Portugal. Granada was actually the final city to be reconquered by the Spanish Catholic Monarchs from the Moors. And at certain points, you may feel like you have been transported to Morocco! Aside from the astounding Moorish architecture, Granada is also simply in a stunning location. Sitting right at the foot of the often-snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada offers amazing vistas from all angles.

Alhambra during sunset in Granada, Andalusia, Spain

*Andalusia (or Andalucía in Spanish) is home to many of the most “typical Spanish” things. It’s the birthplace of tapas, flamenco, and bullfighting as we know them. So be sure to (ethically) take in these things in particular while in the region! 

How to Get to Granada

Take the high-speed AVE train from Madrid Puerta de Atocha-Almudena Grandes to Granada. This takes around 3.5 hours and makes three stops on the way. It will be the longest travel day in this ten day Spain itinerary. If you purchase this ticket a couple months in advance, tickets can be as low as €25, depending on the day of the week. But as already mentioned, ticket prices increase as each fare sells out. So if you purchase on the day of, expect to pay anywhere between €80 and over €100.

What to Do in Granada (Two Days)

Feel free to interchange day one and day two however you like.

Day One

  • Basílica de San Juan de Dios: Even if you don’t enter this pretty baroque church, the little courtyard in front is worth a peek while en route to the city center from the train station. Tickets are €7 and can be bought in person.
  • Monasterio de San Jerónimo: This historic monastery began to house monks in the early 1500s. The building warrants a visit from even just the outside, but tickets to enter are €5. You can purchase them in person on the day of or in advance from the official site.
  • Plaza de Bib-Rambla: Also known as Bibarrambla, this is the main square in central Granada. Take a stroll around and perhaps stop for a drink at one of the many cafes.
  • Alcaicería: Originally located across Granada’s old mosque (and now its main cathedral), the Alcaicería is an open-air, Arabic-style bazaar. It features little alleys, full of vendors selling colorful shawls, hats, purses, lamps, jewelry, and so much more.
  • Catedral Santa María de la Encarnación: Granada’s most famous cathedral is hard to miss. It was built shortly after Spain’s reconquest of the city from the Moors, right atop a destroyed mosque. Tickets are €5 and can be purchased on the official site for all Granada’s main Christian buildings.
  • Capilla Real de Granada: Adjacent to the cathedral is the Capilla Real (Royal Chapel). This chapel houses the tombs of King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castille. They ruled during the end of the reconquest and are considered Spain’s first great royals. Tickets are €5 and can be purchased on the official site for all Granada’s main Christian buildings.
  • Plaza Nueva: Even though its name translates into “new square,” it is actually the oldest square in Granada. Stick around this area long enough, and you might just catch a little performance! I saw two different ones in this area during my own visit to Granada. The plaza connects the modern city center and the Carrera del Darro.
  • Carrera del Darro: This scenic walk up a cobblestoned street follows the Darro river. It is considered one of the most romantic walks in Spain.
  • Paseo de los Tristes: The Paseo de los Tristes starts where the Carrera del Darro ends and continues along the Darro River. The path offers great views of the Alhambra. At the end of the road, you can turn left to climb up to the Albaicín neighborhood. You can also turn cross the Puente del Aljibillo on the right, to cross over the river and walk up to the Generalife entrance/exit of the Alhambra.
  • Albaicín: Also spelled Albayzín, this picturesque neighborhood of winding, cobbled streets and white, Moorish-style buildings is located on the hill opposite the Alhambra. (Yes, Granada is quite hilly!) It is the oldest area of Granada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Mirador de San Nicolas: This viewpoint of the Alhambra is located in the Albaicín. You’ll find it on the terrace in front of the Iglesia de San Nicolas.
  • Mezquita Mayor de Granada: The main mosque of Granada is literally right next to the Iglesia de San Nicolas. It is not a typical tourist “must-see.” But it has a cute garden and offers similar views to the Mirador de San Nicolas, but with fewer crowds. The mosque does close in the middle of the day (as do many things in Spain), so be sure to time your visit correctly if you care to enter.
  • Sacromonte: This is another historical neighborhood of Granada and is home to the Roma community. It borders the Albaicín and is known for its houses built into rock as caves. The area’s main street is Camino del Sacromonte, which is dotted with many tourist-geared artisan shops and cave restaurants offering nightly La Zambra performances. La Zambra is a type of flamenco dancing and singing that originated in the Sacromonte. 
  • Sacromonte Abbey: Further away from town, further along the Camino del Sacromonte, is the Sacromonte Abbey. It does offer lovely views over both Granada’s main hills at once, but I would only recommend this trek if you are interested in entering the abbey or have ample time.

Day Two

  • Alhambra: This stunning Moorish palace and fortress atop a hill is the biggest tourist draw in Granada. In my opinion, it should be the biggest tourist draw in all of Spain! It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and without-doubt the most unique palace you’ll see in Europe (I’ve seen quite a few!). There are many different things to see in the Alhambra, but the Nasrid Palaces are the most famous part of the Alhambra. You will need to select a specific time to enter these when purchasing your entry ticket. Another main part of the visit is the Generalife’s Palace, which was the summer palace of the Moorish sultans. To get from one palace to the other, you will walk through El Partal, another main part of the visit. Tickets to the Alhambra tend to sell out months in advance, except in the low season. So be sure to purchase your tickets on the official site once you have your dates. You can choose from several different packages to purchase, including a nighttime visit. But the general daytime visit is €19. Plan to spend a minimum of half a day at the Alhambra.
  • Calle Elvira and Calderería Nueva: These two streets are towards the bottom of the Albaicín hill. They are filled with small dessert shops, tea shops, and souvenir shops selling artisanal items. I personally felt like I was transported to Morocco and feel like the area warrants passing by,
  • Bañuelo: Also known as Hammam al-Yawza or Baño del Nogal, this hammam (a type of public bath or spa popular in the Arab and Muslim worlds) is thought to be from the 1100s or earlier. It’s the only hammam in Granada that has been restored and is open to the public. Tickets are €7.42 and include entry into a few other monuments as well. They can be purchased online from the official site.
  • Ermita San Miguel de Alto: For the best view over not just the Alhambra, but all of Granada and beyond, you can make the hike up the hill behind the Albaicín. From the Albaicín, the hermitage of San Miguel Alto is about a 30 minute walk. I recommend packing some food and drink beforehand, picking out a nice spot to sit once at the top, and watching the sunset over the city.

Seville

Seville (or Sevilla in Spanish, pronounced Sev-EE-ya), is the largest and capital city of Andalusia, making it a must in any visit to southern Spain. It is home to the oldest tapas bar in Spain and final resting place of Cristopher Colombus (of whom Spain unfortunately still seems very much proud, as you will definitely notice when you follow this Spain itinerary in person!). Seville also served as filming site of the beautiful Game of Thrones kingdom of Dorne and of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and is honestly just an all-around stunning Spanish city.

Plaza de Espana in Sevilla, Andalucia, Spain

How to Get to Seville

Take the AVE or AVANT train from Granada to Sevilla-Santa Justa. This takes between 2.5 and 3 hours. If you purchase your ticket for this journey a couple months in advance, the only option will be the AVE trains. Tickets can be as low as €32, depending on the day of the week. If you wait until a few weeks out or even purchase on the day of, the AVANT-MD ticket will be available to purchase. This ticket can be as low as €29 (even if purchased on the day of). Other ticket types range between €45 and €78 when purchased on the day of.

What to Do in Seville (Two Days)

You can exchange day one and day two however you like.

Day One

  • Catedral de Sevilla: This is the third-largest church in Europe and the largest Gothic church in the world. It is also the final resting place of Cristopher Columbus (and his son). The cathedral was built over a destroyed mosque, but the courtyard of orange trees and the mosque’s minaret still remain. The minaret was turned into a bell tower, which tourists can climb up (no elevator) for sweeping 360-degree views over Seville. Tickets to the cathedral and bell tower are €11 and can be purchased online from the official site. Tickets cost €1 more if purchased in person. You might also want to consider the €20 tickets for a guided tour on the cathedral rooftop! You can also purchase these on the official site.
  • Plaza de Toros (de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla): This bullring is the largest and most significant in Spain. Taking a lap around the outside and peering inside the ring whenever there was an opening was enough for me. But those wanting to enter the bullring without attending an event can join a tour. You can purchase €10 tickets online from the official site or in person.
  • Barrio de Triana: This historic neighborhood in Seville is across the river from the main part of the city center. One of the main attractions here is the Mercado de Triana. It is a cute, indoor food market with a lot less-touristy feel than the popular markets of Barcelona or Madrid. It sits next door to the remains of what once was Castillo de San Jorge.
  • Museo de Bellas Artes: Seville’s Museum of Fine Arts was originally a convent. Now, it is home to some of the most important Spanish paintings. Entry is €1.50.
  • Setas de Sevilla: Also known as the Metropol Parasol, this is apparently the largest wooden structure in the world. It was built in a shape that resembles mushrooms (setas, in Spanish) and offers one of the best viewpoints in Seville. You can get a discount by booking in advance online at the official site, where general entry tickets are €13. Even if you don’t decide to go up, the building is pretty cool from the bottom and warrants a visit.
  • Calle de las Sierpes: This is central Seville’s main shopping street, running between Plaza de San Francisco and Calle Campana. Enjoy a slow stroll up this pedestrian zone, popping in and out of the shop geared towards tourists and locals alike.
  • Iglesia Colegial del Salvador: Entry into this beautifully salmon-colored church is free with your ticket to the Seville Cathedral!

Day Two

  • Real Alcázar: This once-fortress is where the Moors ruled from while they were in Seville. After the Christian monarchs reconquered Seville, they added to it and used it as a royal palace. Game of Thrones fans will recognize many different parts of the Alcázar as film sites (especially Dorne!). Check out this post for a full run down, so you can recognize it all when you go. General entry tickets are €13.50, and you can add a tour of inside the royal rooms for €5.50. Personally, I didn’t think the royal rooms tour was super worth it. I found the rest of the Alcázar to have the best parts. But I know others have loved it! I think it depends on how many European palace tours you’ve done or if you tend to love or hate royal room tours. Either way, you can buy the tickets online from the official site. ​​
  • Plaza de España: This stunning square is the most iconic image of Seville. You might even recognize it from some films, like Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. The plaza is located inside the Parque de María Luisa (which also deserves some exploring), and its name translates to “Spain Square.” When you visit, you’ll understand why! Each block of tiles in the semicircle creates an image of a province of Spain. You can also rent a boat and row along the plaza’s canal, or wait around near the two central bridges to catch a flamenco performance.
  • Torre del Oro: Originally part of the city’s Moorish walls, the name of this former military watchtower translates into “Tower of Gold.” The tower sits along the river and marks the starting and ending point for Spanish ships bringing spoils from the Americas. Today, you’ll find the Museo Naval de Sevilla inside the tower. There, you can learn about Spain’s naval history and enjoy the panoramic terrace. Entry is free, but a €3 donation is requested.
  • Barrio Santa Cruz: This beautiful neighborhood of narrow alleys and peaceful plazas is where Seville’s Jewish community was once mostly concentrated. It is located just across the main cathedral.
  • Museo del Baile Flamenco: The famous Spanish dance originated in southern Spain, and those interested can view some of Andalusia’s best flamenco at a show here. Shows are nightly, and you can book your tickets online at the official site.

Cordoba

I notice Cordoba gets skipped on some Spain travel itineraries. But its world-famous mosque-slash-cathedral alone is good enough reason to squeeze a day trip here from Seville into your ten day Spain itinerary. Add to that the picturesque winding and flower-pot-laden streets with the old town’s seamless mix of Jewish, Moorish, Catholic, and Roman architecture… Well, Cordoba simply is a no-brainer to visit when traveling through Spain.

Inside the Mosque of Cordoba in southern Spain

How to Get to Cordoba

Take the MD or AVANT train from Sevilla-Santa Justa to Cordoba. Then, take the same journey the reverse direction, and return to Seville to spend the night.

The MD train is €11.20 and 1.5 hours each way. It is available for purchase beginning around two months in advance. The AVANT train is €17.85 and 40 minutes each way. It is available for purchase beginning a few weeks in advance.

These prices are only if you purchase round trip (ida y vuelta) tickets. That means you must select your return train departure time in advance. If purchased as separate tickets rather than round trip, the MD train is €14 each way and the AVANT train is €22.30 each way. I recommend choosing times that essentially give you a full day to explore Cordoba!

What to Do in Cordoba (One Day)

  • Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba: This was once the main mosque of Cordoba and today is a cathedral. But it isn’t a cathedral built over a mosque, like oftentimes happened. Rather, it is a cathedral blended into the center of a mosque, creating the most unique blend of two architectural styles that I personally have ever seen. Definitely purchase tickets in advance online from the official site. Entry into the mosque is €13, and tickets up the bell tower are €3. I recommend choosing the first entry time of the day for the mezquita. That way, your pictures of the iconic columns and arches will have a lot less people in them.
  • Puerta del Puente: Outside the mosque-cathedral, in front of the river, is the Gate of the Bridge. It is located where the Roman gates into the city used to be.
  • Puente Romano: Cross the Roman Bridge over the river. From there, you can enjoy the typical postcard views of the famous mosque and Cordoba’s old town (though the river is quite drier these days).
  • Torre De Calahorra: At the end of the Roman Bridge is the Calahorra Tower. You can enter the tower to enjoy its museum on life in Cordoba during Al-Andaluz (the name of the Muslim-ruled area of the Iberian Peninsula). You can also enjoy views over Cordoba from its top. Tickets are €4.50 and can be purchased in person, but check the official site for hours.
  • Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos: This medieval fortress-palace is located right by the famous mosque-cathedral and the river. It houses a few Roman mosaics, but visitors most-enjoy its gardens. Tickets could only be purchased in person when I went. They were €5.
  • Almodovar Gate: In between the Alcázar and the Jewish Quarter is the Almodovar Gate. It is the only remaining medieval gate of the original nine into the city.
  • Judería: Cordoba’s historically Jewish quarter is a UNESCO World heritage site. The well-preserved neighborhood is very pretty, but my favorite part was the synagogue. It’s absolutely stunning and one of the three best-preserved Medieval synagogues in Spain. Entry was free when I went.
  • Fiesta de los Patios de Córdoba: If you are visiting Spain in early May, you can enjoy this festival celebrating the potted-plant-courtyards that Cordoba is famous for. But even if you are visiting during another time of year, you’ll still notice beautiful potted plants adorning walls around the city center. One of the most famous streets for a great view of the mosque-cathedral bell tower behind an alley of potted plants is Calleja de las Flores.
  • Templo Romano: In the middle of Cordoba, right next to the city hall, you can find the remains of a Roman temple. It was discovered in the 1950s while expanding the city hall. It’s not often listed as a tourist attraction to see, but I thought it was pretty cool (and it’s free)!

How to Get Out of Seville

Alas, your epic ten day Spain vacation has come to an end! You’ll need to get out of Seville. Seville’s airport is Seville Airport (SQV), sometimes called San Pablo Airport. There are a couple ways you can get from Seville’s city center to SQV.

  • Option 1: Take a bus. From any of the available stops (which include the Sevilla-Santa Justa train station), take the urban bus transport line (Line EA) bus from the Seville city center to the Seville airport. Tickets are €4 and are paid to the driver on board. Stops include You can check the timetable and map of the stops here.
  • Option 2: Take a taxi. The fare for this 25 minute ride is fixed at €26. Make sure you get into an official taxi. They should accept card, and you can double check this as well as fare before getting in.

Adjustments to this 10 Day Spain Itinerary

  • Starting in Seville instead of Barcelona: You can totally do this ten day Spain itinerary in the reverse order. Check what flights work best for you, and decide off of that.
  • Flying out of Madrid instead of Seville: Your flight out of Seville will almost certainly involve a connection in Madrid if you are flying to the Americas. So, you might prefer to take a train from Seville to Madrid’s airport (3 hours) rather than a flight from Seville to Madrid (1 hour). If that is the case, you can definitely change this itinerary to do that.

Any Questions on this Spain Itinerary for Ten Days?

Phew – I know that was A LOT! If you’re planning your own ten day itinerary for Spain soon and want some personalized advice, drop a comment below with your questions. I love playing travel agent for people!

And in Case You Need One Final Summary

Spain Itinerary 10 Days:

  • Day 1: Barcelona
  • Day 2: Barcelona
  • Day 3: Barcelona
  • Day 4: Madrid
  • Day 5: Madrid
  • Day 6: Granada
  • Day 7: Granada
  • Day 8: Seville
  • Day 9: Seville
  • Day 10: Cordoba

Save this Spain Ten Day Itinerary on Pinterest

Planning a vacation to Spain? This super-detailed ten day Spain itinerary by train stops at Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Sevilla, and Cordoba. You'll love your 10 days in Spain.

53 Comments

  • Anonymous
    July 15, 2024 at 12:32 AM

    Hi! Thank you for this detailed Itinerary. My husband and I are planning to go to Europe to spend Christmas together and Spain is one of the countries we’ve been eyeing to go to. Can we still use the same itinerary late December?

    Reply
  • Fran
    July 9, 2024 at 6:25 AM

    Hi Em..I have the utmost respect for you in answering all these questions. Thank you so much. My hubby and I plan on visiting Spain maybe Sept/Oct. One of the main places I want to visit is the Rock Of Gibraltar. We are thinking about coming for 9 days and would like to fly in and out of one airport since it’s more cost effective for us. If we fly into Madrid or Barcelona how can we get to the Rock of Gibraltar and can this be a day trip. Also if we are interested in doing Day Trips to Seville and other cities should our Base be Madrid or Barcelona. Thank you so much and I thoroughly enjoy your articles. Best of luck to you !

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      July 10, 2024 at 6:02 PM

      Hi Fran,

      I’m glad to know you enjoy my articles!

      I’ve never been to Gibraltar, but I understand Malaga to be the entry point many visitors use to day trip in. Madrid and especially Barcelona are quite far from this southernmost part of Spain. So if your main destination is Gibraltar, I would suggest focusing on the region of Andalusia and leaving Madrid and Barcelona for another visit. You could teeeeeeechnically day trip from Madrid to Seville (the train is 3 hours), but that would mean a very short amount of time in Seville, and it deserves more than one full day anyways, let alone less than one full day.

      Off the top of my head, I would personally recommend moving around at least between Malaga, Seville, and Granada as bases in Andalusia. From Seville, you can day trip to Cordoba (as I suggest in this itinerary), as well as to Cadiz, Jerez de la Frontera, etc. From Malaga, you can day trip to Gibraltar, Nerja and Frigiliana (as a combined day trip), Ronda, etc. Depending on whether you are flying from within Europe or not, you could try to fly into Malaga or Seville. If you need to fly into either Madrid or Barcelona, you can fly into Madrid, spend 1-2 days there, and then train south to Andalusia, coming back via train to Madrid to fly back out.

      Hope some of those suggestions help!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Erin
    July 3, 2024 at 12:42 PM

    Hi! Thank you so much for this itinerary! It’s very detailed and will help me with planning for my 9-10 day trip this October. How would you adjust the itinerary given that I am flying in and out of Barcelona? Would you recommend just taking a flight from Seville back to Barcelona? Or other ideas? Thanks!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      July 3, 2024 at 2:39 PM

      Hi Erin,

      I’m glad this itinerary has been helpful! And, yep, that’s exactly what I’d suggest to do – a short domestic flight from Seville to Barcelona. (Or from Granada to Barcelona, which is also an option, in case you like those flights better. In that case, you would go from Madrid > Seville > Granada instead of Madrid > Granada > Seville.) 🙂

      – Em

      Reply
  • Alay
    July 1, 2024 at 5:22 AM

    Hi Travelista,
    This was quite a good read, & we’re planning our trip on similar lines, just a quick question? We’re a bunch of friends visitng the country during Aug end/Sept 1st week & are planning on visitng Ibiza, how is it to best fit in the above itinerary? We plan on staying for 3 nights in Ibiza, however our overall stay in spain is for 12 days, so if you had to which of the above place would you crop depending on logistics issues? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      July 1, 2024 at 7:09 PM

      Hi Alay,

      Based on logistics, I would cut out Cordoba, because it sounds like you only need 1 less day, and Cordoba on this itinerary only occupies 1 day. Also, this allows you to keep Madrid and Barcelona as your airports of entry/departure, which is logistically easiest. So I would do something like fly into Barcelona > fly to Ibiza > fly to Granada/Seville > train to Seville/Granada (whichever you didn’t fly into) > train to Madrid > fly out of Madrid OR the exact reverse.

      Hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Bron
    July 1, 2024 at 3:37 AM

    Hi Em,
    Your itinerary is perfect for the amount of time we have to explore the country. Can I ask if you know anything about trains over the Pyrenees from France? I was hoping to enter Spain by train from Toulouse and wanted to try to line up a trip on the Little Yellow Train as well. However, although it looks possible to go from Toulouse to Latour de Carol by train, then hop on the Little Yellow Train to Villefranch-de- Conflent and then change to a commuter train to Barcelona. I cant actually find any connecting trains. The other problem I’m having is trying to book trains for October 2024, seems to be too far in advance as zero information shows for the dates I enter into the booking system.
    I’d be very appreciative if you’re able to shed any light on this

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      July 1, 2024 at 7:06 PM

      Hi Bron,

      I unfortunately don’t know too much about the Pyrenees, though I would love to explore them someday!

      As for the train tickets, I usually try to see the furthest out day from today that I am able to view tickets for the journey I want to purchase. That lets me know how far out in advance I can purchase them and also gives me an idea of what might later be available on my travel date. Then, I set an alarm for that number of days out before my travel dates, reminding me to go check tickets, now that they should be available. So if I can see tickets for, let’s say, 60 days out from today, but starting at 61 days out from today, I can’t, I’ll plan to check tickets again 60 days prior to the date I want to travel on.

      I hope that makes sense!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Nickey N
    June 24, 2024 at 10:14 AM

    Hi! My boyfriend and I were thinking about planning a trip at the end of January 2024. Do you think January is a time that would be worth visiting Spain still? We are planning for 8 or 9 nights. Is there anything you would modify with your itinerary for January?

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      June 24, 2024 at 12:02 PM

      Hi Nickey,

      If you are OK with cold weather, then you can totally do this itinerary in late January without modifying it. The attractions on this itinerary are all cultural and not really nature-based. Barcelona is of course on the coast, which is part of its appeal, but its beach isn’t one I’d particularly recommend going out of your way to swim at, so you’re not loosing anything itinerary-wise. I would just do a google search of “[city name] monthly weather” for each stop on this itinerary and double check you are fine with the avg temps (lows too, for evenings) and avg rainy days.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Scotty
    June 1, 2024 at 10:21 AM

    Hey Em,

    Wow, this itinerary is so well detailed and thought out. Thank you for taking the time to put all of this together.
    We are planning a trip to Spain and Portugal towards the end of June. 10 days in Spain and a few days in Portugal. Portugal will either be at the beginning or the end of the trip. We haven’t decided on that yet. We’ve left things a bit late and your itinerary has helped SOOOO much.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      June 1, 2024 at 2:43 PM

      Hi Scotty,

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know how helpful for you it’s been! I’m glad to know that. 🙂 Portugal + Spain together is a great idea!

      Have a nice trip!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Ayie Melendez
    May 26, 2024 at 1:06 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I was just wondering what would you suggest if we wanted to squeeze Donostia? We are willing to forego Granada or even Madrid if we have to. We are also look at about 12 days in September and will be flying all the way from Hawaii. Thank you for any insight you can share!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 26, 2024 at 3:31 AM

      Hi Ayie,

      Since my itinerary is 10 days and you have 12, you could just add two days minus the travel time to Donostia. If you need more time there, which I’d probably recommend, I’d recommend having Madrid as first on the chopping block. I am saying this as someone who has voluntarily been living in Madrid for two years now. It’s a very nice city to live in, but I think the other spots on my itinerary offer more touristically. (I would put Cordoba as second on the chopping block.)

      So, if removing Madrid, I would recommend something like Barcelona > fly to Donostia > fly to Granada > train to Seville (1 day trip to Cordoba).

      That would give you 4 nights in Donostia. If you’re willing to just have 3 nights there, you could squeeze in some Madrid and also make things easier for your flights from the US. You could do Barcelona > fly to Donostia > fly to Grandada > train to Seville (1 day trip to Cordoba) > train to Madrid in the morning before final night in Spain, and fly out of Madrid.

      Hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Wendy
    May 25, 2024 at 1:39 PM

    I loved reading your 10 day trip to Spain. We are going in July – we are flying into Madrid and out of Barcelona. So I was thinking of doing it in the order – Madrid, Seville, Granada and then Barcelona. Do you think that works well? Also – any hotel suggestions? we are traveling with two adult children (ages 20 and 24) – will need two room every night. would love suggestions and restaurants too.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 26, 2024 at 3:23 AM

      Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for letting me know you love the itinerary! I’m glad it’s been helpful.

      The way I have it laid out in this itinerary (or the exact reverse) is the most ideal in terms of efficiency and not requiring any additional flights, but you can just fly from Granada (or Seville) to Barcelona to make your itinerary work.

      I don’t have hotel suggestions, as I tend to just book the most reasonably priced thing that is walking distance to the train station available at the time I am booking, especially since I tend to travel solo. As for restaurants, if you like history and meat, Botin in Madrid is the oldest consecutively running restaurant in the world. It will require reservations in advance online. San Gines in Madrid is accredited with being where churros *con chocolate* was first sold. I didn’t enter El Rinconcillo in Seville and just passed by, but it’s supposed to be the oldest tapas bar in Spain.

      I hope some of that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
      • Anonymous
        May 26, 2024 at 5:46 AM

        thank you!

        Reply
        • That Travelista
          May 26, 2024 at 12:40 PM

          You’re welcome! 🙂

          Reply
  • Beth
    May 24, 2024 at 7:35 AM

    I will finish the Camino Frances on September 15 and spend two nights in Santiago de Compostela. My husband and I are then planning to travel in Spain until our flight out of Madrid on September 25. We love culture, art, history and nature and tend toward smaller towns instead of really big cities. How would you recommend doing your itinerary if we have September 17-25 to see parts of Spain? We can travel via train, bus, plane or car during that time. By the way, I love your information on Spain!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 24, 2024 at 8:37 AM

      Hi Beth,

      If you don’t prefer really big cities and are fine passing on seeing Barcelona and Madrid, you might consider just doing the Andalusia part of my itinerary, and then adding some more day trips! I always tell people that I don’t understand why this region isn’t the main touristic draw in the country instead of Barcelona and Madrid.

      The north of Spain isn’t as well connected on the high speed train network, so I would recommend flying into Seville from there. You can do some day trips from there in addition to the one I recommend in this itinerary to Cordoba. By public transport, you could see Cadiz, and also Jerez de la Frontera which is part of the sherry triangle and home to the famous Tío Pepe bodegas, if sherry tastings interest you. If you rent a car, you could visit a couple of the famous pueblos blancos in a day (I’m sure you could also find a group tour, if you don’t want to rent the car). Then, continue the itinerary through to Granada. If you want to fly out of Madrid, you can take the train there on your final evening.

      There is also the option to add on Malaga instead of Cadiz/Jerez. I haven’t been because the timing’s not worked out for me yet, but it’s high on my list! In that case, you could then also fly into Malaga. You could do a pueblos blancos day trip from there, too (Ronda + Sentenil de las Bodegas is a popular one you can book as a group tour). You could also day trip to Nerja and Frigiliana, or do the Caminito del Rey hike. Then, from Malaga, you can take the train to Granada and follow the rest of my itinerary from that point on. OR do the exact reverse (start in Seville and end in Malaga). You can fly out of Seville/Malaga with a likely connection in MAD or BCN, or train to Madrid on your final evening for a flight out of MAD the next morn.

      I hope some of those ideas help! September is a great time to visit Spain, and I know you’ll have a great time!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Kristin
    May 15, 2024 at 3:40 PM

    Hi Em,

    Such an excellent, detailed guide!! I’m wondering if you have a suggestions for accommodations while in each of these locations? Specific hotels would be welcome or even suggestions for good locations within each city. Thanks so much!!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 16, 2024 at 10:26 AM

      Hi Kristin,

      Thanks for letting me know that you like my guide!

      I unfortunately don’t have specific recommendations, but I can add that to my to-do list and let you know when the post is live, if your trip isn’t for some time. Otherwise, I can say that I usually use Booking.com to search, because I like that their interface allows you to filter criteria and then move to a map view, which allows me to see where the accommodation is relative to the train and attractions. I’m not currently affiliated with Booking.com.

      As far as location, it’ll depend on if you’re prioritizing walkability from the train stations, or if you plan to take cabs/the metro to reach your accommodation once arriving in the city via train to get to the trendiest area, or most historical area, or most upscale area, or whatever your preference would be. For Madrid, where I currently live, you don’t lose much by booking near Atocha station, because it’s just on the border of the city center, and the center is quite compact. In the other cities on this itinerary, there’s a bit more walking distance between the stations and the center, so you’ll have to decide if you prefer to be close to the train or in the historical center, or the trendy neighborhood, etc.

      Sorry to not be of more help!!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Gloria
    May 10, 2024 at 7:29 PM

    Hello!! I’m looking to book a 10-day trip to Barcelona for my parents and I (I am 24, my parents are in their 60s) in July. I read online, as well as your other comments, that some parts of Spain are unbearably hot in July, do you think that includes Barcelona? Which parts should we stick to that time of year? Perhaps 10 days would be too long if we can only really enjoy Barcelona at that time? I would greatly appreciate any insights.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 11, 2024 at 1:55 AM

      Hi Gloria,

      I’ve never visited Barcelona in summer, just in spring and winter. But due to it being on the coast, I think it should be the only stop in my 10 itinerary that will be hot but bearable! And based off Barcelona’s recorded temps from last July, that seems to have been the case last year.

      If you want to stick within Spain, you could add more stops along the Costa Brava. There are day trip-able places, like Stiges, Tarragona, etc. or you could stay overnight in a place like Tossa de Mar, Cadaqués, etc. They could also fly to the Balearic islands or the north of Spain, if they are willing to leave the greater Barcelona area.

      I hope some of those suggestions help!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Jay
    April 23, 2024 at 2:52 PM

    Hello Em,

    I am in my early 20s and going to Spain/Europe for the first time. I am going for 11 days in late May.

    We are wanting a balance of nice beach days and cool architect and cultural sightseeing. I really like your 10 day plan but want to add more beach days. Do you recommend any specific beaches off of Seville and Granada? Also would you say it is worth it to go out to the Baleric Islands as first timers? Or are the beaches on the mainland comparable?

    Thank you in advance!
    Jay

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 24, 2024 at 12:57 PM

      Hi Jay,

      I haven’t been to any Spanish islands yet (the train system on the mainland is just so convenient! A car rental seems necessary to get to the best beaches on the islands), but from what I’ve experienced on the mainland coast and what I see online of the Balearic Islands, I think you will find more large sand beaches on the mainland, but not as many of those cliff/stone beaches you see in pictures of the islands. From Seville, you could day trip to Cadiz (or other beach towns), and Barcelona has some day-trip-able beach towns too, like Stiges.

      I’ve of course made this itinerary with what I think are the best things to visit in Spain, but if your interests are different, you can definitely fly to an island instead of seeing everything I suggest. 🙂

      Hope that helps! You’re going to love your trip!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Steph
    April 22, 2024 at 8:43 AM

    I’m planning a trip for my mom and I (34 and 62) in Sept or October of 2024. We’ll only have about 8 days and we want to do some relaxing on a beach/tropical location while we are there. How do you recommend we tweak your itinerary?

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 22, 2024 at 10:43 AM

      Hi Steph,

      Barcelona is the only place on this itinerary that is on the coast. But the city beaches aren’t too special in my opinion. Maybe you could just focus on Madrid and Barcelona for the 8 days, and take day trips from each (Toledo, Segovia, and/or Avila from Madrid, and some nicer beach towns like Stiges from Barcelona).

      Hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Flor
    April 18, 2024 at 6:16 PM

    Hello, thanks for all the detailed information! I just wanted to clear up how I would switch it around if I was starting and leaving from Barcelona instead. Thanks! ☺️

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 18, 2024 at 11:06 PM

      Hi Flor,

      I’m glad you’ve found the information helpful!

      You can follow this itinerary and then take a domestic flight from Seville to Barcelona at the end. 🙂

      Hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Marci
    April 16, 2024 at 9:42 PM

    First time to Spain in mid june. We’re cuban Americans and our parents & grandparents were born in spain. we have 10 days Starting in Madrid for 3 days of business then 7 days of vacation. what do you recommend for first timers? Father & daughter trip. We’re in our early 40s & 60s we love art, architecture & nature.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 17, 2024 at 9:07 AM

      Hi Marci,

      How cool to be visiting your family’s homeland for the first time soon! 🙂

      Will you be returning to Spain in the future? If so, I’d consider using the 7 days to do a day trip or two from Madrid (Toledo, Avila, or Segovia) and then visit Granada, Seville, and Cordoba via train (basically this itinerary from Madrid onwards). And save Barcelona for a return trip to Spain. I say that because Barcelona only connects conveniently to Madrid via train. So you would need to take a domestic flight or double-back through Madrid to see anything else besides Barcelona and Madrid.

      The other option would be to just stick to Madrid and Barcelona as bases and do day trips from there. So 2 – 3 days as day trips to Toledo, Avila, and/or Segovia. And then the remaining 4 – 5 days for Barcelona and a day trip or two from there (maybe Montserrat, Stiges, or Girona).

      You will get fine art museums in Madrid and Seville. You have the Picasso museum in Barcelona, and all the Gaudi architecture around the city. You will have really amazing Moorish architecture in Andalusia. And you will have nice medieval architecture in the 3 day trip options from Madrid. Granada is at the seat of a mountain range. Barcelona is on the coast. Montserrat is in cool-shaped mountains and you take a funicular to get up. But I wouldn’t really rank any of the locations particularly high for nature seekers.

      I hope some of that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Veronica
    April 16, 2024 at 12:08 AM

    Hi, thank you so much for sharing your detailed itinerary, it’s super helpful.

    We are going to have the first part of our trip in Ireland (October). Considering flying into Seville from Dublin, and then following your itinerary in reverse from there. We’d love to stay in an agriturismo at some point in Spain. Any ideas where that could fit in?

    We will be flying back home to Australia from Barcelona.

    Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 16, 2024 at 9:32 AM

      Hi Veronica,

      I’m glad this itinerary has been super helpful for you!

      I haven’t done agriturismo, but from what I’ve learned about Spain while living here, it seems like a lot of agriculture is in Andalusia. So just off of that, I would think you might want to squeeze it in from either Seville or Granada (both in Andalusia)?

      Sorry to not be of more concrete help!!

      – Em

      Reply
      • Anonymous
        April 17, 2024 at 5:43 AM

        That really helps, thank you for the tip!

        Reply
  • Victor kok
    April 14, 2024 at 2:04 AM

    Hi,
    I have 10 days in spain. Would it easier if i drive for the 10 days? I would need to get back to barcelona on the last day of my drive for my flight out?

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 14, 2024 at 4:11 AM

      Hi Victor,

      You can typically drop off your rental car in a different city than you picked it up, usually for an additional fee.

      However, if you are seeing the spots I’ve listed on this itinerary, the train is going to save you several hours. Spain’s trains are very fast and cover what would be 6 hours in the car in under 3 hours, for example.

      If you want, you can rent a car for day trips (for example the pueblos blancos in Andalusia, or driving around a particular coast). But if you are sticking to the mains spots (the spots on this itinerary), the train is best in my opinion.

      Hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
      • Victor kok
        April 17, 2024 at 7:26 PM

        Thanks Em

        Reply
  • Jessica
    April 13, 2024 at 10:44 PM

    Hi Em! Thank you for sharing all of this insight. Can you elaborate on what the day to day temperature might be for June, July, August? I hear you saying unbearable; can you share the actual temperature/ avg temp for those months. Thank you ☺️

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 14, 2024 at 4:07 AM

      Hi Jennifer,

      You can Google the monthly average by month by city (just type “Madrid monthly weather”) and you will get the average high and low by month. However, in the few summers I’ve spent in Spain so far, the temperature has surpassed what I see online as the average (I assume because it’s recently getting worse).

      But just to give you an idea of last summer, which I spent entirely in Madrid, the first half of June in Madrid was pouring, so not hot but also not nice lol. From there it was about 100-104 F degrees half the time and 94-100 F the other half until early September, with a day of 89-92 F sprinkled in once in greeeat while. The thing about Spain though is that the hottest part of the day is around 6 pm. So it feels like that “high” temperature all day, because in the late morning, the temp is not yet at its peak, but the sun is, so it makes it “feel like” the peak temp for that day already. Then, as the sun sets, you no longer have the heat from the BUT but now the temp itself has actually hit its peak. So you’re feeling that “high” temp for a good 9–10 hours straight. (Unlike where I am from, where a forecast of 100F would mean about 4-5 hours around that peak temp around 11am – 2pm). I hope I make sense lol.

      I’ve never spent the summer in the south (and never plan to), but I hear it’s worse there if not on the coast.

      Hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Muhammad Amin
    April 11, 2024 at 9:01 AM

    Good Evening,
    Hope you will enjoy your good days, I am from Pakistan, interested to visit Spain in the month of September 2024 or October 2024, I need an itinerary for submitting in embassy with my Visa application.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 11, 2024 at 10:06 AM

      Hi Muhammad!

      How long does your itinerary need to be, and what details does it need to include?

      – Em

      Reply
      • Sejal
        April 21, 2024 at 1:44 PM

        Thank you so much for such an amazing detailed itinerary, it’s my family’s first time going and I’m super stressed about the travel plans. What is your opinion on doing Barcelona > Valencia > Seville > Granada? then last day taking a train back to Barcelona from Seville ? we found a good flight round trip from Barcelona to ewr to we are trying to leave from BCN.

        Reply
        • That Travelista
          April 22, 2024 at 3:58 AM

          Hi Sejal,

          I’m glad you like the itinerary!

          The reason I have the itinerary laid out the way it is is due to the high-speed train routes between the cities. It will take 4.5 hours minimum by train from Valencia to Seville, and you’ll detour through Madrid rather than going in a straight line from point A to point B. And the same is true of the train between Barcelona and Seville; it’s 5.5 hours minimum and goes through Madrid. If you are OK with those travel times, then you can definitely do the itinerary you’ve laid out!

          I hope that helps!

          – Em

          Reply
  • Catie
    April 1, 2024 at 5:35 PM

    Hi! We are going 8 nights in/out of Barcelona in April. I saw that you recommend skipping madrid if only one week in Spain. Any suggestions? Two adult travelers one has visited Barcelona a long time ago!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 2, 2024 at 11:19 AM

      Hi Catie,

      If Madrid piques your interest, by all means follow my itinerary through there and just cut out two days from what interests you least in the rest of the itinerary! 🙂

      Just for me personally, who has been living in Madrid for 2 years now by choice (so I definitely like the city!), Madrid doesn’t offer things as touristically impressive as the 3 cities in Andalusia do. And that statement about skipping Madrid if you only have one week is more directed at people who might only be making one trip to mainland Spain in their lifetimes and trying to see the best of the best in that one week. But if you’ve already been and might return, you can just see Barcelona, Madrid, and do day trips from both on this trip, and then visit Andalusia on its own in the future (it definitely has more than enough to see!).

      Madrid is the transfer point that connects Barcelona to Andalusia via train in my 10 day itinerary. So to do my 10 day itinerary in 8 days by removing Madrid, you’d need to take a domestic flight from Barcelona to Granada, then train to Sevilla like in my itinerary, and then a domestic flight back to Barcelona from Seville at the end (also already baked into my itinerary. That would be my suggestion if you were wanting to see as much of my 10 day itinerary with two less days.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Lezlie
    March 24, 2024 at 7:09 PM

    Hello, I want to make sure I understand this itinerary. Am I sleeping in Barcelona 2 nights, Madrid and Granada 1 night each and Seville 2 nights?

    Thank you~

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      March 29, 2024 at 1:27 PM

      Hi Lezlie,

      You’re sleeping 3 nights in Barcelona, 2 nights in Madrid, 2 nights in Granada, and 3 nights in Sevilla. So 10 nights total.

      Hope that clears it up!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Melissa
    March 22, 2024 at 8:52 AM

    This is great information! We are planning a November 4-12 stay in Spain and would love your input on how to tackle or modify our plans.
    I have been before, but my husband and adult daughter have not.
    We would fly into Madrid from the US and were thinking of visiting Barcelona, Segovia, possibly Toledo, and Seville.
    What are your thoughts?
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      March 22, 2024 at 10:35 AM

      Hi Melissa,

      I’m glad the post is helpful!

      Is your flight roundtrip from Madrid? If so, I would suggest something like:

      Madrid (3-4 days: 1-2 days Madrid, 1 day Segovia day trip, 1 day Toledo day trip) > train to Barcelona (2-3 days)/Seville (2 days) > flight to Seville (2 days)/Barcelona (2-3 days) > train to Madrid for flight

      If your flight isn’t round trip and you can fly out of Barcelona, I would suggest something like:

      Madrid (3-4 days: 1-2 days Madrid, 1 day Segovia day trip, 1 day Toledo day trip) > train to Seville (2 days) > flight to Barcelona (2-3 days)

      There are tour groups to Toledo and Segovia individually, or you can DIY your own day trip to Toledo by train and day trip to Segovia by bus. But if you end up short on time in the itinerary and don’t mind rushing through the two places, there are options to combine both into one tour group day trip. You can purchase the tours in person in Madrid. There are lots of kiosks all over the center that advertise them for the same price.

      I hope that helps and that you love Spain!!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Yasmin
    March 20, 2024 at 11:02 PM

    I loved reading this. I used to live in Spain about 20 years ago and am going back with my family for the first time. I have a question if you don’t mind helping me. I’m planning a 11 day trip to Spain early July with the family (including 3 boys ages 5-14). I am arriving in Madrid where we stay for 5 nights. I need help planning the remaining days. We definitely want to go by the water for at least a few days. I was thinking of doing Sevilla then Marbella/malaga. But now I think Sevilla will be too hot and need advice for different cities. I’d like to stay in the south. We love happening cities with nightlife, restaurant scene, (water) activities for kids, shopping (if possible), etc. Maybe a total of 3-4 cities for the 11 days, with Madrid being the first 5 nights. Any advice would be appreciated. I have been to Marbella about 20 years ago and loved it. Not sure what it’s like now. And not looking to going to the islands. Thank you.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      March 21, 2024 at 12:55 PM

      Hi Yasmin,

      I’m glad that my post was enjoyable to read! 🙂 And that you’re going to be able to go back to Spain after such a long time! I’m sure it will have changed a lot.

      Seville will be unbearable in July, so good call on removing that. Even Madrid is very uncomfortable in summer (I hear it’s been getting worse over the years, so maybe it was more bearable back when you lived in Spain. But I can attest personally that last July was horrible lol), so do come prepared for that (hats, sunscreen, clothes, water spray bottles, etc.).

      These might not be considered south, but they are on the Mediterranean coast, so you might consider Valencia and Alicante. Valencia is the 3rd largest city in Spain, so no shortage of nightlife there. And I haven’t been to Alicante yet (I’m going in a few days!), but it’s also in the community of Valencia and is the 8th largest metropolitan area in Spain. There are a lot of nice beach towns between the two cities, so you could do a lot of nice day trips to nice beaches. Valencia has an aquarium that people seem to like (I didn’t enter), so the kids might like that.

      I haven’t been to the Malaga area yet, but there is the day trip of Nerja (on the coast) from there, and Marbella is not too far either, as you know.

      Cádiz might potentially also fit the bill as one of your cities. It’s in Andalusia, on the coast, and is a fan favorite. It’s also day-trip distance from Seville, so if there’s a random day where the weather is bearable for some strange reason, you could go up for a day from there. It might not have nightlife in the way that large cities do (I only went on a day trip, so I can’t say), but I find that almost any place in Spain has people out and about at night. I find that to be even more true in summer, because the middle of the day is so hot that many people hide lol (*raises hand*).

      There’s a 3.5 hour Avanzabus between Cádiz Station and Marbella. So assuming no car rental, an itinerary with all the above could look something like:

      Madrid > train to Valencia > bus to Alicante > fly to Cadiz > bus to Marbella > train to Malaga > train back to Madrid

      or excluding Cadiz, it could be:

      Madrid > train to Valencia > bus to Alicante > fly to Malaga (day trip to Marbella one day) > train back to Madrid

      Valencia and Alicante both have airports, so either one can be excluded, if you just want to use one as the base while in the community of Valencia. And you could also do the exact reverse directions of what I’ve outlined above, too.

      I hope some of that helps, at least as a jumping off point!! Let me know what you think. 🙂

      – Em

      Reply

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