The horrors of planning a vacation are upon us! You’ve spent ages researching which city to go, immersed yourself in all those travel videos, read blogs, day-dreamed, told all your friends about it but now comes the hard part. Where to go in Spain? What to see in Spain? Which cities? How long to visit Spain? When is the best time to visit Spain? Budget? It’s almost overwhelming to the point that you might not even want to go anymore.
In this article, we try to help you figure out how to spend time in Spain taking away a little bit of the overwhelming factor to it. We’ve got a list of different breakdowns for itineraries in Spain that range from 4 months in Spain all the way to a Spain itinerary of 3 days.
Step 1: Figure Out How Much Time You Actually Have
Before deciding on how many days to spend in each city in SPain, you need to know how long you can travel for. Your itinerary will differ tremendously depending on the length of the stay – you can practically travel around all of Spain in a month, but can only visit two or three cities maximum in a week (without even getting the full experience!) So the initial step is knowing how much time you have for your Spanish vacation.
Step 2: List The Top Cities You Want To Visit
You need to figure out which cities you want to pair up together. What are your favorite cities? What appeals to you? The glistening beaches of Palma de Mallorca? The mosques and churches of Andalucia? The skyscrapers of Madrid? The Gaudi attractions at Barcelona? Choose the cities you want to go to and put them in a list.
Step 3: Decide On How Long You Want To Stay In Every City
The third step has to do with you deciding on how long you want to stay in every city. Some people prefer Madrid over Barcelona, others prefer Girona over both! In this article, we’ll help you decide how long you should ideally stay in each city.
Step 4: Plan How You’re Going To Get Around
You need to make sure you have your travel time plan as it can significantly cut a huge chunk of your time off. Are you going to be using a car, bus, train or a plane? The high-speed AVE train is known to cut down a lot of time and has great rates.
A One Month Plan
Needless to stay, if you have an entire month to spend in Spain then by all means explore! There is absolutely no reason to stay in a Spanish city for longer than a week unless you’re maybe taking a language course, a cooking class or you’re there for studies.
How To Organize Your 4 weeks:
The First 4 Weeks:
I recommend you start your trip in Madrid. Despite the fact that it’s an exciting city, it’s better to get it over with at first so you can free your mind and get excited about exploring the rest of Spain’s incredible destinations. Spend 4 days in Madrid (ideally make two in the weekend – the nightlife is unparalleled!) and then spend the rest of your days going on day trips to Toledo, Segovia or Salamanca.
The Next 4 Weeks:
Explore Spain at its most authentic in Andalusia where you can get enamored by the thrum of the Spanish guitar, the flamenco, the incredible churches, and the historical monuments. Visit Sevilla, Granada, Cordoba, Cadiz, Ronda and Jerez
The Third 4 Weeks:
Barcelona! Although I would recommend staying an entire week in Barcelona to fully take in the ethereal allure of this city, it’s also advisable to stay there for 4 days and go to day trips to Costa Brava, Monteserrat and Figueres for the Dali Museum!
The Last 4 Weeks:
Head to the north of Spain, a completely different vibe than Barcelona and Madrid and spend some time in the Basque Country, Galicia and Oviedo.
Spain Itinerary 10 To 14 Days
If you only have 10 to 14 days, don’t fret! You can still see plenty of Spain at such a short amount of time. It is recommended to wind it down to just two regions so that you can truly get a fully immersive experience.
Here are some recommended combinations:
- Combine Barcelona with Madrid – Divide your time between those two cities and don’t worry about how similar they might be – they are not!
- Get a more Spanish experience by visiting the contrasting Madrid and Andalusia – A week in Madrid and then the rest of the time divided between Cordoba, Sevilla and Malaga
- Combine Barcelona with Andalusia – To make this easier and not waste time, definitely take a plane instead of a train or bus.
- Madrid and The Basque – The Basque is highly diverse and it’s recommended to visit the wine region – Rioja.
- Madrid and Galicia – This will give you a diverse experience as you’ll be seeing Leon, Oviedo and Salamanca.
- Barcelona and the Basque
5 To 7 Days Spain Itinerary
No problem! You’ll still be able to see one city in Spain, but you’ll get the fully immersive experience that way. Staying at a city for more than 4 days always gives you a feel for what real life there starts to look like. Choose either Barcelona or Madrid. If you’re still set on visiting more than one city, then go to Seville and plan a few day trips from there!
Barcelona Or Madrid?
This will completely depend on what your preferences are. Barcelona can be seen in a week since the city has a lot to offer, however, it’s also more compact and all the sights are quite close to each other so you could finish it all in a few days and then spend the rest of the time traveling to coastal towns around. If you want, you can also take a day trip from from Madrid, although not recommended.
For Madrid, try staying the entire seven days there. It’s much bigger than Barcelona, its sights are not in close proximity to each other, and it takes time to make an impression on you. Let it work its magic!
3 To 4 Days Spain Itinerary
What if you just decided to pack your bags and spend your weekend in Spain? Where would you go then Well, practically anywhere!
- Santiago de Compostela – If you want to explore the north, this is without a doubt the city you go to!
- Valencia – Modern futuristic Valencia, where modern architecture blends with Spanish cobblestone streets – a must-visit!
- Leon and Oviedo – You can stay at Leon, and visit Oviedo as a quick day trip from there.
- Cadiz and Jerez – A beautiful port city with a cathedral perched on top of the bustling waves.
- Granada – Home to one of the most famous Spanish attractions – Alhambra. Granada is the perfect weekend-break trip.
2 Day Spain Itinerary
That’s also completely doable! You can visit Barcelona, Madrid, Mallorca and Ibiza on short weekend trips (although, of course, you won’t get to fully appreciate them – but hey, it’s better than nothing!), so try taking one of those full day tours, guided tours, hop-on-hop-off buses, or simply come ready with a set itinerary and plan.
How To Utilize Two Days To the maximum
- Cadiz and Jerez – Again, Cadiz and Jerez are small and compact and can be fully appreciated in two days!
- Oviedo– See, the thing about Oviedo is not only does it have incredibly colorful little buildings stacked right next to each other, the city itself has an incredible showcase of fine art with a handful of museums to keep you occupied for the two days!
- Merida– Take a trip back in time to the city of Merida, with its frozen-in-time Roman ruins that will give you the feeling that you’ve temporarily visited Athens!
- Valencia– The thing about Valencia is that, despite the fact that it’s one of Spain’s most important cities, you can still practically see everything in two days!
- Segovia and Avila – Spend half a day in Avila, and the rest in the city of Segovia.
- Toledo – An ancient city nestled up on a hill, with gorgeous castles and soaring towers – Toledo will be your medieval dream! You can also add that to a day in
The Best Day-Trip Destinations
Who said day trips are not possible? They are possible, and quite fun as well if you’re ready to spend quite a hectic day going from one place to another. Day trips will depend of course on where you’re staying.
- If you’re staying in Madrid: Head to Salamanca or El Escorial
- If you’re staying in Barcelona: Go over to Tarragona
- If you’re staying in Seville: Cordoba or Ronda can be visited on day trips.